# Humans Have Figured Out How to Make a Warp Bubble

TechRepublic has a rather bold article who’s complete title is Paging Zefram Cochrane: Humans have figured out how to make a warp bubble

It’s written with Star Trek fans in mind.

A team of scientists working with DARPA, including warp drive pioneer Dr. Harold G “Sonny” White, may have just taken us one step closer to that reality with their announcement that they’ve discovered a space-warping bubble, the fundamental thing needed for the faster-than-light travel of the Star Trek universe.

However, it does ground the article to physics and current understandings.

This is a pretty complicated notion that involves a ton of math, but at its most basic level, a warp bubble is a bit of space that’s contracted in the front and expanded in the back. This shape in theory pushes the bubble, and its contents, forward at speeds surpassing the speed of light without ever violating the laws of physics: You’re not technically traveling faster than light, you’re surfing a bubble of condensed space.

Warp bubbles were long the domain of science fiction, until theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre came along and theorized his Alcubierre warp drive in 1994, which maintained general relativity while allowing for faster-than-light travel. The key upon which it rested, was an energy-density field that was configurable into a vacuum bubble that would make anything inside it have negative mass.

And brings us to the present.

Fast forward to 2021, and Dr. White, whose 2012 paper was written while he worked at NASA as Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead, is doing research funded by DARPA on objects called Casimir cavities. These cavities are formed of two parallel plates with a pillar running between them. These things are small — mere microns in size — and they do something really interesting: Create a negative vacuum between the plates when exposed to a regular vacuum.

“You would anticipate zero pressure outside and zero pressure in the cavity, but what we find when we measure is negative pressure in between the plates,” Dr. White said.

“What we’re trying to do is explore the quantum vacuum at a fundamental level,” Dr. White said. “We think there’s a bit more to these vacuums than we currently know. Some of the unknown characteristics could be used to create some really useful technologies.” Hence DARPA’s interest.

HT/MOSH

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John Tillman
December 20, 2021 10:07 am

Humans have come up with a way possibly to make a warp bubble, given as yet impractical materials and propulsion technologies and prodigious amounts of energy.

But it’s a theoretical step forward.

J Mac
December 20, 2021 11:39 am

An interesting bit of science! ‘From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks.’

Vuk
December 20, 2021 1:16 pm

In comparison fusion reactor is child’s play, but we still don’t have a usable working power generator after 60 years of trying.

MarkW
December 20, 2021 2:42 pm

We have learned a lot on the way.

Rational Db8
December 20, 2021 4:09 pm

But, hey, we’ve been only a decade away from “too cheap to meter” fusion energy… for only 60 years now!

Rich Davis
December 20, 2021 4:22 pm

Give it another 60 millennia and we’ll only be 40 years away from commercialization.

WXcycles
December 20, 2021 10:52 pm

Yes, but once you have a time machine … 60 millennia becomes, meh.

Mark - Helsinki
December 21, 2021 6:08 am

We’re only 20 years away from replicating solar continuous fusion too, since the 60s. 🙂

TallDave
December 21, 2021 8:00 am

don’t worry, they’ll be ready in 1,000 years when fissionables run low

even the vaporware ITER/DEMO/ARES series envisioned a plant power density 1/10 that of existing LWRs

meaning power will be 10x as expensive

JCR
December 21, 2021 11:52 pm

The pressures — and temperatures — necessary make this a Not In Anyone’s Back Yard technology. Call me cautious, but I want that monster about 8 Light Minutes away, from everyone and everything.

Rocketscientist
December 22, 2021 2:00 pm

In space “backyards” are big.
But as you state, lets keep the fusion rector we have in our backyard, just where it is. After all aren’t we merely going to make steam with it wherever it is?

Rational Db8
December 20, 2021 4:08 pm

Maybe. Right after the news about a claimed created warp bubble came out, another followed by an expert saying that it wasn’t really a warp bubble at all. I’ve no idea which is right. Sure would be awesome if we could create a useful warp bubble tho!!

DARPA funded researcher accidently creates a warp bubble: https://thedebrief.org/darpa-funded-researchers-accidentally-create-the-worlds-first-warp-bubble/

vs.

I wrote the book on warp drive. No, we didn’t accidentally create a warp bubble.
The same (former) NASA engineer who previously claimed to violate Newton’s laws is now claiming to have made a warp bubble. He didn’t.:
https://bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang/no-warp-bubble/

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 20, 2021 5:10 pm

Ah ok. So it’s models all the way down, it seems.

Gordon A. Dressler
December 21, 2021 7:39 am

Not even models . . . wild speculation.

Throgmorton
December 23, 2021 11:07 pm

So, still more rigorous than the climate panic, then?

Tom Abbott
December 20, 2021 6:13 pm

“Sure would be awesome if we could create a useful warp bubble tho!!”

We need some kind of warp bubble in order to fly safely between the stars. Normal space has a lot of debris/material in it which can be a problem to a vehicle going super fast. One little grain of impacting sand would destroy a vehicle, if the vehicle were going fast enough.

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 20, 2021 6:50 pm

You just need a big enough shield. Frozen water might be possible and easily replenished (assuming water is fairly common).

The real problem will be propulsion power and reaction mass, unless we develop a reactionless drive. Power we can probably get from fission or even eventually fusion. Fission may be problematic because of a lack of such heavy elements, but hydrogen is abundant. We would probably just need an easy way to make deuterium and tritium.

Another solution may be a scoop/ramjet. That way debris could potentially be made usable. The engineering would be immensely difficult, but possibly doable with future materials or force fields.

So we dont need FTL, but things will get complicated without it.

Me, I’d hope for teleportation before FTL. Just bandy the word ‘quantum’ about for a while, and it’s bound to happen.

December 21, 2021 10:22 am

You’re not gonna rip my atoms apart and scatter them all over space!

Throgmorton
December 23, 2021 11:11 pm

Even being ripped apart and somehow reconstituted somewhere else is preferable to having a copy of you appear in a remote location while the original is destroyed.

Rational Db8
December 21, 2021 8:00 pm

Unfortunately, it’s also looking like ramjets may be a no go. Sorry I don’t have the link handy, but search on the title and see the article:

DECEMBER 20, 2021
Science fiction revisited: Ramjet propulsionby Vienna University of Technology

Apparently the necessary ‘funnel’ would be, get this, about the equivalent length as from here to the sun, and the diameter, iirc, 4000 km (or maybe it was 1400km?). And that would still be slower than light travel. In other words, way too huge for anything we could conceivably do. Unless/until, of course, we manage to come up with some nifty way to minimize those constraints!

michael hart
December 22, 2021 12:10 pm

If climate science has taught us anything, it has shown that you just need the right computer model to make (most of) your dreams come true.

Why bother sunning yourself on a beach near Alpha Centauri or the Frog Star, when you can get a grant large enough to sun yourself on a beach in the Caribbean surrounded by nubile adoring young environmentalists willing to do anything to save the planet?

Throgmorton
December 23, 2021 11:12 pm

If climate science hat taught us anything, you don’t even require a coherent theory. You just need to silence your critics.

Rocketscientist
December 22, 2021 2:11 pm

Rational Db8, I laughed with your comment as I too have been subject to ungrounded fanciful speculation. I am actually a rocket engineer, but too many don’t know how much harder that is than rocket science. I have rockets scientists on our teams, they calculate nice orbital trajectories but have no concept on how to create a machine that will accomplish that. I worked with one that wanted to include an antenna that was bigger than the vehicle.

Any competent scientist can calculate a number, but it takes an engineer to show them just how big s**tload that value is.

Rational Db8
December 21, 2021 7:54 pm

That wouldn’t require a warp bubble necessarily – just some really good deflectors and shields!

David Ging
December 21, 2021 6:26 am

You’re absolutely right. The warp bubble is all smoke and mirror. The Casimar effect looks a lot like negative energy, but it’s actually NOT negative energy. And the effect only works below a micrometer. Importantly, it can’t be scaled up to lengths because above that length because all wavelengths are possible at greater distances. The Casimir effect only works by shrinking the distance to block certain wavelengths. So, no. A warp drive has not and cannot be built. At least not without negative energy, and we’ve never seen negative energy.

Rocketscientist
December 22, 2021 2:14 pm

Oh, there’s lots of negative energy zooming around. None of it useful.

December 20, 2021 4:37 pm

The energy requirement, while large, it not out of the range of what’s used to propel a nuclear sub and well within current technology. It’s not like you have to affect the space-time curvature of all space-time, just the local space-time around the craft.

The vacuum bubble essentially isolates the space-time containing the craft from the space-time the craft is traveling through and is why apparent 100G+ maneuvers are possible . For all intents and purposes, the craft is in its own mini Universe, or sub-space and to us from an EM perspective, it’s a photon.

Applying the Casmir effect is an interesting way to demonstrate the existence of locally less curved space-time, which is a necessary requirement for an Alcubierre warp drive, but to build a propulsion system, the bubble needs to be created and manipulated electromagnetically.

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 20, 2021 6:51 pm

It’s not like you have to affect the space-time curvature of all space-time, just the local space-time around the craft.

🤣🤣🤣🤣

Intelligent Dasein
December 21, 2021 6:45 am

There is no such thing as “space-time.”

JamesD
December 21, 2021 1:28 pm

Space is “nothing” or “null”. At best, a human imposed coordinate system, so only existing in the mind.

Gordon A. Dressler
December 21, 2021 7:52 am

co2isnotevil posted:
“The energy requirement, while large, it not out of the range of what’s used to propel a nuclear sub and well within current technology. It’s not like you have to affect the space-time curvature of all space-time, just the local space-time around the craft.”

Being so well-informed on the subject, do you have any mathematical calculations to go with that assertion. If so, I for one, would certainly like to see them.

For starters, maybe just the energy per unit 4D-volume of “bent” space-time . . . something along the lines of pentajoules/(picosecond-micron^3)/(delta-picosecond-(delta-micron)^3).

December 21, 2021 4:14 pm

Gordon,

A photon is an example of bending space-time and Planck’s constant quantifies is the amount of energy it takes to do so. This is a different type of curvature. Rather than bending time and space uniformly, space and time are bent away from each other. If time is ahead of space by 1/2 a Compton period relative to c, a unit positive charge appears and a negative unit charge is manifested by time lagging space by the same amount. This component of space-time curvature can be consider an imaginary component of what we usually think of as space-time curvature. A photon then becomes a point in space time where the relationship between time and space of that point relative to the speed of light varies with its frequency and is represented as time varying imaginary space-time curvature. In fact, all particles can be modeled as singular points in space-time stretched into a shape in time and/or space by the near field space-time curvature responsible for its existence and in doing so, removes and explains the apparent singularity that makes GR so hard to resolve with quantum mechanics. Einstein had it all along and space-time curvature is the unifying component of all existence and GR is the unified field theory.

The fine structure constant is what connects real curvature to imaginary curvature. To see this, model a photon as a resonant LC circuit. For it to have the energy required by E=hv, the C must be 137 times smaller and the L must be 137 times larger than e0 and u0 says that the space occupied by one wavelength of EM energy will otherwise have, which must somehow be bending space-time for Maxwell’s equations to be honored. The resonant impedance becomes Z0/a, where Z0 is the imepdance of free-space and a is the find structure constant. This can be accomplished by periodically and uniformly curving and uncurving the space-time by a scalar factor of 137. This isn’t what actually happens, but it does establish the equivalence between real and imaginary space-time curvature.

December 22, 2021 11:14 am

Gordon,

Another way to recognize the fine structure constant as a metric of space-time curvature is to model a photon as a positive and negative unit charge where the stored energy keeps them apart by a distance proportional to its wavelength.

The force is given by 1/4*pi*e0) q^2/(Ky)^2, where q is the unit charge and K is an unknown proportionality constant applied to the wavelength. Applying this force over the same distance quantifies an energy given as 1/4*pi*e0) q/(Ky), Set this equal to the energy of a photon given by E=hv, where v = c/y and solve for K integrated across a period. K ends up being the fine structure constant and for the photon to obey Coulombs Law, K must represent how the photon’s local geometry is warped relative to its wavelength as observed in our reference frame.

There are 2 possibilities, only one of which is reasonable. Either a photon is a manifestation of local space-time curvature quantified by the fine structure constant, or photons, as EM objects, do not obey Maxwell’s equations.

Gordon A. Dressler
December 22, 2021 1:10 pm

co2isnotevil,

No thanks . . . my bin for storing gobblygook that is just a mash-up of scientific terms is already full.

Get back to me when you can advance some physics that makes sense and that cites some supporting references.

Unfortunately for you, I have enough training in graduate level physics and space-time geodesics to recognize a pig-in-a-poke when I see one.

Look at just your first sentence: “A photon is an example of bending space-time and Planck’s constant quantifies is the amount of energy it takes to do so.” Complete rubbish . . . photons do not expend ANY energy in traveling along the geodesic curvature of spacetime. If they did so, we could never image visible-light photons from distant galaxies that were emitted billions of years ago . . . they would all be at frequencies much below infrared due to loss of photon energy (necessarily meaning lowering of frequency) from traveling over such enormous distances. Yet we do have visible light and near-IR light images of such galaxies, including that of GN-z11, currently some 32 billion light-years away (ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GN-z11 ).

December 28, 2021 10:36 am

You need to open you mind so you can think beyond the current view of space-time curvature to see what I’m talking about. Bias is preventing your comprehension in the same way that bias affects alarmists from comprehending climate science.

I never said or implied that photons expend energy as they travel which is obviously complete nonsense and that you don’t think I already know this is insulting and you should apologize for your insolence.

Clearly the current view of space-time curvature is incomplete and what I propose completes it at the small scale by eliminating the singularity (much like in string theory) and does so without upsetting it at the large scale. The strong force then becomes the near field effect of conserved uniform curvature (the real component of curvature) and the weak force becomes the near field complement of charge that’s manifested by curving time from space (the imaginary component of curvature). All of the forces can then be quantified as a consequence of the impedance of the Universe to being curved which like an electrical impedance, has both real and imaginary components. In fact, the mathematical relationships between imaginary curvature and capacitance, inductance and reactance (imaginary resistance) are too compelling to ignore.

Photons store energy as a resonance in space-time, but not at the 377 ohm impedance of free space, but at an impedance of about 52K ohms which is 377/a, where a is the fine structure constant. This resonance alternately bends the relationship between space and time where time alternates between being a little ahead of space (manifesting a virtual positive charge) and a little behind space (manifesting a virtual negative charge). Planck’s constant is a measure of the energy it takes to establish this resonance which is proportional to its frequency.

Consider a particle where its mass energy is stored energy that sustains the space-time curvature the particle presents to the universe. Think about what happens to this space-time curvature when it’s annihilated by an anti-particle. I assert that since it manifests stored energy, it must be conserved and as such, must be reorganized into a different form that also stores energy, but that doesn’t manifest mass.

An interesting side effect of conserving curvature is that the net curvature of the Universe is zero, just as it was before the Big Bang. In effect, nothingness fractured into a Universe where that nothingness is then conserved. This isn’t perceptible since only the curvature on the outside of particles is visible as it overlaps with the curvature of every other particle while the offsetting un-curved space-time on the inside of a particle is basically invisible since it never overlaps with that of any other particle (expect perhaps in an atomic nucleus). By transforming into a photon, both the curved and un-curved components become visible to the Universe and cancel out manifesting a masslessness storage of energy.

Feel free to try and explain how a photon can be consistent with Maxwell’s Equations without locally curving the space-time it occupies at any given instant. If there’s no local space-time curvature associated with a photon, the only other possibilities are that either photons do not have to obey Maxwell’s Equations or photons have no electromagnetic properties which are the least reasonable explanations of all.

Alan Robertson
December 21, 2021 7:35 pm

Ah, the ideas planted into people’s heads.
Consider the works of Jules Verne. et al.

markl
December 20, 2021 10:13 am

Cool! Why don’t they just tweak their model to prove it’s possible? 🙂

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 20, 2021 5:09 pm

I think, from the link above, that’s exactly what he did.

Tom Halla
December 20, 2021 10:15 am

Scaling would be a bitch, as well as projecting the warp cavity around, rather than within, the generator.

December 20, 2021 10:38 am

All very nice, but it’s gonna mess up your hair when you do it with the top down.

eyesonu
December 21, 2021 4:22 pm

Would negative pressure be relative to the perspective of the local/immediate pressures involved?

December 20, 2021 10:39 am

Overall, probably not. “Kinda looks like, maybe, if one squints just right.”

December 20, 2021 10:41 am

Space is relative, and that idea is older than Einstein’s theory of relativity. Rather it is known as “Mach’s principle“, and Einstein based its theory largely on this idea.

Apart from going interstellar, the idea provides us with an alternative understanding of “dark matter”. We know large masses do not behave (or rather rotate) the way they should given Newtonian physics, and general relativity does not contradict it, or provide any remedy to the problem.

However, if we take a step back and consider what general relativity is based on, we get much closer to a solution. If space is defined by matter, than large masses moving in the same direction should be pulling space along. We actually know this phenomenon from black holes, which due to their own rotation and extreme mass, make the surrounding space rotate as well.

What likely happens in large galaxies is, that the outskirts drag space with them, so that the relative speed of the rotation is much lower than observed from outside. Therefore the centrifugal forces are effectively smaller than calculated, gravity and rotational speeds match without a need for “dark matter”.

DMacKenzie
December 20, 2021 12:36 pm

Lorentz transforms were another Einstein “steal” for which he gets much notoriety.

bonbon
December 20, 2021 12:55 pm

It is from Leibniz. Einstein tried to incorporate Mach’s Principle with a scalar parameter lambda, said it was his greatest blunder. So the geniuses later said it was inflation.

Latest – galaxies without so-called dark matter :
https://phys.org/news/2021-12-evidence-emerges-dark-matter-free-galaxies.html

As far as Lorentz goes : this is a great chat :

TallDave
December 20, 2021 3:31 pm

interesting… suspect Jedamzik’s primordial black hole model accommodates galaxies with zero dark matter… e.g. pre-stellar matter clusters “orphaned” from their parent primordial black holes as PBH/PBH interactions settle into stable configurations of ~1 solar mass PBHs orbiting ~30sm PBHs

December 20, 2021 5:04 pm

What I suggest easily answers the question why there appears to be no “dark matter” in diffuse, low mass galaxies. The low amount of mass is not enough to define space vs. surrounding masses moving independently from that galaxy.

In fact, if my theory is right, the deviation from Newtonian physics aka “dark matter”, should not just be a function of the mass of the galaxy itself, but also be negatively correlated to surrounding masses.

fretslider
December 20, 2021 10:59 am

There are a lot of warped people in the Westminster bubble

fret fact checked

Joel O’Bryan
December 20, 2021 11:21 am

A strong warp 9 field exists around 10 Downing. Inexplicable. Another similar warped field appeared around the US White House on January 20th.

Mike McMillan
December 20, 2021 5:20 pm

Not a warped field around the White House, just a vacuum within.

Tom Abbott
December 20, 2021 6:19 pm

I saw Boris on tv tonight. He’s got to do somethng with that hair! I’ve never seen anything like it. He needs some gel, or a haircut.

How do you take somebody seriously that looks like that?

Ed Zuiderwijk
December 20, 2021 11:01 am

April is more than 3 months away ….

Ron Long
December 20, 2021 11:07 am

If they put a monkey in a test warp bubble and it turns into jello, they are going to be in trouble.

John Tillman
December 20, 2021 11:13 am

No problem. In the 22nd century, we’ll have programs to turn Jell-O back into monkeys.

Joel O’Bryan
December 20, 2021 12:26 pm

Indeed. Already in the 21st Century we have managed to turn climate scientists into flying monkeys.

Joe Gordon
December 20, 2021 1:16 pm

Great. Now we’re just one small step away from time-traveling flying jello monkeys. Call it Primate Change.

PaulH
December 20, 2021 4:00 pm

Considering the performance of our political and scientific betters these past 22 months, I for one welcome our new time-traveling flying jello monkey overlords.

commieBob
December 20, 2021 11:27 am

You would anticipate zero pressure outside and zero pressure in the cavity, but what we find when we measure is negative pressure in between the plates,” Dr. White said.

My gut instinct is that they’re not measuring what they think they’re measuring.

Joseph Zorzin
December 20, 2021 11:42 am

Me thinks this is like the “cold fusion” claim of decades ago. We’d like it to be true but it may not be- though in principle it could be. Now that a subject like this is presented here- it’s time to talk about the other subject not appreciated here- the UAP thing. I have to presume you’re all aware of the Pentagon report issued last June- the first time ever that they admitted that there’s something out there flying around, often in restricted air space- that has been seen by pilots, including a Top Gun pilot, and also seen on radar and thermal sensors. This is a big deal and it would be foolish to pretend it’s just another paranormal thing. But, yes, there are some flaky UFO dudes out there, like Dr. Greer, who says aliens are groovy dudes who want to help mankind. And people who think aliens have a connection with Big Foot. On the other hand there are some hard headed guys like Lou Elizondo who say he’s into the “nuts and bolts” side of this situation- the craft, without pondering who they are. The military doesn’t want to say much because they still consider the UAPs to be a threat- or potential threat. But, if they are a threat, not talking about it isn’t helping. Better to get it out in the open. Since the Pentagon/government isn’t going to say much, the solution, according to the smartest guy talking about this, in my opinion, is Dr. Avi Loeb, past chair of the astronomy dept. at Harvard. He said give up on the government- instead, non government entitites should join his proposed Galileo Project- and build a vast, world wide network of sensors. Think of this as just another astronomy research project, he says- while many other astronomers refuse to even discuss the subject, while they don’t mind looking for life light years away. Dr. Loeb says that by collecting info from these sensors- we can then consider it data to be studied scientifically- without the politics and flaky stuff.

saveenergy
December 20, 2021 12:20 pm

Slight re-write …
Me thinks this is like the “cold fusion” “Green Renewable Energy” claim of decades ago.

We’d like it to be true, in theory it could be, but in practice it may not be- (dam the laws of physics) !!

Joseph Zorzin
December 20, 2021 12:23 pm

though few here will agree with me, woody biomass is truly green, renewable,and dependable energy and for free, you get emissions of plant food!

Gunga Din
December 20, 2021 4:26 pm

Why kill and burn new trees when we can burn really, really old trees that have been long dead for the same benefit?

Joseph Zorzin
December 21, 2021 2:42 am

because those new trees are doomed- let me repeat myself- those forests are intensely managed- they will be clear cut- even if there is no chip/pellet market- the better trees go to other markets- the trees that have no other value will either go to the chip/pellet markets- or they will be cut down, piled up and burned on the spot- causing severe air pollution- they are the weeds in these intensely managed forests- at least when burned in a power plant, the smokestacks provide some reduction of particulate matter and other pollution – certainly not all, but the world of modern humans is not going to be pristine- that’s the price we pay for modernity- if by “really old trees” you’re obliquely referring to coal, I agree- I once had a coal burning stove in a previous home- it burned small chunks of coal meant to burn in that stove, just like a pellet stove- that stove was designed to heat an entire home up to about 2,500 sq. ft.

AndyHce
December 20, 2021 5:01 pm

I don’t know the relative costs but woody biomass seems like a much less dense harvesting source, is a significantly less dense energy source, and the harvesting, processing, and transportation costs are probably high enough that without government market distortion, it is probably rarely economical: it can’t be done at large scale without government subsidy.

Joseph Zorzin
December 21, 2021 2:44 am

every fuel source is subsidized in one way or another so that argument doesn’t hold much water

Chaswarnertoo
December 21, 2021 5:14 am

Subsidised? Have you seen how much petrol is taxed in the UK? Utter nonsense.

Joseph Zorzin
December 21, 2021 6:52 am

all of the wars in the Middle East are just a subsidy for the oil companies- coal companies in America, those in the Appalachians, are subsidies in the sense they don’t have to restore the land- not that I’m against coal and oil- I love coal and oil

PCman999
December 22, 2021 10:53 am

Wars in the middle east were proxy wars to keep the communists contained – would have happened anyway.
Harvesting biomass in the forests with diesel powered equipment, transported to powerplants by diesel powered trucks, to be burned in plants that will never be as efficient as CCGT or spuer critical coal plants, that also produce copious amounts of real pollutants, is just an unsustainable subsidy harvesting Rube-Goldberg-inspired racket – like all the “Green Energy Transition Technology” like solar and wind. Useful in local, remote special cases, but not fit for widespread use.

Pat Frank
December 20, 2021 3:32 pm

The Casimir Effect is physically real. Two parallel plates close enough together so that quantum fluctuations of certain wavelengths destructively interfere.

The result is an attractive force between the plates — negative pressure in current parlance.

Joel O’Bryan
December 20, 2021 12:29 pm

The problem is energy to warp space in such a manner needed exceeds the rest mass energy (E=mc^2) of the object surfing the leading edge.

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 20, 2021 12:44 pm

The problem is energy to warp space in such a manner needed exceeds the rest mass energy (E=mc^2) of the object surfing the leading edge.

No worries. Just bang a windmill on the front, and she’ll be jake.

Joseph Zorzin
December 20, 2021 1:22 pm

Go back in a time machine and talk to, say, Ben Franklin and tell him about smart phones, jet travel, whatever- he’ll think it’s all impossible and that you’re crazy. There almost certainly are planets out there that have evolved intelligent species millions of years ago. We’re probably just ants to them. Maybe, maybe not- I don’t know- but at least we can’t say there can’t be warp space travel because we don’t know how to do it.

TallDave
December 20, 2021 1:50 pm

does make the Fermi paradox more problematic

otoh planets in galactic quiet zones with stable suns, sufficient metals, and oscillating Ice Ages might be so rare that even warp-capable civilizations rarely share a lightcone

we’re gradually learning there probably aren’t any naturally-occurring substitutes for protein chemistry

Joseph Zorzin
December 20, 2021 2:00 pm

The Fermi paradox is discussed a great deal by people who think UFOs are the real thing. It’s a very good consideration. There are lots of good arguments pro and con- which is why it’s should be considered an unknown worthy of genuine science research- hence, The Galileo Project: https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/galileo/home

By the way, I happened to get a look at the UFO seen by thousands of people in the Hudson Valley in the ’80s. Now, do I think it was a craft from another planet with aliens? No I don’t think that- I just don’t know what it was- but at least it makes me want to pay attention to this issue.

Then again, the trip from NYC back to western MA did seem to take longer than it should have…..

TallDave
December 21, 2021 8:12 am

always secretly suspected they might be Tipler vortices reaching back from the distant future, perhaps crude early test versions (from their perspective), with the eventual goal of undetectably harvesting the quantum states of the tiny proportion of their hallowed ancestors who lived in the horrible pre-immortality era and bringing them to “heaven”

that would explain why they exhibit no inertia or friction — they’re bubbles of space/time

fanciful of course

Gunga Din
December 20, 2021 4:37 pm

Or go forward in time and try to answer one of the cave dwellers when he asks, “What the in the “H” were you thinking! Was there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational field that sucked all reason into a black hole because of the weather?!??!??)

Davidf
December 20, 2021 3:13 pm

Which, I guess, is why the assumption that anything inside the bubble has negative mass – according to the article. Would that imply that energy would be emitted? Either way, its a long long way from the mathematics to the engineering. Just like power generation from fusion, or useful network level storage.

jaime lopez
December 20, 2021 2:27 pm

And if we find UFO (UAP), exist,, then there is a chance that overpass the light speed is possible.

TallDave
December 20, 2021 12:18 pm

yep already doing something similar but opposite to “squeeze” light in the LIGO detectors, and that’s been proven to work with some truly cosmic results

in the past ten years we might not only have figured out that dark matter is actually clusters of primordial gluon-plasma black holes from the pre-baryonic era (and galactic cores as well) but a means to visit them as well

and beyond that, a spacewarp at the edge of the event horizon of a supermassive blackhole, where the tidal forces are so weak normal matter is barely affected, might be able to generate something like a singularity fountain — black holes could become the sources of energy that carry us past this brief stellar age into the uncountable trillions of years ahead

TallDave
December 20, 2021 1:35 pm

btw propellantless Mach drives (essentially an oscillating inertial dampener) are now also recording millinewtons of thrust

Pat Frank
December 20, 2021 3:47 pm

Thanks for that pointer TallDave. I had no idea.

Things are getting very weird around here, what with UAPs, Alcubierre warps, and Mach Effect gravity drives.

TallDave
December 21, 2021 8:36 am

yes I’ve been on Woodward email listserv for many years now, was never sure experimental error would ever be ruled out, but they seem to be getting there

but this might be the weirdest of all advances in the last decade:

Using an incorrect probability theory has prevented physicists from realizing that they have actually directly observed the effects of the other versions of themselves.

https://www.pnas.org/content/111/31/11281

DMacKenzie
December 20, 2021 12:49 pm

Ummm, my (admittedly possibly outdated) understanding of the Casimir effect is that when two plates are close enough together that gas molecules start being excluded due to their size, the molecules on the outside will tend to push the plates together. Invoking quantum effects is not really necessary when statistical gas mechanics does the job. Any other engineering degree level understandings of the phenomenon out in WUWT world?

Chaswarnertoo
December 21, 2021 5:16 am

In a vacuum? DKUATBT!

Gordon A. Dressler
December 21, 2021 8:06 am

“Although this force might appear small, at distances below a micrometre the Casimir force becomes the strongest force between two neutral objects. Indeed at separations of 10 nm – about a hundred times the typical size of an atom – the Casimir effect produces the equivalent of 1 atmosphere of pressure.”
https://physicsworld.com/a/the-casimir-effect-a-force-from-nothing/#:~:text=Although%20this%20force%20might%20appear,of%201%20atmosphere%20of%20pressure.

The Web can be your friend.

December 20, 2021 1:11 pm

Warp speed is too slow. Even ridiculous speed is too slow. We need ludicrous speed!

Tom Abbott
December 20, 2021 6:28 pm

That’s funny. 🙂

Chaswarnertoo
December 21, 2021 5:11 am

Heart of Gold, or just a TARDIS?

Joe Gordon
December 20, 2021 1:13 pm

Fascinating. But what happens when you enter or exit the bubble? Are you similarly stretched or squeezed? Do atoms act the same within a bubble, or are new bonds created and/or broken? Does nature abhor this properly?

bonbon
December 20, 2021 1:19 pm

Not only relativity, QM, but scale is critical :
These guys had all the tech, and got it wrong :

Come to think of it, it looks like a NATOstan attack ….

Vuk
December 20, 2021 1:48 pm

NATOgrad better wake up to reality, Vlad the Terrible is readying for the Xmas & New year exercitus fireworks.

Davidf
December 20, 2021 3:19 pm

Thats looks a lot like the posturing at COP26

Bruce Cobb
December 20, 2021 1:23 pm

Bubble warp is fun – especially popping the bubbles. Makes great packing material too.

David Ging
December 20, 2021 1:37 pm

No, they haven’t figured out how to create a warp bubble. Not even close. Absolutely not. It’s fake news. See the bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang blog. It didn’t happen. No.

I wrote the book on warp drive. We didn’t make a warp bubble. – Big Think

David Blenkinsop
December 20, 2021 8:55 pm

Yes, it all sounds just theoretical, with nothing measurable to confirm they’re moving a bubble of space relative to, well, “space”.

Theory can be interesting, but one problem is that modern physics theories are patently unrealistic in concept, at least by usual standards of ‘realistic’. Even though the modern concepts *are* visualizable to an extent, and give better predictions than more classical ideas, they are still strange! Really, the way things have gone, one could wonder if physics might just melt down at some point, with no way out of contradictions, or of seeming illogic?

For instance, the regular engineering or applied physics that I would think of as ‘realistic’ would in no way encourage the idea of effects preceding causes, absolutely no time loops in classical physics! In contrast, Einstein’s General Relativity has time and space warping together to create gravity, so that in extreme scenarios there is seemingly always some implication that something that happens *after* could possibly be the cause of something that came *before*.

So, never mind bubbles, try this little thought experiment. Over there on the wall, I happen to have a relativistically reverse wired Casimir effect based light switch, wired in such a way that my overhead light will come on a good five seconds *before* I flip the switch. If that sounds unlikely, just think, on a speculative “space warp bubble” kind of level, there’s no reason why such a mechanism absolutely couldn’t work? I leave it to the reader’s imagination as to how to plan one’s day around always making sure to flip the switch five seconds after the light goes on or off..

MarkW
December 20, 2021 2:41 pm

I was watching one of those science shows a few years ago and they mentioned that a warp bubble as described here is theoretically possible, unfortunately it would take the entire output of a small sun to power it.

Davidf
December 20, 2021 3:20 pm

And a tonne of Unobtanium

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 20, 2021 6:56 pm

Now we just need to find a small sun that nobody is using….

Gunga Din
December 20, 2021 4:10 pm

I usually shower but in a tub, depending on what I ate, I can make a bubble that can warp things.

H.R.
December 20, 2021 5:30 pm

Now all humans have to come up with is pinwheels and solar panels that provide reliable baseload electricity.

Warp bubbles are ez-peezy by comparison.

WXcycles
December 20, 2021 10:50 pm

“Humans Have Figured Out How to Make a Warp Bubble and human CO2 emissions are making them get worse!
FIFY

DonM
December 21, 2021 10:08 am

CO2 levels over 450PPM will initiate cavitation like results as you exit the warp bubble.

If we don’t reduce our atmospheric CO2 levels our progress will forever be stymied.

RayB
December 21, 2021 12:45 am

Maybe before going around in a bubble, we should develop phasers and photon torpedoes.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 21, 2021 1:20 am

I’m sorry but can someone please tell me what DARPA actually stands for?

I am of the view that the first time an acronym is used it should be preceded by the the full name of the institution or whatever, then we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

There used to be a print Union in the U.K. called The Society of Graphic Artists and Technicians, SOGAT for short. Whenever the acronym was used I preferred to imagine them as The Society of Gannets and Terns as it made for a more interesting mental image of their meetings.

Perhaps we can think of better uses of DARPA.

Mark - Helsinki
December 21, 2021 6:05 am

The title of this one made me lol

cos I assumed it couldn’t possibly be true before I read it, turns out I was correct making that assumption. 😀

No, now they didn’t, and no they won’t be, making a warp bubble.

This is classic making things with math and pretending its the real world, singularities anyone?

Gordon A. Dressler
December 21, 2021 7:38 am

What a fluff article from TechRepublic with a hugely misleading title!

From the article itself, Dr. White said:

“We think there’s a bit more to these vacuums than we currently know. Some of the unknown characteristics could be used to create some really useful technologies.”

So, the basis for the title Humans Have Figured Out How to Make a Warp Bubble is built on what one, or several, “scientists” think about what we don’t know, with attendant speculation that what we don’t know (the unknown characteristics) could be used to create a “useful technology” that might be used to create negative mass, something that has never been observed in nature.

If that is “figuring out” how to make a warp bubble . . . well, I am speechless.

I seriously hope that DARPA is not throwing taxpayer money down this wormhole, pardon the pun.

Jojo rabbit
December 21, 2021 7:55 am

Once again the abstract mathematics and blackboard theory prevail over physics. The problem with this variety of “warp drive” isn’t so much that Casimir effect works only on nanoscale distance between the plates, but on thinking that “fabric of spacetime” is something tangible, real, physical. Something that can warp, bend, expend. In reality space and time aren’t real or physical, but together with things like length, height width and others are a mathematical constructs. Space is one of the properties of the matter, but not the matter itself because it doesn’t have what material things have – internal structure like particles, atoms, molecules. That’s why space can’t be warped and time can’t dilate.

Gordon A. Dressler
December 21, 2021 8:47 am

Jojo rabbit concluded:
“That’s why space can’t be warped and time can’t dilate.”

Not so Jojo:

a) astrophotography of distant galaxies that create gravitational “lensing” effects (well documented . . . look it up) clearly demonstrates that space can indeed be warped, and

b) experiments using a particle accelerator back in 2014 confirmed the “time dilation” effect predicted by Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity — https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/einsteins-time-dilation-prediction-verified/

Jojo rabbit
December 21, 2021 4:27 pm

a) The lensing effect could be caused by reasons other then gravity. It could be refraction of the light going through plasma halo around the distant galaxy.
Here are some links to a videos with better explanations
https://youtu.be/B_ixkOI4k8c
https://youtu.be/fePQdJNVF9g

b) time is measured by some kind of a clock. The thing is that in this and other experiments scientists use a set of two clocks to see the difference. One is stationary and the other is moving. As soon as you change any parameters on one of the clocks (mass, acceleration, gravity etc.) you should see the difference. If you use a clock to prove dilation of time you will have to determine the nature and mechanics of interaction between not material time and very material clock.

Jojo rabbit
December 21, 2021 5:03 pm

a) Almost any event could have more then just one explanation. Lensing effect isn’t an exception. The light could pass through the plasma halo of another galaxy and be refracted. Here is a link to a video with better explanations
https://youtu.be/B_ixkOI4k8c

b) I checked your link and there they are talking about a set of two “clocks”, one is stationary and the other is moving. If one of them is moving it means that parameters (mass, acceleration, angular momentum etc.) for this clock are different as to compare to stationary one. Why would you be surprised if they “tick” at different rate?
The thing is that if you’re using clocks to prove something about time – you will have to show the mechanics of interaction between not material time and very material clock.

john harmsworth
December 21, 2021 9:26 am

The next day, his hat was found on the lab floor, but he could not be found anywhere and was never seen again!

JamesD
December 21, 2021 1:26 pm

Space = nothing, or better, null. So condensed space is nothing. At best, “space” is just a human imparted coordinate system. That’s it. So I don’t expect to see a “warp drive” if the underlying theory depends on condensed nothing.

Joseph Zorzin
December 22, 2021 12:46 pm

Here’s a YouTube video on the same subject. It points out that it’s not likely for a long time that we’ll be using one.

REAL Warp Drives? NEW research proposes a solution!

Andrew Jones
December 22, 2021 2:13 pm

More coal in the boiler Scotty!!!