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Warp factor 7, Mr Data!

Another from PopMech, this one of far more practical use than that last one. Well, at some point further on down the line. Maybe.

By Meddling With Spacetime Dimensions, We Could Finally Reach Warp Speed
New research shows that the “superluminal observer” needs three separate time dimensions for a warp-speed math trick that would please even Galileo.

The secret to faster-than-light physics could be to double down on the number of dimensions, according to new research published last month in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity. Specifically, the solution may lie in three dimensions of time, with just one representing space. The math is deep and complicated, but the ideas may be within our grasp after all. And there’s one math trick at superspeeds that may just “flip” your lid.

The key idea at play here is that of a “superluminal observer.” “Superluminal” means faster than light, from super– meaning “more” or “most,” and –luminal like, well, Lumière from Beauty and the Beast, and the lumens that power your home movie projector. The superluminal observer is a hypothetical thing that is looking at the universe while traveling faster than light. It’s you in your Star Trek warp-speed shuttle.

Ha! Shows what you know, dipshit. Most shuttles, excepting certain of the Type 7 shuttlecraft, had only impulse engines and were thus incapable of attaining warp velocity/FTL travel, as every Trekkie worthy of the name knows full well. It’s a bit like comparing, say, a deuce-and-a-half with an F16 in terms of power and speed.

The research team—led by theoretical physicist Andrzej Dragan of the University of Warsaw and the National University of Singapore—has theorized that many parts of quantum physics, like indeterminism and superposition, can be explained if you take general relativity and apply its principles to the superluminal observer. In other words, how messy does spacetime get if we take our shuttle up to warp speed? Is everything suddenly in multiple places at once?

Dragan’s new work indicates that it’s at least a possibility. Perhaps more interestingly, the way general relativity becomes quantum phenomena at speeds greater than light doesn’t seem to introduce any causal paradoxes. In earlier work, published in the New Journal of Physics in March 2020, Dragan and his coauthor studied “just” one space dimension and one time dimension, known as 1+1. In the new paper, the researchers upped the ante to include one space dimension and three time dimensions, or 1+3.

Why do we need three time dimensions? To understand, we have to talk about some math.

Annnnd that lets me out. I’ve always been a complete dumbass when it comes to math; being just barely capable of totting up a restaurant tip in my frazzled old noggin, mathematics any more involved or complex than that leaves me stammering and stumbling like Too Old Jaux. The last word here can only be Picard’s.

5 thoughts on “Warp factor 7, Mr Data!

  1. I’m pretty good at math and have a good grounding in physics. Most of that stuff escapes me, but I also find a pretty good helping of BS and leaps of faith when I actually look closely.

    Dragan’s new work indicates that it’s at least a possibility.

    The same work could *likely* be stated to say it’s less than probable, betcha.

  2. While the Star Trek universe appoints Zefram Cochrane as the developer of Warp Drive, It’ll probably be AI.

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