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Scientists have figured out how to overcome the speed of light during space flights

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

Astrophysicist at the University of Göttingen, Erik Lentz, proposed a theoretical solution for creating so-called warp engines that propel spacecraft to speeds exceeding the speed of light. Such an engine, if created, will make it possible to fly to the nearest star and return back in a matter of years instead of tens of thousands of years. 

The article was published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.

The warp drive is a fictional element of spacecraft that has been described in many science fiction books. It is assumed that starships equipped with such an engine travel in space at a speed exceeding the speed of light, and thus cover interstellar distances in a time acceptable for one generation of people.

Purely theoretically, such a superluminal movement is possible if you create a redistribution of dark energy in the outer space enveloping the ship, so that there is an excess of it behind the ship, and a region of negative energy in front. But, firstly, today practically nothing is known about dark energy, and secondly, based on Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the redistribution of a huge number of hypothetical particles of matter with exotic properties will require a gigantic amount of energy.

A new study from the University of Göttingen circumvents these problems by using a new class of ultrafast stable solitary waves – solitons created only by sources with positive energy. No “exotic” negative energy densities are required for this.

Study author Dr. Erik Lentz describes theoretically possible configurations of the curvature of space-time, organized into solitons, or “curvature bubbles” – compact waves that, while retaining their shape, can move at any speed. A spaceship placed inside such a bubble will move along with the soliton itself.

According to the scientist’s calculations, if enough energy could be generated, the path to the nearest star Proxima Centauri inside the curvature bubble would take only four years. For comparison, with current rocket technology, the travel time will be more than 50 thousand years. Moreover, all the equations used by the author of the study are based on traditional physics.

Lentz derived the Einstein-Maxwell equations for unexplored soliton configurations and found that altered spacetime geometry could be shaped to work even with conventional energy sources. Essentially, the new method uses the very structure of space and time, organized into a soliton, to provide a solution to the problem of FFS.

In addition, Lentz solitons are configured to minimize tidal forces so that the time flows inside and outside the bubble are the same. This avoids the so-called “twin paradox”, according to which one twin traveling at a speed close to the speed of light will age much more slowly than the other on Earth.

“This work has moved the problem of traveling faster than the speed of light one step from the field of theoretical research in fundamental physics to engineering,” the scientist said in a press release from the University of Göttingen.

“The next step is to figure out how to reduce the astronomical amount of energy needed to the range of today’s technologies, such as a nuclear power plant, which operates on a fission chain reaction. Then we can talk about the creation of the first prototypes.”

Currently, the amount of energy required for this new type of space propulsion system is still enormous.

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