Spacecrafts may soon travel faster than light at ‘Star Trek’ warp speed

May 9th, 2009 - 3:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 9 (ANI): Two physicists at Baylor University, US, have an idea that can turn traveling at the speed of light from science fiction to real science, just like the warp speed at which spacecraft travel in the fictional TV and film series ‘Star Trek’.

Dr. Gerald Cleaver, associate professor of physics at Baylor, and Dr. Richard Obousy, a Baylor post-doctoral student, theorize that by manipulating the space-time dimensions around the spaceship with a massive amount of energy, it would create a “bubble” that could push the ship faster than the speed of light.

To create this bubble, the Baylor physicists believe manipulating the 11-dimension would create dark energy.

Cleaver said that positive dark energy is responsible for speeding up the universe as time moves on, just like it did after the Big Bang, when the universe expanded faster than the speed of light.

“Think of it like a surfer riding a wave,” said Cleaver, who co-authored a research paper with Obousy about the new method.

“The ship would be pushed by the bubble and the bubble would be traveling faster than the speed of light,” he added.

The method is based on the Alcubierre drive, which proposes expanding the fabric of space behind a ship into a bubble and shrinking space-time in front of the ship.

The ship would not actually move, rather the ship would sit in between the expanding and shrinking space-time dimensions.

Since space would move around the ship, the theory does not violate Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, which states that it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object faster than the speed of light.

String theory suggests the universe is made up of multiple dimensions. Height, width and length are three dimensions, and time is the fourth dimension.

Scientists believe that there are a total of 10 dimensions, with six other dimensions that we cannot yet identify.

A new theory, called M-theory, takes string theory one step farther and states that the “strings” actually vibrate in an 11-dimensional space.

It is this 11th dimension that the Baylor researchers believe could help propel a ship faster than the speed of light. (ANI)

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