The Star Trek Question ```Name: andre j zielinski Status: N/A Age: 5th Grade Location: N/A Country: N/A Date: 1993 - 1999 ``` Question: 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? Thank you. Replies: 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 colliding. 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. WORD!! 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 Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

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