Scientists Tell Us Whether 'Star Trek's' Warp Drive Could Exist in Real Life

Scientists Tell Us Whether 'Star Trek's' Warp Drive Could Exist in Real Life

Mar 09, 2012

Scientists at the University of Sydney have been studying something known as Alcubierre warp drive. It can propel a ship at superluminal speeds by creating a "bubble" or pocket of negative energy around it, while at the same time expanding space surrounding the ship. Since we're all movie geeks here, think of Star Trek's warp drive to help better visualize what we're talking about. The researchers are trying to determine how the use of warp drive could affect the universe, and so far the results aren't good.

During the warp process scientists have concluded that a number of highly energetic atomic particles could become disturbed during warping and displaced immediately after — basically bursting at the seams and exploding with insane force. The intense energy of the particles would be enough to blast whatever is around them into oblivion. As the research paper puts it, "Any people at the destination would be gamma ray and high energy particle blasted into oblivion due to the extreme blueshifts for [forward] region particles." Ouch.
Looks like we'll have to play with our toy Starship Enterprise and surrender to the awesome powers of space. 

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