Jump drive

Jump drive

A jump drive, (or with a capital J) is one of the speculative inventions in science fiction, a method of traveling faster than light (FTL). Related concepts are hyperdrive, warp drive and interstellar teleporter. The key characteristic of a jump drive (as the term is usually used) is that it allows a starship to be instantaneously teleported between two points. A jump drive is supposed to make a spaceship (or any matter) go from one point in space to another point, which may be several light years away, in a single instant. Like time travel, a jump drive is often taken as a granted thing in science fiction. Very few science fiction works talk about the purported mechanics behind a jump drive. There are vague indications of the involvement of tachyons, space-time continuum, etc. in some of the science fiction works.

There are two main variants of jump drives commonly portrayed. The first requires a ship to travel through normal space to a specific jump point. Once at that point, the jump drive is used to move to another jump point. In some examples, such as the Capsule Drive in the computer game "Independence War", the ship can travel to any other jump point. Others, such as the "Wing Commander" series, only allow transit from one jump point to a corresponding exit point (which may or may not allow travel in the opposite direction). The second variant allows a ship to execute a jump from anywhere in normal space and move directly to any other location. This variant is frequently subject to other limitations such as distance from strong gravity wells. "Battletech" uses this style of jump drive in its jumpships. In the re-imagined 2004 TV series "Battlestar Galactica", the "Galactica", which uses jump drive technology, does not appear to have any restrictions on the use of its jumpdrives. It can be used in the gravity well of a planet (indeed "Galactica" jumps in and out of a planet's atmosphere in the episode "Exodus, Part II") with no long term adverse affects on living matter or ships structure or engines.

In most fictional universes, the total distance per jump is limited and multiple jumps may be needed to reach the final destination. Jump drives often require significant power and many universes require time to "re-energize" the jump drive after a jump, thereby limiting the frequency at which jumps can be executed.

These factors can allow writers to build dramatic tension by showing characters struggling to reach a jump point, or to recharge their drive, before their foes reach them.


Jump drives are the main FTL technology in many science fiction universes including:

* Owlein species (such as plicans) fold space in the novel "Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London" by Keith Mansfield, in which the term FTL is explicitly used.
* "The Foundation Series" of novels by Isaac Asimov
* "Darkstar One", a computer game
* The Alliance-Union universe of C. J. Cherryh
* The Reunion (MMOG), [ [http://www.thereunion.de/ The Reunion ] at www.thereunion.de] a sci-fi MMOG
* "Battlestar Galactica" (2004), which specifically references the term FTL
* The Alderson drive in the "CoDominium" series
* "Wing Commander" series of computer games, movie and novels
* The "" computer game series, worth noting here that ships can use their own jump drives to perform FTL travel within a star system, but need to use "Jump Nodes" to travel the vast distances between stars
* "Battletech" series of games and novels
* "Heavy Gear" series of games
* "The Nights Dawn Trilogy" novels by Peter F. Hamilton, used under the name ZTT (Zero Temporal Transit) Drive. It is worth noting that momentum is conserved, so a ship might spend days synchronizing its relative velocity with its destination before jumping
* The "Traveller" role playing game. Note that travel by jump drive in "Traveller" takes approximately one week, regardless of distance traveled.
* The "Eve Online" MMORPG where its used to allow ships larger than stargates (capital ships) to pass between solar systems, as well as forge temporary gates.
*The Heighliners of Frank Herbert's "Dune" "fold space" using the Holtzman effect
* "Starlancer" PC and Dreamcast video game, which presents a quick yet brief jump to another part of a solar system
* "DarkSpace", an online-only PC game.
* "Mass Effect", an RPGPC and Xbox 360 by Bioware, which also specifically references the term FTL.
* "Wall-E", a 2008 movie. The Axiom uses "Hyperjump" technology to leap through space.


ee also

* Jumpgate

* Warp Drive
* Faster-than-light

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