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Questions tagged [faster-than-light]

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

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10answers
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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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11answers
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How much would we learn from observing an FTL starship fly by?

On a mythical world almost identical to our own, deep space telescopes notice as an object appears out near the orbit of Jupiter. In the instance after its appearance, the light which bounced off it ...
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4answers
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What is more “plausible” as an FTL power source?

I’d like to avoid antimatter for a specific story purpose. In that case, which is a more “plausible” way to power an FTL drive: An artificial black hole An artificial neutron star (“neutronium”) ...
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Warp speed collision [duplicate]

I was hoping that i can get a more or less science based answer because theoretically warp drive is possible (but we cannot produce the amount of energy that it needs). I am here after this question ...
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3answers
108 views

Why does FTL travel require a human who can survive in space? [closed]

Imagine ftl space travel that requires modifications to the human body enabling them to survive in space without a spacesuit, possibly even truly skyclad. What mechanism for ftl travel might require ...
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5answers
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How to resolve the transporter conundrum in a FTL spaceship?

Imagine a spaceship capable of achieving faster than light travel uses several transporters to allow crew members to move around its interior at the constant speed of light. What happens to the crew ...
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2answers
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Can anyone explain this preprint physics paper for FTL travel?

I'm writing a Science Fiction tale, and I am trying to get something together on the FTL physics involved in the story. By chance I came across this paper, "A General Local Causality Principle of ...
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5answers
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FTL Existence provability?

Inspired by this question about learning from FTL, I wonder Is it even possible for anything to happen, that, if observed by us using methods available to us, will unmistakably and absolutely ...
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4answers
216 views

What effects would we see on Earth if the speed of light universally increased? [duplicate]

Traveling faster than light poses all sorts of physics problems, so most hard SF has had to handwave FTL. But if light were faster, then ships could be commensurately faster without violating ...
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3answers
247 views

A good way to explain FTL without literally referencing FTL? [closed]

So I making a story where there is FTL travel, but it is never referenced as actually being FTL. What is a good explanation of this, while still cutting a 4-light-year trip to a few hours?
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How to prevent superluminal traveling idiots from wrecking half of the universe?

Linked but not a duplicate of this question. An example of the problem During the last Star-Wars movie, I was dumbfounded by the sheer stupidity of admiral Holdo's move, during this particularly ...
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4answers
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What kind of faster-than-light travel is this and is it at least plausible?

I've had a fairly complex world built up in my head for several years and finally writing a story in it. One thing I'm struggling with is explaining the galaxy's faster-than-light traveling. It's not ...
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3answers
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Would quantum entanglement allow for FTL space-travel? [closed]

An important feature of quantum technology is entanglement (i.e., two or more particles are linked, so changes applied to one particle will be applied to the other entangled particles, no matter the ...
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10answers
575 views

Military Implications of Instantaneous FTL?

In an example future world, one can use some form of FTL to instantaneously transport any ship from one point to another point (within the same galaxy, to keep things simple). The device required to ...
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7answers
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FTL in a relativistic universe: can my scheme be exploited to make a time-machine?

The introduction of FTL travel/communication in a relativistic universe may effectively be equal to having a time-machine with all the problems that may entail for causality. I would like to avoid ...
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4answers
515 views

Would there theoretically be an accompanying effect to something moving beyond the speed of light?

I have only encountered the "Sonic Boom" a couple of times in my life, once when I was lucky enough to watch Concorde fly over my town in the late 70's. In a story I'm writing someone claims to have ...
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3answers
211 views

Are there any hypothetical FTL drives with a near-zero net energy loss in optimal conditions?

A hypothetical FTL drive that I have imagined takes energy to enter FTL state, but almost all of the energy is retrieved once exiting that state. This way energy requirements will be low enough to ...
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5answers
149 views

What resources would Earth want from a STL colonial civilization? [duplicate]

In the year 21XX, Earth sends several slower-than-light ships to colonize Earth-like planets. The atmosphere, topsoil mineral composition, and the frequency profile and intensity of light on these ...
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13answers
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A mechanism for a level interstellar playing field

So, this is a trope common to any number of science fiction worlds: humanity emerges from its solar system to discover that there are a bunch of alien races out there, but, importantly, at least the ...
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3answers
332 views

If an Alcubierre Drive is possible, can you communicate FTL without a vessel?

Assume that an Alcubierre drive is feasible. In fact, assume that one has been built. A superluminal starship can propel itself through space by distorting space in front of it and behind it. However, ...
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21answers
6k views

How to explain why humans weren’t encountered by alien species? [closed]

So, I’ve been writing a sci-fi novel that takes place a few centuries in the future. In the novels lore, it says that there was plenty of life throughout the galaxy, but humans were just contacted ...
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9answers
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Can industry work on a poor import schedule?

I've been working for some time on a universe in which there is limited FTL consisting of short (up to five light years at a time) jumps between points in space. The jumps take no time at all for ...
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2answers
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Escaping a blackhole with an Alcubierre drive?

If your ship just got trapped inside the event horizon of an super massive black hole, could the ship "accelerate" back out with an alcubierre drive?
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5answers
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Minimum speed required for a galaxy spanning empire

The dawn of the Galactic Empire! Assume that FTL travel and communication is possible, for simplicity we say c is the speed of light. Assume any speed of travel and communication < c*2^100 is ...
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13answers
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What plausible reason could I give for my FTL drive only working in space

I’ve created a fairly fleshed out, detailed FTL concept. Basically, you have a circular starship, with a ring of tungsten encircling that, held in place by an antigravity ring beneath it. The rim of ...
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5answers
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If you had a giant cutting disc 60 miles diameter and rotated it 1000 rps, would the edge be traveling faster than light? [closed]

As if there was a giant angle-grinder in space that slowly increased its speed. The question assumes that material exists to make this super-disk that doesn't rip apart. What happens as the edges ...
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5answers
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How could a civilization detect tachyons?

In an effort to work out a believable form of faster-than-light communications for my setting, I've ruled out a few things: wormholes (which are in use, but are too random in where they lead, to be ...
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3answers
297 views

Are there any issues with this FTL drive concept?

I asked a question earlier on here concerning Negative and Heavy Matter - hypothetical types of matter I created to have a working FTL drive. With some extra work, I’ve tweaked the concept and been ...
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8answers
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What would an external observer see when passed by an Alcubierre drive ship?

My answer to the question Is there a scientifically sound faster-than-light travel system for a spaceship? involved an Alcubierre-drive starship. However, that then got me thinking. What would an ...
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5answers
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Trying to make sense of a hyperspace type FTL

Can a 'hyperspace' make sense if matter entering it is very quickly 'dumped' out of hyperspace at another point in our space. That is to say, spaceship enters hyperspace and is almost immediately ...
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6answers
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What would happen if the speed of light was fundamentally faster?

Now maybe this belongs in physics, but I want it here because I'm interested in the impacts on our society if the speed of light (c) were to be 2x faster since the big bang. My first thoughts were ...
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2answers
709 views

What would be the ramifications if you were to increase the speed of light by at least a factor of 10? [duplicate]

I know that the wave lengths would be shorter but how would this extend habitable zones? Would zones disappear? Would other stars have an effect on Earth? If so, then would that counteract the ability ...
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3answers
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Non-causality-violating FTL travel. / Can omnipotence beat causality?

While building my sifi world I dug into ftl-travel and encountered these mean bullies, causality and relativity. They told me I can't have faster than light travel, because effect can't precede cause ...
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1answer
68 views

Superluminal signal to past (alien technology) [closed]

With our current understanding of physics it is not possible to send anything into the past (although GR mathematically allows it). Could an intelligent alien species with a 100,000+ year head start ...
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2answers
319 views

Alcubierre warp-lanes, what is the most stable way to create them?

2 informational references for Alcubierre fields can be found at the end of this question. Warp-lanes aren't a novelty in science-fiction. Space ships can use a specific route to go through a Galaxy ...
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4answers
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How would FTL travel appear through window of ship?

How would faster-than-light travel appear through window of a space vessel? All the movies and TV shows like Star Trek and Star Wars seem unrealistic: Star Trek credits: passing stars get bigger and ...
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0answers
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Can Artificial Expansion of Space Facilitate Dark Energy [closed]

Granted, not much is known about Dark Energy. Indeed, it may not even exist. What we know is that something is driving the expansion of space (understanding we do not live in a Hubble bubble). This ...
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5answers
399 views

Shooting down an enemy ship at FTL speeds

In the story I'm currently working on an alien race holds the monopoly on FTL travel. They're using a modified Alcubierre drive system, powered by Negative Mass. Humanity stumbles on a source of ...
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12answers
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How can I know where to point my spaceship?

Let's assume we have a working FTL drive and thus interstellar travel is possible, either by traveling at very high speeds or by instant teleportation (the two main subtypes of FTL drives in sci-fi). ...
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7answers
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Can this version of the Alderson Drive be used to violate causality?

I'm working on a simulator-type game which I want to be at least internally consistent, and which I'd like to work as close to reality as possible. That being said, it's set in space, which means to ...
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26answers
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FTL travel is impossible. How is interstellar trade possible?

Assume a universe depressingly like ours, in which special relativity holds. No hyperspace, no warp drive, no wormholes, and even the limited get-out clauses offered by real world physics either don't ...
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8answers
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How could an multi-world economy exist if FTL communication, but not travel, existed?

Imagine that we one day invent an ansible, capable of near-instantaneous FTL communication, but we can not transport physical matter any faster than light. Imagine also that we have gotten to the ...
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2answers
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Could faster-than-light supernova remnants form a star system?

Most current planets, and any inhabitants living on them, are ultimately the product of long-dead supernovas that exploded and sent matter across the universe, where it eventually got caught with ...
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9answers
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Is there a scientifically plausible faster-than-light communication system?

In series such as the Hyperion Cantos and Ender's Game, there exist fictional faster-than-light communication systems allowing either instantaneous, or near-instantaneous transmission of information. ...
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4answers
299 views

What kind of fuel would spaceships capable of faster-than-light travel use? [closed]

In my book series, faster-than-light travel is a thing, allowing the fastest spaceships to cross a Milky-Way-sized galaxy in a matter of days. The slower ships could manage that in about 2 weeks. ...
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18answers
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What mandates travel in an interstellar society?

A while ago this question on medieval travel was asked. I looked at it again today and it got me thinking about situations that would mandate travel in other settings, in particular what would force ...
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2answers
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Long-term effects of leaving everything you know - the aging issue

My current ongoing science fiction project has FTL travel that is instantaneous for the ships and their crews, but still, usually, takes years of real-time in the rest of the universe. This is going ...
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3answers
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How can I locate myself in a random point of space?

Some Context I'm creating a universe where humanity has reached the stars. They've colonized a few star systems and, obviously, FTL drives are a common thing. They basically jump you to another ...
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13answers
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Law enforcement in FTL civilization

The civilization has discovered an semi-unspecified type of FTL drive and spread among stars, but only a small portion of the stars in the galaxy is explored, settled and administered. Beyond the edge ...
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5answers
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Could alcubierre warp drives spell the end of fleet on fleet combat?

In this scenario let's assume that we have the technology, and exotic matter to build one and have the energy to reach the 0.62912863×10^11 GJ (700 kg mass energy equivalent) requirement under Harold ...