Recently Harold white, NASA scientist shared his knowledge and the things he is working on. That is Warp drive for interstellar navigation. This spaceship compresses the space in front of it and expands the space behind it. So the ship is able to move faster than light. In stead it moving it just warps the space around it. According to Einsteins General theory of relativity its possible.

Now I am thinking what will happen when some asteroid or big mass come in front of it, when its in motion. I cant think of anything.

Anybody has any idea?

  • $\begingroup$ This might seem like SciFi/fringe physics, but it's actually pretty interesting. What kinetic energy does a spaceship have in Alcubierre's and similar schemes? It's probably tricky to even define $E_{kin}$ in warped spacetime. There are two extremes I could see happen: the asteroid strikes the ship with extreme energy like in a kinetic bombardement; or the asteroid enters the area of curved space and then just sits in front of the ship. Maybe it is even deflected, because the geodesics do around the ship? It would be instructive to see how to calculate the kinetic energy and the geodesics... $\endgroup$ – jdm Jun 20 '14 at 9:10

The only work I know is in the paper The Alcubierre Warp Drive: On the Matter of Matter, and this deals with individual particles rather than macroscopic objects. The rather surprising result is that the particles get trapped in the field, then when the drive stops they are suddenly released, probably causing an almighty explosion.

So I would expect that a macroscopic object like an asteroid would be ground to fine particles by the tidal forces, and those particles would be trapped by the field. The moment you turn the drive off, and the field collapses, you'd discover an asteroid mass of fine dust headed for you at some indeterminate but high speed. The results probably wouldn't be pretty.

  • $\begingroup$ Had I seen this 2+ hours ago, I would have linked the same paper (though it would've taken me a long time to remember what it was called). Very nice! $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jun 20 '14 at 13:56

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