Possible Warp Drive Physics: The Alcubierre Drive

In summary, the conversation is about the possibility of a warp drive and whether it is feasible in reality. While there is a theoretical framework and some experiments have been conducted, the concept requires the use of exotic matter, which has not been proven to exist. Some believe that baryonic matter could potentially adopt characteristics of dark energy to achieve the necessary spacetime geometry, but this has not been confirmed. Overall, the current thinking is that a warp drive is not currently possible with our understanding of physics.
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  • #2
Maybe? I mean it's just conjecture as far as I know at this point. I wouldn't say it's IMPOSSIBLE to warp spacetime because planets do it just by having mass. Can you do it enough on a smaller scale to reasonably move a spaceship somewhere you point it... no idea.
 
  • #3
swampwiz said:
Is this "warp drive" physics really possible?
No. It DOES have a sort-of basis in physics, but not likely in reality since it requires negative mass which as far as can be determined is not a real thing.
 
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  • #4
The maths is fine. It's not at all clear that it describes anything that can actually exist, since it requires negative mass matter, which we've never seen. Not to mention that we don't have any maths to describe the bubble forming or collapsing, only existing.
 
  • #6
cosmik debris said:
I seem to recall, but can't find, that he has some method for using baryonic matter.

There's no way to produce this kind of spacetime geometry using only baryonic matter. You need "exotic matter", which basically means "can be described mathematically, but there's no evidence that it's actually physically possible".
 
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  • #7
PeterDonis said:
There's no way to produce this kind of spacetime geometry using only baryonic matter. You need "exotic matter", which basically means "can be described mathematically, but there's no evidence that it's actually physically possible".

Yes, I understand this is current thinking.

This extract from Wikipedia (yes, I know):

"The theoretical framework for the experiments dates back to work by Harold G. White from 2003 as well as work by White and Eric W. Davis from 2006 that was published in the AIP, where they also consider how baryonic matter could, at least mathematically, adopt characteristics of dark energy (see section below). In the process, they described how a toroidal positive energy density may result in a spherical negative-pressure region, possibly eliminating the need for actual exotic matter.[2][4]"

I know I have seen this in a paper somewhere. I will try to find it.

Cheers
 
  • #8
cosmik debris said:
I know I have seen this in a paper somewhere.

AFAIK the only "papers" on this are the ones by the NASA engineers. They apparently have enough taxpayer money to have run some experiments, all of which so far have been inconclusive. I would expect further experiments they run to continue to be inconclusive.
 

1. What is the Alcubierre Drive?

The Alcubierre Drive is a theoretical concept proposed by physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994. It is a hypothetical method of space travel that would allow for faster-than-light travel by warping the fabric of space-time.

2. How does the Alcubierre Drive work?

The Alcubierre Drive would work by creating a bubble of distorted space-time around a spacecraft, which would then be propelled through space by this distortion. Essentially, the spacecraft would be stationary within the bubble, while the bubble itself moves through space.

3. Is the Alcubierre Drive scientifically possible?

Currently, the Alcubierre Drive is still purely theoretical and has not been proven to be scientifically possible. There are several major challenges that would need to be overcome, including the amount of energy required and the potential for negative effects on the fabric of space-time.

4. What are the potential applications of the Alcubierre Drive?

If the Alcubierre Drive were to be proven scientifically possible, it could potentially revolutionize space travel by allowing for much faster and more efficient journeys through space. It could also have implications for time travel and the exploration of distant galaxies.

5. What are the criticisms of the Alcubierre Drive?

One major criticism of the Alcubierre Drive is the amount of negative energy that would be required to create and maintain the bubble of space-time distortion. Some scientists also argue that the drive could potentially have negative effects on the fabric of space-time, causing unpredictable consequences. Additionally, it has been pointed out that the drive would only be useful for long-distance space travel and would not be practical for shorter journeys.

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