The Star Trek Question
Name: andre j zielinski
Age: 5th Grade
Date: 1993 - 1999
A fifth grader from Virginia Lake asks:
Is it possible to propel a starship through space in the same manner as they do
on "Star Trek"? Is there such a possibility as warp speed?
Okay, this is only an educated guess (since Star Trek is, as you
know, science fiction) According to what I understand about Star Trek, the main
power source for Federation starships is a matter-antimatter reaction.
Therefore, it is logical to assume (sorry) that the impulse drive is nothing mor e than thrust from the e
controlled explosion resulting from large quantities of matter and antimatter
As for warp speed, this is REALLY hypothetical, since the concept of the warp
nacelle depends highly on the distortion of space itself. Warp is theoretically
possible, but we don't have the nearest inkling how to attain it -- basically,
it involves (near as I can figure it) the folding of three dimensional space in such a way that
you don't actually travel IN our universe, but rather ALONG it, so you can
travel faster t than light (my high school physics teacher told me that warp 1
is a speed equal to the speed of light(c) to the c power... that's fast! I real ly don't have time or
the patience to print out the number that results (nor do I have any idea what
units of measurement they'd be in), so you'll have to take my word for it. We
simply don't have the technology or the math skill to attain warp.
Great Question for a fifth grader. I hope you still want to know.
No, there is no way to have warp speed greater than the speed of light. It
would take an infinitely large amount of energy to get any massive object moving
up to the speed of light and none knows how to get anything moving faster than t hat.
Samuel P Bowen
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