What would we need for a warp drive?

In summary, Warp Drive will not be possible until a few centuries if ever because you have to find a way to "shrink" space time.
  • #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:
Astronomy news on Phys.org
  • #2
To me warp drive will not be possible until 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:.
  • #3
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
To achieve 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 piece 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!
  • #6
isn't that a worm hole? warp drives just warp space time not punch a hole through it.
  • #7
oh right. But wouldn't warp drive work similar to wrm holes?
  • #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.
  • #9
Imaginary matter is the answer to the fuel problem - seriously. Stephen Hawking has addressed this issue.
  • #10
Solistics said:
no, wormholes could possible send you to a different time (say past or the future) warp drive will keep you in the same time.

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:

1. What is a warp drive?

A warp drive is a theoretical propulsion system that would allow a spacecraft to travel faster than the speed of light. It is based on the concept of warping space-time, which would shorten the distance between two points and enable faster travel.

2. Is a warp drive possible?

According to our current understanding of physics, a warp drive is not possible. However, some scientists are exploring ways to potentially make it a reality by manipulating space-time using exotic matter or energy sources.

3. How would a warp drive work?

A warp drive would work by creating a bubble or warp in space-time around the spaceship. This would allow the ship to travel through space by contracting the space in front of it and expanding the space behind it, effectively propelling it forward at speeds faster than light.

4. What materials would be needed for a warp drive?

The exact materials needed for a warp drive are still unknown as the technology is purely theoretical at this point. However, some scientists speculate that exotic matter or energy sources, such as negative energy or dark matter, may be required to create the necessary warp in space-time.

5. When could we have a warp drive?

It is difficult to predict when we might have a functioning warp drive, as it would require a significant breakthrough in our understanding of physics. Some scientists believe it could be achieved within the next century, while others think it may never be possible.

Suggested for: What would we need for a warp drive?