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Considering the workings of warp drive, the 'light barrier' isn't actually broken, because its not passed through, it's sort of jumped over with warp drive. I understand the physics basically, but because warp drive warps space-time, the ship doesn't actually surpass the speed of light, it just warps space time to get the same result as surpassing the speed of light.

Is it possible for a warp-capable ship (and by capable, I'm looking of course for canonical sources verifying or refuting this possibility) to fly at the speed of light?

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2 Answers 2

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To sum up, yes, warp drive does allow for light speed.

According to the warp factor chart seen in Enterprise First Flight the speed of warp factor 1 is 1c (seen as the large green line below).

Indeed, according to Memory-Alpha, warp 1 is equivalent to 1 times the speed of light in both the Original Series and the Next Generation warp factor scales.

Warp Factor Chart

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I thought for some reason that Warp 1 was above the speed of light - don't know where I got that idea from :p –  N.Soong Jun 5 at 4:24

You can't travel at the speed of light using the warp drive. You can compress space, like you said, so that ultimately you arrive at your destination in the same time it would have taken had you travelled faster than light in non-compressed space.

So the answer depends on how you to want to view it:

  1. Can the body (the spaceship in this case) travel at, or faster, than the speed of light relative to its immediate space (enclosing warp bubble) - no.
  2. Can the body arrive at a destination before, or at the same time, as light starting from the same point would take - yes.
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This seems to be in direct contradiction with @DVK's answer. Where are you getting your sources from (not physics, but canonical sources) to arrive at this conclusion? If Memory Alpha says something, it's normally a pretty reliable source. I see what you mean though (in that a starship doesn't actually travel faster than light - it's just the way it bends spacetime), which is what I was alluding to in my question –  N.Soong Jun 5 at 8:46
    
This is supported by scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/271 –  babou Jun 5 at 11:18

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