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Null Geodesics in the Alcubierre Warp Drive Spacetime: The View from the Bridge
Classical and Quantum Gravity
  • Chad Clark
  • William A. Hiscock
  • Shane L. Larson, Utah State University
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The null geodesic equations in the Alcubierre warp-drive spacetime are numerically integrated to determine the angular deflection and redshift of photons which propagate through the distortion of the `warp-drive' bubble to reach an observer at the origin of the warp effect. We find that for a starship with an effective warp speed exceeding the speed of light, stars in the forward hemisphere will appear closer to the direction of motion than they would to an observer at rest. This aberration is qualitatively similar to that caused by special relativity. Behind the starship, a conical region forms from within which no signal can reach the starship, an effective `horizon'. Conversely, there is also a horizon-like structure in a conical region in front of the starship, into which the starship cannot send a signal. These causal structures are somewhat analogous to the Mach cones associated with supersonic fluid flow.

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Citation Information
C. Clark, W. A. Hiscock, and S. L. Larson, Classical and Quantum Gravity 16, 3965+ (1999), ISSN 0264-9381, URL