Scientist Claims Warp Speed Could Happen This DecadeBy Michelle
January 7, 2006 - 8:45 PM
The U.S. government is reportedly investigating the possibility of developing a hyperspace engine to make interstellar space travel possible - a theoretical version of a warp drive.
"I have been working on propulsion systems for quite a while and it would be the most amazing thing. The benefits would be almost unlimited," said German scientist Jochem Hauser, a professor of physics who spoke to Scotsman.com. "But this thing is not around the corner; we first have to prove the basic science is correct."
The device would be based on a controversial theory using intense magnetic fields to create thrust for a spacecraft. In principle, a large enough field would allow the ship to slip into a dimension where the speed of light is faster.
Hypothetically, this would enable a spaceship to travel to Mars in three hours or reach a star light years away in about 80 days, according to New Scientist magazine, which noted that the US Air Force has expressed an interest in testing the concept. Reportedly, the US Department of Energy may use its Z Machine to try to generate the sort of magnetic fields required.
Hauser, who said that NASA had contacted him, said it was possible that a device could be tested as soon as five years from now, but added, "It's our job to prove we are right." He added that if the theory for Star Trek style travel proves to be correct, "then this is not science fiction, it is science fact."