# Thread: Which is more likely: Faster Than Light travel or artificial gravity?

1. ## Which is more likely: Faster Than Light travel or artificial gravity?

It seems to me that, by the time we've figured out one, we would have figured out the other.

2. Artificial Gravity becuase they have been working on it already for years.

Too bad I didn't save the older article. It's not showing up on the site anymore. They went into a lot more detail on the superconducting disk and relative science.

3. I would say they are equally impossible. The character of c as an absolute speed limit is not some empirical fact or caused by a lack of suitable machinery - it is deeply engrained into the logical structure of science. Without this speed limit, causality would have a big problem since cause and effect could be reversed depending on the chosen frame of reference.

And gravity is caused either by acceleration or, well, mass. I don't think anyone has ever provided a plausible alternative mechanism. So if you consider a rocket being propelled by its motors to the equivalent of x times g, you have artificial gravity. Otherwise... bring on the mass!

I think you are right in your prediction. Having matered one, we will have figured out the other, and the time is: Never.

4. Originally Posted by Arneb
I think you are right in your prediction. Having matered one, we will have figured out the other, and the time is: Never.
I disagree. Science if full of discoveries once thought impossible before they turned out to be possible. It seems that if we can dream of it we can create it. I don't mean to sound like the popular PC junk about anything being possible for a single person to achieve, I mean through the combined efforts of Science. Anti-Gravity and FTL are just about all we have left to bring into the realm of reality from all those old Sci-Fi stories.

Who ever thought we would actually have cloning? I didn't.

5. By "artificial gravity" do you mean
(1) anti-gravity - the ability to neutralize gravity or provide the gravitational equivalent of like poles repelling.
or
(2) generated gravity-the ability to generate (not simulate as in the classic rotating space wheel) a gravitational field. Say a device that produces the gravitational pull of a very large mass by curving space in the same way. This would be something like the "artificial gravity" referred to in SF shows.

If (1), no I don't think we'll get it. Gravity is not that kind of force.

If (2), is this in fact ruled out?

6. No. 2 is theoretically possible. It also may allow for FTL (warp drive).

7. FTL isn't theoretically possible. We're going to need to break some rules or find new ones for it to happen.

As for "artificial gravity," it definitely depends on what is meant by the question. It is certainly possible to create a gravity-like effect with diamagnetic repulsion. There are severe limits and it isn't gravity, but it is possible.

If we could deal with large quantities of extremely dense mass, we could use frame dragging, or manipulate it in other ways.

That isn't going to happen soon if ever, but it isn't outside of theoretical possibility.

8. Originally Posted by Van Rijn
FTL isn't theoretically possible. We're going to need to break some rules or find new ones for it to happen.
An Alcubierre warp drive is theoretically possible. Since you're moving space itself, and there may not be a lightspeed restriction on how fast you can do that, it may work.

9. If you have artificial gravity, you can probably do pseudo-FTL via wormholes.

10. Originally Posted by Humots
...(2) generated gravity-the ability to generate (not simulate as in the classic rotating space wheel) a gravitational field.
Well actually, a centrifuge does not "simulate" gravity. By general relativity and the equivalence principle, the acceleration experienced in a centrifuge is gravity. Remember the famous elevator-in-space thought experiment?

So in that sense, "artificial gravity" is very much possible, and we do it all the time. But I'm sure that's not what parallaxicality had in mind.

11. Unfortunately, FTL violates causality. Unless that proves to be an illusion, similar to simultaneity in relativity, I'd say it's ruled out. Pity.

12. I call the "lots of things used to be thought impossible" the Edison defense, as in they laughed at Edison. Sort of affirming the consequent. They laughed at Edison - supposedly - but he turned out to be right. Unfortunately they also laughed at Bozo the CLown, yet he has not caused a pardigm shift in our understanding of the universe. Not yet anyway.

The fact that some things used to be considered impossible - breaking the sound barrier, or longer ago that humans could never survive moving at speeds like 50 mph - but now are routine,says nothing about things that were once considered impossible that truly are. This any more than things once thought possible eventually becoming so. TV and electric light bulbs were great ideas that came true. But we will not soon be putting people in a large cannon and shooting them to the moon, nor will we be sailing down the canals of MArs.

Not everything thought possible becomes so, and not everythign deemed impossible becomes possible later.

13. Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
An Alcubierre warp drive is theoretically possible. Since you're moving space itself, and there may not be a lightspeed restriction on how fast you can do that, it may work.
Actually, it doesn't appear that it is:

http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/gr-qc/9702026

It is questionable if any kind of "warp drive" is possible, and it causes huge problems for special relativity. One way or another, if FTL is expirmentally confirmed, we will have to rewrite a lot of theory.

14. Huh. Look at that. Thanks for the paper. The math's a bit dense for me, but the summary explains pretty well.

Well, I learn something new every day...

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