Hypothetical Warp Drive Based On Novel Supersymmetry Particles

by David S. Schroeder


S-Dualities and Supersymmetry

As noted, S-dualitys exchange the variables of a unified field, as well as their intrinsic strengths (a strongly coupled field is mapped into a weakly coupled field, and visa versa). It's also speculated that S-dualities and supersymmetry transformations are virtually the same phenomena, which would result in an enormous simplification of fundamental physics. If extra dimensions lead to effective low energy unification of gravity with the other Standard Model forces, we expect two results. First the mapping of variables between the fields in question, and second the transposing of the intrinsic strengths of the two fields. For an S-duality, or supersymmetry, operation between gravity and electromagnetism, we note that each field has a pair of variables - length and time for the former, and electric and magnetic for the latter.

The first condition, for a gravity/electromagnetic S-duality, would be met by mapping the variables of length and time into the structure of Maxwell's electromagnetic field, and by mapping the electric and magnetic variables into the Lorentzian structural framework of General Relativistic gravity. The second condition would be met by transposing the intrinsic strengths of gravity and electromagnetism. Electromagnetism is 39 magnitudes stronger than gravity, so the gravity emulating length-time Maxwell field should be commensurate in strength with Maxwell's original field. Conversely, the newly formed electric-magnetic Lorentzian field will be as feeble as normal gravity. Each of these fields will have their associated quanta, mirroring the quanta associated with the original electromagnetic and gravitational fields.

L and T Quanta

It is the various quanta of the postulated Length-Time Maxwell Field that auger a future technological revolution - namely a warp drive, or reactionless propulsion system. The electromagnetic field originates from electric charges, namely electrons and protons. The field could also be created by hypothetical magnetic charges, or magnetic monopoles. The equivalent particles for the length-time Maxwell field, or L-T field for short, would be charges of length (L) of opposite polarity, and charges of time (T) of opposing polarity. Here we need to digress. The electric field is bi-polar. Bi-polarity in a L field would correspond to an increase or decrease of the physical length of the local space around a L charged quantum particle. Arbitrarily, we attribute local spatial expansion to 'positively' charged L quanta, and spatial contraction to 'negatively' charged L quanta. This selection fixes the definition for 'positive' (and 'negative') T quanta. A positive T quanta will speed up time in its vicinity, falling off as the inverse square of the distance to the particle. Accordingly, a negative T quanta will slow time in its vicinity.

As detailed in the concept section an L-T 'photon', the quanta of the L-T field, would possess oscillating length and time vectors, corresponding to alternating contraction/expansion of length in one axis, and alternating slowing/speeding of time in the perpendicular axis. This is equivalent to alternating expansion and contraction of the local metric, so that, clearly, an observer entrained at a cross-over node of an L-T wave train would experience the condition for an Alcubierre warp metric. It's suggested that the proposed L and T quanta could create the condition of an Alcubierre warp on a macroscopic scale, notwithstanding that the range of their fields are restricted to about 10-19 meters. In the concept section it was also noted that the very controversial "gravity shielding" phenomena detected above high temperature superconductors by Evgeny Podkletnov, and a few others, might well have resulted from coherent behavior of large numbers of 'virtual' L-T quanta.

Podkletnov's Experiment

Reportedly, Podkletnov achieved upwards of a 2 percent reduction in gravity above his HTSC disk, in his early experiments. Remarkably, a 2 percent diminuation in the Earth's gravity field would correspond to an infinitesimal offset in the proposed gravity-emulating, Maxwell field, of a few parts in 1041, or put more graphically, a hundred thousand trillion, trillion, trillion. Even his later claims of short duration 1000 g pulses, from his Impulse Gravity Generator, would still be a mere one part in two trillion, trillion, trillion, of the maximum strength of this field. This suggests that if macrosopic quantities of the proposed length (L) or time (T) quanta could be extracted from the vacuum, and their fields harnessed, that extraordinarily strong localized curvatures of the metric could be effected. Concievably, a field strong enough to implement an Alcubierre style warp might be attainable, making possible a reactionless drive for future interstellar travel. A rough outline of such a concept is suggested below.

Physical Design of Warp System

As per the assumption that S-duality and supersymmetry operations are one and the same phenomena, the S-duality derived L and T quanta, and the L-T photon, will hereafter be referred to as supersymmetric type matter/energy. Let us suppose that two parallel circular plates of steel or titanium, 10 meters in diameter, and coated with an angstrom thick layer of supersymmetric matter based metal, are fabricated. Supersymmetric matter, (assuming it could stably exist), would certainly be as dense as neutron star matter, so to keep weight within reasonable limits you only want a thin coating of it. The extremely high density of the material, moreover, would proportionally increase its current carrying capacity.

Let these plates be spaced apart by about 2 meters, or a gap sufficient to accomodate a standing human, with a suitable mechanical structure to hold them rigid with respect to each other, and enclose the living space in an airtight compartment. Within this living space would be placed the machinery to refrigerate the upper and lower plates to a superconducting temperature. Also contained in this area would be generating equipment, composed in part, of supersymmetric metal (again thin coating on normal metal based wire conductors), that would create enormous currents of either L or T quanta (or both) that would be circulated in the supersymmetric-matter metal plates.

With a sufficiently large amplitude, synchronized current 'sheet' of L and/or T quanta circulating in the upper and lower plates, one side (let us say the bottom) would simulate a mass 'source' of sub-planetary magnitude, while the other side would mimic a mass 'sink' of the same magnitude. On the source side the metric would be expanded, rather like the diverging lines of a magnetic north pole, while the sink side would lead to contraction of the metric, just as ordinary matter does, and correspond to the converging lines of a magnetic south pole. The interior living quarters for the crew would experience parallel lines of metric distortion and would constitute a 'stasis' field, that would neutralize acceleration on the occupants. Additional field coils, composed partly of supersymmetric matter, could be positioned at suitable locations around the craft to provide asymmetric forces for maneuvering and orienting the craft.

The detailed mechanism by which L and T, quanta would create the equivalent of sources and sinks of space-time is through the extra dimensional bulk space-time. It's assumed that L and T quanta are polarized just as electric charges and hypothetical magnetic monopoles are polarized. For a fundamental electrically charged particle there is a dipole magnetic field that circulates through the particle's spin axis. Likewise with a magnetic monopole there would be a dipole electric field that circulates through its spin axis.

For a fundamental T quanta its polarization would manifest as an L field circulating through its spin axis, while an L quanta's polarization would be in the form of a T field circulating about its spin axis. Due to mass-energy concentration it's proposed that both L and T quanta function as interfaces between our 3+1 brane and the extra dimensional bulk space-time. Thus the space emerging from one pole of a T quanta, would in actuality be from the bulk, while local space converging back into the other pole of the T quanta would be shunted into the bulk. The same situation would apply to an L quanta, only here it would be time that would be shunting into and out of the bulk. From this it follows that fundamental particles in our universe, polarized by virtual L-T quanta, funnel gravitons into and out of the higher dimensional bulk. In other words, the polarization induced by the L-T quanta would be manifested by the subduction of gravitons into the bulk on one side of the particle, and the emergence of bulk gravitons on the other side of the particle. This, of course, is the configuration of an Alcubierre warp - more spacetime on one side and less spacetime on the other side (the direction of acceleration).

Therefore, it is clear for the proper functioning of the reactionless drive mechanism that on both field generating plates the L and T quanta must be aligned with the axis of motion of the vehicle. In flat, circular superconductors, such as used by Podkletnov and Ning Wu, the alignment of ions was achieved bv spinning them on their axis at high speed (in this regard it is curious that discoidal UFOs are frequently reported to either be spinning as a whole, or just the outer rim spins). So, whether the L and T quanta are circulated mechanically, or as a current stream (like an electric current), the effect should be to intensify the flow of space-time across the bulk/brane divide with increased rate of mechanical circulation, or increased density of L and T quanta in the case of these quanta moving as a current stream.

Thus, on the plate facing the direction of the vehicle's motion, space-time would be subducted into the bulk at the angstrom thick boundary layer containing the circulating L and T quanta. At the rear facing plate of the vehicle bulk space-time would emerge from the angstrom thick boundary layer, also containing circulating L and T quanta, and be deposited immediately behind the craft. If this process occurred at a fast enough pace, a non-equilibrium state of the vacuum adjacent to the craft would be obtained, consistent with an Alcubierre warp. The result is that the craft's occupants (between the plates) would move along a geodesic in space-time.

It's further speculated that the major problems associated with an Alcubierre warp operating only within our 3+1 space-time would be obviated by utilizing bulk space as the 'working fluid' to create the warp metric. For example, a serious problem was pointed out by researchers at the University of Sydney1, who demonstrated that an Alcubierre type craft would encounter particles in space (cosmic rays, hydrogen and helium atoms, etc), whose kinetic energy would be greatly magnified by either the near light speed, or superluminal, velocity of the craft. Over a long journey these energetic particles would be swept up and accumulate in the warp bubble, potentially building up an energy reservoir of enormous magnitude. The researchers calculate this huge reservoir of energetic particles would be projected forward of the craft during decelleration, thus potentially irradiating their destination planet, annoying the inhabitants. Since bulk/brane theories allow only closed-loop gravitons to enter the bulk, the energetic particles of matter, composed of open strings, would not be subducted into the bulk at the forward facing plate of the vehicle. Concievably, the high density of the supersymmetric coating on this front plate would prevent the energetic particles from entering the crew cabin, and they would merely slough off the sides of the vehicle, harmlessly dissipating in the interstellar void.

For mechanical rigidity and integrity, it would make sense to have both field generating plates somewhat convex in shape for the exact same reason that Hoover dam curves outward - to divert the millions of tons of force exerted by the water into a sideways thrust that compresses the dam's structure, and ultimately thrusts into the walls of the canyon. For the Lenticular Vehicle the canyon walls would be replaced by internal bracing that would absorb the outward thrusting. Of course, the 'sink' side of the vehicle would have extensional forces, but force distribution would still be improved by a convex shape. Moreover, if a near instantaneous reversal of flight direction was desired, it would only be necessary to reverse the direction of current flow in the top and bottom plates, thus converting the mass 'sink' side to a mass 'source' side and visa versa.

To develope such a metric engineering technology would require a program that would, without question, dwarf the Manhattan Project of the 1940s in scale and sophistication. Just to synthesize useful quantities of L or T quanta would require prodigious amounts of energy, since their masses are assumed to be in the supersymmetry sector, or the TeV range. Today's accelerator technology would be totally inadequate because of the abysmally low particle production versus energy input. Even with 100% conversion efficiency it would still be an immense undertaking. Then there would be other issues like storage and manipulation of these quanta once they are produced. All in all, metric engineering a la Star Trek, assuming it involves exploitation of large quantities of some as yet undiscovered massive particle, may not see fruition for centuries to come. Then again, some prominent physicists in the 1930s, appreciating the difficulty of separating U235 from uranium metal composed almost entirely of U238, believed fission weapons to be impossible. So, who can say what the next 50 or 100 years may bring?

1. The Alcubierre Warp Drive: On the Matter of Matter


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