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Decelerating warp drives: How to detect them?

  1. Nov 22, 2015 #1
    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 universe make some observations, and it turns out that these observations are actually decelerating warp drives.

    In such a universe, what would be plausible candidates for astronomic observations that could turn out as decelerating warp drives? Could it be just an "ordinary" gamma ray burst or would we expect some other kind of observation in such a scenario?

    Best regards,
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2015 #2
    I think the most plausible observation to be seen would be that there's a sudden burst of light, as the image of the ship suddenly appears with a blue-shifted after-image diverging away from it back along it's former approach path--this could have some gamma or Xray burst accompanying it, depending on the nature of the FTL drive used.

    But such image might only be visible along a very narrow cone pointing away from the direction of the ship's approach--which may make it difficult for a prewarp culture to detect such arrivals. Perhaps it is detected first by their versions of Voyager/Pioneer or such?
  4. Nov 22, 2015 #3
    I was assuming that the observers cannot actually see the "image of the ship", because the warp drive deceleration takes place too far away from them, or the ship is simply too small, but still they might be able to observe something unsual. Because if this deceleration takes place too close to the observers, then I guess they would simply die of radiation.
  5. Nov 23, 2015 #4
    I would image there would be a flash of extremely high energy gamma ray, however, I don't think it would compare to the power of nature, so it'd be distinguishable from a "normal" GRB.
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