New Warp Drive Possibilities

New proposed model of real warp drive.

Warp drive has always been fiction to us. Alcubierre’s theory gives the possibility of creating a warp drive under the known laws of physics. But it requires a negative mass that is still a mystery to us. We assume that negative mass does not exist because we are unable to find its sign of existence in the entire universe.

So we can say that warp drives can be in the papers but not in real life. In recent research, it has been shown a possibility that it can be created without negative mass.

New Research Theory

Recently, two physicists, Alexey Bobrick, and Gianni Martire, of Advance Propulsion Laboratory published a paper that shows that a spacecraft can be created without negative mass which can work similarly to warp drives. It would be completely created by the known matter available and its shape would be different than Alcubierre’s warp drive.

In the paper, both of them show deep study into Alcubierre’s drive and came up with a realistic model.

Alcubierre’s Model

In this model, he suggests a model that can bend the fabric of space-time. It consists of a stationary bubble with a spacecraft inside it.

This model works only when there is a negative mass present. A negative mass is a mass that behaves exactly opposite to the real mass. According to Einstein’s theory of Relativity, a positive mass will form a curve bend in space-time, so we assume that negative mass should bend in the opposite direction as seen in the above model.

In the model, one side of space-time fabric is bent downwards (due to positive mass) and another side is bend upwards(due to negative mass). But the negative mass does not exist and the model fails.

Bobrick and Martire’s Model

They find some flaws in Alcubierre’s model. They said that even if we are able to create a warp drive described by the Alcubierre, it won’t start accelerating in the space by itself. It would require some sort of propulsion as we use in the rockets. But the propulsion technology used in rockets is not so strong to reach the speed of light so we will need some other technology.

In the paper, they also suggest that we can reach a fraction of the speed of light with the help of superluminal matter (The superluminal matter is the matter which can travel with the speed of light). But it will require an infinite amount of energy and that is impossible, so how they are proposing to create a physical warp drive?

They categorized warp drives into 4 different types. All these types of warp drives are based on speed inside and speed outside the bubble. Alcubierre’s warp drive is a ClassIII type in their classification. But only Class I type warp drives are feasible where they can be created with positive mass and real matter. But they cannot move with the speed of light.

According to the physicist. there is a possibility that we can reach our nearest star, Proxima Centauri within 10 months without travelling at a speed of light(It would take 10 months to reach Proxima Centauri if we travel 5 times the speed of light). It can be done by time dilation. According to General relativity, time dilation can be achieved by moving faster than 90% of speed of light or by putting a spaceship into a stronger gravitational field.

New Model of WarpDrive

According to Bobrick and Martire, if a spaceship is created with a highly dense material closer to the density of a neutron star then anyone inside the ship can achieve time dilation. We know that the density of a neutron star is extremely high so the type of ship proposed could be of spherical shape

The above model suggested being made for a realistic warp drive. If the spacecraft made is of nearly 620 diameters and mass 1/10th of the sun is created then the time inside the spacecraft would work 1/10th the outside time of spacecraft.

With this time dilation, the spacecraft can reach the Proxima Centauri in 9 years but the people inside the spacecraft will experience only 10 months. In this way, we can travel light years in a short time period without traveling at the speed of light.

Propulsion Energy

Any model of warp drive will not move by itself. It would require propulsion for an initial start. As of now propulsion technology used by rockets is not that strong enough. We would require a greater force to move a warp drive.

According to the research suggested by Bobrick and Martire, the energy requires for the propulsion should be 13% of the mass of spacecraft. This means that some portion of highly dense matter should be converted to energy for propulsion.

There is no parameter that can be the barrier in creating the new proposed warp drive. In Alcubierre’s warp drive negative mass was the non-existing parameter that holds its formation. The new model can be made in real life with a positive mass.

The mass required with high density exists as the neutron star exists. As of now, we don’t have the technology but in future, it can be created under the known laws.

If you are fascinated about the concept of warp drive and want to learn deep about it then I prefer you to read the best book Time Travel and Warp Drives: A Scientific Guide to Shortcuts through Time and Space.

Disclosure: There is an affiliate link in the article that can generate some commission to me if you buy from that link. It won’t affect your buying process in any manner.



This publication is for all those beginner’s who want to show their writing skills and gain some audience.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Shubham Thakur

Medium writer who likes to start new things. Write what I feel I can explain easily to anyone. You can find more such info on spaceadmirer. in