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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2013 > Jul > Jul 23

Faster Than The Speed Of Light?

From: Steve Sawyer <stevesaw.nul>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 21:05:15 -0700
Archived: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 07:15:30 -0400
Subject: Faster Than The Speed Of Light?

Hi, Listerions,

In a July 22 article in the New York Times, there is a report on
some of NASA's current research into advanced propulsion
technologies, entitled Faster Than The Speed Of Light? that
discusses some of the preliminary investigations of a NASA
physicist and engineer, Harold G. White, who is apparently
exploring and attempting to refine the kind of "warp drive"
theory and potential technology first discussed in detail by
Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre several years ago.



for the full article

[Fair Use Excerpt]

HOUSTON - Beyond the security gate at the Johnson Space Center's
1960s-era campus here, inside a two-story glass and concrete
building with winding corridors, there is a floating laboratory.

Harold G. White, a physicist and advanced propulsion engineer at
NASA, beckoned toward a table full of equipment there on a
recent afternoon: a laser, a camera, some small mirrors, a ring
made of ceramic capacitors and a few other objects.

He and other NASA engineers have been designing and redesigning
these instruments, with the goal of using them to slightly warp
the trajectory of a photon, changing the distance it travels in
a certain area, and then observing the change with a device
called an interferometer. So sensitive is their measuring
equipment that it was picking up myriad earthly vibrations,
including people walking nearby. So they recently moved into
this lab, which floats atop a system of underground pneumatic
piers, freeing it from seismic disturbances.

The team is trying to determine whether faster-than-light travel
- warp drive - might someday be possible.

Warp drive. Like on "Star Trek."

"Space has been expanding since the Big Bang 13.7 billion years
ago," said Dr. White, 43, who runs the research project. "And we
know that when you look at some of the cosmology models, there
were early periods of the universe where there was explosive
inflation, where two points would've went receding away from
each other at very rapid speeds."

"Nature can do it," he said. "So the question is, can we do it?"

Einstein famously postulated that, as Dr. White put it, "thou
shalt not exceed the speed of light," essentially setting a
galactic speed limit. But in 1994, a Mexican physicist, Miguel
Alcubierre, theo- rized that faster-than-light speeds were
possible in a way that did not contradict Einstein, though Dr.
Alcubierre did not suggest anyone could actually construct the
engine that could accomplish that.

His theory involved harnessing the expansion and contraction of
space itself. Under Dr.Alcubierre's hypothesis, a ship still
couldn't exceed light speed in a local region of space. But a
theoretical propulsion system he sketched out manipulated space-
time by generating a so-called "warp bubble" that would expand
space on one side of a spacecraft and contract it on another.

"In this way, the spaceship will be pushed away from the Earth
and pulled towards a distant star by space-time itself," Dr.
Alcubierre wrote. Dr. White has likened it to stepping onto a
moving walkway at an airport.

But Dr. Alcubierre's paper was purely theoretical, and suggested
insurmountable hurdles. Among other things, it depended on large
amounts of a little understood or observed type of "exotic
matter" that violates typical physical laws.

Dr. White believes that advances he and others have made render
warp speed less implausible. Among other things, he has
redesigned the theoretical warp-traveling spacecraft - and in
particular a ring around it that is key to its propulsion system
- in a way that he believes will greatly reduce the energy

He is quick to offer up his own caveats, however, saying his
warp research is akin to a university science project that is
just trying to prove that a microscopic warp bubble can be
detected in a lab. "We're not bolting this to a spacecraft," he
said of the warp technology.

[End Excerpt]

As you can see from reading the entire article, this is just a
kind of "update" on current NASA advanced propulsion research,
which is very preliminary and generalized, as Dr. White himself
indicates, but it is nice to know that at least a few NASA
physicists, and minimal resources, are being expended on
exploring this revolutionary theory and that maybe, one day, the
technological means for implementing it could perhaps be
eventually realized. Maybe.

Interestingly, Alcubierre has this to say about the current
impracticality of his own hypothetical technology ever being

[Fair Use Excerpt]

Still, one of the most dubious is Dr. Alcubierre himself. He
listed a number of concerns, starting with the vast amounts of
exotic matter that would be needed.

"The warp drive on this ground alone is impossible," he said.

And he posed a more fundamental question: How would you
turn it on?

"At speeds larger than the speed of light, the front of the warp
bubble cannot be reached by any signal from within the ship," he
said. "This does not just mean we can't turn it off; it is much
worse. It means we can't even turn it on in the first place."

[End Excerpt]


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