Warp drive

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Warp drive (also called warp technology) is hypothetical technology created in science fiction. It is a way of moving objects faster than the speed of light. There are many examples of how this idea is used. A well-known one is found in the Star Trek universe, where faster-than-light travel is needed to tell the story.

Current technology does not allow anything or anyone to go at, or faster than, the speed of light. Unless the current theories are proven wrong, this will always be true. However warp technology as a fictional idea has been an interesting way of shaping the story line to let spaceships move at speeds greater than 186,000 miles per second (speed of light through a vacuum - the known limit of speed in the universe).

Warp technology, as the name implies, 'warps space' in effect bringing a destination closer by bending space rather than the traditional 'thruster' means of propelling a space craft at high speeds.

Warp technology allows ships move at warp speed. In the Star Trek universe, for example, the measurement of the speed that the spaceship is moving is called the warp factor. However, thrusters and impulse power propel spaceships at sub-light speed. Warp factor 1 is equal to the speed of light. The speed ranges up to warp factor 9.99. In some circumstances Star Trek spaceships can go faster than warp 10, although rare.