Monday, January 31, 2011

Innovation for FTL Space Travel

One of the most exciting possibilities for the future of humankind is that eventually we will be able to escape to the stars. Reams of science fiction have been written over the centuries, not merely decades, on this topic.

Will such a thing be possible? If so, how many years into the future will it take to develop the faster-than-light drive technology and supporting components?

Many years ago Albert Einstein postulated that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, ever. Mathematical proofs and physics experiments conducted over the years seem to bear this out. During the 20th and 21st centuries we have learned a great deal since Einstein's day, however.

Some scientific outliers believe that even if we can never go faster than the speed of light, we can achieve the same end result by other means, such as jumping through a black hole (far fetched, to be sure) or "folding" space-time and creating a shortcut from point A to point B.

What sort of project or methodology could bring us to a workable faster-than-light craft? The research journey would undoubtedly begin with the Relativists, physicists who study relativity. This discipline deals with such concepts as how the universe could be finite, yet unbounded due to the curvature of space itself.

Where scientists go, engineers are sure to follow. A solution far into the future will undoubtedly take bits and pieces from the various disciplines such as relativistic physics, aerospace engineering, mathematics and computer science. Applying a structured design process type of methodology with something like DELPHI to most efficiently utilize the talents of a diverse group of Albert Einsteins will eventually be the ticket to the stars.

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