What invention do you most need right now? – Post a Day #137

Today’s Post a Day is about invention. I’m not sure about technology that I need, but I want to talk about a technology that I really would like to see in my lifetime but am unlikely to.

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went to see Uncaged Monkeys which was a hugely popular tour (well done guys, hope to see another tour next year!). Basically, it was an event of mini lectures about important scientific issues aimed at the lay person. On the guest list was Robin Ince, Professor Brian Cox, Doctor Simon Singh, Doctor Ben Goldacre and Professor Steve Jones. Quite an impressive lineup!

Professor Cox gave a lecture about relativity, the size of the universe and Hubble Deep Field Image where Hubble focused on a tiny amount of apparently empty space and revealed nearly 3000 galaxies. If you don’t know about it, read up on the wiki page; it is a very humbling experience.

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The immensity of space is humbling in that it makes us realise just how small and insignificant we are. Our nearest neighbour, The Andromeda Galaxy is approximately 2.5m light years from our own. That means it will take light 2.5m years to reach it from our own galaxy. So obviously the technology I am most looking forward to is the possibility that one day we could invent a method of travelling faster than light so that we may explore at first our own galaxy and later, the far reaches of the universe.

Whether that be through technologies explored in science fiction: warping (Star Trek), hyperspace (Babylon 5), faster than light (Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica) or space folding (Dune, Event Horizon) or some as yet unexplored concept, I’m sure that eventually we will seek to expand beyond our own solar system.

Though relativity says that physical objects cannot move faster than light, it does not forbid the existence of particles that can only travel faster than light. These particles (still only theoretical) if discovered and harnessed, will revolutionise travel as we know it.

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