Perceiving time (or at least ours) is linear. Understanding time is, well, a bit more complicated. According to Stephen Hawking, among others, Time as an entity is not linear but rather curved and distorted. Depending on what Time is near, it can be collapsed upon itself alongside Space. Space is well, space.
At present, humanity can not transport itself in warp speed or the speed of light. Supersonic, as in the speed of sound, Mach 1 or 2, does not even come close to warp speed. Can humanity achieve warp speed in a spaceship or otherwise? Possible, but humanity would have to develop an alloy or composition that would be able to withstand the sheer pressure and heat of going into warp speed. Going at light speed would mean that the matter (and the human beings inside) would be able to convert into light itself ultimately — to exist, to travel and to travel on wavelength of light itself. Furthermore, to generate that much compression, it would generate tremendous amount of heat in a short amount of time. Basically put, think of a pressure cooker with you inside of it being compressed into atoms much smaller than the smallest grain of salt. Well, you get the idea. Of course, it would dissipate in space, but it would take its toll on the human body. In order for humanity to traverse space at the speed of light, they would have to compensate for these variables and be able to develop materials to compensate. Even the strongest alloys and composites today are not strong enough to endure space travel at such speeds. Perhaps some hundreds years into the future…just perhaps.
Once light speed travel becomes possible, then comes the second possibility of wormholes. These wormholes may supposedly shorten travel between the expanse of space. Wormholes are essentially funnels that distort space. Though they generate strong gravitational pull at either end, once humanity achieves the ability to travel at warp speed, the gravitational pull should not pose a problem. This phenomena has been explored in Star Trek: Voyager and seen at the opening of every current Doctor Who with the TARDIS flying in a wormhole.
Alternate Universes/Bubble Universes
With the existence of dark matter and black holes, it goes without saying that both time and space are capable of being warped and twisted. Thus, it leads perhaps to the existence of alternate universes and bubble universes with Space being able to bend Time as well. However, Space being able to bend Time is purely theoretical for now. The Doctor had the pleasant experience of bubble universes, and the original Star Trek crew and the 2010 movie Star Trek crew had the experience of alternate universes.
Q and Dr. Who: Manipulating Time
Both Q and Dr. Who are capable of manipulating time. However, they are supernatural beings who naturally can alter their timeline. At this point, George Orwell‘s Time Machine or Dr. Brown’s DeLorean, we are both incapable of developing much less the acknowledgement of the capability of building such a machine.
- Relativity: Ten minutes to Alpha Centauri? (skullsinthestars.com)
- Could We Build ‘Star Trek’s’ Starship Enterprise? (space.com)
- “Helm, Warp One, Engage!” Calculating Warp Speed Factors (wolframalpha.com)
- Could We Build ‘Star Trek’s’ Starship Enterprise? (news.discovery.com)