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(Some Guy)   Under String Theory, a real life warp drive would only require 100kg of anti-matter. I hope you're right Ed Witten. Star Trek, here we come   (zidbits.com) divider line 117
    More: Wheaton, string theory, Star Trek, warp speed, time dilations, single electron, antimatters, faster than light, FTL  
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5359 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 May 2012 at 3:27 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-06 09:08:08 PM
the ultimate warp speed limit is 1032C - or roughly 3.3 trillion trillion light years per second ... so fast, you could travel to the edge of the visible universe (14 billion light years) in 4.4 femtoseconds

This doesn't leave a whole lot of time for sight-seeing.
 
2012-05-06 09:39:58 PM

Sgygus: the ultimate warp speed limit is 1032C - or roughly 3.3 trillion trillion light years per second ... so fast, you could travel to the edge of the visible universe (14 billion light years) in 4.4 femtoseconds

This doesn't leave a whole lot of time for sight-seeing.


"Ahead warp factor .0001, Mr. Sulu" just doesn't have the same ring to it
 
2012-05-06 10:13:44 PM
I don't really understand this.

At some point -some physicist physics student convinced me that time wasn't the same everywhere and that if we went faster than the speed of light then we would move backwards in time. This is saying something different.

If all we needed was antimatter -according to this -all we need to do is figure out how to collect it from the Van Allen radiation belt.
 
2012-05-06 10:23:48 PM
They worked out that under string theory, a warp drive would no longer require exotic matter, and the required energy would be roughly 100kg of antimatter (1019J) to warp the space around a ship the size of the space shuttle.

Well, I'm sure we'll never need a larger ship than that.
 
2012-05-06 11:16:44 PM

GAT_00: They worked out that under string theory, a warp drive would no longer require exotic matter, and the required energy would be roughly 100kg of antimatter (1019J) to warp the space around a ship the size of the space shuttle.

Well, I'm sure we'll never need a larger ship than that.


Not if you get to the edge of the visible universe in 4.4 femtoseconds.... I think we have time to make a few trips.
 
2012-05-06 11:42:07 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: I don't really understand this.

At some point -some physicist physics student convinced me that time wasn't the same everywhere and that if we went faster than the speed of light then we would move backwards in time. This is saying something different.


Did he also convince you the secret to time travel was in his pants?
 
2012-05-06 11:49:49 PM

Ambivalence: Because People in power are Stupid: I don't really understand this.

At some point -some physicist physics student convinced me that time wasn't the same everywhere and that if we went faster than the speed of light then we would move backwards in time. This is saying something different.

Did he also convince you the secret to time travel was in his pants?


Are all of your fantasies homoerotic?
 
2012-05-07 12:17:18 AM
String theory reflects reality about as well as Dark Matter explains galaxy formation.

/ask your doctor
 
2012-05-07 12:22:22 AM

Because People in power are Stupid: I don't really understand this.

At some point -some physicist physics student convinced me that time wasn't the same everywhere and that if we went faster than the speed of light then we would move backwards in time. This is saying something different.

If all we needed was antimatter -according to this -all we need to do is figure out how to collect it from the Van Allen radiation belt.


Time is more like ball bearings than Euclidian space. It is the grease that makes the universe entropy. Imagine a package sliding down a set of rollers. Can you slide the package back? Of course you can. But can you set the rollers back to precisely the condition they were in before the package went down?

Quantum theory says no.
 
2012-05-07 12:29:50 AM
My question is... what happens to the local mass outside of the bubble, when the bubble passes through it? The video seems a little too "TA DAH!"-like.
 
2012-05-07 12:37:45 AM

Marcus Aurelius: Time is more like ball bearings than Euclidian space.


29.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-05-07 12:42:45 AM

Because People in power are Stupid: Are all of your fantasies homoerotic?


I don't know if you're male or female. It just sounded like a funny joke, regardless of your gender.
 
2012-05-07 12:53:13 AM

Ambivalence: Because People in power are Stupid: regardless of your gender.


Your mom must be proud. Let's swing by the gentleman's club and ask her.
 
2012-05-07 12:54:51 AM
I'm sure that in 1985, 100kg of anti-matter is available in every corner drugstore, but in 2012, it's a little hard to come by.

/Seriously, that's a lot of anti-matter
 
2012-05-07 01:02:36 AM

TheOnion: I'm sure that in 1985, 100kg of anti-matter is available in every corner drugstore, but in 2012, it's a little hard to come by.

/Seriously, that's a lot of anti-matter


The article I linked to said that it was collecting in the Earth's Van Allen Belt.

Now imagine Jupiter's Van Allen Belt. -It's bigger.
 
2012-05-07 01:07:55 AM

Because People in power are Stupid: Ambivalence: Because People in power are Stupid: regardless of your gender.

Your mom must be proud. Let's swing by the gentleman's club and ask her.


(sniff)

My mom died in a gentleman's club, you heartless cad!

I'm just in a weird mood. Continue at your peril.
 
2012-05-07 01:16:51 AM

gameshowhost: Marcus Aurelius: Time is more like ball bearings than Euclidian space.

[29.media.tumblr.com image 500x281]


The very fact that God would allow Chevy Chase to play Fletch not only negates the concept of a benign or forgiving or redemptive higher power, but ratifies the randomness of the universe. Especially when you add in the Carl Sapackler fackler. I mean factor.

/whatever
 
2012-05-07 01:22:43 AM
So basically what the last paragraph of that said was pretty much the rule of Warp 10 in Star Trek: go ahead and try it, but you'll be everywhere at once, devolve into lizards, and mate with your captain.
 
2012-05-07 03:09:51 AM
There was one article I read about warp drives (no, I can't find it again, so no citation) that the problem isn't so much the travel itself, but what happens outside the bubble. When you slow down and arrive at your location, there's a shiat load of energy that needs to be dissipated. This results in your destination being blown to bits. Kinda defeats the purpose of traveling there....

\well, unless your goal was to vaporize that start system
 
2012-05-07 03:38:16 AM
SpaceyCat: When you slow down and arrive at your location, there's a shiat load of energy that needs to be dissipated.

This is probably the source of gamma ray bursts. Alien spaceships coming out of warp drive.
 
2012-05-07 03:38:59 AM
Almost like...

www.stephen-baxter.com
 
2012-05-07 04:04:25 AM

Ambivalence: Because People in power are Stupid: Ambivalence: Because People in power are Stupid: regardless of your gender.

Your mom must be proud. Let's swing by the gentleman's club and ask her.

(sniff)

My mom died in a gentleman's club, you heartless cad!

I'm just in a weird mood. Continue at your peril.


Says the guy who started it all.
 
2012-05-07 04:20:10 AM
Thanks for the link subby.
 
2012-05-07 04:22:40 AM
Considering that just a several years ago producing any amount of antimatter was not possible, and now we can make and hold several hundreds anti protons for up to 17 minutes, it is entirely possible that 100kg could be made in just a few billion years.
 
2012-05-07 04:45:27 AM
Because People in power are Stupid: At some point -some physicist physics student convinced me that time wasn't the same everywhere and that if we went faster than the speed of light then we would move backwards in time.

I've heard the same. I was hoping the question of faster-than-light travel would come up on Fark, so I could have the possibility of someone smarter than I answering the question.

Whether or not FTL is possible is besides the point. We'll assume that it is. I was told that when an object goes faster than the speed of light, it interacts at with photons and gravity waves at an earlier state in time, which is the difference in light-seconds between how fast the object is traveling and the speed of light. So, if I travel one light-day out in a single second, I'm interacting with light and gravity that's one day old minus one second. And, by logical extension, I'm not only interacting with yesterday's light and gravity, I'm interacting with anything affected by light or gravity. Which is everything. I just time traveled one day in the past.

Time travel opens up nasty unsolvable causality paradoxes which can endlessly duplicate matter and energy at a net gain, and completely defeat entropy. Which is basically the universe saying that you just divided by zero. I could take my fancy spaceship 8 light-years to Tau Ceti 8 years in the past, spend the weekend there, then zip back to Earth, once again traveling eight years in the past to 16 years ago, walk up to my previous self, and tell him that Tau Ceti is a dump and not to go there 16 years in the future. So, past me doesn't go. And with that notion, I can duplicate myself infinite times via paradox like Bender in Futurama. Potentially infinite mass and energy from nowhere.

I'd be interested to hear someone who knows physics enough to know what they're talking about reply to this. It's been a nagging question about physics I've had for a long time.
 
2012-05-07 05:11:33 AM
Just imagine the destruction we could cause by testing this out.
oops
 
2012-05-07 05:37:01 AM
You don`t go faster than light AFAIK so no time travel. What you do is raise the speed of light in your local area to high levels then make space warped so you just fall. You would feel no forces, the same as being in a falling object. There would be hardly any relativistic effects as you do not approach the speed of light. For the passenger, it would be fairly boring, like being inside the enterprise. Star trek also have a fairly good effect for warp speed, the ship would appear to shoot off (depending on the startup time for the engines), stretching, at the speed of light, becoming darker as it approaches lightspeed. The ship would not experience time or space dilation/compression.
 
2012-05-07 05:37:35 AM
Will the pilots mutate into salamanders and procreate to produce many amphibious progeny?
 
2012-05-07 05:45:00 AM
So just to be clear, you can travel 4 light years in much less than 4 years but you can`t go faster than the speed of light.
 
2012-05-07 06:03:32 AM
Two to the power of Paul Hogan's tax liability doesn't begin to approach it.
 
2012-05-07 07:11:16 AM

Baron Harkonnen: So, if I travel one light-day out in a single second, I'm interacting with light and gravity that's one day old minus one second. And, by logical extension, I'm not only interacting with yesterday's light and gravity, I'm interacting with anything affected by light or gravity. Which is everything. I just time traveled one day in the past.


I never understood how that was meant to work either.
To me, if I get somewhere faster than light then I've gotten there faster than the light, not necessarily faster than time. Since I can't go anywhere faster than instantaneously then I'd never arrive anywhere before I left, violating no laws.

/Then again, I suck at math.
/The universe says you cant run indoors and Einstein agreed because he got tired of being asked silly questions.
 
2012-05-07 07:17:58 AM

Baron Harkonnen: Because People in power are Stupid: At some point -some physicist physics student convinced me that time wasn't the same everywhere and that if we went faster than the speed of light then we would move backwards in time.

I've heard the same. I was hoping the question of faster-than-light travel would come up on Fark, so I could have the possibility of someone smarter than I answering the question.

Whether or not FTL is possible is besides the point. We'll assume that it is. I was told that when an object goes faster than the speed of light, it interacts at with photons and gravity waves at an earlier state in time, which is the difference in light-seconds between how fast the object is traveling and the speed of light. So, if I travel one light-day out in a single second, I'm interacting with light and gravity that's one day old minus one second. And, by logical extension, I'm not only interacting with yesterday's light and gravity, I'm interacting with anything affected by light or gravity. Which is everything. I just time traveled one day in the past.


That's idiotic. You're also simultaneously interacting with light that won't reach you for one day, so by this same logic you're simultaneously travelling one day into the future.
 
2012-05-07 07:50:08 AM
Under String Theory, a real life warp drive would only require 100kg of anti-matter

Wow. I used to think we'd require a spaceship with engines. Turns out all we need is a stockpile of antimatter, which we can produce at about 250 nanograms each year.

And it will only require 1 billion years of the energy production of the entire Earth.

Interstellar travel, here we come!
 
2012-05-07 07:59:44 AM
Actually, in Special Relativity, if an object could exceed the speed of light (c), it wouldn't move backwards in time so much as "sideways".

tl;dr: In Special Relativity, the dimension of time behaves pretty much like an extra space dimension except that it's imaginary (in the mathematical, not literal sense). If you could somehow get a particle past the barrier of infinite energy at v=c, and take the equations of SR at face value, you find that time becomes a regular space dimension, and the space dimension in the direction of travel becomes the new time. Neat, no?

Long version:

[WARNING: the following is completely physically ungrounded speculation on my part. It makes no attempt to respect the real physics and is, at best, the seed of an interesting sci-fi story]

Special Relativity doesn't actually say that an object can't go faster than the speed of light. It actually says:

(1) If an object were to move faster than c, the equations for time dilation and length contraction give decidedly unphysical results;
and
(2) The equations for momentum give sensible answers for v >c, but there is a singularity in the equations at v=c where momentum and energy go to infinity. Loosely speaking, if an object is moving slower than c it would require infinite energy to reach c; and if it somehow starts out moving faster than c it can't ever move slower. It's an infinitely high barrier.

Now I'm going to handwave away (2): Usually in physics when an equation spits out infinities, physicists take it as a sign that they have pushed the theory beyond its limits of applicability. For example, I don't think any physicist takes seriously the prediction from GR that the center of a black hole is a singularity of zero size and infinite density. Instead, they assume that a theory of quantum gravity is required to explain what really happens. So for the moment I'm going to arbitrarily assume that the same is true of SR and pretend that there's some loophole that allows an object to "tunnel through" and emerge at v>c unscathed.

So what would actually happen if an object did arrive on the other side? Well, that's where the "sideways" comes in. A little digression: Physicists like to say that the universe of SR has a "signature", written [1, 1, 1, -1], meaning that we have three dimensions of space and one of time, and that the time behaves rather differently than the space ones, hence the -1. For example, if two events are separated in space along the three axes by distances x, y, and z, and separated in time by t, we can calculate their "distance" in spacetime as x^2 + y^2 + z^2 - (ct)^2; note the minus sign in front of the time term, that's what the -1 in the signature meant.

And this "distance" tells us something very fundamental about events in spacetime. If the number is positive, it means that the events are separated by more space than time; to put it prosaically, even a photon couldn't cross the space between them in the time between them. Conversely, if the number is negative, there is more time than space between the events, and an object could cross the space between them in the time available. The events are potentially causally connected, which is a fundamental concept in SR.

So finally we can get back to (1) above: the unphysical things that happen to time and length when v>c. It turns out (and the math for this is actually no harder than Pythagoras' Theorem, but is a PITA to show without a proper equation editor) that both time and length become imaginary, i.e. the square roots of negative numbers. This sounds very weird until you plug it into the above equations and discover that all that has really happened is that for an object traveling in (say) the z direction, it's as if the spacetime signature has changed from [1, 1, 1, -1] to [1, 1, -1, 1].

Or to put in another way, the time dimension for the object becomes like a space dimension, and the space dimension in the direction of travel becomes like time. And mathematically, everything else in SR continues to be perfectly well behaved, as far as I can see. So other than being mind-bendingly weird and impossible to picture conceptually, it seems perfectly reasonable.
 
2012-05-07 08:06:54 AM

Bacon Bits: That's idiotic. You're also simultaneously interacting with light that won't reach you for one day, so by this same logic you're simultaneously travelling [sic] one day into the future.


You'll have to explain what's idiotic to me, because your logic escapes me. You're correct in that I would be traveling one day into the future as observed from the opposite direction of my travel. Observers would see me blink out and then re-appear 24 hours later in a location one light-day more distant. But time-traveling to the future does not create paradoxes, and is allowed by physics. In the direction I'm heading, I'd be observed to have arrived a day earlier than I departed, because the light of my spacecraft departing would take a day to arrive from my departure point, and in the meantime, I would have been at my destination for that entire day. To the observers at my destination point, I would be existing at two different places at the same time, and not only that, I could potentially interact with my own self at an earlier point in time, creating any number of unresolvable paradoxes.
 
2012-05-07 08:15:12 AM

Sgygus: the ultimate warp speed limit is 1032C - or roughly 3.3 trillion trillion light years per second ... so fast, you could travel to the edge of the visible universe (14 billion light years) in 4.4 femtoseconds

This doesn't leave a whole lot of time for sight-seeing.


Douglas Adams already did it with the heart of gold.
 
2012-05-07 08:21:35 AM

gameshowhost: My question is... what happens to the local mass outside of the bubble, when the bubble passes through it? The video seems a little too "TA DAH!"-like.


It starts to break down the local space-time stuff...

/or something like that
//saw it on Star Trek
 
2012-05-07 08:27:10 AM
I thought io9 actually did a good job explaining the relationship of FTL and time-travel. With diagrams!
 
2012-05-07 08:57:03 AM
I always thought that the whole time travel and FTL (or even near-c travel) deal was that at those speeds you would expirence time at a different rate than non-FTL people and thus if you travelled for 5 days your time, you might arrive somewhere 100 years in the future their time (the numbers are just placeholders, I don't know if they're proportional). You would never go into the past, you would just go into the future at a different rate.


Or are you telling me Gunbuster lied to me?
 
2012-05-07 09:02:26 AM
And it still wouldn't matter because we can't survive in space for long, as a species. Even with several layers of protection (ship, space suit, etc.) we get sick and go crazy after too long in those conditions.

And of course, if even the tiniest particle of dust hits the ship or suit just right and punctures your protection, you have moments before you are dead.

Forget about time travel and FTL space travel. Human bodies won't withstand either.
 
2012-05-07 09:10:36 AM
So, how do we make all this antimatter? WP says that CERN would take 100 billon years to make a gram of it.

Do the Van Allen belts indeed contain an interesting quantity? Somewhere I've read proposals that electrodynamic tethers could clear out the radiation belts - seems like a questionable idea at best but even if it works would it just result in a bunch of matter-antimatter annihilations and make pretty fireworks?

The best way seems to me to use space-based resources (asteroid and/or moon) to build giant particle accelerators. Still, 100 billion times the capacity of CERN seems like a LOT (even given CERN wasn't built exclusively for antimatter production)...
 
2012-05-07 09:11:27 AM
100Kg of antimatter is a lot of antimatter. I guess if we ever make antiiron you could keep it in solid state and in a magnetic field, but gaseous antimatter in that kind of quantity is going to be impossible to contain.

Also, isn't 100Kg of antimatter roughly equivalent to about 20 nuclear warheads in the megaton range?
 
2012-05-07 09:13:55 AM

ArcadianRefugee: Under String Theory, a real life warp drive would only require 100kg of anti-matter

Wow. I used to think we'd require a spaceship with engines. Turns out all we need is a stockpile of antimatter, which we can produce at about 250 nanograms each year.

And it will only require 1 billion years of the energy production of the entire Earth.

Interstellar travel, here we come!


I'm not sure we're actually in the business of producing or using anti-matter yet. So the small production amount isn't proof of a show stopper.
Also, if we need energy, God has provided a massive natural fusion reactor just a few million miles from here that puts out many times what you could ever pump out of the ground on earth.

I more wonder how they plan to use all this energy. Its like trying to design a car without knowing about the wheel. Can you really predict the efficiency of the thing when you don't know where the rubber will meet the road?

/No engine small enough to fit in a car can fight the resistance of the four concrete blocks it rests on. The whole idea is folly!
 
2012-05-07 09:25:00 AM
Under String Theory, a real life warp drive would only require 100kg of anti-matter. I hope you're right Ed Witten. Star Trek, here we come

Only? That would only cost, what, a couple googillion dollars? I'll dig around my couch for some spare change to pitch in.

/ DNRTFA
 
2012-05-07 09:27:11 AM
So with 0.0000001 kg of antimatter could I prove string theory by creating a warp big enough for a single particle? It seems to me if there was any validity to this new 100kg theory that would be big news.
 
2012-05-07 09:33:34 AM

Girl Pants: I don't know if they're proportional). You would never go into the past, you would just go into the future at a different rate.


You're more or less right, when you're traveling at speeds less than the speed of light. It's when you go faster than light that things get weird. If you had some tool that let you send information, or people, faster than light, you could actually send them into the past of some other reference frame.

The example in my io9 link talks about two spaceships that cross paths. The ships themselves are traveling lower than light-speed, but they have an FTL communication channel. Ship A could send a message to ship B, ship B could reply and have their reply arrive at Ship A before A sent their original message.
 
2012-05-07 09:33:53 AM
Because People in power are Stupid:

And, of course, it has a different name but we can't pronounce the name of the native who discovered their radiation belts.
 
2012-05-07 09:50:12 AM

ChaoticLimbs: Also, isn't 100Kg of antimatter roughly equivalent to about 20 nuclear warheads in the megaton range?


No, actually it's equal to about 10 nuclear warheads in the 2 megaton range.
 
2012-05-07 09:54:26 AM

BigSlowTarget: So with 0.0000001 kg of antimatter could I prove string theory by creating a warp big enough for a single particle? It seems to me if there was any validity to this new 100kg theory that would be big news.


Shh...
 
2012-05-07 09:55:02 AM

ChaoticLimbs: Also, isn't 100Kg of antimatter roughly equivalent to about 20 nuclear warheads in the megaton range?


It's in the 4000 megaton range. I was sloppy with my rounding, so give or take a bit, and considering the fact that 100kg of antimatter, means 200kg of mass converted to energy.
 
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