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Warp drive: Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

Warp drive is a form a faster-than-light travel. Human ships used warp drive by the 26th century and even into the 51st century.

Before Human life - and all life on Earth for that matter - even began, the Jagaroth created space ships that used warp drive. The drive could be set at Warp 1, Warp 2, or Warp 3, however, Warp 3 would have been suicide if the ship did not have fully working warp drive. (DW: City of Death)

Human ships of the 26th century were powered by antimatter, which may be required for warp drive. Should the navigational computers be tampered with while a ship is in warp drive, it could disintegrate. Warp drive-powered starships were in use up to and possibly beyond the 51st century. (DW: Earthshock, The Girl in the Fireplace)

Warp shunt technology, used by the Nestenes to reach Earth in 2005, could have been a form of warp drive. (DW: Rose)

Behind the scenes

The use of the term "warp drive" may have been a nod to the Star Trek franchise, which featured warp engines.

This article uses material from the "Warp drive" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 02, 2010

Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek content.

The warp core of a Galaxy class starship.

Warp drive is the primary propulsive force behind most advanced space vessels, propelling them faster than the speed of light. The drive does this by generating warp fields to form a subspace bubble that envelops the starship, distorting the local space/time continuum immediately around the ship and moving the starship at superluminal velocities. These velocities are referred to as warp factors.



Warp drive works by distorting the fabric of space to propel the vessel. Simply put, the drive "warps" space, both in front of and behind a starship, allowing it travel faster than the speed of light. Specifically, space/time is contracted in front of the ship and expanded behind it. The starship itself rests in a warp bubble between the two space/time distortions. This warped space, together with the region inside it, accelerates off at "warp speed" and the vessel then essentially "surfs" the wave in spacetime created by this distortion.

Travel at velocities exceeding the speed of light is possible in this fashion because the starship is, strictly speaking, stationary (relative to the space inside the warp bubble) while spacetime itself is moving. Since space/time itself is moving and the starship is not actually accelerating, it experiences no time dilation, allowing the passage of time inside the vessel to be the same as that outside the warp bubble. (ST novel: Captain's Blood) This results in a "rainbow" effect of visible light with stars streaking in all directions. The images of those stars wrapped around continuously, and distorted to viewers. (TOS novelization "Star Trek: The Motion Picture, TOS novel: Ex Machina) One of the few humans to have experienced this first hand, in an open, partial vaccum and survive is Jean-Luc Picard. (TNG episode: "Where No One Has Gone Before")

Modern Federation warp engines are fuelled by the reaction of deuterium and anti-deuterium, mediated through an assembly of dilithium crystals, which are nonreactive with antimatter when subjected to high-frequency electromagnetic fields. This reaction produces a highly energetic plasma, called electro-plasma, which is channelled by magnetic conduits through the electro-plasma system (EPS). The warp plasma is funneled to plasma injectors into a series of field coils, usually located in remote warp nacelles, which generate the desired warp field. Other civilizations use different power sources, such as artificial quantum singularities, but the basic process is similar. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual). Due to the heavy interference generated by warp drive emissions, Galaxy class vessels' long-range scanners are often limited. (TNG video game: Future's Past Super Nintendo Entertainment System)

Starships can engage their warp drives, while in the upper atmosphere of a planet, but the maneuver is very dangerous. To engage a warp drive in the lower atmosphere would be suicidal. When time traveling back to 1986, the HMS Bounty engaged the warp drive in Earth's upper atmosphere. (TOS novelization "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home") Nearly twenty years earlier, the USS Enterprise had done the same in the upper stratosphere of planet Psi 2000-using the same time travel method-nonetheless. (TOS episode: "The Naked Time")


Every culture in the galaxy discovered warp drive at their own pace and rate of development. The Vulcans (and, by extension, the Romulans) had warp drive in the 3rd century, A.D. (Earth calendar) - although the technology was lost during that planet's civil war, and was not reacquired until several centuries later and had reached the level of warp 7 by 2151, whilst the Klingons had a capability of warp 6 by the same year, although it is unclear when their experiments with the drive began. (TOS novel: Strangers from the Sky, ENT episodes "Broken Bow", "Unexpected", TOS episode: "The Enterprise Incident")

Humans had achieved warp drive for the first time in 2063. By the early 22nd century, they reached the level of warp 2, and by 2151 fielded the Enterprise (NX-01) - which had an engine capable of warp 5. Ten years later, humans had engines capable of sustaining warp 7. It was the rapid progress of humanity which led to the wide-scale exploration of the galaxy and the formation of the United Federation of Planets.

The development of the warp drive is recognized by the United Federation of Planets as the marker of an advanced society. It is only after a people develop warp drive that the Federation will make contact, as codified in the Prime Directive. (Star Trek: Star Charts).


Glimpses into alternate timelines and temporal anomalies have given Starfleet scientists the chance to see possible enhancements to the warp drive system. In a future glimpsed by Jean-Luc Picard, by 2395, the warp scale had been reworked again, allowing speeds of at least warp factor 13 (at least on board the USS Pasteur). (TNG episode: "All Good Things...").

However, it seems more likely that warp drive will be surpassed by newer forms of propulsion, such as the quantum slipstream drive. (VOY episode: "Hope and Fear").

See also


Translation articles from wIqImu'ghom: warp drive (Federation Standard) - pIvghor (tlhIngan Hol)


This article uses material from the "Warp drive" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

The USS Enterprise entering warp. (STNV: "To Serve All My Days")

Warp drive is a technology allowing faster-than-light travel through space, creating warp fields and forming a subspace bubble surrounding a starship, which, in turn, forms a distortion in space-time and allows the starship's movement to exceed the speed of light. The rates of movement above the speed of light are known as warp factors.



As different manifestations of the same general force, gravitational forces can be manipulated by applying precisely-controlled electromagnetic forces. Electromagnetic forces, therefore, can alter spacetime's geometry as gravity is simply a curvature of the latter. Warp drive alters spacetime's fabric, allowing the vessel to attain warp velocities.

In most known starships, a matter-antimatter reaction creates high-energy plasma. The plasma, in turn, flows through several warp coils, which are comprised mostly of verterium cortenide, an artificial material. This material bridges gravitational and electromagnetic forces, and, when shaped correctly, high-energy plasma can flow through it and create a "warp field". The interaction between the two can alter spacetime's geometry near and around the warp nacelles, creating multilayered waves of warped timespace, allowing the ship to jump to "warp" and cruise at a velocity greater than the speed of light. The ship itself, within the "warp bubble", does not travel faster than the speed-of-light as the area within the bubble is a pocket of "normal" space; therefore, the laws of physics are not broken. [1]

With the starship stationary within the warp bubble, exceeding the speed of light is possible, with spacetime itself (surrounding the warp bubble) moving. The occupants and starship do not experience any alteration to the normal passage of time, as time within and outside the bubble are the same (under normal circumstances).

A reaction between deuterium and antideuterium, tempered through a dilithium crystal assembly, allows 24th century Federation vessels to travel at warp speeds. Dilithium does not react with antimatter when high-frequency electromagnetic fields come into play. The reaction between the deuterium and antideuterium creates electro-plasma, a highly-energetic plasma. Magnetic conduits deliver the electro-plasma to the plasma injectors via the electro-plasma system (EPS). Once at the plasma injectors, the plasma flows into a series of field coils; these coils are usually housed in the warp nacelles aboard the ship.

Other civilizations, like the Romulans, utilize other power sources. In the case of the Romulans, this is an artificial quantum singularity. Overall, the basic process remains very similar amongst all warp-faring nations.

Some Federation Starfleet starships, like the Intrepid-class and Aotearoa-class have nacelles whose geometry can be altered via moveable pylons, allowing these types of starships to travel faster and damage subspace less (or not at all). Newer Starfleet ships, like the Sovereign-class, have had this issue addressed through redesigned nacelles, eliminating the variable-geometry pylons while allowing the faster velocities.

Parts of the system

System types


Cultures throughout the galaxy discover warp drive at different times. The Vulcans are known to have utilized warp drive as early as Earth's 3rd century; however, the Vulcans lost this ability during a planetary civil war, and they did not gain the capability again until several centuries later. By 2151, Vulcan warp drives could reach warp 7. (ENT: "Kir'Shara") Klingons, on the other hand, could travel at warp 6 in the same year, although not much is known about when they first became warp capable. (ENT: "Judgement") Humanity's gaining warp capability in the 21st century fostered a renaissance of exploration in the Milky Way Galaxy and fostered the formation of the United Federation of Planets.

Warp drive makes interplanetary trade and exploration possible. For example, Vulcan is approximately 16 light years from Earth. At 2270's top impulse speeds (warp factor 0.8), this journey would take 20 years between the two planets. At warp speeds, this same journey could take as little as 4 days. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Under the Federation's Prime Directive, Federation personnel are not to contact or openly interfere with a warp-incapable society or culture. (TNG: "First Contact")

21st century

Earth's Zefram Cochrane developed warp drive on the planet in the years following the disastrous planetary war, World War III. With hardship amongst the planet's people and the lack of advanced materials being generally available, he converted a Titan V missile to contain his warp-capable ship, the Phoenix. On 6 April 2063, Cochrane and a flight crew successfully tested the Phoenix, getting a passing Vulcan exploratory vessel's attention. This event was the catalyst for first contact between Earth and the Vulcans. (Star Trek: First Contact)

Cochrane's original design used fission, incorporating materials from the Titan V. Later developments of matter-antimatter reactors in later years would create more stability amongst the systems and allow humans to utilize it to its full potential.

22nd century

Despite humanity's great leaps and bounds in warp technology during the middle of the 21st century, the next 80 years brought very few changes. During the 2140s, Henry Archer created a warp engine able to break the "warp 2 barrier". Commanders A.G. Robinson and Jonathan Archer tested the engine in the second NX prototype, achieving warp 2.5 during the test. (ENT: "First Flight")

By 2151, some human starships could achieve warp 5: the starship Enterprise was one. (ENT: "Broken Bow") After its initial launch, Enterprise could only reach a maximum of warp 4.7, but, on 9 February 2152, it gained the ability to travel warp 5. (ENT: "Fallen Hero")

During the year of the Federation's founding, newer Starfleet vessels could reach warp 7 with their newly-configured warp drives. (ENT: "These Are The Voyages...")

23rd century

Between 2236 and 2254, the Federation made a major breakthrough in warp technology, breaking the "time barrier". This allowed Starfleet ships, such as those of the Constitution-class, a warp 6 cruising speed and emergency speeds up to warp 8. In some rare circumstances, vessels could even reach warp 9. (TOS: "The Cage")

Alien interventions or dangerous malfunctions saw warp speeds increase. The Kelvans modified the USS Enterprise's warp drive to achieve warp 11 in 2268, and, a few months later, an alien entity named Losira sabotaged the Enterprise, nearly tearing the ship apart at warp 14.1. (TOS: "By Any Other Name", "That Which Survives")

Starfleet redesigned the warp engine, and the Corps of Engineers replaced the cylindrically-shaped warp nacelles with a flatter, more rectangular design aboard Constitution-class refits during the 2270s. These new designs allowed for standard speeds of warp 8 and higher. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Starfleet also experimented with a new type of warp drive called transwarp during the 2280s. The theories behind this drive included greater efficiency and attaining higher warp velocities. Starfleet tested this failed technology aboard the USS Excelsior but deemed them unsuccessful. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) The Excelsior gained a conventional warp drive and continued to serve Starfleet. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

24th century

Sometime between the 23rd and 24th centuries, a new warp factor scale was created and used. With the original design based on a cubic power scale, the new scale worked exponentially, with warp 10 allowing a ship to be at infinite places and infinite times. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint"; VOY: "Threshold")

By 2364 and the launch of the Galaxy-class USS Enterprise-D, warp drives could sustain warp 9.6 for 12 hours; however, many engineers believed warp 9.2 was the "red line". (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

The Federation Council set a speed restriction of warp 5 after Hekaran scientist Serova revealed warp drive damaged spacetime. The limit could be broken in extreme emergencies. (TNG: "Force of Nature", "Eye of the Beholder")

The Corps of Engineers came up with a solution within eight months, adapting all vessels' warp drives to once again utilize maximum warp velocities. Some ships, like the Intrepid-class, were outfit with variable-geometry warp nacelles, while other ships, like the Sovereign-class, were fit with new nacelle designs from their launch. (VOY: "Caretaker"; Star Trek: First Contact)

25th century

At the start of the 25th century the pulse wave warp drive became a more efficient means of warp travel. Cruising speeds of warp 9.99 became commonplace with absolutely no damage to subspace as well as a highly improbable chance of artificial wormholes being created within strong gravity fields. This did however limit the effects of lightspeed breakaway. (Star Trek: Pioneer (PNR): "Destiny of Freedom", "Something Kinda New")

Another new warp technology utalized in the 25th century was multiple field warp drive which utilized many small incomplete warp fields paired with a stable one. (Journal of Applied Treknology)

Multiple field warp coil

Yet another warp technology was the extragalactic warp drive which allowed travel between galaxies. This technology was utilized by STAG. (Adventures of STAG)



External links

This article uses material from the "Warp drive" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 04, 2010
(Redirected to Hyperdrive article)

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

This article is about the technology. You may be looking for Hyperdrive, the band.

Hyperdrive propulsion systems (occasionally called warp drives) were vital starship components that allowed starships to enter hyperspace to traverse the vast distances of space at faster-than-light speeds, and thus were a key technology in the foundation of intergalactic society, trade and war. The construction and working principle of hyperdrives was based on Hyperdrive Theory. The term was used to describe the engine and all components required for its use, such as the hyperdrive motivator or hyperdrive field guide.

In numbers, the hyperdrive allowed travelers to traverse a galaxy spanning over 120,000 light years in only a few hours or days, the exact travel time depending on a number of factors including destination, point of origin, route, and class of hyperdrive.

The hyperdrive was generally built from a titanium-chromium compound. This compound was specially designed for hyperdrives to allow them to stand up against continual stress put on them jumping between the dimensions of realspace and hyperspace.



After receiving commands from a ship's pilot via paralight system, the process of a hyperspace jump began with the collection of gamma radiation by the field guide. A motivator would build up and modify the energy in a fusion generator through several kilometers of looped superconducting wire. To enter hyperspace, the hyperdrive's horizontal boosters would provide energy to the ionization chamber to begin ignition that would release the radiation, causing ripples in the time-space matrix and allowing the ship to propel off the ripples into hyperspace. Inertial dampers were used to protect the ship, crew, and cargo from being crushed by the tremendous acceleration of the jump. Once in hyperspace, a null quantum field generator helped stabilize the vessel and kept it from prematurely emerging from the alternate dimension. Shields also protected the ship from fatal collisions with interstellar gas and dark matter particles. To prevent the relativistic passing of time while in hyperspace, starships used stasis fields attuned to hyperdrive levels to keep organic onboard crews or cargoes "in time" with the standard galactic dimension.

Certain hyperdrives used anti-matter as fuel, stored in special anti-matter pods, though it remains unclear how this integrated with other hyperdrive mechanics.

Upon exiting hyperspace an unknown technology was used to decelerate the starship. Both entrances into and exits from hyperspace created wake rotation and Cronau radiation that produced a detectable signature often used to reconnoiter fleet movements or by planetary customs authorities. Other technologies, such as the 4-axial stabilizer and hyperdrive regulator kept the ship from being ripped apart by the physics of hyperspace travel. To prevent overheating, some hyperdrives made use of overheat fail safes, like a hyperspace shunt or transpacitor, or alluvial dampers to regulate the flow of ion particles used to provide superluminal thrust.

A hyperdrive could only initiate a jump into hyperspace when free of the gravitic pull of a major celestial body. Sublight engines were used to liberate the starship from a body's gravity well before the ship could jump. Hyperdrives included an automatic failsafe that cut out the hyperdrive when a gravity well was detected in the navigational path. While this was used to prevent a collision in the event of an astrogational error, the failsafe was manipulated by engineers to create artificial gravity wells, such as those used on Imperial Immobilizer 418 cruisers or Hapan mass mines, to either pull starships from hyperspace at a specific location or to prevent them from fleeing into hyperspace. This, of course, relied on either knowledge of a starship's travel pattern or being situated along a particularly popular hyperspace route. Some systems allowed an override of the failsafe, but it was known to have disastrous effects.

It is unclear if the Yuuzhan Vong's "Superluminal Transit" used the same principles as hyperdrive technology with mechanical parts replaced by organic creatures, or if it relied on an entirely different extragalactic method of travel.


Though the Columi developed interstellar travel nearly one hundred thousand years BBY, it is not known if they developed a true hyperdrive; what is known is that the fragile race soon gave up their interstellar travels to focus on other scientific and mental pursuits. The first interstellar space drive known to make use of hyperspace was developed by the Rakata, who built their Infinite Empire around technology using the dark side of the Force to travel through hyperspace.

Humans developed sleeper ships to first explore the stars, and later hyperspace cannons that boosted ships into hyperspace, before they in turn discovered the hyperdrive. At a similar time, the Devaronians and Gossam devised the tumble hyperdrive to explore the galaxy.

Around 25,053 BBY, almost two hundred years after the fall of the Infinite Empire, the peoples of the planet Corellia finally discovered ways of working around the Force-attuned components of the Rakata technology and produced their own version of the hyperdrive; the Duros also independently created such workarounds. Within twenty years the technology had been stabilized to the point of general use, and the Corellians began to sell hyperdrives to nearby star systems (though some considered the trade practices of the Corellians during this era to be exploitation).

The development of the hyperdrive was not limited to the Core Worlds. The Tionese of the Tion Cluster developed their own version of the hyperdrive by fusing bits of Rakatan technology with fixed-position hyperspace beacons, which allowed travel within a defined area but was dangerous when venturing outside the "lighthouse" network. This kept the Tionese isolated from the rest of the galaxy for millennia, though they occasionally encountered the growing Hutt Empire.

Thus the Expansionist Era, an age of colonization, exploration and unification, began; the seeds of the Galactic Republic were sown between the Core Worlds of Coruscant, Alderaan, Corellia, Duro, and Chandrila. As the Republic expanded, new members were granted access to the hyperdrive technology made available by the earliest starship manufacturers like Alderaan Royal Engineers, Core Galaxy Systems, Corellian Engineering Corporation and Rendili StarDrive.

Explorers began to test the realm of hyperspace while prospectors attempts to gain rights to what they anticipated as profitable routes. Hyperspace exploration was a risky but profitable business. The development of the Perlemian Trade Route and the Corellian Run established the earliest stable system of hyperlane travel. Astrogation maps became valuable commodities as scouts explored new planets, species and regions.

As the Republic began to process the incredible inflow of new information, the Republic Spacelane Bureau was formed and Coruscant became the navigational center of the Republic with the coordinate zero-zero-zero. The Spacelane Bureau fought to end private control of information regarding hyperlanes and established a protected set of beacons for major pathways to liberate them from the control of privately held charts. The technology allowed for a galactic economy to form fueled by standardized currency and the Core language of Basic. At the same time, the arrival of hyperdrive technology to warring worlds, such as Ando, produced disastrous results.

Over time, the hyperdrive became increasingly commonplace. Beyond the early foundation of the Republic, the Great Hyperspace war and subsequent expansion, hyperdrives would allow for many terrible wars and periods of tremendous prosperity. From the founding of the Republic forward, hyperdrive technology continued to be one of the driving features of galactic society.

Operational history

The earliest hyperdrives would be considered slow by the standards of the early third decade ABY. Limited in range and often unreliable, hyperdrives gradually advanced to allow increasingly large ships to travel increasingly longer distances with greater safety, ease and speed.

The development of navigational computers to handle complex astrogation calculations did away with the need for hyperspace beacons and jump gates, and ended the reliance on established routes; as long as a pilot knew where he was going, the NavCom could take him there.

Despite rapid advances in hyperdrive technology, the systems were too large to be practical for most small space faring vessels. Even by the last century of the Republic, many starfighters made use of hyperdrive rings and hyperdrive sleds to achieve superluminal travel. By the end of the Clone Wars, it became more common for starfighters and freighters to make use of onboard hyperdrives.

During the establishment of Palpatine's New Order, hyperdrive enabled ships commonly carried backup hyperdrives and few space worthy vessels relied upon larger, hyperdrive-enabled starships for transport.


Hyperdrive Classifications

The superluminal speed of a hyperdrive was rated on a decreasing scale; the faster the hyperdrive, the lower the rating. These ratings were generally referred to as "Classes" and provided a quick, although often inconsistent or inaccurate, idea of a ship's hyperdrive speed. It was based on an asymptotic scale with Class 0.0 being infinite speed. In 30 BBY, Class 3 drives were experimental, and by the end of the Clone Wars most military starships were using Class 3 or Class 2. During the Galactic Civil War, military capital ships and starfighters were generally equipped with Class 1 or Class 2, industrial freighters and haulers with Class 3 or Class 4, and civilian starships with Class 5 or above.

Some starships, such as the Millennium Falcon, underwent after-market modifications to achieve ratings of Class 0.5, and Dash Rendar's Outrider also had a hyperdrive Class 0.75, which was also achieved by modifications, although tampering with the generally stable technology of a hyperdrive was considered a dangerous activity. Boba Fett's Slave I had a class 0.7 hyperdrive. Hyperdrives built by those outside the sphere of the Galactic Republic, Galactic Empire and New Republic, such as the Hapan Froond-class hyperdrive, were not classed in the standard system, as controlled comparisons were difficult to attain. Some Zonama Sekotan ships were able to achieve a Class 0.4 by combining high class hyperdives with organic technology,[1] as did the Bes'uliik starfighter via fusion of Verpine and Mandalorian technology.

Additionally, some spacecraft, like the Theta-class shuttle, had backup hyperdrives of Class 15.


Sometimes, the hyperdrive malfunctioned while in operation. When this occurred, many things could happen, however most consequences are unknown and usually fatal.

Still, some malfunctions did not have such grim conclusions. Faulty relativistic shielding could expose passengers to the altered space-time continuum, causing a journey which seemed a few hours to actually take centuries in the real world. Bosbit Matarcher was known to have experienced this phenomenon. Some hyperdrives have also rattled out of their casings, destroying the engines (if not the entire ship).[2]

The Thorsen field driver was also a component that could fail. Although its failure did not stop a ship from entering hyperspace, it could cause physical damage to the ship and the crew when reaching lightspeed.[3]

Behind the scenes

While the majority of the Expanded Universe uses the classification system described above, the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn, however, uses an opposite system: the lower the rating, the slower the hyperdrive.

In the two roleplaying games based on Star Wars, Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game by West End Games and the Star Wars Roleplaying Game by Wizards of the Coast, the hyperdrive class acts as a multiplier for the base travel time. Thus, a Class 2 takes twice the listed time to travel a given route, while the Millennium Falcon's Class 0.5 takes only half the listed time.

It is important to note that the TIE Defender does have a Class 2 hyperdrive despite the guide's speed chart indicating it does not have one. The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels chart seems to have accidentally copied the TIE Interceptor stats for the TIE Defender and the mistake was not caught before going to publication.


This list is incomplete. You can help Wookieepedia by expanding it.


Notes and references

  1. Rogue Planet
  2.  225-year Old Man's Secret? Time DilationHoloNet News Vol. 531 48
  3. Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, First Edition

External links

This article uses material from the "Hyperdrive" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 05, 2010
(Redirected to Warp Drive article)

From Traveller Wiki - Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far future

Warp drive (or Alcubierre Drive) is an alternative interstellar propulsion mode to the Jump Drive that may be used for the universe setting.

Quoted from Wikipedia :

In 1994, the Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre
proposed a method of stretching space in a wave which would in theory
cause the fabric of space ahead of a spacecraft to contract and the
space behind it to expand. The ship would ride this wave inside a region known as
 a warp bubble of flat space. Since the ship is not moving within this bubble, 
but carried along as the region itself moves, conventional relativistic effects such as time dilation
do not apply in the way they would in the case of a ship moving at high
velocity through flat spacetime. Also, this method of travel does not
actually involve moving faster than light in a local sense, since a
light beam within the bubble would still always move faster than the
ship; it is only "faster than light" in the sense that, thanks to the
contraction of the space in front of it, the ship could reach its
destination faster than a light beam restricted to travelling outside
the warp bubble. Thus, the Alcubierre drive does not contradict the
conventional claim that relativity forbids a slower-than-light object
to accelerate to faster-than-light speeds.

This article uses material from the "Warp Drive" article on the Traveller wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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