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It’s Reality! First Ever Warp Bubble Has Finally Been Created!

There are so many places and things to explore in the universe! From distant exoplanets to faraway galaxies that might host intelligent life, to massive black holes, to bright stars. However, there is a problem with space exploration; distance! Everywhere you want to go in deep space is far!

For example, Elon Musk wants to put humans on Mars permanently while NASA wants to send astronauts there. However, any traveler going to Mars has to endure a grueling trip through harsh space that lasts not less than five months, even with the most powerful rocket in history! If only we could find a faster way to travel through space! Also, the next star to us is about 4.5 light-years away, making it impossible to visit with the current space technologies!

However, an accidental discovery promises to fix that problem by enabling faster than the speed of light travel! What is the discovery, how does it affect space travel, and how does it affect you personally? Join us as we explore how NASA scientists accidentally discover the world’s first Warp Bubble!

Warp travel is not strange to fans of the Star Trek franchise. The warp drive is a charming futuristic technology from Star Trek Universe, which since its first episode in 1966, includes ten television series and thirteen feature films. In these series and movies, characters explore the universe using powerful and fast spaceships, traveling from planet to planet and communicating with a crew of aliens.

The torsion engine is the center of attraction because, without it, the story would be implausible. The universe is strange, unimaginable, and insanely large, and even if you want to visit the next star, the immense cosmic distances create an almost impossible barrier! Let’s take a look at the next star, Proxima Centauri, 4.5 light-years away. This distance means it takes 4.5 years to reach the star if you could manage to attain the speed of light! Light flies at full cosmic speed and acts as a sort of universal speed cap, so any other method takes longer!

In fact, if you decide to use the fastest space probe ever built, the long journey through the interstellar void would take nearly eight thousand years! So, it makes sense to stay put to Earth and its immediate environment! Of course, the Star Trek crew didn’t stay close to the Earth because they found a solution!

This solution makes long-distance travel possible by shortening the distance! The torsion engine, using warp drive tech, achieves this by juggling space and time, making for great entertainment! Warp drive was destined to remain imaginary until a scientist suddenly realized that such an engine was really possible at the end of the last century!

The physicist was Miguel Alcubierre, and he came up with a theory that rocked the scientific community globally. In 1994, Alcubierre watched an episode of Next Generation while doing his Ph.D. research on Einstein’s general theory of relativity, where heavy masses can curve space and time.

And so Alcubierre picked up a scrap of paper, did the calculations, and laid the foundation for an article that appeared in the science magazine later that year! In his paper, Alcubierre describes how you can compress space and time in front of a spacecraft and stretch it back behind the ship so that you have to travel a much smaller distance to the desired destination safely trapped in what he calls a torsion bubble!

In visualization, the concept was compared to a surfer riding a wave and a metaphor often used to describe how a ship could travel the stars. There is, however, a problem with Alcubierre’s warp bubble! You see, the warp engine is tough to build in reality!

You can’t just curve space forcefully with normal mass! To do so, you need exotic matter, which has negative gravity! Dozens of Warp Engine publications would follow in the following decades. But they also remained theoretical exercises and thought experiments that manipulated the formulations of the theory of relativity in search of new insights.

The need for the foreign matter remained! That was until Eric Lentz, a physicist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the US, stepped in. He watched Star Trek as a kid. However, he has not been able to forget

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