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Transcript of To Infinity...
Another more controversial method of propulsion is the idea of intentionally colliding matter and antimatter. Antimatter is simply negative matter, and when antimatter and matter react they create a tremendous amount of energy, similar to nuclear fusion. If this energy could be harvested then it would definitely supply a sustainable amount of propulsion for space travel.
Of course, there are doubts with this hypothesis, such as the cost of antimatter, one gram of antimatter would cost $10,000 trillion to produce.
The idea of solar sails was proposed by an American Physicist and Science Fiction writer, Robert L. Forward, because of the properties of light and its transfer of energy. Every time light hits a particle of matter it pushes the small amount of matter in the direction the photon was traveling. Therefore if a large enough surface with a relatively small mass were to be constructed then it could harvest the effects of this process as a form of propulsion for space travel, via the light energy from CME's or the solar wind.
These ideas may seem unattainable, but they could be overcome in just the near future. It simply all depends how far the human race is willing to push its boundaries of intelligence. Someone in this classroom could be the next Nathan Rosen, or the ever-popular Albert Einstein. You have the power to revolutionize human understanding of the universe.
The third hypothetical method for interstellar travel is a concept called the Einstein-Rosen Bridge, or a Wormhole. These two very famous scientists used to the theory of general relativity to formulate this hypothesis.
This theory states that space can be viewed as a type of 3-dimensional plain, and if that plain can be formed and shaped, then if an amazing amount of energy could be applied to one point, spave would be ripped and that hole can be used as a sort of tunnel that connects to another point in space, this can turn longer distances into short pathways through space and time.
The Alcubeirre drive was first shown in the widely recognized science fiction story called "Star Trek." The interstellar space ships that were shown had an engine that was able to expand space behind the ship, and contract it in front. The ship was basically then able to "surf" on the wave created and therefor go faster than the speed of light because it is not propelling itself, but simply bend space around it and manipulate the effects.
These days there is a wealth of ideas about different methods humans can use in the future for interplanetary or even intergalactic travel. Cutting the time down to reasonable amounts; days, hours, or possibly minutes. The first two subjects discussed are actual methods of propulsion, while the second two involve manipulating space and/or time to accomplish.
These ideas include: Solar sails, Antimatter and Matter explosions, Wormholes, and the Alcubeirre Drive.
Methods we use today exemplify extremely
rudimentary methods of space travel. Most recent
forms of propulsion include forcing a gas from the
back/rear of the vehicle at very high speed through a
supersonic de Laval nozzle (a tube that is pinched in the
middle, making an hourglass-shape). This sort of engine is called
a rocket engine.
The Russian Space Program uses electric propulsion, and has been using this form of transport for several decades. Electric propulsion uses much less propellant, or fuel, than gas engines. The thrust is much weaker due to this fact, although, the engine
can produce a small amount of force for extremely long periods