Here's a good use for that massive, trouble-prone Large Hadron Collider everyone's so scared of: Let's use it to test hyperdrive spacecraft propulsion. While we were thinking hyperdrive was the stuff of science fiction, physicist Franklin Felber plans to test whether hyperdrive is possible, and he has an idea of using the Large Hadron Collider to do it.
His testing would be based on the idea that a stationary mass repels a relativistic particle that's traveling faster than half the speed of light, so Felber says, if that's true, then wouldn't a relativistic particle repel a stationary mass? Sounds logical to us:
It turns out that when it is up and running, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will accelerate particles to the kind of energies that generate this repulsive force. Felber's idea is to set up a test mass next to the beam line and measure the forces on it as the particles whiz past.He says it won't get in the way of all the other mind-blowing things that collider will be working on, so why not? This could be our ticket to the stars. Give it a try, guys — that is, if you can ever get that collider working. Oh, and maybe check to see if this guy Felber is a loony tune or not.
[DVICE via Technology Review]