Research Shows Faster-than-Light Warp Is Possible (Probably)

  • It will take a faster-than-light “observer”. general relativity to new quantum places.
  • In new research, a lead scientist explains why One space f One Not enough time for this scenario.
  • Symmetry is Physics A concept that dates back to the time of Galileo.

The secret to faster-than-light physics may be doubling the number of dimensions, according to New Research Published last month in the magazine Classical and quantitative gravity. Specifically, the solution may lie in three Dimensions from the time, with only one space. The math is deep and complex, but the insights may be within our grasp after all. And there’s one trick sport at breakneck speeds that might “flip” your cover.

The main idea being presented here is that of the “ultraluminous observer”. “Superluminal” means faster than light Excellent– means “most” or “most”, and –Bright Like, well, Lumiere from Beauty and the beast, and the lumens that power a home movie projector. A superobserver is a hypothetical object that looks at the universe while traveling faster than light. It’s you in Star Trek warp speed Transfer service.

Star Trek

The Galileo II (NCC-1701/7) is shown in Star Trek Episode “The Road to Eden”. Pictured are William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock. The episode was originally broadcast on February 21, 1969.

CBS Photo Archive//Getty Images

Super-observers are cool because they somehow marry two very different sides of physics: general relativity and Quantum mechanics. General relativity is the work exemplified by Albert Einstein, which governs how space-time works when objects move around the universe at subconscious speeds or slower-than-light. Quantum mechanics explains how subatomic particles act or No She behaves in very strange ways on the smallest of scales.

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Research team – led by a theoretical physicist Andrey Dragan from the University of Warsaw and the National University of Singapore – theorized that many parts of quantum physics, such as indeterminacy and overlap, can be explained if you take general relativity and apply its principles to the superluminous observer. In other words, how chaotic would space-time be if we took our shuttle up to warp velocity? Is everything suddenly in multiple places at once?

Dragan’s new work indicates that it is at least a possibility. Perhaps most intriguing is the way in which general relativity becomes a quantum phenomenon at speeds greater than Noor It doesn’t seem to present any causal paradoxes. in previous jobpublished in New Journal of Physics In March 2020, Dragan and his colleagues studied “only” one space dimension and one time dimension, known as 1 + 1. In the new paper, the researchers upped the ante to include one spatial dimension and three Dimensions of time, or 1 + 3.

When time and space flip math

Why do we need three dimensions of time? In order to understand, we have to talk about some mathematics. “[D]Despite our common perception, time and space are strikingly similar according to relativity, and the only difference mathematically between them is a minus sign somewhere in the equations,” Dragan explains. This is a subtle difference in complex mathematics, but consider the example of algebra for the difference of two squares: x² – 16, for example, is the result of (x – 4)(x + 4).With a single inverted sign, the middle term is in polynomial falls away.

But when the observer is traveling faster than the speed of light, the difference in signs also changes. This is because time and space must be the same Faces In mathematics. “The time of the observer above the luminosity becomes the place of the lower clock, and its place becomes time,” says Dragan. In other words, the space and time of an ordinary non-lightspeed observer converts into the time and space, relatively speaking, of the faster-than-light observer. “So you should exchange their corresponding signals.”

In a 1 + 1 scenario, this means that the two dimensions are the same, which makes them redundant. If 50 = 50, does it matter which is 50? (In logic, we call this tautology.) This means that if we really want to study space and time as different things, we have to add a second “set” of two Dimensions: space and time 1, together, represent space; While time 2 and time 3, together, represent the time. It’s not exactly the difference between two squares, but we have two balanced sets of dimensions.

Symmetry in Physics

Colorful spheres on a light bar

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There is another interesting aspect of this research, because Dragan’s team wants to show that even at ultra-high speeds, physics exhibits symmetry.

“The idea of ​​symmetry in physics can be traced back to Galileo,” says Dragan. “He noticed that no matter how fast we are moving, as long as that speed is constant, our physics remains the same. A parrot flying in a moving ship experiences the same dynamical laws as when it is ‘at rest’ on Earth.”

Galileo Galilei I was An influential Italian scientist who lived during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As an elderly man, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for declaring that the earth revolves around the sun!

But our understanding of physics is limited by the long-held (and reasonable!) belief that nothing can travel faster than light, Dragan explains. This means that the super-observer, by definition, exists as a kind of exception in which we must work to extend the idea of ​​symmetry. Is it possible that a superluminous observer would still be subject to symmetry? Does a parrot traveling faster than light still like a parrot in a ship or on land?

“We have argued that this additional limiting assumption is not necessary,” says Dragan. He believes that symmetry might extend to speeds faster than the speed of light, and our parrot friend would be affected by the same laws of physics while traveling in a warp speed shuttle.

Towards a grand unified theory

So, this paper is not about travel At warp speed, but rather an analysis of physics to show how we can bring two very different branches of physics together. Why is this, in and of itself, so important?

“Others have considered the idea of ​​more than one time dimension over the years, so this particular hypothesis is nothing new,” Harold “Sonny” White, former NASA physicist and founder of The Infinite Space Institute (LSI), a group that funds and encourages far space travel and physics research Popular Mechanics. But the mathematical framework developed by the authors in this published paper is unique. The authors’ perceived benefit of this effort appears to be that it establishes a mathematical basis for why we need a field theoretical framework.”

Write Einstein's equation on the board

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What is the theoretical framework of the field? It’s the big picture of physics that can bring it all together. “[I]And we imagine Standard models of physics As a Venn diagram, there would be two circles side by side touching at one tangent point,” White explains. “The idea of ​​a large unified field theory might be conceived of as a larger circle surrounding both smaller circles.”

Showcasing their work, these researchers point to a really specific way in which one big basket of physics — rather than two we’re not sure how to carry at the same time — makes more practical sense. And Mathematical terms.

Well, sure, you might be thinking: All this super glossy gossip is interesting. But warp speed itself is science fiction, right? (At least for now: White’s LSI Education funds This may eventually lead us elsewhere.) The Super Monitor is just an intellectual exercise. . . right?

Dragan is not sure. “The last remaining question,” he concludes, “is whether superluminous objects are merely a mathematical possibility, or if they actually do exist.” “We believe the latter case is this one, and that is the purpose of our further research.”

This means that our warp-velocity shuttle, once as far as science fiction writers could imagine, could embody an elegant theory that combines two very different kinds of physics. In fact, the objects in the high-gloss mirror may be closer than they appear.

Head shot by Caroline Delbert

Caroline Delbert is a writer, avid reader, and contributing editor at Pop Mech. She’s also passionate about just about everything. Her favorite subjects include nuclear energy, cosmology, the mathematics of everyday things, and the philosophy of it all.

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