Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

9/18/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (

9/18/2012 (3 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 October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Technology

Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS! Watch

Image of The New Shepherd rocket, safe on its West Texas launch pad, after the first-ever such landing made by a space rocket.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a technological upset, Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos has successfully tested a reusable rocket by flying it into space and landing it back on Earth. The test puts Bezo's Blue Origin ahead of Elon Musk's Space X in the race to develop a reusable rocket. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

What the heck is Dark Matter and what's Triangulum II? Watch

Image of Triangulum II may have a greater concentration of dark matter than any other object yet observed.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have discovered a galaxy that may be composed mostly of dark matter. Dark matter is an elusive substance that is yet to be described by scientists. They know what it does, but not what it is. The discovery could help solve the mystery. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Anonymous VS ISIS: Hacker group launches counter-terrorism attacks from the shadows Watch

Image of Hacker group Anonymous takes on ISIS (YouTube).


While ISIS supporters and member utilize social media to attract recruits and sympathizers to their cause, hacker group Anonymous has stepped forward to fight back. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Following the Paris terror attacks Friday, hacker group Anonymous ... continue reading

3 reasons why having sex with robots is wrong, according to the Catholic Church Watch

Image of Should we have sex with robots? Not according to the teachings of the Church, and Natural Law itself.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As robotics manufacturers look to the future, they're planning to tap into the multi-billion dollar sex industry. In the not-too distant future, people will be able to keep robot companions that provide them with sexual gratification. What happens when people begin ... continue reading

Ever wonder why the other line always moves faster? This book has the answer Watch

Image of The practice of lining up is taught in school and is a quintessential aspect of modern civilization.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Why does the other line move faster than yours? This is a question explored, and answered in a new book which used science and history to study standing in line. In "Why Does the Other Line Always Move Faster: The Myths and Misery, Secrets and Psychology of Waiting in ... continue reading

The unimaginable truth behind Facebook's threat to society that you need to know NOW Watch

Image of Has social media taken over?


Teenage internet sensation Essena O'Neill decided to leave social media behind after realizing it did nothing but make her dependent on anonymous "likes" and "shares." Her dependency on social media is just one of many. What else does social media cause? LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading

Move over Uber - Check out the newest 'Air Taxis' that the richest people will ride Watch

Image of Magnetic levitation technology produces the lift and forces the car to propel forward, which makes the system energy efficient.


Futuristic, "Jetsons" -styled "air taxis," that glide 20 to 30 feet above the air on elevated tracks will be debuting in Israel shortly. The dream project of Skytran, based in Mountain View, California had been perfecting the technology over the past five ... continue reading

Here are five shocking surprises from Comet 67P that are keeping scientists awake at night Watch

Image of Rosetta and the Philae lander. Both are on a three-year mission to gather data about comet 67P, but so far they've served to mystify as much as they have explained.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The recent announcement that Comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko (67P) is rich in oxygen molecules has sent scientists scurrying to explain this extraordinary finding. It is the latest in strange discoveries reported by the Rosetta spacecraft in orbit around the enigmatic ... continue reading

If it's not an alien megastructure, could it be... a black hole? Watch

Image of Could it be aliens? No.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Astronomers continue to puzzle over a distant star that for some reason, is having a substantial quantity of its light blocked from reaching Earth. The find is one-of-a-kind and is fueling speculation that intelligent life could be at work. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Are you under surveillance? Watch

Image of The government sanctions the use of tech that is able to connect to your phone and pull anything they want from it.


Stingray is the name of a device called an IMSI-catcher or a "cell-site simulator," and is roughly the size of a briefcase. It works by impersonating cell phone towers and strips metadata or content from phones that connect to them. What does the government have to say ... continue reading

All Technology News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 6:12-28
12 These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
68 Bless the Lord, dew and snow-storm, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must realise ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2015 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at ... Read More