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(Slate)   The NASA engineer who's discovered how to build a warp drive would totally love to explain how it works, but he can't. Trust him, though, he totally knows how to build one   (slate.com ) divider line
    More: Unlikely, Trust, NASA, warp speed  
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8555 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Aug 2013 at 8:41 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



143 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-08-26 08:46:28 AM  
Skeptical pag1107 is skeptical.
 
2013-08-26 08:47:08 AM  
Has Technobevets weighed in on this yet? I can't form an opinion until I read his.
 
2013-08-26 08:47:20 AM  
Does he have a book coming out or something?

/dnrtfa
 
2013-08-26 08:49:31 AM  
Presumably, the only thing missing is dilithium crystals.  Well, that and an ample supply of antimatter.

//dtrtfa
 
2013-08-26 08:50:45 AM  
Does it run on banana peels and empty Miller Lite cans?
 
2013-08-26 08:51:30 AM  

Stone Meadow: Has Technobevets weighed in on this yet? I can't form an opinion until I read his.


He's still 3d printing his opinion.
 
2013-08-26 08:53:03 AM  
I can't really fault him for wanting to protect his reasearch until its solid.. that being said, if he's going to say that he might be on to something he should probably prepare for people to call him a loon until he proves it.
 
2013-08-26 08:53:31 AM  
Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.
 
2013-08-26 08:54:38 AM  

uttertosh: Stone Meadow: Has Technobevets weighed in on this yet? I can't form an opinion until I read his.

He's still 3d printing his opinion.


Something something waste of money something something what has NASA contributed something something problems here something something cure cancer.

Was that at least a reliable substitute till the real thing gets here?
 
2013-08-26 08:55:01 AM  

Stone Meadow: Has Technobevets weighed in on this yet? I can't form an opinion until I read his.


Even an idiot like you should be able to reach the obvious conclusion here.

Let me help you: no one is going anywhere. How you like that!?

Can you please point to the "technology" here? It's as technological as John Titor's time machine, or Bob Lazar's space drive.

Get real, you idiot.
 
2013-08-26 08:55:32 AM  
I work at NASA so I'm really getting a kick out of your replies......

i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-26 08:56:47 AM  
Dammit Jim! I'm a doctor; not an astrophysicist!
 
2013-08-26 08:56:49 AM  
Any engineer that claims to violate the second law of thermodynamics should be immediately removed from their position
 
2013-08-26 08:56:56 AM  

RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.


True, but the people claiming to have invented a way to do it never said "Oh, sure, it totally works, but I can't reveal anything about it or prove it in any way."  The issue is not necessarily with his claim, it's his refusal to back it up that makes him a loon.  It's the same thing with any snake oil salesman who claims to have a perpetual motion engine that runs on magnets or a motor that runs on water.
 
2013-08-26 08:57:31 AM  
so basically we have the numbers, but not the technology

/obvious we kinda have to get past that little problem there, skippy
//give it time, unless we don't wipe ourselves off our little rock first because of our petty squabbles I say
 
2013-08-26 08:57:34 AM  
Uh. I read the notes.
Looks more like a time travel device.

Yeah, my great-grandad and his peers laughed  George Westinghouse out of the grange hall when he was trying to crown fund air brakes for trains.
 
rpm
2013-08-26 08:58:04 AM  

durbnpoisn: Presumably, the only thing missing is dilithium crystals.  Well, that and an ample supply of antimatter.

//dtrtfa


I remember one potential warp drive that was missing one thing: -1 g of matter for the drive. If you could get that, it would work.
 
2013-08-26 09:00:05 AM  
If (or when) Art Bell returns to radio, I'd like to see this guy as a guest. He'd fit right in, IMHO...
 
2013-08-26 09:00:07 AM  

RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.


And? Does that mean anything at all is now possible? What the hell kind of argument is that?

Pelvic Splanchnic Ganglion: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

True, but the people claiming to have invented a way to do it never said "Oh, sure, it totally works, but I can't reveal anything about it or prove it in any way."  The issue is not necessarily with his claim, it's his refusal to back it up that makes him a loon.  It's the same thing with any snake oil salesman who claims to have a perpetual motion engine that runs on magnets or a motor that runs on water.


Way too complicated.

"I WAS PROMISED STUFF BY SCI-FI AND IT'S LIKE TOTALLY GONNA HAPPEN BECAUSE WHEEEEEE! AND COMPUTERS GOT BETTER!!!!!"

It's amazing how many people think like children.

Lost Thought 00: Any engineer that claims to violate the second law of thermodynamics should be immediately removed from their position


And given a job at the Space Nutter Center for Claiming Anything is Possible Because a Scientist Was Wrong Once.
 
2013-08-26 09:00:44 AM  
I bet if you hit a rock at that speed you'll need to replace the whole windshield.
 
2013-08-26 09:00:48 AM  
It came to him in a dream, and he forgot it in another dream.
 
2013-08-26 09:00:51 AM  
It's obvious that "working for NASA" is his cover story.  He actually works for the Stargate program!

/ In case you didn't get it, it was a joke and reference to the various Stargate series.
 
2013-08-26 09:01:22 AM  

RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.


Not really. The very idea was absurd on its face- heavier-than-air-craft occur in nature. While none approach man-sized, it's very clear that it's little more than an engineering challenge. There was no physical limit that prevented heavier-than-air craft. It was a matter of understanding the principles of extant heavier-than-air craft (birds) and scaling them to human scales.

Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?

* Quantum entanglement arguably has an FTL component, but since we don't know of any mechanism for information exchange, I'd hesitate to say that anything actually goes faster than light. Since any communication over quantum effects still requires a causal, light-speed channel, you're still rate limited to the speed of light.
 
2013-08-26 09:02:12 AM  

vudukungfu: Looks more like a time travel device.


Any FTL device is also a time travel device, and vice versa.
 
2013-08-26 09:03:15 AM  
I suppose it's possible if he can generate the 1.21 jigawatts necessary for time warp speed. But how would he generate that kind of power?
 
2013-08-26 09:03:25 AM  
However, the information that's publicly available about White's work would make Mr. Spock's klaxon sound.

Giggity. And it's no where near pon farr.

Is there pon farr porn? porn pon farr? pon porn farr? Well, employment will be getting no work out of me today.
 
2013-08-26 09:04:06 AM  

MayoSlather: But how would he generate that kind of power?


A bolt of lightning. But, unfortunately, you never know when or where they are going to strike.
 
2013-08-26 09:05:20 AM  
A warp drive is only useful as long as it doesn't kill the drivers.
 
2013-08-26 09:05:34 AM  

t3knomanser: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

Not really. The very idea was absurd on its face- heavier-than-air-craft occur in nature. While none approach man-sized, it's very clear that it's little more than an engineering challenge. There was no physical limit that prevented heavier-than-air craft. It was a matter of understanding the principles of extant heavier-than-air craft (birds) and scaling them to human scales.

Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?

* Quantum entanglement arguably has an FTL component, but since we don't know of any mechanism for information exchange, I'd hesitate to say that anything actually goes faster than light. Since any communication over quantum effects still requires a causal, light-speed channel, you're still rate limited to the speed of light.


Too complicated.

"I'M STUPID AND DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WORK!!!! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE STAR TREK!!!! WWWWAAAAAARGHGHGHHG!!!!!"

What is it with you Luddites this morning?

I've got my bugout bag ready for when warp drive totally becomes real. Will it be Boeing or Airbus that makes the first warp-capable space liner? Will they use GE or Rolls Royce or Pratt & Whitney warp turbines? Oh I'm so excited!!!!

But they'll still find a way to send your luggage to Alpha Centauri.
 
2013-08-26 09:07:19 AM  

minoridiot: I bet if you hit a rock at that speed you'll need to replace the whole windshield.


Well that's what you get for using a windshield when you should have had a rockshield.
 
2013-08-26 09:09:51 AM  
Guys, I've only got a few decades left for you to figure out this FTL stuff so I can set myself up as the ruler of an interstellar empire. Get to it.
 
2013-08-26 09:10:26 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Stone Meadow: Has Technobevets weighed in on this yet? I can't form an opinion until I read his.

Even an idiot like you should be able to reach the obvious conclusion here.

Let me help you: no one is going anywhere. How you like that!?

Can you please point to the "technology" here? It's as technological as John Titor's time machine, or Bob Lazar's space drive.

Get real, you idiot.


My machine at least WORKED! Don't lump me in with that guy!
 
2013-08-26 09:14:14 AM  
So basically this guy is claiming to have theorhetically figured out how a warp drive might work but has nothing tangible yet to show us?  Until he can prove his claims I don't see any reason to have any opinion other than "hrm, interesting.", which is the same opinion I had before and after reading this article.  What are you guys arguing about?
 
2013-08-26 09:14:24 AM  

ArkPanda: It came to him in a dream, and he forgot it in another dream.


Not enough Farnsworth references in this thread, too many life extension nutter posts
 
2013-08-26 09:14:52 AM  

t3knomanser: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

Not really. The very idea was absurd on its face- heavier-than-air-craft occur in nature. While none approach man-sized, it's very clear that it's little more than an engineering challenge. There was no physical limit that prevented heavier-than-air craft. It was a matter of understanding the principles of extant heavier-than-air craft (birds) and scaling them to human scales.

Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?

* Quantum entanglement arguably has an FTL component, but since we don't know of any mechanism for information exchange, I'd hesitate to say that anything actually goes faster than light. Since any communication over quantum effects still requires a causal, light-speed channel, you're still rate limited to the speed of light.


I'm going to sound really silly asking this...  But since you mentioned the whole speed of light thing, I think this is a good time.

Every has always said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  Yet, the standard Big Bang theory postulates that when the bang occured, the inverse itself went from a particle sized point to something BILLIONS of miles across, in only a few 1000's of a second.
That seems to be a rather large distance to cover at the plodding speed of light.
Is this presumable because the laws of physics as we understand them now, simply didn't exist yet as the universe was initially exapanding?
 
2013-08-26 09:14:59 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: "I'M STUPID AND DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WORK!!!! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE STAR TREK!!!! WWWWAAAAAARGHGHGHHG!!!!!"


Did you even read what teknomancer wrote?  Because it was a very reasonable statement.
 
2013-08-26 09:16:54 AM  
I'm not half as interested in the warp drive as I am in the Quantum Thruster, also being developed by the NASA advanced propulsion group, and much farther along. They're going to have hardware to test on the space station in a year or so, using the q-thruster as an RCS station-keeping thruster that has no fuel component, no mass to throw out; just electrical power.  If it proves out, versions where multiple Q-thrusters are stacked to accelerate probes and manned craft to the edges of the solar system will open up the frontier for space colinization.  The fact it's name is similar to our favorite Amish fixie cyclist is just a delicious bonus.
 
2013-08-26 09:17:55 AM  
Fire up the Dean Drive!
 
2013-08-26 09:19:25 AM  
forget fast engines.

just pinch space like on the surface of a balloon you  can be anywhere in space in no time flat
 
2013-08-26 09:19:56 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Stone Meadow: Has Technobevets weighed in on this yet? I can't form an opinion until I read his.

Even an idiot like you should be able to reach the obvious conclusion here.

Let me help you: no one is going anywhere. How you like that!?

Can you please point to the "technology" here? It's as technological as John Titor's time machine, or Bob Lazar's space drive.

Get real, you idiot.


Goddamn you are vicious. We may call you a loon and troll, but you call people idiots and morons. Here, time to level it up some:
YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE. I HOPE YOU NEED A 3D PRINTED HEART ONE DAY, YA SH*T ASS.
 
2013-08-26 09:20:41 AM  

durbnpoisn: t3knomanser: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

Not really. The very idea was absurd on its face- heavier-than-air-craft occur in nature. While none approach man-sized, it's very clear that it's little more than an engineering challenge. There was no physical limit that prevented heavier-than-air craft. It was a matter of understanding the principles of extant heavier-than-air craft (birds) and scaling them to human scales.

Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?

* Quantum entanglement arguably has an FTL component, but since we don't know of any mechanism for information exchange, I'd hesitate to say that anything actually goes faster than light. Since any communication over quantum effects still requires a causal, light-speed channel, you're still rate limited to the speed of light.

I'm going to sound really silly asking this...  But since you mentioned the whole speed of light thing, I think this is a good time.

Every has always said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  Yet, the standard Big Bang theory postulates that when the bang occured, the inverse itself went from a particle sized point to something BILLIONS of miles across, in only a few 1000's of a second.
That seems to be a rather large distance to cover at the plodding speed of light.
Is this presumable because the laws of physics as we understand them now, simply didn't exist yet as the universe was initially exapanding?


Nothing was traveling through space faster than light, space was expanding faster than light.
 
2013-08-26 09:21:01 AM  

Any Pie Left: Quantum Thruster


Sweet sci-fi porn name.
 
2013-08-26 09:25:25 AM  

durbnpoisn: Yet, the standard Big Bang theory postulates that when the bang occured, the inverse itself went from a particle sized point to something BILLIONS of miles across, in only a few 1000's of a second.


This is called "inflation". Essentially, space simply got bigger. The distance between points increased even while nothing was actually moving. Yes, it's weird. Space doesn't have to obey any sorts of speed limits, so space itself can expand and even move at speeds faster than light itself. An interesting side effect of this happens in a region near a black hole called the "ergosphere". If a black hole is spinning rapidly, its gravity is so strong that it can literally start spacetime spinning around it. That spacetime can spin faster than the speed of light. This means that an object in the ergosphere cannot ever stand still relative to an object outside of the ergosphere, because it would have to go faster than the speed of light to do so.
 
2013-08-26 09:27:33 AM  

t3knomanser: Any FTL device is also a time travel device, and vice versa.


Yeah, well post that before my original post, then.
 
2013-08-26 09:28:47 AM  
t3knomanser: Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?

Because we haven't built one yet and it has been shown they can only work to send back in time to the first date they existed, or after.
 
2013-08-26 09:29:18 AM  
Can't we just give up on FTL and go with designing really good stasis pods and 90% of lightspeed travel?
 
2013-08-26 09:31:43 AM  

durbnpoisn: I'm going to sound really silly asking this...  But since you mentioned the whole speed of light thing, I think this is a good time.

Every has always said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  Yet, the standard Big Bang theory postulates that when the bang occured, the inverse itself went from a particle sized point to something BILLIONS of miles across, in only a few 1000's of a second.
That seems to be a rather large distance to cover at the plodding speed of light.
Is this presumable because the laws of physics as we understand them now, simply didn't exist yet as the universe was initially exapanding?


Ok let me try this one.  If I understand correctly the expansion of the universe itself is not held to the speed of light.  Objects within the universe are limited to the speed of light but the actual fabric of space-time is not.
 
2013-08-26 09:33:31 AM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: Quantum Apostrophe: "I'M STUPID AND DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WORK!!!! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE STAR TREK!!!! WWWWAAAAAARGHGHGHHG!!!!!"

Did you even read what teknomancer wrote?  Because it was a very reasonable statement.


He's too busy insulting people and frothing at the mouth to bother with trivialities.  I just figured he missed breakfast.
 
2013-08-26 09:36:10 AM  

durbnpoisn: t3knomanser: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

Not really. The very idea was absurd on its face- heavier-than-air-craft occur in nature. While none approach man-sized, it's very clear that it's little more than an engineering challenge. There was no physical limit that prevented heavier-than-air craft. It was a matter of understanding the principles of extant heavier-than-air craft (birds) and scaling them to human scales.

Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?

* Quantum entanglement arguably has an FTL component, but since we don't know of any mechanism for information exchange, I'd hesitate to say that anything actually goes faster than light. Since any communication over quantum effects still requires a causal, light-speed channel, you're still rate limited to the speed of light.

I'm going to sound really silly asking this...  But since you mentioned the whole speed of light thing, I think this is a good time.

Every has always said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  Yet, the standard Big Bang theory postulates that when the bang occured, the inverse itself went from a particle sized point to something BILLIONS of miles across, in only a few 1000's of a second.
That seems to be a rather large distance to cover at the plodding speed of light.
Is this presumable because the laws of physics as we understand them now, simply didn't exist yet as the universe was initially exapanding?


Essentially, the best explanation I saw was that the energies involved were simply so massive that they basically ignored and shredded whatever extant physical laws existed at the time and once the universe cooled a tiny bit the new mangled ones we have now settled in.

This is the same theory that says we likely actually weren't the first attempt at a stable universe and likely won't be the last.

/ It also acknowledges that we have a real hard time knowing what "stable" is as we really don't have a reference point to compare against.
// We could be a short "Whoops, well that version of the laws of gravity was borked" universe.
/// Or the one where biological forms inexplicably became dominant over beings evolved from naturally occurring cogs and gears.
//// Till all are one.
 
2013-08-26 09:37:11 AM  
durbnpoisn:

I'm going to sound really silly asking this...  But since you mentioned the whole speed of light thing, I think this is a good time.

Every has always said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  Yet, the standard Big Bang theory postulates that when the bang occured, the inverse itself went from a particle sized point to something BILLIONS of miles across, in only a few 1000's of a second.
That seems to be a rather large distance to cover at the plodding speed of light.
Is this presumable because the laws of physics as we understand them now, simply didn't exist yet as the universe was initially exapanding?


He's expanding on Miguel Alcubierre's postulate that because "the expansion and contraction of space does not have a speed limit" it may be possible to make a chunk or "bubble" of space-time that can be propelled at faster than light.  Then it would be a matter of hitching a ride *inside* that bubble.

On the non-skeptic side of things, it's worth noting that NASA is (or has been) OK with him pursuing this research in a public sort of way (PDF).    In the skeptical camp, this business of having made a device but being overly cagey about it sets off the same alarms as the "free energy" or over-unity cranks.  It'll be interesting to see if NASA continue to give him a platform of respectability to stand on or if they start to distance the organization from his claims.
 
SRD [TotalFark]
2013-08-26 09:38:00 AM  
Doesnt a warp drive work differently that light travel? because its not in regular space but inside some type of field it can travel much faster than light? or something like that?
 
2013-08-26 09:40:25 AM  
Didn't i also read earlier that to generate the effect this drive was supposed to generate in order to propel  a craft the size of a small speedboat you'd need the energy output of 50 mid-life yellow stars like our sun?
 
2013-08-26 09:45:01 AM  

SRD: Doesnt a warp drive work differently that light travel? because its not in regular space but inside some type of field it can travel much faster than light? or something like that?


You warp space-time around the ship like a bubble and then cause the bubble to move at faster than speed velocities, since current evidence suggest that spacetime itself is not subject to the whole Lightspeed limitations (as mentioned earlier in the thread)
 
2013-08-26 09:48:52 AM  

Any Pie Left: I'm not half as interested in the warp drive as I am in the Quantum Thruster, also being developed by the NASA advanced propulsion group, and much farther along. They're going to have hardware to test on the space station in a year or so, using the q-thruster as an RCS station-keeping thruster that has no fuel component, no mass to throw out; just electrical power.  If it proves out, versions where multiple Q-thrusters are stacked to accelerate probes and manned craft to the edges of the solar system will open up the frontier for space colinization.  The fact it's name is similar to our favorite Amish fixie cyclist is just a delicious bonus.


Those are even more complete bullshiat than the warp drive, because there's no negative-mass excuse for them to point to and say "If only we had that stuff, it would work!"  The claims of using the quantum vacuum state as reaction mass are utterly absurd to anybody who knows what "vacuum state" means1, and just like the warp drive, they rest entirely on unpublished work.  If he were ever to publish a valid explanation of how that Q-thruster is supposed to work, he'd have a Nobel coming at him so fast he'd better be wearing goalie pads, because it would mean invalidating the entire Standard Model.  Don't hold your breath.

1If it's still the vacuum state, it doesn't carry momentum, and if it's modified such that it can carry momentum, it's not the vacuum state anymore and contains real particles.  Creating those particles costs energy, and the minimum energetic price for an impulse p is still E=pc, no better than using a flashlight as a thruster.
 
2013-08-26 09:52:48 AM  
Not a problem, but only after he invents the "EASY BUTTON" !
 
2013-08-26 09:54:14 AM  
If theer is such technology I would think the release of any specifics would be one of those things that would be harmful to national security.  If NASA has come up with the basics of a warp drive system or some other unknown method of faster than light travel, I would think that the scientist would not be making bold claims about it publicly.  Well unless it is to spread disinformation in order to steer rival nations in the wrong direction.
 
2013-08-26 09:55:20 AM  
2.bp.blogspot.com1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-08-26 09:57:14 AM  
Sounds like he just needs element 115 and some antimatter.
 
2013-08-26 10:01:24 AM  

heavymetal: If theer is such technology I would think the release of any specifics would be one of those things that would be harmful to national security.  If NASA has come up with the basics of a warp drive system or some other unknown method of faster than light travel, I would think that the scientist would not be making bold claims about it publicly.  Well unless it is to spread disinformation in order to steer rival nations in the wrong direction.


apropos user name.  I was reading some fun science fiction comics about fifteen years ago.  I think it was an effort from Marvel to occupy some 2000ad space.  Anyway, the central premise was that a guy figured out how to make an mass acceleration drive for ~$3k USD and in his own garage.  So he wanted to publish the data on the early days inet because he thought the world should have this data.  The feds sent someone to kill him.  After a lengthy discussion between the killer and inventor, the killer did his job.  But after the fact he knew that he agreed with the inventor and uploaded his plans to the new groups anyway and told his bosses he got there too late to stop him.

Fun part.  I think his name was 'Henry Smoot'.  So as humans finally expanded out into the solar system into various habitats and collectives, etc...  humanity owed itself forever to the 'smoot drive'.

/not FTL but was a good story.
/wish I could find it again
 
2013-08-26 10:01:46 AM  

heavymetal: If theer is such technology I would think the release of any specifics would be one of those things that would be harmful to national security.  If NASA has come up with the basics of a warp drive system or some other unknown method of faster than light travel, I would think that the scientist would not be making bold claims about it publicly.  Well unless it is to spread disinformation in order to steer rival nations in the wrong direction.


Moreover, if it had any chance of working even a little bit, why would it even be under NASA?  Anything with that kind of military significance (there's no defense like going back in time before the attack) would be a double-ultra-secret DoD project the moment it appeared plausible.
 
2013-08-26 10:03:07 AM  

t3knomanser: Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?


Been a while since my last physics class, however, I seem to recall that we *know* time travel going forward is possible depending on your reference frame - that is to say that if you departed earth and went for a ride at some significant fraction of c and subsequently returned that more time will have elapsed on earth than for you therefore allowing you to effectively travel forward in time in the reference frame of earth.

For example, if you were to travel for one year at 2/3 c, 1 1/3 year would have passed on earth (meaning you "traveled" forward 4 months). If you travel at 4/5 c, 1 2/3 year will have passed on earth. Traveling at 0.9 c, 2.3 years will have passed on earth. At 0.99 c it would be 7 years.

How to travel at such fractions of c, however, is left as an exercise for the reader.
 
2013-08-26 10:03:17 AM  

t3knomanser: Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?


Who is listening in the direction that Earth will be at?
 
2013-08-26 10:04:56 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: t3knomanser: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

Not really. The very idea was absurd on its face- heavier-than-air-craft occur in nature. While none approach man-sized, it's very clear that it's little more than an engineering challenge. There was no physical limit that prevented heavier-than-air craft. It was a matter of understanding the principles of extant heavier-than-air craft (birds) and scaling them to human scales.

Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?

* Quantum entanglement arguably has an FTL component, but since we don't know of any mechanism for information exchange, I'd hesitate to say that anything actually goes faster than light. Since any communication over quantum effects still requires a causal, light-speed channel, you're still rate limited to the speed of light.

Too complicated.

"I'M STUPID AND DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WORK!!!! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE STAR TREK!!!! WWWWAAAAAARGHGHGHHG!!!!!"

What is it with you Luddites this morning?

I've got my bugout bag ready for when warp drive totally becomes real. Will it be Boeing or Airbus that makes the first warp-capable space liner? Will they use GE or Rolls Royce or Pratt & Whitney warp turbines? Oh I'm so excited!!!!

But they'll still find a way to send your luggage to Alpha Centauri.


You know, I liked it when you slapped down the people who gushed that 3-D printing was about to transform our society into a Star Trek utopia in which everyone will be able to 3-D print holographic HDTVs, custom Real Dolls, and flux capacitors at home for free.

What you're doing now is self-parody.  It IS self-parody, right?  Because I'd like to think of you as better than some sort of TechnoBevets.
 
2013-08-26 10:06:01 AM  
I have a friend who claims that he can build a teleporatation device but never will do it because humanity is not emotionally ready for the transcendence.

/He's serious
//DNRTFA
 
2013-08-26 10:07:24 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Stone Meadow: Has Technobevets weighed in on this yet? I can't form an opinion until I read his.

Even an idiot like you should be able to reach the obvious conclusion here.

Let me help you: no one is going anywhere. How you like that!?

Can you please point to the "technology" here? It's as technological as John Titor's time machine, or Bob Lazar's space drive.

Get real, you idiot.


Oh look, it's Technobevets right on time!

1-media-cdn.foolz.us
 
2013-08-26 10:07:59 AM  

slykens1: I seem to recall that we *know* time travel going forward is possible depending on your reference frame


Heck, I'm doing it right now! That's standard relativistic travel. FTL would allow you to send messages back into the past.

SwiftFox: Because we haven't built one yet and it has been shown they can only work to send back in time to the first date they existed, or after.


Depends on your FTL mechanism, but if you're just going faster than light, that's not really true, no. The right FTL course relative to a non-FTL object allows you to send messages that arrive before your FTL craft left.
 
2013-08-26 10:20:01 AM  
Astronauts huh?

www.forkandsaltshaker.com
 
2013-08-26 10:25:39 AM  
He's only done this once before

/Must bring your own weapons, safety not guaranteed.
 
2013-08-26 10:28:28 AM  
I understand how he feels.  I can't explain how my perpetual motion machine will work, either, and I haven't bothered to build one so I can't show you one in action.

But you should trust me.
 
2013-08-26 10:38:01 AM  
Maybe they've figured out a way to harness dark energy.  From what I reckon, if we can figure out a way to harness DE then we'll have enough juice to go anywhere and quite a quick clip.
Also, if anyone with the knowledge could enlighten me, say you're able to get up to near the speed of light, doesn't your time slow down relative to everything else?  I mean say something is 1 light year away; how long of a trip would that feel to you at near-light speed? Would it be around a year or considerably less? To us here on Earth it would look like a year, but how long would it feel to those actually in the ship?
 
2013-08-26 10:42:58 AM  

DubtodaIll: I mean say something is 1 light year away; how long of a trip would that feel to you at near-light speed? Would it be around a year or considerably less?


If you were traveling at 2.9x10^8m/s, you'd experience about 1/4 of a year.
 
2013-08-26 10:47:00 AM  

t3knomanser: DubtodaIll: I mean say something is 1 light year away; how long of a trip would that feel to you at near-light speed? Would it be around a year or considerably less?

If you were traveling at 2.9x10^8m/s, you'd experience about 1/4 of a year.


So you'd only need 1/4 year of supplies? Boy you'd be SOL if you got a flat tire.
 
2013-08-26 10:50:32 AM  

Stone Meadow: Quantum Apostrophe: Stone Meadow: Has Technobevets weighed in on this yet? I can't form an opinion until I read his.

Even an idiot like you should be able to reach the obvious conclusion here.

Let me help you: no one is going anywhere. How you like that!?

Can you please point to the "technology" here? It's as technological as John Titor's time machine, or Bob Lazar's space drive.

Get real, you idiot.

Oh look, it's Technobevets right on time!

[350x377 from http://1-media-cdn.foolz.us/ffuuka/board/tg/image/1337/72/133772117868 8.jpg image 350x377]


I'm amused by his "I'm rubber, you're glue" use of the word "luddite".
 
2013-08-26 11:01:46 AM  
Well, the engines don't move the ship at all. The ship stays where it is and the engines move the universe around it. It's simple, really.

/Nothing's a complete load! Not if you can imagine it. That's what being a scientist is all about.
 
2013-08-26 11:16:15 AM  

The Irresponsible Captain: Well, the engines don't move the ship at all. The ship stays where it is and the engines move the universe around it. It's simple, really.

/Nothing's a complete load! Not if you can imagine it. That's what being a scientist is all about.


I'm not touching you! Not touching you! The universe is moving and you are touching me!
 
2013-08-26 11:22:54 AM  
A friend worked at NASA when it was cool.  He had a google style interview question that went something like this "We launch rockets off to the East and have then chased by fighter jets who can track the rockets altitude which is also checked by ground radar and rocket telemetry.  They all read the same reading for a while and then the ground radar starts recording higher until the jet's radar is out of range or the telemetry stopped.  Can you explain why?"  They asked that about 100 times until some bright spark said "I think Christopher Columbus had a theory" and then they were enlightened. They had been asking because they didn't know and spent too much time chasing more complex answers which all turned out to be wrong and simple physics explained it all as the rocket went east, it fell down as it was heading away over the horizon.

I do love the introduction to one of Richard Feynman's books where he describes how complex systems like alchemy and pre Kepler orbital models were excessively complex but were the best science had to offer at the time yet were very wrong and then were replaced by much simpler explanations.  He drops the point and then delves into sub-atomic particle physics.
 
2013-08-26 11:25:11 AM  

StoPPeRmobile: Astronauts huh?

[275x367 from http://www.forkandsaltshaker.com/content/wp-content/photos/450pxAstron aut_nowak.jpg image 275x367]


Space madness.
 
2013-08-26 11:38:27 AM  
A few kinks still need to be worked out:

t0.gstatic.com
 
2013-08-26 11:41:12 AM  

SRD: Doesnt a warp drive work differently that light travel? because its not in regular space but inside some type of field it can travel much faster than light? or something like that?


imageshack.us
 
2013-08-26 11:45:46 AM  
Unfortunately that NASA engineer is a total drunk.

i1.ytimg.com
 
2013-08-26 11:51:36 AM  

MayoSlather: I suppose it's possible if he can generate the 1.21 jigawatts necessary for time warp speed. But how would he generate that kind of power?


That would be the easy part. Everyone knows that constructing a working Unobtanium shield generator is the real challenge to deep space travel.
 
2013-08-26 11:54:56 AM  

durbnpoisn: Every has always said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  Yet, the standard Big Bang theory postulates that when the bang occured, the inverse itself went from a particle sized point to something BILLIONS of miles across, in only a few 1000's of a second.
That seems to be a rather large distance to cover at the plodding speed of light.
Is this presumable because the laws of physics as we understand them now, simply didn't exist yet as the universe was initially exapanding?


The current theory seems to be that spacetime expanded significantly faster than the speed of light, meaning that the light from the Big Bang Horrendous Space Kablooie still hasn't caught up to the outer reaches of the universe. IIRC, at least one so-called "warp drive" theory planned on making use of this fact by employing lots of unobtanium and more energy than used by the entire Earth over a decade.
 
2013-08-26 11:59:38 AM  
images3.wikia.nocookie.net

"Son, I am disappoint."
 
2013-08-26 12:01:20 PM  
Well around this time in the Battletech Universe is supposed to be when the theories of the KF drive are developed and mocked until 100 years later...
 
2013-08-26 12:05:05 PM  

47 is the new 42: It's obvious that "working for NASA" is his cover story.  He actually works for the Stargate program!

/ In case you didn't get it, it was a joke and reference to the various Stargate series.


2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-08-26 12:06:18 PM  

Wenchmaster: The current theory seems to be that spacetime expanded significantly faster than the speed of light...,


I figure at some point that will get turned into "c=speed of gravity" and maybe things will start to make more sense even though it is effectively the same now.
 
2013-08-26 12:07:46 PM  

SirGunslinger: Well around this time in the Battletech Universe is supposed to be when the theories of the KF drive are developed and mocked until 100 years later...


i.chzbgr.com
 
2013-08-26 12:12:08 PM  

BafflerMeal: SirGunslinger: Well around this time in the Battletech Universe is supposed to be when the theories of the KF drive are developed and mocked until 100 years later...

[407x405 from https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/6172954624/hEFFE679E/ image 407x405]


lol, yeah well I'll see your Battledroids and raise you:

www.sarna.net
 
2013-08-26 12:12:44 PM  

DjangoStonereaver: [622x460 from http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070503171832/memoryalpha/cs/im ages/f/fb/ZeframCochrane2267.jpg image 622x460]

"Son, I am disappoint."


Old school.  Props.
 
2013-08-26 12:13:22 PM  
Here's my uneducated thought on this:

1. Relativity applies in normal "3D" space. From what I understood of the experiment and the premise, this isn't a drive that's operating in normal 3D space. It's bending spacetime itself (which even Einstein theorized was possible).

2. Calling it BS and or making a statement that you're *certain* it can't be done (I'm looking at you, Quantum Assholetrophe) is tantamount to being certain that evolution can't exist or that God exists.  Science figures out new shiat every day, and all we really know is what we can observe of our surroundings and measure. Is it *unlikely* to exist? Sure, because it would require a huge leap in understanding the nature of the universe, not to mention discovering a bunch of ways to control a phenomenon such as bending spacetime and all that. So far as we know right now, only "dark matter" and black holes can do that, and we haven't been able to measure or observe directly how this is accomplished. Hell we can't even really explain what gravity actually *is* yet, other than a fundamental force of the universe and a byproduct of mass. Is it the effects of the higgs boson and the boson field? Is it some asofyet unobserved property?

I'm not a physicist, so I'm sure Quantum Assholetrophe is going to shiat all over my post, which is fine. However, the idea behind science is that anything is possible until proven otherwise. Otherwise, you're stuck fighting against your own goddamn prejudice and closed-mindedness when looking for new things to study. Telling yourself that it can't possibly exist so why even try is about the most retarded thing ever.

Besides, scientists get paid to study stuff, or this is how it should be. Screw commercializing shiat or having to worry about professional standing, etc. Pick something and study it. Shelve it if you have no way to measure or observe it and come back when the technology is better. We can't advance unless we actually try new shiat, can we?
 
2013-08-26 12:18:04 PM  

Kit Fister: However, the idea behind science is that anything is possible until proven otherwise.


I would step in and argue just for a sec, that science is really about proving what is and can be shown to be.  Otherwise the logical extension of your argument is that flying unicorns are possible until one can prove a negative.
 
2013-08-26 12:26:22 PM  

Pelvic Splanchnic Ganglion: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

True, but the people claiming to have invented a way to do it never said "Oh, sure, it totally works, but I can't reveal anything about it or prove it in any way."  The issue is not necessarily with his claim, it's his refusal to back it up that makes him a loon.  It's the same thing with any snake oil salesman who claims to have a perpetual motion engine that runs on magnets or a motor that runs on water.


You are aware of the extreme secrecy surrounding the development of heavier than air flight?  Right?

As in multiple parties were trying to get to it first, and each one protected what they were working on?

You remember that from your study of the history of flight, right?

And how each party also tried to advertise themselves even before they were successful?

Suuuuure you remembered.
 
2013-08-26 12:31:59 PM  

buckler: Stone Meadow: Quantum Apostrophe: Stone Meadow: Has Technobevets weighed in on this yet? I can't form an opinion until I read his.

Even an idiot like you should be able to reach the obvious conclusion here.

Let me help you: no one is going anywhere. How you like that!?

Can you please point to the "technology" here? It's as technological as John Titor's time machine, or Bob Lazar's space drive.

Get real, you idiot.

Oh look, it's Technobevets right on time!

[350x377 from http://1-media-cdn.foolz.us/ffuuka/board/tg/image/1337/72/133772117868 8.jpg image 350x377]

I'm amused by his "I'm rubber, you're glue" use of the word "luddite".


You know, at first I thought QA's anti-3d printing rants were just a shtick. As time and rants have gone by, however, I have become convinced he's serious...that he's not merely trolling and then laughing at all the rises he gets. And like the kid in the photo, QA is incapable of either appreciating other people's interests or differentiating between wistful cheerleading and appreciation for a developing technology on the one hand, and a lack of understanding of the complexities involved on the other. Hence his repeated hyperbole that 3d printing fans think a Star Trek replicator will be on store shelves by next year, when of course no one is suggesting anything of the sort.

For me, the irony is that QA and I used to argue on the same side of space flight threads...that prolonged human flight (say, beyond a quick trip to Mars) was a practical impossibility due to human physiology's need for gravity, radiation shielding, the mass-energy problem and a host of other challenges. Bottom line? QA is either the cleverest troll on Fark by a long way, or he's just a dweeb ranting on the internet. I'm now convinced it's the latter.
 
2013-08-26 12:35:41 PM  
Wow.  I've been away for a few years... you'd have thought Quantum_Apostrophe would have gotten bored of finding non-life-extension-nutter threads to shiat on in fear that his personal pet imaginary technology would lose money to someone else's.
 
2013-08-26 12:45:49 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Wow.  I've been away for a few years... you'd have thought Quantum_Apostrophe would have gotten bored of finding non-life-extension-nutter threads to shiat on in fear that his personal pet imaginary technology would lose money to someone else's.


Hey, I found a Cracked article that was posted on Fark, titled "4 Douches Who Amazingly Don't Seem to Know They Suck", unfortunately I think Cracked's writer totally forgot one, that should of been 5 Douches in that article.
 
2013-08-26 12:55:48 PM  

t3knomanser: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

Not really. The very idea was absurd on its face- heavier-than-air-craft occur in nature. While none approach man-sized, it's very clear that it's little more than an engineering challenge. There was no physical limit that prevented heavier-than-air craft. It was a matter of understanding the principles of extant heavier-than-air craft (birds) and scaling them to human scales.

Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?

* Quantum entanglement arguably has an FTL component, but since we don't know of any mechanism for information exchange, I'd hesitate to say that anything actually goes faster than light. Since any communication over quantum effects still requires a causal, light-speed channel, you're still rate limited to the speed of light.


Because they arent talking about actually moving at ftl speeds...they are folding space, thereby making the two points closer...so that in a relative aspect one is covering the distance at ftl speed without exceeding it.

Still just as unlikely to happen, but technicalities and all...
 
2013-08-26 12:59:49 PM  

SRD: Doesnt a warp drive work differently that light travel? because its not in regular space but inside some type of field it can travel much faster than light? or something like that?


In ST, the "warp field" protects the ship as the fabric of space-time is bent around it to create something called "subspace".

Think of it like a bell curve. Two points on the line..if you traveled UNDER the line in a straight point, the area under the curve would be sub-space, whereas the line of the bell curve itself would be normal space/time.
 
2013-08-26 01:00:21 PM  

Kit Fister: However, the idea behind science is that anything is possible until proven otherwise.


No.  That is definitely not science.

Science involves observation and measurement of natural phenomena, formulation of hypotheses to explain them, and experimentation to falsify or verify hypotheses.

What you are describing is more akin to Creation science.  You can't prove it's false, therefore it's true!

And anyway, Quantum Apostrophe's shtick is based upon the practical limits of technology (applied science) rather than science itself.

Every home could be powered by its own fission reactor right now.  But we don't actually do it, because it is impractical.  You could have a CNC lathe in your garage right now and turn out whatever the hell you want on it, but you don't, because it's cheaper, more efficient, and better to buy parts manufactured by professionals in a shop set up to do that kind of work.

It used to be impractical to have a home photovoltaic array.  The technology has improved, and now it makes economic sense for many people to do it.
 
2013-08-26 01:03:47 PM  

t3knomanser: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

Not really. The very idea was absurd on its face- heavier-than-air-craft occur in nature. While none approach man-sized, it's very clear that it's little more than an engineering challenge. There was no physical limit that prevented heavier-than-air craft. It was a matter of understanding the principles of extant heavier-than-air craft (birds) and scaling them to human scales.

Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?

* Quantum entanglement arguably has an FTL component, but since we don't know of any mechanism for information exchange, I'd hesitate to say that anything actually goes faster than light. Since any communication over quantum effects still requires a causal, light-speed channel, you're still rate limited to the speed of light.


Common misconception.  The current scientifically accurate answer is "No INFORMATION travels faster than light".
 
2013-08-26 01:04:56 PM  
Ok so start it up.
 
2013-08-26 01:05:09 PM  
And frankly i am disappointed that the fark nerds are just realizing that this isnt really a new theory.

Star Trek was based on actual theoretical principles....which is why it was/is so cool.

Shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If you could bend space itself into a curve, and draw a line UNDER it to your destination, you have just exceeded the speed of light from a relativistic point of view...without actually travelling faster than light.
 
2013-08-26 01:06:00 PM  

Kit Fister: 1. Relativity applies in normal "3D" space. From what I understood of the experiment and the premise, this isn't a drive that's operating in normal 3D space. It's bending spacetime itself (which even Einstein theorized was possible).


Relativity applies to 4D spacetime. This is an important distinction, because that's why FTL == time travel (and why time dilation happens). Second, this drive is an implication  of relativity- it depends on relativity to work. The thing that makes the drive implausible is that it also requires negative energy to work. We don't even know what that means.

As a side note, one of the other problems with this particular sort of drive is that once you get started, you can't stop. Which brings us to...

The more you eat the more you fart: ...they are folding space, thereby making the two points closer.


No. This is based on the Alcubierre drive. This wraps the ship in a bubble of spacetime. The bubble can move faster than light, and the stuff inside the bubble gets dragged along for the ride. There's no local relativity violation, as the ship's reference frame is contained entirely within the bubble, and any external reference frame can't see past the bubble. But the instant the bubble "pops", the ship has performed a translation which exceeds the speed of light.

What you're describing is a wormhole, which isn't actually FTL travel (but still has many of the same problems). By connecting two points in spacetime by warping space itself, you can take a "shortcut" in a higher dimension. Unfortunately, the only way you can generate that kind of warp in spacetime is by building a black hole, which poses serious challenge to practicality.
 
2013-08-26 01:06:38 PM  

BafflerMeal: Kit Fister: However, the idea behind science is that anything is possible until proven otherwise.

I would step in and argue just for a sec, that science is really about proving what is and can be shown to be.  Otherwise the logical extension of your argument is that flying unicorns are possible until one can prove a negative.


I would add ithat it does not rule out the possiblilty that said unicorns do not exist, however they have not been observed, nor do they exist under current models. They could, if there is something that we didn't know about in our current model of the universe, or in the definition of "flying unicorn"
 
2013-08-26 01:09:15 PM  

BafflerMeal: I would step in and argue just for a sec, that science is really about proving what is and can be shown to be. Otherwise the logical extension of your argument is that flying unicorns are possible until one can prove a negative.


Right, and what exactly makes them impossible?  No such animal exists, or has existed, here on Earth, true. The chances of such a mutation or creature on this planet are very low. However, seriously, until you can absolutely rule it out, then it remains possible, however unlikely.  Your argument essentially reduces science to a level of only confirming the natural world, and doesn't seem to offer any ability to extend our understanding of the natural world to that which we cannot yet witness because we can't measure it. After all, Einstein had no way to directly prove his theories about general relativity when he came up with them, he only had the math and predictions, which we could later test when our ability to observe and measure was improved.

I would argue that science has to be a framework by which we categorize the what is from the what's possible, and likewise give ourselves the ability to figure out where we lack knowledge between the "Should be possible" and the "is possible".

Further, i would be willing to bet you that though a flying unicorn does not yet exist in nature, with the right combination of genetics and circumstances, one could be produced.
 
2013-08-26 01:17:15 PM  

Parthenogenetic: Kit Fister: However, the idea behind science is that anything is possible until proven otherwise.

No.  That is definitely not science.

Science involves observation and measurement of natural phenomena, formulation of hypotheses to explain them, and experimentation to falsify or verify hypotheses.

What you are describing is more akin to Creation science.  You can't prove it's false, therefore it's true!

And anyway, Quantum Apostrophe's shtick is based upon the practical limits of technology (applied science) rather than science itself.

Every home could be powered by its own fission reactor right now.  But we don't actually do it, because it is impractical.  You could have a CNC lathe in your garage right now and turn out whatever the hell you want on it, but you don't, because it's cheaper, more efficient, and better to buy parts manufactured by professionals in a shop set up to do that kind of work.

It used to be impractical to have a home photovoltaic array.  The technology has improved, and now it makes economic sense for many people to do it.


Really? I would argue otherwise. Yes, I agree with you, however there have been several theories which were predicted by math or some other quirk and later proved to be true without a directly observable phenomenon, to my knowledge.

So, perhaps we should posit that science is the mechanism by which we interpret nature and explain what we observe. this, of course, then suggests that science is limited to the range of our ability to observe, which brings us back to my poorly worded premise: the lack of observability does not negate the existence, merely defines a lack of our current abilities to observe, and thus science should not be used as a hard limitation to the possibility of existence, only as a soft limitation based on the range of liklihood to exist.

For now, we don't have a way to make this drive. We don't have a way to observe the interior of a wormhole or black hole, we have no way to create same, and so on, thus making such travel extremely unlikely. Not impossible, we just haven't found a mechanism and technology that gets us there yet.

I think it's going to take a lot of work and a great deal more understanding of gravity, spacetime, and the way the universe works in general for us to figure that out, and specifically rule something out.
 
2013-08-26 01:19:44 PM  

Kit Fister: After all, Einstein had no way to directly prove his theories about general relativity when he came up with them, he only had the math and predictions, which we could later test when our ability to observe and measure was improved.


The difficulty in proving relativity had nothing to do with "our ability to observe and measure", and everything to do with waiting for a convenient eclipse, and getting the observation team into the right place in time to witness it. One of the most important reasons why relativity was rapidly accepted was because we instantly had a clear and well understood way to test its predictions, and we only needed to wait for the proper conditions to observe it.

There were many  more predictions of relativity which required advances in experimental procedures, but people were testing the theoryfrom nearly the  instant it was published.

Kit Fister: Further, i would be willing to bet you that though a flying unicorn does not yet exist in nature, with the right combination of genetics and circumstances, one could be produced.


No, it couldn't. First off, the definition of a unicorn is that it is a magical creature. Since magic isn't real, you could not produce a unicorn. You could produce a horned horse with wings, but that wouldn't be a unicorn. A horned horse with wings would not be able to fly, because the horse body-shape is not suited to flying. You could alter the body shape, change the bone structure, and do a variety of different things to make such a large creature capable of flight (well, gliding, anyway), but by the time you're done, it won't look anything like a horse. You could create a technological solution to make flying, horned, horses, but they would still not be  unicorns,any more than Irish midgets are leprechauns.
 
2013-08-26 01:22:00 PM  

Kit Fister: : the lack of observability does not negate the existence


If something has no observable effects, for all practical purposes, it does not exist. Most of our theoretical constructs exist to  explain observed effects.

Observation: the particles in the standard model have mass.
Hypothesis: This mass is generated by the Higgs Field, and the field is mediated by a Boson.
Test: the LHC

That's science. Observe. Hypothesize. Test. Rinse. Repeat.

The number of things which  could be true is infinite. The number of things which are true is much more constrained.
 
2013-08-26 01:22:37 PM  

Pelvic Splanchnic Ganglion: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

True, but the people claiming to have invented a way to do it never said "Oh, sure, it totally works, but I can't reveal anything about it or prove it in any way."  The issue is not necessarily with his claim, it's his refusal to back it up that makes him a loon.  It's the same thing with any snake oil salesman who claims to have a perpetual motion engine that runs on magnets or a motor that runs on water.


So unlike the CoolChips guys that had Boeing test their stuff, and claim they need $15M to perfect it (they get low yield--it works, but it's like... 1% of the surface works, the rest is mismanufactured), and Boeing says yeah it works?

Because Virgin Galactic hasn't taken the drive for a spin and gone, "Yeah, it works, can't wait to use this for our 6 hour express trips to MarsCol 1."
 
2013-08-26 01:24:23 PM  

Egoy3k: durbnpoisn: t3knomanser: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

Not really. The very idea was absurd on its face- heavier-than-air-craft occur in nature. While none approach man-sized, it's very clear that it's little more than an engineering challenge. There was no physical limit that prevented heavier-than-air craft. It was a matter of understanding the principles of extant heavier-than-air craft (birds) and scaling them to human scales.

Nothing travels faster than light*. When we find an existing FTL particle, then we can start talking about scaling it up to human beings. As it stands now, there's no reason to even discuss FTL in a serious way. Further, since FTL also allows time travel, it raises the next question: why aren't we receiving signals from our future selves?

* Quantum entanglement arguably has an FTL component, but since we don't know of any mechanism for information exchange, I'd hesitate to say that anything actually goes faster than light. Since any communication over quantum effects still requires a causal, light-speed channel, you're still rate limited to the speed of light.

I'm going to sound really silly asking this...  But since you mentioned the whole speed of light thing, I think this is a good time.

Every has always said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  Yet, the standard Big Bang theory postulates that when the bang occured, the inverse itself went from a particle sized point to something BILLIONS of miles across, in only a few 1000's of a second.
That seems to be a rather large distance to cover at the plodding speed of light.
Is this presumable because the laws of physics as we understand them now, simply didn't exist yet as the universe was initially exapanding?

Nothing was traveling through space faster than light, space was expanding faster than light.


Which is the same kind of principle with the warp drive: space can be warped so that an object can be somewhere else in less time than it would take for light to travel the same distance through space.
 
2013-08-26 01:33:34 PM  
Quantum Apostrophe:

"I WAS PROMISED STUFF BY SCI-FI AND IT'S LIKE TOTALLY GONNA HAPPEN BECAUSE WHEEEEEE! AND COMPUTERS GOT BETTER!!!!!"

"I AM AFRAID TO DIE BUT SOMEONE TOLD ME I WON'T HAVE TO BECASE WE CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO STOP THE NATURAL AGING PROCESS BECAUSE ATOMS AND STUFF!  YAY!!!"
 
2013-08-26 01:40:19 PM  
I understand why he can't explain it. If he did, he would have to kill us all. That would be a monumental and very time consuming task. He just doesn't have the time for that nonsense.
 
2013-08-26 01:42:52 PM  
RubberBabyBuggyBumpers


Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.

Citation please.

Do you also believe the "bumble bees can't fly" and "Columbus proved the Earth was round " myths?

/ we had seen birds even before the Wright brothers. Heavier than air flight was well known.
 
2013-08-26 01:46:05 PM  

OnlyM3: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers


Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.
Citation please.

Do you also believe the "bumble bees can't fly" and "Columbus proved the Earth was round " myths?

/ we had seen birds even before the Wright brothers. Heavier than air flight was well known.


Yup. The biggest mistake for the longest time was in thinking that flight was based on wings flapping, not wing shape.
 
2013-08-26 01:59:36 PM  
No possible. I just tried building one over the weekend, and if I can't build one, no one can.
 
2013-08-26 02:03:47 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Wow.  I've been away for a few years... you'd have thought Quantum_Apostrophe would have gotten bored of finding non-life-extension-nutter threads to shiat on in fear that his personal pet imaginary technology would lose money to someone else's.


I have him marked in Urine Yellow for what he does to threads.
 
2013-08-26 02:05:34 PM  

OnlyM3: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers


Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.
Citation please.

Do you also believe the "bumble bees can't fly" and "Columbus proved the Earth was round " myths?

/ we had seen birds even before the Wright brothers. Heavier than air flight was well known.


Nobody thought we could make an artificial power source light enough to lift itself.

Basically, we thought we lacked the intelligence to duplicate nature.

At the time, we were damn close to right.
 
2013-08-26 02:08:12 PM  

Kit Fister: So, perhaps we should posit that science is the mechanism by which we interpret nature and explain what we observe. this, of course, then suggests that science is limited to the range of our ability to observe, which brings us back to my poorly worded premise: the lack of observability does not negate the existence, merely defines a lack of our current abilities to observe, and thus science should not be used as a hard limitation to the possibility of existence, only as a soft limitation based on the range of liklihood to exist.


Fair enough.  "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".
 
2013-08-26 02:11:59 PM  

Unsung_Hero: OnlyM3: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers


Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.
Citation please.

Do you also believe the "bumble bees can't fly" and "Columbus proved the Earth was round " myths?

/ we had seen birds even before the Wright brothers. Heavier than air flight was well known.

Nobody thought we could make an artificial power source light enough to lift itself.

Basically, we thought we lacked the intelligence to duplicate nature.

At the time, we were damn close to right.



What time was that?  What year are you using for reference?
 
2013-08-26 02:23:27 PM  
Pretty sure if he actually did come up with the technology, he would have been beset upon by several government agencies, some of which may "not officially exist," and given a stiff warning that cluing in anyone on how it works would be akin to treason and likely to cause a life shortening event. FTL travel would put the US at such a massively distinct advantage that it would make cold fusion seem like a tinker toy.

That said, I remain skeptical. That's a lot of physics to be worked out and peer review that needs to be performed.
 
2013-08-26 02:31:35 PM  

t3knomanser: Kit Fister: : the lack of observability does not negate the existence

If something has no observable effects, for all practical purposes, it does not exist. Most of our theoretical constructs exist to  explain observed effects.

Observation: the particles in the standard model have mass.
Hypothesis: This mass is generated by the Higgs Field, and the field is mediated by a Boson.
Test: the LHC

That's science. Observe. Hypothesize. Test. Rinse. Repeat.

The number of things which  could be true is infinite. The number of things which are true is much more constrained.


Right, but again, that premise is necessarily limited by our ability to observe, whether directly or indirectly.  Human perception is necessarily limited, and our technology is based on our ability to develop new ways of enhancing our ability to observe. Therefore, again, it's foolish to use science as a hard stop on whether or not something is *possible* or not, only a soft stop based on probability and our ability to observe it.  The neat thing that I have found in reading a lot of science articles is that as my understanding grows, my perception of what I observe and therefore conceive of as possible changes. And likewise, as we grow more able to observe and study phenomena, we are better able to model and revise our understanding of what's happening.   I still wonder why atoms require 8 electrons in the outer valence and not 10 or 20 or 99 or sqrt of -1, and wonder why time dilates with speed rather than simply staying the same independent of frame of reference, and so on. But, I'm sure that as I get more sophisticated, I'll get a better understanding of it.
 
2013-08-26 02:35:21 PM  

scubamage: Pretty sure if he actually did come up with the technology, he would have been beset upon by several government agencies, some of which may "not officially exist," and given a stiff warning that cluing in anyone on how it works would be akin to treason and likely to cause a life shortening event. FTL travel would put the US at such a massively distinct advantage that it would make cold fusion seem like a tinker toy.

That said, I remain skeptical. That's a lot of physics to be worked out and peer review that needs to be performed.


I seriously doubt the US government would see it that way.  Frankly, I don't even see it that way, and I'm a strong supporter of further space exploration.

FTL capable of reaching nearby star systems in reasonable time frames does very little for any government on earth, however a system that would work "in system" (IE: inter planetary drive) would be a serious boon, for some industrial conglomerate or another.  Again, not a strategic asset really.  There remain a number of very serious problems with any sort of colonization effort, and from a government point of view, it's actually cheaper to fight wars on earth than it is to bring assets in from space.  (at least until someone does it, and that changes everything, but no one has even so much as tried yet)
 
2013-08-26 02:37:58 PM  

scubamage: Pretty sure if he actually did come up with the technology, he would have been beset upon by several government agencies, some of which may "not officially exist," and given a stiff warning that cluing in anyone on how it works would be akin to treason and likely to cause a life shortening event. FTL travel would put the US at such a massively distinct advantage that it would make cold fusion seem like a tinker toy.

That said, I remain skeptical. That's a lot of physics to be worked out and peer review that needs to be performed.


Fusion is another topic i find fascinating. I would think that for us to create sustained fusion that created more energy than it consumed, it would have to be done on a large enough threshold that the combined mass/density would create a strong enough gravitational pull to overcome the forces repelling atoms without requiring lasers or magnetic fields to forcibly push the atoms together until fusion occurs, or at least some way to efficiently jump-start a fusion reaction in such a way that it could then generate some factor greater than it's initial input energy and thus be self sustaining and still produce power to do work.
 
2013-08-26 02:47:04 PM  

Kahabut: scubamage: Pretty sure if he actually did come up with the technology, he would have been beset upon by several government agencies, some of which may "not officially exist," and given a stiff warning that cluing in anyone on how it works would be akin to treason and likely to cause a life shortening event. FTL travel would put the US at such a massively distinct advantage that it would make cold fusion seem like a tinker toy.

That said, I remain skeptical. That's a lot of physics to be worked out and peer review that needs to be performed.

I seriously doubt the US government would see it that way.  Frankly, I don't even see it that way, and I'm a strong supporter of further space exploration.

FTL capable of reaching nearby star systems in reasonable time frames does very little for any government on earth, however a system that would work "in system" (IE: inter planetary drive) would be a serious boon, for some industrial conglomerate or another.  Again, not a strategic asset really.  There remain a number of very serious problems with any sort of colonization effort, and from a government point of view, it's actually cheaper to fight wars on earth than it is to bring assets in from space.  (at least until someone does it, and that changes everything, but no one has even so much as tried yet)


You have to remember, this is the government that held a recipe for invisible ink as top secret for nearly 70 years. Just because it isn't really strategic, doesn't mean they don't want the veil of secrecy.
 
2013-08-26 02:58:45 PM  
He also has proof that 9/11 was an inside job, done with the assistance of aliens that are held prisoner at Area 51.
 
2013-08-26 03:07:23 PM  
and no one will ever need more thank 640k RAM.
 
2013-08-26 03:08:30 PM  
scubamage: Pretty sure if he actually did come up with the technology, he would have been beset upon by several government agencies, some of which may "not officially exist," and given a stiff warning that cluing in anyone on how it works would be akin to treason and likely to cause a life shortening event. FTL travel would put the US at such a massively distinct advantage that it would make cold fusion seem like a tinker toy.

OTOH, it could be just a massive troll job against the Chinese, sort of like St Ronnie pulled against the Ruskies back in the 80's with the "Star Wars" program.

Step 1: Announce fundamental breakthrough and propose massive spending binge to develop FTL drive "within 20 years".

Step 2: Get Chinese to spend themselves into bankruptcy in a massive "Snipe Hunt".

Step 3: Profit.
 
2013-08-26 03:33:38 PM  

Priapetic: He's only done this once before

/Must bring your own weapons, safety not guaranteed.


Hey, don't laugh, that guy made it!  Why he picked that time period to go back to, who knows.

i257.photobucket.com
 
2013-08-26 03:45:08 PM  

scubamage: You have to remember, this is the government that held a recipe for invisible ink as top secret for nearly 70 years. Just because it isn't really strategic, doesn't mean they don't want the veil of secrecy.


You make a good point.
 
2013-08-26 04:14:19 PM  

RubberBabyBuggyBumpers: Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.


I travel faster than the speed of light all the time, just like I do the speed of sound.
 
2013-08-26 04:44:00 PM  

Fark Griswald: durbnpoisn: I'm going to sound really silly asking this...  But since you mentioned the whole speed of light thing, I think this is a good time.

Every has always said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  Yet, the standard Big Bang theory postulates that when the bang occured, the inverse itself went from a particle sized point to something BILLIONS of miles across, in only a few 1000's of a second.
That seems to be a rather large distance to cover at the plodding speed of light.
Is this presumable because the laws of physics as we understand them now, simply didn't exist yet as the universe was initially exapanding?

Ok let me try this one.  If I understand correctly the expansion of the universe itself is not held to the speed of light.  Objects within the universe are limited to the speed of light but the actual fabric of space-time is not.


Kinda sounds like a proof of warp-bubble tech, doesn't it?
 
2013-08-26 05:00:03 PM  

BafflerMeal: Kit Fister: However, the idea behind science is that anything is possible until proven otherwise.

I would step in and argue just for a sec, that science is really about proving what is and can be shown to be.  Otherwise the logical extension of your argument is that flying unicorns are possible until one can prove a negative.


Somewhere, deep in Monsanto's GMO R&D division, a team of researchers rub their hands while crazy laughter fills the air.
 
2013-08-26 06:12:39 PM  
This sounds just like Joseph Smith with those golden tablets to me.  I wonder if this scientist guy can an least keep his "facts" consistent.
 
2013-08-26 06:35:14 PM  
   from this NASA PDF file: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110023492_2011 0 24705.pdf

How does a Q-thruster work? A Q-thruster uses the same principles and equations of motion that a conventional plasma thruster would use, namely Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), to predict propellant behavior. The virtual plasma is exposed to a crossed E and B-field which induces a plasma drift of the entire plasma in the ExB direction which is orthogonal to the applied fields. The difference arises in the fact that a Q-thruster uses quantum vacuum fluctuations as the fuel source eliminating the need to carry propellant. This suggests much higher specific impulses are available for QVPT systems limited only by their power supply's energy storage densities. Historical test results have yielded thrust levels of between 1000-4000 micro-Newtons, specific force performance of 0.1N/kW, and an equivalent specific impulse of ~1x1012 seconds. Figure 4 shows a test article and the thrust trace from a 500g load cell [8].
Figure 4: 2005 test article construction and results
The near term focus of the laboratory work is focused on gathering performance data to support development of a Q-thruster engineering prototype targeting Reaction Control System (RCS) applications with force range of 0.1-1 N with corresponding input power range of 0.3-3 kW. Up first will be testing of a refurbished test article to duplicate historical performance on the high fidelity torsion pendulum (1-4 mN at 10-40 W). The team is maintaining a dialogue with the ISS national labs office for an on orbit DTO.
How would Q-thrusters revolutionize human exploration of the outer planets? Making minimal extrapolation of performance, assessments show that delivery of a 50 mT payload to Jovian orbit can be accomplished in 35 days with a 2 MW power source [specific force of thruster (N/kW) is based on potential measured thrust performance in lab, propulsion mass (Q-thrusters) would be additional 20 mT (10 kg/kW), and associate power system would be 20 mT (10 kg/kW)]. Q-thruster performance allows the use of nuclear reactor technology that would not require MHD conversion or other more complicated schemes to accomplish single digit specific mass performance usually required for standard electric propulsion systems to the outer solar system. In 70 days, the same system could reach the orbit of Saturn. Figure 5 illustrates the performance capabilities of this advanced propulsion concept for transforming outer solar system exploration (delta-v's come from [9]).
Using 4000 micro-Newton for 10W effective power input, graphic uses Dr. McNutt's outer planet human mission delta-v's to establish approximations for trip time.
Power and propulsion specific mass are static at 10 kg/kW.
Full analysis should be done to improve fidelity of results, but this provides early insight into capability.
Neptune trajectory
Figure 5: Q-thruster performance for outer solar system exploration
 
2013-08-26 07:28:57 PM  

washington-babylon: Fark Griswald: durbnpoisn: I'm going to sound really silly asking this...  But since you mentioned the whole speed of light thing, I think this is a good time.

Every has always said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  Yet, the standard Big Bang theory postulates that when the bang occured, the inverse itself went from a particle sized point to something BILLIONS of miles across, in only a few 1000's of a second.
That seems to be a rather large distance to cover at the plodding speed of light.
Is this presumable because the laws of physics as we understand them now, simply didn't exist yet as the universe was initially exapanding?

Ok let me try this one.  If I understand correctly the expansion of the universe itself is not held to the speed of light.  Objects within the universe are limited to the speed of light but the actual fabric of space-time is not.

Kinda sounds like a proof of warp-bubble tech, doesn't it?


hmmm, well, perhaps everything in our observable universe that exists with mass and adheres to the rules of our 4D reality are merely objects that occupy a particular wavelength/waveform in the universe, and the medium in which this wavelength travels is itself bound by completely separate rules, such that it is affected by the modulation of the waveform of our reality as well as others, while we cannot observe beyond our own waveform?

/reaching into the shiny chasm for that one
 
2013-08-26 09:09:31 PM  
I could have sworn the first warp drive isn't due to be invented by Mr Cochrane until April, 2063. Isn't that correct?

/No, I'm not looking it up to make sure. Not  thatmuch of a nerd!
 
2013-08-26 10:02:02 PM  

minoridiot: I bet if you hit a rock at that speed you'll need to replace the whole windshield.


Doesn't even take a rock. Before the shuttle Challenger was lost, on a previous mission it hit a 1mm fleck of paint in orbit that cracked the windshield.

Hit a rock at warp and you'll need new underwear, but only for a short while.
 
2013-08-26 10:10:31 PM  
img42.imageshack.us

"And if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon."
 
2013-08-26 10:14:14 PM  
"Aye, my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon."

/oops!
//so much for having that commited to memory.
 
2013-08-27 01:31:43 AM  

Kahabut: scubamage: Pretty sure if he actually did come up with the technology, he would have been beset upon by several government agencies, some of which may "not officially exist," and given a stiff warning that cluing in anyone on how it works would be akin to treason and likely to cause a life shortening event. FTL travel would put the US at such a massively distinct advantage that it would make cold fusion seem like a tinker toy.

That said, I remain skeptical. That's a lot of physics to be worked out and peer review that needs to be performed.

I seriously doubt the US government would see it that way.  Frankly, I don't even see it that way, and I'm a strong supporter of further space exploration.

FTL capable of reaching nearby star systems in reasonable time frames does very little for any government on earth, however a system that would work "in system" (IE: inter planetary drive) would be a serious boon, for some industrial conglomerate or another.  Again, not a strategic asset really.  There remain a number of very serious problems with any sort of colonization effort, and from a government point of view, it's actually cheaper to fight wars on earth than it is to bring assets in from space.  (at least until someone does it, and that changes everything, but no one has even so much as tried yet)


If for absolutely no other reason, they would want to keep weapons designs secret. Any FTL drive is a weapon of mass destruction. Any FTL drive good enough to bother building is a planet-busting superweapon.
 
2013-08-27 02:58:51 AM  
Yeah. I'll tell you the exotic particle that has negative mass. It's called spacetime. Other particles push against it (mass) and it goes towards them. Negative inertia. Gravity.

Woooooo! nananananana time cube, time cube. Although in this case, I'm right, and what I said is true. :D
 
2013-08-27 07:03:57 AM  
Unsung_Hero
2013-08-26 02:05:34 PM


OnlyM3: RubberBabyBuggyBumpers


Nobody thought humans could fly in a heavier-than-air craft, either. The science of the day was very certain of this.
Citation please.

Do you also believe the "bumble bees can't fly" and "Columbus proved the Earth was round " myths?

/ we had seen birds even before the Wright brothers. Heavier than air flight was well known.

Nobody thought we could make an artificial power source light enough to lift itself.

Basically, we thought we lacked the intelligence to duplicate nature.

At the time, we were damn close to right.

Those aren't citations, those are further quoting of a myth.

Years, direct quotes from real scientist are citations. What you're doing is just saying "uhh huhh". Google's free. Show us why you believe this myth you're attempting to support.
 
2013-08-27 04:17:12 PM  
came for futurama quote... disappoint, so leave my own...

Cubert Farnsworth: I understand how the engines work now. It came to me in a dream. The engines don't move the ship at all. The ship stays where it is, and the engines move the universe around it.
Bender: That's a complete load!
Cubert Farnsworth: Nothing's a complete load! Not if you can imagine it. That's what being a scientist is all about.
 
2013-08-27 06:00:09 PM  

JMan245: came for futurama quote... disappoint, so leave my own...


Ctrl-F for "engines move" would have narrowed this down for you.
 
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