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5/15/2013 4:28:45 AM
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Prepare for.. Ludicrous Speed!

Science is ready to take on faster than light travel once again. Condensed version: [quote]...Alcubierre used this knowledge to exploit a loophole in the "universal speed limit." In his theory, the ship never goes faster than the speed of light — instead, space in front of the ship is contracted while space behind it is expanded, allowing the ship to travel distances in less time than light would take. The ship itself remains in what Alcubierre termed a "warp bubble" and, within that bubble, never goes faster than the speed of light. ...According to Alcubierre's theory, one could create a warp bubble by applying negative energy, or energy created in a vacuum. This process relies on the Casimir effect, which states that a vacuum is not actually a void; instead, a vacuum is actually full of fluctuating electromagnetic waves. Distorting these waves creates negative energy, which possibly distorts space-time, creating a warp bubble. To see if space-time distortion has occurred in a lab experiment, the researchers shine two highly targeted lasers: one through the site of the vacuum and one through regular space. The researchers will then compare the two beams, and if the wavelength of the one going through the vacuum is lengthened, i.e. redshifted, in any way, they'll know that it passed through a warp bubble. ...White is now working on recalibrating the laser for the new location. He wouldn't speculate on when his team could expect conclusive data, nor how long until fully actuated warp travel might be possible, but he remains convinced that it's only a matter of time. "The bottom line is, nature can do it," said White. "So the salient question is, 'can we?'"[/quote] The better question is: why can't we?

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