The Warp is the unit of measurement of the speed above the speed of light.
This is called the warp factor to express the intensity of the speed emitted by the warp system.
Warp 1 equals the speed of light. Warp fractions are therefore speeds below the speed of light.
In the 24th century, Warp 10 is considered to be infinite velocity, which would be unattainable according to Starfleet. Thus extreme speeds are expressed in decimal values between 9 and 10, such as 9,975.
Vessels and respective maximum speeds:
2151: Enterprise (NX-01): Warp 5.2 (Jonathan Archer)
2245: USS_Enterprise_ (NCC-1701): Warp 8 (James Kirk)
2293: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B): Warp 8.6 (John Harriman)
2332: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-C): Warp 9.8 (Rachel Garrett)
2363: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D): Warp 9.95 (Jean-Luc Picard)
2372: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E): Warp 9,985 (Jean-Luc Picard)
2409: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-F):?
25XX: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-J):?
The race to extreme Warp is very important in Star Trek, a higher Warp means more power for Starfleet. Possibility to escape from inextricable situations, to pursue and to surpass malevolents forces. But above all to ever explore further.
The Warp system creates a Warp field around the ship, a sort of subspace bubble and then a distortion of the local space continuum. The energy used is the deuterium, the antideuterium and therefore the matter and antimatter. The dilithium in the form of crystals serves as a mediator. The reaction obtained is a very high energy plasma, called electro-plasma or Warp plasma. Verterium cortenide coils generate Warp fields.
Other civilizations, like the Romulans, prefer to use quantum singularities.
In 2370, it was demonstrated by a scientist that the Warp system can damage the space time. The Federation Council decided to limit the speed of all spacecraft to Warp 5. And to use excessive speeds only in case of extreme emergency.
The infinite velocity was reached in 2372 by the Cochrane of the USS Voyager. But this speed has proved to be disastrous, since it creates devastating side effects.
In an alternate future, Jean-Luc Picard was able to note speeds of at least Warp 13. The limit speed had then been pushed back to Warp 15. In fact Warp 13 was equivalent to the speed of Warp 9.95 in his time.
Half-god beings, such as Qs can go to any point of the Universe only by using their minds. They can reach other dimensions, as well as alternative realities, but also through time.
The “Travelers” are also able to travel very quickly at the other end of the universe by creating a subspace distortion with their imagination.
Cytherians can create singularities to reduce spatial distances.
The temporal agents of the Federation of the Future can also travel in time.
The Borg can create quantum singularities to change dimensional planes.