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warpspeed

NASA May Have Accidentally Created a Warp Field

Star Trek” introduced the world outside of rocket science circles to the concept of warp drive – the propulsion system that allowed the starship Enterprise to travel faster than the speed of light. Warp speed is the holy grail that would let us explore the universe safely surrounded and protected by a space-distorting warp field. After watching the SpaceX rocket recently just try to land on a platform, you’d think this ability is years if not decades away. Yet the buzz on space websites is that NASA may have accidentally discovered a way to create a warp field. Wait, what?

Check out episode 13.15 of the MU Podcast for a in-depth discussion of the warp drive HERE

To get around the theory of relativity, physicist Miguel Alcubierre came up with the concept of a bubble of spacetime which travels faster than the speed of light while the ship inside of it is stationary. The bubble contracts spacetime in front of the ship and expands it behind it. The warp drive would look like a football inside a flat ring. The tremendous amount of energy it would need made this idea prohibitive until Harold “Sonny” White of NASA’s Johnson Space Center calculated that making the ring into a donut shape would significant reduce the energy needs.

warpdrivediagramedited

Meanwhile, in the lab, NASA and other space programs were working on prototypes of the EmDrive or RF resonant cavity thruster invented by British aerospace engineer Roger J. Shawyer. This propulsion device uses a magnetron to produce microwaves for thrust, has no moving parts and needs no reaction mass for fuel. In 2014, Johnson Space Center claimed to have developed its own low-power EmDrive.

A prototype of an EmDrive

A prototype of an EmDrive

Which brings us to today’s warp field buzz. Posts on NASASpaceFlight.com, a website devoted to the engineering side of space news, say that NASA has a tool to measure variances in the path-time of light. When lasers were fired through the EmDrive’s resonance chamber, it measured significant variances and, more importantly, found that some of the beams appeared to travel faster than the speed of light. If that’s true, it would mean that the EmDrive is producing a warp field or bubble. Here’s a comment from a space forum following the tests.

That’s the big surprise. This signature (the interference pattern) on the EmDrive looks just like what a warp bubble looks like. And the math behind the warp bubble apparently matches the interference pattern found in the EmDrive.

Another surprise is that the discovery was accidental, as this comment attests.

Seems to have been an accidental connection. They were wondering where this “thrust” might be coming from. One scientists proposed that maybe it’s a warp of the spacetime foam, which is causing the thrust.

What happens next? To prove that the warp effect was not caused by atmospheric heating, the test will be replicated in a vacuum. If the same results are achieved, it seems to mean that the EmDrive is producing a warp field, which could ultimately lead to the development of a warp drive.

What does that mean? I’ll let the physicists, propulsion experts and space scientists answer that. All I know is, it will cause a lot of wet seats at the next Star Trek convention.

Warp factor two, Mr. Sulu.

Warp factor two, Mr. Sulu.

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  • Dan Kirkland

    Yup L. Ron Hubbard will soon be proven right. Uh oooh.

  • John Pryce

    Maybe they don’t think we are interesting enough to visit. Or maybe they did visit and went home. Any resource that might be found on Earth is more abundant in the solar system, and won’t be down a gravity well, after all.

  • Charles Guillory

    Even if other races gave it, doesn’t mean they’re automatically as interested in finding us as we are at finding them.

  • Solomon Pachowiak

    I hate making a Star Trek reference because in this case it’s kind of cliche and I’m not really a huge fan of the series, but, are you familiar with the “Prime Directive”? It basically was a rule that said you weren’t allowed to interfere with a civilization unless it’s reached a certain stage of development, usually technological, so as not to affect its development.

    They weren’t allowed to show up at an alien planet showing off their nifty superior technology and shit, because they didn’t want to affect their development as a society.

    Perhaps we’re dealing with something similar; other civilizations follow their own “prime directive” and won’t interact with us until we’ve reached a certain stage. In this case, warp technology. Then we might get alien civilizations saying “Well, it’s about time. Now that you’re grown up, come join the intergalactic party!”.

  • Darth Ninja X

    The *correct* question is: how small is the writing? For instance, here’s 1 side of 1 sheet of paper of some notes I took on the JPEG standard (the irony being that the 25 pages concisely — but yet better and more completely — recapitulate what comes from about several hundred pages of a data *compression* standard).

  • Deadly Raver

    ironically, those other races could very well be saying the same thing.

  • XOXO

    Definition of the speed of light is when grandma spot an empty seat in the tube.

  • Vince

    Abacus…..;-)

  • Vince

    3-D Printing is JUST a Replicator from Star Trek…..

  • Katie B

    Assuming that the nearest other species (a) can use Sol system for anything, (b) are within range of their own propulsion systems, (c) realize we’re here, (d) want to communicate with us…

    There’s a lot of complex decision making going on here.

  • confused clarity

    That would assume that other sentient races would want to actually make contact with us though.

  • Tim

    Or, alternatively, fly as far away from political correctness as possible.

  • redmesa

    How much faster than the speed of light does the universe expand?

  • J.Griffin

    How do you get that?

    In the picture,
    it looks like a rocket.

  • Rick Fox

    more than likely because of the time difference between us and “them”. think about it we look at stars which their light has been traveling for millions of years to reach us so they could already be there for all we know but cos we cant see that far we cant tell.

  • J.Griffin

    If anything,
    they may be debating whether they will keep us from destroying ourselves any longer while ALSO trying to keep us from getting more power
    than what we already cannot handle…

    “It has become painfully obvious to me that man has entirely too much power and to make matters worse,
    he wants even more!”
    -Professor Albert Einstein
    (Paraphrased)
    c.1950

    We live on a world covered with water that we call “earth”.

    The most serious and deadly problem that we face on a social level
    is the lack of clean fresh water,which causes disease,starvation and territorialistic conflicts.

    All we have to do is get the salt out,
    which we know how to do and won’t do on a large scale….
    Meanshile,
    we fight over a toxic energy source while we unravel the crust of our planet to get it,simultaneously destroying&defiling the water table as our overcrowded cities drain the water still available-
    yet we think that we are ready to spread colonialism to the stars?

    Hmm…..

  • J.Griffin

    I would think that we would come across as dangerous psychopathic Klingon barbarians with excess technology that we are not ready for,
    to use another Trek term.

    “War is NOT logical-
    Global warfare is geno-suicide”.
    -Surak

  • http://www.paulvassell.com EarthboundAlien

    Star WARS fan instead he is

  • Ken Hughes

    I have been keeping up on known and unknown ufo or sawcer crashes recovered and the air force has at least four sawcers an at least 14 grey four foot crew dead in captivity.Check out on History channels or on Roco.I have seen enough in 67 years to believe this is true!

  • Ken Hughes

    Maybe the airforce knows alot more than the public!

  • Grant Rogers

    I always thought there a deep connection between gravity and EM, interacting fields at a subatomic scale, so cool that they’re working on it now.

  • http://www.wwwdotcom.com Collegedude93

    We’re so damn close! If only our society can survive a few more years until the tech is good enough to escape this rock for another. Hopefully we can groupfund a starship to shuttle people to a new world habitable for human life.

  • David McCluskey

    In 15 billion years, how many species would attain FTL, considering the volume of the Universe and the timescale covered? That is, what are the chances in billions of years two or more species will attain FTL in the same million year period, let alone in any given millineum?

  • Steve

    The best response to UFO crashes that I have seen is to wonder at the fact that aliens can build ships to cross the vast distances between the stars, but can’t seem to land them.

  • Graham

    I think fire and writing trumped a warp drive. But, it is really cool.

  • Charter

    This means government black projects already have it.

  • Charter

    Yeah because OBVIOUSLY, humans would be the top priority to an advance civilization in a universe with filled with billions upon billions of galaxies, each with billions of solar systems to explore. Who’d pass up the chance to come here?! Amirite guise??? /s

    Be less of an arrogant self-centered person.

  • JohnLLowenthal

    Whenever people make this argument they neglect the fact that civilizations may come and go over the course of, say, a few hundred thousand years – for example we humans as a technological civilization have only existed for 10,000 years and are already in danger of making our planet uninhabitable. So even if the chances of other civs existing is high, that doesn’t speak at all to the chances of them being our contemporaries.

  • big dick bro

    typical conspiracy theorist thinks the government is far more devious and intelligent than it really is.

    govt is actually still utilizing a computer setup that the average home was using in the 90’s

    i worked at lockheed. the govt is barely ahead of the curve in weapons/targeting/propulsion and that’s it. and none of those “ahead of the curve” techs are anything that any but the most knowledgeable would bat an eye at.

  • Hannington

    Depends on the separating distance between any two points in the universe. At a billion light-years away, the expansion of the Universe is carrying galaxies away from us at 22,000 km/s, or about 7% of the speed of light. At 100 million light-years away, that speed is only 2,200 km/s, the speed reduces as the distance does between any two galaxies.

  • tinfoiltophat

    >the bible
    bye.

  • tinfoiltophat

    see the problem there is you assume the government is intelligent, let alone intelligent enough to develop a warp drive.

  • Hermes Phoenix

    Keep thinking that

  • Stephen Langton Riley

    According to several eminent scientists at the point of the big bang an extremely fast expansion took place from nothing and so accordingly nothing travels faster than the speed of light.

  • Derek Johnstone Macrae

    valid point, its took our planet 8 billion years to foster an “intelligent” species, also, our Sun is 3rd gen, so we actually maybe the first species to attain interstellar travel, if we survive long enough

  • Redas

    Well they are not going to let the everyday average Joe federal employee us the most advanced technology. lmAO

  • TisButAFleshwound

    Ignorance is bliss. You think real good about that one in this context and perhaps you will understand. What you claim is a laughable and empty assumption. You know nothing.

  • jedijones

    exactly, what would be the point of advanced military tech if you dont use it. If we were mysteriously vaping military targets in the middle east and russia…. that would be a different story.

  • jedijones

    we need a new source of energy, that is what is really holding us back

  • Gareth

    10 years or so we’ll be using such technologies for standard transport, wouldn’t be surprised of companies like FedX helping fund the research for cheaper and quicker transport methods.

  • Tate Murray

    Does this mean the drive is like a warp core

  • Mike Rowe

    Nice that you’ve worked at Lockheed, but some parts of the government are lightyears ahead of what you state…..others may add well be using the EBCIDIC computer

  • http://thelibertypoint.com/ The Liberty Point

    As someone that worked at Lockheed you know very well that black budgets go to companies such as lockheed/martin. Those like myself and you both know that our government is behind, while much of the private sector is not and is in fact far more ahead and realizes on that of government money that are apart of the black budget.

  • Informed01

    10 years? Little optimistic. Government/Military will have application priority before the public sees it.

  • Informed01

    Damn close. ..but whose the one putting their hand up for almost certian death testing it out…..

  • Doug Graham

    I *was* trying to refrain from dropping any Trek Puns.

    Guess resistance is futile, after all…

    /zing!

  • Medusa Milena

    8 Billion years? cool

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Earth

    The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years (4.54 × 109 years ± 1%). This age is based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the radiometric ages of the oldest-known terrestrial andlunar samples.