Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

9/18/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New ideas suggest faster than light travel is not only possible but feasible too.

Star Trek may be closer than we think. Researchers now believe that faster-than-light space travel is not only possible, but quite feasible given the development of new technology. 

Much like a surfer on a wave, scientists now believe it is possible to surf waves in spacetime and to move faster than the speed of light.

Much like a surfer on a wave, scientists now believe it is possible to surf waves in spacetime and to move faster than the speed of light.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/18/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Speed of light, faster than light, travel, stars, space, surfing space, warp drive, warp speed, Star Trek


LOS ANGELES, Ca (Catholic Online) - It was Albert Einstein who explained to that nothing could exceed the universal speed limit, set by the speed of light - about 186,000 miles per second. This is because of the peculiar nature of physics. 
As an object accelerates, its mass also increases. To continue accelerating, an increasingly massive object needs more energy. At the point an object reaches the speed of light, it's mass, and therefore the energy to propel it, would be infinite thus requiring more energy than is contained in the universe.

However, there is another peculiar feature of the universe that scientists think they can manipulate to overcome this limitation. 

Space-time, is a 4th dimension that is understood well in physical models of the universe, and can be best understood as a sheet of fabric that stretches to the ends of the universe. In reality, this fabric occupies all three dimensional space, but a two dimensional imagining of it serves understanding best. 

Spacetime is not perfectly flat, but rather it is distorted by massive objects. For example, a planet warps spacetime around it much the same way a bowling ball would warp a sheet on a very soft bed.

Those dimples in spacetime are what causes planets to orbit the sun, and the moon to orbit Earth, and so on. 

Scientists have been able to accurately observe and measure these distortions, so they are well understood. 

Back in 1994, a Mexican physicist, Miguel Alcubierre came up with the idea of a warp drive that would run on less than infinite energy by distorting spacetime around a craft. Basically, the object would warp the spacetime around it, using exotic matter and a high-energy power supply to warp spacetime around it while keeping the spaceship itself safely wrapped in a bubble of normal space.

This warping would cause the ship to fall in the direction of the warp, or in this case, forward, without breaking the laws of physics. This is much like how a surfer rides a wave. 

Since the ship is flying in space, without any resistance to its fall, its speed could be several times faster than light. Researchers think it could manage about 10 times the speed of light. 

Such speeds would reduce the amount of travel time to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, to about 5 months. 

So why aren't we surfing space yet?

Alcubierre's concept still required a lot of energy, about the energy equivalent to the mass-energy of  Jupiter, and since we only have one of those lying around, and it's already being used, the concept was shelved. But recently, researchers at NASA's Johnson Space Flight Center think they may have a way to cut down on that requirement. 

By adjusting the shape of the ring slightly, they can make the design much more efficient, thus requiring the mass energy contained in a Voyager 1 space probe- sized object. This is within the realm of feasibility. 

Researchers now plan to test these ideas on a micro-scale, using lasers on tabletops to run the first battery of experiments. If those experiments prove successful, we could see faster-than-light travel within a matter of centuries rather than never. 

 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

Is Facebook changing? Facebook plans to conquer the virtual world this year Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Facebook's chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer promised that the Virtual Reality (VR) program will come into life within the year. The Oculus headset, which was on their top secret list before, was announced to be available soon, but the exact release date is not ... continue reading


Smartphones and Internet may be putting your child's mental health in jeopardy Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil

The number of young people being admitted for mental treatments since 2010 has rapidly increased. Julie Lynn Evans, a psychotherapist for over 25 years now, is grateful for the additional funding being sent into mental health services, but she believes the dilemma ... continue reading


Stealth fighter jets in U.S. set to get massive upgrades Watch

Image of Pentagon officials have stressed the importance of developing the new long-range strike bomber calling it critical to national security and nuclear deterrence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mainstay of United States military defense, stealth bombers have been around since the Seventies. The Air Force's aging fleet is now ready for an expensive makeover. The Pentagon intends to develop a high-priority, super-classified, next-generation bomber. ... continue reading


Will you say 'hello' to Barbie? Mattel's new Barbie doll is 'creeping out' parents, raising concerns of privacy Watch

Image of Hello Barbie will allow its owner to carry on a conversation through recorded audio and WiFi.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Classic toy doll, Barbie, has been reinvented after the makers, Mattel received numerous requests for a Barbie doll that kids can talk to, according to a spokesperson of the toy company. Mattel's response is WiFi connected "Hello Barbie" that comes with an installed ... continue reading


Scientists find way to eliminate inherited diseases with genetically modified human eggs Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New gene-editing techniques are being improved and could soon eliminate inherited diseases from future generations by modifying the DNA of human egg cells. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although the idea of editing chromosomes in human eggs or sperm is feared, ... continue reading


Hidden spy cameras discovered at United States post office, installation confirmed by USPIS Watch

Image of freerepublic.com

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A hidden camera disappeared just after an hour of being discovered at a Denver local post office, Fox31 Denver reported. People became alarmed that they are being watched as they drop-off their mails with the possibility of the camera collecting their facial features ... continue reading


Your selfie can now be seen by millions: Charity campaign puts selfies on billboards for donations Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

By participating in the Ultimate Selfie Campaign (#ultimateselfiecampaign), people can now have millions of people across the United States see their selfie or favorite photo on digital billboards, while helping charities with a $25 donation. The project was an ... continue reading


BIG, BIG things predicated on Apple's 'Smartwatch' Watch

Image of A solid gold version aimed at the very rich will tarnish a brand that promises

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Apple remains unusually successful, there are already naysayers lining up to predict that the company's forthcoming "Smartwatch" will be a flop. Many details about the new gadget remain under wraps. Questions remain about the watch's price, the battery ... continue reading


Let there be light: New urine-powered light bulbs bring light to refugee camps Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Pee Power" is what the people are calling this strange innovation. British students and researchers, from the University of the West of England and the OxFam global aid agency, have invented a mode in which light bulbs can be powered by urine. The University has ... continue reading


Zombie Apocalypse: Safest plan is to 'head for the hills,' according to experts Watch

Image of In the event of a zombie apocalypse, cities would fall quickly. However, it would take weeks for zombies to penetrate into less densely populated areas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the event the dead return to life and begin to cannibalize the living, turning them into hordes of the shuffling undead, theoretically - there would be few options. Researchers at Cornell University offer a practical bit of advice should this happen - head ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 20:10-13
10 I heard so many disparaging me, 'Terror on every ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 7
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:31-42
31 The Jews fetched stones to stone him,32 ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 27th, 2015 Image

St. Rupert
March 27: Bishop and missionary, also listed as Robert of Hrodbert. A ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter