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starship-design: Zero point energy: Power source

kyle writes:
 > Addenum to previous post: 
 > I stopped to think about the Zero point energy idea, and I've changed my
 > mind.
 > I think it is perfectly reasonable to assume that zpe might be available
 > by 2050.
 > after all, look at how far along we've come since 1940! And the
 > energy output is simply incredible. I read an estimate of the 
 > overall energy density being on the order of 1093 gms/cm^3! That
 > could easily be used to power our starship.  I think, although
 > many may disagree with me, that it could hold the potential to
 > powering a starship to relativistic speeds and, just possibly
 > BEYOND c.

As one of the resident relativity weenies on the list, I'd have to say
that the physical difficulties of superluminal travel are not likely to
be overcome by 2050, if ever, even if huge amounts of energy are
available.  The only remotely plausible superluminal loopholes are in
some rather esoteric consequences of general relativity that are truly
difficult to create (when they are not, on further analysis, impossible
to realize in a finite universe).  I think we're going to have to settle
for subluminal travel, which still at least allows us to get to distant
stars in a human lifetime.