These legendary episodes from the Star Wars saga are impressive, but unfortunately incompatible with physical reality according to MIT.
Hyperspace, this alternate dimension of some spacecraft in the universe star Wars can be achieved by traveling at the speed of light, is one of the pillars of folklore in the works of George Lucas. This concept is even passed on to descendants in several sections of the film, where we see the main characters spin through corridor of light stripes. But recent research has shown that this view may be wrong; and for the first time he also proposes a method for testing this hypothesis.
In any case, this is the opinion of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose work was noticed by Space.com. According to them, the pilot of the Millennium Falcon or other car equipped with a hyperdrive will not see these famous long light stripes. They feel that the crew prefers to see some “quantum aurora”Is provided by an astrophysical model called the Unru effect.
History of quantum fluctuations
This Unru effect is an amazing prediction from the field of quantum physics. Very vulgarly, this theory states that matter, which accelerates to very high velocities, begins to interact with fluctuations in the quantum vacuum; this interaction at the quantum level then generates radiation, which, if intense enough, can become seen as a glow.
The problem is that, as is often the case in fundamental astrophysics, this prediction is there very difficult to verify. Theoretically there should be a hyperdrive functions like a famous ship captured by Khan Solo … or another device capable of doing soaccelerate the atom to the speed of light in less than a millionth of a second. Not the kind of equipment you can find at a local dealership.
But, fortunately, there is another way: that coincidence. In fact, if we wait long enough, statistics show that one of these fluctuations will inevitably affect the atom, which will allow us to observe the effect of Unru.
The problem is that if this phenomenon is guaranteed on an infinite scale, then it is extremely unlikely to testify to this on the scale of human life. Researchers have estimated that without intervention we will have to wait tens of billions of years – more than the age of the universe itself.
Make your hand at random
Therefore, the task is to maximize the probability of observing such an event. Ever since the Unru effect was first proposed in the 1970s, researchers have always been in short supply. But for the first time, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a solution that could achieve this in a reasonable amount of time.
The solution proposed by the team is based on photons, these massless particles that serve as a support for electromagnetic fields. The researchers explain that their presence will have an effectincrease the frequency of these famous quantum fluctuationswhich would greatly facilitate the detection of the Unru effect.
Their work theoretically showed that the atom could be accelerated along a certain trajectory photon field, he could interact with them in a very special way. This trajectory will force all other elements of modeling “invisible”In the eyes of researchers, which would allow them to focus on the famous radiation produced by the Unru effect.
Experimental confirmation is expected
So far, this is just a job quite theoretically. And the transition to the concrete phase will be difficult. To send an atom at such a speed while maintaining a high-precision trajectory requires ultra-specialized equipment at the forefront of technology.
Therefore, the test of this hypothesis will go through the construction of a a particle accelerator specially designed for this purpose, which is obviously a small feat. But if the test waits a few more years, the researchers are still satisfied overcame the biggest theoretical obstacle.
Mathematically and physically, the circle is complete, and it remains only to test it experimentally. “Theoretically, we have now eliminated the biggest bottleneck of this 40-year-old problem.Congratulations to Vivishek Sudhir, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Now all they have to do is capture this phenomenon to show us what Han Solo and company saw during their travels in hyperspace!
The text of the study is available here.