What is Warp: Definition and 99 Discussions

A warp drive is a fictional superluminal spacecraft propulsion system in many science fiction works, most notably Star Trek, and a subject of ongoing physics research. A spacecraft equipped with a warp drive may travel at speeds greater than that of light by many orders of magnitude. In contrast to some other fictitious faster-than-light technologies such as a jump drive, the warp drive does not permit instantaneous travel and transfers between two points, but rather involves a measurable passage of time which is pertinent to the concept. In contrast to hyperspace, spacecraft at warp velocity would continue to interact with objects in "normal space". The general concept of "warp drive" was introduced by John W. Campbell in his 1957 novel Islands of Space.Einstein's theory of special relativity states that speed of light travel is impossible for material objects that, unlike photons, have a non-zero rest mass. The problem of a material object exceeding light speed is that an infinite amount of kinetic energy would be required to travel at exactly the speed of light. Warp drives serve to circumvent this limitation in fiction to facilitate stories set at galactic scales.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. Onyx

    I Appearance of Warp Bubble Internal Volume to Distant Observer

    At a single moment of coordinate time ##t##, would a distant observer perceive a warp bubble's interior volume as blown up, or would it seem compressed? Looking in the catalogue of spacetimes at the static local tetrad of the Alcubierre metric, the ##e^x_{(x)}## leads me to think that a static...
  2. S

    I Wormholes & Warp Drives: Can Circular Polarizers Create Them?

    hello i would like to ask if circular polarizers generate wormholes and warp drives. thanks very much.
  3. wcivch

    B Ride Gravitational Waves to Increase Speed?

    This is my first post so I apologize if i am in error anywhere. I recently had a thought that I have had trouble confirming. Based on the following assumptions. 1.) As you accelerate an object near the speed of light it’s mass increases exponentially. 2.) Mass warps space time. 3.) Spacetime...
  4. R

    B Harold White's Warp Drive Research: Casimir Effect Insight?

    This is in reference to https://epjc.epj.org/articles/epjc/abs/2021/07/10052_2021_Article_9484/10052_2021_Article_9484.html in the European Physics Journal. In it it is stated a Casimir effect produced an energy pattern similar to what is needed for an Alcubierre warp field.. Is there substance...
  5. R

    B FAQs about Bobrick & Martire's Warp Drive & Lentz's Paper

    Bobrick and Martire's warp drive. https://arxiv.org/abs/2102.06824 Lentz's paper. https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.07125 Is the warp shield the bending of space in the warp drive?What feeds energy into the system to accelerate? I mean can a planet accelerating be equivalent to a rocket engine...
  6. R

    B I have a few questions about Warp drives? I am a layman.

    I watching this video and have a few questionsIs the warp shield the bending of space in the warp drive? In a warp drive in order to speed you need a to feed in energy. If you do not feed energy would the speed just be the speed of the ship?what is the warp shield made of? I mean is it man...
  7. D

    Warp Drive = Artificial Gravity?

    I had a bit of a brainwave regarding artificial gravity (outside of rotation or linear acceleration). As we know "gravity plating" is just a plot device to allow sci-fi films and shows to escape the pain of having to accurately recreate a zero-g environment. But then I thought: gravity is a...
  8. S

    B Can We Create a Warp Drive for Light? - Josh's Curiousity

    Hello everyone, Preface: I'm hoping this doesn't violate the speculative or personal theories clause in the forum guidelines. It's really just a curiosity, I'm in no position to argue/develop/push the idea or anything. If this does violate that clause, would you be able to recommend a similar...
  9. T

    I Alcubierre Warp Drive: Spacetime Diagram Explained

    https://scipost.org/SciPostPhysLectNotes.10/pdf "Space expands behind the warp bubble and contracts in front of it, thus pushing the bubble forward at velocity v. The ship, which is at rest inside the bubble, moves along with the bubble at an arbitrarily large global velocity." If the ship...
  10. J

    A Latest Warp Drive Research: Examining Chronology Protection Conjecture

    I had some questions about some recently published results on the theoretical aspects of warp-drive. Does the content of the research of Alexey Bobrick, and Gianni Martire proposed in their paper describing their ideas for a warp drive and published in IOP's Classical and Quantum Gravity lead...
  11. Jarvis323

    Moving through Air, Dust, and Solid Objects with Warp Drive

    What would happen if you tried to fly through obstacles using warp drive? Distorting space so that two points are closer wouldn't get around the fact that there might be obstacles (e.g. air molecules, space dust, empire destroyers) that you would bump into along the way right. Would all of that...
  12. Quantum23

    A Energy condition respecting warp drives in Einstein Cartan theory

    I read this paper where if you take the alcubierre metric calaculations while including torsion in GR you get positive energy spin requirements instead of exotic matter. Here is the link: https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.09745 Could it be because a spinning quantum vacuum will be less stiff like a...
  13. A

    B Wormholes & Warp Drives: Refuted by AANEC?

    I'm not an expert, I'm definitely a scifi fan, But I'm hoping for professional opinions on a particular view of the old wormholes and/or warp drives issue... A quote from scientist Tim Andersen: "Achronal Average Null Energy Condition or AANEC may be the ultimate cosmic traffic cop making...
  14. Uchida

    I Length Perception & Spacetime Warp: Is it Warped?

    If I make two rods with 1 meter length here on the surface of earth, and send one of them near a black hole that is at rest relative to earth, placing it there with its length alligned in the radial direction of the black hole, would I see the rod close to the black hole with a length shorter...
  15. DEvens

    A Alcubierre Warp Drive: Intro Paper for GR Students

    I would like to read about the Alcubierre warp drive. Is there a good introductory paper? I have done some GR, round about 8 months worth in undergrad [mumble] years ago. And my honors project was on interior solutions for stellar collapse. So I'm OK with GR at about the speed of Weinberg's...
  16. bob012345

    B Black Holes & Warp Bubbles - Event Horizon Considerations

    Last night PBS showed two shows on Black Holes. In the shows the host traveled on a supposed warp drive spaceship. A question occurred to me. Suppose for the argument that the Alcubierre drive were possible. Then suppose you were in a ship contained in a warp bubble moving through space at say...
  17. S

    I Is the Alcubierre Warp Drive possible?

    This Quora post seems to say that this type of warp drive could allow faster-than-light travel, but somehow I think this is junk science: https://www.quora.com/Will-humans-eventually-be-able-to-explore-the-galaxy-After-all-it-is-multiple-light-years-away-to-even-the-nearest-star (author is...
  18. R

    I Alcubierre Warp Drive: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Impossibility?

    It seems to me that if one had a functional Alcubierre drive and used it there would be some subluminal frame of reference in which time was going backwards for the spaceship which probably for it and for macroscopic objects in it which constitute a reasonably closed system would be a violation...
  19. RajatX

    I Communicating with Black Hole Time Warp: A to B and Back Again

    Suppose A is on a planet orbiting a black hole and B is far off such that due to time warp, every hour A experiences is equal to a year for B. Could they communicate using radio devices? Would an hour-long message from A be year-long for B? How much extra time it would take for a radio message...
  20. E

    B Exploring the Possibility of a Warp Jet: A Theoretical Approach

    I was looking at videos on how a warp drive theoretically could work: by compressing space in front and expanding space in the back. This reminded me of a jet engine compressing air and blasting it out of a nozzle. My question is, could you build a sort of warp jet that would compress space...
  21. M

    How does one dimensional light warp multiple dimensions?

    If light is one dimensional, yet has gravity, and gravity is the warpage of spacetime, and spacetime has four dimensions, then how does a one dimensional wave/particle warp multiple dimensions?
  22. N

    B Warp Drive and constant speed

    If you were in a warp drive spaceship traveling at say 2c. Would all observers see your ship traveling at 2c?
  23. dykuma

    I Can Warping Spacetime Create a "Warp Bubble" in GR?

    First of all, I would like to admit that my understanding of general relativity is limited, though this will hopefully be remedied this summer when I take a GR class. I think we have all seen a sci-fi movie where the characters are stuck in a space where they are trapped in a sort of "warp...
  24. Aikiman007

    B Warping Spacetime: Classical Physics & Relativity

    Based on classical physics all things attract one another due to their own gravity pull, so theoretically the Earth is drawn closer to a tennis ball even if its impossible to detect. Knowing this and Einsteins theory of relativity of spacetime could I not assume then that every physical body...
  25. gilakmesum

    Exploring the Possibility of Warp Machines for Space Travel

    Is it possible now that we can built a warp machine and put inside the spacecraft and traveling around the universe?
  26. O

    I Alcubierre Warp Drive: Arrival Problem - Fact or Fiction?

    I'm interested in developments concerning the 'Alcubierre Warp Drive', specifically, the arrival problem: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/140635-the-downside-of-warp-drives-annihilating-whole-star-systems-when-you-arrive established in this paper, by a group from Australia...
  27. Gurjeet210

    I Time Warp: Does Mass Bend Time?

    As matter causes the space to warp, does time also bends or warp due to mass?
  28. Falcus

    I Exploring Tachyonic Antitelephone and Chronology Protection Conjecture

    Now, first off I am punching well above my weight here but oh well. I am doing an extended project on theoretical methods of space travel and was doing some brief reading in the middle of writing about Miguel Alcubierre's warp drive for hyper fast travel within general relativity. I came across...
  29. Smattering

    Decelerating warp drives: How to detect them?

    Hello everybody, A few years ago, there were speculations in the pop science media that decelerating warp drives might emit huge amounts of radiation at the target location. Now, let's assume a universe where warp drives really work: I was thinking about a plot where astronomers in such a...
  30. T

    What's the 3d equation of the Alcubierre warp?

    What I mean by this is what's the 3d equation of the alcubierrie warp effect? You know when space is contracted infront of the ship, and inflated behind it in terms of z like this eqaurion for a rain drop z=(sin(2x+y)+sin(5y+2x))/5? Here's the photo if you don't understand what I'm talking about...
  31. M

    Is there anyone can explain the warp drive?

    I have seen this news earlier that the physicist accidentally discover a warp drive an idea of traveling as fast of speed of light? Is this possible? How it will work?
  32. GiantSheeps

    Is a warp drive possible? How long until we develop one?

    Is a warp drive actually possible to create? If so, how long until we can develop one? Is it at all possible that they could be developed during our lifetimes? I'm asking because of this article...
  33. D

    Telescope probes and warp track

    1st tope, in my sci-fi universe let's say there is a warp drive that can power a ship that can travel 10*c. One of the first things I have people doing is coming up what is called "The Big Picture Project" which is installing this drive onto probes and sending them out unmanned and have it so...
  34. TheFloppyFIsh

    Time Dilation Effects of Warp Travel | 65 Characters

    I was looking at Time Dialation a bit today and some of the experiments with it. Considering time goes approximately 1/3 as fast as normal, under 100% the speed of light, what would happen if you went past the speed of light with a craft capable of warping. Would it have no effect due to the...
  35. M

    The Warp Drive Problem: Can Negative Energy/Matter Exist?

    Time and Time again I see the same term being thrown around amongst people and countless Articles claiming that Warp Drive might be possible. And that is through The Casimir effect. Correct me if I am wrong but the Casimir effect does not demonstrate negative exotic matter. From my...
  36. T

    Mass Warping Spacetime Explained: Quantum Field Theory

    How do u use quantum field theory to explain why mass warped spacetime? Is it something like spacetime is like a field and mass can only interact with it. The presence of mass excites the field (spacetime) producing graviton which distort spacetime. Is it something like that? If not can some1...
  37. T

    Mass Warping Spacetime: QFT & Gravitons Explained

    Is it something like that involves gravitons? Like mass producing gravitons that warp spacetime? All is it something like qft whereby spacetime is just a field and only those with mass can interact with it, resulting in warped in spacetime which is equivalent to excitation of fields in quantum...
  38. K

    Engineering Warp drive or electronics engineering

    Hey everybody, I'm from Argentina and going to college soon. I'm stuck between physics (mainly for contributing to interstellar travel) and electronics engineering. The thing is, I'd only study physics if there's a slight chance of witnessing warp drive/wormhole technologies in this lifetime...
  39. N

    Harold White warp drive experiment

    Hi all, I read an article about Harold White's Warp drive experiment at Nasa (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110015936.pdf) I understand the basic idea of the experiment - to try to create small pertubation in spacetime and measure it using the interferometer - but I...
  40. JonnyMaddox

    Difference Between Natario & Alcubierre Warp Drives

    There are two solutions to Einstein's equations that allow for warp drive. One is the Alcubierre warp drive and the other is the Natario warp drive. What is the difference? Is the Natario warp drive better suited for a real life application than the Alcubierre warp drive? Here is a paper in...
  41. A

    Gravity's Effect on Space: Length Contraction & Light Speed

    This question is inspired by the movie Interstellar but asks a basic question about relativity. Everyone talks about gravitational time dilation but I am wondering if gravity has an effect on space as well, after all it bends space time. I have not found a lot of information on length...
  42. N

    Why does spacetime warp around mass if it doesn't have mass?

    Whatever spacetime be made of strings or some other erotic substance it seems that it doesn't have mass so what causes it to warp around mass, shouldn't it pass right through?
  43. A

    Question about an Alcubierre warp drive's negative energy requirement

    I've been reading Dr. Harold G. White's work on recent developments in Warp Field Mechanics, and thought up the following question: Could a proof of the Alcubierre warp drive concept be made by using a warp bubble energy differential whose flat-space energy density level was positively offset...
  44. MattRob

    Alcubierre / GR Warp drive and Entering/Exiting a Light Cone

    So, this has really stirred my interest. To be clear, I'm not citing these as sources, simply linking for discussion; An article on the subject, And the abstract. Talking about this elsewhere I seem to find no shortage of objections. But to me it seems fundamentally pretty sound. One...
  45. S

    Can the Warp Drive Go Faster Than Light?

    Hi. I'm curious about this: The supposed "warp drive" by Miguel Alcubierre is supposed to go faster than light. But, isn't it a warp in spacetime? Doesn't that make it like a gravity wave? But gravity waves can only go the speed of light, right? So how can the warp drive go faster?
  46. O

    Black Hole Information Paradox and Alcubierre Warp Drives

    Suppose Alcubierre warp drives or some alternative form of warp drive is possible. Then surely a warp drive could enter the event horizon of a black hole, observe the interior, and exit the horizon, returning with information from within the black hole. What about black holes never visited by a...
  47. D

    Can Warp Speed Violate Causality? The Debate Among Physicists

    I have heard many physicists (ex:- Michio Kaku) saying "Warp speed" from Star Trek doesn't violate any known physical laws. But doesn't it violate causality? Say, we make warp speed possible and get on it and travel towards Alpha Centauri (4.22 light years away) in warp speed and reach there...
  48. M

    If warp drive is possible, how would it affect nearby planets?

    If warp drive was possible, how could it affect the orbit of planets that are close to the warp? I'm not sure how to define how close. Is there a minimum distance the spaceship would need to be from other planets, so that it has no effect?
  49. I

    Intuition behind the warp drive

    I have been pondering about the concept of the warp drive and my intuition can't seem to understand the idea fully. I will try to exlain what i have found out so far. To keep everything simple and stripped down to only the bare essentials, let's discuss about it in one-dimentional universe...