Flight along cosmic strings

So far the only scientifically proven the possibility of interstellar travel is the acceleration of the spacecraft up to relativistic speeds (punctures and convolution space still remain purely speculative projects). The ship may abandon astronauts in suspended animation for a dozen or even a hundred light years and return them to Earth. But because of the relativistic slowing of Board time on earth will pass away not even the century and Millennium — and it is somehow not pleasing. In addition to other galaxies to get to, there’s no cryostasis will not help. But it is possible that the output is still there.

For 15 years Professor of theoretical physics at Imperial College London, Joao Magueijo develops the hypothesis of variable speed of light (Varying Speed of Light, VSL). However, he minded very little, since most scientists believe this idea is pure nonsense. But we are talking about science impossible, so will try to temper my skepticism.

VSL-models calculated in several ways. They all say that measured on Earth the speed of light in a vacuum is not an absolute constant, and only the lower limit of the speed of propagation of electromagnetic waves. In certain (frankly, vesimaailma) conditions may be many times 299 792 km/s. In particular, the proponents of these theories believe that such conditions existed immediately after the Big Bang. Read more

However, there are other possibilities. Some versions of VSL-theories claim that the speed of light greatly increases in the vicinity of cosmic strings. The so-called too hypothetical, but in theory much more reliable infrastructure in the 1970s, spoke for the first time by English physicist Thomas Kibble. Later these ideas were developed by other scientists, including the Director of the Institute of cosmology at tufts University, Alexander Vilenkin, whose wonderful book “a World of many worlds” recently published in Russian translation. Cosmic strings are one — dimensional topological defects of space left over after splitting off strong (quark-gluon) interaction from the electroweak which, according to the standard assessment took place after 10-36 s after the Big Bang (this same era spawned and one-dimensional defects in face of magnetic monopoles, which are explained in “RM” No. 7’2010).

Cosmic strings may extend to intergalactic distances up to the borders of the observable space. This ultra-thin (diameter much less than the radius of the proton) tube filled with fantastic energy concentration. Meter like the strings to pull to 1020 kg, and this is a conservative estimate. However, the attraction of this gigantic mass is completely compensated by an equally excessive string tension, which creates the effect of antigravity. So the string will not fall even a speck of dust caught in its vicinity. At the same time, the string is greatly distorts the surrounding space and gives it a conical topology. Like the surface of a cone, the space within the string is locally flat (curvature is zero), but globally curved.

But back to space. What will happen with the space ship, trapped in the neighborhood of this string? For example, near the Sun there was a string running towards Altair. And let the light along the string is racing a hundred times faster than in normal space. At a speed just one-fifth the magnitude of the vehicle returns from a flight to Altair (34 light years in the two ends) through a couple of years — well, even two dozen, if you grant him a reasonable time for acceleration and braking. Because the speed of the spaceship is not much inferior to the local light, the effect of time dilation will be almost zero. The brave astronauts are not only too old, but even will be able to meet relatives and friends. And if we assume that colostoma light speed is still several orders of magnitude more, and that our descendants will be able to accelerate a starship almost instantly, you can think about intergalactic travel. Looks tempting, isn’t it?

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