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Study suggests unique way to detect presence of alien travel in space

Though a distant view, scientists are hoping to find a unique way to locate signs of alien travel.

Study suggests unique way to detect presence of alien travel in space
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels| Guillaume Meurice

Humanity has long been fascinated by the possibility of extraterrestrial life. For decades, we've been searching for aliens and trying to confirm their existence. According to a recent New York Post article, a new study suggests we might be able to learn more about aliens and trace their movements using an unusual system. The concept of "warp drives" popularized by the movie “Star Trek” was purely fictional. However, Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a real theoretical model for a warp drive that could enable faster-than-light travel, as reported by Futurism.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Jakub Novacek
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Jakub Novacek

The idea was that the drive would allow the system to travel “at the speed of light.” Though it seemed bizarre at the time, with study and advancement, scientists suggest that there is potential in the idea. However, the same is not just for spacecraft to travel super fast but also to locate alien civilizations in space. A study shared by Cornell University discussed the warp drive and stated: “Whilst there are numerous practical barriers to their implementation in real life, one can simulate their evolution in time given an equation of state describing the matter.” The working of the warp drive might seem bizarre to the layman but has hopeful and promising properties if pulled off. 

The drive would have to generate a wave that causes “a fabric of space” to expand or contract behind it. It would ideally manipulate space-time instead of moving the spacecraft faster or slower, per Gizmodo. The only drawback that keeps scientists from constructing an actual warp drive is the requirement for negative energy. “A form of energy where there’s less energy than empty space,” is a top necessity to make the warp drive function. However, since the same is not attainable even today, the drive remains just a prospective fantasy. 

Travelers passing through between these changes in spacetime would have to take support and protection from a formed “warp bubble.” The latter emits some form of waves should the warp bubble collapse or fail. These waves from the collapse can further aid in detecting alien life. Creating a strong gush of energy like waves hitting water, there would be a significant disturbance in space. The redistribution of energy would also suffice in creating more energy waves equivalent to that of a black hole or star collision. This humongous energy is what holds the potential for detecting any other signals around.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Edvin Richardson
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Edvin Richardson

While this is still far from study for humans, it is an indication that it could be a mode of travel for other species. There is still far more research to be done on the drives. Moreover, the same holds several challenges that need to be studied and rectified. “Our work highlights the importance of exploring strange new spacetimes, to (boldly) simulate what no one has seen before,” the study mentioned. The focus is entirely on understanding the warp drive and warp bubble before arriving at a point of discussion for detecting alien life. The research concluded, “Further work would be required to understand how generic the signatures are and properly characterize their detectability.”

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