Sunday, November 29, 2009

FTL Propulsion Drive progress

Goals of this hyper-drive website
1. To show that FTL (faster than light) propulsion is possible within the context of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.
2. To divorce FTL propulsion from time travel.
3. To introduce a method of FTL propulsion that neither violates causality nor includes time travel in its definition.
4. To connect hyper-drive physics with common sense.

Before I can introduce FTL propulsion, it will be necessary to explain some basic laws of motion.  This website is meant to explain hyperdrive physics to the public/layperson using a basic framework of classical mechanics, relativity and quantum mechanics.  Since the general public cannot be expected to be familiar with these subjects, everything will be explained at the high school physics level.  This will allow a better conceptual understanding of what is happening.  If you're already familiar with physics, by all means proceed to the hyper-space experiments; FTL propulsion will be explained after that.

Basics of the Laws of Motion
Velocity, v, can be defined as how fast you are going, and in what direction. On the highway, if a traffic cop pulls behind you, you will look at your speedometer and check your speed. If you’re going north on the freeway, you know your direction; this constitutes a simple velocity check.  For example, v=50m/s north.

Conservation of energy is a primary principle of physics. This principle will be observed in hyper-drive physics, as well. In simple terms, it means that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can change form. It can also be carried away by light or other means. I assert that it can also move between our space-time and hyper-space, under appropriate conditions.
There are two kinds of energy, kinetic energy, K, and potential energy, U. Kinetic energy is algebraically described as, K = ½ mv2. Mass m, will be measured in kilograms (kg). Kinetic and potential energy are measured in joules.

If you lift up a rock, from the ground to a height, d, in front of you, it will have potential energy given as U = mgd, where m is mass, g is the acceleration of gravity and d is the elevation above the ground.

Figure 1:

Example 2:

If while you’re holding the rock, initial velocity = 0 m/s, you drop it, all of its potential energy will be converted into kinetic energy. We can write an equation that says

The potential energy used to be mgd, now it goes to zero. The kinetic energy used to be 0, now it has all of the potential energy in the form of kinetic energy.

K = ½ mv2 = U = mgd. Using some algebra, we can say that the velocity just before it hits the ground, is v = sqrt(2gd).

Simple Newtonian gravity has the formula F = GMm/r2. Force is measured in Newtons, N, which have units of Kg-m/s2. M is the mass of the planet, star, galaxy, black hole, etc; m is the mass of the moon or satellite that travels around M. G is the gravitational constant of the universe, G = 6.67x10-11 N (m/Kg)2. Note that F = ma is the universal relationship between force, mass and acceleration.

For a moon that orbits a planet, planet that orbits a start, etc, the force that keeps it in orbit is given by F = mv2/R, m is the mass, v is the tangential velocity and R is the distance between the planet and the star.

Special Relativity

Special relativity is based on the limitation that the speed of light, c = 2.998x108m/s, is the fastest possible velocity. Since photons are light, they always travel at the velocity c. Nothing so far has been proven to be faster than light. It was Albert Einstein who noticed that the speed of light always moves at the same speed no matter how fast you, or anything, are moving. I can therefore guarantee that if you observe a photon, no matter where it came from, and no matter how fast you are moving, it will reach you at the speed of light. Photons routinely emit from a single point and travel out in all directions as a wave front; so the direction the photon is moving will not effect how fast it’s going. If you saw the photon, it was moving in all directions, and in whatever direction you are moving in.

The energy of a single photon is E=hf. The Planck constant, h = 6.6x10-34J-s, the units are joule-seconds. Frequency is measured in hertz or cycles per second. Photons can be both particles and waves; which has been puzzling to scientists for centuries. Light behaves like water waves which have a velocity, a frequency and a wavelength; the velocity of a water wave is v = λf, where λ is the wavelength. This is also true for photons, so that c = λf; λ and f can change, but c never changes, not for photons; particularly, not for photons in this space-time.

If you went to a placid lake and threw a rock into the water, it would send out ripples/rings that travel away from the rock-water impact location at the speed of water ripples, whatever that is. The energy in that ripple is stored throughout the ring of the ripple. It should be no surprise that the energy stored in a small angle of ripple, θ, is going to be θ/2pi * energy of the ripple. We would not be surprised that the θ/2pi amount of energy in the wave could, in principle, be converted into some other kind of energy.

Yes, energy is conserved, and can be changed into other forms. But the smallest unit of energy transfer is the photon. That means that, unlike the ripple described above that can have its energy subdivided, a photon cannot. This is where quantum mechanics begins. If the ripple on the pond is now imagined to be a photon, then any attempt to change, convert, capture or measure its energy, will result in either, you find nothing there, or you get lucky; there is a “winner take all” event where you take all of the energy stored in the wave. Not only does the luck winner get all of the energy, but the ½ spin in taken as well. Spin is also a conserved quantity, never created and never destroyed, never misplaced. It has to do with magnetic fields and is only mentioned to emphasize the “winner take all” event of a photon capture.

Photons are the smallest quantities of light. But light behaves as an undulating electro-magnetic field. If you look at light from a laser or an LED on your computer, you are seeing electric fields that oscillate between E0 and –E0 as E0*sin(2pi*f*t); t is the time on your watch; f is the frequency of the photons. LED’s and lasers emit a single frequency of light, the sun and your lamp emit a range of frequencies. Electric fields cause electrons to accelerate. Photons have an oscillating electric field, and will cause some lucky electron to accelerate and oscillate, with an energy E =hf. For an outer shell electron on an atom, this can result in a quantum leap to the next shell, if the photon has enough energy. Typically, if the next shell takes more energy than the photon has, the electron will not accept the energy. If that happens, the photon keeps going until it finds an electron that will accept its energy.

Special Relativity

Albert Einstein liked trains, but I’d like to use spaceship. Satellite

What Cosmologists Already Know

Dark matter

Cosmologists have enough knowledge that they are able to count the stars in a galaxy, and determine their mass and how fast they orbit around the center of the galaxy. Even after they have compensated for dust and planets, there is still about ten times too little mass to account for the velocity of stars as they orbit the center of their galaxy. Physicists call this invisible mass, dark matter because it doesn’t put out any light. Dark matter does, however participate in gravity, and contribute enough gravitational mass to make stars orbit as fast as they’re observed to move.

Dark Energy

is a little different.

Dark Energy

The expansion of the universe is accelerating

Big Bang

Red shift and blue shift

Common Sense Explanations

Let’s treat space-time or standard space-time as if every particle and wave had photons bouncing back and forth, determining the position of everything else.

Introduction to FTL (Faster than Light) Propulsion

FTL propulsion requires a second space-time with a higher speed of light. First step, let’s take the Classical and Relativistic laws of motion, and make a copy. In the copy, every place where c is, change it to c’. We don’t yet know what we’re going to do with the Planck constant h, permittivity of free space ε, permeability of free space μ, nor the gravitational constant G. So change those to h’, ε’, μ’ and G’.

Since E=mc2, and energy that transmit across the boundary from c-space to c’-space is conserved, then we can write E=E’=mc2=m’c’2. When we have to determine how a mass m from c-space will be treated in a c’ space, we will convert it using:

m’/m = (c/c’)2.

Describe a second space-time with a speed of light c’ = 2c.

FTL propulsion requires conservation of energy.

FTL propulsion requires causality. There are people who believe that FTL travel is impossible because FTL = time travel. There are those who believe that time travel is possible and plan to use FTL. In this description of FTL, causality is the rule, and time travel is impossible because it attempts to violate causality.

How does energy transmit across a c’/c barrier.

The new E=mc2 relationship.

What happens to gravity?

What happens to acceleration?

What happens to momentum?

Start with an FTL rocket ship. How fast can I go?

Higher speed of light changes permittivity and permeability.

What happens to electric fields? What happens to magnetic fields?

How does a c’-space-time effect light? What happens to the photon and Planck constant?

Coupling between our space-time and a c’ space-time.

Hypothetical FTL Propulsion system.


We need a way to study a c’ space-time without the benefit of actually having access to a c’ space-time. One of the first things we are going to need is a energy conversion interface.

Figure 1: The Transduction Interface

Transduction Interface-

The transduction interface is a hypothetical membrane which acts as a border between our space-time, with speed of light c, and a second space-time with a speed of light c’. Because a c’-space (time) has never been observed or tested by physicists, we do not know much about it. The idea is to use the physics of our universe as a template. By defining the c’-space as having a speed of light that is faster than in our universe, we want to use typical physics equations, and take the ratios between them to see what must be true in c’-space. In cases where we need to cross into c’-space during the course of a thought experiment, the transduction interface will provide all of the criteria that must be met. If such criteria cannot be met or does not exist or is not defined, then crossing the transduction interface will be forbidden.

Criteria 1: Conservation of Energy is mandatory. The transduction interface cannot be used to create or destroy energy. While this might seem restrictive it will help us when we try to figure out the laws of physics for a hypothetical c’ space (time).

Criteria 2: Causality cannot be violated. Traveling back in time is considered impossible. If FTL tech (faster than light technology) is to be developed, then the metaphorical door to time travel has to be closed. There argument will be presented later.

Mass Translation: How is mass translated between c/c’? Albert Einstein gave us the very famous E = mc2. Admittedly, if you translated any physical object (e.g. a ball, rope, a hand), there is no guarantee or even the expectation that is will not disintegrate. However, the mass content of whatever it becomes can be determined by algebraically as follows. E = mc2 = E’ = m’c’2. From this, we get,

(1) m’/m = (c/c’)2.

Example 1: If c’ = 5c, and m=25Kg, how much will the mass be in c’-space?

Answer: m’ = m(c/c’)2 = 25kg*(1/5)2 = 25kg/25 = 1kg.

The shipping industry will be disappointed to know that you can’t reduce the cost of shipping per pound using a c’-space, because the weight is still measured in our standard space-time. On the bright side, it can travel faster!

Potential energy for gravity: On the earth, the acceleration of gravity is 9.8 meters per second squared, or g = 9.8m/s2. From the Newtonian force equation F = ma, we know that the force of gravity is F = mg. This is what your bathroom scale reads.

Example 2: If we take a rock with a mass of 3kg, its force or weight in Newtons is

F= mg = 3kg*9.8m/s2 = 29.4N.

Potential energy is given by the formula U = mgd, where d is the height.

Example 3: What is the potential energy if we raise the rock up to a height off the ground of d = 10 meters? U = mgd = 29.4N * 10m = 294 joules.

Look at the picture above. Two identical rocks are raised to an identical height. For rock #1, the path all the way to the ground is standard ordinary c-space. For rock#2 there is a region of c’-space that rock#2 would have to fall into and then out of before reaching the ground. Does the existence of a c’- space-time change the potential energy that rock#2 has by virtue of its weight and height? The answer is no. The gravity inside of the c’-space is different. But the rock comes out the other end. If the c’-space could change the potential energy just by being there, it could be used to violate conservation of energy. The argument goes like this. We could use the c’-space to give the rock more energy as it falls through the bottom of the c’-space. What if we had a perfect trampoline that could make anything that falls on it, bounce back to the same height? If we put that perfect trampoline under rock#2, we would know that the conservation of energy had been violated if the rock bounces up to a height higher than the ledge. That is what happens if the c’-space changes the potential energy. For this reason, U1 = U2.

Since we know that our c’-space conserves energy, and we know that energy is conserved when rock# crosses the transduction interface, then we know that U2 = U’2.

Point-of-View Observations of

Hyper-drive physics

The biggest challenge to understanding an FTL hyper-drive propulsion system is that we’re not using wormholes or curving space in any way. These methods are awkward and require too much energy. Instead, we are introducing the existence of a second space-time with a speed of light c’ > c. The introduction of a second space-time with speed a speed of light that is larger than our space-time is the only way that an energetically reasonable FTL propulsion system can be contemplated. By using a 2nd space-time FTL propulsion system, wormholes, curvature of space, black holes, naked singularities and vast amounts of energy are all unnecessary. The biggest challenge is the detection of a second space-time, and subsequent development of an interface with it.


Consider two rockets, each with mass m=1000 metric tons = 106kg. In each case, 5kg of fuel will be converted into energy, with 100% efficiency, to be used to accelerate the rocket. The first rocket will travel in regular space, c-space. The second rocket has FTL capability. Its thrust will be transduced into hyperspace which has a speed of light c’ = 100c. Calculate for each case: a) energy content of the fuel burned, b) kinetic energy of the rocket, c) kinetic energy of the final velocity, b) the acceleration in g’s for a fuel burning that lasts 10 seconds.

First rocket:

a) 5kg of rocket fuel is converted into E=mc2 = 5kg*(3x108m/s)2 = 4.5x1017 joules.

b) Kinetic energy of the rocket is KE = ½ mv2=4.5x1017 joules.

c) Final velocity is v2=KE/m=4.5x1017 joules/106kg=45x1010m2/s2. The velocity is v=6.7x105m/s.

d) The velocity v=at, so a = v/t = (6.7x105m/s)/10sec=67000m/s2=6700g’s.

Second rocket, the FTL rocket:

a) Same as the first rocket, E=4.5x1017 joules.

b) Also the same as the first rocket, KE = ½ mv2=4.5x1017 joules.

c) The velocity of v=6.7x105m/s has to be translated into hyperspace. So v’ = v*c’/c = 6.7x105m/s * 100 = 6.7x107m/s.