Alcubierre Drive Question

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GitR'Durn
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Alcubierre Drive Question

Postby GitR'Durn » 2012-08-07 08:31pm

Hey everyone! This is my first post. This is kind of a silly idea I've hadbouncing around in my head for a while, so I hope everyone will bear with me.

If I understand the concept correctly (which I'm not entirely sure that I do), a theoretical Alcubierre Drive would function by essentially "warping" the fabric of space time around a vessel and trapping it in something akin to a pocket universe which essentially isolates everything inside from the effects of the outside world. This "warp bubble" theoretically allows for FTL without the effects of time dialation because while the bubble can travel faster than light, the vessel inside (in it's isolated pocket universe) technically doesn't move. The rest of the universe moves around it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

My question here in the following: Couldn't this also basically allow for classic sci-fi style shields? Any ship inside the "wap bubble," by virtue of not actually being in our universe, should be immune to any energy or projectiles directed towards it so long as the bubble holds, correct?

Could such a "bubble" be popped by throwing enough energy at it, thus destroying the vessel inside?

I'm not even going to pretend like I understand the physics at work here, so any insight that the board could provide would be appreciated.

I imagine that running across a race that could actually master this kind of technology would present a pretty massive "out of context problem" for races still using more conventional forms of propulsion. 8)

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someone_else
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Re: Alcubierre Drive Question

Postby someone_else » 2012-08-08 03:30pm

First, I think this is more suited in the SF section. But I'm not a mod so this opinion is irrelevant.

a theoretical Alcubierre Drive would function by essentially "warping" the fabric of space time around a vessel and trapping it in something akin to a pocket universe which essentially isolates everything inside from the effects of the outside world. ... The rest of the universe moves around it.
I vaguely remeber that this is Futurama's FTL engine. :wtf: It' ain't Alcubierre's for sure. :wink:

Alcubierre's doesn't make a pocket universe, just plays with space around the ship.

I don't know if it can outright stop shit from passing through (depends from how it does warp space), but it will likely throw off enemy targeting a big way since it compresses space-time or elongates space-time so projectiles and beams will go "faster" or "slower" for those areas of space and likely miss unless the targeting system is already compensating for that.
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Modax
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Re: Alcubierre Drive Question

Postby Modax » 2012-08-09 06:04am

While we're waiting for Kuroneko to get here, here is something I found on the physics stack exchange which sort of answers your question:

The interior of the bubble is causally disconnected. It's not possible for the bubble to be turned off or steered from the inside. But there is no reason it cannot be affected from an outside agency at a pre-planned points, or even simply have a finite lifetime, naturally deteriorating to stop at the intended destination.

Intuitively, one can think of it as dual to the cosmic expansion of space: as space expands, it carries galaxies along with it, and because it's space between them that's expanding rather than them moving in space, distant galaxies can have superluminal separation velocity. Effective movement because of the way space expands (or contracts) is different from movement in space.

Even if cosmic expansion could somehow be "turned off", it wouldn't suddenly make all the galaxies contract together again. It would simply stop further separation.

The Alcubierre drive does something similar: instead of expanding space to get away from from distant objects, it contracts it in order to approach them. It doesn't actually need to contract all of space in front of it; it just expands it back after traversing it. In effect, the warp bubble rides its own gravitational field.


http://physics.stackexchange.com/questi ... arp-bubble

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Xeriar
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Re: Alcubierre Drive Question

Postby Xeriar » 2012-08-12 12:43pm

GitR'Durn wrote:My question here in the following: Couldn't this also basically allow for classic sci-fi style shields? Any ship inside the "wap bubble," by virtue of not actually being in our universe, should be immune to any energy or projectiles directed towards it so long as the bubble holds, correct?


I'm not sure if 'immune' is the proper phrase. You're playing with something that, at the obscene energy densities involved, it's only feasible to create by somehow pinching off a pocket universe such that you're flying around in a field that makes a proton look vast and expansive. I'm not sure that 'shield' is a proper term, any more than we'd call the metal band in your car's tire 'armor'.
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Scepticalguy
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Re: Alcubierre Drive Question

Postby Scepticalguy » 2012-08-14 01:07pm

I suppose the fact that it warps space around the ship would mean that any weapon travelling through normal space would get royally twisted as it approached.

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Re: Alcubierre Drive Question

Postby Grumman » 2012-08-15 03:35am

Scepticalguy wrote:I suppose the fact that it warps space around the ship would mean that any weapon travelling through normal space would get royally twisted as it approached.

Yeah, the tidal forces would be a definite danger to any object passing through the bubble. Against energy or kinetic weapons, they'd presumably just be pulled off course and miss.

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Re: Alcubierre Drive Question

Postby Baffalo » 2012-08-18 08:27am

Grumman wrote:
Scepticalguy wrote:I suppose the fact that it warps space around the ship would mean that any weapon travelling through normal space would get royally twisted as it approached.

Yeah, the tidal forces would be a definite danger to any object passing through the bubble. Against energy or kinetic weapons, they'd presumably just be pulled off course and miss.

If we're talking a super-dense region of space, wouldn't that mean stray particles of gas and dust floating around would get caught up in it, forming a wave-front of densely packed material the further you go to intercept anything that came at you?
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