When we watch sci-fi movies like Star Trek and Star Wars, a common theme they seem to share is the ability for spaceships to fly at the speed of light, allowing them to reach destinations in a matter of seconds. We’re sure that many of us would love to see that eventually come true, although back in the day, renowned physicist Albert Einstein suggested that it might not be possible.
This is because based on his findings, it would take too much energy to make an object travel faster than the speed of light. However, thanks to new research by Joseph Agnew, an undergraduate from the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Propulsion Research Center, he suggests that there could be a way around the problem.
Instead of trying to go faster than light, how about we make the universe expand and contract around you (or the object), so that it would make it seem like you’ve moved further than you could have travelled at the speed of light. Of course, this is all theoretical at this point in time, but the fact that it can be thought out and written down logically is already quite impressive.
Agnew cautions against getting too excited as he notes that the “how” is the main question that needs to be answered, which we imagine probably won’t be in our lifetime. If you’re interested in learning more, you can read Agnew’s paper here.