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Warp drive and bubble

  1. Jun 9, 2012 #1
    I'm sure a lot of you have heard of the warp drive theory. I can't seem to find much on the bubble part, though. In theory, will the bubble be something you can actually see and touch?
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  3. Jun 9, 2012 #2


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    If you are referring to a warp drive from Star Trek or other sci-fi, it doesn't work according to known laws of physics so we cannot say anything about it.
  4. Jun 9, 2012 #3


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    At some point last year I looked into papers discussing the possibility of a warp drive, there's no indication that one could exist. Reason being that it would require exotic matter that probably doesn't exist (as it would violate energy conditions) and if it did would require astronomical amounts of energy. If you're interested this paper outlines the energy requirements and this paper which is further discussed in this paper proposes possible ways of getting around this . The "trick" is to change the warp bubble so that it's exterior radius is microscopic yet the interior radius is large enough to accommodate your vehicle (essentially making a warp bubble that's bigger on the inside than on the out). Apparently this would greatly shrink the amount of energy needed to manageable levels. Bear in mind though they don't outline how exactly a shell could be build around a ship in such a fashion nor how the ship could leave.

    However neither of these approaches fixes the other problems of a warp bubble such as requiring the construction of an exotic matter shell, superluminal signalling to steer/control the bubble and the huge amount of radiation a warp drive subjects you to. There are some interesting (but technical) objections in this paper that apparently show that a warp drive would only be capable of very low velocities as well as highlighting other problems.

    So without exotic matter that may not even exist we are stuck to trying to make slower than light vehicles. To make an interstellar vehicle would be fantastically complex though requiring horrific amounts of energy (even if we used an antimatter rocket we would need potentially thousands-millions of tonnes for a high fraction of c.) as well as a thorough understanding of ecology so as to make a stable environment in a closed system to keep the occupants alive.
  5. Jun 9, 2012 #4
    In theory, if one existed, would it actually be a bubble visible to the naked eye?
  6. Jun 9, 2012 #5


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    I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure your question makes about as much sense as asking me what the colour of a unicorn's horn is, if one were to exist.
  7. Jun 9, 2012 #6
    All theoretical videos I've seen on them are showing an actual bubble in the diagrams. However, warping space-time doesn't seem like it'd make an actual visible bubble..that's capable of being seen. Which is why I asked. Too many videos use special effects.
  8. Jun 12, 2012 #7
    Are you being ignorant on purpose?

    There are no "theoretical" videos on warp drives because that would require a theory in the first place. Any proposals for Alcubierre drives (Warp drives) possess about as much scientific theory as my own idea that only invisible pigs can fly and that why we dont know about it.

    The point I am making is you are asking for a scientific and reasonable answer on something wholly unscientific and unreasonable. This is like me asking: if gandalf and professor dumbledore had a wizarding battle then in theory who would win... it is a question without a meaningful answer.

    So the "theoretical" videos show a warp bubble as a bubble on something that is a massive object violating travelling ftl. Im wondering how they would ever "see" that...

    If you are looking for some advice for a sci-fi novel (we have had a few on the forums) then thats good, but if you are undertaking some research for youself your time is better spent. There are things within Cosmology that can blow your mind without invoking a large dolloping of handwavium.
  9. Jun 12, 2012 #8
    The warp bubble affects light propagation. It would depend on strength and dimension of the bubble if this is visible to the naked eye.
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