Scientists Alexey Bobrick and Gianni Martire from the Advanced Propulsion Laboratory (APL) at Applied Physics have developed the first general model for a physical warp drive, in which a spacecraft could eventually use to travel faster than the speed of light, without breaking the laws of physics. The concept for a warp drive dates back to 1994, when theoretical physicist named Miguel Alcubierre proposed the Alcubierre drive, which conforms to Einstein’s theory of general relativity to achieve superluminal travel. Read more for two videos and additional information.
The Alcubierre drive would expend a massive amount of energy to contract and twist space-time in front of it, thus creating a bubble with an inertial reference frame where explorers would feel no proper acceleration. Although the rules of physics would still apply within the bubble, the ship would be localized outside of space. This new physical warp drive by the APL doesn’t require negative energy, as it uses floating bubbles of spacetime rather than floating ships in spacetime.
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While the mass requirements needed for such modifications are still enormous at present…our work suggests a method of constructing such objects based on fully understood laws of physics,” said the APL scientists.