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Alcubierre Warp Drive Physics Research

  1. Oct 28, 2013 #1
    Alcubierre Warp Drive With Rings Story Research

    I'm writing a new section in my science fiction novel and need a little help with the science of it.

    So, the general idea of the Alcubierre Warp Drive is that with 65 exajoules you can create a warp bubble by expanding spacetime behind you and compressing it in front of you at a total rate of 10 (making your ability to travel go to 10x the speed of light).

    Now, the reason this works and YOU don't experience time dilation, is because your localized space isn't warped, and though the space around you is moving at 10x the speed of light, you are by relativity, going zero relative to Earth.

    So here's my question, if say, a ring were placed around your ship, and the ring creates the bubble that surrounds your ship while not affecting the local space around you, then the same effect can be created. Now based on that, if the ring had its own thrusts to put it to the speed of light in its own relative spacetime, would you still be going zero since your spacetime is relatively different from the spacetime of the ring?

    Now based on that, and this is where I'm getting to try to design my spaceship in my book...

    What about multiple rings, like, in the hundreds and thousands? It takes about 100,000 years for light to go from one side of the galaxy to the other. Automatically with the alcubierre warp drive, you can shave a zero off that, making it take 10,000 years, so if you have 10,000 rings...wouldn't that reduce the time you have to travel to one year while maintaining that you have not experienced any time-dilation effects? Also, how would the rings react to one another? Say power and energy isn't a problem, but based on various warp bubbles and rings moving at close to the speed of light, each ring would be in its own localized space and be relatively different from the others. Would this speed expound/multiple/add? Would it matter on the geometry of these rings?

    Any help would be appreciated! I've got an artist standing by to make drawings of this ship as soon as I can give specifications :).


    I thought I would add a little background to the story I'm writing. The Story is including a new type of technology which uses ring technology in addition to the Alcubierre Warp Drive. Basically every ring creates a warped localized space that makes it possible for it to pull the entire bubble with it without affecting the object inside the bubble, thus creating no time dilation effects. The more rings you have, the faster you can go and thus the more space you can overcome.

    Using some basic calculations and compounding effects, I've calculated how many rings you will need to have in order to gain another factor of ten. This causes the Distance and travel time to drop by a factor of ten. In other words, if you're trying to cross the entire galaxy (100,000 light years), going the speed of light (186,000 m/s) it would take you 100,000 years to do it. With the AWD added you can take a ten off of that, making that 10,000 years and you'll be going a speed of 1,860,000 m/s.

    Then after this we add rings by a factor of ten, each level being a 'warp' level. From warp 1 to warp 13, from traveling 100,000 light years in in 1,000 years to traveling 100,000 light years in 315.57 milliseconds.

    Here's a real quick excel spreadsheet output for it:


    As you can see, the number of rings needed go up by a factor of 10. So by the time you reach warp 13, you'll need to have 1 trillion functioning rings, which will project you 100,000 light years in just 315.57 milliseconds.

    With these calculations, these characters would be able to travel from Earth to the Andromeda Galaxy in just 2.2 Hours, and to the most distant galaxy to date (13.1 billion ly away) in just 11.5 hours.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2013 #2
    No love?
  4. Oct 29, 2013 #3


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    It's a tad difficult to understand what you're asking. Is your idea to have one warp bubble inside the other? If so I'm not sure what would stop the inner one crashing into the side of the outer.

    Also if you're going for realism where does the exawatts of energy come from? That's hundreds of times more energy than strikes the Earth's surface every second.
  5. Oct 29, 2013 #4

    Well the energy I'll fabricate something for that. As far as the warp bubble inside a warp bubble inside a warp bubble, my guess is that you can have them pushing against one another and even though they have a natural 'pull' towards one another, the orientation of the bubble would equal out to keep the rings stable. Each ring has a warp bubble only to separate the localized space from the others so that the speed of light can be compounded upon while not introducing the effects of time dilation to the other bubbles (and eventually your own).
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