Learn more about why we think that effects such as time dilation are not best served with the theory of Relativity, and why examining the information content of physical matter is a simpler and more general approach. The result is a possibility of travelling to nearby stars in a much shorter period of time, with the level of technology conceptually similar to what we have today.
The fundamental problem in physics today is the disconnect between General Relativity and Quantum Physics. Physical reality is obviously a single phenomenon, but we have two theories that do not talk to each other. Equally obviously, those theories must be wrong on a deeper level, even if individually they have success in covering their own pieces of the greater puzzle. What is offered here is a way to cover both pieces with a single theory. This is not an attempt to tweak Relativity to work with Quantum Physics, or the other way around. That simply will not work. The two are too far apart.
The key is information contained in physical matter, and as we will see, this information must be non-local. This apparently points to the Quantum piece of reality, but surprisingly, it delivers the alternative to General Relativity. The theory here focuses on explaining the relativistic phenomena by using such informational approach, while covering both pieces of the puzzle.
From a practical standpoint, one consequence of the theory is that practical interstellar travel is possible without wormholes, exotic matter or enormous energies.
The diagram below summarizes this in an approximation involving two isolated objects: a massive point of departure (such as Earth) and a departing object of significant mass (such as a ship).
This web site, and the paper titled "On the information content of physical matter (A simple alternative to General Relativity)" show, among other things, why we think the above diagram trumps Einstein's Relativity for the scenario presented. In a nutshell, just as Relativity generalized Newtonian physics, so does Information Physics go beyond Relativity.
More specifically, just as Relativity is evidently different from Newtonian physics at high speeds, so is Information Physics different from Relativity away from large mass, such as Earth.
What diagram above says is that FTL (faster-than-light) motion is impossible near large mass such as Earth. However, far from large mass, FTL is possible.
Consider this: the Faster-Than-Light trip far from massive bodies has never been tried, and no one on this planet can say the diagram above is wrong. Contemporary science assumes that Relativity will work anywhere, even though we only a had a chance to thoroughly and directly test it only nearby large bodies in our Solar system. That is a spectacular assumption, one based on the unquestioning faith in Einstein's Relativity.
Relativity may not hold in deep space the same way as it does here on Earth, as contemporary scientists assume. Insisting on assumptions of such enormous magnitude based on indirect evidence have often been proven wrong.
A steady stream of confirmations of Einstein's Relativity is solidly built around the circumstances under which it always holds. At the same time, evidence that it does not hold is essentially ignored. And those situations under which it may not hold, such as what we described above, are not even remotely of interest to experimental physicists today, probably because Relativity does not predict anything interesting, as we do. The way physics stands today, only something unexpected or accidental may serve to test and confirm the predictions of the theory presented here.
Specifically, the prediction of the theory with regards to Faster-Than-Light travel is this: the speed of light, which is approximately 300,000 km/s, is not the maximum speed in Nature. However, it is the most commonly found speed limit, and it is always so near large mass such as Earth or the Sun, which is where we obtained most of our knowledge.
The theory shows that maximum speed is local. It depends on the mass of an object, and contrary to what seems obvious, the maximum speed increases with the mass of an object. The speed of photons near large mass such as Earth, which is about 300,000 km/s, is the lowest possible maximum speed, and this is where the theory reduces to Relativity. This circumstance is also the reason no direct experiment can show the difference. A large object, for example a few million tons, can accelerate past the 300,000 km/s relative to Earth in deep space, according to the theory. The pillars of Relativity, such as Michelson-Morley and de Sitter experiments, are easily explained by the theory, covering the existing body of relativistic experimental evidence.
Relativity is shown to be a very local theory, astronomically speaking. It holds nearby large mass, such as Earth or the Sun. By far the most conclusive experiments have been done in that setup, which leaves a large experimental coverage gap when it comes to testing Relativity on the scales beyond Solar system. Some anomalies have been noted, such as superluminal galaxies, for which the theoretical construct proposed is a metric expansion of space. This notion may be unnecessary, just as much as it may be superfluous. Relativity may need to be superseded for larger scales, much like Relativity superseded Newtonian physics for high speeds.
Back in 1905, Albert Einstein unveiled his famous Special Relativity. But, is it necessary?
Relativistic effects do not need Relativity in order to receive full theoretical coverage. At the same time, Quantum effects now can be viewed in a different light. The premise of physical matter possessing information content, yields relativistic effects, and is turning waves of probability into the real waves of physical matter.
Kinematic time dilation without Relativity
This is so-called "Gamma" factor, as derived in Special Relativity. We show it to be a corner-case of a general equation, just as we do with the equations of General Relativity. It can be derived without Relativity and the notion of light.
Why focus on information?
All the physical laws we know of, tell us that quantifiable values are the sole driver of those laws. Without intrinsically having certain properties, no physical system would evolve into anything else but pure chaos. These properties, or values, in the final abstraction are nothing but information.
Regardless of how this information is used in natural processes, there is one fact that is indisputable: it is used. Information is used on a most fundamental level in Nature to convey matter from chaos to a degree of order. We know of no other way in which a natural conveyance of physical systems unfolds. There is no magic wand that makes them run. This is so, even if we would think of natural systems being mathematics with physical consequences.
In the end, though, the mathematics and the labels we use to describe physical matter and their interactions, are nothing but an acknowledgement that physical world is one in which everything unwinds by means of information use.