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Alcubierre Observation Question

  1. Jan 15, 2015 #1
    I've been reading a lot of hype about Sonny White and his attempts to look for Alcubierre warp bubbles. If objects do in fact non-locally travel at de facto superluminal speeds, how can these objects be observed to be traveling at such speeds? Wouldn't the observer just see the light outside of the bubble, and thus only see the object travel at the speed of light? Would the object appear to be in several places at once? Could a person traveling inside one of these hypothetical bubbles(assuming he doesn't get killed) return home and then watch his own journey from a telescope?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    The same logic applies to hearing supersonic aircraft: you can only hear them if you are inside the cone, the sound is Doppler shifted, and if you could turn around fast enough, you'd be able to hear youself coming.

    ...assuming, of course, that the light can get in and out of the "bubble". Not sure how that works.
  4. Jan 15, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Take a laser, point it towards one side of the moon and quickly turn it so it points to the other side. If you are fast enought in this hypothetical experiment, the spot on the moon will "move" faster than the speed of light. If the spot would be bright enough to get observed from earth, you would see a light spot apparently moving faster than light, without anything unusual happening.
    Possible, it depends on the flight profile.
    Should be possible, assuming the bubble is observable (we don't have one to test it).
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