Hadron Collider could test a hyperdrive

Posted by Nigel Constantine

Rather than just creating black holes that would wipe out the earth, or at least turn it into a larger version of Detroit, the Large Hadron Collider could help develop a hyperdrive which would allow spacecraft to approach the speed of light.


According to Technology Review, the idea for hyperdrive Propulsion was worked out in 1924 by a German mathematician David Hilbert who worked out a side effect of Einstein's theory of relativity.


Hilbert looked at the interaction between a relativistic particle moving toward or away from a stationary mass. If the relativistic particle had a velocity greater than about half the speed of light, a stationary mass should repel it. At least, that's how it would appear to a distant observer.


Hyperdrive, anyone?


Franklin Felber, an independent physicist based in the United States said the idea had been forgotten.  Now he thinks that this effect could be exploited to propel an initially stationary mass to closer to the speed of light.


Felber predicts that this speed can be achieved without generating the severe stresses that could damage a space vehicle or its occupants. However to prove his theory he needs to borrow the Large Hadron Collider which can accelerate particles to the kind of energies that generate this repulsive force.


He said that the repulsive force that Felber predicts will be tiny, but it could be detected using resonant test mass. His experiment could run alongside anything else that the LHC would be doing. And since the experiment wouldn't interfere with the LHC's main business of colliding particles, it could be run in conjunction with it.

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