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Thread: Scotty, I need more power from those engines!

  1. #1

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    Scotty, I need more power from those engines!

    Could the mythical "hyperdrive" of Star Trek actually become real? Is there a physics that might support dimensional drives that transcend the standard speed of light?

    An obscure German Physicist came up with a methematical theory that better explains reality-particularly able to close the gap between Einsteinean General relativity (the big stuff, like gravity, and space time warping) and Quantum Mechanics (the tiny stuff, like quarks and neutrinos). His theory bridged the gap through positing two extra dimensions with electromagnestism and gravity combined as a single force. The hyperdrive ship would be able to punch through a dimensional barrier somehow, greatly exceeding our standard speed of light.

    This comes from New Scientist, not Weekly World News. It sounds utterly fascinating. Mars in eight hours?

    http://www.newscientistspace.com/article/mg18925331.200

  2. #2
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    The hyperdrive ship would be able to punch through a dimensional barrier somehow, greatly exceeding our standard speed of light.
    If only we could apply this "somehow" methodology to other sciences, imagine the breakthroughs we could achieve! We could create a vaccine that identifies all form of malaria somehow, or find a way to generate energy from water somehow, or reverse human aging somehow. .

  3. #3
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Now that would be very cool. I just wonder how they would build a vehicle that is not only capable of reaching those speeds, but also holding together?

    It is things like this that cause me to think about all the stuff that we don't know yet, and haven't even dreamed of yet. What are the limits of our world? If something like this is possible, would time travel also be possible?

    all of this, and it is still hard to find a good cup of coffee for under a dollar! (Unless it is made at home)
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    a methematical theory
    That would violate both the laws of physics and the laws of the DEA.

  5. #5
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Otis
    That would violate both the laws of physics and the laws of the DEA.
    No wonder he was able to come up with a theory about moving real fast.....
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    If only we could apply this "somehow" methodology to other sciences, imagine the breakthroughs we could achieve! We could create a vaccine that identifies all form of malaria somehow, or find a way to generate energy from water somehow, or reverse human aging somehow. .

    Don't be a smart-ass This is a pretty significant and interesting breakthrough in physics, if true. The "somehow" is only my very crude summary of the ideas presented in the article. In fact, they were discussing ways of testing his theories. If true, these theories are a pretty significant and unique breakthrough. Maybe "somehow" is the wrong word-"someday" would be better-as the article makes clear.

    Now that would be very cool. I just wonder how they would build a vehicle that is not only capable of reaching those speeds, but also holding together?

    It is things like this that cause me to think about all the stuff that we don't know yet, and haven't even dreamed of yet. What are the limits of our world? If something like this is possible, would time travel also be possible?
    Well what is so interesting is that this is the first hard science article I've come across that actually proposes a scientifc explanation for how a hyperdrive could work. The science press has always been very dismissive of Star Trek and FTL travel in general. So, this just piqued my interest. Not that in any way I am a physicist. I couldn't even really make it through engineering-level mathematics, let alone this stuff

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Maybe I could explain (if you didn't already think I was a nerd ). Many scientists think that there are more spatial dimensions in the universe (other than the three we know and love) that, for whatever reason, never "opened up." What this drive may theoretically do is that, if those dimensions actually exist (which is very speculative right now) it might pull them open, such that a ship can slip into them.

    The math works out that the more dimensions you have, the shorter the distance between two given points. So a ship traversing a distance in four dimensions would appear to be covering a lot more ground from the viewpoint of an observer in three dimensions than it actually is in its four dimensional space.

    PS: Most scientists I've met are total trekkies but they have to be realistic. Even if this device were to work you'd still have the problem of acceleration to a significant fraction of C in whatever dimension you're in, which is very difficult. Maybe this could reduce the time it takes to get to the nearest star from 3,000 years to like, 50 years, or something, but it’s no Star Trek.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    intresting i guess we'll find out if which theory is correct in due time... till then i just wonder what 6-D Glasses will look like

    This talk of flying through space or any talk of flying makes me think of this quote

    Flying is simple. You just throw yourself at the ground and miss.

    Douglas Adams, "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish"

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    It seems that these scientists have not seen Event Horizon... Or Planet of the Apes You do not want to screw up with them dimensions... results might not be very nice. (Damn dirty apes!)

    Also... I don't trust obscure German physicists.... most likely is that this is just smoke and mirrors, and if not, the technology needed to prove it is way behind.... and we'll never see it in our lifetime.

  10. #10
          abrowne's avatar
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    Seems like rubbish. If one is from the very beginning trying to fit your conclusions into the goal of allowing hyperdrive or other ideas then I wouldn't put much stock in the theory.

  11. #11
          mentarman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Seems like rubbish. If one is from the very beginning trying to fit your conclusions into the goal of allowing hyperdrive or other ideas then I wouldn't put much stock in the theory.
    If you read the story, it says that the idea of a hyperdrive was a spinoff from the physicist's ideas trying to link quantum mechanics and Einstein's general theory of relativity. Linking the two would be huge in its own right and the person who successfully does this will be as well known as Einstein, or should be. Basically he was working on that theory when he realized one repercussion would be moving the idea of faster-than-light travel from the realm of impossible to theoretically possible. That's the way I understand it anyway.
    Besides, there's nothing wrong with wondering how it would be possible to do something, and then testing if it works. ie, saying "It would be possible to travel faster than light if this and this were true," then testing to see if you could prove or disprove those things.

  12. #12

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    Thanks, mentamen for doing a better job of summing up the basic thrust of the article.

    The article makes clear that the German physicist's theories have been uniquely able to solve certain "problems" in particle physics. Only his theory, for example, can estimate the weight of nuclear particles, a feat that unlinked physics struggles with due to uncertainty. Thus, for one narrow task, his ideas already have "worked."

  13. #13
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Here's a good example of research that deserves at least a tricle of our tax revenues.

    The big trends of humanity in the past two centuries have included exponentially increasing - population, percapita energy use, and speeds of travel. Of these three, speeds of travel have increased by the greatest factor (from well under 100 mph in 1806, to somewhere approaching 25,000 mph today), and I believe they have the most remaining potential for growth.

    In Pale Blue Dot, Carl Sagan showed that if you project our progress in speeds of travel from the past two centuries - into the future, we would reach light speed by about 2380 (if my memory is correct). It's highly doubtful of course. 500,000 mph is more conceivable - but that would still make a visit to our tropodome on Mars of pleasantly brief duration.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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