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

For a hypothetical vehicle traveling in an Alcubierre bubble at faster-than-light (FTL) velocities, what would happen when the leading edge of the bubble encounters incident particles or photons?

Let's say either a stationary particle of matter, a photon traveling in the opposite direction to the vehicle, or a photon traveling in the same direction as the vehicle. Would they ultimately end up inside the bubble to encounter the vehicle traveling within?

share|cite|improve this question

1 Answer 1

This ArXiv pre-print by Brendan McMonigal actually answers this problem! He considers particles of velocities ranging from $-c$ to $+c$ (the sign denoting direction relative to the bubble, I believe) and finds that, for the most part, the particles would indeed enter & exit the bubble (receiving a velocity boost) without much trouble.

The trouble, however, is that this particles can damage the shuttle and passengers within the bubble!

share|cite|improve this answer

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.