the forgotten warp drive

June 17, 2009 — 68 Comments

You’ve probably never heard of Burkhard Heim. Not many people have. After all, he was rather reclusive, all of his work was published in German and his brief moment in the spotlight was in 1957 when he proposed an odd propulsion system that could easily achieve relativistic speeds. A spacecraft powered by this hyperdrive would get us from Earth to Mars in just a few hours and make exploring our immediate stellar neighborhood possible within our lifetimes. Sound too good to be true? Well, to some extent, it is. The theories behind how this system would work are only half complete and their primary support is complex mathematics.


Originally, Heim was trying to reconcile quantum mechanics with general relativity and created a universe with six dimensions in the formulas he used. In those six dimensions, electromagnetism and gravity are linked, so if you change the strength of an electromagnetic field, you affect gravity. So far, we’ve observed that gravity has an influence on magnetic fields but we haven’t seen how electromagnetic fields can manipulate the gravity of an object. But that’s exactly what a Heim hyperdrive does. It uses intense magnetic fields powered by equally impressive currents to produce a force equivalent to dark energy, a vital ingredient for warp drive technology.

How much energy would it take? To float free of Earth’s gravity in a 150 metric ton spacecraft, you would need a superconducting coil, a sizeable rotating ring and a magnetic field that cranks out some 25 Tesla, or half a million times our magnetosphere’s output. We already have magnets that can generate those powerful fields and if money was no object, we’d be able to try it out right now. The problems begin with trying to test how fast we could go using this technology. Heim himself never specified exactly how we’d be able to get a relativistic velocity. The actual mechanics of the hyperdrive come from an extension to his theories by retired patent clerk, Walter Drcher, and he’s a little fuzzy about what will happen when we crank up the drive to full power. One of the possible outcomes is that the speed of light for our hypothetical spacecraft would increase.

While Drcher’s designs might not work and Heim’s ideas might be off in some critical places, this work can give us some interesting new directions in which to push the physics of warp drives. At worst, we can create a sample hyperdrive and see what happens. Maybe we’ll still be one step closer to learning how to manipulate the fabric of space and time in an unexpected way…

  • JA

    So are you saying that perhaps my children’s children might be able to visit Mars in their lifetime? People laughed when we visited the moon (many still think it’s a hoax)…but it happened. Thanks for the post…cool stuff.

  • dad2059

    It sounds like Heim theorised something like the Hutchinson Effect, intense magnetic fields capable of floating objects.

    I don’t think you’d get an FTL effect, but a damn good relativistic drive isn’t shabby either.

    But reading further into his theory, wasn’t one aspect of the drive was that the intense electromagnetic field is supposed to create a ‘parallel’ universe in which the speed of light is higher than this one?

  • Greg Fish

    To be the skeptic I claim to be, I have to point out that the Hutchinson Effect hasn’t been demonstrated under laboratory conditions. However, we can point to other instances where magnetic fields allow objects to float in mid-air. One good example is a magnetic levitation train which floats just a tiny fraction of an inch off its track to reduce friction.

    “wasnt one aspect of the drive was that the intense electromagnetic field is supposed to create a parallel universe in which the speed of light is higher than this one?”

    I’d say that “parallel universe” is too strong of a term. According to Drchers add-on to Heim’s theory, the field would affect forces in multiple dimensions and create a small area around a spacecraft where the speed of light could be several times faster than c. But he does warn that it’s just a hypothesis at this point and we’d need to do a number of experiments first before we can explore this idea further.

  • Vince Fletcher

    This stuff i find interesting

    as i have been studying perpetual motion with the aid of magnets since i was 6 or 7 years old forget the math. I really do believe it’s a piece of cake to do any travell in no time ..It’s all relative.Just haven’t cracked it yet

    Your’s Vince Fletcher E.I.T.B.C&G.

  • Bernd

    Heim’s theory has nothing to do with Hutchinson. You can find a lot of info here: He is secretly debated more recently among physicists not only for his theory that might be able to open a door to generate artificial gravity (including warp drive) but also his mass formula that calculates the mass of all known particles based on only 4 nature constants. Something he did in 1982, while “standard” scientists undertook one of the largest computational efforts to calculate particle mass to date in 2008. So there seems to be something there ….

  • Bruceleeeowe

    I was working on this theory 3years ago and now too . It uses a very low resistance (about 10^(-18) ohm, almost superconducting) coil which can create a very high magnetic field when voltage of a million volt is applied and this is main concept. This drive can attain speed up to one million times of light and That’s very great speed even more than an Alcubierre drive. But it failed at a single point and I’m still working to make it feasible.

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  • Chris

    I’ll start off by saying that I have no real understanding of this information like some of you. My father brought up a point a while back though that I think is on a similar topic. “How do we all stay on the ground?”

    The answer is gravity. But as far as I’ve been told all my life, gravity is created by the magnetic field around the earth. Wouldn’t that mean that only metal object would stay down?

    The talk about gravity and electromagnetic fields has me wondering if there isn’t another force that is holding, pulling, pushing us towards the earth; or rather affecting something else around us to make it seem as if we’re the ones being held down.

  • Ronadl Baro

    I want one!!!!! I want a warp drive engine? I wanna get outta here before this world blows up or something!!!!! I hope to be one of the first guys to build one. If I do? I’m outta here!!!!!

  • stumbler

    i dont know much about all the maths and theory and whatever, but surely for mars the time it would take to get up to such speeds would make it better, but not nearly as good as this guy says. theres only so much humans can take for that long, and the g force for accelerating and decelerating would have to be kept down below about 6. so almost the whole trip would be getting up to speed then almost straight away slowing down again. nice idea though!

  • Phil E. Drifter

    Some of you people need to realize that the speed of light is only constant…*in a vacuum*. If the speed of light were constant, how could black holes prevent light from escaping? Therefore, speed of light is *not* a constant. Just like the speed of sound, it depends on other factors. For the speed of sound is relative to the temperature of the air.

    Anyway, interesting post.

  • robb

    the theory itself is interesting, but he still need to consider some other stuff.

    but i think it is still possible anyway.

  • steve

    it would be so much easier if we had Cavorite

  • Robert Fortini

    Tesla himself figured quite a bit, if not all, of this out. This theory may have been the reason that he disagreed with Einstein so vociferously. Although Tesla called trans-dimensional and dark matter effects the “Ether”.

  • Greg Fish

    “the g force … would have to be kept down below about 6 … almost the whole trip would be getting up to speed then almost straight away slowing down again.”

    Not quite. That would actually depend on the engine and its capabilities. You would more likely spend half your trip accelerating and the other half slowly decelerating. And that’s usually factored in when calculating trip time. As for the G forces, you would have to be constantly accelerating at 9 m/sec/sec to replicate just 1G while you’re in freefall.

    “If the speed of light were constant, how could black holes prevent light from escaping?”

    Because black holes have enough gravitational pull to stop an object traveling at the speed of light. That’s why they’re called black holes in the first place. The idea that if c wasn’t constant, black holes wouldn’t be able to trap photons is just plain wrong.

    You’re right that light travels at different speeds through water and air. This is why we can see the Cherenkov radiation in nuclear reactors, a sort of sonic boom for light. But what we’re talking about here is strictly the speed of light in a vacuum.

  • Ben

    This is interesting. I think the history channel did something on this once. Ill have to look into this some more. I cant do math in more than about four dimensions, but whatever.

  • matt evans

    i have a problem wiht spelling so plz bare wiht me

    i have been looking into this therey as well

    i have found one therey wich i belive is the key to the warp drive and with a bit of tweaing can converse time as well here it goes

    Qutem therey states that if a subatocmic patcie moves in a given spaces then

    the small subatocme will moves simortanes no matter wat space either or not its a glaxey awey or a mile this is the key if u could build a enegine/ship to moderte that freg then u could just transport to your given space u see everthing has a freg a centon virbethion wich i belive can be mobterd with a specil oscticer

    using wave tecnogley to mod the subactomic partices. of course qutem pyices being wat it not that simple

  • Peter

    @matt evans

    so, all I need is a specil oscticer and i can mobterd any virbethion? I can’t wait.

  • Jason

    The beautiful thing about science is under certain conditions the law’s sort of change. Take electricity for example, under enough voltage and current, anything becomes a conductor. Same for magnetism, there are only three naturally occurring magnetic metals, but under enough magnetic force, almost all objects become magnetic.

  • kittilia

    Wow this is cool. I think that being able to travel to the moon or mars in a few hours would be amazing. I wonder how much gravity there is on mars? And if some day someone will live there. I heard a theory from my science teacher once. She said that if we put some algea and water on Mars, then in a few thousand years it could be inhabited by people because of the similar substances and conditions between mars and earth. With this warp drive, if someone gets it working, we could totally test it out. Well we could test it out now but it would be faster then.

  • lol

    @ Matt Evans

    Can you please repeat that? I was lolling so hard I couldn’t understand you.

  • woundedduck

    The Hutchison Effect: Proof that Cameras Can Be Turned Upside Down to Simulate Anti-gravity, or A Study of Psychosis in Canada.

  • Dzugavili

    “To float free of Earths gravity in a 150 metric ton spacecraft, you would need a superconducting coil, a sizeable rotating ring and a magnetic field that cranks out some 25 Tesla, or half a million times our magnetospheres output.”

    Yeah, this sounds dangerous:

    1. How the hell are you going to get enough power to generate 25 Tesla? (Imagine efficiency issues making it at least ten times as hard.)

    2. Given the difference in field strength, is there not a serious possibility of altering the Earth’s field permanently? I’m just wondering if there would be serious side effects.

    “I was working on this theory 3years ago and now too . It uses a very low resistance (about 10^(-18) ohm, almost superconducting) coil which can create a very high magnetic field when voltage of a million volt is applied and this is main concept. This drive can attain speed up to one million times of light and Thats very great speed even more than an Alcubierre drive. But it failed at a single point and Im still working to make it feasible.”

    You mean that single point where your speed prediction is completely bunk? Or that a non-superconducting coil is pretty useless, no matter how much energy you put into it: a million volts? Great! What’s the current? What’s the size of the coil? I assume you realize with the amount of energy I assume you’d need for “one million times of light”, even your otherwise-microscopic resistance would generate fusion conditions. And no, not fusion of hydrogen. I think we’re looking at stellar core style fusion. Maybe even a big bang scenario.

    “The answer is gravity. But as far as Ive been told all my life, gravity is created by the magnetic field around the earth. Wouldnt that mean that only metal object would stay down?”

    Oh, Chris, Chris, Chris.

    Gravity is gravity. The magnetic field is a magnetic field. These are two completely separate forces. Gravity is created, according to the theories of physics, by mass. Any mass. It all has gravity. How this gravity works depends on your theory, relativity says mass distorts space-time and classical physics treats gravity pretty much the same way as electromagnetic forces, using mass in place of charge.

    Then there’s some shit with vibrating strings. There’s no analogies for that system and I think they meant it that way.

  • dave

    What this article fails to mention that if this warp drive does happen to become real. It does have the possibility of creating a black hole as a side effect… but meh a black hole right near earth totally worth ignoring..

  • Greg Fish

    “How the hell are you going to get enough power to generate 25 Tesla?”

    Given that we’re already aiming for 100 Tesla, it shouldn’t be that big of problem. Building a superconducting coil big enough would be a bit of challenge though…

    “Given the difference in field strength, is there not a serious possibility of altering the Earths field permanently?”

    We’ve already created 25T fields and the magnetosphere is still doing its own thing. The magnetic fields we create extend a few hundred feet at most. The magnetic field itself is tens of thousands of miles across and is powered by a dynamo roughly the size of the Moon.

  • sean

    “One of the possible outcomes is that the speed of light for our hypothetical spacecraft would increase.”

    Took me a few minutes to figure out what was meant by that statement(almost posted WTF). Interesting concept, I wonder what effects this would have on relativistic time.

  • John Richardson

    It seems to me that the possibility of debris of some sort in the path of a hyperdrive driven craft would suffer some difficulties to say the least.

  • yasutora

    That’s seriously cool. I always wanted to see mars…

  • Forrester McLeod

    One of two things has just happened:

    1. A force undetected by me just swept in and completely reconfigured my brain rendering me capable of understanding scientific writings.

    2. You’re an EXCELLENT, comprehensible scientific writer.

    I’m suspecting that #2 is the most probable, but I’m off to buy a book on quantum physics just in case I was blessed with #1!!!

    Thanks So Much. Very fascinating.

  • Stuart

    Used to work with a guy who thought he’d made one of these. I can’t really vouch for the technology but I saw some prototype stuff that looked quite impressive. He might have made it in secret of he might have been killed for the info, I wouldn’t know.

    Just found your blog on Stumbleupon, like it. See you like astroengine too. Will be keeping at eye on it!

  • Miles

    Not that this has to do with anything, but…

    It takes literally an infinite amount of energy to accelerate any mass up to the speed of light. (Heims engine only accelerates to sub light speeds, still significant though).

    Once your at the speed of the light, it takes increasingly less energy to accelerate to speeds faster than the speed of light (its logistic growth function). Basically, if the speed of light can be reached, then any faster than light travel is possible. Any “drive” that can get to the speed of light can go infinitely faster as well.

    Btw, bringing string theory into this is completely non-applicable.

    Other than that, the actually article is really interesting, if not explained

  • Eric Wright

    I have been working on my own theory for the past seven years. I’m no mathematition in the least, but my theory takes alot from the “Philadelphia Experiment” case and some other things I’ve seen here and abouts. I obviously have to suggest that one tires this experiment on a smaller scale at least. But the problem I might make note of is an electromagnetic field of that magnitude would have to be designed in such a way that it would nearly, if not completely, make the engine itself sphereical, which, if you’ve studied up on your philadelphia experiment, could end up being a very very bad thing for any living creature on board.

    Basic Einsteinian physics points out that while gravity is an entity in and of itself, it is still linked to time itself, as another mere bi-product of gravitation. Time is not an object, it is a reference, a reference between two physical events. To change gravity, one change the physical realm in existence, thus changing the time reference in the same. It’s like if you were able to bend a table, your cup would go farther way from you, taking you more time to walk over and get it the more it’s bent.

    If this theory is correct you can expect some pretty nasty time dilation problems on a serious note.

  • Bruceleeeowe

    In above comment some one has wondered that how we would create magnetic field of 25 T. Scientists have already produced magnetic field about 150T though for a very microscopic time but successfully. And think about too great magnetic field of neutron stars which is about hundreds of millions time more stronger than we have ever produce. By using that mechanism which is happening within neutron stars, at least we can produce magnetic field about the order of 10^6 or even higher, if we have “true” mechanism which we will encounter within a neutron star. And is not very tough stuff.

  • stop drive?

    my own theory based on the most horrific misinterpretations of pseudoscience:

    if as a ship approaches the speed of light it appears (to everyone else) to move forwards in time faster that the rest of the universe,

    surely if a ship were to plot a position where its target had been previously, it could slow itself to an absolute stop and just wait for the past to catch up with it…

    time is relative after all.

  • Eric Wright

    You say absolute stop as if you’re not already “stopped” in empty space. The neat thing about space is that you can be going a gazillion miles a second and still be going “zero”. It’s all about what you’re referencing yourself from, which is where/why time dilation works the way it does. Now, in order for this “theory” or “warp drive” to properly function, you’d have to nullify the effects of time dilation, which seem to be to be virtually impossible, unless someone would like to enlighten me with some fascinatingly good reading :), with some form of a “dampening field”.

    Remember, that “time isn’t relative, space is relative”. I make this point very VERY strongly, because time itself is no object, rather a reference between two or more physical objects.

    Object A is at Point A then is at Point B while Object B remains at Point A. Time would be the reference or measurement of the distance of relative “location” or “travel” regarding points A and B. As in my previous analogy, you’re sitting at a table with a coffee cup in the middle, gravitational field comes out of nowhere (That would be SO cool) and warps the table, the PHYSICAL TABLE and not time itself, but the distance it takes you now relevant to the distance two seconds ago to reach for your cup will take “longer” because the physical distance has actually been warped and now as a result so has the distance required to reach to it.

    The problem with “nullifying” the effects of time dilation is that it would require one to nullify the effects of gravity, which, regarding this theory, would be counter-productive and possibly even catastrophic.

    I think, a possible solution would be to shield an inner section of the ship to be “within” the gravitational warped field and then using an anti-gravity technique to counter the effects, this could potentially, hypothetically, solve the problem, and then you’d get to watch your ship literally age hundreds of years while you’re in it…dunno if that’s a good thing or a bad thing though. :P

  • Eric Wright

    Upon further research on this theory, known properly as the “Heim Theory”:, it is important to note a few things:

    Heim didn’t have any experimental evidence that most of his predictions were true, and therefore, by a purely “scientific” standpoint, this is merely a hypothesis and holds no theoretical sound value, in short, “It’s just an Idea.”.

    my second note:

    There was a young scientist who came up with this very VERY interesting and DIFFERENT theory, really, “just another idea” because it also didn’t have any sound physical experimental evidence to base the ideas from until several years after his theories were published. his theories were based entirely on complex mathematics, of the likes some of which he himself had to write and formulate entirely from scratch involving several different types of mathematics. this young scientist is now very well known today and you may have heard his name. His name is Albert Einstein.

    May I note that mathematics, though complex and accurate, is not always the answer (as there WERE a few things Einstein was wrong about), but neither is “physical experimental data” a definite answer to any hypothesis. Point blank, what there is available for man to know in the universe:

    A horribly hypothetical number- 9,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,9999…etc etc.

    Compared to what mankind as a whole actually DOES know about the universe being also a horribly hypothetical number-

    0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the above number.

    Fact is that all of science is based off of an observasion, then a hypothesis, then a test/experiment, then either is refuted or made a theory based on strong experimental evidential data. We know alot, but quite frankly, we don’t know jack crap compared to what we CAN know. Calling science fact is just as bogus as saying ghosts exist. Just because you can see it doesn’t mean it’s the definitely correct answer, and just because you can test it based on what you can observer, it doesn’t mean it’s right. In fact, I would even venture to state that what we CAN’T see and test holds more truth than what we CAN see and test, regardless of tests and experiments.

    Modern science has one basic and simple loop-hole: it’s only our best small guess at something that’s very, very large and complex and almost uncomprehensable. If you dare to say “ghosts aren’t real” or “the paranormal is all fake” then I would venture, with your infinite knowledge of the universe and understanding of all that is to be known, please, by all means, without using the scientific method as a crutch, prove it :P :)

    Scientists have bound themselves to the mere elusive thought that what can be seen must be real and what cannot must be false, when in reality, a simple structure should be used to annotate that “perhaps” what can’t be seen isn’t real and “perhaps” what can be seen IS DEFINITELY real. We’re making large leeps into the unknown and we don’t even know where we’re going.

    My point is to say: just because this guy has sketchy physical evidence, if at all NONE, it doesn’t completely make him wrong, but what can understand both the seen and the unseen at the same time…my friends, is mathematics, and this guy has alot of it.

  • BB

    kittilia Can I marry you?

  • Bernd

    Eric, You just completely ignored his mass formula.

  • Eric Wright

    Eric Wright – “Im no mathematition in the least…”

    I have no idea what that formula said :P

  • Anonymous

    Can’t we just get Geordi La Forge to whip us up a sub-space dampening field with his modified VISOR? That would fix everything pretty quickly.

  • macarthur

    when can we start testing the hyperdrive theroy to see if it works

  • macarthur

    why dont we fund hyperspace traval now .we need to force pressident obama to create jobs in new science area

  • Psinetic

    No, that won’t work, it’s already obvious that Obama wants to put the country into a free-fall with the finances. Tossing out money we don’t have isn’t the way to get more money back. It’s just a good way to put ourselves back into the hole we’re TRYING to get out of.

  • Mark Post

    Given the amount of energy warp drives would use, it may be more practical to use them for sub-light speed travel in our own galaxy. Turn the drive on – speed across the solar system at 80% of c. Turn it off, stop completely. With conventional drives, not only does it take time to get up to speed, but you’ve got to use extra fuel and distance to stop.

  • Mark Post

    Er. In our own solar system, I mean.

  • dylan

    @ matt evans – you da man

  • Philip

    This would require a huge cannon, and a massive amount of energy. The required input of momentum reaches infinity as the desired speed goes to light speed. The faster you go, the more energy you have to expend to go even faster.

    But let’s look at this in the most basic form: a magnetic cannon which accelerates someone to 1% of the speed of light. Assuming this person is a trained astronaut, they are capable of withstanding about 10G of acceleration, or about 100 m/s^2. This maximum means the time spent accelerating is 30,000 seconds. Simple calculations put the required length of the coil at a whopping 45 million meters, or 45 thousand kilometers.

    The coil would have to be bigger than the earth.

    And then you’re only at 1% the speed of light. For 2% you would need well over 100 thousand kilometers.
    You would also need 4500 gigajoules of energy per kilogram of mass you’re trying to accelerate to 1%.

    So you’ve used enough power to black out a small state, and then you’re only going at 1% the speed of light. At that speed, it would take 360 years to travel to the nearest star. (but you would get to Mars in 21.3 hours, including acceleration and decelleration).

    Therefore it’s my judgement that these magnetic coils are highly impractical: you would require magnets the size of solar systems to even come close to light speed. (gamma > 4), and that these coils are also extremely impractical for movement within our solar system, so they should not even be used at all.

    Besides, we have no means to slow our spacecraft back down again. To do that, we would require an equally massive magnetic coil, and to fly straight into it.

  • Pieter U3

    First things first. How about we find the God particle and then we will be a big step closer to solving all kinds of problems we are undoubtedly going to encounter on this journey to the stars. Right now we have zero chance of reaching our nearest stellar neighbour let alone any other part of the galaxy. We’ll be lucky to actually reach Mars any time soon and deliver living people there and back.

    To make the leap into deepest space we will need to fully understand what it is made of and learn how to manipulate the very stuff of which everything is made. So back to the Hadron collider and that elusive boson….. Then there is all the technology to invent. This may take some time.

  • dave

    Gravity based drives are only gonna be effective for getting us up out
    of our local well. To cross the mind-numbing distances of space will require something else entirely different, since gravity drives only react against gravity, which drops of relatively quickly with distance. Even the best theoetical reaction mass drives operating at not possible 100% efficiency are inadequate to really tour the local galaxy like our fictional starships routinely do. Light itself takes 100,000 years to cross our own galaxy and that aint slowin down none at the end of the trip, lol. Yeah, we need FTL drives. Yeah, the Wright brothers were able to build an engine and fly, now we have the space shuttle a hundred years later. Amazing things ARE possible…you just need a couple of good bike mechanics….

  • mytor

    mass travelling at c becomes infinite mass….o dear

  • mytor

    “Modern science has one basic and simple loop-hole: it’s only our best small guess at something that’s very, very large and complex and almost uncomprehensable. If you dare to say “ghosts aren’t real” or “the paranormal is all fake” then I would venture, with your infinite knowledge of the universe and understanding of all that is to be known, please, by all means, without using the scientific method as a crutch, prove it :P :)”

    ridiculous !!!! If you think its real its up to you to prove it , you cant prove a negative.
    If i say i have a pocketful of pink dwarf giraffes , you would think it ridiculous and send for the men in white coats, it would be up to me to prove it not for anyone to accept my claim as real /.until they could prove it not possible.

    “without using the scientific crutch”….lmao
    Are you for real, Science is about proving things by experimentation, repeatable experimentation at that.
    Without it we would all still believe woo woo nonsense like the earth is at the centre of the universe.
    Some of us might even believe in some bearded moron who lives in the sky and created the earth 6000 yrs ago. nice guy he even thought to provide us with polio, smallpox, and all manner of diseases too numerous to mention ,
    No we dont know everything and probably never will but if you prefer to believe in things as a matter of faith or listen to any pseudoscientific rubbish anyone makes up…feel free, millions still do.

  • mike3

    (It is interesting to note that String Theory also contains the possibility of manipulating extra dimensions to generate warp drives. Hmm. Could string theory and Heim theory be pointing toward something else, even if both are not themselves complete and accurate theories? Perhaps merge string theory + Heim theory -> “real” unified theory of physics??? :) Just a toy idea.)

    “Modern science has one basic and simple loop-hole: it’s only our best small guess at something that’s very, very large and complex and almost uncomprehensable. If you dare to say “ghosts aren’t real” or “the paranormal is all fake” then I would venture, with your infinite knowledge of the universe and understanding of all that is to be known, please, by all means, without using the scientific method as a crutch, prove it :P :)”

    However, we don’t yet have any good proof such things exist. Do you have some proof? Without actually being at the site of a ghost, if all we have is someone’s word of mouth, we can’t know whether what they saw was really a ghost, or just a trick of the eye, or if they were even lying. Scientific method is not a “crutch”, rather it is a tool. What would you propose to use in its place? Scientific method only produces a best guess, and always leaves that guess open to change. What else would you propose to use? You yourself said that the universe is very, very large and complex and almost incomprehensible — how could we do much better than best guess when that’s what we’re up against? How would you propose to get something better than that?

  • SpongeyOne

    I’ve read through most of the comment here and find the discussion fairly health (ie not a bunch of woo woo theories on Special Rel or Quantum theory.

    After reading the comments I came to a conclusion, where do you want to go using a FTL drive? Cruising around the local area (ie solar system, nearby stars) or real 50-100 lightyear trips. As someone above stated, mass “traveling” at near SOL (speed of light) requires almost infinite energy to fight inertia. Correct, accelerating to SOL would seem to be near impossible. Even if traveling faster than the SOL gets easier after you pass the SOL, you still need to cross that threshold. The only way I can see physically traveling up to and faster than the SOL is the convert the mass to photons (no mass, for now) and then accelerate to the SOL. The other way to do this is to warp or fold space. My concept of a Warp Drive is one that does just that. No mass is accelerated, just connecting two points in space briefly and then traversing the gap. Can it be done? Who knows. Require lots of energy? You bet. Worth the effort? Definitely.

    I, personally, would like to see more research into the effects of space-time frame dragging around neutron stars and black holes. Does space-time get infinitely twisted around the poles of these objects by rotation of gravity and magnetic fields? Is space-time elastic? Yes, by the tenets of SpecialRel. However, does space-time have any resistive forces after being twisted by very dense objects? Does the local space-time of these objects “disconnect” from the normal surrounding space-time and form a detached “pocket?” I think before we can postulate any form of travel that allows the human race to really explore the universe we need to understand the “ocean” on which we want to travel upon.

  • Nobby

    Really interesting reading, especially some of the comments. I have always loved this type of discussion and I also agree that there a lot of things going on in this ‘universe’ that we are not yet capable of understanding, science has a long long road ahead.
    I have often wondered if we could bend ‘space-time’ to make a wormhole and use it to cross the vast distances of our galaxy, what would happen if we put something through it like a rope ? Would it exist in 2 places at the same time ? Could we shorten the wormhole into a ‘portal’ to make it possible possible for a person to have one half of himself in each location and be able to view a different location with each eye ? I assume this would not be possible and the entire object would need to pass through at the same instant in time or it would be torn apart by the forces that created the wormhole. So only very small objects could travel this way ?

  • Crokett

    You wouldn’t need an excessive amount of power. Magnetics, electromagnetics, and gravity all have one thing in common (which seems at times to elude even those with the highest degrees). POLARITY. Whatever the terminology or definitions you wish to use, South-to-South and North-to-North still continue to repel each other. You may need a good computer to regulate and direct your force, so that you don’t accidently spin it and find your South getting sucked instantly into the Sun’s North. That would certainly ruin your chances of getting published. Which, by the way Mr. Wright, does not make Einsteins ‘Theory of Relativity’ any more than “just an Idea” than it was when he started on it. The only worthwhile idea he had was atomic power, which he was only one of a few people working on it.

    Now, once you have achieved neutral bouyancy, you will need a power source to get you away from the planet. Once your well enough away from the planet, shut down your ‘Force’, so you don’t attract some other object, e.g. meteors.

    Let’s get this going first, so that we can get out into space easier and land easier on other planets, moons, and asteroids. Then, hopefully, someone will come up with a way to travel at the speed of light, or faster (even better).

    I’ve enjoyed this article and the replies. And, just like Einstein, I can work/use/combine some of these ideas into my own theory. And one of these days, one of us, or a group of us, are going into space. Hope to see you there!!!

  • Andrew Coe

    The combined speed of any object’s motion through space and its motion through time is always precisely equal to the speed of light. That’s quite a well established idea taken from Einstein’s Law.
    There’s also a theory that photons travel at the speed they do solely by expending 100% of their available energy and that they are the only particles that ‘live’ in a timeless state due to their speed. This is relativilty – if you travel at 1% the speed of light; you are living at 99% the speed of time. There’s always a constant whole made up of Time and Space. I take back what I said to Jon yesterday – time travelling isn’t impossible – but the stereotypical idea of getting in a little whirring machine to transport us to the year ‘whatever’, is.
    The quicker we travel through space the slower time becomes…. we could theoretically pause our place in standard defined time relative to the space-time of everything else around us by achieving light speed, essentially putting ourselves ‘behind current time’ or the speed time is perceived as being by everything else . We wouldn’t be going back in time. Just letting the rest if time go past us like putting the handbrake on on a motorway.

    The main problem with the idea of people achieving light speed is that for an object of mass to approach light speed takes an exponential amount of energy, as the closer you are to it, the further you’re getting from the time space of whichever source of propulsion you’re using. To time travel ‘may’ not be impossible but for us to ever achieve light-speed is – Photons are to be essentially completely massless; we’re not. It would take (more?) than an infinite source of energy to achieve.

    If anyone has input on what I may have got completely wrong here, please correct me so I can rant and argue with my friends on this subject with more accuracy :)

  • Anonymous

    look i am no scientist but i think it’s fasinating to know that ideas are excepted maybe with more research this idea will become reality as human beings we have expanded greatly are minds will always seek opportunity for advancements the idea of traveling through space is a great idea/opportunity all it will take is new pioners new veissioners this ideas is a reality it’s the new reality that has never been put in to effect i am sure when fire was viewed for the first time no one though it could be hearniest but today it take us across the sky underwater it feeds us protects and builds many other discoveries have done the same the world now feels like the end of true thanking turning theories into realities the world needs knew discoveries and this would be big so keep thinking keep learning and turn these ideas into a reality the world counts on u the true thankers

  • Chuck

    apparently, New Information: John Searl’s,, Searl Effect Generator or S.E.G. has been independently confirmed.

    “The converter was set to operate by over-speeding the rotor with the aid of the electric motor. The motor speed was gradually increased until the ammeter connected in the motor circuit showed zero consumed current and the current direction reversal. This state corresponded to a rotor speed of approximately 550 rpm, but the motion transducer began to indicate a change in the platform weight already at 200 rpm. Then the electric motor was disconnected using an electromagnetic overrunning clutch, and a usual electrodynamic generator was connected instead to the main shaft of the converter via another electromagnetic clutch. On attaining the critical regime (~550 rpm), the rotor exhibited a sharp increase in the rotation speed; this was accompanied by a slow-down in the rate of the current weight reduction. At this instant, the first 1 kW load was connected to the system. Immediately upon this connection, the rotation speed began to decrease, while the Delta G value kept increasing, and so on”

    And, John Searl, alive and doing well at 78yrs, has re-assembled a team to mass-produce a “new and improved” version. Public demonstrations and lectures are occurring all over the world now, but he needs help. ( information and links necessary is available at johnsearlstory,com )

    The work of Marko Rodin has also been confirmed independently. A simple to reproduce experiment that anyone with a few hours and 20 bucks can create. At Hewlett Packard they tested and determined that The Rodin Torus Coil was creating 62.5% greater magnetic output than the present day standard wound electrical coils. Look it up! ( )

    Maybe, you’d like to recognize the work of Nassim Haramein, called the “Holofractographic Universe.”
    ( )

    These gentleman moving ahead without the scientific community.

  • Blake Stacey

    Heim’s “theory” is incoherent nonsense. Like so much physics crackpottery, it looks superficially interesting and technical, but once you push past the surface shine, there’s nothing there. The “sophisticated mathematics” . . . isn’t. The writers of the Star Trek Technical Manual did a better job.

    If you could power spacecraft with hot air, we’d have a colony at Tau Ceti by now.

  • Delta Daak

    Please, please, please stop referring to space-time as time. It is very lazy and the two concepts are not related at all.
    ‘Space-time’ is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single continuum. Spacetime is usually interpreted with space as being three-dimensional and time playing the role of a fourth dimension that is of a different sort from the spatial dimensions.
    ‘Time’ is a concept we created to measure the passing of the world we are in and is relavent only by the measurement of atomic interaction. whether that watching the sun move through the sky, grains of sand fall in a hour glass, a clock ticking or atomic decay, for example.

  • johnsmithe

    Reading so many posts from star wars and star trek experts is truly amazing.

    Only about 10 of the posts in the entire thread make any sense, based on the agreed currently known “reality” of space travel and the difficulties behind it.

    The rest are just so basically constructed and would fail at the first hurdle.

    i love sci-fi, don’t get me wrong. I’ve played plenty of spacey games with lasery things and missiles and shields!, but the reality is going to be so different.

    I think I’ll leave this thread and go back to the spacey things where I can warp around/fold space and still be back in time for lunch, having duelled with 180 space pirates simultaneously, holding off the gigajoule or (much) more, laser blasts with my constantly recharging shields banks. (thinks of wing commander 1 and the multiple damage areas in 1990 :) )

    For an idea of energy required to power simple things like a railgun, try looking at the installation required for 54mega joule cruiser weapon in development.
    Please excuse the dailymail source…… :/–electromagnetic-rail-gun-obliterates-targets-100miles-away.html

    So, all of that required just to send a 20lb Dart perhaps 100miles

    Certainly, sci-fi is far more fun and having shields and more than 1 life helps a lot…..

    My point is, if one is going to debate about space travel, then one should really be educated on the realities behind it.

  • alan ward

    heim one of the particles predicted was neutrinos and going faster than light, which has now only been detected,a expressed manifold, explanations from dimensions,, to hyperspace heim,and phase momentum universe,and expressing field particles.or and a like behaviour.and increasing fields,both heim and Philadelphia experiment and other science fusion hint at,express. we also need to service this so materials and or quit down human fields and heat insulators or such to minimise heat effects,and suspended from surface,suggest hibernation,or worst still suspend animation. robots also suspended and all electrical as well as a mechanical switch,warps are also suggested a type off…both and also increasing fields at 25 tesla to 61.such that we can reach these strengths increases certain fields.

  • alan ward

    the feilds align other fields atoms right down past atoms into dimentions here heim eqivalents occur right down to time pass time tense maybe.making corridore spaces and or hyperdrives. here to the feilds are controlled warps.such atom alignment is unaturally without kaos such that it goes down past the first feild system time and space, aligning heim like feilds of which there is more than one.

  • alan ward

    the sheild and in ternal fields are different allowing such transitions safty as the fields are on the ouside aligned aligned mostly. if,,

  • alan ward

    if fields are equivalent they need matter to pull them together such particals could mean pulling space time and hence forth for each now bend a manfold dimentions then may occur, with particals with this we find oposites if they occur to descibe our space time,, now im assuming that such a matter device has a electrcal connection, thus matter and bosc condinsate are equal.find a matter material and test such as nobium,and some unusual materials put a current though and you may acheive heim, if the philadelphia is to work particals of this kind dimentional are aligned exactly, to diffuse direction at increasing feilds right down to dimentional influence.

  • alan ward

    making a star ship, making the bottle feild larger so that it can carry humans being a bottle enclose,,,?bionics or anetitize or hybernate.testing the feild advancement,,and concurring the 25 tesla to both experiments 61 tesla..testing materials ,, conductive not,,,and quatumn and quintesence,,,tests for dimensional analysis and changing maxwells theory of feilds as eqivalent an running at 25 teslas dimentions,,8 times,. testing electrical equipment being this creates a lot of heat and pressure inside bottle??.give it a directional tail there and back or theorical rudder or just point,,,?test both differences heim and phlidelphia differences,,, in and test the young mans theory of ligt the young fellow who built his own fusion reactor 99.9 percentile and who makes his owm pig radiation container collectors and test scientist theories that might,, faster than and indirectly,,,

  • 7LeagueBoots

    “created a universe with six dimensions” – so, this only works (maybe) if his model universe is correct, which it may well not be…

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