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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 12:51 AM
Original message
Galactic exploration within our lifetimes?
http://www.newscientist.com/channel/fundamentals/mg1892...

This is an old article from earlier this year. And by earlier I mean January. I thought it was time to revisit the topic of discussion, chiefly the possibility of hyperspace capable ships within our lifetimes.

From the article:

EVERY year, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awards prizes for the best papers presented at its annual conference. Last year's winner in the nuclear and future flight category went to a paper calling for experimental tests of an astonishing new type of engine. According to the paper, this hyperdrive motor would propel a craft through another dimension at enormous speeds. It could leave Earth at lunchtime and get to the moon in time for dinner. There's just one catch: the idea relies on an obscure and largely unrecognised kind of physics. Can they possibly be serious?

The AIAA is certainly not embarrassed. What's more, the US military has begun to cast its eyes over the hyperdrive concept, and a space propulsion researcher at the US Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories has said he would be interested in putting the idea to the test. And despite the bafflement of most physicists at the theory that supposedly underpins it, Pavlos Mikellides, an aerospace engineer at the Arizona State University in Tempe who reviewed the winning paper, stands by the committee's choice. "Even though such features have been explored before, this particular approach is quite unique," he says.

Unique it certainly is. If the experiment gets the go-ahead and works, it could reveal new interactions between the fundamental forces of nature that would change the future of space travel. Forget spending six months or more holed up in a rocket on the way to Mars, a round trip on the hyperdrive could take as little as 5 hours. All our worries about astronauts' muscles wasting away or their DNA being irreparably damaged by cosmic radiation would disappear overnight. What's more the device would put travel to the stars within reach for the first time. But can the hyperdrive really get off the ground?

The answer to that question hinges on the work of a little-known German physicist. Burkhard Heim began to explore the hyperdrive propulsion concept in the 1950s as a spin-off from his attempts to heal the biggest divide in physics: the rift between quantum mechanics and Einstein's general theory of relativity.


For you physics geeks, here is Burkhard Heim's wiki bio. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burkhard_Heim

Also, a link to the actual theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heim_theory

And an explaination of the theory: http://www.heim-theory.com/
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Wonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. There are some awfully big IFs there.
IF it works, we could...
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Quixote1818 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Their have always been ifs and people always figure things out

Examples: Going to the Moon, Computers, Cell Phones, etc. etc. etc.

Think how big the ifs were 100 years before these things were invented.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-09-06 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
34. by the time it's figured out, there aren't many ifs left
The technology discussed in the article is mostly hypothetical.
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I don't give a damn how big the IFs are...
I still look forward with anticipation to the testing process and pray that it works. I want to see a distant world before the end of my lifetime.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. If we put the observatory in orbit
we will (though its glasses) before the next decade is over.

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karlrschneider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. If we had some ham, we could have ham and eggs
if we had some eggs...


;-)
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thingfisher Donating Member (445 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-09-06 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
40. What about IF WE COULD PAY FOR IT!!!
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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
4. Wouldn't that be something?
I for one am convinced there's life out there...Maybe all primitive low level thingies, but life. I'm also convinced there are planets we could "terraform" in the next centuries, with zany GMOs. At the same time though, I have this intuitive feeling that were gonna have to figure out how to live on this planet before we can go much further.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. Hyperdrive? Multi-dimensional space?
This sounds like futuristic claptrap to me.

Show me that it works on a smaller scale, in the lab, and I'll be inclined to believe that practical uses can be made of it.

Still, it seems, the theory hasn't been disproven, so there's hope that further revelations will be forthcoming.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. May I kindly direct your attention to another theory
that speaks of multidimensional space (string theory)
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. Yes, I know ahout string theory
But my skepticism is over any practical uses of it.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
6. ah yes, when sci fi meets reality
or at least possible reality
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 01:37 AM
Response to Original message
8. well...the romulans use an artificial quantum singularity to power their birds of prey...
is this anything like that...?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Not quite
all the Star Trek ships use warp drive, which essentially puts you in a bottle that travels in N space. The warp basically pushes you in waves

What is amazing is that Alcubierre, a Mexican physicist and fellow treckie, was actually come up with the equations for this one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

When I started doing research for the 'Brane drive for the future nexus world I came against several possibilites for FTL... and I wanted to keep it more or less in the realm of the perhaps pssible

;-)

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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 02:09 AM
Response to Original message
11. Having only a rudimentary proficiency in German, I find his
original manuscript impenetrable.
I have no real objection to extended dimensions as rational in a horse and buggy logic as regards quantum mechanics and indeterminacy. It makes more sense to posit additional dimensions - to me - as an explanation than the alternative, although m-theory still makes limited sense.

This is fascinating material. I'm only passing familiar with references to Mr. Heim and thank you for this source.

In the brief time I spent looking it over, it seems to imply that gravity, rather than arising as a fundamental force from the structure of matter, is a function of space - a repulsive force pressing in and pushing matter together.

This makes a certain logical sense. Am I reading something into it that isn't there?
More study is needed.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 03:45 AM
Response to Original message
12. Not if we don't get our act together to have a sustainable technological--
--society here. Plus figuring our how to get microecologies (space stations or space ships) to be stable.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Exactly - any spiffy new physical theories should be used to solve our problems
not go on joyrides around the galaxy while we overheat the planet.
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Right well..
one of the main problems we have is too many people fighting over resorces and land. If we can all have our own little planets, it would go a long way to fixing the Earth.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Because it's been so easy to build transport for everyone on earth
Iron, copper, aluminium or whatever is in limitless supply, and it never takes any energy to build things, does it? I'm sure we could shift everyone to planets that are already just perfect for humans to live on. They'll be there with oxygen atmospheres, but no indigenous life that we'd either have qualms about wiping out, or that would be dangerous to us. Yes, evacuating the earth is the obvious solution to our problems.
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I see you offering no solutions...
only gripes that solutions do not work. Humanity has been at each others throats for too many years. Too many people, not enough planet. If you actually want to see the Earth survive, getting people off this rock is the only way.

Also, given that what they are talking about is propulsion to get us to another solar system with a few months, I think we can find a planet or three that can support life.

Your sarcasm aside, yes evacuating the Earth is the obvious solution for most rational people. (Steven Hawking to name but one...)
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. If this theory ever amounts to anything
then using it to produce energy on Earth that doesn't pollute would be more useful. With plenty of energy, we could get all the fresh water we want from seawater, grow food in much smaller areas, recycle raw materials ...

It's a serious point though - if people ever do go to other planets, to live on them they will have to use terraforming (either wiping out life already there, or taking a planet with no life). When we have that level of control over a planet, we'll have used it first to fix the Earth.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. Why would anything change?
That's like the founding fathers having to come to an entirely different continent(a new world, hint, hint, wink, wink nudge, nudge) to change things, only to eventually see that place become the first actual global empire.

It'll work because rational people thought of it. Just like rational people got us into this mess because it's only rational to not want to live within limits.

Onward and upward.
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 05:36 AM
Response to Original message
13. Hyper drives are possible right now
give me a huge (Imean HUGE) budget and I could build one now.
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gulfcoastliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
17. If the gov. declassifies the UFOs, sure.
Otherwise we are too primitive.
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cool user name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
20. Great ... we can fuck up other planets ...
:eyes:
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Yes
You are right! We should never explore space or get off of this planet! We should stay here until a planet killing asteroid/comet/rogue moon flys along from some part of the 999/1000th of space we can't observe!

We should stay here, because having an exponentially increasing population on an already overcrowded and running out of resources is so much better an idea!
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. You do realise the world's population is no longer exponentially increasing?
The growth rate is now about half that of the early 60s - http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/worldpop.html .

Yes, it would be good to establish people on another world, in case of a huge meteorite (not that all life has been wiped out by one before - and human knowledge gives us a better chance of survival than just about any other large species). But if we're going to form a world, it'd be easier to fix Earth, which is almost perfect for us already.
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cool user name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Nice strawman ...
I actually would love to go to another world.

I'm just pretty sure we'll end up fucking it up like we did this one.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-09-06 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #26
38. The same strawman was used by
Stephen Hawking, but I am sure you knew that
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. Yup!
Much better than being stuck on this rock with all the uptight, puritannical control freaks who want to run other people's lives.
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cool user name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
28. Faster than the speed of light:
Edited on Fri Dec-08-06 07:58 PM by cool user name
There was an article that I read a few years ago about an upcoming new genius from Portugal. I can't recall the particulars but his theory of riding superstrings (demolishing the speed of light speed limit) was quite compelling.

Hopefully, someone will know who I am talking about and refer me to a link so I can read it again.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
29. they better frigging hurry
so some human can survive the coming environmental meltdown on this planet
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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
30. Science poser. If you are traveling faster than the speed of light...
A) Will you see stars in front of you?

B) Behind you?

Of course this assumes you have a window on your ship.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Not if you're trying to do it in normal space...
You'll wink out of existence at light speed.

As for the subject at hand; I believe we have another 100 or so years before we should be able to clone people.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-09-06 04:34 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. This is not FTL
At lightspeed a trip to the moon would take like 1.5 seconds, not 6 hours or so as the article claims this engine would be capable of.
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IndyBob Donating Member (216 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-08-06 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
32. The human species
Edited on Fri Dec-08-06 10:55 PM by IndyBob
Has the same drive to expand and succeed as all other life. Being a product of billions of years of natural selection has burned this into our genes. Our only hope is having our intellect overcome the genetic program.

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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-09-06 05:56 AM
Response to Original message
35. Has at least as much chance as "Starwars Revisited" which W
has wasted several billion on.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-09-06 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
36. The problem being, if anything FTL is posisble, causality is a myth
I don't know if I'm down with giving up causality yet. Remember: if a rocket can get to Alpha Centauri in less than four years, it can by that same fact stay on earth and traveel backwards in time. I'm a bit skeptical, to say the least.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-09-06 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. Only in terms of gross linear space/time relativism.
In normal space, travelling faster than light would be travelling through time, although travelling faster than light is (or at least appears to be) impossible in an Einsteinian worldview. However, all that goes out the window if you're talking about non-relativistic means. Suppose you created a way for a vehicle to transpose its surroundings, jump instantly from one location to another in space, say by means of quantum tunneling. That has no effect on the idea of time travel, but it's still for all intents and purposes an FTL stardrive.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-09-06 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. But "instantly" only has a local meanng
There's no one point in time for 2 locations that is simultaneous for all frames of reference. So if he "instantly" transposes to Alpha Centauri, how do you judge that it is instant? From one frame of reference it might have taken 1 second, from another frame of reference it might have taken millions of years.
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dfgrbac Donating Member (378 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-09-06 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
37. Thanks for that! The future has much in store if we cooperate.
That's a very exciting idea. I hope it pays off.

Here is another one just as exciting since we are talking about possibilities. We are close to having a treatment that would not only stop, but would actually Reverse Human Aging! After being treated, you would continue to appear to be about 20 years old for as long as you live, and that would be with the health of a 20 year old also. I'm not sure how well actually treating old people would restore their youth to 20, but they would certainly feel a lot better and have more energy.

I recommend Dr. Fossel's book for his view of the near future. This will cause great changes in our economic systems!

Many of us alive today will live extremely long lives. Only an accident or disease could kill you.
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-09-06 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
41. They are talking about the 'Hyperspace' button in the video game Defender...
just push it and...



You are GONE!

But seriously, this is just theoretical "vaporware" - just because the military is "looking at it" doesn't amount to squat. They've reviewed all kinds of hair brained schemes over the decades.

Does the "hyperdrive" actually cut a whole in space or open up another dimension? Give me a break - if WE leave these dimensions (the frame work of our existence) how the hell could our physical make up survive the transformation? That's like trying to put a 3-D body into 2 dimensions = SPLAT
The other option is putting a 3-D body into 4 dimensions = SPLIT

SPLIT or SPLAT everytime.
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