Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What's the big idea

An Alcubierre drive is a theoretical warp drive for faster than light travel. It works by creating a warped bubble of spacetime around whatever it is that you want accelerated. The front of the bubble is contracted, and the rear of the bubble is expanded. In this manner the warp bubble, and whatever is inside, is 'pulled' from the front and 'pushed' from the rear by the effects of the compression and expansion of spacetime.

Since the fabric of spacetime can accelerate faster than light, then whatever you put inside of your accelerating warp bubble - an Alcubierre drive, a spare tire, ex-wife, or whatever - becomes an instant FTL object. You could even turn yourself into a starship with one of those really tight fitting wetsuits, one of those deep sea diving helmets, some scuba gear, and a roll of duct tape. Oh, and an Alcubierre drive.

Now, the universe is expanding, which I'd like to think is fairly common knowledge. Most folks imagine this expansion as stars and galaxies accelerating away from each other, but it's more than just that. Stars and galaxies aren't just moving 'through' space as they all recede from one another, they're moving 'with' space as spacetime itself expands.

So, it's actually more like, say... if you had a balloon covered with polka dots. As you blow up the balloon, the polka dots on the surface of a balloon begin to move away from each other. The more you inflate it, the bigger it gets, and the farther away all of the polka dots move away from one another. Imagine the polka dots as stars and galaxies, and the surface of the balloon as the expanding fabric of spacetime.

Get it?

All that, just because I wanted to point out that the entire observable universe is apparently imbedded in the expanding ass end of a runaway Alcubierre warp bubble that's shaped like a 5-dimensional hypersphere. Similar to a mosquito stuck in a glob of amber that's oozing down the side of an infinite tree trunk.

What I wanna know is, who's bright idea was this anyway, and are we there yet?

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