Guys, it’s happening. It’s really, really happening.
*bounces off walls* *throws confetti* *pulls out massive scientific dictionary*
NASA has started working on a warp drive ship that can travel hyper-fast (think faster-than-light). If they can actually build the ship, it could reach Alpha-Centuari, the closest star to us, which is still over 4 light years away, in only 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS.
Trekkies, rejoice. And they are naming this ship the IXS Enterprise:
I know, I know, you’re probably wondering how this ship could work if Einstein’s law of nothing-can-travel-faster-than-the-speed-of-light holds true.
Warning: filtered science ahead as best explained as I can understand it
Physicists have found a theoretical loophole. Since spacetime has no mass (think about that for a second—space has no mass. Mind bendy), it can travel at any speed. The front of the ship would crunch spacetime while the back would expand spacetime. Manipulating the spacetime around the ship is what moves the ship forward, so the ship itself doesn’t have to move. So Einstien’s theory holds true because the ship isn’t moving at the speed of light.
The best way I can picture it is as though I were caught in a riptide. If I let myself be carried by the waves, I’d move forward in the water, even though I’m not the one doing the actual movement. As opposed to putting flippers on my feet and propelling myself through the water.
This manipulation of spacetime would be done through what’s called the Alcubierre drive. The problem was, up until 2 years ago, this could only be done using a MASSIVE amount of energy. Enter in NASA physicist, Dr. Harold White, who redesigned the Alcubierre drive so it could theoretically work with waaaaaay less energy requirements.
Thus making our Trekkie dreams one step closer to becoming reality.
Are you drooling? I’m drooling. Need to mop up this pool of drool in my lap.
(Here’s a whole video where Dr. White explains the science behind it:)