Science fiction is as the name suggests the fiction of science. I thought it would be a fun, interesting and at times mind bending idea too look at the science behind some of the technology in science fiction and look under the hood to see what’s required to make it work or what barriers are in the way.
Science in Sci-Fi – Faster than light Travel
Whether it’s Star Trek, Star Wars, Star Gate or one of many sci-fi flavours there are – spacecraft that can travel faster than light are necessary to get from one place to another fast enough that the story can work. Without this technology stories would takes years, decades or even hundreds to years complete. This simply isn’t practical for story telling but travelling the vast distances of the cosmos.
So the question has to be asked – can we travel faster than light and how practical is it?
How does the faster than light travel Work?
It has to be noted before I get too far into this there is a rather severe problem with travelling faster than the speed of light (in a vacuum) and this is that the speed of light in a vacuum is the speed limit for anything in the universe – at least according to current physics.
There are various ‘methods’ in Sci-Fi used to explain how star ships can move at these speeds. Star Trek uses an antimatter driven ‘warp’ drive that warps space and time around the spaceship. Star Wars uses a term called ‘hyperspace’ which although not explained is likely to be something similar. The long and the short of this is that it needs a lot of energy t travel at near light speeds.
How much energy? Not as much as required for a wormhole but more than for teleporting… that kind area.
It also depends on how far you want to go, the reason for this – it takes energy to push something forward. Even for a tiny particle that has energy – putting energy into it gives a push back so it wouldn’t be possible to push even a tiny particle to the speed of light, let alone a star ship.
What are the Challenges?
Just like with many of the other challenges with other technologies – it’s energy. The fusion or antimatter energy generation systems that the light speed drives work on just aren’t yet available. In the case of antimatter we can only create a few atoms at a time – so it’s going to take a while just to get the fuel.
Basically we’re stuck at the relative snail’s pace that we currently move at. So we’re not going to be visiting any other star systems yet.
© Simon Farnell 2013 – 2022
Hello there bloggies! I can’t believe we’re already 10 days into August and I’ve not posted for a few week. That’s a bit bad of me… Over here on this little island the ship is sinking with no one at the helm, or we would be sinking if it wasn’t quite so dry here, we’re … Continue reading Blog Orbit – Blog Date August 2022
Back in early spring when food was hard to come by for all our feathered and furry friends the local squirrel (or one of them) was as is usual helping himself to the birsds nuts and it seems they were having some difficulty getting to the nuts inside. This was evident from the way the … Continue reading The Squirrel Cage Cutter
This is my Blog Battle Entry for July 2022 and the prompt is Hatch. Figel and the Intern Figel Narage was one of the most annoying, self righteous and obnoxious individuals to work at the Jacob and Bradley management consultancy. He was also totally incompetent however he had managed through all kind of obnoxious schemes … Continue reading FIGEL and the intern