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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Interstellar travel- possible someday? - April 3rd 2016, 09:11 PM

Do you think that it will ever be possible to travel to other stars? There are a few possibilities but all of them have problems. You can't travel faster than the speed of light- so any journey to another system is going to take years in Earth-time. If you were to reach 99 percent of light speed though, the trip would seem to take only days from a traveler's perspective (plus the six months or so it would take to reach that speed at rates of acceleration that the human body can tolerate). For this to be possible, we would have to have major technological breakthroughs in propulsion to be able to reach these speeds.

Another possibility would be to use massive- city-sized starships that travel at ordinary speeds but take millennia or centuries to reach their destination. For this to work - you'd have to have a lot of people who would have to be willing to both never see Earth again and to never see their destination in their lifetime. You'd also have to make sure that future generations would never try to sabotage the journey before the craft arrives (strict government and oversight in these space cities). Earth would just be a legend to everyone on board after the first few generations died off. You'd also have to have an on-board large ecosystem with more than enough food and organisms to feed everyone and to remain stable. The people on Earth would not know for over a thousand years if humanity had actually visited other star systems--if we even found out.
   
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Re: Interstellar travel- possible someday? - April 5th 2016, 03:53 AM

I don't think it will be possible unless we have some really darn great advancements in technology. It seems like it would take way too long to get technology that allows us to travel that far that fast, if we ever do.


   
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Re: Interstellar travel- possible someday? - April 9th 2016, 05:50 PM

If our species lasts through the next half-billion years, it could be possible travel quick and far enough to another star system as the sun grows and the Earth becomes too warm to support life.
   
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Re: Interstellar travel- possible someday? - April 9th 2016, 10:49 PM

I agree that it would be possible if our species survives long enough. However, i very much doubt that we'll ever get to relativistic speeds. The amount of energy needed is ridiculous. A 1kg mass travelling at 99% of the speed of light would have a kinetic energy of 5.47*10^17 Joules. It would take The Palo Verde nucleur power plant in Arizona operating at maximum generating capacity 1608.08191987 days to generate the amount of energy needed to get 1kg to 99% of the speed of light. City-sized starships are much more plausible.
   
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Re: Interstellar travel- possible someday? - April 10th 2016, 06:52 PM

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Originally Posted by Proud90sKid View Post
Do you think that it will ever be possible to travel to other stars?
The first question that arises is what do you mean by 'other stars'. I'm assuming you mean interstellar space travel (since we could just fly to the Sun). In which case, yes. This will happen. There is no doubt about this. Coincidentally, push back 500 years and ask the scientists of the time (Galileo, etc.) if 'space travel' in general would be possible, and it would probably seem like really grim prospects (I mean Newtonian physics didn't even exist yet). This is mostly because quantum mechanics hadn't been developed, and obviously a lack of mechanical inventions to see things different. That is, to simplify what I am saying, think of the Flinstones. If you were getting around in a 'car' that was pushed by your feet, and you asked, "Are we every going to go to the moon?" The future of space exploration would seem very bleak. Therefore, we have to take into account that mechanical inventions, travel, and science in general will improve exponentially in the future. So to assume its impossible is rather foolish. Not to mention scientists of our day wouldn't researching the field if they didn't think it was possible.

Thus the question is a matter of WHEN and HOW LONG (as you illustrated in one of your examples) will it take for interstellar space travel. For example, if we can modify our current fossil fuel linear thinking and develop a sustainable and renewable energy we may not travel super fast, but over time you could technically reach interstellar space, even if it has to go through generations of people. Obviously, I do not think this is going to be the method, but it's just to illustrate a point:

Of course it'll happen.

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There are a few possibilities but all of them have problems. You can't travel faster than the speed of light- so any journey to another system is going to take years in Earth-time.
This actually isn't true. It is true in a linear fashion that no object with mass can accelerate to the speed of light. However, 'warp' drive is a very real possibility, which essentially means that we bypass this acceleration, and velocity and instead 'fold' space itself. In 1 dimension terms, draw 2 dots on a piece of white paper. Now connect from one dot to the other. This is how we currently travel. Linealy (obviously in 3D, though, but I think you see my point). By 3D I mean you could have drawn a squiggly line (think polynomial on a cartesian plane with x/y), and the line itself could've come out of the paper, and pushed back into the paper (z-axis), but likely you just drew a straight line because this models the most direct, and thus fastest route.

If I told you there was a faster way, and I want to see you model it, you probably would continue trying to draw a line to it. You could say, maybe, "Well I can draw my line faster and straighter using a ruler." This is true. But when we put this on a massive scale (space) a faster velocity, and a more direct route is nearly negligible from the sheer distance of near by space objects. So what's the method?

You fold the paper. You fold the paper so the dots are now touching each other. Thus, NEITHER OBJECT ACCELERATED. The space surrounding the object collapsed on top of the two dots. Believe it or not, this is possible. It's already been demonstrated on a microscale. The basic idea, which it won't make much sense without the physics behind it (Which being that most physics people understand is solely newtonian and not quantum, it'll suffice to say you'll just have to believe the scientists), is that if you have a certain volume of space, and fill that volume up you can essentially shift two object together without ever touching them or accelerating them. Suffice to say that the finding of gravitational waves also supports this theory. It's just that this is not likely to be a method of travel in our life time, or anytime near after. It's still just a dream of the future. But is surely possible, and the future societies will discover how to do this. Just like we discovered how to land a rover on Mars 300 years after Newtonian based physics was published.

So, yes. It is possible, and it will happen. Just not in our lifetime.

If you want the more 'technical' details you can watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94ed4v_T6YM I just tried to break it down into more simplistic terms, but what he is explaining is the same concept -- just explains the difficulty of producing this on a massive scale (since as mentioned, its been done on micro levels -- in fact it occurs in nature).


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Re: Interstellar travel- possible someday? - April 10th 2016, 09:34 PM

^ I think you're talking about Einstein-Rosen bridges, but im not too sure. Einstein-Rosen bridges (wormholes) do connect two points of space, but the important thing about them is you cannot travel through one side to the other. The only scenario an ER bridge can be on the macroscopic scale is if its with black hole singularities. Otherwise its just single entangled particles. Now you cant travel out a black hole of course, so this alone would prevent you from traveling through an ER bridge. But they also "stretch" at the speed of light, so you couldnt even reach the middle, unless you jumped in just as it forms.

After watching the video i see that you weren't talking about Einstein-Rosen bridges. That other warp drive is an interesting idea. I've came across it before but not in much detail. As negative energy appears to be needed for the macroscopic scale, i doubt it would be possible, ever. The only time i have came across the concept of negative energy is with tachyons, which would have negative energy. So i shall guess that anything with negative energy would be a tachyon. Althought i am likely to be wrong with that, as i dont have much knowledge of negative energy. Also would negative energy not annihilate with positive energy and make no energy? It would be a bit like trying to make an antimatter bubble.

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Re: Interstellar travel- possible someday? - April 13th 2016, 05:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notsure View Post
After watching the video i see that you weren't talking about Einstein-Rosen bridges. That other warp drive is an interesting idea. I've came across it before but not in much detail. As negative energy appears to be needed for the macroscopic scale, i doubt it would be possible, ever. The only time i have came across the concept of negative energy is with tachyons, which would have negative energy. So i shall guess that anything with negative energy would be a tachyon. Althought i am likely to be wrong with that, as i dont have much knowledge of negative energy. Also would negative energy not annihilate with positive energy and make no energy? It would be a bit like trying to make an antimatter bubble.
I say give it time. Once scientists have more information and can get more funding, engineers will sort out the issue. Unfortunately, as I said, this probably won't happen in our life time. Notice that it took 200 years for us to apply newtons laws to develop an automobile. The science needs to develop first, then the engineers can figure out the rest. At this point I'd say it's too soon to rule it out because we're potentially looking hundreds of years into the future. If you brought someone from the 1600's to present day, they'd probably accuse rockets of using witchcraft. I suppose if we launched forward 400 years from now, we'd feel similarly, but less voodoo-ey about it. I think the point in case is that there are many alternatives. It's a matter of time before we come across the one that will work. Relativity is only 100 years old and we JUST discovered gravitational waves. Time.


"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."
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