In the Star Trek universe, communities have to achieve Warp Capabilities in order to become part of The Federation. This is an integral moment of fictional space development as reaching warp unshackles a civilisation from the boundaries of near space. But is that possible in reality? Well, with the creation of the first Warp Bubble, it might be.
DARPA accidentally creates first Warp Bubble
Reported by The Debrief, warp drive specialist Dr. Harold G. White has accidentally manifested the first real-world Warp Bubble. While researching custom Casimir cavities for DARPA, White's team reportedly created the bubble entirely by accident.
Creating a real-life Warp Drive has technically been possible with known physics for a while. In 1994, Mexican mathematician Miguel Alcubierre devised a method that could allow for space travel without shattering physics. However, the proposed Alcubierre Drive was far too energy intensive to even be properly tested.
White’s recent bubble has accidentally been formed in a method similar to that of Alcubierre's proposal. As it stands, the bubble’s negative energy density distribution matches the mathematicians written requirements.
In a peer-reviewed journal, it was confirmed that the “negative energy density distribution... closely matches requirements for the Alcubierre metric”. White explains that this is “the first paper in the peer-reviewed literature that proposes a realizable nano-structure that is predicted to manifest a real, albeit humble, warp bubble.”
Will this create Warp Travel?
The next step for realising this technology is to pair it with actual object traversal. As the manifested bubble is incredibly small, White has proposed attempting to create a nano-sized craft that can move they the bubble.
White proposed a “toy model consisting of a 1-micron diameter sphere centrally located in a 4-micron diameter cylinder”. Apparently, this miniscule toy has a “three-dimensional Casimir energy density that correlates well with the Alcubierre warp metric requirements.”
However, it may be a while until research on the bubble continues. At the time of writing, research is continuing on the custom Casimir cavities instead. This means that it may be a while until White and his team is about to continue the Warp Drive research.