Thursday, September 20, 2012

Warp. Drive. TESTING!!!

Exciting news from the nerd frontier, NASA is doing experiments to prove the Alcubierre Warp Bubble is physically possible.

Enter NASA scientist Harold "Sonny" White, who recently announced, quietly, that not only does he think he's solved the mathematical problems, but they're already working on creating a test "warp bubble."

The work is pretty astonishing, and highly technical. The math is sadly beyond the comprehension of this mere scribbler. But the practical meaning is hard to ignore. White and his team continued to work with Alcubierre's formula, and discovered that by making two small changes, it would be possible to accelerate a spaceship to 10 times the speed of light using only about a metric ton of exotic matter. A ton of exotic matter is still a lot, since we don't know how to build it, or where to find any. But at the very least, it brings Alcubierre's formula into the realm of the possible. If only someone can find a way to make it happen.

And White is doing exactly that. He and his team have built a small device at NASA's headquarters in Houston. With it, they intend to use laser beams to try and create tiny — indescribably tiny — warp bubbles. If successful — and White seems optimistic — it would prove that the theory of faster-than-light travel is sound, and requires only the engineering breakthroughs required to enable it.

They're testing a frickin' warp drive in Texas. For real. Oh. My. Here's hoping it doesn't make a "noise" when they test it, and we don't end up with Klingon battle cruisers de-cloaking in orbit..

Interesting times, my friends.

The Phantom

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