Once again, Science is following Fiction, Science Fiction that is.
Warp drives are a favorite means to cross the huge blocks of space needed to get any where interesting. Without it or other conventions, all we'd have to write about is space soap operas, where the same 13 characters mate, break up, mate someone else, break up, until every possible combination of mating has occurred. Then they start all over.
(For those of you unfamiliar with soap operas, on Young and Restless, Victor has married Vicki, divorced, married other women, divorced, and remarried Vicki so many times, I've lost count. But his marriages have to be in the double digits by now, and his marriages to Vicki are over five times I think.
My point being, without warp drive, a ship's population would need to mate everyone and still by the time they actually get anywhere, the progeny would be highly inbred, so we would need to be very careful about WHO we send on the mission. What DNA profile is the least likely to grow a third arm and become sterile under constant radiation bombardment?
Our physicist could develop warp drive and get us there before we turn into radioactive moles with tentacles growing out of our faces.
Never happening, you say?
Currently, our physicists are in dire straights. The foundational theories of Physics are in danger of being PROVEN WRONG.
Now is the perfect time to step away from String and Super Symmetry theories and do something fun, like create warp drives.
And one physicist is doing just that. Even more astounding, NASA has given him $50K and TIME to work on it.
Meet Sonny White
Sonny is focused on creating tiny disturbances in spacetime. It's a table top experiment which is why he only needs $50K and TIME to get it done. If he succeeds, then he'll ask for much larger amounts to create a larger bubble of warped space time around a ship.
I foresee a problem if he succeeds with the table top experiment. The very expensive ship we build will disappear the moment the bubble encompasses it and because we still don't understand physics, we won't have a clue where it went and how to get it back.
Afraid to lose a second ship, NASA will want to wait until our depressed physicists have recovered from their realization that everything they learned through all those years at school was wrong, and that sci-fi writers appear to be far smarter than they are.
News Flash: Sci Fi writers have always appeared to be smarter. That's because they think in possibilities while physicists are hamstrung by weird theories that will later prove to be wrong.
In a multiverse environment where literally anything does and can happen, I'll take the sci-fi writer's imagination any day.
Or the odd duck physicist like Sonny White. Can you imagine the contempt and abuse he gets at the NASA cafeteria every day?
"Yo Sonny, found Captain Kirk yet?"
The bullying when he asks someone to pass the butter and they throw it in his face.
"Oh, it must have gone through a spacetime distortion bubble!"
I definitely have to put Sonny White up with other brilliant Sci Fi seers who can think beyond the constraints we think is 'real' and look into the endless possibilities for ways to get us off this time bomb we call Earth.
I was glad to know Sonny wasn't alone in his quest. There are actually other scientists who have created groups like the 100 Year Starship project, the Tau Zero Foundation, Icarus Interstellar to explore possibilities.
So maybe this crisis in Physics is a good thing. Maybe it will cause the unimaginative half to quit and become actuaries, while the rest of our scientists can read up on their science-fiction and renew their imagination.
For serious blog about Sonny White see Scientific American