I have a character. He is the master of a particularly specific martial art that is pretty much only movement. But it's pretty powerful, in that he can separately: a) move in a manner that is FTL b) move from shadow to shadow instantly c) move very quickly in a non-relativity violating manner d) etc. b-d (potentially) boring, so my question involves a.


In my mind, the character isn't moving faster than light, he is moving "faster than light". Using the magic of television editing (or something) he basically is joining two points in space and stepping between the two points. Hence, he travels faster than light in space without physically traveling faster than light. I was thinking that he somehow uses a powerful, localized gravity well explained away by the handwavium of reference frames, a concept I am no doubt misunderstanding.


Could a gravity well be generated in such a way that could cause space-time to bend in such a fashion that a short (10-15ft) length of space would be able to be traversed in a single step (say 1ft)? Also, what possible handwaving would I have to explain away besides "everything in that 15ft space would be crushed" and "massive energy requirements"?


Change how you think about gravity. It's common to think that you generate a gravity well, and then that gravity distorts spacetime. But that's not the case. Mass distorts spacetime, and that distortion effect is gravity.

You're running into issues because you're trying for a secondary effect. You want to generate a gravity well (which crushes things and takes a bunch of energy), and the side effect of that generated mass would be a spacetime jump. But the downsides are all associated with your primary method.

Instead, have your character manipulate spacetime directly, without using generated mass (gravity) first. Presumably there is some sort of physics explanation for why mass impacts spacetime (which we haven't fully explained yet). Your character could work with that force/effect, jump in space to move, would not be crushed and would have far smaller energy requirements because he's not wasting a bunch making a full gravity well.

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    $\begingroup$ Great answer on several levels. +1 for recognizing that mass/gravity might not be the only way to manipulate spacetime. From the original question, it seems that light (or the absence of it) may play a role in that manipulation. The martial artist is able to jump from one shadow to another, but cannot jump either to or from a directly lighted place. In the questioner's world, Direct light solidifies spacetime with regard to this movement technique. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor May 16 '15 at 4:32
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    $\begingroup$ +1 for suggesting the direct route. But isn't it actually believed to be energy that distorts space-time (which includes the inherent energy of rest-mass)? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ – zeta May 16 '15 at 21:48

10-15 feet is a tiny distance anywhere near the speed of light. At 0.1 c, it takes 102-153 nanoseconds to travel 10-15 feet (you could do this about 8 million times per second). You don't really need warp fields, although you would need ridiculous acceleration and the ability to withstand it, so I'm not sure those physics are any less hand-wavey magic good than FTL phsyics.

A potential way to "teleport" like this would be to disassemble the original and reassemble him a few meters away after communicating his quantum state to the new location. Again, that's pretty crazy for real tech (and the quantum state bit might be physically impossible), but it would be easier to survive the trip and you wouldn't make so much of a literally Earth-shattering sonic boom.

Edit: Just noticed this was a few months old. Guess I was looking at "related to" rather than the new posts feed. Didn't mean to necro or anything.


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