A spacecraft that travels more quickly than the light?

One day, while he was watching TV, the theoretical physician Miguel Alcubierre, was fascinated while he was watching an episode of Star Trek in which the Enterprise reached to go to higher velocities than the light’s. Somehow, he got to compress the time-space in front of them, making the effect that the stars were closer to them.

Then he had an idea, he grabbed Einstein’s equations and he inverted them, inverting the habitual logic of the theoretical physicians. He tried to think which type of spacecraft would compress the time-space in front of it and would expand it behind the spacecraft. In the end he found a very simple solution: the distortion of the time-space in Star-Trek was a possible solution to his problem.

A spacecraft equipped with the named Alcubierre’s thrust, which allows to deform the time-space in front of the spacecraft, would have to be surrounded with a distortion bubble, inside in which there wouldn’t be either matter or energy, and, therefore, the time-space inside the bubble would be isolated from the time-space outside the bubble. When the spacecraft would accelerate, its crew members would notice anything, although they would be travelling at more speed than the light.

The results of Alcubierre surprised the community of scientists. However, when he had published his article, the critics started to point the weak points of his theory. Although his theory of his theory of a travel at more speed than the light was very elegant, it hadn’t in mind certain complications that could come up. If the zone inside the bubble was isolated from the outside, the information wouldn’t pass, and the pilot will not control the direction of the spacecraft. In addition, we must add the problem of creating a distortion bubble, which, to compress the space in front of it, it would have to be supplied by negative matter or negative energy.

This is another problem, obtain negative mater or negative energy, witch is just what we don’t have. Like Stephen Hawking proved with his general theorem, any solution to Einstein’s equations that permits to travel faster than the light, requires either negative matter, or negative energy.

Then, the physicians tried to calculate what quantity of negative matter or energy would be required to propel a spacecraft of this type. Recent results indicate that, to propel this type of spacecraft, it would require a quantity of negative matter or negative energy equivalent to Jupiter’s mass. This means that only a very advanced civilisation can build this spacecraft due to the high quantities of negative matter and energy needed, impossible to obtain by a civilisation like our’s.

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