The danger of not understanding your warp drive:
NASA researchers recently revisited the Alcubierre warp drive and concluded that its power requirements were not as impossible as once thought. However, a new analysis from the University of Sydney claims that using a warp drive of this design comes with a drawback. Specifically, it could cause cataclysmic explosions at your destination.
To see how the Alcubierre drive could devastate an entire star system, you have to know a little about how it would work. The ship would consist of a central pod, and a large flattened ring around it (pictured below). The ring would have to be made of an as-yet unidentified kind of dense exotic matter capable of bending space-time.
Supply the craft with enough energy, and the very fabric of the universe can be warped. NASA now believes this would require orders of magnitude less energy than Alcubierre originally thought. When activated, space behind an Alcubierre drive expands while contracting in front. The ship itself hums along in a stable pocket, or bubble in space. It turns out the bubble is the problem.
As your faster-than-light ship sails through the cosmos, it’s not alone. Although we often think of space as empty, there are loads of high-energy particles shooting through the void. The University of Sydney research [PDF] indicates that these particles are liable to get swept up in the craft’s warp field and remain trapped in the stable bubble.