Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am a layman. I am aware that the Alcubierre Drive has not yet been proven to be possible, but there is something about the concept itself that I am confused about. If there is no movement within the bubble, how is time measured inside the bubble? If there is no velocity, what is time measured against?

share|cite|improve this question
It's orthogonal to your question, but note that Alcubierre Drive's require an exotic form of matter (with negative energy density) unlike any we have evidence for existing. Such matter leads to other bizarre effects within the framework of general relativity, including some related to closed time-like curves. – Jess Riedel Jul 8 '13 at 18:14
More on Alcubierre Drive: – Qmechanic Jul 8 '13 at 18:19
It may be unlikely to get a good answer, because this subject has many questions before. I would encourage you to edit your question, and in doing so, present your logical thought process to the best of your ability. The more specific, the more likely someone can offer quality information. – Alan Rominger Jul 8 '13 at 21:44

The passage of time inside the bubble will be the same as outside the bubble; the passengers inside the bubble will be able to transfer between points separated by vast distances as if they were effectively moving faster than the speed of light but locally this is not the case since it is impossible to move faster than the speed of light locally. The bubble itself will have regions of incredible tidal forces and time dilation however the positive and negative curvatures will in a way cancel out around at the bubbles surface making this possible.

share|cite|improve this answer
Yes..... "possible" – Jim May 23 '14 at 18:30

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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