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what is belief?

 
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Martin Vajsar wrote:When experiments prove existing theories, they are fruitless...


And, I fear, we're moving in ever-decreasing circles (interesting though they all are).

As I recall, the post that started this "secondary" was Campbell's contention that "Belief without evidence becomes irrational", and my counter that, in the absence of greater knowledge, the word "irrational" (which has been used many times in history - and not often favourably - to mean "not the norm") needs to be used very carefully.

And I'll go further. Science (or technology) is the "religion" of the 21st century. It is the arbiter against which all things are now argued and measured; and if it doesn't compute, it is simply dismissed. 'Royal Society' in action?

Maybe it's time for a bit of "belief".

Winston
 
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:And I'll go further. Science (or technology) is the "religion" of the 21st century. It is the arbiter against which all things are now argued and measured; and if it doesn't compute, it is simply dismissed.



Well, yeah. Unlike all those other belief systems, science and technology actually produce useful results.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:The fact that Fermat was a good mathematician counted as evidence for Wiles' belief that the theory could have been proven.


I don't think many mathematicians think Fermat genuinely had a correct proof. More likely he'd come up with one of the close-but-flawed attempts that have since been tried. Unless there is still a vastly simpler proof out there still to be discovered there is no way Fermat had the mathematical "technology" available to match Wiles' proof.

What would have contributed evidence towards his belief are the facts that various special cases had been proved, and that nobody had managed to find a counter example.
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:

Robert D. Smith wrote: Not the actual theorem, but that the expression only applies to a2 + b2 = c2 and will not work on any other expression (i.e. a3+b3=c3).


This is not quite correct. What you are talking about is known as "Fermet's Last Theorem", which went unsolved for around 450 years. What it ACTUALLY states is that for any integer exponent greater than 2, there are no integer solutions.


Thank you for the correction.
 
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Matthew Brown wrote: . . . I don't think many mathematicians think Fermat genuinely had a correct proof. More likely he'd come up with one of the close-but-flawed attempts . . .

But even a near‑but‑flawed attempt is evidence to support a belief in a correct proof.
 
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Yes, I think most mathematicians would call it a "hunch". A "hunch" is nothing but a belief that taking a particular course of action would solve a problem. The thing about hunches is that you don't know if the hunch is right or it's wrong unless you try it. So, you have no way to prove a hunch without acting on it. So, you have to take a particular course of action with the hope that it would work.. And if it doesn't you try something else. Hunches are essentially the fundamental tool of all problem solving.
 
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Coincidentally, just a few days ago a major observation in the fields of cosmology (and indirectly also in the General Relativity Theory) was published: the folks at BICEP2 were able to identify "imprints" of gravitational waves in the patterns of the cosmic background radiation caused by so called Inflation (not to be confused with the monetary ones; there hasn't ever been -and never will be- an inflation on a comparable scale in the fiscal sphere ). The Economist has a better article about it than I would be able to put up here, so if you're interested, have a look.

The inflation theory was invented in the 1980 to, as The Economist puts it, "explain away some inconvenient facts about the universe". It deals with things that happened some 10^-36 seconds after the Big Bang, and now we're presumably able to detect these events, some fourteen billion years later. Isn't science wonderful?
 
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Martin Vajsar wrote:Coincidentally, just a few days ago a major observation in the fields of cosmology (and indirectly also in the General Relativity Theory) was published: the folks at BICEP2 were able to identify "imprints" of gravitational waves in the patterns of the cosmic background radiation caused by so called Inflation (not to be confused with the monetary ones; there hasn't ever been -and never will be- an inflation on a comparable scale in the fiscal sphere ). The Economist has a better article about it than I would be able to put up here, so if you're interested, have a look.

The inflation theory was invented in the 1980 to, as The Economist puts it, "explain away some inconvenient facts about the universe". It deals with things that happened some 10^-36 seconds after the Big Bang, and now we're presumably able to detect these events, some fourteen billion years later. Isn't science wonderful?



I always liked the theory of inflation. I also like the theory of dark energy too. Both theories lead to the same thing... basically, it is not possible to travel faster than the speed of light, but it is possible for two "stationary" objects to recess from each other faster than the speed of light, if the space between them inflates faster than the speed of light.

This means that, in theory, I can move an object from one location to another, in a fashion that looks like it is faster than light by warping the space from the source to the destination. Or in other words, the warp drive engine (as described in Star Trek) is theoretically possible...

Henry
 
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Yes, we've found the first direct evidence for the inflation theory. It's really incredible, and once again we now see that the universe is stranger than we had ever imagined. I don't know the details, but I've read that this might also mean (although it's probably more speculation than real science) that there is a multiverse, and that our universe is just one small bubble among uncountable other universes in the multiverse.
 
Martin Vashko
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Henry Wong wrote:This means that, in theory, I can move an object from one location to another, in a fashion that looks like it is faster than light by warping the space from the source to the destination. Or in other words, the warp drive engine (as described in Star Trek) is theoretically possible...


It was space itself what moved faster than light during inflation, and the entire universe expanded, so you couldn't use the process to get closer to something, only to get farther from something, which is not particularly useful mode of travel. But most importantly, the conditions under which inflation occurred are pretty removed from conditions that would, even remotely, allow a habitable spaceship to exist.

Yes, I'm a skeptic on the faster than light travel. Firstly, more down-to-earth physicists point out that the warp drive requires manufacture of a matter with negative mass, which is not even antimatter (antimatter has positive mass too), but some theoretical constructs that pop out of physics equations. Secondly, if there is faster-than-light travel in this universe, where are all the faster than light travelling aliens?! They are long overdue to stop by and taste some beer.
 
Jayesh A Lalwani
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I've never met anyone who has traveled faster than sound. I don't think faster than sound is possible either :p
 
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I see the analogy, but let me point out that lots of well-tested physical theories actually say that faster-than-light travel is impossible, which is not the case of the faster-than-sound travel...
 
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Martin Vajsar wrote:I see the analogy, but let me point out that lots of well-tested physical theories actually say that faster-than-light travel is impossible, which is not the case of the faster-than-sound travel...



Two counter-arguments...

First, I wasn't talking about going faster than the speed of light. I was referring to the possibility of warping space (via inflation and whatever the opposite of that is called), which has been shown to be faster than the speed of light and using that to simulate going faster than the speed of light.

Second, in talking about going faster than the speed of light, the math does indeed state that it is impossible for a particle to approach the speed of light; but the math doesn't say anything about jumping pass the speed of light. It may be possible for particles to be faster than the speed of light, that can't go slower than the speed of light. Or perhaps, it may be possible to accelerate pass the speed of light, without actually going through the speed of light.


Oh, and one other thing which is also cool. The math for relativity actually predicts the existence of white holes. And together with black holes, predicts the existence of wormholes. This is just as cool, as it means that Hyperspace (as in Star Wars) and the FTL drive (as in Battlestar Galactica) are both also theoretically possible...

Henry
 
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First: while I don't have the knowledge to perform the computations or formal proofs myself, I still think the space warping has serious problems with physical laws as we know them nowadays. Warping space itself isn't hard. You really just need some mass, or even just concentrate some energy. But we're talking about some mass and/or energy! And even if you concentrate a lot of ordinary mass, all you can get this way is just a star, or, ultimately, a black hole. Not very useful for interstellar travel.

But if we know how exactly space would have to be bent for a ship to travel by warping space (and we do, which is the idea behind Alcubierre drive, ie. the warp drive), we can work out how the mass would have to be distributed to make it happen, and the general relativity equations do provide a solution. Unfortunately, the solution contains some non-trivial quantities of matter with negative mass and/or energy. And although we can see these phenomena in some quantum effects, they are always part of a bigger system whose total mass/energy is always positive, and cannot exist outside that system. There are physicist who say that isolating the negative mass from the rest of the system is impossible, and for good reasons. One of them is that, if you can accumulate and control macroscopic amounts of negative mass, you could construct a perpetuum mobile. As useful as it would be on board of Enterprise or Voyager (shields at one hundred percent, as always, captain!), it still violates the laws of thermodynamics, which are experimentally verified to even greater degree than the theory of relativity.

Second: even special relativity actually has problems with speeds faster than light. Special relativity postulates that laws of physics are equivalent in all inertial reference frames. However, when Lorentz transformation -used by special relativity itself- is applied to FTL reference frames, the flow of time reverses. It's problematic for several reasons: effects precede their causes (and all the kill-your-grandfather paradoxes are unleashed), and -most importantly- laws of thermodynamics no longer apply. Not only you can construct perpetuum mobile again , but, since the special relativity explicitly says that all laws work all the same in all reference frames, this result is not consistent with special relativity. Bummer.

Third: we have some compelling evidence for the existence of black holes, and black holes, as their name suggests, are pretty hard to spot. On the other hand, white holes are different beasts. It should be really hard for astronomers to miss them. But all we have are some speculations that some gamma ray bursts might perhaps be white holes, if you squint at them. Wormholes, then, are a beautiful phenomena, but the equations require -wait for it- negative mass to support them , which brings us back to the first point.

Sorry for being such a moron. I actually still thing science is marvelous, even if it frowns on the faster-than-light travel presently.
 
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Martin Vajsar wrote:First: while I don't have the knowledge to perform the computations or formal proofs myself, I still think the space warping has serious problems with physical laws as we know them nowadays. Warping space itself isn't hard. You really just need some mass, or even just concentrate some energy. But we're talking about some mass and/or energy! And even if you concentrate a lot of ordinary mass, all you can get this way is just a star, or, ultimately, a black hole. Not very useful for interstellar travel.



I am not convinced that it is that simple yet. In fact, every time I come back to this, I am convinced even less.

Take for example, dark matter. Dark Matter is matter that can't be seen, touch, smell, etc., yet is the majority of matter in the universe. Why? Because the way galaxies are behaving doesn't make sense. The outer regions are spinning much faster than it is allowed to and not fly apart -- hence, the need to incorporate dark matter.

Now, interestingly, if you believe that dark matter exists (and gravitational lensing seems to lean towards a proof), then the concept of what can warp space isn't that simple. It can be warped by something that we don't know anything about. On the other hand, if you don't believe that dark matter exists, then that leads to proof that what we know about matter/energy and warping space isn't complete either. Regardless, the idea of space warping and physical laws (of regular matter) doesn't work at the galaxy scale.

Take another example, dark energy. Dark energy is some unknown entity that pushes matter apart. Supposedly, it is weaker than gravity (from matter and dark matter), but where matter doesn't exist, it is stronger. And where matter really doesn't exist in large empty spaces, it is really strong. Why? Because the universe is expanding, and the rate of expansion is actually increasing -- based on the latest measurements. This is completely counter intuitive to gravity.

Currently, I don't think that there is any proof for dark energy, but I don't think it matters. Whether you believe that it exist, or it is some sort of correction -- it is more proof that the physical laws of regular matter (and now dark matter too) isn't complete or correct either.


Based on these unknowns, I don't think we can say that warping space is not feasible for space travel -- or perhaps maybe I am too much a Trekkie, not sure.

Henry
 
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Martin Vajsar wrote:
Third: we have some compelling evidence for the existence of black holes, and black holes, as their name suggests, are pretty hard to spot. On the other hand, white holes are different beasts. It should be really hard for astronomers to miss them. But all we have are some speculations that some gamma ray bursts might perhaps be white holes, if you squint at them. Wormholes, then, are a beautiful phenomena, but the equations require -wait for it- negative mass to support them , which brings us back to the first point.



Twenty years ago, black holes wasn't observed either. And there were still some that believed it was just a mathematical anonymity -- and really doesn't exist. Today, there are massive black holes in the center of every galaxy -- and by some estimates, hundreds of millions smaller ones in each galaxy (from collapsed stars). Today, white holes haven't been observed -- and it is the same debate again, but with a different color.


And I completely disagree with the "really hard for astronomers to miss them" argument. There are countless number of stars in the universe. Many of those stars are massive. And of course, many have become quasars, pulsars, etc. How do you know that none of them are white holes? Arguably, spotting a white hole could be harder than spotting a black hole, as it could be the equivalent of trying to find a needle in a pile of needles.

Also, I believe that it is not possible for matter and energy to enter a white hole. What does this mean? Well, I don't know, but I am going to guess that space is warped in a way to make such a task impossible -- just like space is warped making it impossible to escape a black hole. This means that a white hole isn't just a light source -- and may be very difficult to spot because of it.


In order words, I think that it is too early to dismiss the idea/concept of white holes.

Henry
 
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I personally do believe the dark matter is proven to exist. You're right that we don't know much about dark matter. But, unfortunately for the concept of warp drive, there is one thing we know pretty sure about it - it has positive mass. If it didn't have, it couldn't do its job of keeping galaxies together. And similarly, the equations of the warp drive don't say anything about the exotic matter that would be needed, except that it would have to have negative mass. So, we don't know much, true, but we already know enough to say that the dark matter, as we understand it today, cannot power a warp drive.

The exotic matter needed to power the warp drive is really, really strange, even from philosophical point of view. Its "negative mass" property cannot be easily hand-waved away. According to the Einstein's famous equation (E=mc^2), it would have negative energy as well. So if you took minus one gram of exotic matter (yes, this is right, "minus one gram") and combined it with one gram of our ordinary matter, they would simply cancel out. You wouldn't get the bang you get by combining a gram of matter with a gram of antimatter. Nothing. Zero. Nil. This has further implications. If this was possible, there isn't anything that would prevent the matter and negative matter to pop out of nowhere - in the vacuum of space, in my fridge, in my body - because you wouldn't need any energy for this to happen. We already know for sure that if some process is energetically feasible, it's going to happen. So, why isn't the exotic matter popping out in my fridge? Well, there are some weird things in my fridge, so scratch that. So, why isn't the exotic matter popping out in my body? I would probably know it's happening, even if I wouldn't be experiencing it for long, that's pretty certain.

I can't say anything about dark energy in this context. We know so little about it that I haven't even noticed it being mentioned in the context of FTL travel (but then, I certainly don't know about every news in this field ).

There's one more problem with warp drive which I've forgot to mention: it doesn't matter that you haven't exceeded the speed of the light locally, inside the warp bubble. If you exceed the speed of the light globally, simply by arriving at your destination earlier that light itself would, the faster-than-light paradoxes (kill-your-grandfather and similar stuff physicists seems to be so fond of) can already happen. The exact way you've managed to cross the galaxy faster than light isn't important (a very nice explanation can be found here). So, if we believe that faster-than-light travel does exist, we have to rethink our view of established everyday experience pretty fundamentally. There are some ways to get rid of paradoxes, true, but these would require an existence of a preferred referential frame, in which all events would happen in the same order. And, unfortunately, there isn't any evidence for such frame to exist, except our wish for the faster than light travel to be possible. Not to mention that the special relativity theory says precisely the opposite: that such frame doesn't exist!

Edit: I should have better researched my arguments about while holes/wormholes. If I find anything interesting to say about them, I'll revisit the topic. Meanwhile, thanks for the discussion, I really hope you're enjoying it like I do.
 
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Martin Vajsar wrote:
Edit: I should have better researched my arguments about while holes/wormholes. If I find anything interesting to say about them, I'll revisit the topic. Meanwhile, thanks for the discussion, I really hope you're enjoying it like I do.



I always enjoy scientific debates -- they are boatloads of fun...

My only problem here is that you are disagreeing with Star Trek. That seems to be sacrilegious. What's next? Are you going to make fun of the Transporter? Or the Vulcan Neck Pinch?

Henry
 
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Okay... back to defending Star Trek ...

Martin Vajsar wrote:I personally do believe the dark matter is proven to exist. You're right that we don't know much about dark matter. But, unfortunately for the concept of warp drive, there is one thing we know pretty sure about it - it has positive mass. If it didn't have, it couldn't do its job of keeping galaxies together. And similarly, the equations of the warp drive don't say anything about the exotic matter that would be needed, except that it would have to have negative mass. So, we don't know much, true, but we already know enough to say that the dark matter, as we understand it today, cannot power a warp drive.



IMO, I don't think that we need to introduce the concept of negative mass, and then try to shoot it down in a strawman argument.

The idea of Dark Energy already introduces the concept of anti (or opposite of) gravity. This means that I can negatively warp a field of space. Of course, you can argue that dark matter and dark energy can't exist together, but since we know very little about about either, we also can't make a case to dismiss the concept.

On the other hand, even if you can introduce negative mass matter, why do you need to see it? You can't see dark matter, yet, it makes up the majority of mass in the universe.

Martin Vajsar wrote:
The exotic matter needed to power the warp drive is really, really strange, even from philosophical point of view. Its "negative mass" property cannot be easily hand-waved away. According to the Einstein's famous equation (E=mc^2), it would have negative energy as well. So if you took minus one gram of exotic matter (yes, this is right, "minus one gram") and combined it with one gram of our ordinary matter, they would simply cancel out. You wouldn't get the bang you get by combining a gram of matter with a gram of antimatter. Nothing. Zero. Nil. This has further implications. If this was possible, there isn't anything that would prevent the matter and negative matter to pop out of nowhere - in the vacuum of space, in my fridge, in my body - because you wouldn't need any energy for this to happen. We already know for sure that if some process is energetically feasible, it's going to happen. So, why isn't the exotic matter popping out in my fridge? Well, there are some weird things in my fridge, so scratch that. So, why isn't the exotic matter popping out in my body? I would probably know it's happening, even if I wouldn't be experiencing it for long, that's pretty certain.



I think you are confusing your "negative matter" with anti-matter. I don't think that antimatter have anti-gravity affects -- or more correctly, it is assumed to behave similarly to regular matter (in terms of gravity), but haven't really been tested because there haven't been enough anti-matter generated for long enough period to test it.

Henry
 
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Henry Wong wrote:IMO, I don't think that we need to introduce the concept of negative mass, and then try to shoot it down in a strawman argument.


I really wasn't trying to do that. But every resource I've read so far on actual calculations made for a warp drive does state that you need some negative mass. It is because you need to warp the space in a really peculiar way. Regular matter cannot do that, if you accumulate enough of it on one place, you simply get a black hole. (It does make sense - you need to stretch space at one end, and regular matter doesn't stretch it, only compresses it.)

You might be able to build an infrastructure - something like a space highway - using just ordinary matter set to motion on predetermined tracks along the way to create the warp bubble for your ship, but it would have to be pre-built at subluminal speeds, and some people say it still wouldn't allow you to break causality (didn't understand exactly why). And I believe we're talking about moving masses comparable to stars at relativistic speed, in order to get the warping we need, though I haven't read any actual estimates.

The idea of Dark Energy already introduces the concept of anti (or opposite of) gravity. This means that I can negatively warp a field of space. Of course, you can argue that dark matter and dark energy can't exist together, but since we know very little about about either, we also can't make a case to dismiss the concept.


I don't think there's a problem with dark matter and dark energy coexisting. But it hasn't ever occurred to me that the dark energy exerts its force through (anti-)gravity. To say the truth, I've always thought about the dark energy as a sort of replacement for the cosmological constant, something that alters the space globally, but not locally. But that's just me. We have to see what happens when we eventually shed some light on it.

On the other hand, even if you can introduce negative mass matter, why do you need to see it? You can't see dark matter, yet, it makes up the majority of mass in the universe.


I believe it cannot exist in first place, because it violates several important physical principles. I also believe that, if it existed, it would have to appear spontaneously (just as the vacuum of space is full of virtual pairs of particles and antiparticles, and they demonstrate themselves in the Casimir effect) on a massive scale we'd be able to detect. But I may be wrong on this, I haven't read this objection anywhere, it just naturally follows from the fact you don't need any energy for it to happen. If a process is energetically feasible, it happens, it's one of the most basic principles of this world.

On further reading, I've found that I had some misconceptions about exotic matter. Firstly, it apparently cannot be used to create perpetuum mobile, because every single physical quantity has an opposite sign - energy, temperature, kinetic energy, and so on, are all negative. A lump of exotic matter placed next to a lump of ordinary matter would cause these two to spontaneously accelerate (without any limit), and yet the overall energy of the system wouldn't change, precisely because the kinetic energy of the exotic matter decreases (to negative values), and the sum is always zero.

As I understand it, these properties of the negative matter ensue from the same equations that say that the negative matter can warp space the way we need for a warp drive.

Martin Vajsar wrote:So if you took minus one gram of exotic matter (yes, this is right, "minus one gram") and combined it with one gram of our ordinary matter, they would simply cancel out. You wouldn't get the bang you get by combining a gram of matter with a gram of antimatter. Nothing. Zero. Nil.

I think you are confusing your "negative matter" with anti-matter.


I hope I don't. I've only brought anti-matter to play to highlight the difference between it and the exotic matter - matter+antimatter produces bang, while matter+exotic matter simply disappears. If I understand it right, the laws ofthermodynamics frown upon this.

I don't think that antimatter have anti-gravity affects -- or more correctly, it is assumed to behave similarly to regular matter (in terms of gravity), but haven't really been tested because there haven't been enough anti-matter generated for long enough period to test it.


Full agreement here. Some experiments on this are already in progress, but it will take some time till they'll get to required precision.

I should probably say that I'm aware that science cannot prove the non-existence of some phenomenon, such as faster than light travel. I'm not trying to say that it is scientifically proven that it cannot exist in principle. I'm just trying to highlight that the concept of warp drive has severe problems with several of very well established physical laws, and these laws (or our understanding of them) would have to change fundamentally if it is after all possible. Also, FTL travel is problematic with regard to causality, regardless of the technical way you achieve it, and if some day it will be achieved, our understanding of nature will change substantially again. My personal belief (which gets us back to the original topic a bit) is that it won't ever happen.

I wouldn't rule out that space warping and faster-than-light travel could be achieved locally, inside some powerful device, using some weird quantum effect, while causality outside that device would remain preserved. I'd be very surprised if it was achieved outside of the device generating it (which is what you need to construct an autonomous, faster-than-light travelling ship). But again, this is just my belief.
 
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Henry Wong wrote:My only problem here is that you are disagreeing with Star Trek. That seems to be sacrilegious. What's next?


I don't think of myself as a rebel, but I must admit that years ago I got accepted to certain club and got expelled for lack of respect towards that club's memorabilia the same evening.

I think I like Star Trek: Enterprise the most (except the theme song). They improved the science in it a lot. I really loved when they have shown in one episode that the artificial gravity on the ship is not homogeneous, that there are some regions inside the ship where the gravitational field warps in strange ways. If we ever have artificial gravity, this is what it would do.
 
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Martin Vajsar wrote:I don't think of myself as a rebel, but I must admit that years ago I got accepted to certain club and got expelled for lack of respect towards that club's memorabilia the same evening.


I'd like to hear the rest of that story.

This has been a fascinating thread, even though much of it is over my head. You might be interested in this link. It's part of an article about sci-fi tech that is almost here, including laser weapons, light sabers, and deflector shields.
 
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Okay... back to Star Trek...

Martin Vajsar wrote:
I wouldn't rule out that space warping and faster-than-light travel could be achieved locally, inside some powerful device, using some weird quantum effect, while causality outside that device would remain preserved. I'd be very surprised if it was achieved outside of the device generating it (which is what you need to construct an autonomous, faster-than-light travelling ship). But again, this is just my belief.



I remember that there was an article regarding the study of the warp drive at NASA, and unfortunately, I can't seem to find it. In it, the scientists believed that everything should be possible -- or more correctly, there was nothing that can prove that it was impossible as it was too early. In fact, they were talking only about the ability to affect space (and not yet warp it or even controlling it yet). There was a lot of speculation.

The plan was to build a warp envelope protecting the craft, while at the same time warp the area in front and back of the ship. The front would shrink space, while the back would expand it. And the craft would ride the area in between without going faster than the speed of light -- very much like a surfer would ride a wave. Interesting idea.

But they did have an issue though -- and it was with the warping of the space in front of the craft. Even though the ship would not have to go faster than light, whatever mechanism that they used to control the warped space in front would have to. Basically, how do you initiate, or control, what space in front of the ship to warp, if the starting state is the pre-warped (and much bigger space) ? I really found it interesting that they thought it though -- and knew that it only affected the space in front (but not the back).

Henry

 
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Belief = Proof + Hope + Love + Rely = Active Energy = Peace
 
Martin Vashko
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There was a surprising amount of work put to the warp drive research. And if you consider how complicated the General Relativity equations are, it was done by really competent physicists. And the original designs, which required an amount of energy bigger than energy available in the entire universe, were refined over time, and the warp bubble geometries proposed nowadays would need only a few kilograms of the exotic matter. That would help a lot if we know how to manufacture the exotic matter, but as it is, the improvement is purely hypothetical. As if the first design needed a billion of Unicorns to work, but the refined design can do with just a single pair. And one of them doesn't even have to sport a horn.

That you need Alcubierre drive to operate an Alcubierre drive is one of the objection I've read too, but didn't mention yet. I must say that I don't really understand what would be happening inside the stretched/compressed space. Say that you compress a kilometer of space in front of the ship to a mere millimeter (measured from the outside). How long would it take the light to cross the compressed space? The time it normally needs to cross a millimeter, or the time needed to cross a kilometer? I guess the latter, because if it was the former, the where's any compression of space?

To say the truth, the entire principle of expanding space makes my head spin. In my opinion, we should be able to measure expansion of the universe as a difference between the inertial mass and the gravitational mass, but I don't recall having read about such experiment anywhere, so I'm probably not right about it. And it's not connected to warp drive anyway, sorry for the divertion.

We're also able to compute that the ship inside the warp bubble wouldn't experience any g-forces while the bubble itself accelerates or decelerates, which would solve the problem that to cross wast distances quickly, you need to employ diabolically high acceleration and deceleration. The ship inside the bubble would survive them without making its crew into a ketchup. Warp drives are wonderful! I wish we'd have one.
 
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