Science and technology

Physicists believe that superluminal flight is possible

space

The authors of the study, published on the preprints server arXiv, believe that there is a way to detect a working warp engine equipped with the spacecraft of a potential extraterrestrial civilization. For this, you need to use gravitational waves, he writes Popular Mechanics.

With the help of known physics, humanity can reach the nearest planets of the solar system. But when it comes to flights to other stars, there are problems. According to the theory of relativity, no object with mass can reach the speed of light, and even more so, cannot travel faster than light. We remind you that photons, particles of light that have no mass, fly in space at a speed of 300 km/s.

Thus, even if humanity managed to create an engine that violates the laws of physics and is able to accelerate a spacecraft to the speed of light, the flight to the nearest star Proxima Centauri would still take more than 4 years. Therefore, as early as the late 90s of the last century, there was an idea that it was possible to create a warp engine capable of reaching speeds greater than the speed of light.

Instead of flying from point A to point B in a straight line, a warp drive warps space-time itself. The engine creates a bubble around the ship, inside which the latter remains stationary, while the bubble itself moves. The engine compresses space-time in front of the ship and expands it behind. It is believed that a warp drive requires negative energy or exotic matter to operate. But all this goes beyond the boundaries of physics known today.

The authors of a new theoretical study suggest that potential extraterrestrial civilizations have been able to build a warp engine and use it to travel the universe. If this technology is discovered, it can, firstly, prove that it really exists, and secondly, that intelligent extraterrestrials exist, scientists believe.

Scientists believe that it is possible to detect warp engines with the help of gravitational waves, that is, pulsations in space-time. This phenomenon, long predicted by physicists, was first detected by the ground-based gravitational wave detector LIGO 9 years ago.

Gravitational waves are usually associated with mergers of black holes or neutron stars, as well as supernova explosions. But scientists believe that LIGO, as well as the future space detector of gravitational waves LISA, will be able to detect an artificial source of these pulsations. That is, alien advanced technology.

The authors of the study say that it is possible to notice an alien warp engine only when it either slows down or accelerates. Or the warp bubble will collapse. Scientists believe that in this case, gravitational waves similar to those that occur during mergers, such as black holes, may occur.

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