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New method would not break Einstein's Theory of Relativity

Virtually all science fiction that involves intergalactic travel or convenient travel between planets in our own solar system revolves around faster than light travel. One problem with many theories for faster than light travel is the proposed methods would violate Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Two physicists from Baylor University have theorized what they believe to be a method of faster than light travel that would not break the Theory of Relativity. Einstein's Theory of Relativity states that objects accelerating to the speed of light require an infinite amount of energy.

The physicists -- Gerald Cleaver and Richard Obousy -- have theorized a new idea for faster than light travel that involves manipulating dark energy to propel a spacecraft. According to Space.com the universe -- in theory -- moved faster than light for a short time after the Big Bang, propelled by dark energy which represents about 74% of the mass energy budget in the universe. Space.com goes on to say that, 22% of the mass energy budget consists of dark matter and what remains of the mass-energy budget in the universe being made up of stars, planets and other things we see.

Some current evidence supports the theory that the fabric of space-time can expand faster than the speed of light. This is said to be because the reality which light travels is expanding itself.

The Baylor physicists took a recent idea in string theory to devise a method of manipulating dark energy to accelerate a spaceship based on the Alcubierre drive. The Alcubierre drive works on the principle -- in theory -- that expanding space-time behind a ship and reducing space-time in front of the ship would result in propulsion at faster than light speeds.

Cleaver said, "Think of it [faster than light travel] like a surfer riding a wave. The ship would be pushed by the spatial bubble and the bubble would be traveling faster than the speed of light."

It is believed that 10 dimensions exist, with six of them being largely unknown. M-theory suggests that hypothetical one-dimensional strings vibrate in yet another dimension. Cleaver and Obousy theorize that manipulating the dimension the strings vibrate in would alter dark energy in height, width, and length to permit a spaceship to take advantage of dark energy's effect on the universe.

Cleaver told Space.com, "The dark energy is simultaneously decreased just in front of the ship to decrease (and bring to a stop) the expansion rate of the universe in front of the ship. If the dark energy can be made negative directly in front of the ship, then space in front of the ship would locally contract."

While the whole theory hardly sounds simple, one of the greatest problems is the amount of energy required to propel a ship using this method. The physicists estimate that to move a small ship -- measuring approximately 33-feet x 33-feet -- would require energy equivalent to the entire mass of Jupiter.

Cleaver continued saying, "That is an enormous amount of energy. We are still a very long ways off before we could create something to harness that type of energy."



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Mass Effect
By KaiserCSS on 8/22/2008 8:06:07 AM , Rating: 5
Strangely enough, this theory sounds a lot like what mass effect drives use for propulsion. Did anyone else first think that while reading this article?




RE: Mass Effect
By therealnickdanger on 8/22/2008 8:06:53 AM , Rating: 5
OMG teh Reaperz!


RE: Mass Effect
By KaiserCSS on 8/22/08, Rating: -1
RE: Mass Effect
By therealnickdanger on 8/22/2008 8:35:14 AM , Rating: 5
Uncalled for? Perhaps. Completely juvenile? C'mon, I capitalized "Reaperz" as a proper noun... what more are you looking for?

Would you rather I pontificate the Council's reasoning behind sending just one SPECTRE after Saren instead of the whole Alliance fleet? Ultimately Saren is just a pawn, a tool of Sovereign, so what of that?


RE: Mass Effect
By Flunk on 8/22/08, Rating: -1
RE: Mass Effect
By riku0116 on 8/25/2008 5:15:23 PM , Rating: 5
Please stop replying to irrelevant pop-culture references.


RE: Mass Effect
By Lugaidster on 8/22/2008 3:13:07 PM , Rating: 3
You shouldn't spoil the fun of someone else who hasn't finished the game. At least put a "SPOILER -- ALERT" on top of it.

But to continue this thread, it looks like the people at Bioware really nailed this one. It makes the game more "believable" (It's still science fiction but anyway). But still in Mass Effect they manipulated dark energy to alter mass so that you wouldn't need infinite amount of energy to accelerate the ship to FTL travel. But I still imagine that we in the future will have relays like in the game that produce and store huge amounts of energy.

Now back to the real life, I hope we see some kind of semi-prototype of this before I die.


RE: Mass Effect
By Dreamwalker on 8/22/2008 9:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
Actualy, my first thought was about using the dark matter gun in Quake 4 :)
Can I have 150 dark matter slugs please...? yes, those with the dark energy inside.


RE: Mass Effect
By Flunk on 8/22/2008 12:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
No, actually I don't think they sound like mass drivers are at all. Mass drivers are comprised of a linear set of high-powered electro-magnets powered in series to propel a ferrite object (like a iron ball or steel spacecraft) at high (but magnitudes slower than light) speeds.

This theory involves manipulating the fabric of space, something that we have absolutely no way of doing at the moment. So I don't see a similarity.


RE: Mass Effect
By Solandri on 8/22/2008 2:36:39 PM , Rating: 3
Another problem is that Relativity doesn't exactly predict the speed of light as a hard speed limit. It establishes a relationship between space and time, where really weird things can happen if you exceed the speed of light.

One of these is the principle of simultaneity. Two events in different locations may appear simultaneous to one observer (after accounting for the time it takes for light to travel from the events to the observer), but they are not simultaneous to another observer moving at a different speed. However, the degree of difference is restricted by the distance between the objects so that cause can never precede effect. If you flip on a light (cause) and your buddy down the street flips on his light when he sees your light go on (effect), your light turns on first in all reference frames.

Going faster than the speed of light breaks this. In the reference frame of a FTL traveler, your buddy's light turned on before you turned your light on, even though he turned his light on in response to seeing your light go on. Or flipped the other way, if I were to travel from Earth to Alpha Centauri faster than the speed of light, in some slower-than-light reference frames I would arrive before I left. That is, I would pop into existence at Alpha Centauri while I was still at Earth.

So if FTL travel is possible, either Relativity is wrong, or the Universe is made in a way such that cause and effect do not work the way we think they do.


RE: Mass Effect
By MatthiasF on 8/22/2008 3:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
You're putting too much importance on individual perceptions. Transmission of data always has a delay, but the fact remains the ship would leave and arrive at the same relative times no matter the delay noticed from individual locations watching the event.

What matters is that the ship carried you from Point A to Point B before light traveling a parallel path arrived, thus you've traveled faster than the speed of light.

Meanwhile, light traveling the same path or tangent paths along the way could be pushed in front of you by the same process pushing you, causing it to arrive before you arrive, thereby letting people at Point B watch you come at them.

But in reality, who cares what they see? Are you trying to sneak up on someone?


RE: Mass Effect
By Spuke on 8/22/2008 3:36:23 PM , Rating: 2
This reads like supersonic travel where the sound of an aircraft follows some distance behind the aircraft. The faster the aircraft, the farther behind the sound of it travels.

I suppose a ship that's FTL would behave similarly. That ship could arrive at a particular destination before it's visible representation would arrive. This would only happen if the ship maintained it's FTL travel. Once it slowed down, its light representation would catch it.

Can light particles be slowed?


RE: Mass Effect
By MatthiasF on 8/22/2008 5:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
True, except the aircraft produces a lot of sound when running. I'm not sure a ship traveling between stars would put out as much light as an aircraft does sound.

Course, whatever produces the movement could be causing light to bend and refract around the object enough to create shapes, flashes or streams of light, etc. If the ship has a bubble like described in this example, it's possible it could be capturing light from all sort's of angles as it travels, refracts it over the corona of the bubble and drags it like a contrail behind it.

There have been experiments able to slow light in wave and photon form. No doubt the faster you go, light as either would play a big part just as sound has to aircraft.


RE: Mass Effect
By Spuke on 8/22/2008 7:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Course, whatever produces the movement could be causing light to bend and refract around the object enough to create shapes, flashes or streams of light, etc.
This was my next question or statement (physics noob). Instead of the ship being invisible, at least to someone observing it from a point perpendicular to the ship, would it just look distorted? But at the same time at a point behind the ship, wouldn't we see the ship undistorted?


RE: Mass Effect
By MatthiasF on 8/23/2008 1:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, you've got it. Perpendicular viewers will see the delay, probably lagged further by whatever field is created around the ship by the method of travel. What they see depends on the type of method, since it could just randomly throw light around it and not allow for a true picture of the ship, but they would definitely see something.

Those behind the ship would see distortions as well, again depending on the method of travel. Since the discussed method inflates space behind the ship, the image of the ship from behind would probably grow larger, creating a weird ghosting effect kind of like seen in some movie effects like the older intros to Doctor Who.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTn_ADs6v3A&feature...


RE: Mass Effect
By Solandri on 8/22/2008 9:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a perceptual effect. You're thinking in terms of Newtonian physics to conclude that it's just a perceptual effect and that the only consequence of FTL travel is that people at your destination can't see you arriving.

Relativity doesn't work like that. If you go faster than light, then you violate causality. Put quite simply, according to Relativity, if faster than light travel is possible, then time travel is possible, because the two are the same thing. The only way to travel faster than light is to arrive before you left in certain reference frames.

http://www.physicsguy.com/ftl/html/FTL_part4.html#...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-than-light#Pos...


RE: Mass Effect
By MatthiasF on 8/27/2008 5:10:07 PM , Rating: 2
All that matters is what's happening in locality. Do not worry about distant observers.

If three points in space and a traveler are all running on standard Earth time, using the same method of time measurement being effected by space/time, the traveler arriving will have the same time as each point even if he gets there before the light from the previous point does. The effects of (de)acceleration and differences in locality effects on route would equalize the two clocks as they arrive.

So while in the middle of the three, the clocks might not all match, but when the traveler is at any one location his clock will match that location's clock.


RE: Mass Effect
By MozeeToby on 8/22/2008 2:22:47 PM , Rating: 3
That's probably because it's only a new 'solution' to a FTL theory that has been floating around for decades. The old solutions assume the existence of negative mass matter, the new one uses dark energy for the same repuslive effect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

The basic idea is to create a 'bubble' of space with your ship inside of it, then move the bubble itself at any speed you want. Since it is the bubble that moves and the bubble is made of space itself, it is not limited by relativity.

The problem's are numerous. The theoretical required power is on the order of what the sun will produce in it's lifetime. It also assumes that we have a complete understanding of dark energy and that there is a way to produce dark energy on demand. Less obvious, if FTL is possible, so is time travel and all the fun little paradoxes that follow.


The Speed of Dark!
By therealnickdanger on 8/22/2008 7:53:03 AM , Rating: 2
Dark moves so fast you can't even see it!




RE: The Speed of Dark!
By blackspawn on 8/22/2008 9:45:43 AM , Rating: 2
As someone very clever has already noted, dark is obviously faster than light, wherever light goes, darkness is already there waiting... I think the correct quote is: "As yet unmeasured, but believed to be faster than light owing to its ability to move so quickly out of lights way."


RE: The Speed of Dark!
By therealnickdanger on 8/22/2008 11:12:07 AM , Rating: 2
Terry Pratchett is who you were thinking of. I had to google your quote to find that out. I thought I was on to something original...


RE: The Speed of Dark!
By RamarC on 8/22/2008 10:11:11 AM , Rating: 2
hah! but it's probably not as fast as an infinite improbability drive. ;)


RE: The Speed of Dark!
By zshift on 8/22/2008 11:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. These scientists should all forget about this "alternative energy" crap and focus on REAL science, the infinite improbability drive. Then we wouldn't have to worry about that "energy" thing at all, the drive does it all!


RE: The Speed of Dark!
By ChronoReverse on 8/22/2008 3:10:47 PM , Rating: 4
Bah, I prefer bistromathematics. It's far less dangerous than mucking about with infinite improbabilities.


RE: The Speed of Dark!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 8/22/2008 6:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I've built my ship and traveling faster then light.
1) Is there a black bubble in front of the nose of my ship? (verse a white light – as shown in most comic drawing of space travel)
2) When looking out the front window, am I really seeing the past, because we are already past what I am seeing?


The most important question..
By GreenEnvt on 8/22/2008 9:30:57 AM , Rating: 2
Which episode/movie is that picture from?




RE: The most important question..
By G2cool on 8/22/2008 9:52:22 AM , Rating: 2
I'm gonna have to break out the DVD tonight to confirm... but my guess is Generations.


RE: The most important question..
By WxDude10 on 8/22/2008 10:10:56 AM , Rating: 2
There could only be 2 possibilities (rather disturbing that I can come up with any).

1. Could be Star Trek: Generations

2. Yesterday's Enterprise (The one where Tasha Yar comes back).

Those were the only 2 episodes where the Enterprise bridge was
lighted that darkly.


RE: The most important question..
By Spivonious on 8/22/2008 11:48:29 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, but the bridge in the engine section is dark like that, so it could be any of the episodes where they separated from the saucer section.

Are we nerds?


By therealnickdanger on 8/22/2008 12:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
If it is a movie, it would HAVE to be Generations due to the uniform... but the bridge scenes where it was dark like that Picard wasn't on the ship at all... hmm

We would only be TRUE nerds if we knew which crewman was in the background.


RE: The most important question..
By GreenEnvt on 8/22/2008 8:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
Those are the two I has assumed to, for the same dark lighting reason.

I'll have to watch both to see for sure :)


RE: The most important question..
By frobizzle on 8/25/2008 2:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm...the picture on the viewscreen in the background looks like the Dyson Sphere from Relics.

Probably not but that is my guess.


Credit Where credit is Due
By ThePooBurner on 8/22/2008 6:18:55 PM , Rating: 2
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth came up with the idea of using Dark Energy to move the entire universe around the spaceship quite a few years ago... ;)

(for those less informed, the ship on Futurama was powered by a dark matter engine that does more or less what this guy is talking about in the article)




RE: Credit Where credit is Due
By icanhascpu on 8/22/2008 7:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
Thats like saying cavemen should be given credit for the atom bomb becuse they learned how to harness fire.


RE: Credit Where credit is Due
By ThePooBurner on 8/23/2008 5:42:41 PM , Rating: 3
Actually it isn't anything like that what so ever. It's more like the cartoon had an engine that moved the space around it, and so it works to make a joke about these guys being inspired by the cartoon. What you were suggesting is not even remotely close to what i was suggesting.


RE: Credit Where credit is Due
By hadifa on 8/24/2008 11:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thats like saying cavemen should be given credit for the atom bomb becuse they learned how to harness fire.


They should have patented the idea! ;-)


RE: Credit Where credit is Due
By johnsonx on 8/26/2008 5:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
Fire is rapid oxidation. Nuclear fission involves no oxidation.


Dimensions
By 325hhee on 8/22/2008 11:48:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is believed that 10 dimensions exist


Wow, didn't know there were that many, I know 1-3 and a little bit about the 4th, but what kind of planes are 5-10?




RE: Dimensions
By BadAcid on 8/22/2008 12:58:34 PM , Rating: 4
5) Groovy, man
6) I'm totally tripping
7) I got the munchies, dude
8) I can taste color
9) Where's Felicia? (note: There is no actual Felicia, but rather the existence of a Felicia would rule out dimensions 5-8)
10) Manbearpig


RE: Dimensions
By Spuke on 8/22/2008 3:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
10) Manbearpig

ROFLMAOWTFBBQ!!!!!!!


RE: Dimensions
By Leirith on 8/27/2008 9:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
This video is very interesting and explains it all. It may also blow your mind.

http://www.tenthdimension.com/flash2.php


Dark/Spirit Matter
By charlieee on 8/22/2008 4:32:57 PM , Rating: 3
I'm thinking that dark matter may really be spirit matter. I have read in the scriptures that the earth has characteristics like it were alive which I believe it is (and therefore has a spirit). And I also read that God created things first spiritually then temporally. I recall the words that many worlds have "passed away" or died. So it seems reasonable that when people say most of the universe is mostly made up of dark matter that it is consistent with things that have once lived and died or have yet to live in time, for nothing was resurrected before the meridian of time (before the Lord's resurrection which was a mere two millenia ago) and the act of creating is continual.




RE: Dark/Spirit Matter
By icanhascpu on 8/22/2008 7:02:07 PM , Rating: 4
/gags


RE: Dark/Spirit Matter
By deadrats on 8/24/2008 8:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm thinking that dark matter may really be spirit matter. I have read in the scriptures that the earth has characteristics like it were alive which I believe it is (and therefore has a spirit). And I also read that God created things first spiritually then temporally. I recall the words that many worlds have "passed away" or died. So it seems reasonable that when people say most of the universe is mostly made up of dark matter that it is consistent with things that have once lived and died or have yet to live in time, for nothing was resurrected before the meridian of time (before the Lord's resurrection which was a mere two millennium ago) and the act of creating is continual.


anything is possible, someone once said "when scientists finish climbing the mountain of knowledge, they will find a theologian waiting at the top".

also, one would have to be blind to not see, at least on some conceptual level, the theory put forth by physicists concerning matter, dark matter, energy and dark energy and the wicca beliefs concerning the God/Goddess and the Dark God/Dark Goddess having some similarity.


By Amiga500 on 8/22/2008 7:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
By marvdmartian on 8/22/2008 9:45:45 AM , Rating: 2
Personally, I prefer having a KK drive in my faster than light space vessels.

http://www.alandeanfoster.com/version2.0/kktech.ht...

Pure genious!! ;)


By smiller83 on 8/22/2008 11:02:51 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe not sublight engines, but why not artificial gravity? If that magnetic gravity field theory is correct, maybe dark matter isn't really missing. Stellar mass is measured by its gravitational effect, as far as I know, so if a superconductor can have an increased gravitational field without an apparent increase in materials maybe something like that is happening on a larger scale. I'm not a physicists of course, so I'm just kind of guessing here.


TV Show
By MAIA on 8/22/2008 9:58:14 AM , Rating: 2
Get your TV Show right people. Faster than Light travel is depicted in BattleStar Galactica. (LOL)

FTL drive anyone ?




RE: TV Show
By JB1592 on 8/24/2008 3:50:17 AM , Rating: 2
Most sci-fi TV shows and movies that involve space travel include faster than light propulsion.

Hyperdrive, Warp Drive, Jump Drive, etc... all used in many places. Star Wars, Star Trek, the Wing Commander series of games, Stargate SG-1, etc. Those are all portraying FTL trave.


RE: TV Show
By sc3252 on 8/25/2008 3:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
BSG's faster then light is specifically called an FTL drive... None of the other shows call it that.


Correction
By masher2 (blog) on 8/22/2008 11:11:51 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Einstein's Theory of Relativity states that objects accelerating to the speed of light require an infinite amount of energy....
While true, this is not why STR bars faster than light travel. Actually, to be painfully precise, STR doesn't ban superluminal speeds, it just points out that they involve causality violation which, we think, means they're impossible. Causality violation means such nasty problems as sending a message to yourself before you've sent it and other such time-travel paradoxes.

And, by the way, several other physicists have long since proposed similar methods of FTL travel, including the so-called "Alcubierre drive".




RE: Correction
By MatthiasF on 8/22/2008 2:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
The original Alcubierre drive is an attempt to create an interstellar drive using the Marangoni Effect. The problem is that the Marangoni Effect has only been observed to work on a surface where one side of the surface is significantly less dense than the other (water/air). If the ship had to deal with pressure from all sides, the effect would not work. So, this drive doesn't seem feasible.

The originally proposed Alcubierre drive contracted space infront and expanded behind to create the effect. This altered version seems to suggest that they think that tweaking a single dimension infront of the ship would cause less friction and propel the ship forward faster. I don't understand why they'd want to do this since the effect itself requires the space infront of the ship to be denser than the space behind.

So it seems what they suggest would actually not help at all. It would require more energy used to expand the space behind since the area the ship would be passing through had already been inflated. If it takes more energy the farther it's been inflated, you're back to Einstein.


they stole my idea!!!
By deadrats on 8/22/2008 2:59:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Baylor physicists took a recent idea in string theory to devise a method of manipulating dark energy to accelerate a spaceship based on the Alcubierre drive. The Alcubierre drive works on the principle -- in theory -- that expanding space-time behind a ship and reducing space-time in front of the ship would result in propulsion at faster than light speeds.

Cleaver said, "Think of it [faster than light travel] like a surfer riding a wave. The ship would be pushed by the spatial bubble and the bubble would be traveling faster than the speed of light."


these bastards stole my idea!!! check out my theory of gravity posted on my blog on myspace on February 15, 2007:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog....

the similarities should be obvious, my explanation of the mechanics behind gravitational attraction and their theory for faster than light travel are very similar.

i am so pissed off...




RE: they stole my idea!!!
By BoFox on 8/24/2008 1:54:40 AM , Rating: 2
Awesome! I enjoyed reading your stuff. I've also been wondering about the CAUSE of gravity itself, even if it's just philosophical. What it always appeared to me was some sort of drag through the dark matter of space. It is well known that there is certain warping of time-space in a gravitational field, so there must be a medium upon which the warping takes place. What is that medium exactly? Concentric circles, you say?

I find it interesting how you mentioned your attempt to postulate a Grand Unified Theory. Well, here's one for you, bud: www.16pi2.com I've been studying it for several months and it truly does unify the electromagnetic, electrostatic, and gravitational forces into one mathematical constant, which can be also reverse-engineered into the above 3 separate forces using the same mathematical logic. It should be at least an interesting read for those young enough to learn new tricks! :P


RE: they stole my idea!!!
By deadrats on 8/24/2008 8:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is well known that there is certain warping of time-space in a gravitational field, so there must be a medium upon which the warping takes place. What is that medium exactly? Concentric circles, you say?


to clarify: the "warping" of space-time IS the gravitational field, according to relativity (and naturally my extension to relativity) and the warping is proportional to the mass of the object causing the deformation.

my "Archimedes Theory of Gravity" builds on this view and states that the shape of the deformation is in the form of "concentric circles" for lack of a better term, but it should be noted that the "concentric circles" ARE NOT what space-time is made of, that i do not put forth a hypothesis to.

basically what i attempted to show what the shape of the deformation that mass causes is and how some basic geometry can be used to explain why an object continues accelerating in the presence of a gravitational field and why it starts in the first place.

as for my attempt at a unified field theory, it takes a fairly basic form: i simply view light (and consequently all electro-magnetic phenomenon) as a wave in the "fabric of space-time" itself; if this view is correct, then we could unify gravity and light by simply stating that both are deformations of space-time itself caused by different catalysts.

furthermore, using the above view, we could also explain the mechanics of why light gets bent by a gravitational field, why light can't escape a black hole, why light gets red and blue shifted very easily: if light is nothing more than space-time itself "waving" and gravity is also space-time being "deformed" by mass in a way as i have described, well i think the explanations for the above should be fairly obvious.

the seeming particle-wave dual nature of light could also be explained as simply a consequence of the type of experiment we do, to wit: if we do an experiment where we look at the entire wave, then light appears as a wave, if we do an experiment where we look at a single point on the wave, then light looks like a photon. it's kind of like if we have a function and we take the derivative to find the instantaneous rate of change, then plug in a value, we only see one point of the curve, but if we take the integral we see the area under the curve.


A Wrinkle in Time ???
By SuckRaven on 8/22/2008 10:21:02 AM , Rating: 3
My first thought was of the book "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. Pretty whacky SciFi for something written between 1959 and 1960. One of my favorite books as a kid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Wrinkle_in_Time

weird...




RE: A Wrinkle in Time ???
By bobsmith1492 on 8/22/2008 12:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
Love those books... there are a few of 'em. "Tesser!!"


Good news everyone!
By n0b0dykn0ws on 8/22/2008 8:41:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cleaver continued saying, "That is an enormous amount of energy. We are still a very long ways off before we could create something to harness that type of energy."


Now all we need to do is find a Nibbler.

n0b0dykn0ws




RE: Good news everyone!
By MrBlastman on 8/22/2008 9:14:09 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, if we did have a Nibbler, with a minor genetic modification we could allow it to eat its way through spacetime completely bypassing all needs to utilize this phenomenon.

All we'd have to do is hook a chariot up behind it and pull ourselves through the universe!

Of course, it would have to deficate at some point creating quantum space-time bubbles which we could use as infinite storage closets in the locker room of said chariot... Perhaps we could fit a whole planet in there which would re-define the term "civilized relocation."


Nice Theoretical Ship
By kevinkreiser on 8/22/2008 11:43:43 AM , Rating: 3
Seriously, where can I get one of those 2 dimensional ships? And I guess if I were to upgrade to the 3 dimensional ship I'd need even more energy than the mass of Jupiter...




By sliderum on 8/22/2008 2:30:56 PM , Rating: 2
Theoretically everything as possible, but practise is very bad!




By icanhascpu on 8/22/2008 7:05:29 PM , Rating: 1
Try and make sense next post.


This is not new.
By smiller83 on 8/22/2008 10:17:01 AM , Rating: 2
The proposed propulsion is nothing new. I read about this theory years ago in Popular Science. The concept at least isn't new, maybe these researchers worked out some of the math. This thing even has its own Wikipedia entry.




One Word...
By Tegrat on 8/22/2008 10:56:19 AM , Rating: 2
DARKSUCKER...




hmm
By lagomorpha on 8/22/2008 7:17:35 PM , Rating: 2
"would require energy equivalent to the entire mass of Jupiter."

mass of Jupiter = 1.8987 × 10^27 kilograms
C = 299 792 458 m / s
E=MC^2

Energy of Mass of Jupiter = 1.706466457867596 x 10^44 Joules

How much petrol do we need to burn to generate that kind of energy again? The mass of the universe in petrol?




By mthomas on 8/23/2008 1:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
The universe is about 160 billion light years in diameter
with an age of 3.5 billion.

Light speed is 186,000 miles/sec to go 160 billion lights years. Rubbish !

Einstein only works below light speed and laws need to be rewritten.

This implies that the speed of light is ~1,000 slower
than the explosion at the big bang.




Time Travel
By rudolphna on 8/25/2008 1:34:46 AM , Rating: 2
Even if they break that theory, they then have to contend with the problem of time passage.. The theory goes that the closer you are to the speed of light, the slower the passage of tiem for you. And, at the speed of light, time stops. And as you pass it, time starts moving backwards. Now, this seems kinda like a bad idea, because it wouldnt be good for space explorers to report back to earth when they are in the 1700s because it wouldnt work.




Necromongers?
By TimberJon on 8/25/2008 1:27:32 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds alot like what the drives LOOK like from that Riddick movie with the necromonger ships.




How is this news?
By EATTHEAPPLE on 8/26/2008 6:36:44 AM , Rating: 2
I FN hate that someone can just think of anything and it be news worthy. I think the color blue is really red and red is really blue, I base this on the fact that I was taking a dump and was bored. Hey someone listen to me and think that I am smart.

This is the exact same thing as the hitting the ground when falling while your sleeping will kill you. "Brown, this man died in his sleep. He was dreaming that he was falling and he hit the ground. Obviously his state of mind was not very grounded." (cue the Who) duh duh duh duh duhhhh duh duhh "Who are you who who who who"

Speaking of BS thoughts why are my palms hairy?




Data Make it happen
By Meinolf on 8/26/2008 1:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
Data make it happen




Mass effect
By iNGEN on 8/27/2008 5:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
Has anyone considered the effects something like this would have on matter in the flight path? I'm just picturing a little piece of space dust with the kinetic potential of the world's nuclear arsenal. That could turn an FTL trip into a "really bad yestertoday".




Bad Science Fiction
By josealexandrecroca on 8/24/2008 6:58:33 PM , Rating: 1
Well I only can say that the authors are doing bad science fiction. In tunnel conditions photons travel faster than c destroying Einstein original ideas and theory. But of course the key point is the "information" velocity, or in another words: a totally arbitrary mathematical concept that fits in. Now these authors claim the biggest discover of the XXI century… the mystic "dark energy" which enables this experiment and explains the darkest realm of the Universe.
Be realistic: photon speed bigger than c = Relativity is conceptually wrong = all works based in Relativity are also wrong in their basis = people that work on this staff was converting State money into most expensive Science Fiction ever done.
To all of these Scholars I would like to ask again: what is the speed of the gravity interaction between two masses? Unfortunately almost everybody forgot this small point before Einstein went to the Nobel Prize. This last sentence is only to remember that the authors with a good funding and propaganda can also win it.




Theories...
By bobsmith1492 on 8/22/08, Rating: -1
RE: Theories...
By NullSubroutine on 8/22/2008 9:51:41 AM , Rating: 3
1. Yes I believe so, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy not saying wikipedia is the end all be all, but you should at least get an idea.

2. It is really not necessarily that they are skeptical about string theory (there are many different types) it's that all of them are generally incomplete.

The other problem you have is that they often are describing similar phenomenon in different ways. There are also other theories that attempt to combine all the String and similar theories in a single unified theory, but none are completely mathematically sound as they fail to 'cover' everything.

What you can pretty much bet on is that there are more than 4 dimensions and there are many pieces of the puzzle that are not explained. It goes back to the similar analogy of having 5 blind men describe an elephant, they describe different things based on their touch, but it's all the same elephant.


RE: Theories...
By fishbits on 8/22/2008 10:29:13 AM , Rating: 5
Sources like Space.com are extremely lax on how dark matter/energy are presented. Sometimes dark matter is just ordinary matter we're unable to observe yet, sometimes it is written about as a magical form of matter that inherently can't be directly detected, yet definitely exits instead of being a theory.

So for the time being, we've got equation-balancing wildcards flung about casually. "Well, my idea could work, if we use dark energy. Since it is undefined and unobservable, there's no reason I can't pretend it will make my notion work."

"2+2=35. Well, you see, there are 'dark integers' on the left side of the equation. They behave like regular integers with the values I want, when I want them too. When I don't, well, they are simply not there. No, I'm not going to consider that my assumptions that don't conform to observable reality may be wrong." Scientific method takes a shot to the jimmies. There may be some grain of truth behind dark matter/energy, but the unscrupulous have run wild with the notions.


RE: Theories...
By masher2 (blog) on 8/22/2008 12:15:28 PM , Rating: 4
Dark matter is never just 'ordinary matter' that we haven't yet observed. It's unobservable...with light at least; we observe it by detecting its gravitational effects.

Though in my own personal opinion, MOND (modified Newtonian Dynamics) is a more elegant explanation of the data than Dark Matter, but contemporary thought definitely strongly supports DM/DE.


RE: Theories...
By NullSubroutine on 8/22/2008 12:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
I personally think many of the troubles of the calculation of gravitational effects and acceleration is due to the fact there is no real 'zero point' in space/time. All stars, galaxies, etc are moving and there is no reference point that isn't moving.

Add that to the fact that space/time is expanding in the universe complicates matters more. I mean when everything is in motion and nothing that we know of isn't moving in a certain direction, is there really a safe point that we check mathematical hypotheses against observational data? We can easily calculate distance because of red shift, but there is no stopped point for us to accurately observe acceleration.

I looked over MOND and I wouldn't necessarily put it over Dark Matter, but I would definately put it over Luminiferous aether.


RE: Theories...
By MatthiasF on 8/22/2008 6:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
I agree somewhat albeit for a different reason.

There can never be a perfect "zero point". Everything is changing constantly, either by movement, density, energy, etc. whatever you want to call it. The only way to do precise measurements is with a reference as you suggest, and many of the references made by mankind are all abstractions based off what we encounter and is typically ruled by politics (meter, Pascal, Watt). There is really no known way to provide an absolute reference between two objects because we are part of deciding how to measure and it's typically too arbitrary to be truly helpful.

The best we can do is use multiple sources to calibrate our data. Most of our data is not calibrated well, as is the case with the red shift data that is so often used to push theories on expansion. Had we one or two move points of reference from which to calibrate (another solar system, galaxy, etc.), we could get a more accurate picture of what's going on. The more points, spaced out, at higher resolution, would yield the best results for this calibration.

Unfortunately, we can't do this yet, because we don't have interstellar ships. So, how do we learn how to travel between stars when we need to get data from other stars?

In comes the use of heavy objects in space, like Quasars, dwarfs, etc., being used as lenses. Still not all that accurate because it's being read from a single point, but at least it adds more dimension to our observations.

If we could send a signal to a lense and watch the response, we could calibrate lenses and use them to build the calibrated data we need. Only problem, it takes way too long to wait for a response (millions if not billions of years).

So, it seems we're in a conundrum. Anyone have any ideas how to get out of this rut? Could be a Noble Prize waiting for you.


RE: Theories...
By fishbits on 8/22/2008 2:36:41 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Dark matter is never just 'ordinary matter' that we haven't yet observed.
As I said originally, when dealing with lax sources like Space.com, it is.
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/da...
quote:
Astronomers Image Red Dwarf Star, One Type of Dark Matter
...
There are two types of dark matter, however.

Some, like the newly imaged red dwarf star, represents regular old matter wrapped up in hard-to-spot packages -- cold, dim stars that aren't readily observable with present technology...
Truly exotic dark matter, on the other hand, is thought to be made of invisible particles that have yet to be detected. ...
quote:
'Groundbreaking' Discovery: First Direct Observation of Dark Matter
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/mi...

If you wish to say that there aren't sources who apply the term "dark matter" to both cases, I'm afraid that's not true.


RE: Theories...
By MozeeToby on 8/22/2008 2:57:41 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that there are two kinds of 'dark matter'.

One is matter that is literally dark, as in does not give off light and is not easily detected from earth. This would include planets, interstellar dust, black holes, and much much more.

The other kind of dark matter is believed to be different. It is mass that does not interect with other mass except through gravitation. Originally, when this kind of dark matter was first found, astronomers thought that it could be explained by normal matter that simply can't be seen. With, more evidence, it became apparent that this wasn't the case.

Now, we have one term to express two very different ideas.


RE: Theories...
By fishbits on 8/22/2008 3:22:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The problem is that there are two kinds of 'dark matter'... Now, we have one term to express two very different ideas.
This wasn't stated in the post you're replying to?


RE: Theories...
By masher2 (blog) on 8/22/2008 6:07:08 PM , Rating: 2
> "Now, we have one term to express two very different ideas."

That's not a very accurate way to look at it. More precisely, we have what is called the "dark matter problem", which is the discrepancy in (among other things) gravitational effects on galaxies.

To explain that problem, a few different solutions have been proposed. One is (obviously) dark matter, more precisely known as WIMPs. -- weakly interacting massive particles. There are some other forms of dark matter, but the important point is they're all exotic -- they don't interact the way normal matter does.

As a more mundane solution to the problem, some cosmologists proposed what they called MACHOs (a play on "wimp" -- get it?). But even though MACHOs are a (proposed) solution to the dark matter problem, they aren't dark matter -- they're normal matter which just isn't illuminated.

So the "Macho" solution doesn't hypothesis dark matter, it's a solution to the problem that involves just plain old ordinary matter. There's nothing exotic at all about a MACHO. . . if the Earth was floating in space without the benefit of the sun to light it up, it would be an (albeit very small and insignificant) MACHO as well.

The problem is that the Macho solution doesn't appear to be a very good one, which leaves Dark Matter and a few other possibilities (such as MoND) to solve the problem.


RE: Theories...
By drwho9437 on 8/24/2008 12:47:31 AM , Rating: 2
My opinion is just that General Relativity is flawed. I feel like we are back in the 20s trying to do everything within the framework with more exotic explanations.


RE: Theories...
By icanhascpu on 8/22/2008 7:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
"the unscrupulous have run wild with the notions."

Exactly, and thus the scientific method is perfectly intact. This is the same sort of thing i laugh at when people tell me they 'experiment' with drugs. "Sorry Charly but scientests 'experiment', youre just a dumbass" xD


RE: Theories...
By Oregonian2 on 8/22/2008 1:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
2. Aren't most physicists generally skeptical about string theory?


From what I've read they're a lot less so than previously and that it has been "gaining ground" for some time now.

There are those who think all there is to be known is known and that the fabric and goings on of the entire universe is known and understood. I think they're nuts. But that's okay, they probably think that of me too -- and for all I know both thoughts are correct.


RE: Theories...
By masher2 (blog) on 8/22/2008 2:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
I think perhaps the best representation is that string theory has gained ground for decades, but now seems to be being reconsidered. Book's like Smolin's "The Trouble With Physics" have recently questioned the very foundation of string theory.


RE: Theories...
By Spuke on 8/22/2008 3:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Trouble With Physics
Does one need a heavy physics background to read that book?


RE: Theories...
By homebredcorgi on 8/22/2008 5:14:06 PM , Rating: 2
Not entirely, though it would certainly help. The author tries to dumb it down and give enough background so a laymen can understand. I'd say if you could understand the gist of this article, you could easily handle the book. It's a very interesting read. I recommend it to anyone interested in physics or science.

The author's major gripe (and it's a big one) is that by the current definition(s) of string theory, it can't be disproved by experiment. Period.

This is the root of the scientific method being thrown out the window and I can't help but wonder if the physics community has wasted years on it.

When a theory is shown to be false by experiment, you scratch your head, admit you're wrong and move on with something new. We like to call this progress and we like to believe it actually happens in the real world. Unfortunately, string theory allows us to devise an experiment to prove the theory, but when nothing is found, equations can be changed and we can show that the experiment never should have found anything in the first place. See the problem here?

Complex and abstract mathematics is a nice skill, but it doesn't mean anything if you can't connect it to the real world. String Theorists have utterly failed to devise some experiment, ANY real-world experiment to prove themselves WRONG. Sadly there are major political factors involved and you are basically kissing your career in physics goodbye if you badmouth string theory.


RE: Theories...
By Oregonian2 on 8/22/2008 8:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sadly there are major political factors involved and you are basically kissing your career in physics goodbye if you badmouth string theory.


I understand that it wasn't that long ago when one's career would have gone bye-bye if you said anything good about string theory. I recall articles about the nut-cases who came up with it.

Somehow I'm not upset with the theory not being disproved. Seems like a good thing, although not as good as proving it to be true.


RE: Theories...
By michael67 on 8/22/2008 3:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
Actually most theorist are going over to a new form of the theory, that includes a extra dimension.
Saw some months ago a BBC docu about it, pretty cool stuff.

Some prof. was doing this research for years and all mainstream string theorist ware saying he was wrong.
And now he is king of the string hill :-)


RE: Theories...
By Samus on 8/23/2008 5:42:48 AM , Rating: 1
1) It is pretty obvious dark matter exists. Explain black holes, of in other words, the disappearance of entire stars as they collapse onto their entire solar systems.

2) String theory doesn't have to be proven. We have working examples of it here on earth. What you subtract from the front and add to the rear of a moving object increases its propulsion.

I am drunk.


RE: Theories...
By kayronjm on 8/24/2008 3:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
1. There are several good candidates for dark matter, namely paticles which are theorised to have existed in the past or exist to propagate certain forces (such as a theory of quantum gravity). On a personal account, I'm not too sure about the true nature of dark matter being as 'physical' as one might think of it. Obviously there's something wrong with our calculations despite our accurate description of spacetime using General Relativity, given certain evidence such as the galaxy rotational curves (where stars very far out in a galaxy seem to be rotating around the galaxy at the same velocity as stars further in - should be less velocity given the larger radius of curvature, suggesting there's more matter outside to compensate for the increase in radius). Despite that I think it's more down to geometry than physical matter, but again no one can be sure. At the end of the day, there have been recent pictures showing 'dark matter halos' and such, but again, it doesn't really say it's physical matter as we think of it.

2. You could say that, but String Theory is very popular these days for how 'complete' it seems to be and how radical it is. I guess I could say a lot of us are more HOPEFUL than SKEPTICAL, haha.

That's true about theories, but without these theories we'd have no 'aim' of where we're headed. Besides, a lot of things start out as theories. Personally I'm all for them, (given that I'm a theoretical physicist) especially 'wild' theories since they open up the mind and the possibilities.


RE: Theories...
By Spectator on 8/28/2008 6:24:43 AM , Rating: 2
I have a theory for you.

I concluded that Dark Space is the food source that sustains everything we know of. That being said mass/gravity is relative to the objects energy requirement to exist.

So if we imagine Darkspace as a fluid. If you "could" create a bubble around an object that only allows DS to flow into it from a specific point.

You could move the object. Depending on how DS works.

Personally i think it seems more logical as an object consumes specific parts of the DS; this leaves an imbalance in the food source that other objects are attracted to that require that type to exist.

And dark matter is just a collection of broken darkspace; "left overs" by an object that does not need those parts to exist.

But hey; time will tell i guess :P


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