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Space Transportation Science

Introducing the Warpship 361

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fastest-ship-in-the-west dept.
astroengine writes "Dr. Richard Obousy, a guy who has put modern science into the warp drive, has designed his very own warpship. Now, for the first time, he's shared it with the world. It might not be the sleek Starship Enterprise, but its structure has been optimized to harness local 'dark energy,' generating a warp bubble so faster-than-light velocities are possible." Now, the only question is: will the ship achieve faster-than-light travel ... or will the company hit those speeds once it has enough money from investors?
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Introducing the Warpship

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  • by ikirudennis (1138621) * on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:52PM (#28339561) Homepage
    How about we figure out how to warp time first and then figure out a ship to utilize that science for the sake of travel?
  • by whiledo (1515553) * on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:56PM (#28339635)

    The physics behind the warpship is purely theoretical, however. 'Dark energy' needs to be understood and harnessed, plus vast amounts of energy needs to be generated, meaning the warpship is a technology that could only be conceived in the far future. That said, Dr. Obousy's warpship design uses our current knowledge of spacetime and superstring theory to arrive at this futuristic concept.

    Translation: We have a theory based on a lack of theory.

  • by kheldan (1460303) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:58PM (#28339657) Journal
    I'm sure they won't have any problems finding investors -- so long as they cater to the investors who have interest in flying cars, another technology that hasn't actually gotten off the ground yet. What was it someone said about "a fool and his money"?
  • by newcastlejon (1483695) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:02PM (#28339725)
    It puts me in mind of an Outsider ship, which is odd when you consider how they prefer travelling at sub-light speeds.
  • by hardwarejunkie9 (878942) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:14PM (#28339905)
    This article bothers me primarily because it simply recovers old ground on a theory of the possibility of warp travel. The idea of utilizing dark energy to create waves in space-time is hardly new or original and so what we end up seeing in front of us is a series of explanations about possible "space time bubbles" that we have no idea how to create, or even if they're technically feasible, supplemented by a few minor CAD renderings and a wonderful representation of a planar mesh. Pardon me if I'm not entirely enthused. There seems to be no real mention of any progress since this topic was last covered in the scientific press. In short, while a nice idea, it's an old theory and less than stellar (if you'll pardon the pun). This is more science fiction than science, in my opinion.
  • but this fully speculative article will only confuse people.

    I can already hear my non-scientific-inclined friends assuring that it has been demonstrated by Dr. Blah that faster-than-light travel is absolutely possible and we even have the ship ready.

    When Jules Verne wrote his masterpieces he made it clear that it was scientific fiction, and people thrilled shuffling the pages. He was later called a visionary, but he did not pretend to be a scientist, merely a very intelligent writer.

    It bothers me when plausibly smart people make interesting points but place them in the wrong category - nothing wrong with being smart, creative, and wild but, please, let us distinguish science from speculation.

  • by starglider29a (719559) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:20PM (#28339995)
    From TFA #2:

    "but by manipulating extra dimensions with astronomical amounts of energy dot dot dot"

    Well, if we could manipulate astronomical amounts of energy, instead of sailing off to Alpha Centauri or Wolf 359, we could:
    • Have rolling roads (a la heinlein and Asimov) and eliminate the need for flying cars or rolling cars
    • Desalinate seawater to irrigate the arid lands
    • Control global climate change, or run a computer cluster model that can disprove it. Pick one.

    But we can't. I know this is a fun dream. But before you try to replicate the Federation, take a look at the world that they were based upon. The Earth of Roddenberry is VERY different than this one. Let us strive to achieve THAT before we strive for the fastest way off of here.

  • Futurama? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fry-kun (619632) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:27PM (#28340131)

    "The tricky part is that the ship wouldn't actually move; space itself would move underneath the stationary spacecraft. "
    FTA

    "I understand how the engines work now. It came to me in a dream. The engines don't move the ship at all. The ship stays where it is, and the engines move the universe around it."
    Cubert J. Farnsworth

  • Wormhole? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PapaSmurph (249554) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:27PM (#28340133) Homepage

    This sounds somewhat like the way the "Stargate" works in Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, the main difference is this is a bubble rather than a tube between locations that are generating the "extremely large amounts of energy". We just need to find a few Zero Point Modules. Problem solved!

  • by EvilToiletPaper (1226390) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:28PM (#28340145)

    What was it someone said about "a fool and his money"?

    ... are my best friends

  • Re:Investors? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:30PM (#28340181) Journal

    I can't see this venture returning capital on anything that remotely resembles "short term". As such, I envision only government entities or wealthy individuals uninterested in ROI funding a project such as this.

    Honestly, what kind of question could there be about investors in this type of technology? I didn't see anything remotely relevant to a business plan in any of the links.

    I didn't either, but I do see a catastrophic sense of humor failure in your post.

  • by Razalhague (1497249) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:32PM (#28340225) Homepage
    You know, flight isn't a very good example as... well... you know... we've learnt how to do that. Hell, if I remember correctly, they considered heavier-than-air aircraft at least as impossible as warp-drive is considered today.
  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:35PM (#28340301) Journal

    From TFA #2:

    "but by manipulating extra dimensions with astronomical amounts of energy dot dot dot"

    Well, if we could manipulate astronomical amounts of energy, instead of sailing off to Alpha Centauri or Wolf 359, we could:

    • Have rolling roads (a la heinlein and Asimov) and eliminate the need for flying cars or rolling cars
    • Desalinate seawater to irrigate the arid lands
    • Control global climate change, or run a computer cluster model that can disprove it. Pick one.

    But we can't. I know this is a fun dream. But before you try to replicate the Federation, take a look at the world that they were based upon. The Earth of Roddenberry is VERY different than this one. Let us strive to achieve THAT before we strive for the fastest way off of here.

    Imagine charities researching the causes you mention. Now imagine everyone giving a dollar to those causes every time someone repeats the "let's solve all the problems on Earth before we start exploring space" mantra. Those causes would then have enough money to fix all those problems, we'd have our utopia on Earth, and then we'd be free to go on exploring space.

    Personally, between 6 billion of us, I think we should be capable of working on more than one project at once.

  • by c6gunner (950153) on Monday June 15, 2009 @05:13PM (#28340819)

    So. Are they selling electric motors or perpetual energy devices?

    That's a false dichotomy. The great thing about pseudoscience is that it's "experts" can sell you anything you want!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 15, 2009 @05:20PM (#28340913)
    Solved is a little strong for an essentially unverified theory. Posited a solution for, yes.
  • by boiert (934539) on Monday June 15, 2009 @05:48PM (#28341199) Journal

    ..., or it would break our understanding of physics in sort of a big way.

    I thought the Earth was flat!

  • by fermion (181285) on Monday June 15, 2009 @06:31PM (#28341643) Homepage Journal
    Putting a hat on a bunny confuses people. The difference between a Stop sign and a Yield sign sends people into convulsions. Most people don't know the difference between enter and return. Just because it is going to confuse people doesn't mean that smart people should be punished.

    Science fiction is mostly about the relationship between people and technology, or people and ideas, or people and people, and how those relationships grow over time. In many cases, the main technology is a plot device, as in Star Trek. It does not, most of the time, dwell on the technology, and often fiction that does is quite bad. Rather, the fiction dwells on the development or consequence. Stranger in a Strange Land would have been a might weaker book if we spent many pages describing the apparatus and working out the equations.

    In this case we are talking about some possible emerging technology. Others have already written books about how the technology might effect us. What Dr. Blah, as you say, does is work out some equations and cite scientific literature. There is only one or two peer review articles on the subject, and nothing that will work. OTOH, I have seen funded proposals that have less background that this. Scientist are the real ones who dwell in science fiction, until they become science fact. Without them, science stays fiction.

  • by jcwayne (995747) on Monday June 15, 2009 @06:50PM (#28341831) Homepage

    So. Are they selling electric motors or perpetual energy devices?

    It all depends on which you're interested in buying.

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday June 15, 2009 @07:11PM (#28342053)

    Now imagine everyone giving a dollar to those causes every time someone repeats the "let's solve all the problems on Earth before we start exploring space" mantra.

    This would seem to be very bad for the substantial portion of the world's population living on $1/day or less, as the usage of the mantra on Slashdot alone would force them to donate several dozen times their total income.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday June 15, 2009 @07:42PM (#28342333) Homepage

    Problem is the definition of FTL is assumed. Faster than light travel and even scientists think that you are talking of a speed greater than C.

    it MEANS travelling to a point in space faster than travelling to it than you can at the speed of light.

    If I punch a hole through space via a wormhole and travel at 45mph on a moped through the wormhole to travel a normal space distance of 600 light-years... I just traveled FTL. and THAT does not violate causality.

     

  • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:26PM (#28343139)

    To fix this, assign all bugs with error code "42" to him.

  • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:04AM (#28344799)

    That's not really what happens at all. The rotation of the earth has absolutely nothing to do with satellite orbit. With the exception of the tiny amount of matter that gets shifted by the earth's rotation, the movement of the satellite would be exactly the same if the earth did not spin at all.

    The direction of the satellite's forward motion (provided by momentum and thrust to overcome what friction there is) is altered by the force of gravity toward the earth. That change in direction creates the acceleration that produces force in the opposite direction of gravity. All you need to do is make sure that acceleration is equal to 9.8 meters per second squared and you have orbit.

    It's satellite velocity + gravity that create orbit, earth's spin has nothing to do with it. Now, the spin of the Earth does have something to do with geo-stationary orbit, because the speed of the earth at the surface and the velocity necessary to maintain orbit mean that a certain altitude will be required. It factors into the calculations on where to put the satellite, but still, it doesn't create the forces involved in orbit.

  • by mcvos (645701) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:10AM (#28345073)

    100 years ago, many scientists thought that almost everything had been discovered, and they only needed to work out the details. Turns out there were completely new worlds hidden in those details.

    We know for sure that there are gaps in our scientific knowledge. Who knows what kind of worlds are hidden in those gaps? It's too early to definitively rule out warp travel.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:47AM (#28345243)

    So. Are they selling electric motors or perpetual energy devices?

    Actually, wouldn't a faster-than-light device be both? Use an electric engine and a hyperdrive to get a flywheel going faster than light, then extract energy; as it slows down, it's mass increases, and consequently its kinetic energy and rotational momentum, so it'll never slow down to speed of light.

    Isn't it wonderful how once you break some of physics the rest will also unravel ?-)

  • by smoker2 (750216) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:42AM (#28345679) Homepage Journal
    Flight is a very good example IMHO. The first people who wanted to fly, jumped up in the air and promptly fell back down again. So next time they jumped out of trees or off cliffs to extend the time they spent in the air. Gradually they worked out that they needed some other components to slow the descent, and this gradually became a "wing". So they got as far as the hang glider. Wing shape was then concentrated on and eventually the concept of lift was discovered. Then the engines were developed to push that wing through the air fast enough to take off without needing to drop from height first.

    So deciding to do something is the very first step in learning how to do it. Nothing is invented in reverse. Except in computing, where a lot of solutions seem to always be in search of a problem.
    Your last sentence speaks the truth, but negates your argument. Yes, heavier than air flight was considered impossible, and yet boeing 747s are commonplace. But it all started from a few nutters jumping out of trees.

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