|Since light is very effective at "twisting" space
and time if a suitable spacecraft were to have a
very concentrated, spinning, sphere of light
around it, would it be able to "twist" space to
travel at or faster than light, kind of like
Alcubierre warp drive?
|Question Date: 2007-06-19|
Light only bends space-time because it has
energy,just like anything else. It is no more
effective than ordinary matter (from an
Engineering prospective, it would be worse than
ordinary matter, because ordinary matter has rest
mass and can be stored easily).
been some speculation of enabling some form of
hyperspace by reducing the distance between two
points for a vessel to travel.Worm holes are
another popular speculation. The fact is that both
of these depend on theories of quantum mechanics
applied to gravity, and no evidence of these has
ever been observed. Because matter behave
saccording to quantum mechanics and gravity both,
the two areas of physics MUST mesh somehow, but
the exact details of that are utterly unknown. I
think I can safely say that who ever figures it
out is going to get the Nobel Prize.
If light can indeed twist space-time, the
effect is extremely small. A spinning object can
twist space-time, which was predicted by Einstein
and recently verified by the Gravity Probe B
Earth is a pretty large, spinning object,
but it took 22 years to come up with an experiment
that could measure its twist of space-time. And
it's not clear (at least not to me) that light can
be made to twist space-time at all. Another
problem with using light to generate an Alcubierre
warp drive is that you have to confine the light
somehow, like with a set of mirrors. But the
mirrors are outside the bubble, so they can't go
any faster than the speed of light, which means
the bubble itself can't go the speed of light.
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