Faster than light travel is not only an exciting SciFi concept which has spurred the imagination of countless geek generations since the first Star Trek season aired on television, it’s also a necessity if mankind is ever to surpass its condition and truly aim for the stars. Warp-drive technology has been on the forefront of SciFi thinking as far as interplanetary traveling is concerned, and a team of scientists at University of Sydney, most likely intrigued by such a possibility, sought to see what kind of perils faster than light travel, theoretical as it may be, might arise. Their findings were rather frightening – when coming to a halt from warp travel, the spaceship would simply collapse under a burst of tremendous energy, obliterating its passengers, as well as anything else in its path.
The researchers used the Alcubierre warp drive theory, on which they based their assumptions.Theorized by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994, the warp-drive would catapult a spaceship at faster than light speeds by engulfing it in a bubble of negative energy, thus expanding space, and with it time, behind the ship, while at the same time compressing space in front of it.
The University of Sydney scientists did a bit of math on data which would result from the effects of faster than light space travel via Alcubierre drive and found that the warp bubble would gather cosmic particles during its voyage. Since there isn’t such a thing as empty space, the spacecraft in question would most certainly gather particles in its warp bubble, no matter its trajectory. When the spacecraft would eventually come out of warp-drive, and superluminal speeds, the gathered particles would be released in an energetic outburst. These can be as energetic as the powerful gamma-rays, the researchers claim.
“Any people at the destination,” the team’s paper concludes, “would be gamma ray and high energy particle blasted into oblivion due to the extreme blueshifts for [forward] region particles.”
According to the paper the amount of energy released would be directly proportional to the faster than light traveled distance.
“Interestingly, the energy burst released upon arriving at the destination does not have an upper limit,” McMonigal told Universe Today in an email. “You can just keep on traveling for longer and longer distances to increase the energy that will be released as much as you like, one of the odd effects of General Relativity. Unfortunately, even for very short journeys the energy released is so large that you would completely obliterate anything in front of you.”
Oh, well. Way to go science, just ruin all my fantasies, will you. I’m just as disheartened right now like I was when I first learned another group of researchers allegedly proved time travel is impossible. Is that alien technology here yet?