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(LA Times)   We have 100 years to finish the warp drive Captain. I'm giving her all she's got   (latimes.com) divider line 166
    More: Interesting, team captain, reality TV series, laser guns, reading a book, Jules Verne, DARPA  
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17770 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Aug 2011 at 10:03 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-08-07 03:09:19 AM
2154: It is time we faced the reality that our planets future will be that of Avatar instead of Star Trek unless we start respecting our planet as the Navi respected theirs. Like it or not we are all interconnected to all of the other life forms that exist on our own world and unless we realize that, act upon it NOW, trading short term personal self interest and greed, for the long term respect of our planet and the gifts it bestows upon us, our future will likely follow the scenario written by James Cameron instead of Gene Roddenberry. It is past time we started thinking and acting like the Navi instead of Neanderthals from which we came and emotionally have not progressed much beyond them. That is just one of the many messages of Avatar that Mr. Cameron was trying to get through our thick skulls.

FYI: 2154 is only about 4 generations away and will be hopefully seen by your great great grandchildren. I only pray that it reality will be that of Mr. Roddenberry and not that of Mr. Cameron or hopefully just the best of both scenarios.
 
2011-08-07 03:11:08 AM

47 is the new 42: IntotheAbyss: By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times

KHAN!

Seriously, I think trying to find a way around not being able to travel faster than light may lead to other significant discoveries.

From what I understand about wormholes, which is admittedly very little, is that:

1. They're theoretical.
2. Whenever they're mentioned as means of FTL travel, stability is an issue.


I'm not going to spend all night looking for the relevant research materials but from what I recall they know wormholes are real. On an extremely small scale. As in at the subatomic scale. They are also exceedingly short lived. For all practical intents and purposes the cease to exist as soon as the come into existence. Where things get theoretical is can we make them big enough and stable enough to use for travel, can we intentionally create them or are we going to have to somehow capture and use natural ones, and just how much energy are we going to have to dump into them?

We know wormholes are real, we know both time and space can be warped, and we know that the speed of light can be altered. What we do not know is how to take advantage of this knowledge in any kind of practical manner. Although at the very least increasing the speed of light does have some promising applications for communications, weaponry, surgery, and other fields. They also have some interesting ideas on data storage with light that has been slowed down.
 
2011-08-07 03:16:36 AM

Tatsumaki Senpuu-Kyaku!: As much as I'd love for "warp drive" to become a reality, with our current understanding of how physical reality works it's just not possible. "Bending space-time" to facilitate interstellar travel is so theoretical it may as well be magic. Still, I'd rather we "wasted" all our money researching stuff like this than making war on countries halfway 'round the globe. Even if we never make it to the stars, the spin-offs from at least trying would no doubt improve the quality of life for everyone in the long run.

Also, a starship in a hundred years? Let's get an actual telepresence on some of the other rocks in this solar system first. Y'know, learn to crawl before we try to sprint.


Fark that, I'm going in.
 
2011-08-07 03:23:23 AM
The Earth is far out along one of the Milky Way's arms. Our solar system is a relatively young system in the Galaxy. Unless our solar system is unique and the only solar system to develop life (unlikely) there should be many older civilizations in the Galaxy. Some of these should have developed technologically advanced civilizations. Some of these would explore space. Even with the light speed limit, once a civilization can develop generation ships or figure out how to suspend life for a significant time, It would take that civilization about 300,000 years to colonize the galaxy. This brings up the question "Where are they?" This is Fermi's Paradox.Link (new window)

So for all those how believe FTL travel is possible, where the hell are they?
 
2011-08-07 03:59:25 AM
I'd go with the alien technology from Roswell.
 
2011-08-07 04:05:04 AM

jimw: 2154: It is time we faced the reality that our planets future will be that of Avatar instead of Star Trek unless we start respecting our planet as the Navi respected theirs. Like it or not we are all interconnected to all of the other life forms that exist on our own world and unless we realize that, act upon it NOW, trading short term personal self interest and greed, for the long term respect of our planet and the gifts it bestows upon us, our future will likely follow the scenario written by James Cameron instead of Gene Roddenberry. It is past time we started thinking and acting like the Navi instead of Neanderthals from which we came and emotionally have not progressed much beyond them. That is just one of the many messages of Avatar that Mr. Cameron was trying to get through our thick skulls.

FYI: 2154 is only about 4 generations away and will be hopefully seen by your great great grandchildren. I only pray that it reality will be that of Mr. Roddenberry and not that of Mr. Cameron or hopefully just the best of both scenarios.


Yup. JC...James Cameron, has already fashioned himself as the Jesus Christ of movie production. Roddenberry, well....he was a producer as well, but based in an attainable realism in the future.

Avatar....really? Farking cowboys and indians movie all over again. No real science of dealing with dealing with anything from an "explorer" POV. Avatar made you look at a movie, not think about it.
 
2011-08-07 04:27:03 AM

DjangoStonereaver: Oznog: [2.bp.blogspot.com image 640x325]

Can we still raise the Yamato?

Unfortunately, she split in two and most of her middle third was pulverized by the
torpedoes and the stress of her sinking:

[www.designcowboys.net image 640x341]


Dude, my dad's a TV repairman- he's got an AWESOME set of tools. I CAN FIX IT!

Can't you just hear the drums and tubas starting up?
 
2011-08-07 04:34:42 AM
The one certainty right now for anybody getting on a rocket to the stars is that the guys that leave 10 years after you are going to get there ahead of you. The times and distances are so great that you're better off staying home and inventing better propulsion systems. Even a 1% thrust improvement saves you years.
 
2011-08-07 04:43:05 AM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The one certainty right now for anybody getting on a rocket to the stars is that the guys that leave 10 years after you are going to get there ahead of you. The times and distances are so great that you're better off staying home and inventing better propulsion systems. Even a 1% thrust improvement saves you years.


C'mon man....you wouldn't stop and give them a ride? You're going the same place and they're bringing the gas, grass, and ass....
 
2011-08-07 04:45:50 AM

Skyfrog: Humans are not birds, we will never be able to fly. Go outside and take a look at the ground. That is it. We are never going to soar through the air in machines. Get used to the idea.


Glad someone is finally seeing sense.
 
2011-08-07 05:32:30 AM

Lt. Cheese Weasel: We are never leaving this rock.


Not to be a smartass, but we kinda already have. Lots of times.

Wert789:

So for all those how believe FTL travel is possible, where the hell are they?


Ahh yes, that old logical fallacy. You're assuming that an intelligent, hyper-advanced civilization would want anything to do with us, at least formally. Maybe they'd send some probes to check us out, but once they see how we treat each other I can't imagine they'd want any part of humanity.

Also, when you take into account just how mind-numbingly large our galaxy is, even if there were 1000 alien civilizations capable of FTL travel the odds that one of them would have stumbled upon our remote corner of the galaxy would be very very small.

Now I'm not saying FTL travel is possible, I'm not a scientist by any means. But to assume that everything we currently know about time and space is all there is to know, and that we know enough about the universe to rule something out absolutely is rather naive and arrogant.
 
2011-08-07 05:43:05 AM

TyrantII: Lt. Cheese Weasel: There is no warp drive. You cannot bend time/space. You cannot travel at the speed of light.

Go outside and look around you. This is it. We are never leaving this rock. Get used to the idea. Play ball with your kids. Take a canoe trip down the Snake. Kiss your mother. Plant a tree.

/and make me a sammich

Still, I think we should start with Terraforming Mars first. As soon as we can generate a planetary wide magnetic shielding.


Came here to say that. Even if faster than light travel is impossible, we arent stuck on earth. We already have the technology to colonize Mars and the moon. What we dont have is the equipment, but it could be built with the tech we have.
 
2011-08-07 05:54:44 AM

fanbladesaresharp: Perhaps I'm naiive or just look at it more simplistically, but to me, the fact that something (photons) is moving at the speed of light, proves that something can, becaue something obviously is. The rest is obviously the mindwarping physics to be worked out to make something larger than a photon move at that great speed.

In 100 years? Would be nice. Possible? No idea. I think there are enough people in the world with the needed brilliance to come together and solve this puzzle. Or at least be able to pass on their knowledge, barring the rest of the garbage going on in the world that prohibits such a meeting of minds conceive the hard science and test the hypotheses. No single mind is going to accomplish it. And no shortage of nutjobs that want to make sure their ideas never see the light of day, religious extremeists of any kind notwithstanding.

What should we Start with? Perhaps taking a tiny steel BB and smack it into the Moon for a speed test? The Moon looks like a decent shooting range to me.


Photons can because they have NO MASS
 
2011-08-07 06:57:12 AM

shijjiri: Epitaxy of GaAs over a lattice structure to capture solar energy

....

Sounded very cool, but this is for intersteller travel.

The incident solar energy per square meter at the edge of our observable solar system (500AU) is measured in milliwatts. Beyond the oort cloud (50,000) it would be measured in units of photons per hour.
 
2011-08-07 07:41:07 AM
On the plus side, at least we have a readily available supply of antimatter (^).
 
2011-08-07 07:53:35 AM

TyrantII: We also used to believe the speed of light was constant. New data is starting to refute that.


New data? As far as I know, there are some weird and not well explored implications in quantum field theory that photons could hypothetically travel at speeds other than c for extremely short periods of 'time' under exotic circumstances. That is very different than saying we have data (observed experimental results). And even then, saying that photons can travel at speeds other than c doesn't mean c itself has changed. It's not even clear that it's meaningful to say that a dimensional constant can vary.
 
2011-08-07 07:53:41 AM
Neondistraction:

Ahh yes, that old logical fallacy. You're assuming that an intelligent, hyper-advanced civilization would want anything to do with us, at least formally. Maybe they'd send some probes to check us out, but once they see how we treat each other I can't imagine they'd want any part of humanity.

Also, when you take into account just how mind-numbingly large our galaxy is, even if there were 1000 alien civilizations capable of FTL travel the odds that one of them would have stumbled upon our remote corner of the galaxy would be very very small.

Now I'm not saying FTL travel is possible, I'm not a scientist by any means. But to assume that everything we currently know about time and space is all there is to know, and that we know enough about the universe to rule something out absolutely is rather naive and arrogant.


You should read the Wiki. It discuses reasons why we can find no evidence of ET civilization, including yours. I brought up Fermi's Paradox because solving it is of vital importance if and when we venture from this rock. Personally I believe interstellar exploration is only a matter of time.

One footnote, the wiki says it would take 5 million years for a civilization to colonize the Galaxy. I got the 300,000 year estimate from an essay by Isaac Asimov I read years ago. I would link to it but I can't find it online.
 
2011-08-07 08:10:41 AM

Hacker_X: from what I recall they know wormholes are real


Nope, still theoretical. But here's the real problem: even in theory, a wormhole connects two black holes. Unless naked singularities are possible (in some strange cases, the math allows it, but it probably can't actually happen), you've got a problem- once you start your trip you can never leave your FTL system.

Also, wormholes would make terrible neighbors. You'd need to place the wormhole a safe distance away from Earth.

Sultan Of Herf: We already have the technology to colonize Mars and the moon


No we don't. We have the technology to take humans there and keep them alive for a finite period dof time. We do not have the technology to build a stable ecosystem and keep humans alive in space for an indefinite period of time. The biggest challenge to long-term space habitation is ecological, not technological.
 
2011-08-07 08:39:05 AM
Many scientific breakthroughs were preceded by academics and others declaring that it could not possibly be done. Many believed it was physically impossible for an airplane to break through the sound barrier. Personally, I think the universe is so poorly understood at this point that our views about what is or is not possible are just guesses.
 
2011-08-07 09:22:02 AM

3dougnight: Many believed it was physically impossible for an airplane to break through the sound barrier.


Only morons believed that.
 
2011-08-07 09:46:22 AM

3dougnight: Personally, I think the universe is so poorly understood at this point that our views about what is or is not possible are just guesses.


Calling successfully tested theories "guesses" will not endear you to many scientists. Theories are a bit different than guesses.

But other than the use of that word, you are generally correct, and many physicists will agree with you in a general sense. The fact that relativity theory and quantum theory aren't unified is an undeniable indication that neither one is wholly correct. Our finest and best theoretical models are admitted to be special cases of a bigger picture that we just can't see yet. Just like Newtonian mechanics, once thought centuries ago to be the final solution to everything, was only a common special case of the much bigger (but still incomplete) picture we see now.

And philosopher-scientists are left to ponder how big the "big picture" really could be. Are we almost there with a grand triumph of string theory just around the corner in mere hundred years or so? Or will the grand unification, which we now grasp at as the holy grail, be just another stepping stone which baffles us with hints at something even more insanely profound?
 
2011-08-07 10:03:53 AM

Neondistraction: Lt. Cheese Weasel: We are never leaving this rock.

Not to be a smartass, but we kinda already have. Lots of times.

Wert789:

So for all those how believe FTL travel is possible, where the hell are they?

Ahh yes, that old logical fallacy. You're assuming that an intelligent, hyper-advanced civilization would want anything to do with us, at least formally. Maybe they'd send some probes to check us out, but once they see how we treat each other I can't imagine they'd want any part of humanity.

Also, when you take into account just how mind-numbingly large our galaxy is, even if there were 1000 alien civilizations capable of FTL travel the odds that one of them would have stumbled upon our remote corner of the galaxy would be very very small.

Now I'm not saying FTL travel is possible, I'm not a scientist by any means. But to assume that everything we currently know about time and space is all there is to know, and that we know enough about the universe to rule something out absolutely is rather naive and arrogant.


They're out there and they're just hiding from us until Zephraim Cochran invents the warp drive, right? Apply Occam's razor to the alternate explanations for Fermi's paradox. I think "they're not out there" is the simplest explanation.
 
2011-08-07 10:48:25 AM

steve_wmn: They're out there and they're just hiding from us


In the same way humans are hiding from a sentient colony of ants in the amazon jungle, the ants must think we are cowards.
...or the reality is that the universe is a big place and thinking, tech capable, creatures don't always spawn right next to each other. .

Our strongest radio waves aren't even two hundred light years out and being shouted over by the natural noises of the universe.
I think the simplest explanation isn't that we're alone and unique in a universe with trillions and trillions of stars, but rather that no one knows we're here and no one cares to come looking for us.
 
2011-08-07 11:13:02 AM

steve_wmn: I think "they're not out there" is the simplest explanation.


No, because that requires making the extraordinary leap of believing that we are somehow unique and special, which is pretty ridiculous... If life formed here, surely it has formed elsewhere on one of the countless other planets circling one of the countless other stars out there... That's just a simple numbers game... The stats say it's gotta be... Unless you want to go all religious and say, "God made us, and only us, because we're special!"... But, if you accept science and evolution, you've got to accept life on other planets being an almost certainty...
 
2011-08-07 11:35:50 AM
I'd just like to express my approval for the starship they chose for TFA. The Constitution-class refit is one beautiful design.
 
2011-08-07 11:37:04 AM

RobSeace: steve_wmn: I think "they're not out there" is the simplest explanation.

Unless you want to go all religious and say, "God made us, and only us, because we're special!"... But, if you accept science and evolution, you've got to accept life on other planets being an almost certainty...



IF God made us as well as the whole universe. Why would he make only us?
I do not understand why some believers think that God would only make us.
I believe in God, I also believe the universe is full of life.
 
2011-08-07 11:47:58 AM

Tatsumaki Senpuu-Kyaku!: As much as I'd love for "warp drive" to become a reality, with our current understanding of how physical reality works it's just not possible.


Two things.

1. We know that hyperluminal expansion of spacetime has occurred in nature during the inflationary epoch.

2. We know here is something that dominates the mass component of the universe that behaves exactly like exotic matter with negative mass and we don't know anything about what that is or whether or not we can manipulate it.

The "Alcubierre drive" has had people propose a number of fundamental limitations that would exclude it and a number of those have had people propose work-arounds that appear to remove those limitations, we are nowhere near knowing whether or not such a thing is fundamentally impossible or merely difficult by current technological standards.
 
2011-08-07 11:52:13 AM
t3knomanser: DamnYankees: We might someday figure out a way to increase the speed of light, perhaps?

We'd likely need to build a custom universe to do that. This one, from all indications, has that value hard-coded in as a constant.


New observations say that's not longer true. Plus, we've been able to slow light down for a while. We're also starting to see evidence that light can travel faster then it's maximum, in certain regions of space/time.
 
2011-08-07 11:55:07 AM

Lt. Cheese Weasel: There is no warp drive. You cannot bend time/space. You cannot travel at the speed of light.

Go outside and look around you. This is it. We are never leaving this rock. Get used to the idea. Play ball with your kids. Take a canoe trip down the Snake. Kiss your mother. Plant a tree.

/and make me a sammich


Wormholes: http://science.discovery.com/tv/through-the-wormhole/
 
2011-08-07 11:59:09 AM
steve_wmn: urban.derelict: DavidVincent: Go outside and look around you. This is it. We are never leaving this rock. Get used to the idea. Play ball with your kids. Take a canoe trip down the Snake. Kiss your mother. Plant a tree.

Those who say it cannot be done should GTFO of the way of those who are doing it.

/64k ram should be enough for anyone

The thing is, we're not doing it. Warp drive, hyper space, all those faster than light travel techniques in science fiction are pure fiction with no real science behind them. Faster than light travel is a convenient plot device to move the story along. It is not based on anything real. Before the Wright brothers flew an airplane they'd seen animals that could fly. We have never, ever seen or heard of any means to warp space or jump from point A to point B instantaneously, except possibly for mathematical flights of fancy. All we know is that Chekhov pushes a button and wheeee, we're moving at 2x the speed of light. It's magic.

100 years before the Wright brothers we had already flown in hot air balloons, and primitive gliders had been made that pointed in the right direction for heavier than air flight. 100 years before the computer age we had Babbage and his mechanical computing devices. If we're within 100 years of warp drive, where are the laboratory results that hint at how to do it?


Two probes just left the solar system, We've been to the moon, been to other bodies, and are in the early stages of planning a manned mission to mars.

I'd say that's a good start.

Not to mention the physics and mathematics work being done. We know space time can be bent, and we have the theoretical work, observation and math to prove it. Might be more then 200 years down the road, but were still learning the basics. After all, we might need the TechnoCore / Allthing first.
 
2011-08-07 12:00:43 PM

OhioKnight: 1. We know that hyperluminal expansion of spacetime has occurred in nature during the inflationary epoch.


Which has no relationship to relative motion. We predict that at great distances, space is still expanding at hyperluminal velocities. But the expansion of space is not the movement of matter. Nothing in the universe moves faster than the speed of light. Ergo, humans will likely never move faster than the speed of light.

It's remotely possible that we may find a topological solution that allows us to move slower than the speed of light but still cross vast distances (like wormholes). But what people seem to neglect is that these solutions almost universally require that you never return to the normal universe. Both the Alcubierre drive and wormholes require that you cross an event horizon. Once you're across it, you can do as you please, but you also can't return to the normal universe.

ThrobblefootSpectre: The fact that relativity theory and quantum theory aren't unified is an undeniable indication that neither one is wholly correct

Complete

is the word you're looking for. Relativity and quantum mechanics are correct insofar as they make predictions and when we test those predictions we find the universe conforms to them. That's all we can really demand of a theory. These theories are incomplete because each one requires different assumptions about the nature of spacetime.

ThrobblefootSpectre: Or will the grand unification, which we now grasp at as the holy grail, be just another stepping stone which baffles us with hints at something even more insanely profound?


I think you're overestimating what a GUT actually means. It means that we have one theory that ties together all of the fundamental forces. It isn't a holy grail, but it's a key sign that the universe is parsimonious. All the evidence we've gathered thus far implies that the universe is parsimonious- that the effects we observe arise from a single set of causes (collectively known as the "laws of physics") and these laws can be elegantly described in a single expression.

Some people believe that a GUT would "finish" physics, but that's a really terrible way of looking at it. All a GUT does is prove that physics is a single entity. There are still plenty of mysteries to be plumbed. Or, to put it another way, a GUT means that we've finally learned all of the rules of chess. That doesn't mean we're going to be comptent players, let alone grand masters, any time soon.
 
2011-08-07 12:05:25 PM

TyrantII: Plus, we've been able to slow light down for a while


But the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant. Slowing light down is a matter of suspending the quantum resolution of a photon's state. It's not actually "slowing light down". While it has implications for the application of quantum physics to real-world problems, it isn't actually changing the speed of light.

TyrantII: We're also starting to see evidence that light can travel faster then it's maximum, in certain regions of space/time.


I'm fairly certain I'd have heard of such a thing. I think you might be thinking of inflation. There are distant galaxies where the light has only traveled a fraction of the time that the distance in light-years would require it to have traveled- but that's simply because the distance between here and there has increased due to inflation- the light actually traveled a shorter distance.
 
2011-08-07 12:06:26 PM
Humankind does not need faster than light travel to explore and colonize the galaxy. All we need is time -- which could very easily be cut short by a giant space rock if we don't start working on this stuff sooner rather than later.
 
2011-08-07 12:08:54 PM

unLurked: Humankind does not need faster than light travel to explore and colonize the galaxy


Humankind, in the sense of homo sapiens will never leave this planet for any substantial period of time. At best, we might have a colony that survives a few thousand years. A species that will arise from Earth, perhaps similar to humans, but adapted to survival in space, will thrive in our place.

Or, to put it another way: when humans no longer need to carry around an entire biosphere to survive exposure to space, they'll be able to go to the stars.
 
2011-08-07 12:19:14 PM
runner_one: RobSeace: steve_wmn: I think "they're not out there" is the simplest explanation.

Unless you want to go all religious and say, "God made us, and only us, because we're special!"... But, if you accept science and evolution, you've got to accept life on other planets being an almost certainty...


IF God made us as well as the whole universe. Why would he make only us?
I do not understand why some believers think that God would only make us.
I believe in God, I also believe the universe is full of life.


Because religion is a crutch for their worthless, miserable, meaningless lives. It allows them to have a meta connotative dissonance with their reality.
 
2011-08-07 01:08:25 PM

Gwyrddu: phrawgh: Skyfrog: You cannot travel at the speed of light sound.

FTFY

The speed of sound limitation was pulled out someone's ass


Not really. It actually goes back to aerodynamics, and in particular airfoil design. You might notice that subsonic aircraft (WWII fighters for example) have thick wings, while supersonic aircraft have thin wings. The reason for that is the effect of airspeed on the airfoil.

When a thick winged aircraft begins to approach the speed of sound they start to get buffeting on the wings.Essentially the air is no longer following the profile of the wing and waves of air begin to bang into the wing. If this is allowed to continue for very long it will essentially hammer the wing apart. Before they discovered the science behind it this buffeting caused people to think that the speed of sound was unbreakable by an aircraft.

The same may well prove to be true about the speed of light...just because we dont know how to go faster doesnt mean it cannot be done.

As a side note, thin wings have very poor low speed performance, due to requiring higher speed to generate lift. The moveable panels on the leading edge of modern supersonic aircraft change the profile of the wing at lower speeds, allowing the generation of good lift and improving low speed performance.
 
2011-08-07 01:14:06 PM

t3knomanser: 3dougnight: Many believed it was physically impossible for an airplane to break through the sound barrier.

Only morons believed that.


Furthermore, only morons still believe that scientists once believed that.

And only complete morons think that it is any way relevant to FTL travel.
 
2011-08-07 01:32:05 PM

Sultan Of Herf: The same may well prove to be true about the speed of light...just because we dont know how to go faster doesnt mean it cannot be done.


Damn, I wish I had t3knomanser's patience for correcting the same error over and over.

Every time somebody draws an analogy between the speed of light and the speed of sound, they are advertising their profound misunderstanding about the nature of the problem.

Building a plane that could travel faster than sound was a problem of engineering. Everybody working on the problem knew it could be done within the known laws of physics.

Traveling faster than light is a problem of the essential nature of spacetime. Everybody working on the problem knows it can't be done within the known laws of physics.

The light speed limit essentially depends on just three assumptions: (1) the laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames; (2) the speed of light in a vacuum is constant; and (3) Space and time can be measured. (That last one seems too obvious to state, but actually it's necessary). It's so fundamental that it barely matters what the rest of the laws of physics actually are, as long as condition (1) holds. Until somebody comes up with an exception to one of those 3 assumptions, no material object that is currently traveling slower than light is ever going to travel faster than light.
 
Ehh
2011-08-07 01:46:12 PM
So for all those how believe FTL travel is possible, where the hell are they?

In Kentucky, probing drunks. Duh.
 
2011-08-07 01:57:48 PM
I just want to thank all the Farkers whose comments I have read today. First I read the comments attached to the article. They were mostly Luddite-inspired thoughts like, "we should solve problems on Earth with this money." Half a million dollars will keep ten gang members in a California jail for one year. Or feed a bunch of starving Africans so they can breed a new generation of starving Africans. Great way to spend money.

Here on Fark, though, there is actual thought going into the idea, or at least some good humor about it. So I say to you, "good show, Farkers, good show!!"
 
2011-08-07 02:08:11 PM

ThrobblefootSpectre: shijjiri: Epitaxy of GaAs over a lattice structure to capture solar energy....

Sounded very cool, but this is for intersteller travel.

The incident solar energy per square meter at the edge of our observable solar system (500AU) is measured in milliwatts. Beyond the oort cloud (50,000) it would be measured in units of photons per hour.


That's the nice part about traveling through space. Once you achieve the acceleration, you sustain it. You'd build your speed in a sling shot loop to eject from the solar system at a reasonable rate, aiming for the next star. Assuming nothing killed you between energy sources, you could make a reasonable hop from star to star over the course of a decade or two. You would need to find locations to recover some raw materials though. That could get tricky.
 
2011-08-07 03:14:03 PM

shijjiri: phrawgh: Gwyrddu: phrawgh: Skyfrog: You cannot travel at the speed of light sound.

FTFY

The speed of sound limitation was pulled out someone's ass though that even something as pedestrian as a whip would violate, while the speed of light limitation is a hard limit on all objects with mass in the universe. The only way we can even conceivably get around the limitation on the speed of light is to bend space/time so two objects are closer, but it is not even clear whether that is really possible or how one would go about doing it.


That's the point.

1) Create a continuous stable beam
2) Create a material capable of mimic Lm properties or invisibility within the beam
3) Enter the beam
4) Engage deviation of while within the beam


Of course of the deviation is imperfect then you may be utterly destroyed. Same with the mimic. Otherwise assuming synchronization you can transpose the property of data between two points when establishing an internal deviation within a continuous beam. You can't travel faster than the beam, but you can entangle and reconfigure the properties of the beam.


casfire.com
 
2011-08-07 03:39:59 PM

OhioKnight: FTFA: The role that has been played by Hollywood cannot be understated.

Glad I'm not the only person that noticed that. Jesus Christ, doesn't anyone think?
 
2011-08-07 03:40:58 PM

shijjiri: That's the nice part about traveling through space. Once you achieve the acceleration, you sustain it.


Actually the sun would be accelerating you in the other direction, subtracting from your velocity. This would probably be significant for the first light year or so as you leave the solar system. Make sure to include this in your calculations or else you are going to arrive much later than you think. :-)
 
2011-08-07 04:01:45 PM

b2theory: You have to find a way around relativity. This will require new physics. Good luck with that?


Not according to the actual substance of the article. The article is about feasible, long-duration travel. It's possible using today's technology, it's just not feasible yet.
 
2011-08-07 04:07:47 PM

t3knomanser: OhioKnight: 1. We know that hyperluminal expansion of spacetime has occurred in nature during the inflationary epoch.

Which has no relationship to relative motion. ,,, But the expansion of space is not the movement of matter. Nothing in the universe moves faster than the speed of light. Ergo, humans will likely never move faster than the speed of light.
...
these solutions almost universally require that you never return to the normal universe. Both the Alcubierre drive and wormholes require that you cross an event horizon. Once you're across it, you can do as you please, but you also can't return to the normal universe.


The original Hyperluminal expansion did not involve relative motion but the whole point of the "A-drive" is that the physical process CAN involve relative motion -- the larger question is what FTL displacement of matter/signal would mean for the mechanics of the universe, causality, etc.

As to how you create/destroy an Alcubierre metric without destroying its contents, that's another issue, but the answer is neither clear nor unambiguous at the moment.
 
2011-08-07 04:19:39 PM

t3knomanser: Some people believe that a GUT would "finish" physics, but that's a really terrible way of looking at it. All a GUT does is prove that physics is a single entity. There are still plenty of mysteries to be plumbed. Or, to put it another way, a GUT means that we've finally learned all of the rules of chess. That doesn't mean we're going to be comptent players, let alone grand masters, any time soon.



I don't disagree. I was simply speculating that the rules we think we know are still just scratching the surface of a reality we can't perceive. If one of the rules turns out to be that, say, pawns can leap off the board that we know about, and take place in someone else's game, then we still don't really understand the rules yet. Various string theories now ask for 11 or more dimensions that we don't perceive. Perhaps even this bizarre concept, should it be eventually tested, is just the next layer of our extremely limited perception.

In other words even with a GUT that supersedes all our current theories, perhaps we are the polygon people in flatland watching the apple pass through their universe. They think they know what the universe is too.
 
2011-08-07 04:46:53 PM

TyrantII: Plus, we've been able to slow light down for a while


If you are referring to BE condensates, then what is happening there is that we are causing the photon to not be a photon (not a distinct quantum) for a period of time while it interacts with matter. On average, it's propagation speed though the medium is slower than c. But while the photon is a photon, it is always travelling at c. Remember that c is the speed in vacuum.
 
2011-08-07 05:14:54 PM

ThrobblefootSpectre: Remember that c is the speed in vacuum.


Which brand? I'll bet it goes faster in a Dyson.
 
2011-08-07 05:59:53 PM
500k is a too low a figure lets wait till there is some serious money involved. so shhhhh..
 
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