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Twisted Physics

Warp Factor

23 Apr 2009, 05:54 UTC
Warp Factor
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Excitement is mounting over the imminent release of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek "prequel" wherein a promising young actor named Chris Pine attempts to walk in William Shatner's legendary footsteps as the young James T. Kirk. Even if you're not a hard-core Trekkie, it's tough to deny the enormous impact the series (both film and TV) has had on popular culture. "Beam me up Scotty." "He's dead, Jim." "Set phasers to stun." Not to mention the almost certain expendability of any unfortunate crew member wearing a bright red shirt (brilliantly satirized by the character of Guy in the spoof film Galaxy Quest). And don't forget all that cutting-edge futuristic technology: phasers, the Holodeck, the transporter room, and those nifty handheld devices that inspired a thousand cell phone designs. But perhaps the most famous is the Enterprise's "warp drive", which enables it to travel faster than the speed of light -- something normally in violation of the laws of relativity, which say that nothing with mass can travel faster than light, even the tiniest subatomic particle. But is a warp drive possible for real? Alas, Wikipedia tells me that At
present, there is no known way to naturally or artificially establish a

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