How fast is the Star Trek Warp Speed

The "warp" speed

to the warp calculator

For the science fiction series Star Trek the spaceships had to be able to "discover foreign worlds that a person has never seen before", of course, be able to reach speeds that are many times higher than the speed of light, which is still regarded as the absolute upper limit of movement from place to place. But the future is the future, and who knows what it will bring ...

After all, according to a NASA employee, the series is the only science fiction series that many scientists like to watch, because like no other it takes science seriously and stays within the framework of the laws of physics as much as possible. However, the warp drive is really not what we can imagine today. Here is an article The Science of Star Trek by David Allen Batchelor, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Long before Mr Cochrane invented the warp drive, with which space can be distorted in such a way that, seen from the outside, the physical laws of normal space no longer apply (to warp = distort), the scientific specialists around Gene Roddenberry invented a formula to calculate the speed (v/c: Multiple of the speed of light) from the warp factor (wf):v / c = wf ^ (10/3). The speed of light remains within the “subspace bubble” created by the “warp coil” c however constant: c = 2,9979 · 108 m / s. The subspace bubble is asymmetrical; and the rectification of the space behind the ship creates a propulsion that allows an external observer to exceed the speed of light.

The warp factor was redefined for the series "The Next Generation" (TNG), although the technical advisors of the series (Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda) unfortunately no longer specified an exact formula, but rather some key data in a reference table from warp factor - and assigned multiples of the speed of light (see below).

People who are probably already preparing for the entrance exam for the Starfleet Academy have come up with a formula with which the warp factor can be calculated. The formula approximates the reference values ​​relatively well and is ideally suited for practicing the calculation of (functional) terms of the somewhat more complicated kind:

or in one-line notation:

f (x) = x ^ ((10/3) / (1 - (x / 10) ^ ((91.28 / (10-x) ^ 0.27))))

The value calculated for f (x) (x = "warp factor") is the speed in "Chocrane" (named after the future discoverer of the warp drive Zefram Cochrane, see film First contact, there first flight at warp speed on Thursday, April 5, 2063!), i.e. in Multiples of the speed of light.


Here is the previously announced ...