Cheating Physics With The Warp Drive

Star Trek Voyager

There are many problems in our society that is killing our planet. One-day, humankind might have to move away. Will warp drive be our way into space?

The Warp Drive

Cheating physics with the warp drive!

The warp drive is a concept not unique to Star Trek as it is a genuine speculative alternative to faster than light speed.

Star Trek is the franchise that popularized the idea and had many children at the time, dreaming of being the one to make it real.

Star Trek The Next Generation - USS Enterprise by kurumi_morishita - DeviantArt
Star Trek The Next Generation – USS Enterprise by kurumi_morishita – DeviantArt

Science fiction is a powerful tool in our society. It is what makes ideas eventually a possibility. Star Trek created many of our daily electronics. Not all of them were home runs, but the Warp Drive Core is still one we dream about for humankind’s future.

Believing in a Dream

It all starts with dreams of learning about the unknown. Either it is to know if extraterrestrials exist or to visit a planet we have heard about in a comic book or television show, what we first need to work on is: faster than light propulsion system.

Dr. Albert Einstein
Dr. Albert Einstein

Sadly, to this day, it remains to be just a dream as Nasa is not currently working on such an imaginary theory. Also, many scientists believe that it would be impossible to travel faster than light while others keep their hopes up thinking fondly in Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

In science fiction, we see many theories, such as wormholes, jump drive, hyperspace, and the warp drive. Even using a black hole! All of which are based in speculative physics and science.

Event Horizon Movie 1997
Event Horizon Movie 1997

Teleportation is something possible now that scientists tested it—at a molecular level. However, the process in which it is done involves destroying the molecule to reconstruct it.

But, in itself, it is advancement in the field of “cheating space and time.”

Gravitational Waves Are Real

Now, NASA has found some vague proof about gravitational waves that Dr. Einstein predicted, but everyone thought it would be impossible to prove its existence. It brings my hopes up as it might bring the dream of interstellar travel closer than ever before knowing about its existence.

Gravitational Waves Explanation
This graphic shows how cosmic strings formed after a phase transition in the early universe might have created gravitational waves detectable by future observatories. Credit: R. Hurt/Caltech-JPL, NASA, and ESA Credit: Kavli IPMU – Kavli IPMU modified this figure based on the image credited by R.Hurt/Caltech-JPL, NASA, and ESA

Let’s not lose hope of a possibility to one day be traveling among the stars to another planet. We might encounter civilizations perhaps more advanced than our own.

We might be closer than we think. If Star Trek is to become real, no one can afford to lose hope in such a Utopia.

The Alcubierre Theory of Warp Drive

Again, based on Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, related to his field equations. What was once proposed by Dr. Miguel Alcubierre was that instead of trying to exceed the speed of light, a spacecraft could instead contract space.

Alcubierre Drive - NASA
Alcubierre Drive – NASA

That is before it expands space behind it, thus resulting in traveling faster than light. All possible without exactly breaking any laws of physics that we have come to know to this day.

After all, we know that we cannot travel faster than light without interfering with normal spacetime. It is something that caused many science fiction authors to come up with their version of what could propel a starship across the galaxy.

A Travelling Bubble

Despite warp drive being the closest hope we have to interstellar travel, it requires something almost impossible to find or even prove its existence called “exotic matter,” therefore unable to be turned into a drivable system.

Casimir Plates
Casimir Plates

However, that is until Alcubierre mentioned that the Casimir vacuum, aka Casimir Effect named after the Dutch physicist Hendrick Casimir—physical forces arising from a quantized field—would fulfill the negative-energy required to create the warp drive that could eventually also be simply named Alcubierre Drive—sorry Cochran.

Alcubierre Drive
Alcubierre Drive

Then again, Quantum Gravity would eliminate all questions relative to the Alcubierre Warp Drive theory. That is based on Einstein’s General Relativity field equation and make his theory entirely irrelevant.

However, until we give up, there’s no reason to believe it cannot still happen. Cheating physics with the warp drive might remain possible in an eventual future.

Warp Speed Ahead!

Let’s think positive for a moment, sometimes physicists are not very imaginative, and let’s assume it all comes true.

When Star Trek first mentioned the warp drive, it was well-received, based on a theory that made more sense than many others due to facts that I mentioned earlier. It somehow makes that dream of traveling faster than light reachable.

Warp Requirements For 10m OD Sphere
A more detailed requirement for the Warp Drive for 10m OD Sphere.

Now, would it be possible to jump from levels of speed of Warp Factor 1 to 8 and so on, like in the Star Trek universe? I wonder. If we are pulling and contracting what’s ahead to expand space behind, would that mean that to go faster, we’d have first to reach farther?

The human race has once jumped from cars to a rocket that aimed for the moon. I believe that one day something as efficient as a warp drive could be possible.

Spacetime Lattice Analogy
Spacetime Lattice Analogy

All right, I’m no physicist or mathematician, heck. I can barely do algebra. However, science is something that I read daily. That is because somehow, I find it way more comfortable for me to understand.

At the end of the day, I know that without imagination and dreams, we won’t achieve it. Without believing we won’t be cheating physics with the warp drive.

We Are Made Of Stars

We need new Einstein scientists that believe imagination is just as valid as an equation that could bring us closer to traveling across our galaxy in the Alpha Quadrant to begin. Wink-wink.

Star Trek The Next Generation by kurumi_morishita on Deviant Art
Star Trek The Next Generation by kurumi_morishita on Deviant Art

However, let us not forget that while we are looking at the stars, some might already be looking back at us, and if so, it means somehow one theory is tangible to travel faster than the speed of light.

We are made of stars, so in a way, we do belong out there among them.

Alexa Wayne

Published by Arielle Lyon

I'm a full-time make-believer who loves the 80s and do lots of research on various topics. I'm a nerd to the core and a geek in my heart. I'm also Alexa Wayne.

One thought on “Cheating Physics With The Warp Drive

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