NASA might be on the verge of creating the first real warp drive
When it comes to space exploration, our technology is still very primitive all things considered. There are certainly plenty of plans to improve it, but it seems like we’re still progressing much slower than most of us would like to. Don’t worry though, because things might change very soon and NASA could be the one to take our technology to the next level. As you probably know, our current tech doesn’t allow us to travel very far into the vastness of space, with our fastest spacecraft ever build just now approaching Pluto after a voyage of almost 10 years. A lot of people (scientists and laymen alike) speculate that we would require something like a warp drive to be able to travel to the closest stars and as it happens, NASA may have just taken the first steps that would allow scientists and engineers to build one.
Back in 2000, several years before New Horizons was launching towards Pluto, aerospace engineer Roger J. Shawye came up with the idea for an EM Drive, a new theoretical propulsion system aimed at revolutionizing space travel as we know it. The biggest problems we currently have are that our spacecraft are simply unable to travel fast enough and our energy sources are completely inefficient. The EM Drive was meant to be the solution to these problems, but unfortunately the scientific community looked down upon the project because it seemed to violate an important law of physics, the law of conservation of momentum. NASA may not have been too interested in the project at first, but they eventually decided to give it a shot and eventually even built a prototype of the EM Drive some time ago.
Believe it or not, the gamble apparently payed off because now it seems like NASA managed two great feats by experimenting with this concept. Some of this information may or may not be reliable, but over on the NASA Spaceflight forums there are many people talking about how a new EM Drive prototype is able to generate thrust with the help of microwaves. As intriguing as this sounds, the real story here is that NASA learned that lasers fired through the device’s resonance chamber are behaving in very unexpected ways. Specifically, some of the laser beams seemed to be moving faster than the speed of light, which is not something that you see every day. In fact, you never see that because the consensus is that nothing can move faster than the speed of light. So, what’s happening here and what does this have to do with the aforementioned warp drive and space exploration?
Well, a while ago science arrived at the conclusion that light sets the “universal speed limit”, a notion that was enforced by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity and rarely contested until now. In order to make sure that the EM Drive really does what it appears to be doing, the experiment needs to be replicated in a vacuum, so we’ll have to wait until that happens to find out if Einstein was wrong or not. As for why the laser beams can presumably travel faster than light, people from NASA believe that the EM Drive is creating a warp bubble, which is basically a distortion of spacetime. In theory, the only way something could travel faster than the speed of light is by taking shortcut through spacetime and that’s what the laser beams inside the EM Drive’s resonance chamber seem to be doing.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about something like this as other concepts like the Alcubierre drive – or indeed, the warp drive from Star Trek – follow a similar principle. This is however, the first time that theory has been transformed into practice and offered some measurable results. As mentioned, further tests need to be conducted in order to verify these claims, but the idea itself definitely sounds very exciting. If NASA does learn how to create a propulsion system that makes use of the warp bubble, then it will surely revolutionize space exploration as we know it. However, the space agency would still need to create a huge warp drive because an actual spacecraft is unlikely to go anywhere with the current prototypes. What we can say for certain right now is that ideas for technologies such as these are finally being taken seriously by many scientists, and top experts are working on them as we speak. You can check out the history and current progress of NASA’s EM Drive here.
Anyone willing to pay can now access the Tesla FSD driver assistance beta
Elon Musk announced in a tweet that Tesla is opening up its so-called full self-driving (FSD) beta to anyone who has paid for it after gradually opening it up over the past few years. In North America, he added, “Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to anyone who requests it from the car screen, assuming you have purchased this option.”
With automated features like automated city steering, automatic parking, smart vehicle summoning, and traffic light/stop sign recognition, FSD builds on Tesla’s “Autopilot” driver-assist feature. The feature is a paid upgrade that costs $15,000 after a $3,000 price increase in September.
Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to anyone in North America who requests it from the car screen, assuming you have bought this option.
Congrats to Tesla Autopilot/AI team on achieving a major milestone!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2022
Tesla initially stated that it would introduce fully autonomous driving features in 2018, but they didn’t actually do so until July 2021, to a select group of “careful and expert drivers.” The version 9.0 beta saw a wider release, but testers could only participate in an early access program. Tesla removed the requirements for at least 100 Autopilot miles and an 80 safety score on the most recent FSD release, so now anyone can get it.
However, Tesla is widely implementing FSD at a time when regulators are closely monitoring it. In a recent expansion of its investigation into a string of Tesla crashes involving first responders, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now looking at most models. It is also looking into more than 30 incidents involving Autopilot in a separate investigation.
Musk has long promised fully autonomous vehicles without a human driver. Most recently, he said he believed it might come this year, but in Tesla’s most recent earnings report, he backtracked on those statements. Following Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the price of Tesla’s stock has been falling precipitously recently.
Importance of Physics in Different Fields
Physics is the foundation of other sciences, technology, and most engineering, which develops mathematical literacy. The most common complaint of a student usually sounds like this: “Why do I need to study this subject if I’m not going to do it after school” or “What are my benefits from studying this subject in the future”. This is due to the fact students face difficulties in physics studying during classrooms and in most cases, they require physics homework help online from real assignment experts.
Indeed, does a student need to cram formulas and deal with the laws of Newton and Faraday? Maybe, let’s do something interesting better? Surprisingly, even many adults do not understand why they taught physics at school and sincerely do not see the connection between this entertaining science and everyday life. Let’s find this connection.
So why do we need this science? Its task is to understand how certain phenomena occur, and why specific processes are formed. It also helps predict certain events. Have a look at the elevator, which quickly and easily takes you to the desired floor, different means of transport, computers, tablets, and phones – all of them won’t work without physics.
It is not just a school subject, it is something more. Many natural projects are performed with the assistance of physics, e.g. the simplest example of a physics process in life is the brewing of tea. This process is called diffusion. Weather is another great example: rainbow, shadow, refraction of light are all wonderful sciences. If physics did not exist in life, it is unlikely we would have such a convenient life now. This science is an irreplaceable thing in the life of every person.
Physics and Other Sciences
Physics is the basis for STEM subjects that are studied at a technical university. For example, electronics is a synthesis of several branches of physics: electromagnetism, solid-state and gases, etc. Even the queen of sciences – mathematics is a tool for physical research. Lasers are the physics of the stimulated emission of atoms and molecules. Holography is a technical use of the phenomenon of interference and diffraction of electromagnetic waves.
Chemistry is influenced by physics more than any other science. All chemical processes are the formation or destruction of bonds between valence electrons. In essence, theoretical chemistry is all physics.
Astronomy is older than physics, but it became a science when experts were able to explain why the planets and stars move exactly the way and not otherwise. The most startling discovery of astronomy was the fact that stars are made of the same atoms as Earth. This has been proven by spectroscopic physicists. Where do stars get their energy from? This became clear only by 1940, after the discovery of the fission reaction and thermonuclear fusion.
Furthermore, with the help of knowledge of physics and thanks to physical equipment helpers used in biology, the mechanism of all biological processes can be understood at the molecular and intracellular levels. DNA was discovered with the help of electron microscopes. What about the most complex processes of nervous activity? These are electromagnetic phenomena.
Clean air is required not only for a person but also for technological processes. Due to the presence of a large amount of dust, all equipment becomes unusable ahead of time. Escaping dust with gases is a very valuable process. This is since the purification of various industrial gases is extremely necessary today. Now, this problem is very easily solved by an electric field. How does it work?
Inside the metal pipe, there is a special wire that plays the role of the first electrode. The walls of the pipe provide the second electrode service. Due to the electric field, the gas in it begins to ionize. Negatively charged ions begin to attach to the particles of smoke, which comes along with the gas itself. Thus, they are being charged and begin to move to set on the pipe walls. After purification, the gas moves to the exit.
Thanks to physics, a huge contribution to the development of medicine has been made. The discovery of X-rays made it possible to identify various diseases of human internal organs and detect bone fractures. Specialists can measure blood pressure, use electric currents and magnetic fields for treatment, and other lasers and optical devices. Still, this is not a complete list of the greatest achievements and possibilities of physics in medicine.
Gravity, Momentum, and Other Availability
Physics discovers the principles of the law of gravitation. That is, we already know that if you throw an object, it will fall on the ground. What does it mean? The planet Earth pulls down us and all things. Moreover, it pulls down even such a heavy space object as the Moon. Also, any things that we throw on the floor, do not hang in the air because thrown objects are affected upon by acceleration created by gravitational and friction forces.
Therefore, knowing about these laws, you can understand what happens if you jump with a parachute. Is the area of the parachute related to the slowdown in the fall rate? Maybe you should ask for a larger parachute? How does the impulse work on your knees, and why can’t you land on straight legs?
How to choose alpine skiing? Are you a professional skater or an amateur? Think about friction, check these parameters for your new skis. If you are a beginner and have a lack of physics knowledge, then more likely you’ll probably make a mistake in ski selection.
Okay, you are not going to skydive, and you don’t want to know anything about alpine skiing. Let’s get back to everyday life. Here is a nut and a wrench in front of you. What part of the wrench should you grab to apply maximum force to the nut? Those who had physics assignments studied will take the wrench as far from the nut as possible. To open a heavy door, you need to press on it from the very edge, away from the hinges. Do we need to talk about the lever and the fulcrum that Galileo lacked so much? It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of physics in all spheres of life. After all, it is everywhere: beginning from household and telephone to jetliners and space flights. It should be remembered that all the benefits of civilization became possible thanks to scientific discoveries.
Gotham: The Underrated Superhero Show
Superhero media is the hottest thing on the street right now. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is now over twenty movies in, with Avengers: Endgame being the second highest grossing film EVER, beat only by the 2009 film Avatar.
Super Hero TV shows are also incredibly popular, such as Marvels Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Agents of Shield, but Marvel isn’t the only studio out there.
DC has produced some great films as well, most notably Wonder Woman, and has licensed out to CW several TV shows, including Arrow, Flash, and Super Woman, Legends of Tomorrow, and the upcoming Batwoman.
However, there is one Super Hero TV show that I feel deserves way more attention; the Fox Networks TV series, Gotham.
Gotham: Spoiler Free
Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything in this paragraph. Gotham, in essence, is a five-season origin story for basically everyone in Gotham City. “But wait!” I hear you cry, “We’ve already had Batman’s origin way too many times. I’m sick of it.”
Yep, but I didn’t say Batman, did I? I said EVERYONE in Gotham city.
While the show opens with the iconic Batman origin, it’s done from the perspective of Jim Gordon, who’s just at the beginning of his career. You see, Gotham is more of an origin story for everyone other than Batman, and like a progressive jackpot, the more you’re in Gotham City the crazier you’re gonna get out of it.
What makes this show so good is that it presents all of the usual comic book absurdity while keeping everything grounded by presenting it all from the point of view of the do-it-by-the-books Jim Gordon.
If I’ve intrigued you, I highly recommend you stop right now and go watch Gotham, because I’m about to enter spoiler territory.
Gotham: Spoiler Zone
Still here? Good.
What sets Gotham apart from, say, the CW shows is that the Super Heroes and the good guys never get any powers. Not one. No super strength, speed, healing, or magical hacking powers. No Stark Tech, holograms, or alien alloys. You see, when the Flash can run so fast he can go backward in Time, it’s really hard to believe that he can ever be in any real danger.
In contrast, in Gotham, the heroes are always fighting the odds against these villains, and at the same time the villains are never so powerful they should be able to kill the heroes. That doesn’t mean the villains aren’t scary, though.
One of this show’s strongest points is its characterization. Everyone is incredibly well written, from the believable relationship of Alfred and Bruce to the stubborn Jim Gordon to the psychopathic Oswald Cobblepot.
Oh yes, the Penguin is here, and he is scary. He isn’t the fat fish mutant from the Tim Burton days. He is machiavellian and murderous, and although at the beginning we see him licking the boots of Gotham’s organized crime lords, I assure you it doesn’t stay that way.
Oh, and here’s a major spoiler warning. I really recommend watching the show before I gush about this part. There’s a love triangle.
With who, you may ask? Jim Gordon perhaps? Bruce? Harvey Bullock, perhaps? No, no, and no.
Gotham features a love triangle between Edward Nygma (the Riddler), the Penguin, and a woman named Isabella. Don’t worry, it’s better than that because the two men aren’t pining over the woman; Isabella and Penguin are both obsessed with the Riddler.
It’s as absurd as it sounds, and devolves into the chaotic jealous murder-fest that such an arrangement must inevitably fall into. It’s amazing.
Final Answer: Why should you watch Gotham?
So let me summarize why you should watch the underrated Gotham. It’s got great writing, amazing character arcs, unexpected plot developments, and a level of tension and stakes that other super hero shows are just… lacking.
By making Jim Gordon the focal point, the show presents a strong sense of morality and justice by making it really difficult to do the right thing in a corrupt and collapsing world, when half the time it’s easier to just keep you’re head down and look out for number one.
It’s easy to be a hero when you’re Super Woman, but it’s so much more meaningful when you’re not immune to bullets.
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