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Warp Drive


This is a funky reactionless inertial drive, that NASA has been working on for a few years now, and that can theoretically be developed into a Star Trek style warp drive or Star Gate style wormhole. The technology incorporates negative matter (not anti-matter), which is a fascinating subject that Robert L. Forward, a JPL physicist and famous science fiction author, wrote a book about for the layman that I highly recommend called, “Indistinguishable From Magic”. I also recommend his science fiction book “Dragon’s Egg”, but my point here is that NASA is preparing to test the theory and hoping they can eventually prove the existence of negative matter and create a warp drive.

Unlike normal matter which obeys Newton’s third law of motion, for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction, negative mass and matter obeys the simpler law that, “For every action there is an equal reaction”. Using an ordinary baseball bat to hit a ball of negative matter would cause the ball to fly into the bat all that much harder, and if you put an ordinary ball in a round chamber with a ball of negative matter the two would chase each other around until they disintegrated or the chamber exploded. While this might sound like just wild science fiction, it is all related to Mach’s Conjecture, there are several different variations on the theory, and experiments imply there may be more than just a little truth to the idea, which is why NASA is prepared to invest heavily in the research.

Among other things, the theories and some experiments imply that electrons actually have negative mass and are surrounded by enough virtual particles to hide their secret identity. Using negative matter, you could keep a wormhole open, or create a sort of Star Trek style warp drive that creates a wormhole wherever it goes, empowering people to create a Star Gate system, by dragging a wormhole from one planet to another. Its all pretty wild stuff, but the fact that NASA is preparing to actually test these ideas for the first time in space and that the Chinese claim to have already perfected an EM reactionless drive that uses related technology is enough to make any fan of Star Trek or Star Gate sit up and pay attention.

Ernst Mach noted that if we merely glance at the stars they don’t appear to move, but if you throw your head back and spin in a circle like a child, the stars appear to move and your arms fly out at your sides as if you are dancing with the universe. At the north and south poles this same effect can be seen in a free swinging Foucault pendulum which will move in a stately 360 degree circle, in synchrony with the stars merely spinning in a slow circle overhead, as if the two formed mother nature’s own clock. He wondered if this was more than just serendipitous congruence, and implied some sort of profound underlying unity between gravity and inertia. His speculation was that the gravity of everything in the universe pulling on us from all sides, is what provides inertia. Hence, a spinning object resists any change in its motion even more, because it is collecting more gravity from all sides equally.

From there, the theories get really complicated, and enough to bend anyone’s brain into a pretzel. However, particle physicists believe they should be able to test the Unruh Effect of quantum Field theory sometime within the next few years. Field theory is the foundation of the modern quantum Standard theory and implies that, as you approach the speed of light, space-time transforms into radiation. A cold wood stove would progressively get hotter until it disintegrated, making having a warp drive all that much more valuable.


Damn you. I now want to go back to school. Damn you…


Nobody ever learned anything new in school.


Interesting. This seems like a different direction than their test on the Alcubierre-White Drive idea.

By the way, anybody think that the Alcubierre drive simply needed two more breakthrough scientists whose names start with R. and P. respectively so we have a reason to call it WARP?


I guess we’re about to find out if it’s real…

If it is, it could be a physics breakthrough.


I feel like the scientific community can seem very narrow minded at times, claiming that the laws of physics are absolute, that there’s no reason to think outside those constraints. That is so limiting and stifling to our progress as a civilization.

I’m glad there are still people that push the boundaries and want to progress. It’s too bad a lot of the time these people are labeled as crazy. Or that their work is a waste.

I like the idea that in science even a failure is a success. If it turns out this actually doesn’t work, well, we will have learned something new.

But if it turns out that it works? That would usher in a whole new era of physics. Very exciting.


Indeed… conformity is not helpful for science to progress.