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Interstellar Highway System

Cool Worlds

Could advanced civilizations be using a network of black holes for interstellar travel? In our last video, the "halo drive" was discussed covering the basic physics of how this new system could potentially enable interstellar flight. Here, we go much deeper on the halo drive concept, answering many of the questions which have been raised, and going further by considering the possibilities of a galactic wide network of such systems.

This video is based on research conducted at the Cool Worlds Lab at Columbia University. You can now support our research program directly here:

0:08 Introduction
4:39 The Halo Drive
7:14 NonBinary Halo Drive
13:41 Leaving the Black Hole
18:40 Deceleration
21:15 A Halo Network
26:29 Civilizations around Black Holes

Academic articles used:
► Kipping, David (2018), "The Halo Drive: Fuel Free Relativistic Propulsion of Large Mases via Recycled Boomerang Photons", JBIS, In Press:
► Kipping, David (2017), "Relativistic Light Sails", AJ, 153, 277:
► Dyson, Freeman (1963), "Gravitational Machines", in A.G.W. Cameron, ed., Interstellar Communication, New York Benjamin Press:
► Breakthrough Starshot homepage:
► Cool Worlds video giving some background on Breakthrough Starshot:    / ksb6vh0bt  
► Cool Worlds video on relativistic moving mirrors:    • Einstein's (small) mistake  
► Cool Worlds video on mirror distortion effects:    • Why All Mirrors Are Lying to You  
► Semyonov, Oleg (2006), "Radiation Hazard of Relativistic Interstellar Flight":
► Hoang et al. (2017), "The interaction of relativistic spacecrafts with the interstellar medium", ApJ, 837, 16:
► Heger, et al. (2003), "How massive single stars end their life", ApJ, 591, 288:

Video materials used:
► Nuclear bomb footage:    • Atomic Bomb Test  
► Shuttle footage:    • Riding the Booster with enhanced sound  ,    • Space Shuttle Discovery Landing (STS...  ,    • Video  
► Astronaut footage, NASA (ISS):    • STEMonstrations: Newton's Third Law o...  
► Simulation of binary black hole with disk by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center:
► Breakthrough Starshot footage from the Breakthrough Initiatives:
► "Science Asylum" for rotating black hole depiction and merrygoround video:
   • Black Holes can SPIN?!?   and    • Which Way do you Fall off a MerryGo...  
► Whirlpool video by "whirlpoolhitman":    • Deepest Hole in The Ocean! (Whirlpool...  
► Simulation of Gravity Probe B, video hosted by "relgyro":    • Gravity Probe B: The Frame Dragging ...  
► Falling towards a black hole simulation produced for the "Einstein Inside" exhibition touring Germany, where it was shown at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, video hosted by "Ziri Younsi":    • Falling into a black hole (Realistic ...  
► LISA simulation by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center:

Special thanks to YouTuber Madd End for this fantastic artist's impression of the halo drive:

Filmclips, in order of appearance;
► Terminator 3
► The Black Hole
► Interstellar
► Star Trek, The Next Generation

Music is by Chris Zabriskie ( and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (, in order of appearance;

► Music from Neptune Flux, "We Were Never Meant to Live Here" (
► Music from Neptune Flux, "Stories About the World That Once Was" (
► Cylinder Five (
► Cylinder Four (
► Cylinder Eight (
► The Sun is Scheduled to Come Out Tomorrow (  / chriszabriskie..  )
In addition, music from OneGuitarOrchestra, acoustic cover of Hans Zimmer's "No Time For Caution":    • No Time For Caution (Acoustic Tribute...  
► Music from Neptune Flux, "We Were Never Meant to Live Here" (
► Music from Neptune Flux, "That Hopeful Future Is All I've Ever Known" (

And also:
► Columbia University Department of Astronomy:
► Cool Worlds Lab website:

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posted by cumulatge06