Warp Drive

A warp drive is a device used to initiate and control a sustained warp reaction. Warp drives are primarily used in the propulsion of ships. A phased electromagnetic field is applied to the Veloxium core, which generates a physics bubble capable of producing and maintaining superluminal velocities when coupled with standard ship propulsion. Today the vast majority of starships use some form of warp drive, even for passage within the same system, and mankind continues to develop faster, more efficient methods of interstellar travel.

Mechanism

If a shaped Veloxium core is saturated with an oscillating electromagnetic field, it produces a physics bubble that separates itself from the rest of the universe. The precise size, direction, and strength of the field can be controlled via the shape of the core, the oscillation frequency, the field strength, and other factors. If this field is applied to an object that is already accelerating in a particular direction, it sends the bubble and its contents forwards at luminal or superluminal velocities in that same direction. The object in question must meet certain acceleration requirements in order to breach the light barrier; thus, as the warp drive is rather bulky on its own, it is impossible for warp drives to be installed on most smaller craft unless they themselves are under the force of acceleration from a difference source. In the same way, the size of a craft can also limit its maximum self-generated maximum warp.

Warp level speed in c speed by time time to cross galaxy Year of discovery
by humans
Year of discovery
by aliens
0 1 1 ly/year 110000 years 2078 7907 BC: Bhez
1 8 8 ly/year 13750 years 2130 7146 BC: Bhez
2 30 30 ly/year 3667 years 2200 6909 BC: Bhez
3 94 90 ly/year 1195 years 2264 6384 BC: Bhez
4 256 21 ly/month 430 years 2321 8627 BC: Plodus
5 632 12 ly/week 174 years 2383 5268 BC: Bhez
6 1462 27 ly/week 75 years 2458 4671 BC: Qyrax
7 3215 62 ly/week 34 years 2540 4043 BC: Qyrax
8 6784 19 ly/day 16 years 2623 3380 BC: Qyrax
9 13824 37 ly/day 8 years 2700 2672 BC: Bhez
10 27350 75 ly/day 4.5 years 2763 1911 BC: Bhez
11 52743 144 ly/day 2 years 2828 1083 BC: Bhez
12 99447 11 ly/hour 13 months 2901 165 BC: Bhez
13 183792 21 ly/hour 7 months 2966 880 AD: Bhez
14 333628 38 ly/hour 4 months 3039 2127 AD: Fysar
15 595858 68 ly/hour 2 months 3123 unsolved
16 1048576 120 ly/hour 5.5 weeks unsolved
17 1820416 208 ly/hour 3 weeks unsolved
18 3121198 356 ly/hour 2 weeks unsolved
19 beyond theoretical safe limit

Where x is warp level: w[x] = √(64x)^√x
Technically, warp 18 is 0.3% beyond the theoretical safe limit (3111696c), but it is commonly accepted that with the use of other anomalous materials it might be bumped up very slightly to permit Warp 18 travel.

History

In the year 2027, an Old Earth company called NASA successfully managed to put an unmanned rover on the surface of Europa, with the intent of learning as much as possible about the icy moon. Upon arrival, they began discovering traces of a strange material that didn't register properly with their sensors. It quickly captured the imaginations of the public, not to mention those at NASA, and they attempted to find a larger source of the material during the course of the mission. Eventually, they did - a large chunk of it near the edge of a crevasse. NASA took a sample of this material and later brought it home in the return capsule. This capsule arrived back at earth in the year 2032. Upon processing this material, they quickly discovered that it simply did not fit into the table of elements, and for a time, that was all anyone knew about it. It was given the nickname "Europanite" and scientists continued to study it for the next seven years without any major discoveries.

In the year 2039, a major accident occurred in one of JAXA's laboratories when researchers tried running a powerful electromagnetic field around a piece of Europanite. This attracted a scurry of attention from press and members of the scientific community as researchers all over the world attempted to recreate the accident - with a fair degree of success. The power behind the explosions were found to be inconsistent with most established theories, and scientists rushed to develop new theories to fit these discoveries. It was determined that the Europanite seemed to create a field about itself that would accelerate it to speeds approaching that of light - at least while still in the field. Extending this field to encompass the whole of a spacecraft, however, was a different matter entirely, and a puzzle that continued to baffle scientists for decades, during which time "europanite" would be given the official name of "veloxium".

By 2064, the world's space agencies were beginning to construct various attempts at "warp probes" - probes that could travel at the speed of light or faster. Almost all of these were complete failures. Even by the year 2077, scientists were only managing a 25% success rate at short-term warp travel, and few of the probes actually managed to return. This discouraged any attempts at manned space travel… for a time. Finally, in the year 2089, mankind achieved the first manned warp space travel, from Earth, to Neptune, and back. Mankind, naturally, celebrated by trying to figure out how to get even further.

Components

((or: How To Build Your Own Warp Drive in Three Easy Steps))

Safety

((or: How We Use the Order of This Article to Cleanse the Gene Pool of Undesirables))

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