The Future of Warp Drive

Teresa LeWeb Leave a Comment

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Scientists have found planets that resemble our Earth closely enough that they could support life forms similar to us. The nearest of these planets, as I previously posted, is twelve light years away.

Since travel anywhere near light speed is physically impossible, we would likely have to send out generational ships if we ever hoped to reach even the closest Earth-like planets.

Or would we?

According to NASA physicist Harold White, it’s possible that a loophole in the law of general relativity may actually allow us to travel quickly to these distant planets and beyond:

It takes advantage of a quirk in the cosmological code that allows for the expansion and contraction of space-time, and could allow for hyper-fast travel between interstellar destinations. Essentially, the empty space behind a starship would be made to expand rapidly, pushing the craft in a forward direction — passengers would perceive it as movement despite the complete lack of acceleration.

White speculates that such a drive could result in “speeds” that could take a spacecraft to Alpha Centauri in a mere two weeks — even though the system is 4.3 light-years away.

White and his team at NASA are now working on a real-life proof of concept for a system that would take advantage of this loophole. And while it’s unlikely that we’d see a ship using this technology in the next ten years, by the year 2023, we’ll certainly have a better idea of whether the notion is possible.