# Warp Nacelles vs. Warp Bubble

1. Jul 25, 2006

### Whitestar

In 1994 physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a method in the Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity for a means of traveling faster than light with the creation of a warp bubble. The front part of the bubble compresses the space in front of the ship, while the back end of the bubble expands the space. For more information, check out the following link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

Anyway, when I learned about the Alcubierre Warp Drive theory using a warp bubble to warp space, I was a bit perplexed. Initially, I thought that ships with warp capability warped space with the nacelles like in Star Trek, that is, the front tip of the nacelles compresses the space in front of the ship, and the back end of the nacelles expands the space behind it. This is equivalent to the front tip of the nacelles to creating a black hole, and a Big Bang at the back end of the nacelles. Based on this, I would imagine that the people inside the ship would have no trouble in seeing outside of the ship, well as controling it, unlike the warp bubble.

Is it theoretically possible for the warp nacelles (or something similar) to warp space which doesn't involve the the warp bubble?

Whitestar

Last edited: Jul 25, 2006
2. Jul 25, 2006

### RandallB

Identified as “a speculative mathematical model” this subject might be better served in one of the Mathematics Forums.

3. Jul 25, 2006

Staff Emeritus

It's not even that. Warp Nacelles? Star Trek as evidence?

Whitestar,
Alcubierre's solution has been carefully gone over; it requires what is crudely called "negative energy". The only proposed source of NE is the quantum vacuum. The only known effect that exhibits it is the Casimir Effect. (Use google to look up these terms if you don't know them). Many people have tried to see how the Casimir effect can be harnessed, but all these attempts have come up short. Bottom line, Alcubierre and similar approaches are cute, but they remain purely notional.

4. Jul 25, 2006

### Whitestar

Yes, you're quite right about the warp nacelles being bogus, my mistake. Allow me to rephrase the question: Is it theoretically/mathematically possible for a ship to create a space warp on its own without the aid of a warp bubble?

Whitestar

Last edited: Jul 25, 2006
5. Jul 25, 2006

Staff Emeritus
Almost certainly not. That would put the ship into FTL state, which is not possible for objects with real masses.

6. Jul 26, 2006

### Whitestar

I'm aware that if a ship attempts to exceed the speed of light, its mass would increase and that would require infinite energy.

1) But if a ship were to exceed the speed of light, would that mean that it would occupy the entire universe?

2) Could infinite energy be produced by a Type 2 , Type 3, or Type 4 civilization, or is it unattainable regardless of extremely advance technology?

3) Could a Type 2 or Type 3 civilization create ship that can generate a black hole in front of the ship, and a Big Bang at the back of the ship without a warp bubble?

Whitestar

Last edited: Jul 26, 2006
7. Jul 26, 2006

Staff Emeritus
Whitestar, these questions are completely beyond the pale. Relativity says that anything going faster than light has IMAGINARY mass, i.e. a number involving $$\sqrt{-1}$$; furthermore other observers will see it going backward in time, and the string field theorists add that according to their understanding it collapses the universe. So just forget FTL.

8. Jan 8, 2010

### Wolf359

I know this an older forum, but just came across it. My question would be to all who think FTL is not possible, please explain how the universe got to its present size without all that matter traveling FTL? I have heard it described that the universe is really like a huge balloon expanding with all of the matter in the universe within the surface of the balloon. This is why it appears that everything is travelling away from everything else in our universe. And because there is no universe outside the “balloon”, that it is the universe that expanded FTL and carried the matter with it, so in actuality the matter was not traveling FTL.

My only problem with that is that I really don’t see what the differences are between the “nothingness” outside the universe, the “nothingness” between galaxies (and galaxy clusters), and the “nothingness” left behind as the universe expands (well, other than a few random particles of hydrogen). And if there is no difference, then the matter itself must have been moving FTL (actually much faster than light) at least for part of its journey. For this to happen, the physics of the time must have been different. And, if there was a different physics then as compared to now, then why can’t they be reproduced/manipulated? We are infants in this universe and it is pretty arrogant for us to say something isn’t possible simply because we don’t understand it.

You might have guessed it, I am a Star Trek fan as well as most other Sci Fi genres. Obviously it is mostly all fantasy, however there is one thing that is for certain. In all of the universe, we are not the only inhabitants. There is most certainly other species out there millions, maybe billions of years ahead of in technology. If you look at what we have accomplished just in the last 150 years, I think you will agree that we have only begun to understand the universe we live in. I am not dismissing the great minds of our species, but I am sure they would not say we know everything there is to know.

So if you ask me whether FTL travel is possible using warp drive, a warp bubble, hyper drives, jump drives, black holes, worm holes, or even that proposed by Bob Lazar (which isn’t actually FTL) I say why not? As long as we don’t blow up the planet trying to achieve FTL, let’s keep imagining the possibilities. Engage!