ennui.bz: There's a David Brin short story whose premise is that "warp drives" are in fact incredibly easy to make, we could have done it 300 years ago but by accident we just never stumbled upon it. So, when the aliens arrive, their spaceship is surround by tanks and helicopters, missiles, nukes, etc. and they step out armed with blunderbusses and swords...
There was only one problem with all this: where does the energy come from? While we knew that warp drives were theoretically possible, physicists have always argued that they would require a ball of exotic matter the size of Jupiter to power it. Clearly, that was not practical. But thankfully, Dr. White has found a solution that changes the game completely.
The Eagleworks team has discovered that the energy requirements are much lower than previously thought. If they optimize the warp bubble thickness and "oscillate its intensity to reduce the stiffness of space time," they would be able to reduce the amount of fuel to manageable amount: instead of a Jupiter-sized ball of exotic matter, you will only need 500 kilograms to "send a 10-meter bubble (32.8 feet) at an effective velocity of 10c."
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