BC student finalist in Breakthrough Challenge with explanation of interstellar travel – BC News – .

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BC student finalist in Breakthrough Challenge with explanation of interstellar travel – BC News – .


Brent Richter / News from the North Shore – | History: 345696


A student from West Vancouver may have the keys to interstellar travel. He just needs a few voices and a lot of mass.

Holden Liu, 16, is a finalist in the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, an international competition that aims to capture difficult scientific concepts or theories and present them in accessible videos.

The stake of the challenge is $ 400,000 in prizes, including up to $ 250,000 for post-secondary scholarships, $ 50,000 for a science teacher and $ 100,000 for a school’s science lab.

In his video, Liu explains how it would be at least theoretically possible to get to Alpha Centauri – the closest star system to ours – using the Alcubierre Drive, a speculative “warp” trip theorized by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994.

Traveling at the speed of a real space probe (61,000 km / h), it would take 70,000 years to reach Alpha Centauri. If we could get around the rules of physics and make a ship move at the speed of light, it would take another 4.37 light years to travel the 1.34 parsecs of our sun.

In his award-nominated video, Liu explains how it could be easier to bend space-time itself, using huge amounts of mass to physically compress the distance between us and Alpha Centauri, and negative mass. to stretch the distance behind us – the ultimate shortcut. Technology.

Liu’s three-minute video is expertly animated with moving diagrams that help illustrate mind-boggling concepts that otherwise fall within the realm of science fiction, and he talks about the theory with an authoritative tone.

Although the contest winners are selected by expert judges, there is a way to tip the scales in favor of a finalist, by liking (or having other positive reactions) to their videos posted on the Facebook page of the contest. Breakthrough Junior Challenge. Votes for a favorite “Steven Spielberg meets Albert Einstein” can be cast until September 20.

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