Warp drive




There is sufficient credible evidence of UFOs that proves exotic technologies exist that could change the world. We are aiming to build a spaceship that turns into a ball of light, and disappears, and that can travel instantaneously through space by means of engineering the fabric of spacetime. Most call it antigravity, but we are aiming to engineer spacetime itself. No one person, one government, nor one hidden institution should own this technology. Invest now, and own technology that will seem like majic.

 —  Tom DeLonge


 “ Physicists are not afraid of big numbers, and we are not afraid of words like hypothetical and exotic, but to put this energy in perspective, we would need to convert all of Jupiter’s mass into energy to even hope to distort (warp) spacetime around an object.

  • Dr.  Ian O’Neill,  Ph.D.,  Physicist



Dear Tom DeLonge and David Pares,

Hello, and congratulations on your advanced space propulsion efforts.

If you still remain under strong impression that you are experimentally warping spacetime, then I hope you also know what is it exactly that you are warping?

Please, tell me, what spacetime is made of?!

Does spacetime exist as a real physical entity, or is it just a convenient way of describing gravitational interactions among physical objects?

The hidden issue underlying all this discussion is the question of the ontological nature of spacetime: Does spacetime indeed exist as a real physical entity, or is it just a convenient way of describing relationships among physical objects? Is it absolute or relational? I will not pursue this contentious point here. I emphasize that the discussion in this paper is about models, or representations, of spacetime, rather than making any ontological claims about the nature of spacetime itself. However, I do believe that the kind of proposal made here could provide a useful starting point for a fresh look at the ontological issue, and from there a renewed discussion of the degree to which our representations of the nature of spacetime are an adequate representation of its true ontological nature.

In my opinion, spacetime does not exist as a real physical entity, and is merely a mathematical construct, which neither can be physically bent, curved, warped, nor can it wave.The reason for my opinion is that if spacetime were to be a real physical entity, then it would follow that it must be composed of something physical, like matter, or energy. If so, then spacetime could not only be easily experimentally detectable, like air of our atmosphere, but also it could be quantized. However, one of the reasons that we do not yet have a theory of quantum gravity, is that it was simply impossible to quantize spacetime:

Well, how would you expect to realistically quantize something that does not exist as a real physical entity that is made of matter, or energy?And, by the way, spacetime is not made of quantum vacuum, either. Then maybe spacetime is made of very, very tiny, special, invisible and undetectable spacetime atoms” ?

Unfortunately, if spacetime were to be made of matter, like “spacetime atoms”, then wouldn’t we effectively have the same old Luminiferous Aether that had already been consigned to the Museum of Scientific Blunders?

The most important and fundamental issue is this:

As a real physical entity, what exactly is spacetime made of?!

Is it possible to detect not just the physical existence of how this “fabric” allegedly bends, curves, warps, or waves, but simply to detect the physical existence of this “fabric”, apart from it bending, curving, warping, or waving? Is it possible to detect the physical existence of antything (large-scale) that is not bending, curving, warping, or waving?

The above is the reason why, according to Frank Wilczek, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the most disturbing question in physics is:

Why doesn’t empty space weigh anything ?!


Nobody really knew what gravity was and how it worked, other than Newton mathematically quantifying its observable effects. So, the trick that Einstein pulled off, called GTR, was conveniently replacing one mystery (Newtonian gravity) with another mystery, i.e. his experimentally undetectable spacetime that curves due to object’s mass, while itself not being made of anything physical, akin to Cheshire cat’s grin that is hanging there, without the actual cat being present: 


My answer to the question: What exactly is spacetime made of ?,  is that spacetime is, obviously, made of space and time.

To quantify “time”, we use physical devices called “clocks”, and to quantify “space”, we use various linear, or other devices. But why there isn’t any device that we could use to quantify spacetime ?!

Now, the question is: Does a clock go around, because time physically flows through it, like flowing water that is powering a water-wheel?

And, when the clock stops, does it mean that it is because time stopped, and is not “flowing” anymore? It is quite clear that a clock is not a device that could, even in principle, detect the physical existence of time passing, or not passing (static time). There is no such device that could, even in principle, detect the physical existence of time (passing, or not) nor the velocity of its possible “flow”.

And there is no such device that could detect the physical existence of space, nor the actual number of dimensions that space might have.

I know, at the first glance it looks like space must have 3 dimensions (at least). At the first glance it also looks like the Earth is flat and motionless, and it looks like color is a property of physical objects. Because appearances can be deceiving, scientific method prefers objective experimental results. When a cosmonaut’s spaceship comes back to Earth after traveling long time at near-the-speed-of-Light velocity, and his clock is late, relative to clocks on Earth, then what does it mean? Well, maybe cosmonaut’s clock electric battery is running low?

Wait a minute! For the Nobel Prize to be awarded, something physically real must have been detected!

No doubt.  But whatever that was, it was not the fabric of the Cosmos waving that was detected.

Maybe it was just noise that was being misinterpreted?  Impossible? If the correlation properties of signal and the noise are similar, how is one to know precisely what is signal and what is noise?

For the fabric to wave, the Emperor’s clothes would have to be made of something physically real.

Yes,  it is that simple.

The Emperor has no clothes.



Just when I was getting excited about the possibility of travelling to distant worlds, scientists have uncovered a deep flaw with faster-than-light-speed travel. There appears to be a quantum limit on how fast an object can travel through space-time, regardless of whether we are able to create a bubble in space-time or not…  First off,

we have no clue about how to generate enough energy to create a “bubble” in spacetime.

This idea was first put on a scientific grounding Michael Alcubierre from the University of Mexico in 1994, but before that was only popularized by science fiction universes such as Star Trek. However, to create this bubble we need some form of exotic matter fuel some hypothetical energy generator to output 1045 Joules (according to calculations by Richard K. Obousy and Gerald Cleaver in the paper “Putting the Warp into Warp Drive“). Physicists are not afraid of big numbers, and we are not afraid of words like “hypothetical” and “exotic”, but to put this energy in perspective,

we would need to convert all of Jupiter’s mass into energy to even hope to distort (warp) spacetime around an object.

This is a lot of energy. If a sufficiently advanced human race could generate this much energy, I would argue that we would be masters of our Universe anyway, who would need warp drive when we could just as well create wormholes, star gates or access parallel universes. Yes, warp drive is science fiction, but it’s interesting to investigate this possibility and open up physical scenarios where warp drive might work. Let’s face it, anything less than light-speed travel is a real downer for our potential to travel to other star systems, so we need to keep our options open, not matter how futuristic.

Although warp speed is highly theoretical, at least it is based on some real physics. It’s a mix of superstring and multi-dimensional theory, but warp speed seems to be possible, assuming a vast supply of energy. If we can “simply” squash the tightly curled extra-dimensions (greater than the “normal” four we live in) in front of a futuristic spacecraft and expand them behind, a bubble of stationary space will be created for the spacecraft to reside in. This way, the spaceship isn’t travelling faster than light inside the bubble, the bubble itself is zipping through the fabric of space-time, facilitating faster-than-light-speed travel. Easy!

Not so fast. According to new research on the subject, quantum physics has something to say about our dreams of zipping through space-time faster than c. What’s more, Hawking radiation would most likely cook anything inside this theoretical space-time bubble anyway. The Universe does not want us to travel faster than the speed of light.

On one side, an observer located at the center of a superluminal warp-drive bubble would generically experience a thermal flux of Hawking particles,” says Stefano Finazzi and co-authors from the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy. “On the other side, such Hawking flux will be generically extremely high if the exotic matter supporting the warp drive has its origin in a quantum field satisfying some form of quantum inequalities.”

In short, Hawking radiation (usually associated with the radiation of energy and therefore loss of mass of evaporating black holes) will be generated, irradiating the occupants of the bubble to unimaginably high temperatures. The Hawking radiation will be generated as horizons will form at the front and rear of the bubble. Remember those big numbers physicists aren’t afraid of? Hawking radiation is predicted to roast anything inside the bubble to a possible 1030K ( the maximum possible temperature, the Planck temperature, is 1032K ).

Even if we could overcome this obstacle, Hawking radiation appears to be symptomatic of an even bigger problem; the space-time bubble would be unstable, on a quantum level.

Most of all, we find that the RSET [renormalized stress-energy tensor] will exponentially grow in time close to, and on, the front wall of the superluminal bubble. Consequently, one is led to conclude that the warp-drive geometries are unstable against semiclassical back-reaction,” Finazzi adds.

However, if you wanted to create a spacetime bubble for subluminal (less than light speed) travel, no horizons form, and therefore no Hawking radiation is generated. In this case, you might not be beating the speed of light, but you do have a fast, and stable way of getting around the Universe. Unfortunately, we still need “exotic” matter to create the spacetime bubble in the first place…

Dr.  Ian O’Neill,  Ph.D., Physicist



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