Miguel Alcubierre

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Alcubierre and the second or maternal family name is Moya.
Miguel Alcubierre
Miguel Alcubierre•01.jpg
Alcubierre in 2013.
Born Miguel Alcubierre Moya
(1964-03-28) March 28, 1964 (age 51)
Mexico City
Nationality Mexican
Occupation Theoretical physicist

Miguel Alcubierre Moya (born March 28, 1964 in Mexico City) is a Mexican theoretical physicist.[1] Alcubierre is known for the proposed "Alcubierre drive", a speculative warp drive by which a spacecraft could achieve faster-than-light travel.


He obtained a Licentiate degree in physics in 1988 and an MSc degree in theoretical physics in 1990, both at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. At the end of 1990, Alcubierre moved to Wales to attend graduate school at the University of Wales, Cardiff, receiving his PhD degree in 1994 through study of numerical general relativity.[1][2][3][4] After 1996 he worked at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam, Germany, developing new numerical techniques used in the description of black holes. Since 2002, he has worked at the Nuclear Sciences Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where he conducts research in numerical relativity, employing computers to formulate and solve the physical equations first proposed by Albert Einstein.[5] The solitary wave solutions proposed by Alcubierre for the Einsteinian field equations may possibly prove general relativity consistent with the experimentally verified non-locality of quantum mechanics. This work militates against the idea that quantum non-locality would ultimately require abandoning the mathematical structure of general relativity.

On 11 June 2012, Miguel Alcubierre was appointed Director of the Nuclear Sciences Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

May 1994 paper[edit]

Alcubierre is best known for the proposal of "The Warp Drive: Hyper-fast travel within general relativity" which appeared in the science journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.[6] In this, he describes the Alcubierre drive, a theoretical means of traveling faster than light that does not violate the physical principle that nothing can locally travel faster than light. In this paper, he constructed a model that might transport a volume of flat space inside a "bubble" of curved space. This bubble, named as Hyper-relativistic local-dynamic space, is driven forward by a local expansion of space-time behind it, and an opposite contraction in front of it, so that theoretically a spaceship would be placed in motion by forces generated in the change made by space-time.

Media appearances[edit]

Miguel Alcubierre made a special appearance on the TV productions How William Shatner Changed the World[7] and Michio Kaku's Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible,[8][9] in which his warp bubble theory was discussed.

Alcubierre has been twice invited to interviews on radio station Radio Educación XEEP (1060 AM), first on 18 February 2011, and later on 4 March 2011, on the technology-related talk show Interfase, where he explained his views about the current state of scientific and technology research in Mexico, and gave a brief introduction to his warp drive model and how it came to be.[10][11]


Introduction to 3+1 Numerical Relativity (International Series of Monographs on Physics, Paperback, 2012, ISBN 978-0199656158)


  1. ^ a b Cramer, John G. (November 1996). "Alternate View: The Alcubierre Warp Drive". Analog Science Fiction and Fact. Penny Publications. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "About". Lifeboat Foundation. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Advisory Board: Dr. Miguel Alcubierre". Lifeboat Foundation. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Biography Miguel Alcubierre Moya - website of the Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares
  5. ^ Cansigno, Rafael (aka "sigloxiii") (24 March 2008). "Mexican Scientists: Miguel Alcubierre Moya" (blog). Tenoch (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  6. ^ The warp drive: hyper-fast travel within general relativity // Class.Quant.Grav 11:L73-L77,1994
  7. ^ "Miguel Alcubierre". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible (2009)". IMDb. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Review Shooter: Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible" (blog). NerdsOnTheRocks.com. 19 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "Interfase S3E07: Science and Technology in Mexico; Guest: Dr. Miguel Alcubierre (Part 1)". Podomatic.com (Podcast) (in Spanish). 18 February 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Interfase S309: Science and Technology in Mexico; Guest: Dr. Miguel Alcubierre (Part 2)". Podomatic.com (Podcast) (in Spanish). 4 March 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2012.