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Alcubierre Warp Drive: Debate and Discussions

  1. Jul 19, 2013 #1
    Alcubierre Warp Drive: Debate and Discussions (Force Fields; Dampners)

    I would like to first of all apologize if this is not in the correct location or if this thread violates any of the forum's rules.

    The purpose of this thread is to discuss, debate, and bounce ideas around regarding the theory of the Alcubierre Warp Drive. Here's my basis:

    1. It is widely understood that power requirements are massively substantial, and while I would like to keep that thought in the pot, I don't want to focus on it. In the sense of this I mean that I do not want this to be the deliminating factor of why it "will never work". We know it's a problem, that solution may or may not ever be solved, carry on discussing.

    2. If, mathematically, space can be warped in such a manor, it should also be theorized that there would be other applications for the warping of spacetime that could prove beneficial, and even less consuming of power. I'll explain later in my post.

    3. I understand that some of the ideas I'm about to propose have neither any mathematical basis of proof nor does it have any clear scientific evidentual proof either. This is clearly understood; however, I also understand that the ideas I'm pointing out have a high probability of being correct based on the fact that the Alcubierre Mathematics are sound in and of themselves.

    With this stated, I will get started :)

    My first thought is this: Hawking's Radiation. It was shown (<deleted link to blog>) that going superliminal speeds produces a MASSIVE amount of hawking radiation due to the warping of spacetime being like a "black hole and white hole horizon". Understandable. I also notice that going subluminal reduces this problem to zero.

    With this stated, I am forced to question: Would there be another geometry in which this Alcubierre Warp Drive be produced where hawking radiation would not endanger the occupants even though superluminal speeds are produced?

    Just a few conjectures: What if the warped spacetime was not so abrupt...what if it were to be more subtly warped, yet the end result still resulted in the same expansion and compression of spacetime? The hawking radiation would still exist, but would it be in such close proximity that it would still harm the occupants? What if the direction of the "horizon" was pointed away from the occupants? While still at an angle to project them forward, could it potentially divert the hawking radiation away from them?

    The following are just a few thoughts that came up, again, no math and no evidence for this, but it kind of follows the same line as the alcubierre warp theory. Not talking about warp for travel now...talking about warping in a different method: Force Fields and Dampeners.

    Force Fields: If space were warped two-fold towards the same direction to "pinch" them together to form a wall, would this not create in a sense a "force field"? Perhaps if an energy substance (possibly not the correct term here, please correct) were to be introduced between the two warped walls, would that wall of energy be substantial enough to prevent anything from getting through?

    Dampeners: In much the same way, what if spacetime were to be warped to "expand" in a certain area...would this not also create a dampening effect? The expansion of the spacetime could perhaps slow down the momentum/acceleration of an object hitting another object. While not being warped so far as to create a "horizon" (as is the problem with the warp drive), but only enough to slow the acceleration of an object. Would this be applicable on a spacecraft to prevent dangerous forces from "g's" from killing the occupant?

    Of course, as said before, there isn't any math for those ideas and thoughts, but given that spacetime warping is mathematically sound with how the alcubierre warp drive works, I would like to assume that the same measurements would apply here.

    Please comment, discuss, debate, etc. I expect that in a scientific community to be told if these ideas are totally bogus, but if there's a chance they can be done, I'd also like to hear that. Looking forward to everyone's replies!

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    There are certainly other solutions besides Alcubiere's that have better properties.
  4. Jul 19, 2013 #3
    I would most certainly like to see them. I've been doing a good bit of research on this lately. I know I've crossed paths on this a bit late (lol for crying out loud this guy came out with this 11 years ago), but I haven't found much that's really substantial. Please give me a few references :) Thanks for that bit of information! Much appreciated! :D
  5. Jul 19, 2013 #4


    Staff: Mentor

  6. Jul 21, 2013 #5
    What are some thoughts about the idea of an Intertial Dampner? I'm not quie so familiar with how spacetime works, if it would work in this mannor, or what the energy requirements would be for something like this.
  7. Jul 21, 2013 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    I have never seen such a solution proposed, so I really cannot say.
  8. Jul 21, 2013 #7
    In that case I would have to say, in my research I've never seen a proposal such as this either, however, I see this proposal as being a viable option, if not at least mathematically sound. As I stated before, I'm no math major, so I wouldn't be able to put math to this idea; however, what route should I take in order to get this done without losing rights to the idea (seeing that it seems to be origininal, I'd like to make sure I take claim of it). I suppose time stamp on these posts would suffice, but I also figure I would need something a bit more substantial :P.

    Edit: You know what...I'll just make a new thread about this idea. I'll let the debate of this one continue as is.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  9. Jul 21, 2013 #8


    Staff: Mentor

    You would need to first do a literature search and a patent search to see if the idea really is novel. I am not aware of it, but I don't know the literature well enough to assert that it doesn't exist somewhere.

    Assuming those searches turn up nothing then you would need to file a patent application with the USPTO within one year of the first public disclosure of the invention. This forum surely counts as public disclosure. In many other countries you already have no rights since they require filing prior to public disclosure.
  10. Feb 8, 2017 #9
    Well, you cannot patent an idea, you must patent a process. So, you've not yet created a public disclosure, if you were to reveal a particular method or process, hypothetical or otherwise, that would constitute a public disclosure. To create a process to do something, you will need to do it yourself or hire someone else to do it for you. Which means that unless you're wealthy, it's back-to-school time. I'm actually not being sarcastic; if it's your dream you should go for it.
  11. Feb 8, 2017 #10
    Be careful, I think the scientists at Paramount might have copyrights on that ;)
  12. Feb 12, 2017 #11
    Wormholes and spacetime warping/curvature is allowed for in the equations of GR, and so far that has been doing OK, Recent times even more enhanced in certainty with gravitational wave/s and BH confirmation/s.
    There are obviously plenty of problems etc we need to overcome, but if we can survive our own follies and any astronomical catastrophe, maybe in a few hundred years hence? Who knows.
  13. Feb 12, 2017 #12
    As far as I know the Alcubierre warp drive describes a method to traverse vast distances in a way that effectively is faster than light.
    It's not actually faster than light, it just looks like that because the drive is capable of warping the space it is traveling through.
    Apparently this idea is consistent with the mathematics of relativity but there is a problem.
    The drive needs to use exotic forms of matter which never have been seen, or else it can artificially generate small black holes.
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