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FTL Travel: Will we get there?

  1. May 26, 2005 #1
    I have heard many suggestions for ways to travel faster than the speed of light. Everything from the more mundane (wormholes) to the extreme (Alcubierre waves), although I suppose it's all exotic when it comes to this field. Getting to the point, however, I would like to hear your opinions of IF we will make it to this point (not how). Will we ever pass this barrier, or will we be constrained to the laws of physics forever? Will we even survive long enough to move out into the universe?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2005 #2
    just as you say- there are so many conjectures on how to cheat c- that one of them is bound to work [I tend to think some sort of 'quantum information entanglement/decoherence glitch' will be the most probable]- but that may have some startling implications for the causality of local spacetime frames- it might 'shake the lava lamp' as it were :tongue:
  4. May 26, 2005 #3
    I hate to admit it, but I have some pretty serious doubts about it. :grumpy: It's just that most of the physics we have today seem to suggest, probably not. We've got a lot more to learn, and we probably always will have, so hope isn't lost. Also, the thought that there's so much Universe out there and we'll never get to see most of it is appalling to me.
  5. May 26, 2005 #4
    Before thinking of the above methods , we need to know our boundaries. The major one out of all those being of speed of light . Secondaly , another one is the "speed at which theories progress" . We have today thoudands of scientists , we have so many views , so much research , so many brains working that sometimes science starts becoming a bit humorous.We need to trust all our previous laws and work towards a common aim to make the above hallucinations and condoning those who adulterate science.
  6. May 26, 2005 #5
    It is true that science is greatly diversified and divided on some fronts, but on others it remains unified. I believe that the endless battles over funding cause a great deal of this splintering, and so if we want any chance of a real and tangible result in fields such as this, we must eliminate this selective distribution of money. Only as a unified and cohesive group can we hope to solve the great problems of physics. Of course, this does not mean that there should be no diversity of research. We just need to eliminate the infighting and backstabbing that occurs all too often. That being said, I personally believe that overpopulation, pollution, and the economic crash that will accompany rising oil prices will end our society long before we can approach this point.
  7. May 26, 2005 #6
    I suppose I really haven't answered my own question. If we can get past the problems I just mentioned, I believe that our society will be sufficiently wizened that it will see the benefits of this new approach to science, and so we will eventually be able to break the FTL barrier (it may, however, take thousands of years).
  8. Jun 4, 2005 #7
    I really hate to sound pessimistic, but we have never achieved even 1% of light speed in any spaceflight, let alone hope to go FTL with anything imaginable in the current era.

    Yes, we all like to dream of warp engines and the like, and so we should, but I think many physicists are simply deluding themselves (and us!) by making all these far fetched hypos about FTL.

    Will we ever go out into the universe? I really do think - and hope - so. Here again, we took a leap to the moon and then decided "oh, no! It's not worth the hassle!". And the moon is less than 1 millimetre away... if the nearest stars are a hundred miles away.

    It's bleak, it's all way too pessimistic, but the truth is: can we really attach any confidence to these far projected possibilities, when we've achieved so little so far?!

  9. Jun 5, 2005 #8


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    It's a daunting task. Just traveling to our own moon is hugely expensive and consumes enormous amounts of resources just to send a few people there for a weekend excursion. Imagine what it would cost to colonize mars. And this would be trivial compared to what it would cost in resources to travel to the nearest stars. It would take a fortune and many thousands of years just to send and receive telemetry from probes. Colonizing other star systems is simply unachievable given our current or foreseeable knowledge of science and technology. Perhaps we really are stranded without hope of escaping this star system. I realize that is pessimistic, but it might answer the Fermi question - everybody else is/was/will always be in the same boat. Space travel is prohibitively resource intensive.
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