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A first-of-its-kind model suggests that warp drives might be possible using real physics

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A team of researchers has put forth the argument that it may not be necessary to surpass the boundaries of physics in order to achieve warp speed. In the past, all methods for achieving this incredibly fast propulsion have relied on unconventional energy sources that go against the laws of physics. However, a recent study suggests that it might be feasible to construct a warp drive that operates without relying on imaginary fuel.

Within the realm of science fiction, warp drives allow spacecraft to travel at the speed of light by manipulating spacetime, compressing it ahead of the ship and expanding it behind, resulting in the creation of a warp bubble. Commonly linked with Star Trek, this technology has enabled the inclusion of numerous intergalactic adventures within a single episode and has motivated many physicists to develop their own practical designs.

In 1994, the renowned Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre came up with the groundbreaking Alcubierre Drive. One limitation of this model, though, is that it relies on the use of a hypothetical concept known as “negative energy,”  which has yet to be detected in the actual universe.

According to a new study, the authors assert that they have mathematical proof that warp drives can be constructed without the use of “exotic” fuels, thus overcoming this minor inconvenience. Based on their calculations, it is possible to construct the interplanetary transport system using a combination of conventional and innovative gravitational methods. This would involve creating a warp bubble that can efficiently transport objects at high speeds, all within the limits of our current understanding of physics.

“The researchers state that the solution requires the combination of a stable matter shell with a shift vector distribution that closely resembles established warp drive solutions like the Alcubierre metric,” the researchers explain. Dr. Jared Fuchs, the study author, has expressed the groundbreaking nature of these findings. According to him, the research demonstrates that warp drives may no longer be confined to the realm of science fiction.

Regrettably, according to the experts in the field, the warp drive they have developed may not have the capability to achieve light speed. However, it does have the potential to come remarkably close. Essentially, the plan revolves around developing warp drives that can behave like regular matter, thereby eliminating the need for the hypothetical dark energy.

“Even though this design would still need a significant amount of energy, it shows that warp effects can be achieved without the need for unusual types of matter,” stated Dr. Christopher Helmerich, one of the authors of the study. “These findings open up possibilities for future advancements in reducing energy requirements for warp drives,” he said.

The study has been published in the prestigious journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

Engineering

How Do You Use A Mimeograph Machine?

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A mimeograph machine? Have you heard of one? We wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t heard of it, unless you’re pretty old or really interested in how people used to copy things. But it left a very big mark (or maybe an ink splatter) on the history of printing.

How does a mimeograph work? What is it?
For those who are wondering what the heck a mimeograph machine is, it was basically the first photocopier. It used ink, paper, and a stencil to make copies of written information.

A blank stencil was scratched with either an electric pen (which is how it all began) or a typewriter to get the information that was needed. The stencil could then be put into an ink press with a blank sheet of paper on top of it and pushed down. The ink would then be pushed through to the paper below, making a copy of what was cut out of the stencil.

Who came up with the mimeograph?
In the US, the famous inventor and businessman Thomas Edison was the first person to file a patent for a mimeograph machine. He did this in 1876. In the first version of the machine, the stencils were cut with an electric pen. Later, a flatbed ink press was used.

After Edison’s work, another inventor, Albert Blake Dick, built on it. He made the stencils better by using waxed paper, patented it, and in 1887, he released what he called the Echo Edison.

Others have also made changes to the process over the years. For instance, a rotating cylinder with an automatic ink feed and a motor or hand crank to power it replaced the flatbed duplicator. In later versions, the stencils could also be cut out with typewriters.

How well-known was the mimeograph machine?
It became very popular because getting a mimeograph machine was cheaper than going to a print shop or getting one of the big-name presses to make copies for you. This meant that a lot more people could afford to use them. In 1950, a mimeograph machine cost between $50 and $100, which is the same as $600 to $1,300 today.

It was also pretty simple to use and could make copies quickly, which led to more people making their own poetry books and zines. According to Kyle Schlesinger, a professor of typography at the University of Houston-Victoria, it’s not that different from blogging or tweeting right now.

Today, many people have photocopiers and printers in their homes, so mimeography isn’t used as much. But hey, when your printer protests for the fifth time in a week, you might want to think about it.

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Technology

Some of you didn’t seem to know about the dinosaur game

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Let’s be honest: the internet has made us all too lazy. In the past, if you wanted to know something like “what does a puma taste like?” you had to take a ship to the jungles of South America, find one, and eat it. It takes almost no time at all these days: just type the question into Google, hit “search,” and presto! That’s the answer.

While it’s an amazing piece of technology, there is one terrible thing about it. Specifically, the complete helplessness and loneliness that you only experience when you’re looking for something and find that—drum roll, please—you’re offline.

What else can you do but cry when you see that little pixelated dinosaur? While you wait for your Wi-Fi to reconnect, why not play a quick and fun game?

Yes. People who use Chrome have probably seen the sorry little dinosaur show up when the internet goes down. But if you thought it was just a still picture, like many of you did based on the comments under a recent popular TikTok video, you’ve been missing out on ten years of Dinosaur Game.

“The idea of ‘an endless runner’ as an Easter egg within the ‘you’re offline’ page was born in early 2014,” Sebastien Gabriel, a designer at Google and member of the team that made the Dinosaur Game, said in an interview for the Google blog in 2018.

He said, “It’s a play on going back to the ‘prehistoric age,'” when there was no Wi-Fi. “Cacti and a desert setting were part of the first version of the ‘you’re offline’ page. The style is a nod to our tradition of using pixel art in Chrome’s error messages.”

You can only run, duck, and jump in this very easy game. The goal is to avoid as many cacti and pterodactyls as you can. Day turns into night over time. If you play it long enough, your dinosaur friend will get a coat and a coffee and head from the desert to the city.

The dinosaur has actually gone through a lot of different themes over the years. In 2018, on Chrome’s tenth birthday, Dinosaur Game players would find a birthday cake in the desert. If they ate it, the dinosaur would get a party hat. You could find an Olympic torch during the 2020 Olympics, and the normal obstacles would be changed to ones with an Olympic theme.

It looks like a lot of people didn’t know about Dinosaur Game, which is normal for a company known for its Easter eggs. That game in particular has become very popular among long-time Chrome users. In 2018, Google said that the game was being played about 270 million times a month on laptops and phones.

“It’s not a surprise that most users come from places like India, Brazil, Mexico, or Indonesia where mobile data is unreliable or expensive,” said Edward Jung, a Chrome UX engineer who also helped make the game.

“At some point, we had to give enterprise admins a way to turn off the game,” he said, “because kids and adults who were supposed to be working got really into it.”

You don’t have to disconnect from the internet to play, which is good news. Gabriel added, “We also made the chrome://dino URL so people can play the game even when they’re not online.” “The page has an “arcade mode” where players can practice in full-screen mode to get the best results.”

Now the question is: Is it possible to beat the game? The answer is yes. Almost.

Jung told Google, “We thought the game should end after about 17 million years, which is how long the T-rex lived on Earth.” “So, yes, it can be beat,” he agreed, “but we think your spacebar might not be the same afterward.”

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Physics

An interest They stepped on a rock and found something on Mars that had never been seen before

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NASA’s curiosity has been looking into an interesting part of Mount Sharp for the past 10 months. It shows signs of a violent watery past, and chemical tests have shown that it contains many minerals, such as sulfates. The rover also broke open a rock by accident as it moved around. And inside it were crystals of pure sulfur.

On Mars, people had never seen pure sulfur before. Even though sulfates contain sulfur, there isn’t a clear link between how those molecules form and how the pure crystals form. Crystals of elemental sulfur can only form in a few different situations. And none of those were thought to happen in this area.

To find a field of stones made of pure sulfur is like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert, said Ashwin Vasavada, the project scientist for Curiosity at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “That thing shouldn’t be there, so we need to explain it.” It’s so exciting to find strange and unexpected things when exploring other planets.

The Gediz Vallis channel is the name of the area that Curiosity is exploring. A groove across Mount Sharp has been interesting for a long time, even before the rover started climbing it in 2014. From space, scientists could see that there were big piles of debris. But it wasn’t clear what caused them. Was it landslides or floodwaters from a long time ago that moved the stuff along the channel?

The answer has been found through curiosity. Some column A and some column B. Water-moved rocks are smoother and rounder. Sharp and angular are those that dry avalanches moved. There are both kinds of rocks in the mounds.

“This was not a quiet time on Mars,” said Becky Williams, a scientist from Tucson, Arizona, who works for the Planetary Science Institute and is the deputy principal investigator of Mastcam on Curiosity. “There was a lot of exciting stuff going on here.” We expect a number of different flows to happen down the channel, such as strong floods and flows with lots of rocks.

Curiosity is still looking into the Gediz Valley. When the ball rolls around and shows off its unique features, we can get very excited about the science being done here.

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