WFU Department of Physics Wake Forest University


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WFU Physics Colloquium

TITLE: Wormholes, Warp Drives, and Negative Energy

SPEAKER: Professor Thomas Roman,

Department of Mathematical Sciences ,
Central Connecticut State University

TIME: Wednesday September 25, 2013 at 3:00 **

PLACE: Room 101 Olin Physical Laboratory

** Note the early starting time
Refreshments will be served at 2:30 PM in the Olin Lounge. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.


This talk discusses "wormholes", shortcuts through space and time, and the type of faster-than-light travel known as "warp drive". Both of these topics have been staples of science fiction for many years. However, serious scientific work has actually been done on these subjects, primarily in the 1990's, notably by such people as Kip Thorne and his students at Caltech. Such objects require a very unusual form of energy, known as "negative energy". In classical physics, all observed forms of matter have positive energy. Remarkably, the laws of quantum theory not only allow, but actually predict, the existence of negative energy. However, work done over the last several decades has shown that these same laws also limit its macroscopic effects, and therefore have profound implications as to whether wormholes and warp drives are likely to be physically realizable.

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100 Olin Physical Laboratory
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7507
Phone: (336) 758-5337, FAX: (336) 758-6142