How can someone break space-time
Press release: Breaking the warp limit: traveling at faster than light speed
No. 32 - March 12, 2021
Astrophysicist at the University of Göttingen discovered new theoretical solutions for hyperfast solitons
(pug) If travel to distant stars is to be possible within a person's lifetime, a drive must be found that is faster than the speed of light. Previous research on faster than light transport on the basis of Einstein's general theory of relativity requires huge amounts of hypothetical particles and states of matter that have “exotic” physical properties such as a negative energy density. This type of matter is either not currently found or cannot be produced in usable quantities. A researcher at the University of Göttingen, on the other hand, avoids this problem: He uses sources with exclusively positive energy to construct a new class of hyper-fast “solitons” that could enable travel at any speed. The results of the study are is in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity published.
The author of the work, Dr. Erik Lentz, analyzed existing research and discovered gaps in previous studies on "warp propulsion". Lentz noticed that there are as yet unexplored configurations of the space-time curvature that are organized in "solitons". These have the potential to solve the puzzle and are physically realizable at the same time. A soliton - also informally referred to as a warp bubble in this context - is a compact wave that maintains its shape and moves at a constant speed. Lentz derived the Einstein equations for unexplored soliton configurations in which the “shift vector” components of the space-time metric obey a hyperbolic relationship. He found out that the changed space-time geometries can be formed in a way that also works with conventional energy sources.
Given enough energy, space travel to Proxima Centauri, our nearest star, and back to Earth could be possible on this basis within a few years instead of decades or millennia. So a person could start the journey in the course of his life. By comparison, with today's rocket technology, the one-way trip would take more than 50,000 years.
In addition, the solitons have been configured to contain a region with minimal tidal forces so that the passage of time inside the soliton matches that outside: an ideal environment for a spaceship. This means that there would be no complications of the so-called "twin paradox" in which a twin traveling near the speed of light would age much more slowly than the other twin who stayed on earth: in fact, both twins would follow be the same age as the new equations when they are reunited.
“This work has brought the problem of traveling faster than light a step away from theoretical research in basic physics and closer to technology,” says Lentz. “The next step is to figure out how to bring the astronomical amount of energy that is needed into the realm of today's technologies, such as a large modern nuclear fission power plant. Then we could talk about building the first prototypes. "
At the moment, the energy requirements for this new type of space propulsion are still immense. Lentz explains: “The energy that is required for this propulsion at the speed of light for a spaceship with a radius of 100 meters is in the order of one hundred times the mass of the planet Jupiter. The energy savings would have to be drastic, in the range of around 30 orders of magnitude, to be within the reach of modern nuclear fission reactors. Fortunately, several energy-saving mechanisms have been suggested in previous research that could potentially reduce the amount of energy required by almost 60 orders of magnitude. "
Original publication: Erik W. Lentz, Breaking the Warp Barrier: Hyper-Fast Solitons in Einstein-Maxwell-Plasma Theory, Classical and Quantum Gravity, March 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6382/abe692
Contact (only in English):
Dr. Erik Lentz
Email: [email protected]
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