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 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 65
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what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????Page 4 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)

Simple: it doesn't. That is why we call it fiction!


"But.. but.... but... I saw it on TV!!!"
 alexstorm
Joined: 4/22/2008
Msg: 66
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/16/2008 10:41:48 PM
Obviously everyone like to add their opinion of ftl drive options. If you want to write a good story, I think the original question should be more about how to make the plot work and how to make characters interesting to the reader. Spending a lot of effort to get the detail of a ftl drive to sound is missing to point. If you can't tell a good story about people we care about, then the tech stuff won't matter. If you try to make the tech stuff as real as possible based on science, fine, but don't spend much time on it, because it robs the time from the character's and your book will fail.

Here's the ftl problem.

1) Use FTL in your story - FTL is probably not attainable based on our understanding of the Universe. Recently there was a story about using dark matter to circumnavigate the relativity light speed limit. Dark matter can pull space towards you and push it behind you much like the ongoing Universe expansion. Fine, try and do it. The calculations shows that you need to use the power in a mass the size of Jupiter to move an average size spaceship 1/2 mile with this method if you could find dark matter and manipulate it. Go ahead and use that and claim you found a way to tweak it, but don't spend more than 1/2 a page or you will lose your reader.

2) Don't use FTL in your story. Make the galaxy travel and commerce based on believable physics. Fine, but trying to get your story to move along, when even the best starship using Anti-Matter propulsion takes years to get anywhere. And again, don't use more than 1/2 page to explain it or loose your readers.

To FTL or not. It's not the question. Figure out how to make compelling characters and hang the tech as much less important around the story and only use it to push the story forward. That's the best approach to successful writing.

Now, everyone can go back to debating the physics of the Universe.

This is my favorite book on real starship designs:
http://www.amazon.com/Starflight-Handbook-Pioneers-Interstellar-Editions/dp/0471619124/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218951662&sr=1-1

By the way, I don't personally believe we will every do FTL.
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 67
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what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/17/2008 11:53:43 AM
As certain as a highly esteemed Great Thinker scientist proclaims that something "can't be done," some smart-@zz kid comes along and shows it can.

The other way to ensure egg on your face is to predict something will be done: rocket backpacks, wheel-less cars, flying/amphibious cars (Right, it's been "done." Now tell me where to buy one. I can't? My point, exactly.)
Make sure the story happens far enough in the future, and the "predictions" so far beyond what's possible that you'll be comfortably dead long before they discover what a xxxfraudxxx err, "misguided futurist" you are/were.

"Warp Drive" is a fictional device to keep the story moving, as is/was the "transporter." Roddenberry had no clue how warp drive would work, and he didn't need to, just that it helped the story. "The Great Bird of the Galaxy" himself made the point that, for example, if you write a detective story you don't have to explain how a revolver works, just that it does work. Just make sure you don't have your hero "click off the safety" before he shoots his S&W .38 snub (revolvers have no need for a safety).

There are several FTL "plot devices" that help move a story along:
"Warp Drive" apparently allows a craft to move through "normal" space, but at many times faster than the speed of light. Someone has actually made up a chart to show how "warp factors" translate into multiples of "c" (the speed of light) and what energy is needed to pass each "warp factor." Keep in mind, any kind of "warp drive" is also a time machine (because you arrive at the destination quicker than is actually possible to do, with "modern" physics). Avoid "warp drive" concepts unless you want to also do time travel stories, and all the complications involved with that can of worms.
(Yes, that was a pun).

"Tachyon drive" involves translating the craft into a "tachyonic state." From my readings, I would guess a tachyon is a particle whose minimum "speed" is "c," speed of light; however, at "c" the particle's energy would be infinite, so extremely fast travel would actually use less energy than slow travel. In other words, it would be more efficient to use conventional "sublight" rocket (or "impulse") engines for local travel and maneuvering.

Another variation involves translating into a "hyperspace universe," ("Hyperspace Drive") with very different physical rules, like being able to easily exceed "c," or where "c" has a much, much higher value. Typically, direct observation of hyperspace would cause an intelligent being to go insane (or, in some cases, only organic intelligence can navigate Hyperspace, AI always goes insane).

Prior to the mid-90s and "Stargate" the movie, and its TV progeny, "Stargate SG1," in my mind a "Stargate" was a "congruency" device, kind of a tear in space-time, that allowed one to jump through a window into another part of the universe without actually travelling the distance. Typically the "tear" or "window" was a circle or spherical phenomenon of a very temporary nature. "Congruencies" allow two-way transport, "wormholes," apparently, do not.

Most SF writers settle on one form of FTL and use it exclusively, but I see no reason why a story can't have more than onekind- after all, although most oceangoing vessels today use steam or diesel power (nuclear reactors produce steam to run steam engines), some people still use wind power, and there is no (technical) reason why a human-powered "galley" vessel can't still be used for crossing oceans- except that it would make for a very complicated story:

For example, a "Hyperdrive" civilization being defeated by a "primitive, backward" civilization that still uses outdated "warp drive" technology.

PLEASE remember that humans and aliens aren't likely to be able to have offspring, even if it's possible for them to have sex, because you have more DNA in common with bread mold than with the hot blue-skinned babe from Sirius 61 Cygnae:

Kids not possible. BJ possible, but even less likely than in "real life."
 VVendy
Joined: 6/7/2008
Msg: 68
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/18/2008 7:03:34 PM
The oter limits had a really pretty ship that had solor sails on it, a body in motion stays in motion until it meets I always skip those pages and get to the part where stuff blows up or people are doing something.
 Friendlione
Joined: 6/23/2006
Msg: 69
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/19/2008 1:43:08 PM
Forget about warp drive. You'd be better off using the improbability drive such as described in the book Old Man's War. Do youtself a favor and read that book, just to get some ideas on how to create YOUR OWN type of propusion and technology.
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 70
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what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/20/2008 9:13:05 AM
I read a story some decades ago ("Bill, The Galactic Hero," by Harry Harrison) where the spacecraft used a "bloater drive": the ship itself, and all its contents, expanded in a matter of moments to a size several light years long, then shrank to normal size once the ship had expanded to encompass the destination.

From Wikipedia:

The Bloater Drive

The standard ways of circumventing relativity in 1950s and 1960s science fiction were hyperspace, subspace and spacewarp. Harrison's contribution was the Bloater Drive. This enlarges the gaps between the atoms of the ship until it spans the distance to the destination, whereupon the atoms are moved back together again, reconstituting the ship at its previous size but in the new location. An occasional side-effect is that the occupants see a planet drifting, in miniature, through the hull. ("No-no! Don't touch it!")


I personally prefer the concept of "Transport/Translate" portals ("Transport" for travel through space, "Translate" for travel through time), which use a "congruency technology," as opposed to the "wormhole technology" used in the "Stargate" series ("wormholes" have a time lag in transport, "congruencies" don't; according to the "Stargate" series, matter travels one way in a "wormhole," two-way travel is not only possible but essential in "congruencies." (Step through the portal to 2008, read the financial pages, step back through the portal network to 1929 and buy up all the devalued stock from companies that survive to 2008.)
"Congruency" works best (IMHO) on a planetary scale, but there is no (literary) reason it couldn't work between planets, solar systems, or galaxies.
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 5/24/2013 8:18:55 PM
Op, lookn4some1:

Your last post in this thread was several years ago, but your profile is still up, though you might not still be here yourself...wanted to ask you, in here since I can't message you - your book ever go anywhere? One of my posts in my thread "what would your spaceship be like?" might explain why I'm asking. Wanting to hear about your book, if you ever did anything with it.
 Proteaus
Joined: 6/9/2009
Msg: 72
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 5/25/2013 7:19:39 AM
Actually in 6 billion years or so it won't matter much . That is when humans , if there are still any around , will have
front row seats as the Andromeda galaxy begins to cannibalize our Milky Way galaxy . They are on a collision course
and Andromeda is over twice as large as our galaxy , which means the Milky Way is the victim .
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 5/25/2013 10:32:16 AM

Actually in 6 billion years or so it won't matter much . That is when humans , if there are still any around , will have
front row seats as the Andromeda galaxy begins to cannibalize our Milky Way galaxy . They are on a collision course
and Andromeda is over twice as large as our galaxy , which means the Milky Way is the victim .

Oh sh!t, I forgot all about that. My bad! So why am I even bothering with anything? I should just go and kill myself now. No need to wait until the last minute.

Anybody remember that scene in Austin Powers? That guy was gonna git run'd over? The vehicle was about 70 feet away from the guy, and going about 1/2 a mile an hour...and the guy falls to his knees and screams "noooo!" for about 10 minutes until he done got run'd over...
 Bachelorette.Number1
Joined: 4/18/2013
Msg: 74
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 5/25/2013 9:54:55 PM
It is -
Using a matter/antimatter reactor to create plasma, and by sending this plasma through warp coils, Zefram Cochrane created a warp bubble which he could use to move a craft into subspace, thus allowing it to exceed the speed of light.

Use something like -
Synthetic molecular motors - are molecular machines capable of rotation under energy input.
Yeah it's real small but transduce it through neomagnetic digital piping and reverse the optimum flow and you're in business!
 nipoleon
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 75
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what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 5/26/2013 7:05:26 PM
Actually, a warp type space travel is possible but not in the way it's described in Star Trek.

First, you have to be able to manipulate gravity. Or rather, bend space the way massive objects do to create a gravitational effect.
If you can bend space, you can create a " gravity well " directly in front of your space ship.
Then you simply extend that gravity well as far as you want in the direction you want.

Essentially, you are stretching a small amount of space in front of you into a far distance away.
You could stretch the first 6 inches of space to 60,000 miles, then you could go the whole 60,000 miles while only traveling 6 inches. The trip would also be in real time, since it would take no more time than traveling 6 inches.
Once you reach you destination, you simply turn off your space stretcher and there you are.
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 5/26/2013 8:22:42 PM
^ don't know how do-able this all will really be...but this is similar to what I speak of in my other thread which I mention in msg 81 of this thread. Seems the most plausible approach to me.
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/1/2014 1:06:32 PM
Just found this. Don't know much about it yet...

http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/1/5959637/nasa-cannae-drive-tests-have-promising-results

http://cannae.com/
 CressB
Joined: 7/1/2011
Msg: 78
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what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/2/2014 7:16:08 AM
^ don't know how do-able this all will really be...but this is similar to what I speak of in my other thread which I mention in msg 81 of this thread. Seems the most plausible approach to me.


Nah, it wouldn't work like that. The whole idea of warp travle is to bypass inertia (and thus the light speed limit) by moving a portion of space, local to your craft, along with you as you move through space toward your destination - in essence you are not really moving at all. Doing it the way it was described in msg 85 would not result in the bypassing of inertia so your craft would still be limited to subluminal speeds and subject to the effects of inertia. I have heard that some scientist in Mexico, working on warp tech related experiments, have been having some valuable success (or was it New Mexico... Can't remember?).

Anyway, given the reports of the extreme aroacrobatics being performed by UFOs (which should by all rights tare any craft/pilot to pieces) I would say that, at least some group of entities (be it us or not) have figured out how to manipulate/get around inertia, so I have hope for the success of the tech, at least in that respect (kind of pissed off if its us though, and they just aren't telling us about it, but I doubt that it is us).
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/2/2014 9:52:56 AM
^ This might be hard to answer because we don't really understand gravity yet in the first place...but, if a mass were falling towards something like our sun, via the sun's gravity, accelerating at the rate that things do under the pull of gravity, and it never reached terminal velocity for lack of an atmosphere and never hit the surface of the source of gravity (for some odd reason): Do you think that the object would eventually surpass the speed of light, and even multiple times? (If it somehow didn't experience time distortions nor the other problems that we currently predict at such speeds.)
 funchesf
Joined: 6/27/2014
Msg: 80
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/2/2014 10:11:00 AM
I think that the term "Warp Drive" has become society's way of outing "trekkies" ..just kidding (maybe) but anyway

my contention when it comes to movies or book that if the advancements in technology has risen to the level of Warp Drive then why would you even need a Ship to travel in

if with Warp Drive (books, movies) you can travel faster than the speed of light or even possibly go back in time as indicated in some Star Trek Episodes then you at that point in time has risen to the level of Gods which brings up the eternal question that Kirk asked "What does God need with a Star Ship?"

I ran into the same problem with the sci-fi cable series I'm producing based in myths and legends which in one of the episodes all technology on the planet slowly become infected and rendered unusable as War looms

so to solve this problem of creating a craft that could operate on the planet without becoming infected I came up with "Thought Propulsion" an animation I've created of this concept can be seen here...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIx-CodMUJA

in this episode a legend from the book of lore reveals a fail-safe as to how one can consciously control their subconscious therefore having the ability to alter the laws of physic and therefore being able to operate a craft by their thoughts...in the days of olde it was called using "Witchcraft"....but then it don upon myself that if you can fly a craft with your "thoughts" then what the heck do you need a craft for ...just fly yourself ...which brought me to create this animated concept https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHmWmYT2NZs

The moral of the story is
whether you're writing for Scientific American or for book and movies...when it comes to Warp Drive until or unless it is actually created, then no explanation you could come up with as to how it works or why one will have to be dependent upon using it will be plausible

.. just let the thing fly...allow the audience to use their imagination as to what type of "Drive" it is using ,which is why I've scraped the first two concepts and came up with this animation of one of the crafts I will use in the series https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ29hkeUe2w
 CressB
Joined: 7/1/2011
Msg: 81
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what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/2/2014 11:15:34 AM
^ This might be hard to answer because we don't really understand gravity yet in the first place...but, if a mass were falling towards something like our sun, via the sun's gravity, accelerating at the rate that things do under the pull of gravity, and it never reached terminal velocity for lack of an atmosphere and never hit the surface of the source of gravity (for some odd reason): Do you think that the object would eventually surpass the speed of light, and even multiple times? (If it somehow didn't experience time distortions nor the other problems that we currently predict at such speeds.)


Intuitively, this would seem to be the case, as we naturally perceive the world in a Newtonian manner, however, relativity tells us otherwise. As mass approaches the speed of light it begins to loose its cohesion, converting from mass to energy, as evident in Einstein's famous equation e=mc^2, or mass becomes energy at the constant speed of light; the amount of energy is product of "e" and the factor c^2, which gives us the calculation for how much energy is in a given amount of mass just in a different relation: m=e/c^2 (if I am remembering how to do that calculation right - it's been a while). Inertia and gravity are the same phenomenon. The phenomenon you describe above "falling without reaching mass" is in gravitational terms, a black hole; and as one approaches the event horizon/speed of light one will necessarily spaghettify/convert to energy. Inertia is the force behind this conversion and it does not matter whether one is falling toward a massive body or accelerating through empty space: gravity here on earth has an inertial value of 32 feet per second per second (which means, that for every second you fall in earth gravity, you fall 32 feet faster than you were falling the second before). In empty space, if one is accelerating in a ship at 32 feet per second per second, for the occupants of the ship it would be like standing in earth gravity opposite the direction of locomotion.

So, the only way, at least as far as we know of at the moment, to circumvent the effects of inertia, is to drag the local space, around your starting point, along with you as you travel: this proposed idea is called warp tech, whether or not it works, or can be made to work, we do not know yet.

Hope that helped. :)
 CressB
Joined: 7/1/2011
Msg: 82
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what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/2/2014 1:04:12 PM
^^^ A better way to explain it:

If you accelerated at 32 feet per second per second until you reached the seed of light, by the time you reached the speed of light your mass would be infinit and and promptly converted to energy and smeared across the event horizon of a newly created black hole. At least I think that that is the correct interpretation?
 CressB
Joined: 7/1/2011
Msg: 83
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what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/2/2014 3:14:49 PM
Also:

If I remember correctly, you could not simply fall at 32 feet per second per second and reach the speed of light: at relativistic speeds, traveling through space produces resistance. One would need an external energy source in order to maintain a constant 32 feet per second per second, and as one approached the speed of light this external energy would have to become infinit in order to achieve light speed.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 84
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/8/2014 8:39:48 PM

In order to warp 'space' it has to be first something, anyone got any ideas?


The way I see it;
If space was made of "nothing" then it would not be warp-able
It is clearly a 'fabric' of some kind(whose properties we don't know), which serves as a stage for events to unfold

The s0-called Big Bang was merely the supplanting of nothingness with somethingness(by way of the singularity and everything inherent in it)
 FullMoonGuy
Joined: 3/7/2014
Msg: 85
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 8/8/2014 10:18:43 PM

What is a bigger mystery is 'space' itself.


Which is why the mission of the Enterprise was "to boldly go where no man has gone before".(cue music)
 Demidar
Joined: 10/22/2014
Msg: 86
what is Warp Drive, and how should space travel work????
Posted: 11/5/2014 6:15:12 PM
Since space is matter they would probably have to find a way to fold it like a piece of paper , then make a hole and pass through .
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