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Friday, 16 September 2016

The Universe in 101 words: Alcubierre's Warp drive...

Above: A SpaceX spaceship leaves Earth behind.
Here’s a loophole: Strictly, the rules say ‘no exceeding light speed, as compared to local space’. 

Alcubierre’s engine would exploit that loophole by forcing space in front of itself to rapidly contract, and space behind to rapidly expand - so things behind move away at FTL rates, and the things in front approach at FTL rates... 

...but the ship stays (locally) still. 

It's like parking a new car on a super-strong travellator that's disguised as road, under a speed camera**: Speed with the travellator, then… 

“Officer, that camera’s broken! This car can’t have been speeding, its mileage is zero.” 
 **In other words: It’d be very, very, hard to pull off. 


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