Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time Motion Through Bending Space
Space wasn’t flat, but curved. If one imagined the universe as a large, thin membrane, the surface would be shaped like a bowl. The entire membrane might even be an enclosed bubble. Though at the local scale, the membrane seemed flat, the curvature of space was omnipresent.
During the Common Era, many ambitious ideas for spaceflight were proposed. One of them involved folding space. The idea was to imagine an increase in the curvature of space and fold it like a sheet of paper so that two spots tens of millions of light-years apart could touch each other. Strictly speaking, this wasn’t a plan for spaceflight, but “space-dragging.” It didn’t involve navigating to the destination, but pulling the destination over to you by bending space.
Only God could have carried out such a plan—and once the limitations of basic theory were taken into account, perhaps not even God.
Later, there was a more moderate and localized proposal for taking advantage of curved space for navigation. Supposing a spaceship could somehow iron flat the space behind it and decrease its curvature, the more curved space in front of it would pull it forward. This was the idea of curvature propulsion.
Unlike folding space, curvature propulsion couldn’t get a spaceship to its destination instantaneously, but it would be possible to drive it asymptotically to the speed of light.
Until Yun Tianming’s message had been correctly interpreted, curvature propulsion remained a dream, like hundreds of other proposals for lightspeed spaceflight. No one knew whether it was possible at either a theory or practice level.
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