23rd July 2006 - 06:41 PM
Hi, i have been surfing the net for a while looking for a warp theory that could be understood by the laymen. The only thing i have been able to understand is that space is compressed infront of a body and elongated behind it, this on its own would move the body in an inertialess way. But wouldnt you need to be propelled by conventional rockets (or another propulsion device) to pass through the compresses pace time to actually move, if anyone could help it would be great.
23rd July 2006 - 07:12 PM
No, you would actually move on your own. The compression of space-time in front and elongation behind creates an artificial gravitational field, and you fall into this gravitational well. However, since the warp drive generating the gravitational well is attached to you, you accelerate constantly. The compression and elongation of space-time is also how normal gravity works. The space-time near the Earth is compressed and farther away it is more elongated, causing objects to fall toward the Earth.
Why does the compression/elongation of space-time cause objects to move? Within the framework of general relativity, the compression/elongation of space-time is modelled as bent geometry. The shortest distance between any two points in a bent geometry is no longer a straight line, but instead, it's called a geodesic, like how planes fly a Great Circle route over the Earth instead of a straight line, but in 4-dimensions. Within this 4-dimensional space-time, nothing is truly still. If it's not moving through space, it still moves through time (hence space-time). The presence of the Earth causes the normally straight (flat) geometry of space-time, on which the shortest path would consist of a straight line, to be bent in such a way that the shortest path (the geodesic) now points towards the Earth. Similarly, a warp drive would bend space-time in such a manner as to bend the straight geodesic towards the direction you want to travel.