Reverse course, Mr. Sulu. :(Quantum Setback For Warp Drives
Posted by kdawson on Friday April 03, @08:58AM
from the warp-zero-mister-sulu dept.
"Warp drives were generally considered impossible by mainstream scientists until 1994 when the physicist Michael Alcubierre worked out how to build a faster-than-light drive using the principles of general relativity. His thinking was that while relativity prevents faster-than-light travel relative to the fabric of spacetime, it places no restriction on the speed at which regions of spacetime may move relative to each other. So a small bubble of spacetime containing a spacecraft could travel faster than the speed of light, at least in principle. But one unanswered question was what happens to the bubble when quantum mechanics is taken into account. Now, a team of physicists have worked it out, and it's bad news: the bubble becomes unstable at superluminal speeds, making warp drives impossible (probably)."