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Working Alcubierre-like FTL drive by 2100?
The Alcubierre drive is a speculative warp drive idea based on a solution of Einstein's field equations in general relativity as proposed by Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre, by which a spacecraft could achieve apparent faster-than-light travel if a configurable energy-density field lower than that of vacuum (that is, negative mass) could be created.
Rather than exceeding the speed of light within a local reference frame, a spacecraft would traverse distances by contracting space in front of it and expanding space behind it, resulting in effective faster-than-light travel. Objects cannot accelerate to the speed of light within normal spacetime; instead, the Alcubierre drive shifts space around an object so that the object would arrive at its destination more quickly than light would in normal space without breaking any physical laws.
However, there are a number of technical challenges that may mean that it is either extremely difficult or impossible to create a device that functions as Alcubierre described.
Alcubierre's original paper can be read here: The warp drive: hyper-fast travel within general relativity
Will a functional Alcubierre drive device be demonstrated before 2100?
This question resolves positively if before January 1, 2100, a credible paper is published in a peer-reviewed journal that details a successful demonstration of a functioning device that works broadly in the manner that Alcubierre described, and that enables a physical object to traverse distances at faster-than-light speeds.
This demonstration must take place in 'base reality' (i.e. the universe in which the concept was originally proposed, and in which Metaculus users in January 2021 lived) rather than in any kind of simulated reality or alternative physical universe that is created or discovered after February 12, 2021.
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