Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th May 2009 22:24 UTC
Today, the new Star Trek film has seen its official premiere here in The Netherlands tonight, and in honour of that, I figured an article on Space.com about the possibility of faster-than-light travel would make a good fit on OSNews. The article is quite technical, so bear with me on this one. I hope I get everything right.
Thread beginning with comment 362402
I love this topic...
by looncraz on Fri 8th May 2009 07:06 UTC

Member since:
2005-07-24

Seriously.. I L-O-V-E this topic...

First, to determine if you have faster than light travel, you must determine how to define that speed. Yes, we have a mph figure - but what about perspective?

If I defined faster-than-light (FTL) travel as based upon the perspective of the immobile starting point - outside the space bubble - then FTL *IS* possible [theoretically / mathematically].

If I were to define this as propelling matter in space to FTL speeds, then no - it is not possible.

Another item which must be understood is time dilation. In the space-bubble scenario time is being moved with the space which contains the vessel - there would be no time dilation from any perspective.

In the second case, there would be a time dilation for those traveling. The closer you get to the speed of light, the closer you are to the speed of time itself - so time, relative to the origin, has slowed ( time being the delta between speed of travel and the speed of time itself - which will almost always be the speed of light ). So you feel like you 'flew' for 8 weeks, but your grand children are starting retirement.

-

Remember: when you move a space & time bubble you will also displace the space and time around that bubble - though it will be nearly impossible to notice if you're in that altered space/time.

Also, I don't think space-time itself is compressed around the bubble, it is merely a displacement. There is a 'hole' at the origin, a 'bubble' at the destination, and 'bump' on the route. Our concerns would rest with the origin and the destination displacements, though it should be possible to setup 'swaps' so that travel is accomplished via two origins simultaneously.

In this manner we may well be able to 'fly' right through a planet with no concerns what-so-ever beyond suddenly, accidentally, exiting or collapsing the bubble.

Of course, our speed - from our perspective on the ship - would be 0. You don't need to move within the space you are moving, though you may want to get your rockets online to travel the final jaunt from your destination point. I still think looking outward would look something like how it appears on Star Trek, but I haven't really put much thought into that.

Oh well, I need to watch something while I wait for the Windows 7 RC to finish downloading...

--The loon

EDIT: how do I *ALWAYS* type the wrong word somewhere and NOT catch it when I preview??

Edited 2009-05-08 07:12 UTC