Star Trek fans, prepare to be disappointed. Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew would die within a second of the USS Enterprise approaching the speed of light.
The problem lies with Einstein's special theory of relativity. It transforms the thin wisp of hydrogen gas that permeates interstellar space into an intense radiation beam that would kill humans within seconds and destroy the spacecraft's electronic instruments.
Is this a death knell for interstellar travel? Apparently, something else out there certainy appears to be doing it, unless all UFOs can simply be explained away as mistaken observations of natural phenomena, secret military aircraft, hoaxes, or mass psychosis. That would be very convenient, but unlikely, in my opinion.
Jack Sarfatti comments on this: "The naive use of special relativity in this article misses the point of warp drive. Indeed, you must use general relativity. Special relativity breaks down in these situations except as a local approximation in a small enough region of spacetime in which the warp drive effect is small. It does not work globally at all and this is a global problem over regions of spacetime where the warping of space is very inhomogeneous. Although there are problems with the warp bubble horizon in the simple Alcubierre toy model it's not the problem in the article which does not exist. Locally, the ship is not moving at all, indeed v = 0 no where near c. Space contracts in front of the ship. Space expands in back of the ship that surfs the warp gravity wave so to speak. Lightlike and timelike world lines of particles hitting the front of the warp bubble streamline around the bubble and never even enter the ship. Of course we need to let some leak through in order to navigate which IS the more serious problem. Also any special relativistic blue shift can be nullified by a gravity redshift once we learn how to engineer the metric fabric of space evolving in time using low power - a good trick, but it's too soon to give up. Finally, as Kim says above, unless the UFO data is all a hoax of Majic 12 as in the X-Files and as Jacques Vallee seems to say, thought it's hard to know what he is really saying, then someone has solved these problems, but it ain't us, at least not yet."
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