A theory that makes the familiar 'warp drive' more realistic in science fiction is announced, how much energy is needed?

It is a common scene in science fiction works that a huge spaceship moves a distance of many light years by warp in an instant.

'Faster-than-light navigation ' that moves beyond the speed of light exists only in the world of creation, but many physicists are wondering if it is actually possible. Meanwhile, a theory was announced that makes the idea of warp, which has been said to require 10 billion times the energy existing in the entire universe, more realistic.

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Warp Drive: New Warp Drive Design Based on Real Physics

The closest star to Earth, Alpha Centauri (Alpha Centauri), is about 4.3 light-years away from Earth. This means that if we proceed at the speed of light, we can reach the star system of Alpha Centauri in 4.3 years, but human beings do not have the technology to move in space at the speed of light.

Theoretically, infinite energy is required to move at the speed of light. Therefore, many scientists have sought to realize superluminal navigation that can move beyond the speed of light with finite energy.

Meanwhile, the 'Alcubierre Drive ' proposed by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubier in 1994 attracted attention as an idea that can realize faster-than-light navigation while complying with Einstein's general theory of relativity.

Alcubierre Drive, inspired by the warp navigation that appears in the SF drama series ' Star Trek ,' says, 'Move the spacecraft by expanding the space-time behind the spacecraft and at the same time contracting the space-time in front of it.' The idea is to sail like surfing on the waves of space-time.

However, in order to realize Alcubierre Drive, it is necessary to intentionally generate 'distortion of space-time', and for that purpose, a huge amount of negative energy equivalent to 10 billion times the energy existing in the entire universe is generated. I know I need it. Therefore, Alcubierre Drive has been considered to be theoretically possible, but in reality it has failed.

However, according to a theory published by Eric Lenz, a theoretical physicist at the University of Göttingen, the energy required to move a 656-foot-wide spacecraft traveling at the speed of light on the Alcubierre drive is , It is said that it will be 100 times the energy equivalent to the mass of Jupiter. This is said to be equivalent to 10 to 30 times the maximum energy that a modern nuclear fission reactor can output , but it has succeeded in reducing the energy to '1/10 60 times', which is 10 billion times the energy existing in the entire universe. This means that Alcubierre Drive has become more realistic.

'This study brings the problem of faster-than-light navigation one step closer to engineering from the theory of basic physics,' Lenz said.

in Science, Posted by log1i_yk