space travel

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by JimmyJames, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. JimmyJames Master Jedi Registered Senior Member

    When talking about "real" space travel, we have to realize that our conventional ways on space transportation just don’t cut it.
    Recently I have been looking into the subject of "warp" transportation. I find it to be more fictional than fact, though the theory on warp transportation is not farfetched. To my Knowledge a "warp" engine works by exposing anti-matter to "normal" matter, and therefore causing a plasma-like reaction that would propel a spaceship with great speed. First of all you would need some sort of shield that would protect the ship from the all the problems of bending time and space. I don’t believe that generation ships are the answer, and some may say that "warp" engines are out of our time, but when is our time? I’d like your input about "warp speed" and also how we can device ways of creating shields too. Thanks.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Xelios We're setting you adrift idiot Registered Senior Member

    Personally, I like the idea of bending some part of space, then "riding the wave" when it recoils back to its original shape. Perhaps this can be done with one of the coiled up dimensions of string theory (if they exist), the only problem with the idea would be the amount of energy required.

    Imagine a stick. You are at one end, and want to reach the other. In order to travel to the other end, you would have to travel along the stick until you finally got to the other side. What if you bend the stick to the two ends meet? Then, to get to one end to the other, you would be required to move a much lesser distance than if you took the conventional route.

    Matter/Antimatter reactions, although 100% effecient in converting mass to energy, cannot supply a drive unit with the infinite energy requirement to accelerate to the speed of light (which is a theoretical impossibility anyway). So you would still be limited to just under 3.00x10^8 m/s anyway.

    The key is not for you to travel to the destination, but to have the destination travel to you. IMO anyway.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. esp Registered Senior Member

    Jimmy James

    Check ou the Infinitly Improbable thread in Astronomy, Exobiology and cosmology.

    Like the new avatar!
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Xelios We're setting you adrift idiot Registered Senior Member

    Like the new avatar!


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I'm still trying to figure out how to work Photoshop properly

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  8. Variable Registered Member

    Well, if you're thinking of warp travel in the Star Trek sense, keep in mind that they've got "Inertial Dampeners" to keep themselves from being plastered against the bulkhead. So yes, you'd need some sort of shield to get around inertial phsyics. From what I've heard regarding matter/anti-matter reactions, the resulting power generated could power an FTL engine, though I'm probably wrong (can't remember where).

    I do remember reading something in a science mag about how CERN would take a few billion years to create one kilo of antimatter. It takes a lot of time to create very little of that stuff, and then you have to contain it magnetically so that it doesn't react with your container.

    Believe me, the number of warp core breaches on Star Trek were probably realistic given the situations they went through. It wouldn't take much to really screw up such a complex and high-tech system. Then again, their "warp" wasn't exactly what you're describing; that warp engine worked by creating a flux bubble that allowed the insides to exist in "subspace," a dimension where the lightspeed barrier works in reverse-- the slowest you can move is C. At least, that's how I remember it from the rather wordy TNG tech manual

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  9. ZMacZ Registered Senior Member

    Omg...another flare...

    Warp drives are not antimatter-matter explosions to ride...

    The warp core delivers energy..that energy is used to create a warp bubble, which in turn 'takes' the ship out of the Einstein universe, thus allowing for greater speeds..
    So..a matter-anitimatter engine is very well possible...but a supspace bubble ? (the actual field) that allows for FTL ?...umm..FAR FAR AWAY !!..

    Also..antimatter creation, for now at a very costly (energywise) energy has to be created first..and that costs a lot of energy..
    So..antimatter reclamation on a starship is not'd need roughly the same or possibly even more energy than you'd be able to create with it..

    So..back to gas-statiions...and those are really scarce...

    And on..
    With the theory on mass increase at greater speeds...
    The mass ejected would also be increased..although it's the same mass...
    When the speed goes up..the mass goes also the mass being expelled to increase the speed..
    When you need to increase the speed to 10.000 Km per sec and the fuel needed is roughly 10% of ur total mass.. reduce mass while increasing speed...but even'd come up short in fuel to increase ur speed sooner or later..
    And then you'd also have to decelerate..but no fuel...


    Try this on first..then go out of the system..
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    At this time, warp travel ala the Alcubierre drive are way beyond our technological and scientific knowhow, but that doesn't mean they are Impossible.
    The methodology presents many problems, but are not against the laws of physics and GR.
    In fact JPL and NASA do have research teams looking into that science.
  11. ZMacZ Registered Senior Member

    In other words....warp drive is FAR FAR AWAY ?!?

    but yes..not impossible..or so I believe..
  12. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    Warp or hyper drives were invented by science fiction writters to make their stories more interesting (gets rid of that pesky relativity). That does not bode well for them actually ever becoming a reality......
  13. ZMacZ Registered Senior Member

    Well..on that topic...

    Dilatation flights could be very possible however...making it possible to get from one solar system to the next within one human lifetime..
    Although the passing of time would be near the 100's of years on the would still be possible to reach other star systems..without cryogenics..
    But even for those...too much fuel...since you also have to decelerate..

    Also..instead of maybe a warpdrive, a forward generated gravity field could be done....still not FTL..but more sustainable..
    Specially since, when coupled with solar arrays for the starter of the acceleration phase as well as the decelleration phase,
    no internal fuel would need to be expended..and the yield of solar arrays could be as high 5 to 10 Kw per panel near the Earth's orbit..
  14. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    I think generation ships are the answer.
  15. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Hey--do you realize you resurrected at 12 year old thread? That's a record AFAIK. It was just a few months after 9/11.

    I have a homework problem for you (or anyone else who thinks interstellar travel is feasible). Locate any remote object in the sky for your destination. Find its distance from us. State the proposed amount of time to to get there. State the proposed total mass of the ship plus passengers. Calculate the energy required to get there in that amount of time. State the estimated energy left in the Sun. Compare them -- which is less?

    Problem #2 for the really smart folks. Using the energy from 1000 solar panels, each collecting 10 kw of power, and assuming that energy is collected for 10 years in advance of travel: estimate the amount of time it would take to reach the nearest star if all of that energy were used to propel a person in a vehicle to that star. Pick the smallest feasible number for the mass of the person and the vehicle. You can even assume no air, food or water are on board -- just to make this easier.

    Bonus question: name any feasible way to get to a star, which has some basis in fact, scientific theory or speculation about how nature works, how it probably works, or how it might work if certain things were found to be true.
  16. ZMacZ Registered Senior Member

    to answer ur first your own math...and re-read's not about the amount of energy being needed to actually get's about an additional source of energy that does not involve fuel from launch..if even 1% of the total energy needed could be simply be tapped from the sun (using an hyperbolic course near the sun and using said electrics to advance the forward motion of the vessel, it would make lots of difference..since none of that speed would need any fuel..)

    to answer ur second may know of ANY starting'd get pointless to subtract the mass of ur mind..and come up with something usefull to actually get there..that would be SOO impressive, unlike useless counter arguments..add on top a large amount of propellant to shave of a few hundred years and you'll be at Alpha Centauri before you kno it..(distance only a few given 10% of the speed of light only around 50 years..give or take..)

    For the $100.000 bonus:

    like this man said...

    And he didn't even need to trash anyone or use more than a single line to say cosmictotem..
  17. ZMacZ Registered Senior Member

    Science forever advancing..

    How old is the oldest question in science that still needs to be answered ?

    Umm...I dunno...but these are the best old threads...

    Started by somene a thousand years ago..and even though we are much more evolved scientifically..still unanswered..

    "It's not the age of the's whether it's really been answered or not.."

    if scientists would cling to the same sawn off answers they did 1000 years ago..we'd be paddling across the oceans..still weary of the ends of the earth..
  18. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    unfortuantely they would be so expensive that the public would never be willing to pay for them, the public only give a pittance to NASA or ESA now.

    What we need is a couple of billionairs like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to go loco and spend their entire fortunes to build a generation ship. I'll write them a letter and see if they will go for it.
  19. ZMacZ Registered Senior Member

    123 try that...I'll try perpetual machines...I think I'll get better results before you do...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Also..maybe the Moon as a space vessel would be nice...that is..if there would be enough stuff there to be used as 'fuel'....
    It would be it's own meteorite shield..
  20. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    If I have a chance I'll post the answer later. I'd like to put it out as a brain teaser for anyone who took the courses but is probably rusty.

    What is the source of that energy?

    Before you can speculate on that you'd need to run some numbers.

    Yes that's true. Blow a smoke ring and theoretically one day one of the particles land somewhere, say somewhere in Cassiopeia. But when?

    What the--? :bugeye:

    Ok now you're starting to get somewhere. The estimated distance is 4.3 LY, so at 3E7 m/s you'd expect to arrive in about 43 years. The energy here is on half the mass times the velocity squared. Lets just pick a person in a light craft having total mass of 1000 kg. That's impossibly light but what the heck, we're ignoring the weight of life support. The energy then is 500 x 9E14 = 4.5E17 J.

    How does asking for numbers in a physics & math forum amount to any of the personality conflict you are injecting into this?

    So far we've arrived at a requirement for 4.5E17 J to get a dead body to Alpha Centauri in 43 years. Any ideas how to get there from here?
  21. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    Unfortunately, Aqueous Id, I fear you are completely right. The answer at this point is, "You can't get there from here".

    edit to add:
    Your figure of 4.5E17J is about the yearly electrical energy consumption of Norway. Yikes!
  22. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Let them eat cake. We need to explore strange new worlds, Scotty.

    Hey this isn't too bad--3.74 billion gallons of gasoline, unless I made a mistake. That assumes you already had the fuel in space. And of course we can't burn it in space, so we're stuck with what the heck will develop 4.5E17 J, since it requires throwing mass out the nozzle. Geez. Now I have to figure out how much mass that would entail, once I figure out how fast we'll be propelling it. I've got a feeling this going to be a lot of stuff. Just not sure what kind of stuff it is. I'd have to turn that over to you. I know you were working in concrete. Ok so we send as much concrete into orbit as in --- the interstate highway system? Just guessing. We load it onto a ginormous space barge, and then we throw it out behind us fast enough to get to 0.1c.

    Sounds like a plan!
  23. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Where do we travel to? So far no other planet we have found can't support human life according to the data we have found. So if we build anything and we can't find a place that we can live on what good is space travel? We would need a very fast spaceship to send robotic craft to see what is a good place to go first of all.

Share This Page