Taking into account all of the developments in the alcubierre warp drive theory including the new calculations by Harold White. Are their any plausible/theoretical ways to generate a warp bubble without negative energy or exotic matter? If this is not possible are there any theoretical ways to create negative energy on the large enough scale needed to create a warp bubble?

This scenario is set in a world at east a hundred years in the future or slightly more. The inhabitants want to be able to transport their people faster and get to starsystems faster instead of using generation ships.

  • $\begingroup$ Who is Harold White and why is he important to this question? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Apr 4 '18 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ He is a physicist who did some calculation to alter the design of the warp drive to change its mass/ energy requirements from the mass of Jupiter to 700kg. $\endgroup$ – Efialtes Apr 4 '18 at 12:47

With current theory: no. (There isn't even a way to make "ordinary" exotic matter in current theory!) Current theory makes it look very likely that all exotic space-time configurations decay very quickly to more boring configurations.

So it all depends on how fast you're willing to wave your hands. The no-hand-waving-at-all answer is that current physics-as-we-understand-it requires exotic matter or something equally astonishingly massive moving at high speeds to produce major warpage of space.

Wave your hands at moderate speed, and you could claim that black holes don't evaporate -- it's a theoretical prediction that has never been observed either directly or indirectly -- and that something like Robert Forward's black hole fluid (from Dragon's Egg) can be made and used. (I don't think this can yield an Alcubierre warp drive directly, but wave your hands a bit faster and explain how they can be used to create blah blah's which combined with left-parity whatsits make it possible produce a warp drive without stable exotic matter...)

Wave your hands still faster and say that you've found a source -- perhaps made by a long-transcended alien civilization -- of nanoscopic space-time knots which are stable, being protected from decaying by their topology. And stable nanoscopic space-time knots can do just about anything....

Finally, there's the long-sought merger of General Relativity with quantum theory. Whatever form it takes, it's going to provide some new interactions which can affect gravity. Since we really don't know much about the unified theory, you can get away with a lot there still. (Especially emergent space-time theories -- it's actually kind of plausible that if space-time itself is an emergent phenomenon rising out of something deeper and quite different, that some new technologies might arise which allows space-time manipulation we can't presently foresee.)


Apparently, new calculations show that instead of exotic matter you can use something call "toroidal positive energy density" to cause the same effect needed for a working Alcu Drive. But my understanding about the matter is limited, however I leave you the terminology so you may be find more information about it.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.