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Warp Speed, Hyperspace and Wormholes

Updated on April 25, 2010
Wormhole Travel
Wormhole Travel
Rings of Vega (artist's rendition)
Rings of Vega (artist's rendition)

When Fast Just Aint Good Enough

It's an understatement to say that the universe is big. It's huge! It's huger than huge — it's GARGANTUAN!!!!! Dang it, even that strong adjective in bold caps followed by multiple exclamation points is not able to describe the ginormousness of space. The fact is, there are no words in human language to truly capture the enormity of the universe. "Infinite" is the closest but it just sounds so meager.

So, when you face the facts that it takes over four years traveling at light speed just to get to the nearest star from our Sun, you have to ask:

How in the heck is mankind gonna go anywhere when, according to physics, the fastest anything can go is the speed of light?

I don't know about you, but I would like to be alive and kicking when I reach the planetary satellites of Vega to wade through the lovely methane seas (hypothetical) while gazing at the Vegan rings 25 light years away from home.

Well, it may be impossible to travel faster than the speed of light but fret not my future intergalactic friends; in the limiting laws of physics there are loopholes, or should I say.....wormholes.

Read on, together we will step through the looking glass and discover the secrets of the universe.

Schwarzschild Metric

See all those pretty numbers and symbols up there? That has something do do with wormholes but I have absolutely no idea what they mean!

Why do they have to make theoretical astrophysics on hypothetical astronomical objects so darn complicated?

Wormhole 101

Get a piece of paper. Got it? Good. Draw a dot on each end of that piece of paper. Label one dot "Point A" and the other "Point B". Now, what is the fastest way to get from "Point A" to "Point B"? Common sense and the old adage says "a straight line", but that is not the case.

Fold that piece of paper in half so that "Point A" and "Point B" touch each other. That is the fastest way from "Point A" to "Point B". That is Wormhole 101!

Basically, a wormhole is a distortion in space (natural or man-made) that connects two points of space or time.

Warp Speed and Hyperspace

I gotta tell ya, I am having a hard time finding on the Internet a simple way to define this. So I will define warp speed and hyperspace the way I understand them. If I am wrong, then I am sure I will hear about it!

Basically, warp speed and hyperspace are manual ways to distort the space around a ship. This theoretical mode of transportation shrinks the space in front of the ship while expanding the space behind it, thus propelling the ship to a distant point in the universe using the very space around said ship.

So, the way this works is that the space in front of the ship almost disappears and the space behind it expands. The disappearing front allows for less space for the ship to travel while at the same time the expanding space behind the ship propel the ship to the destination point. This uses two methods of transport simultaneously.

I think my brain just exploded!

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    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      You'll know that String Theory needs about 11 dimensions to function and that we could get from one place to another via higher dimensions if we were small enough (like your folding piece of paper but in a higher dimension(s)). By small I mean that we would have to be as small to an atom as an atom is to us.

      Who knows other sentient beings could be flying past our noses at this moment in higher dimensions and we know nothing at all about it!

      Now I'm confusing myself and I'm supposed to be a retired scientist!

      A well-explained Hub though but the subject does tend to fry my tiny brain after a while!

      Thanks for writing it.

    • profile image

      Luis D Rey 6 years ago

      Imadork,

      You are terrific, are you working for NASA in disguise?

      I did read and saw the movie TIME LINE, it's terrific, and if I were correct the story took place in 1300 France of all places, those F... Socialists !!

      I am going to open the link you mentioned:

      hubpages.com

      Don't disappoint me, lol....

    • profile image

      newday98033 6 years ago

      If perception rules, as Einstein implies, then one may see wormholes/portals/gates simply by being willing to do so. An idea of black holes is that they are intended to allow unconscious movement about the universe. One simply moves through (without taking a life form along) and one is in a completely different area of this giant Disneyland.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Theoretically, I would assume any craft that had a warp drive would also have a charting system that would insure a safe flight path.

      I guess anything behind the ship would snap back to normal.

    • profile image

      curious guy 7 years ago

      "So, the way this works is that the space in front of the ship almost disappears and the space behind it expands. The disappearing front allows for less space for the ship to travel while at the same time the expanding space behind the ship propel the ship to the destination point."

      just a q :

      what happens to the ship if it crosses the path of a blackhole, a planet, an other ship ?

      And what happens to anything behind ?

      This is highly unprobable but still may happen..

    • profile image

      ninok 7 years ago

      As a kid I was thinking that if you would travel with the speed of light around the earth back to the way it came from you would go back in time.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Brazil - you would probably be interested in my hub on UFO sightings.

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Stars

    • profile image

      Brazil 7 years ago

      Aliens have this technology milions years ago. They travel at "warp speed" and can reach any point of the universe in minutes.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thank you lumarie. Is this a short story or novel?

    • lumarie profile image

      lumarie 7 years ago from Puerto Rico

      The story I am writing has to do with time travel. Very good.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Weak? Interesting point of view. Are you sure you're old enough to write on this site?

    • PrometheusKid profile image

      PrometheusKid 7 years ago from Heaven

      So, PrometheusKid, what is your opinion on this hub?

      Weak

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Haven't heard of Fatfist until now. I skimmed his hubs on astronomy and he makes interesting points but he is almost condescending in his delivery. Therefore, his opinion falls on my deaf ears. He should learn to get his ideas across without being rude.

      So, PrometheusKid, what is your opinion on this hub?

    • PrometheusKid profile image

      PrometheusKid 7 years ago from Heaven

      hahahahahaha hopefully fatfist does not see this hub.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thank you Amisha. Glad to help.

    • profile image

      Amisha 7 years ago

      I think your way of explaining was great and I was able to draw a very good wormhole for my project

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 8 years ago from In the clouds

      It is a good thing that you did not post the entire formula here. That could have warped space and you hub would have been posted on the outer nebula's of some distant place.

    • Artisan Walker profile image

      Artisan Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Fascinating! I've actually sat and tried to fathom - in my pea brain - the true vastness of all the cosmos. It's literally dizzying!

      I love it when science says it's impossible to go any faster than the speed of light. This from a group who, not too long ago, believed not only was the Earth flat but the center of the universe.

      Excelling the speed of light will continue to be "impossible" until we - or somebody else - figure how to do it.

      Fun stuff, ... and I really like your name.

    • profile image

      Adam B 8 years ago

      The "wormhole" theory was used in Event Horizon...and the ship went to hell. No thanks

    • profile image

      Writer Rider 8 years ago

      Great hub. I hope they find a way to cut through time, though many people think it's impossible. Then again, people in the 1800s would have thought the advent of the internet a crazy and impossible idea.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Imadork, you did make it simple, and linked it real good! Top hub, I had fun trying to get both brain cells working at the same time to read this one.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thank you Susan.

    • profile image

      Susan M 8 years ago

      Excellent hub - It was like a mind meld with Dr. Who and Michio Kaku all in one! Thanks!

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Cuz I am smart enough to take complex subjects and simplifying them so that everyone can understand.

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      LOL, but you don't make my brain hurt.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      He knows almost as much as me.

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      he makes my brain hurt, but yea, he seems to know a lot of stuff.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks for the link. I love Michio Kaku!

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      I watched this guy on the Science channel explain this theory of wormholes and I think my brain exploded too. I just don't understand, but that's typical of me. Oh yea, there was some stuff about time travel too. here's the link.

      http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/2057-time-travel.h...

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks Pest! I go in spurts, is that too personal?

    • Pest profile image

      Pest 8 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

      I see you have been moderating again.  :D  Pretty damn good.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      No...GRRRRRREAT!!!

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

      good

    • profile image

      issues veritas 8 years ago

      imadork

      interesting hub.

      It is amazing that we on Earth can from our Solar System view and report on about 100 billion galaxies. We use blue and red to tell us what direction these little lights in the sky are going. We describe black holes and dying stars all from the comfort of our planet as it moves a few inches in the universe.

      We start about 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang and we notice that after all that time the universe is expanding. We do this all with the lights in the sky and what doesn't light up we give names like black holes.

      We invent physics to explain the unexplainable and we periodically add or change stuff to fit the new theory. Even philosophers and scientists several hundred years ago did a fair job of guessing even before they could verify it.

      While there are names for the values of numbers with the power of 10, these numbers are so large we talk about them in groups of millions. 1 to the 24th power would be million,million,million,million. It is totally meaningless to the average person. The number is so large that you couldn't count it by ones during your lifetime or the lifetime since the first humans existed here.

      Teleportation would allow you or at least the digitized you to travel at light speed but the problem is getting the destination device in place first. Then there is the problem of only going in a straight line and watch out for the black holes. It is what you can't see that hurts you. :)

      Thanks for the adventure

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thank you MH! I dig the deep stuff!!!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Excellent stuff. I saw a very interesting documentary on Sky some months back that scientifically went into exactly the theory of "folding" space/time to enable very long distance travel very fast. Fascinating, and sounded very theoretically possible.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      You're welcome.

    • profile image

      t08c15 8 years ago

      Interesting. This hub would useful reference material. Thanks.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Never seen the movie. I'll check it out.

    • MamaDragonfly2677 profile image

      Shannon 8 years ago from New York

      Have you watched the movie "TIMELINE" with Paul Walker? I just got that DVD last week... LOVE IT!

      And it's very close to what you speak of here, as a "wormhole"...

      I, myself, personally think that "black holes" are "wormholes" to other "PORTALS, or other times... Just my theory...

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      BTW - late comment on a comment....Amy, does that Mighty Putty work as well as in the ads?

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      I am not very happy with this hub. The appetizer is bigger than the meal! I got lazy at the end. My brain hurt! Maybe I will add a few things at the end.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Suzanne: I am no expert but I think you are thinking of black holes. Wormholes do not effect the traveler. At least I think so! It's all so confusing!!! A lot is theoretical, so it's okay to be wrong. ;-) I think Black Holes will be my next astronomy hub. I will explore further.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      Yeah, I know what you mean about the Universe! It is, like, HUMONGOUS!!! But the only problem with wormholes, according to my deep scientific understanding of them, is that if you go in one, you come out thinner than a pieceof linguini on the other side. That could pose problems.

    • Pest profile image

      Pest 8 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

      you would know if you saw them...i think anyway. that stuff will break your mind. I love this Hub...shit just baffles me...I understand most of the theories and stuff, but it blows my mind...traveling at the speed of light will cause you to see only certain colors as you reach that colors wave length or the speed at which said color travels.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Yes, I think I have.

    • Pest profile image

      Pest 8 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

      whelp...have you seen down the rabbit hole and the secret?

    • profile image

      Amy G 8 years ago

      Uh, what?

      My brain exploded too, I'll post something better after I get the mighty putty on the job...

      :p

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      AEvans: this was a follow up of my Time Travel hub.

      LOL...long story Cris!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      What are all those unapproved comments about?

      Anyway, nice hub. I think light space travel is more plausible than time travel. But don't give weight to what i just said, I majored in art. But I can draw you a wormhole if you want! :D

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      mmmm... Interesting I just learned something intergalactic, please do a follow up hub as this is quite intriguing.:)

    • Pest profile image

      Pest 8 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

      LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fucking dejavu...I feel sick!

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      It is quite mind-numbing, this whole space-time continuum thing!

    • Pest profile image

      Pest 8 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

      your brain exploded..I distinctly heard a pop...now I have a nose bleed.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Haven't seen that in years.

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

      Did you just finish watchin' Contact again?