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75 comments

  • BrewerHorse - October 25, 2012 6:26 p.m.

    I hate to be 'that guy' but it seems some don't appreciate how fundamantal the speed of light is. Sure, we can always have optimism and it's obviously worth persuing, but serioulsy, we're not gonna be able to travel faster than light. Certainly impossible to travel through spacetime faster. The clue is 'spacetime' it's not just about space, it's about time. Believe it or not we are travelling at the speed of light right now, we are fixed, it is the constant. But as we are not travelling through space (relatively....lol) we are travelling at the speed of light through time. That's what time dilation is about, travel through space, you have less speed to travel through time hence the slowdown (again.....relatively). Yes there are theories of dynamically changing the geometry of space[time] itself, as spacetime can travel as fast as it likes. But the energies (negative energy, I might add, which is no small point) involved are so unimaginable it will never happen. Seriously, it will never happen. Even harnessing the power prospects of antimatter would need amounts of it on a galactic scale. So yeah, dream on, but don't be too quick to presume we would ever acheive FLT......and I haven't even mentioned the time paradoxes, mass/momentum problem etc etc.
  • optimisticcynic - October 25, 2012 7:17 p.m.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/09/warp-drive-plausible/ Not saying it is going to happen but there is reason for optimism right now depending on how the experiment works. But yes I agree it doesn't seem likely that we will have FTL travel in out lifetime if it does turn out to work.
  • BrewerHorse - October 25, 2012 7:32 p.m.

    Fascinating, amazing, and a reason to be less pessimistic. Even so, struggling to get my head around what this would mean relativistically with time. Can't help but feel something weird is gonna build up on the edge of the 'bubble' which will manifest when disengaging the drive. But hey, I'm a layman, and hope it's possible while keeping the time scales reasonable ie, not finding yourself a billion years in the future lol. Would love to pick the theorists minds about this one over a joint ;)
  • optimisticcynic - October 28, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    actually what I read about it says that the drive collects matter that it hits and then compresses it. farther you go the more matter it collects. then when the field is turned off it kind of destroys anything in front of the ship... which would make a "we come in peace" sound slightly hollow.
  • Balaska - October 25, 2012 10:51 p.m.

    You are aware that the greatest minds of the day thought we would suffocate if we traveled above 30 mph, prior to steam trains arriving? It was also thought that the speed of sound was an insurmountable barrier. The nature of the fabric of the Universe is unknown to us. Never say never. Also Einstein was famous for being wrong, and stubborn, read up on Edwin Hubble (as in Hubble space telescope, not Einstein space telescope.)
  • Viron - October 25, 2012 6:21 p.m.

    Hey in civ 5 I was able to beat a nuclear powered deathbot with nothing but long bowmen. It didn't make any sense but I did it.
  • kyle94 - October 25, 2012 6:13 p.m.

    Honestly, one thing that I always found a bit odd with video games (and really any sort of sci-fi media) is that aliens are always extremely similar and stereotypical. There are exceptions, but they're far from the rule. If a race is able to spread across an entire planet, becoming the dominant lifeform as one would expect from a sentient species, there would be genetic differences such as the ones found in humans. Not necessarily different skin color or hair color or some equivalent, but some sort of visual difference. And, like I said, it always seems like there are more diversity shown in humans than aliens. Hell, the aliens resemble how planets are shown. There's an all ice planet, and there's a race that loves war. There's an all forest planet, and there's a race that are all traders. There's an all desert planet, and there's a race that are all peace-lovers. While the argument could be made that their culture is much more homogenized than human culture, the big question is "why?" How can they be spread over a planet or several planets, and have a single religion, or a single language, or a single culture? ...I've thought too much about this.
  • xXxsilentassassinxXx - October 25, 2012 6 p.m.

    But you guys contradict yourself in point three saying in the headline "Wars would be evenly matched", but then at the end of the paragraph say that "They'd either be vastly behind or vastly ahead." So which is the point you are trying to make.
  • kyle94 - October 25, 2012 6:07 p.m.

    The headlines are the lies told by video games. The paragraph debunks it.
  • lilspooky - October 25, 2012 5:49 p.m.

    Wait... So in space someone can hear you scream?
  • sagar-bhatnagar - October 25, 2012 5:42 p.m.

    Alright, this article's amazing except for one thing....large ships are actually entirely conceivable in space. Weight has no concept in the void, and large ships would just be more cumbersome, weight would have almost no factor in a universe that contains such massive celestial bodies
  • kyle94 - October 25, 2012 5:59 p.m.

    Weight wouldn't be a problem. Mass would. Keep in mind the whole "An object in motion will stay in motion until acted on by a force", and the force needed to accelerate an object increases with mass. What does that mean in space? Well, it means that you're going to be burning a lot of fuel if you have a big ship and you want to either speed it up or slow it down. And fuel is limited, and expensive.
  • taokaka - October 25, 2012 9:54 p.m.

    After attending a talk from the scientist Karl Kruszelnicki recently I believe large ships could be possible, he said that one of the proposed applications of our recent confirmation of the higgs-boson is the ability to remove the higgs field which is what gives mass its properties. If this is applied to spaceships we could theoretically have zero mass spaceships and this opens up plenty off possibilities because I doubt a zero mass object would follow the laws of classical physics so the issue of fuel for travel may not concern us.
  • kyle94 - October 25, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    I'm no expert in any sense of the term when it comes to astronomy, quantum mechanics, or physics. However, unless I'm wrong, photons travel at the speed of light because they don't have mass. So, I suppose I can see how an object without mass could travel at the speed of light. However, at the same time, I have no idea (nor does anyone at this time, really) on how to manipulate the Higgs Field to actually be able to remove mass, so to speak. And, if that was indeed possible, and our theories about the existence of a Higgs Field are correct (as a lot of it is still theoretical), there's no telling what side effects there can be by removing mass. And, if it turns out to be safe and possible, then just traveling at the speed of light would do some really weird stuff involving time.
  • Andrew Groen - October 26, 2012 11:44 a.m.

    You're killing it here, man. Keep up the great answers. That's my thought. Side effects. You likely can't mess with an atom's atomic structure and still expect it to behave the same way.
  • theintellectual - October 25, 2012 10:21 p.m.

    Actually any starship designed to travel between, y'know, STARS is going to be retiredly huge, although around 98% of that mass is going to consist of fuel, propulsions systems, and giant radiators so that the people and equipment on board don't fry to death.
  • theintellectual - October 25, 2012 10:33 p.m.

    *retardedly
  • Andrew Groen - October 26, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    This. Gravity or no gravity it still takes more energy to move something huge than something small.
  • Scuffles - October 25, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    Eventuality, assuming we don't blow ourselves up I really don't think traveling vast distances between stars or by proxy communications between solar systems/galaxies will be a huge issue. Possibly at first if we go the whole generational ship rout. Science has proven in the past to poses the potential for near exponential advancement oft in the form of radical science shattering epiphanies. Humans are habitual tool users, we can't help it.... again assuming we don't blow ourselves up. Sadly we are at that slow and cludgy point in space travel where we are essentially banging rocks together, haven't even gotten to fire yet.
  • JinHalloway - October 25, 2012 4:47 p.m.

    I have to disagree with number 8. Unless we figure out a way to make our plasma beams or missiles travel faster than the speed of light, ships would have to get close to one another in order to battle and have a reasonable chance of actually doing any damage to the other ship. Given how difficult it is for us to even figure out how to travel faster than light, let alone actually perform it, being able to do the same with missiles and plasma beams, which are too small/made of plasma to attach an engine capable of traveling faster than light, is fairly unlikely.
  • Scuffles - October 25, 2012 5:14 p.m.

    If I was a betting man I would say that our ships won't travel faster than light* so normal speed weapons will probably be adequate :P Anyhow if we do somehow manage normal travel at the speed of light I would think battling would be the least of our worries. Most of our worry would be slamming into the myriad of space junk floating around the cosmos at aforementioned light speed. *I'm leaning towards more of the warping/folding technologies that mean traveling faster than light without actually traveling faster than light.

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