Astronomy / Space The Halo Drive - Cool Worlds idea for interstella travel.

"Guys, guys, we can go really fast in space! All we need is to create a very fast black hole and the biggest torch we can find!"

 
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Yes it was interesting. I think it is something we often do not intrinsically comprehend, just how vast the distances involved in interstellar travel are, and how poor our current technology is at solving the problem. So seeing new idea's like this is kinda cool. I really like the bit about getting more energy out than you put in (the blue-shift in the returning laser light).

Still next stop has to be the moon and Mars, then we can keep developing technology from in-system space travel and work on improving our prospects for getting to Proxima and the Alpha-Centuri system down the line :)

@Shadowdancer, i think the point is that unlike Dyson's original idea, by using small binary black holes you don't have to create anything, they already exist all around the galaxy, you just harness their 'free' energy with the laser.
 
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@Shadowdancer, i think the point is that unlike Dyson's original idea, by using small binary black holes you don't have to create anything, they already exist all around the galaxy, you just harness their 'free' energy with the laser.
It's a cool theoretical concept, but as cool as it is, you still need that black hole (which is not that easy to come by), a powerful enough photon source (which is hard to power), the ability to project a very precise cone with that photon source (which is nigh impossible thanks to diffraction), and the ability to catch the refracted photons once they went around your handy singularity and re-use them in your source with very high efficiency.
 
Well no-one said interstellar travel would be easy ;)

Still i think of all the near-workable concepts we currently have, this might be the 'easiest' to work towards?
 
Still i think of all the near-workable concepts we currently have, this might be the 'easiest' to work towards?
Given that we don't have access to any of the major functional parts (not that we could conceivably even build a vessel to carry them) and the United Federation of Hold My Beer I Got This is yet to be founded, it's about as good as the Alcubierre Memedrive.
 
Well no-one said interstellar travel would be easy ;)

Still i think of all the near-workable concepts we currently have, this might be the 'easiest' to work towards?
You mean, apart form getting to a system where the idea can be tested in the first place? This seems more like "poor mans travel" once actual warp drives have been invented.

Z...
 
Given that we don't have access to any of the major functional parts (not that we could conceivably even build a vessel to carry them) and the United Federation of Hold My Beer I Got This is yet to be founded, it's about as good as the Alcubierre Memedrive.
We have Lasers (portable ones also), we have the know-how on near-earth orbit construction, we know how to find Black Holes (and in theory create them).

As i mentioned earlier i think the whole Interstellar travel thing is down the line, we need to first get off our one planet (Moonbase, Mars colonisation etc), build the knowledge and applications for intra-solar-system travel and habitation/mineral extraction etc. This stuff is certainly do-able over the next century or two, going on our current technological proficiency. And from all that experience, then i'd expect us to be in a better place to seriously consider manned travel to the Alpha Centuri system, using something like this method (which is really just a fancy bigger version of the Breakthrough Starshot project).

The Alcubierre drive is a lot more hazardous a method in truth, interesting, but very dangerous. So yeah i'll put my flag with the Breakthrough Starshot line of early technologies for Interstellar travel as the 'best' (so far) first step in our journey into the stars.
 
Given that we don't have access to any of the major functional parts (not that we could conceivably even build a vessel to carry them) and the United Federation of Hold My Beer I Got This is yet to be founded, it's about as good as the Alcubierre Memedrive.
Yes, we'd need mature interstellar travel before we could even use a 'halo drive', but it wouldn't require anything fundamentally impossible to current science, like the exotic matter or energy densities proposed for most Alcubierre drive proposals.

My main take away from this is that black hole pairs would be a good place to look for extra terrestrial intelligences, as the mechanisms behind the halo drive would be as logical a phenomena to leverage as river travel has been on Earth. We may not have the ability to use it for a while yet, but it's possible that someone does.

This seems more like "poor mans travel" once actual warp drives have been invented.
This will work without 'actual warp drive', and since actual warp drive is impossible as far as we know, this is one of the most efficient means of interstellar travel we can conceive of that doesn't need to break the laws of physics somewhere.

Personally, I think we should expect interstellar travel to be done at a fraction of the speed of light, not a multiple of it, until we have some reason to suspect the latter is possible.

And from all that experience, then i'd expect us to be in a better place to seriously consider manned travel to the Alpha Centuri system, using something like this method (which is really just a fancy bigger version of the Breakthrough Starshot project).
Using the halo drive to reach Alpha Centauri would be like me walking twenty miles into the city to get a cab to the store that's on the corner of my own street. If we want to go to Alpha Centauri or most any place that's closer than the nearest black hole pair, best option for that is a direct trip.

The key feature of the halo drive isn't laser propelled solar sails, it's how that laser is powered. With enough infrastructure we could use terrestrial or space based power plants to power an arbitrarily large laser for an arbitrary period of time to accelerate a much smaller payload to some appreciable fraction of the speed of light....but we wouldn't be able to take that power source with us. That's the issue the Halo drive would solve.
 
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Yes, we'd need mature interstellar travel before we could even use a 'halo drive', but it wouldn't require anything fundamentally impossible to current science, like the exotic matter or energy densities proposed for most Alcubierre drive proposals.
"Mature interstellar travel" is impossible to current science. It is virtually impossible to build anything of significant scale that would even leave the solar system (much less with live people on board, but that's a stupid idea anyway).

Once we get to the point that we can trivially travel to the next singularity, the drive concept is already obsolete because we have moved to a post-scarcity era that allows us to build all the stupid stuff our ancestors dreamed of, like Dyson Spheres (no, those don't work…) or the Hyperloop.

Again, it's a nice little theoretical idea, but it has so many obvious holes that it can never be useful.
 
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This will work without 'actual warp drive', and since actual warp drive is impossible as far as we know, this is one of the most efficient means of interstellar travel we can conceive of that doesn't need to break the laws of physics somewhere.

Personally, I think we should expect interstellar travel to be done at a fraction of the speed of light, not a multiple of it, until we have some reason to suspect the latter is possible.


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You're missing the point.... The nearest binary black hole - just to test the theory - is so far away that you NEED a warp drive to get there in a reasonable amount of time. If not, you need *something* to get your there in reasonable time to begin with - which will render this drive obsolete before it's even tested. Otherwise, hello thousands of years of space travel to get to the nearest binary black hole, and if you think we won't have figured out better methods by then, I'd tell you you're mad.

Remember, the speed of sound was impossible once...

Z...
 
"Mature interstellar travel" is impossible to current science. It is virtually impossible to build anything of significant scale that would even leave the solar system (much less with live people on board, but that's a stupid idea anyway).

Once we get to the point that we can trivially travel to the next singularity, the drive concept is already obsolete because we have moved to a post-scarcity era that allows us to build all the stupid stuff our ancestors dreamed of, like Dyson Spheres (no, those don't work…) or the Hyperloop.

Again, it's a nice little theoretical idea, but it has so many obvious holes that it can never be useful.
This is my point - hence my comment "poor mans drive" travel once something far better is invented.

Z...
 
You're missing the point.... The nearest binary black hole - just to test the theory - is so far away that you NEED a warp drive to get there in a reasonable amount of time.
There is that issue. But atleast we do know that around our galaxy there will already be a certain number of binary mini black holes, so once the tech is mature enough and we have shed the 'prison' of our solar system, we could look to use these black holes for further travel around our galaxy.

I'm not 100% sure but i think part of the Halo Drive video was about having to 'create' the mini black holes for that first trip? Basically replacing the mini neutron stars with the black holes as a 'safer' way to harvest the energy via the laser blue shifting etc? I could be wrong on that but that was the impression i got. Create the mini black hole binary, shoot the laser, collect energy, increase speed to 30% speed of light and propel a ship and crew to Alpha Centurai.
 
'create' the mini black holes
No. Again, when you're at the point that you can summon black holes at will, you're master of mass, energy, and its conversion to a degree that makes you completely independent of anything else. By the time you squished half the mass of the solar system into a hot mess of radiation and death (the entire system combined wouldn't provide enough mass to create a stable neutron star, much less a black hole, and let's face it, y'all's mommas couldn't even de-orbit Ceres) you'd have built an Orion and blissfully bombed your way to the Pleiades.
 
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You're missing the point.... The nearest binary black hole - just to test the theory - is so far away that you NEED a warp drive to get there in a reasonable amount of time. If not, you need *something* to get your there in reasonable time to begin with - which will render this drive obsolete before it's even tested. Otherwise, hello thousands of years of space travel to get to the nearest binary black hole, and if you think we won't have figured out better methods by then, I'd tell you you're mad.
A ten thousand year trip that requires many generations, some form of stasis, biologically ageless people, and/or non-biological people, etc, is at least conceivable within the scope of our current knowledge of how the universe works.

Faster than light travel is not.

Far more reasonable to work within the bounds we know than assume completely inconceivable advances will allow us to ignore those boundaries.

Remember, the speed of sound was impossible once...

Z...
The speed of sound isn't a fundamental physical constant and breaking the sound barrier was never against the laws of physics. Many things in nature exceed the speed of sound, and humans have had tools/objects that could exceed the speed of sound for several thousand years.

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light. No known natural phenomena, nothing we have ever made. Indeed, we cannot even conceive of how the speed of light might be exceeded without using similarly impossible things.

The whole reason the halo drive is interesting is because there isn't anything about it that requires reality to be redefined.
 
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