Ever since we contrived a scientific understanding of the stars, we began imagining what it takes for humanity to achieve interstellar travel.
But a cosmic dream crusher comes in the form of inconceivable distance. It takes light, the fastest thing there is in the universe, 4.2 years to only reach "Proxima Centauri" the nearest star to the Sun.
But what if there was a faster way? An unconventional approach to this problem entirely?
English physicist who serves as professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester, Brian Cox explains the science behind a warp drive and wormholes based on Einstein's general theory of relativity. Brian Cox also explains the science of wormholes and how they can be used as time machines if they truly exist in nature.
Based on a solution of Einstein's field equations in general relativity, theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a speculative warp drive by which a spacecraft could achieve apparent faster-than-light travel if a configurable energy-density field lower than that of vacuum could be created.
Rather than exceeding the speed of light within a local reference frame, a spacecraft would traverse distances by contracting space in front of it and expanding space behind it, resulting in effective faster-than-light travel.
There are papers published in physics that show the total mass needed to deform spacetime would be less than that of our sun. But no one was able to get around the problem of negative energy.
A fascinating possibility based on a special solution of the Einstein field equations is what is called an Einstein–Rosen bridge. Or more famously known, a Wormhole.
A wormhole can be visualized as a tunnel with two ends at separate points in spacetime. Theoretically, a wormhole might connect extremely long distances such as a billion light years, or short distances such as a few meters, or different points in time, or even different universes.
Wormholes are consistent with the general theory of relativity, but whether wormholes actually exist still remains to be seen.
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"Professor Brian Cox at BETT 2020" by p_a_h is licensed under CC BY 2.0