, Dr. Miguel Alcubierre
, a physicist
the University of Wales
, published a paper that
caught the attention of quite a number of scientist
as well as science fiction
The paper, entitled "The Warp Drive: Hyper-fast travel
within general relativity
" presents a model which
claims that faster than light travel was indeed possible within the rules of General Relativity
Alcubierre basically reversed the regular way General Relativity is applied; Instead of going from massive objects
to space-time curvature, he constructed a model that
could transport a volume of flat space inside a "bubble"
of highly curved space, much like a crease in a sheet.
This bubble is driven forward by creating and annihilating
space, much as if a local Big Bang were occuring
at the rear of the spaceship, and a Big Crunch
in front of it.
The key to this model is the so-called "exotic matter".
Exotic matter has the provoking property of having
negative energy density. (While two "normal" particles
would attract eachother by their gravity, a "normal"
particle and an exotic particle would repel eachother.)
Needless to say, there are still technical details to be
resolved, first and foremost regarding the creation
of exotic matter.