I'm wondering, how likely is it that we see Faster Than Light ships in our life-time, Nasa is currently working (more like figuring the basics out) of the Alcubierre Drive and I'm wondering if it's plausible that we / I (currently 20yrs old) see a ship capable of FTL in our / my life time.

sources - 1. nasa pdf file 2. collective evolution

  • $\begingroup$ I think it's important to note that this sort of thing is speculative. NASA and others rightly invest a little money into studying such concepts, but it doesn't mean they believe it'll actually work. At the moment nobody has any idea how to even build such a thing or if enough energy would be available to drive it. $\endgroup$
    – Andy
    Jun 7 '16 at 8:08
  • $\begingroup$ Current calculations & speculations suggest that it is possible & that enough energy can be procurred to drive it $\endgroup$
    – Gerwin
    Jun 7 '16 at 8:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I stress my comment didn't say it was impossible; just that it's unknown if it will be possible to make it work at all, let alone practically or efficiently. There are major questions to be answered (such as exotic matter, etc.) $\endgroup$
    – Andy
    Jun 7 '16 at 8:38

Up to now, everything related to faster-than-light travel is pure speculations. You can do some magic with mathematics, insert negative densities for matter or assume the existence of tachyons traveling faster than light. In theory everything works out, but nobody has ever found such materials. Not even a hint that they might exist has been found besides finding "strange" solutions to equations.

The whole idea is currently not a problem of when it will be done, the major issue is if actual physics is able to support it at all.

  • $\begingroup$ assuming that it IS possible, and that we just don't know how yet, how long would it take before the first FTL ship is launched? $\endgroup$
    – Gerwin
    Jun 7 '16 at 8:39
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @Gerwin Assuming it is possible would also mean to make an assumption on how it is possible, so the only possible answer is "anywhere between tomorrow and never". $\endgroup$
    – Philipp
    Jun 7 '16 at 9:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Gerwin, it could be like nuclear fission, which took four years from discovery to the first practical reactor. Or it could be like nuclear fusion, which is twenty years away from being practical, and has been for most of the past century. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Oct 5 '17 at 23:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.