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Trekkies Rejoice: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought
Posted: 18 September 2012 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Huzzah!

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Posted: 18 September 2012 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I didn’t know that warp drive was faster than the speed of light. Why then, are there warps one, two, three, etc.? If you were able to travel faster than light, not only that time would stop (or go in reverse) but you could also be everywhere at the same time; not that I can even begin to imagine what that actually means. If warp one is already faster than light—which would, once again, enable one to be everywhere instantly—what is the meaning of having a warp two?

[ Edited: 18 September 2012 07:43 AM by George ]
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Posted: 18 September 2012 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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BTW, can somebody tell me if I should have said “instantaneously” or “instantly” in my post above? Thanks.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Obviously there is a bit of fiction involved in warp drive as described in Star Trek, but from the scripts you can sort of deduce how fast fictional warp drive allows a ship to travel. In the Voyager series they were stranded 70,000 light years from home and it was stated that at warp 10 it would take 70 years to get home which means warp 10 allows a ship to travel 1,000 times the speed of light.

I’m no physicist but as i understand it traveling at light speed allows one to go anywhere instantaneously but only form the vantage point of the the vehicles occupants. From an outside observer it would still take over 4 years for a ship to travel to the nearest star. I’m not exactly sure what happens to time aboard ship when you engage something like warp drive where you are not actually traveling through space but sort of moving space along with you so I have no idea what the perception is for onboard travelers were you to engage a real life warp drive.

[ Edited: 18 September 2012 08:29 AM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 18 September 2012 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Having a “self” in several places at the same time..haah..cool

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Posted: 18 September 2012 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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macgyver - 18 September 2012 08:27 AM

I’m no physicist but as i understand it traveling at light speed allows one to go anywhere instantaneously but only form the vantage point of the the vehicles occupants.

Actually, I think it’s more complicated than that. It’s not that one can go anywhere instantaneously when travelling at the speed of light, but already is anywhere and everywhere. Or maybe one is nowhere, since once travelling at the speed of light, time stops, and therefore it ceases to exist. When time doesn’t exist, space doesn’t exist either. Why, then, light should be able to travel at the speed during which space cannot exist is kinda behind my understanding or even imagination.

You know what I think? I think we know next to nothing about the universe…

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Posted: 18 September 2012 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The speed of light (“c”) is fixed at 186,000 miles per second. This is nowhere near infinitely fast. IIRC Trek’s idea of warp drives is that they are various multiples of c. (Not that this really matters, since it’s fiction anyway).

For the person traveling c—if they could travel c, which they couldn’t—time would stop. So from their vantage point they would be able to get anywhere without time having passed; assuming again that they could somehow come down out of light speed back to sublight without time passing internally to their clock. (This alone seems paradoxical enough). Further, it would take an infinite amount of energy to move something with mass to “c”. Photons have no mass, of course.

The trick about warp drive is that nothing with mass is actually ever traveling at c; rather, space is being deformed around the craft to make farther objects closer. Doubtless if warp drive were ever possible, it could create havoc with nearby massive objects like stars and planets.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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dougsmith - 18 September 2012 09:44 AM

The trick about warp drive is that nothing with mass is actually ever traveling at c; rather, space is being deformed around the craft to make farther objects closer. Doubtless if warp drive were ever possible, it could create havoc with nearby massive objects like stars and planets.

I see. I think I knew that but it totally slipped my mind. Now that I think about it, didn’t one of the Next Generation episodes discuss the danger of warp drive destroying the surrounding space, resulting in making certain warp speed illegal?

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Posted: 18 September 2012 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Dunno, could be. I’m afraid I’m a pretty poor Trekker.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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George - 18 September 2012 10:11 AM
dougsmith - 18 September 2012 09:44 AM

The trick about warp drive is that nothing with mass is actually ever traveling at c; rather, space is being deformed around the craft to make farther objects closer. Doubtless if warp drive were ever possible, it could create havoc with nearby massive objects like stars and planets.

I see. I think I knew that but it totally slipped my mind. Now that I think about it, didn’t one of the Next Generation episodes discuss the danger of warp drive destroying the surrounding space, resulting in making certain warp speed illegal?

I probably watched these shows far more than I care to admit. I remember that episode. Here you go..

“The warp fields of conventional warp engines caused damage to the fabric of spacetime, eventually causing subspace to extrude into normal space, creating phenomena such as subspace rifts. In order to slow the rate of damage, the Federation Council shared their findings with all known warp-capable species in 2370 and imposed a speed limit of warp factor 5 on all Federation vessels in all but extreme emergencies. (TNG: “Force of Nature”)”

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Posted: 18 September 2012 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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George - 18 September 2012 10:11 AM
dougsmith - 18 September 2012 09:44 AM

The trick about warp drive is that nothing with mass is actually ever traveling at c; rather, space is being deformed around the craft to make farther objects closer. Doubtless if warp drive were ever possible, it could create havoc with nearby massive objects like stars and planets.

I see. I think I knew that but it totally slipped my mind. Now that I think about it, didn’t one of the Next Generation episodes discuss the danger of warp drive destroying the surrounding space, resulting in making certain warp speed illegal?

You’re right, George, and the Federation set up a no-fly (or slow-fly) zone around that area and the planetary systems in it.  I’m sure Mriana can verify this.

Occam

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Posted: 18 September 2012 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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One of the coherence problems with shows like Star Trek, is that they sometimes travel at sub-warp, near light speed, but always seem to sync up in time, with no problem, with the rest of the Federation.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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On Star Trek, the starship is enveloped inside a subspace bubble, which carries the ship through hyperspace at multiples of the speed of light (not instantaneously).  For the passengers inside the bubble, time seems to pass normally.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Thanks, macgyver and Occam.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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And, of course, Star Trek never really dealt with what would happen in space battles happening at warp speeds. They just treat it like it’s just moving around fast at conventional speeds.

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Posted: 19 September 2012 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Better to watch all the movies again…haha

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