Questions tagged [faster-than-light]

For questions about settings in which superluminal travel and/or communication is a possibility.

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How would the laws of physics need to be adjusted if there really were a preferred frame of reference for FTL?

I am considering how to implement faster-than-light (FTL) travel in a sci-fi setting without the attendant problems with causality. One of the ways I've been thinking about for this is establishing a ...
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21 votes
17 answers
3k views

FTL gates and drives used simultaneously without redundancy?

This world has 3 forms of faster-than-light travel: Warpdrives don't require destination coordinates. They can be activated and deactivated at any time to move continuously through space. But they ...
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2 votes
1 answer
134 views

What would be more realistic for a universe where FTL is possible?

I am working on my own project with applying science to Star Wars. I try to meld the fantasy with as much real science as possible, but I am having a problem with the size of the universe. I am ...
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5 votes
2 answers
141 views

Is it radio silence between 2 Alcubierre drives?

Suppose we grant a 1 time scientific miracle for exotic matter to power Alcubierra wrap drive, then could two such drives communicate with each other? The drive discharges exotic matter particles ...
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7 votes
2 answers
799 views

Negative mass and Dark matter in Alcubierre Drive?

I am writing a science fiction novel therefore I am using the idea of the Alcubierre drive for warp travel which involves some handwavium but has roots in theoretical physics (which is my goal). While ...
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7 votes
3 answers
264 views

How to form a space government with only communication?

Long ago, Prime Minister Bob created the [insert name here], a government organizing Space in a peaceful, lawful, and orderly way. This story is taught in classrooms around the [insert name here], ...
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17 votes
10 answers
4k views

How would a radar work while inside a FTL dimension?

In my universe FTL drives are easily mass manufactured and most citizens own them and use them. The FTL drives work by compressing a certain powder which then explodes, ripping open a wormhole which ...
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1 vote
1 answer
78 views

Could galactic tides power FTL travel?

I came across galactic tides while trying to find a new concept for FTL travel for a SF novel. Further research suggests it was just a coincidence, that nobody has ever suggested any possible ...
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2 votes
3 answers
164 views

What is your fuel consumption when traveling at relativistic speeds?

For a given distance of travel, your fuel consumption can be calculated by running hours instead of distance. This is common when you're traveling by boat for instance. You don't typically say "I ...
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12 votes
11 answers
4k views

With FTL technology is it possible to leave after another and yet arrive before it?

There's a plot point in my script that has been bothering me for a while. My story has faster-than-light travel thanks to distortion engines, which re-purpose the artificial gravity inside the ships ...
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5 votes
4 answers
338 views

What would the local effects/affects be of a ring spinning near luminal velocity?

To better solicit more inline with what I'm trying to imagine, I'm editing my question, the original question is left below and removing the hard science tag, as that just seemed to cause issues, ...
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2 votes
3 answers
196 views

Is it plausible for FTL travel to be made easier to achieve through universal pure axial movement?

A bit of a strange concept that's been floating around in my mind. We all know how grid-based movement works. Moving in a straight line along any direction of X, Y, and Z requires only one step/...
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6 votes
2 answers
108 views

How to interpolate between the physical, material universe with relativistic reference frames and a spiritual objective reference frame?

I'm new here and I assume that it might be weird to have souls in a science-fiction question but hear me out. While souls in my setting do have some magical unexplainable supernatural properties, it ...
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47 votes
29 answers
7k views

What might stop people from destroying navigation satellites that are used for FTL plotting?

The idea is that a number of satellites have been deployed throughout the galaxy and ships use them to plot their FTL jumps. If that's the case, the thought occurs to me that someone could try and ...
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0 votes
2 answers
190 views

What’s better than a hyperdrive for intergalactic travel? [closed]

I’m trying to write a Star Wars story about someone who figures out a way to travel FTL between galaxies. Hyperspace doesn’t work in the Intergalactic Void, and there is a hyperspace disturbance at ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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If a lightspeed impactor "clipped" the Earth, would the resultant valley remain stable for geological timespans?

Let's say that some aliens fling a hyper-super-duper-lightspeed impactor at the Earth. They barely hit it. Instead of a direct hit through the center of mass, the impactor "clips" the Earth ,...
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47 votes
29 answers
7k views

How long can it really take to calculate a hyperspace jump?

It is a common trope in sci-fi that engaging a vessel's faster-than-light travel requires performing some complicated mathematics that takes a non-trivial amount of time. I want to know to what extent ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Does a ship traveling faster than c0 (speed of light in a vacuum) emit Cherenkov radiation?

A Space Whale has been traveling from point A (let it be Sirius) to point B (let it be Vega) faster than light (FTL). Did it emit Cherenkov radiation while traveling? Cherenkov radiation is radiation ...
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5 votes
1 answer
223 views

It would be possible to enter and exit a black hole using a Warp Drive? [closed]

Well, a Warp Drive expands and contracts space, passing it through you, technically allowing faster than light travel. And so, it would be possible to actually enter a black hole and thus, exit it? I ...
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8 votes
2 answers
331 views

Using transfinite numbers in a scifi story

I have been bandying about some exotic mathematics ideas as the basis for a hard scifi setting, and I wonder what technology/alien life would "make sense," here, given the physics arising ...
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44 votes
21 answers
6k views

Why are certain spaceships capable of warp at a moment's notice while others require some preparations?

After seeing an advert on my holo-watch about the latest fleet of interstellar spaceships capable of going into warp at the press of a button, I was both amazed and dumbfounded by it Conventional warp ...
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16 votes
3 answers
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I come out of hyperdrive as far as possible from any galaxy. How isolated am I and what do I see?

I come out of hyperdrive as far as possible from any galaxy. How isolated am I and what do I see? My purpose is to carry out a top-secret experiment where space is as flat as possible. For this ...
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5 votes
1 answer
136 views

How fast could a Path Optimization Drive travel through Non-Euclidean/Discrete Space?

I have an idea is for an FTL drive based on the theory that our universe is both Non-Euclidean and Discrete at the Planck Scale, but is instead better represented as a series of interconnected nodes. ...
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6 votes
2 answers
879 views

Crew member overboard! Interstellar Space Edition [closed]

I am just curious what would happen to those poor souls whom are thrown overboard while the spaceship which is enveloped in a warp bubble, does the bubble acts like a firewall similar to the black ...
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6 votes
14 answers
6k views

Effects of being hit by an object going at FTL speeds

This will be a question that I am fine with having less realism in. I was thinking of a weapon, like a spear, that can go at FTL (faster than light) speeds. To be clear, the spear is FTL due to ...
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30 votes
11 answers
5k views

Does my concept for light speed travel pass the "handwave test"?

Basically my idea for a light speed travel concept (not faster than light) is the Zero Mass Field. I am aware that as far as we know this is impossible, but want to know if this makes logical sense ...
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5 votes
3 answers
544 views

FTL Drive Reality Check

Inspired by this article, which refers to two other articles. (article 1) (article 2) These articles suggest that the permittivity of free space ($\epsilon_0$) might be adjustable by changing the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
253 views

What if the speed of light was based off wavelength?

Im making a sci fi story (first part here) and I needed a cool and interesting way to make ftl communication possible, at first I thought, make the speed of light infinite but thats kinda boring so I ...
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2 votes
2 answers
157 views

Ways to make the time travel aspect of FTL to be as hard as possible? [duplicate]

As I understand it, thanks to the General Relativity it is absolutely impossible to have both relativity and FTL without the latter opening you a way to get into your past thanks to the relativistic ...
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7 votes
8 answers
2k views

Selling real-estate in space. How can it be allocated and how can it be marked out?

Space is useful for storage. In the future there is a thriving space real-estate market. Generally speaking, space in orbit is more desirable than outer space but both have a market value. How can ...
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6 votes
4 answers
429 views

Exploiting Time Travel FTL Mechanics to Create FTL Without Time Travel

A while back, I asked if FTL drives mandated time travel, and I was referenced this previous question: Are there any ways to allow some form of FTL travel without allowing time travel? Where the top-...
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5 votes
4 answers
496 views

Which hypothetical faster-than-light drive is more realistic?

I'm beginning to put together ideas for a science fiction story featuring interstellar travel. I want to put an emphasis on the "science" in science fiction for it though. In that I'd like ...
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22 votes
18 answers
6k views

What are plausible faster than light methods for a far advanced civilization that aren't a warp drive

Hopefully the title sums it up well, but I'm looking for potential faster than light travel (hoping for real or pseudo-real science here, as much as possible) that doesn't involve a warp drive, which ...
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11 votes
9 answers
2k views

A plausible explanation for the "ansible?" - FTL communications

I need FTL interstellar communication in my story. Ursula K. Le Guin first used the idea of the "ansible" as a fictional device or technology capable of near-instantaneous or superluminal ...
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3 votes
11 answers
3k views

Can FTL travel be achieved with mid-20th century technology? [closed]

Let's say that the FTL system is based upon that of Star Trek, but deviations can be made. FTL technology was discovered through the reverse-engineering of a starship that crashed on the civilization'...
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49 votes
19 answers
7k views

How can I justify a Type III civilization using planetary jump drives instead of FTL starships for galactic commerce and travel?

I have this idea for a science fiction story (It actually came to me in a dream.). In the distant future, the inhabitants of the Milky Way have formed a galaxy-spanning civilization similar to the ...
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4 votes
6 answers
677 views

Is it feasible to use light as a transmission vehicle?

Let's just say I'm no scientist, so my understanding of these things is all surface. Having said that, I don't write hard science fiction. But I'm not quite as "magic-like" as Star Wars. My ...
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3 votes
4 answers
236 views

Military strategy in a world of fixed opaque wormholes [closed]

(This is based on the old wargame Starfire... but don't bother providing answers based on newer versions of said game.) Spacecraft travel by inertialess drive -- that is, beyond mere reactionless ...
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8 votes
2 answers
331 views

What would the gravitational wave signature of an Alcubierre drive look like?

I can imagine the proliferation of Alcubierre drives in the distant future, which would distort space so it takes the shape of a Mexican hat in 4D map. I am wondering, what would the gravitation wave ...
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2 votes
2 answers
129 views

Could Kerr Metric Black Holes hypothetically be used for Interstellar Information Transfer?

Kerr Metrics should (extremely hypothetically) allow travel into "mirror" universes. However, I have heard that some theories estimate the time-swapped black hole on the other side of the ringularity ...
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4 votes
5 answers
488 views

What FTL models are appropriate given my constraints?

I'd like to have faster-than-light travel (and communications) be an late-game option for a video game I am working on. The extent of the playable universe is approximately 4 million light years in ...
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5 votes
1 answer
188 views

Would Alcubierre Drive Technology Allow for Artificial Event Horizons?

So, my understanding of how Alcubierre drives would theoretically work is not particularly complete. I know it involves compressing and expanding space, but I don't really have an intuitive grasp on ...
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3 votes
1 answer
173 views

Can cherenkov effect be used for telling how fast FTL spaceship moves?

Imagine an alternate universe where FTL do happens, let's just say the inhabitants discovered a hypothetical particles that allows ordinary matter to temporarily be in superposition of any amount of ...
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  • 46k
3 votes
3 answers
626 views

What would one experience travelling through an invisible Krasnikov tube, and how much could they be used to cut travel times?

Effectively what the title says; What would different observers experience while travelling through / seeing one travel through the tube, and how could they be used to cut travel times? (Just ...
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8 votes
5 answers
540 views

Can we safe FTL from paradoxes by using a Multiverse?

As we know, bi-directional faster than light (FTL) travel can cause paradoxical situations. One possible way to resolve this would be a multiverse theory: Whenever a paradox could arise, the universe ...
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5 votes
2 answers
478 views

How to build a wormhole for FTL communication? [more Engineering than Physics question]

I came to SE WB while I was researching about space radiators for my sci-fi. I don't remember where exactly I found an answer to my question (Maybe? Idr) but I stunned with this site. You all looks ...
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0 votes
1 answer
233 views

I have a way of giving something negative mass. Did I just end the world,or usher in a golden age of space travel?

So, somehow, I have discovered a process that makes an objects mass negative. Not its weight, its mass (although, I guess that the weight would also become negative). The thing is, before I try it, I ...
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  • 2,812
1 vote
1 answer
128 views

What would the view from a spaceship traveling through inter-galactic space look like?

My character is traveling aboard a spaceship through inter-galactic space (it has left the Milky Way). The ship is traveling at the speed of light or so and has been for the last six thousand years. ...
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  • 540
2 votes
2 answers
136 views

What would a telescope need to be able to do to see all of the universe? [closed]

If humans are still around in say 2220, what would a telescope have to be able to do to see the edge of the universe (This is also with caveat of FTL being possible)
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6 votes
10 answers
3k views

How fast would a civilization with FTL spread out?

Let's say that a civilization has access to FTL. Let's say it is instantaneous so travel time between solar systems isn't a factor. How long would it take for them to spread out from their home solar ...
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