Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What would we need for a warp drive?

  1. Apr 19, 2009 #1
    Just a question that randomly occurred to me, why is it or is it not possible? What is necessary to make warp drives possible? :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2009 #2
    To me warp drive will not be possible untill a few centuries if ever. The reason being is that the theory of the warp drive is that you "shrink" space time in front of you then "expand" while you sit inside a bubble that goes along for the ride. Find any way to make those two things in qoutes possible than you just invented the warp drive. Of course though you have to continue sustaning the action too. And just the concept of "shrinking" space time to me is inconhemperable :bugeye:.
  4. Apr 19, 2009 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    bubble recently proven to be unstable and anything inside gets cooked with radiation
    see a recent MIT Tech Review article and the professional article on arxiv that they refer to.
    Thread about this in Beyond Forum.
    "Hawking's Radiation Roasts Alcubierre's Goose"


    No Alcubierre in a million years and better be thankful, otherwise we'd be having Alien drones all over the friggin galaxy.
  5. Apr 20, 2009 #4
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  6. Apr 20, 2009 #5
    To acheive warp drive you would have to some how rip a hole in spacetime. This would take you to supposedly another dimension where you would be able to travel in between space. Like the example of taking a peice of paper and a pencil. The paper is space time ad the pencil is the spaceship. Fold the paper in half and poke the pecil through one side and out the other. Warp Drive!
  7. Apr 21, 2009 #6
    isn't that a worm hole? warp drives just warp space time not punch a hole through it.
  8. Apr 21, 2009 #7
    oh right. But wouldnt warp drive work similar to wrm holes?
  9. Apr 21, 2009 #8
    no, wormholes could possible send you to a different time (say past or the future) warp drive will keep you in the same time.
  10. Apr 22, 2009 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Imaginary matter is the answer to the fuel problem - seriously. Stephen Hawking has addressed this issue.
  11. Apr 22, 2009 #10
    Surely non-wormhole type warp would shift you in time, too? Wouldn't special relativity demand it? If I am mistaken in this thought (which is distinctly likely), then I'd be very grateful to know why.

    Lord knows the implications (both proven and possible) of special relatively frizzle-frazzled my head in an epic sense when I first came across it way back when, and I have never been remotely certain I have actually understood it correctly. However, insofar as I think I have understood it, then isn't any method of travel involving warping spacetime or super-speed going to inherently involve shifting to a significantly different point in time?

    You can have a perfectly protective bubble, or whatever, but once you "unwarp", how can it be anything other than a jump in time? Or is the idea that this bubble prevents you being affected by STR (I was assuming it rather more meant something that stops you being torn to pieces, or something)?

    Please note I am quite aware that I am more than likely completely misunderstanding something. It has been a good while since I last read anything specifically focusing on STR and time. Following a lot of head-hurting at the time, I manage to get my head around things, but give it a while.........whilst the overall idea remains, many details disappears into the mists of time (as it were).


    You know, this makes me want to hunt out the last book I bought on time with respect to STR. The first half was OK enough to follow (had to pay attention, but not bad), the third quarter rather fascinating and a bit tricky at points, and the final quarter a total head-mince.

    I should really re-reard it again to brush-up. I will need to psyche myself for it, though...it is thoroughly interesting stuff, but it don't half take some time and thinking........
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook