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(Science) A Leap Into Hyperspace

This weeks 'New Scientist' magazine (#2533 7th January 2006) has a very interesting article on inter-dimensional hyperspace travel. The theory, if correct, would allow a round trip to Mars in under 5 hours and a journey to stars 11 light years away would only take 80 days. If workable this would revolutionize space travel and physics in general.

(From 'A Leap Into Hyperspace" by Haiko Lietz New Scienist #2533)

Every year, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awards prizes for the best papers presented at its annual conference. last year's winner in the nuclear and future flight category went to a paper calling for experimental tests of an astonishing new type of engine. According to the paper, this hyperdrive motor would propel a craft through another dimension at enormous speeds. It could leave Earth at lunchtime and get to the moon in time for dinner. There's just one catch: the idea relies on an obscure and largely unrecognised kind of physics. Can they possily be serious?

The AIAA is certainly not embarassed. What's more, the US military has begun to cast its eveys over the hyperdrive concept, and a space propulsion researcher at the US Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories has said he would be interested in putting the idea to the test. And despite the bafflement of most physicists at the theory that supposedly underpins it, Pavlos Mikellides, an aerospace engineer at the Arizona State University in Tempe who reviewed the winning paper, stands by the committee's choice. "Even though such features have been explored before, this particular approach is quite unique," he says.

The work is based upon a little-known German physicist, Burkhard Heim, who was a handicapped recluse who only published in German so is not widely known outside very specific circles. Some of his related ideas have already proven to be more accurate that existing methods so who knows if the hyperspace idea will work or not. It's an exciting concept though and well worth reading the article if you get the chance. To be honest I think everyone should have a subscription to New Scientist as it's a fantastic magazine and is certainly a lot stranger than the science fiction that many of us enjoy to read or watch. Truth is much stranger than fiction in this case!

Anyway, for more information on the Heim Theory either grab a copy of the issue, check out the New Scientist website as that may have some info up or for more information about the man you can check out the Heim Theory Website which is in English and German.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 12th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
Ooo Hyperdrive. From a gaming and storytelling point of view I have alwys hated it as it gives way too much freedom of movement. But in reality, wow it would be sweet.
Jan. 12th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC)
Scimon trys to read Physics papers.
Scimons brain implodes.
Jan. 12th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
I read it this morning. Very interesting I thought! Though .... did make me slightly worried that Trekkies everywhere would start jumping up and down and going 'I told you so!' ;)
Jan. 12th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)
They still have to put the theory into practise, the same reason why we aren't all driving clean hydrogen-driven cars. The theory is there, some prototypes are there but the actual application is still years if not decades away.
Add to that that the hyperspace theory actually challenges current laws of physics (while the hydrogen drive is perfectly within those) and it's easy to see that it's never going to happen, at least not in this century.

It would be kinda cool if they were faster than SciFi predicts, though.
Jan. 12th, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC)
Hydrogen and fuel cell cars are ready to go, they're just fighting inertia at this point.
Jan. 12th, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
Not really intertia, it's the infrastructre that's slowing it down. The major automotive manufacturers and oil co.s are hoping to have an infrastructure of hydrgen refuelling stations certainly within the M25 by 2010, with the rest of the country rolling out after that (or that was the plan in 2003, might have changed since, I'm a little behind the curve).
Jan. 12th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC)
Great stuff! Not that I understand a word of it. The gamer in me likes the idea of a reclusive, handicapped German genius scientist as a character in a game. Maybe the arch-nemesis to Hawkins :-).
Jan. 12th, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, he refused to learn English as he didn't want his knowledge leaving the country either. He certainly sounds like an interesting figure for an RPG. I must admit one of my reasons for getting New Scienist each week (apart from really enjoying the articles) is for fiction and game purposes :p
Jan. 12th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
Burkhard Heim's stuff on Wikipedia is very interesting. In a lot of ways he comes over as quite a nutter but those very few people who can actually understand his math are now becoming very interested in it. In fact it seemed that he had to die before people weren't so put off by his reputation that they could take it seriously.

For myself I honestly don't know if it will be correct (my physical learning died halfway through uni) but I have an inkling that if/when humanity really crack the secrets of physics it will be a *lot* simpler than the insanely complex math required in Heim's stuff.
Jan. 12th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
It's not that complex, the theory is a good progressive start with a few required variables, the amount of work required to put the actual numbers into actual use though, that's where the problem is, needs serious governments (and I mean several governments helping each other) to work on the cost alone, let alone the construction.
Jan. 12th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
Did you read the one about the Artifical Gill. Apparently it works and it's dead simple to do. However it's the size of your fridgefrezer.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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