US physicists create miniature warp bubbles for the first time

The maximum speed of spaceships is limited by the speed of light. However, this restricts the possibilities of human space travel not inconsiderably. Theoretically, however, there is an alternative that would allow significantly faster intergalactic travel. The warp drive is known, for example, from the science fiction series Star Trek. However, real physicists have also dealt with the theory behind it. Your assessment: The warp drive is at least theoretically quite realistic. The Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre developed the most important concept in this context. It is based on changing the space-time sphere between a spaceship and the target. In concrete terms, this means that time must be compressed in the direction of travel and expanded again at the destination. This way the spaceship could reach its destination without moving particularly fast. So far, however, it has not been possible to create such a warp bubble in reality.

Bild: Dr. Harold G. White, Limitless Space Institute

The discovery happened by accident

For a long time, this was due to the extremely high amount of exotic energy required for such a drive. In recent years, however, progress has been made here, at least on the theoretical level. For example, the Russian physicist Sergey Krasnikov works with a curved space-time and can thus significantly reduce the amount of exotic energy in theory. NASA experts are also working on similar solutions. Scientists at the Limitless Space Institute may now have made an important breakthrough. They actually experimented with the Casimir effects between two metal plates. But then they made an exciting discovery: During investigations at the micro and nano level, they discovered a structure that fulfills the requirements postulated by Alcubierre in his theory. The researchers therefore speak of a very small, but quite real, warp bubble. At the same time, however, they also emphasize that a real warp drive is still a long way off. At least the discovery could be the starting point for further research in this direction.

The research is now to be promoted internationally

However, the researchers at the Limitless Space Institute will not take on this task alone. Instead, they presented their discovery to the public and outlined various ways to further explore the discovered structure. Scientists from all over the world can now deal with the topic. Ideally, this will speed up the research work. The researchers have already shown what further work could look like. They developed a concept for a kind of mini spaceship with warp drive. This consists of a sphere with a diameter of one micrometer surrounded by a cylinder with a diameter of four micrometers. In theory, this concept should meet all the requirements of the Alcubierre model. However, there is still one problem: So far, this is purely theoretical. However, the practical implementation is still missing. It will therefore still take some time until a real warp drive is achieved. At least research seems to have taken a step in this direction.

Via: The Debrief

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