Gorgeous warp ship design delights the internet

Jun 12, 2014 by Elizabeth Howell, Universe Today
Artist’s impression of the IXS Enterprise, a warp ship. Credit: Mark Rademaker

"Let me take you on a little trip … we're gonna travel faster than light," the Kinks sang 42 years ago. Well, maybe this was the warp ship they were dreaming of.

Howard White (who we can confirm was a NASA employee as late as 2013) has a vision for a warp-drive ship that he's been working on for a few years. White, whose biography describes him as the advanced propulsion theme lead for NASA's engineering directorate, recently released his new vision of the spaceship in collaboration with artist Mark Rademaker. The result is gorgeous. More pictures below the jump.

As for how realistic his concept is, as non-physicists it's tough for us to evaluate. Essentially, White is proposing some modifications to this concept by Miguel Alcubierre, which would create a zone of warped space time in front of and behind the spaceship to get it to move quickly. But White has been making the professional and media circuit in recent years touting his theories, and they are getting attention.

Artist’s impression of the IXS Enterprise, a conceptual warp ship. Credit: Mark Rademaker

For more information on White's theories, check out this research paper on NASA's Technical Reports Server and this 2012 story in io9, where he was interviewed and explained his thinking back then. Also view the video below the pictures.

Artist’s impression of the IXS Enterprise, a conceptual warp drive ship. Credit: Mark Rademaker

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User comments : 20

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jalmy
1 / 5 (10) Jun 12, 2014
Not exactly new science. They have had this tech since 1943 "Philadelphia Experiment". I am glad after 75 years they have managed to come up with some math to explain and maybe use it. Stupid government.
PS3
1.5 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2014
Miguel said warp is impossible because even if could turn it on, you couldn't turn it off with signals slower than light speed. Maybe quantum can handle that one day though.
jalmy
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 12, 2014
Miguel said warp is impossible because even if could turn it on, you couldn't turn it off with signals slower than light speed. Maybe quantum can handle that one day though.


That doesn't make sense to me. You turn it off the way you turn everything in the universe off. You stop putting energy into it.

PS3
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 12, 2014
Miguel said warp is impossible because even if could turn it on, you couldn't turn it off with signals slower than light speed. Maybe quantum can handle that one day though.


That doesn't make sense to me. You turn it off the way you turn everything in the universe off. You stop putting energy into it.


I found the quote.Was from last year,so I got it a bit wrong.

"The warp drive on this ground alone is impossible," he said. "At speeds larger than the speed of light, the front of the warp bubble cannot be reached by any signal from within the ship," he said. "This does not just mean we can't turn it off; it is much worse. It means we can't even turn it on in the first place."
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (10) Jun 12, 2014
Artist's impression my ass. Those are actual photos of the ship I'm building at L1.

You'll be hearing from my lawyers!
Mimath224
5 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2014
One should also remember that the cited papers are based on SuperString Theory and M theory (Branes, Bulk etc.). As a layman I may have misunderstood but it seems to me to an attempt to meld mainstream theories with the lower dimensions of SST. Comments please.
Lex Talonis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2014
Turn it on / Turn it off - the ship and it's wiring is all travelling at the same speed....

Want to bring it to a stand still fast?

Hell - you can pinch a few parts from a few trucks and just apply the vacuum brakes.
Osiris1
1 / 5 (1) Jun 13, 2014
Perhaps a controlled and shielded virtual black hole and anti black hole pair,,,,
Skepticus
5 / 5 (1) Jun 13, 2014
Can somebody explain why the warp bubble can't be turn on or off? AFAIU, the warp bubble surrounds the ship. It purported purpose is to "shrink" normal space in front of the ship and "expand" it at the rear. It is not going anywhere relative to the ship faster than light. An analogy can be make here. In the run of the mill transmitting antenna, the oscillating electron current is going nowhere near light speed, yet it produces EM radiation that going out at the speed of light or nearly so in air. We don't and can't manipulate this radiation directly and at light speed. We control the mechanisms that generate it for desired strength, shape and direction. Thus as i hope with EM waves, the warp bubble will just dissipate once the power is cut.
On another note, I truly hope that the energy needed to expand one end is augemented/recovered from the energy extracted from the shrinking at the other end, so creating a warp bubble is possible within our future power generating capability.
Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
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Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
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Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
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Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
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antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jun 13, 2014
Can somebody explain why the warp bubble can't be turn on or off?

Knee-jerk hypothesis (i.e. I'm just pulling this out of my behind on 20 seconds thought):
Picture the space the ship rests in, the bubble (inner surface and outer surface) and the space outside the bubble. All the interfaces have to be continuously differentiable.
1) Static space surrounding the ship.
2) At the inner boundary you start scrunching up space until you get to the outer boundary.
3) Outside space (which appears to be super-crunched-up racing past)

To turn something like this off some sort of agency (a signal) must pass from the ship through the scrunched up space part between inner and outer shell of the bubble. No problem reachin the inner part of the shell, but close to the exterior we're already at space that cannot be traversed by signals going at the speed of light.

Same for turning it on. Once you approach c supplying the outer part with energy gets infinitely hard.
Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
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nowhere
5 / 5 (1) Jun 13, 2014
To turn something like this off some sort of agency (a signal) must pass from the ship through the scrunched up space part between inner and outer shell of the bubble. No problem reachin the inner part of the shell, but close to the exterior we're already at space that cannot be traversed by signals going at the speed of light.

Why would the signal need to leave the ship? The device creating the warp bubble is part of the ship located just before the inner shell. With the device off how would the warp bubble maintain itself?
Skepticus
5 / 5 (1) Jun 13, 2014
Picture the space ... infinitely hard.

From what i can get from your explanations, the ship's desired velocity is-must- correlate to the super-luminal expansion and contraction of the "bubble". However, where does it says that a control signal/energy has to be sent to boundaries at super-luminal speeds for the bubble to do its expanding and contracting? For all we know, energy and signals can travel to the bubble's boundaries (which are at relatively fixed distance from the ship generators) at normal light speed, and whatever it does to form a "field" to crunch space THERE is its business by its intrinsic workings! You pull the trigger of a gun, the firing pin travels at some tens of meters per second to supply the energy needed to fire a cartridge has nothing to do with the detonating powders that expands at kilometers per second, and you don't control that expanding gas directly with "signals", really. In essence, it is ballistic kind of control.
NMvoiceofreason
not rated yet Jun 14, 2014
["What about warp drive, Alcubierre's theory?" Dieter
proposed.

"It requires negative energy, which violates your Second
Law of Thermodynamics. You cannot get something for
nothing. Quantum inequalities limit the magnitude and
duration of negative energy. While they do solve the
equations of the Special Theory of Relativity, Alcubierre's
theories fail on a practical basis because they require
immense energies to form a bubble, again down near the
Planck limit in thickness, which if it were to enclose this
ship, would require billions of times all the energy in the
Universe, as shown by two more of your scientists. Pfenning
and Everett. There is however, another solution that does
work." Anya explained. ]
http://www.biblio...ergy.htm
http://hiqnews.me...ves.html
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jun 14, 2014
Why would the signal need to leave the ship? The device creating the warp bubble is part of the ship located just before the inner shell.

The shell must be maintained. It doesn't just exist once turned on. That means you need to continually feed energy to it (for the Alcubierre drive you need even a negative energy denisty in some places). In any case you'll have to get something (some energy/information carrying entity) to all parts of the bubble (inner and outer shell)

Any part that you cannot reach doesn't work* That's why on second thought he added " It means we can't even turn it on in the first place"

*or, conversely - if you somehow manage to create a bubble that is self sustaining - then any part that works but is beyond your reach to affect it cannot be turned off.
Jeweller
not rated yet Jun 14, 2014
This all just sounds like a load of space junk to me.Pun intended.
Porgie
5 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2014
To turn off the warp bubble, you merely create the warp bubble by creating a mechanism that creates the warp bubble then turn that mechanism off then the warp bubble collapses.
Judgeking
not rated yet Jun 15, 2014
In regards to turning it off, aren't they assuming gravitons have the same light-speed limitation as photons? We don't know this though, do we?
Judgeking
not rated yet Jun 15, 2014
Another thought, on Star Trek TNG, on ep had a scientist creating a 'warp wave' with an external source. It was then destroyed by an external source at it's destination. Couldn't that work?
Jantoo
1 / 5 (1) Jun 15, 2014
You guys shouldn't dispute the abstract Accubiere drive, which nobody did see working yet, but the actually working device, which the NASA is testing right now. If you would do it, it would be clear for you, what it's possible to do with this type of device and what it isn't. After all, the Woodward drive wasn't found with attempts for realization of Accubiere warp drive, but quite accidentally and it's connection to warp drive is rather ideological in this moment - the mainstream science otherwise refuses to work with finding which has no theory developed yet. No experiment so far proved, that the Woodward drive actually IS the warp drive, proposed by Accubiere. The only working thing which the NASA has in its hands by now is the typical product of the garage physics.
Jantoo
1 / 5 (1) Jun 15, 2014
The Woodward drive is based on Mach principle and closed curve spacetime effect or closed timelike curve called a benign wormhole. The geometry of space-time in Acubierre drive is actually quite different. But because you're a bunch of ignorant idiots, who are instinctively downvoting the only person, who actually understands the subject in this thread just for the sake of your neverending twaddling (the similarity with behavior of mainstream physics community is not accidental here), then the consequence is corresponding.