Faster than light travel may cause massive explosions

Back in the 1990s a Mexican physicist came up with this idea for faster than light travel that could exist within Einstein’s theory of relativity. He called this the Alcubierre warp drive, and it basically works by creating a bubble around the space craft that distorts the space-time continuum and permits it to travel faster than the speed of light.

Recently at the University of Sydney’s School of Physics Professor Geraint Lewis and two students, Brendan McMonigal and Philip O’Byrne, delved deeper into the physics of this theoretical warp drive. Previously, a model of the warp bubble was created where it compresses space-time in front and expands it behind, but little else was explored. The new research showed that as the bubble hits particles of matter and light, they are collected and taken along. The longer the space craft travels, the more particles are picked up. Upon the ship’s deceleration, all of these very high energy particles are released and cause complete destruction of anything in their path.

Apparently there is also no upper limit to these particles “You can just keep on traveling for longer and longer distances and the energy that will be released will continue to increase – one of the odd effects of General Relativity.” Brandan McMonigal said. Though even short trips will collect enough energy to completely annihilate anything in front of you when you stop.

Just a little kink to be worked out before we could think of trying faster than light travel and go off exploring the universe.

© 2012, Alex Rideout. All rights reserved.

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