Advanced Quantum/Relativity Propulsion Workshop (1994)

The Advanced Quantum/Relativity Propulsion Workshop was a workshop held May 16–17, 1994 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and sponsored by NASA's Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology, to examine the emerging physics and issues associated with faster-than-light travel. Among the topics discussed were theories of wormholes, tachyons, the Casimir effect, quantum nonlocality, and higher dimensions. The participants concluded that there are enough unexplored paths to encourage further research even though faster-than-light travel is far beyond the reach of current science or technology. Some of the avenues considered promising for future investigation include seeking astronomical evidence of wormholes, especially any with negative mass entrances, experimentally determining if the speed of light is higher inside a Casimir cavity, and determining if recent data indicating that the neutrino has imaginary mass can be credibly interpreted as evidence for tachyon-like properties.


The 13 participants at the Workshop were from varied backgrounds and included NASA personnel, NASA consultants and contractors, academic physicists, and science fiction writers. Several physicists who also write science fiction were took part, including Gregory Benford, Robert Forward, and Geoffery Landis. Gary L. Bennett, an SF novelist and specialist in nuclear power systems for spacecraft, was the Workshop's official NASA sponsor. The workshop was organized by Robert Frisbee of JPL, with assistance from Robert Forward.