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Thread: Replacing the hated “warp drive”
August 18th, 2012, 08:52 AM #91
"Classic physics" essentially stopped at the knowledge that a current (from wherever it came from) would draw two metal leaves together. Quantum physics provided the knowledge of what was actually happening at the sub-atomic level, which is where and how solid-state circuitry functions. We would never have developed the transistor without it; an IC chip would be just a collection of thin wires, and would have done nothing.
Your knowledge of IC design was already established when you started using it (assuming you're not older than sixty). The quantum mechanics that dictated the theory behind IC design is about a century old. You may not have needed to be conversant with quantum theory to do your work, any more than I need to be conversant with it to type on this laptop, but your work depended on the established principles developed under quantum theory nonetheless.
August 18th, 2012, 10:41 PM #92
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- Apr 2010
This whole "warp drives are impossible" thread reminds me of a discussion i had about 10 years ago. I asked a well-known physics professor who even had his own tv show: "So what was before the bigbang?". He explained to me in length and detail that since time came into existence with the bigbang it does not make sense to ask what was before, since there was no time and therefore there was no "before or after". Now, 10 years later i keep reading about scientist all over the world coming up with theories about the time before the bigbang.
It seems to me FTL travel is similar, it seems impossible according to current physics, until someone comes up with an idea that shows its not so.
August 18th, 2012, 11:51 PM #93
What evidence is there for how widespread this "hatred" for warp drive is?
August 20th, 2012, 01:55 PM #94
August 20th, 2012, 03:28 PM #95
August 20th, 2012, 04:59 PM #96
Give me a good story that uses some kind of FTL and I won't worry about the details. Weber's "sails" are kind of funny but I don't get bent out of shape about them. There is still unknown physics out there so I won't bet any kind is flat out impossible but I wouldn't bet that it is workable either.
I just find "HATE" for one form somewhat peculiar.
Last edited by psikeyhackr; August 20th, 2012 at 06:25 PM.
August 20th, 2012, 10:13 PM #97
I never said it was ANYONE'S hatred but my own.
And you could've just said you didn't hate it, and walked on, seven pages ago.
Last edited by Steven L Jordan; August 21st, 2012 at 08:42 AM.
August 29th, 2012, 05:58 PM #98
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- Aug 2012
I believe the main problem with a 'plausible' method of ftl transportation is that once you can go ftl, you get free time travel. People in different frames of reference may disagree on the order that events happen... because of... Light cones or something. I'm hazy on the details, but I know that ftl and time travel are interlinked. You can similarly use a time machine to help you go faster than light.
So... Sf authors have 3 options. They can stick to the speed limit like Reynolds. They can make use of the time travel as Baxter has. Or they can ignore it and assume there is some sort of universal agreed time, and relativity and ftl don't have any effect on things.
I'm happy to read any approach. But what does kinda wind me up is when an author tries to develop a complicated ftl drive theory, which may be logical to an extent, and spends pages explaining the system... But just ignores the time travel aspect. I'm happier with someone just saying jump drive or warping of space and leaving out the details.
Glancing through the original post I think you've misunderstood something about the expansion of the universe. If something is 2 light years from me and the space between us expands to double it moves to 4 ly away. If something starts 4ly away and the space expands in the same way it becomes 8 ly away in the same period of time. The further object has travelled faster than the close one. Expansion is, in a way, faster the further away things are... but that does not imply there is some sort of centre to the universe - the same situation applies no matter where you start from.
August 31st, 2012, 08:37 AM #99
It's true that the center of expansion may not be galactic center, as the point of expansion can be in motion as well. However, the system I describe uses relative positioning, not absolute positioning, as its method; so this is not a problem.
I also developed a simple method to confirm the intended location and its ability to receive your craft without problems: A simple probe, sent to the spot a few seconds in advance of the craft, can do a quick scan to check location and confirm its safety; upon returning, the craft downloads and checks the probe's data; and once confirmed, makes the jump itself. A simple thing, most likely never used because of the possible drama it erases from the moment of the jump, but eminently rational and practical (assuming a jump system can be placed in a small probe).
September 7th, 2012, 03:07 PM #100
Steven, your details are intriguing. I'm a big fan of Asimov and he never explained the science behind his hyperspace travel, but it was much as you are describing, an instantaneous jump from one location to another. The probe would have been a good idea. It makes sense unless that after 100 years not a single probe encounters anything and then it might get dropped as a useless measure.
I think the various solutions to FTL all boil down to how limited you want to be. Do you want to assume that there will be no advances that could make these seemingly magical things a reality, or do you want to imagine what future generations might accomplish. I think what is required for any FTL method is a solid theory. You have definitely found one, but it probably isn't the only one. Not all theories will work. Most of them we probably will never know for sure. All we writers can do is come up with something our readers will find believable enough. I'd say, at least for now, you've done just that.
September 7th, 2012, 03:45 PM #101
It may not encounter anything after 1,000 jumps... but the one time it does could be disastrous, much like the one time in 5,000 flights that a plane crashes... overall, a simple check that's worth the trouble.
I suppose some less cautions ships might skip it... and every once in awhile, a ship wouldn't turn up at its intended destination when it dropped too close to a gravity well, a source of lethal radiation or (the silliest trope of all) the miscellaneous asteroid field.
September 18th, 2012, 12:30 AM #102
The Warp Drive Could Become Science Fact
A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre, however subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.
September 18th, 2012, 02:51 AM #103
Beat me to it.
Here's Google's list of relevant current articles.
September 18th, 2012, 09:57 AM #104
So is the next movie going to be
The Revenge of Star Trek
September 18th, 2012, 10:48 AM #105
Nice to see that "the hated" warp-drive has gone from science fantasy to hard SF.