Making The Jump To Warp Speed Might Actually Be Possible One Day
Making The Jump To Warp Speed Might Actually Be Possible One Day
Scientists think they may have found a way to make warp drives a reality, making interstellar travel more than just as sci-fi fantasy.
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Scientists think they may have found a way to make warp drives a reality, making interstellar travel more than just as sci-fi fantasy.

ByOwen BellwoodPublished6 hours agoComments (28)We may earn a commission from links on this page.
An image showing beams of light passing quickly.
Warp speed, hyperspeed, whatever you call it we might get that fast one day.
Image: Yuichiro Chino (Getty Images)

There have been some awesome inventions in the world of science fiction over the years. Whether it’s the Tardis from “Dr Who” and its miraculous traveling abilities or the teleporting talents of the protagonists in “Jumper,” sci-fi has a knack for dreaming up marvelous modes of transport. Now, however, scientists believe one sci-fi invention could, in fact, become a reality: the warp drive.

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Let me start by saying this is all theoretical, and NASA hasn’t yet created a means of hopping between planets with ease, but the tech still sounds awesome. Now that the fun sponging is out the way, let’s talk about this development that’s out to prove that warp drives could one day exist to help us zap around the cosmos with ease.

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Scientists from an American university just filed a paper outlining how warp drives could work, according to a report from Space.com. The paper includes talk of complex things like stable matter, shift vectors and something called the Alcubierre metric. In normal speak, this all means that it could be theoretically possible to create an engine that could power us across the cosmos at speeds close to lightspeed.

The paper, which was published by the University of Alabama, has outlined what it would take to create a craft capable of such speeds, meaning that a jump warp speed may be closer than we think. As Space.com reports:

“This study changes the conversation about warp drives,” lead author Jared Fuchs, of the University of Alabama, Huntsville and the research think tank Applied Physics, said in a statement. “By demonstrating a first-of-its-kind model, we’ve shown that warp drives might not be relegated to science fiction.”

The team’s model uses “a sophisticated blend of traditional and novel gravitational techniques to create a warp bubble that can transport objects at high speeds within the bounds of known physics,” according to the statement.

The timing of the paper couldn’t be better, as a group of international researchers recently launched its own project to make warp speed a reality.

According to a report from Popular Mechanic, the development has come from Applied Physics, an international body of researchers out to prove that Star Trek’s warp drive could become a reality. The team has created an online tool that it says has the sole purpose of figuring out how to speed up space travel, as Popular Mechanic reports:

“Physicists can now generate and refine an array of warp drive designs with just a few clicks, allowing us to advance science at warp speed,” Gianni Martire, CEO of Applied Physics, said in a press statement. “Warp Factory serves as a virtual wind tunnel, enabling us to test and evaluate different warp designs. Science fiction is now inching closer to science fact.”

As Public Benefit Company, Applied Physics is ponying up $500,000 in potential grants for aspiring warp drive theorists. However, those grants come with a few caveats, mainly that the idea is to produce a physical warp drive based in classical relativity, which means not relying on “negative energy or superluminal matter” to make your time-bending engine work.

That’s a sizable chunk of change being put up to anyone who thinks they can crack warp speed. However, in space terms it’s actually just pocket change. Boeing’s Starliner mission, which launched just last week, had an operating budget of around $4 billion, the budget for NASA’s Artemis missions is closer to $8 billion.

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