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Alcubierre Drive

Science fans who read my books will  notice that interstellar travel in the Erobian Sphere is accomplished  using an Alcubierre drive. As Brandon Foss duly noted in Test of Magnitude, traveling faster than light is impossible. But he also correctly recognized that NASA scientists of his day (2012) were already working on a method of bending space to create a warp bubble around a spaceship which would make interstellar travel possible.

The concept was first worked into a serious modern theory by Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994. The theory is valid. Essentially, a configurable energy-density field lower than that of a vacuum is created which results in a space-time warp bubble that surrounds the ship. Space in front of the bubble is contracted while space behind it expands. Time is not distorted, so the space travelers stay within their own time.

There are thought to be two possible ways of creating the required energy-density field at the time of this writing. The first is manipulation of exotic matter; in particular, negative mass particles. Finding negative mass particles in nature has proven to be an elusive task on planet Earth so far, at least without the use of particle accelerators. But Miguel Alcubierre convincingly proposed an alternative method of creating the field using something called a Casimir vacuum, which would fulfill the negative energy requirements by the use of two plates with a high-density vacuum between them. This is why the earliest sketches of Alcubierre drives looked like this:

NASA scientists continue to make progress with this theory and it is entirely possible they will produce an actual working warp bubble drive based on Miguel Alcubierre's work. Until recently, they were working with "ring-shaped" warp drive models.

But they had problems making it work in their math simulations. In 2011,  they determined the warp bubble could more effectively be manipulated with a torus (donut-shaped) structure around the outside of the ship's cabin.

This is why the distortion field generators in my books (referred to as the dag by the Torians) are torus-shaped. The ships have particle accelerators on board with scientists/technicians who man them, even the smaller ITF1's. I have tried to keep travel times in line with what the NASA scientists are currently projecting.

New technology is always interesting in science fiction. Starting in Book 2 of The Torian Reclamation, we will see some interesting advancements,  including the development of a virtual distortion field generator.

 

 

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