The ability to manipulate space is the most important concept in terms of warp speed. If the Enterprise could distort the space-time continuum by enlarging the area behind it and narrowing the area in front of it, the crew could bypass the speed of light. As long as it creates its own gravitational field, the starship could travel locally at very slow speeds, avoiding the pitfalls of Newton’s third law of motion and synchronizing the clocks with the starting location and destination.The ship is not really traveling at a “speed” per second – it’s more like it’s catching its target as it pushes back its starting point. Since the ideas behind Einstein’s general theory of relativity are complex and can still be interpreted, sci-fi writers have many options. We may not know how to bend space and time with our current technology, but a fictitious civilization that may be playing in the future may be able to invent such a device with the right imagination.
- What is Warp Drive?