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posted by CoolHand on Monday September 05 2016, @03:13AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Multiple sources have reported that a paper about EmDrive has cleared peer review and will be published in December, although there is no certainty yet about whether NASA scientists have found evidence to support thrust apparently in violation of the law of conservation of momentum (and not within experimental error):

Long thought to be nothing more than a space dream, the EmDrive, a rocket propulsion technology that requires no propellant, has cleared peer review, the International Business Times reports. The new engine, first proposed 17 years ago, relies on microwaves for its thrust, which are fired into a metal cone, causing acceleration. The latest design, which will be published in the Journal of Propulsion, was the brainchild of scientists at NASA's experimental lab, Eagleworks Laboratories.

Also at Inverse.

Meanwhile, a company formed by Cannae Inc. has announced that it will launch a similar propulsion device into space to prove that it works:

On August 17, Cannae announced plans to launch its thruster on a 6U cubesat. Each unit is a 10-centimeter cube, so a 6U satellite is the size of a small shoebox. Approximately one quarter of this will be taken up by the drive. Fetta intends the satellite to stay on station for at least six months, rather than the six weeks that would be typical for a satellite this size at a altitude of 150 miles. The longer it stays in orbit, the more the satellite will show that it must be producing thrust without propellant.

Cannae has formed a company called Theseus with industrial partners LAI International of Tempe, AZ and SpaceQuest Ltd. of Fairfax, VA to launch the satellite. No launch date has yet been announced, but 2017 seems likely. "Once demonstrated on orbit, Theseus will offer our thruster platforms to the satellite marketplace," says the optimistic conclusion on their website.


Original Submission

Related Stories

It's Official: NASA's Peer-Reviewed EmDrive Paper Has Finally Been Published 133 comments

After months of speculation and leaked documents, NASA's long-awaited EM Drive paper has finally been peer-reviewed and published [open, DOI: 10.2514/1.B36120] [DX]. And it shows that the 'impossible' propulsion system really does appear to work. The NASA Eagleworks Laboratory team even put forward a hypothesis for how the EM Drive could produce thrust – something that seems impossible according to our current understanding of the laws of physics.

In case you've missed the hype, the EM Drive, or Electromagnetic Drive, is a propulsion system first proposed by British inventor Roger Shawyer back in 1999. Instead of using heavy, inefficient rocket fuel, it bounces microwaves back and forth inside a cone-shaped metal cavity to generate thrust. According to Shawyer's calculations, the EM Drive could be so efficient that it could power us to Mars in just 70 days.

takyon: Some have previously dismissed EmDrive as a photon rocket. This is addressed in the paper along with other possible sources of error:

The eighth [error:] photon rocket force, RF leakage from test article generating a net force due to photon emission. The performance of a photon rocket is several orders of magnitude lower than the observed thrust. Further, as noted in the above discussion on RF interaction, all leaking fields are managed closely to result in a high quality RF resonance system. This is not a viable source of the observed thrust.

[...] The 1.2  mN/kW performance parameter is over two orders of magnitude higher than other forms of "zero-propellant" propulsion, such as light sails, laser propulsion, and photon rockets having thrust-to-power levels in the 3.33–6.67  μN/kW (or 0.0033–0.0067  mN/kW) range.

Previously: NASA Validates "Impossible" Space Drive's Thrust
"Reactionless" Thruster Tested Again, This Time in a Vacuum
Explanation may be on the way for the "Impossible" EmDrive
Finnish Physicist Says EmDrive Device Does Have an Exhaust
EmDrive Peer-Reviewed Paper Coming in December; Theseus Planning a Cannae Thruster Cubesat


Original Submission

Space Race 2.0: China May Already be Testing an EmDrive in Orbit 25 comments

A Chinese newspaper and other sources are reporting that China is already testing an EmDrive thruster in space, aboard the Tiangong-2 space station:

[Researchers] in China have announced that they've already been testing the controversial drive in low-Earth orbit, and they're looking into using the EM Drive to power their satellites as soon as possible.

Big disclaimer here - all we have to go on right now is a press conference announcement [archive.is] and an article from a government-sponsored Chinese newspaper (and the country doesn't have the best track record when it comes to trustworthy research).

[...] But what the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) team is saying also corresponds with information provided to IB Times from an anonymous source. According to their informant, China already has an EM Drive on board its version of the International Space Station, the space laboratory Tiangong-2.

[Continues...]

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  • (Score: 2) by Some call me Tim on Monday September 05 2016, @03:57AM

    by Some call me Tim (5819) on Monday September 05 2016, @03:57AM (#397657)

    I'm not a physics major by any stretch, but what is the possibility that the thrust is generated by the field pushing against water in the atmosphere? From the pdf linked in the article: The results show that: Based on classical electromagnetic theory, creating a propellantless microwave propulsion system can produce a net thrust; when the microwave source output is 2.45GHz, with a microwave power of 80-2500W, the propulsion produced by the thruster is located in the range of 70-720mN, and the total measurement error is less than 12%. Even though I've always heard that microwave ovens use 2.45 GHz due to the resonant frequency of water, I found this info that seems to debunk that: http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/169173/what-is-the-resonant-frequency-of-liquid-water [stackexchange.com]
    I guess we'll find out when they get a cubesat in space.

    --
    Questioning science is how you do science!
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Monday September 05 2016, @04:11AM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday September 05 2016, @04:11AM (#397663) Journal

      I'm sure Eagleworks is testing in a vacuum for this paper and basically all further tests. They don't want any of those little atmospheric factors screwing up the thrust measurements.

      These things really don't need to be tested in space, but if they can do it successfully, it will silence the critics. The only way I can think to fake the cubesat test would be to push it up with a laser... an expensive scam.

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      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by JNCF on Monday September 05 2016, @04:15AM

        by JNCF (4317) on Monday September 05 2016, @04:15AM (#397667) Journal

        The only way I can think to fake the cubesat test would be to push it up with a laser... an expensive scam.

        It's secretly going to be filled with helium, obviously.

      • (Score: 2) by Some call me Tim on Monday September 05 2016, @04:30AM

        by Some call me Tim (5819) on Monday September 05 2016, @04:30AM (#397674)

        The only way I can think to fake the cubesat test would be to push it up with a laser... an expensive scam.

        Especially if it's attached to a shark! ;-) It would be pointless to scam the cubesat tests. They might sell a few units to satellite operators but once they found out it didn't work, the whole industry would stomp them flat.

        --
        Questioning science is how you do science!
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 06 2016, @11:02AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 06 2016, @11:02AM (#398047)

          Where's that guy with that .sig when you need him?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @04:46AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @04:46AM (#397677)

    Hack it, hack it, I wanna know the outcome NOW!

    I'm not a Christian, don't wanna wait for xmas

  • (Score: 2) by ilPapa on Monday September 05 2016, @04:48AM

    by ilPapa (2366) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 05 2016, @04:48AM (#397679) Journal

    I think this might actually happen.

    --
    You are still welcome on my lawn.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by stormwyrm on Monday September 05 2016, @06:10AM

    by stormwyrm (717) on Monday September 05 2016, @06:10AM (#397688) Journal
    As they say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and violations of Newton's Third Law and the law of conservation of momentum as the EmDrive claims to do is extraordinary indeed. From what I hear [forbes.com], it seems they consistently got thrust of the order of 30-50 µN in their experimental setup, but the accuracy of the instrument they used to measure thrust was only something like 10-15 µN. It sounds like the measurements they have are rather too close to the noise floor of their measurement device for those to be really conclusive and robust results, given the kind of extraordinary claims being made. I think I'd like to see measurements with a lot more accuracy than that. It sounds a lot like the claims of FTL neutrinos that went away with a faulty cable replacement, which also passed peer review by the way.
    --
    Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.
    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by turgid on Monday September 05 2016, @07:59AM

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 05 2016, @07:59AM (#397706) Journal

      They just made Mother Theresa a saint. You can have anything you want if you wish hard enough.

      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Gaaark on Monday September 05 2016, @03:47PM

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 05 2016, @03:47PM (#397821) Journal

        Yeah, this just shows how far gone the catholic church is: trying to bring legitimacy to themselves by doing the ticker-tape parade for her.

        Organized religion, folks, at its' finest.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 06 2016, @03:20AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 06 2016, @03:20AM (#397960)
          You are aware of course that Mother Teresa was Catholic all her life, and became a nun as soon as she was able, so it's not like they're appropriating someone who wasn't one of them and didn't share their values.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bradley13 on Monday September 05 2016, @08:31AM

      by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 05 2016, @08:31AM (#397719) Homepage Journal

      Agreed: Let's take a "wait and see" attitude.

      The explanation, as I understand it, could potentially make sense. It's quantum mechanics at work again: The waves bouncing around are choosing a particular quantum state, and the geometry of the chamber forcing the quantum "rounding errors" to tend in a single direction. That's going by memory, from a vaguely understood article...

      If this proves out, then the next step will be to get a precise understanding of the effect. Presumably, one would then be able to optimize the chamber, or even find some completely different means of achieving the same effect.

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Monday September 05 2016, @08:36AM

        by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Monday September 05 2016, @08:36AM (#397720) Journal

        > the geometry of the chamber forcing the quantum "rounding errors" to tend in a single direction.

        Well that's fine. If that's how it works, we can have our propellant-free starship: All we need to do is reshape the universe so that the thrust tends towards our destination.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @09:09AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @09:09AM (#397728)

          Do you have any idea how much paperwork that is going to involve? Here's a hint: it makes grant writing look like playing Pokemon Go.

        • (Score: 2) by art guerrilla on Monday September 05 2016, @12:10PM

          by art guerrilla (3082) on Monday September 05 2016, @12:10PM (#397773)

          which was kind of my question: *assuming* the phenomenon is real, is is practical ?
          can it scale up to a starship, or *at least* my damn flying car ? ? ?
          ...an emdrive jetpack ?
          and most importantly: anything we can play with inappropriately and make youtube videos showing us crashing and burning ?

          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Monday September 05 2016, @01:22PM

            by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday September 05 2016, @01:22PM (#397782) Journal

            Well, since you asked... here are the more outlandish claims that did not make it into the summary:

            http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/09/cannae-will-launch-demo-cubesat-to.html [nextbigfuture.com]

            The concept vehicle outlined in this section is used to propel a scientific instrument and communication payload with a mass of 2000 kgs to a 0.1 light year (LY) distance in a 15 year time frame. This vehicle uses existing superconductor and vehicle subsystem technology performance levels. No improvements to technological performance levels are required to build the vehicle described in this section.

            0.1 light years = 6320 AU. Some of the most distant TNOs [wikipedia.org] in our solar system are about 2000-3000 AU away (2014 FE72 has an aphelion of around 4000 AU [soylentnews.org]). "Planet Nine" might be at around 600-1200 AU, if it exists. So if this 0.1 light year in 15 years claim is realized, every object in the solar system would be within our grasp. Going to Pluto would take less than a year instead of the 9-year winding journey that New Horizons took... and you could land on it instead of flying by.

            http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/emdrive-nasa-eagleworks-paper-has-finally-passed-peer-review-says-scientist-know-1578716 [ibtimes.co.uk]

            He told IBTimes UK that he is as excited as other EmDrive enthusiasts to read the upcoming paper by Nasa Eagleworks, but adds that any thrust measured will be very small, probably equivalent to where Shawyer's research was a decade ago. Incidentally, the 10-year-long rule about classifying research done for the UK government has now expired, and Shawyer has made four papers publicly accessible on his website [emdrive.com] for anyone to read. "I daresay America will have a lot to say about it, but it's not really new. It's all been done before 10 years ago. If you bother to go through the [declassified] papers, you can see the levels of thrust we achieved are significantly higher than the levels of thrust that Nasa Eagleworks has got," he said. "People all around the world have been measuring thrust. You've got guys building them in their garages and very large organisations building cavities too. They're all generating thrust, there's no great mystery. People think it's black magic or something, but it's not. Any physicist worth his salt should understand how it works, or if they don't, they should change their profession."

            Shawyer pushing ahead with EmDrive 2.0

            Shawyer is now actively working on the second-generation EmDrive [ibtimes.co.uk] with an unnamed UK aerospace company and the new device is meant to be able to achieve tonnes of thrust (1T = 1,000kg), rather than just a few grams. "We're trying to achieve thrust levels that go up by many orders of magnitude, where the q values of the cavities are between 1 x 109 and 5 x 104. Once you reach the levels of thrust we anticipate we will reach, you can apply it anywhere," he told IBTimes UK. "Essentially, anything that currently flies or drives or floats can use EmDrive technology."

            As has been brought up before, Shawyer claims that he is getting much more thrust per kilowatt than the micro/milli- newtons that would put emdrive in contention with ion drives in terms of efficiency. Let me find the graphic... here it is [blogspot.com]. Shawyer's "emdrive 2.0" is supposed to scale so well that it would basically enable your wildest sci-fi fantasies. Back to the Future 2 style flying car? Check. Sublight engines? Check. A nuclear fission reactor would provide enough power to do some crazy stuff. The Avengers style floating aircraft carrier? Check. But keep in mind that there is an effort (more plausible than emdrive) to develop compact nuclear fusion by Lockheed Martin and others, capable of providing 100 MW of power within the volume of a shipping container. If both emdrive 2.0 and compact fusion succeed, then we just need a warp drive and transporters to complete your Star Trek fantasies. That slide shows efficiency scaling decreasing somewhere between 10 kW and 100 kW, but you just need to pick your desired N/kW and put multiple emdrives on your spaceship, sharing the power.

            I won't mention f_ee ene_gy since someone already brought it up.

            Why isn't Shawyer showing off an emdrive 2.0 flying car? Because it's a scam! Or because he is taking a route of trade secrecy that builds hype but is well tread by cranks and scam artists. If you had a magic device that could enable flying cars, interstellar travel, and even f_ee ene_gy, you might work with a few partners to develop and polish it before unleashing it on the world. One interesting aspect of this whole affair is that Roger Shawyer can be a scam artist (emdrive 2) while still having developed something incredible (emdrive 1). Groups all over the world have been reporting unexplained thrust. Keep in mind that the similar Cannae drive mentioned in the summary was designed by another person, Guido Fetta.

            It is nice to know that we may be able to put some of these questions to rest in just 3 months.

            • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Monday September 05 2016, @03:00PM

              by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Monday September 05 2016, @03:00PM (#397805) Journal

              enable your wildest sci-fi fantasies.

              I dunno, some of my sci-fi fantasies are pretty wild. To be fair, many of them have absolutely nothing to do with reactionless propulsion...

              Back to the Future 2 style flying car? Check.

              Meh

              Sublight engines? Check.

              OK, now that's fun. We could have a fleet of Firefliy-class ships and Cobra Mk3s buzzing about the solar system within our lifetimes.

              The Avengers style floating aircraft carrier? Check.

              Hmmm, now that could be interesting. I'd never really thought about the applications of such tech because it always seemed so ridiculously unlikely. However when you suspend your disbelief long enough to consider it, the possibilities are fascinating. Gigantic sky-borne cargo ships that make today's supertankers look like dinghies. Flying cities.

              But keep in mind that there is an effort (more plausible than emdrive) to develop compact nuclear fusion by Lockheed Martin and others, capable of providing 100 MW of power within the volume of a shipping container. If both emdrive 2.0 and compact fusion succeed, then we just need a warp drive and transporters to complete your Star Trek fantasies. That slide shows efficiency scaling decreasing somewhere between 10 kW and 100 kW, but you just need to pick your desired N/kW and put multiple emdrives on your spaceship, sharing the power.

              It would take a lot more than that to achieve the star-hopping fantasies of Star Trek. At best this thing would be sublight, which still means years or decades between star systems, and that assumes you can somehow deal with the not-insignificant issue of being vapourised by a speck of dust at 0.6c, and/ or the "relativistic bow-wave of doom" problem.

              Your mention of Lockheed Martin does raise one salient point though: How could this tech be weaponised? You can bet there are plenty of people already considering the possibilities. At the very least you could build some very nasty kinetic missiles. If this tech is really as easy to reproduce as claimed then it could put city or even state-killing weapons into the hands of any nutjob with common engineering skills, a modest budget and the necessary knowledge.

              I won't mention f_ee ene_gy since someone already brought it up.

              Is it actually claiming to get more energy out than goes in? I mean it needs a power supply to run, so as long as there are losses in the system somewhere it isn't necessarily a PMM is it?

              Why isn't Shawyer showing off an emdrive 2.0 flying car? Because it's a scam!

              Well I can think of several halfway plausible reasons, but I agree that is highly likely:
              1 - The weaponisation angle above: He doesn't want it falling into the wrong hands.
              2 - There is a lot more to building a flying car than strapping an EM drive to a pickup truck. Pretty weak excuse though, you wouldn't think it would be so hard to team up with a team of aeronautical engineers.
              3 - The men in the black helicopters are trying to suppress or slow down development of the technology, again because of the possibility of someone else weaponising it before they do. Or simply because they don't want everybody and his grandmother building jet-powered rocketpants in their garages until they've had a chance to work out how to manage it.
              4 - Could be he doesn't know the first thing about getting such a venture off the ground (hurr), and prefers to spend time tinkering with prototypes and working out equations. Not everybody is a budding entrepreneur.

              If you had a magic device that could enable flying cars, interstellar travel, and even f_ee ene_gy, you might work with a few partners to develop and polish it before unleashing it on the world.

              Alternatively, I might secretly build myself a flying suit of armour and become a superhero. Or build a spacecraft and drop a few black monoliths on the far side of the moon. Or simply continue researching the technology as far as I can and leave all that messy "practical applications" stuff to somebody else.

              • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Monday September 05 2016, @03:35PM

                by deimtee (3272) on Monday September 05 2016, @03:35PM (#397814) Journal

                I won't mention f_ee ene_gy since someone already brought it up.

                Is it actually claiming to get more energy out than goes in? I mean it needs a power supply to run, so as long as there are losses in the system somewhere it isn't necessarily a PMM is it?

                Any reactionless drive is effectively a free energy device. At some relative velocity, the increase in kinetic energy is more than the power to run the drive. It may take some fancy engineering, but you can extract power from such a system indefinitely.

                --
                No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @06:28PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @06:28PM (#397863)
                  It could be "reactionless" up to a limit. If those limits are high enough in popular scenarios the drive could still be useful even if it's not what is claimed by proponents. After all lots of us move about using vehicles that are magnitudes slower than the point where Newton's laws stop being accurate enough.

                  A lot of academic scientists and wannabes like to shoot down stuff just because they don't understand it or can't think of a theory yet. Which is actually very unscientific, since what you should focus on is establishing whether the phenomena is real, not go "it definitely can't be true because it goes against existing laws". Of course if there completely is no evidence of any phenomena then sure shoot it down, but in many cases people have actually taken reasonable trouble to do some experiments and they're not complete retards. Take the cold fusion stuff too, people were saying silly stuff like - it's fake because there aren't enough neutrons generated, you'd be dead if it worked, the energy input is more than the output, etc. The thing is even if it isn't fusion it might be an alternative type of battery. A type of battery that might not be useful today but in the future who knows... After all plenty of scientists and mathematicians work on stuff that has no application today.

                  In the old days plenty of theories were very wrong, but a lot of methods and tech still worked despite the lack of understanding or accurate theories. In many cases the phenomenon is discovered first then people come up with theories to try to explain it.
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 06 2016, @05:52PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 06 2016, @05:52PM (#398214)

                  Not true, this drive wouldn't allow someone to go faster than the power they have available. Just because it doesn't use a propellant does not make it some magic device, it just means there is some science we haven't quite figured out yet (if the drive works).

                  • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Wednesday September 07 2016, @01:46AM

                    by deimtee (3272) on Wednesday September 07 2016, @01:46AM (#398446) Journal

                    It produces force. Some pretty basic high school physics says:
                    Power(in) = Constant
                    Energy = Force * Distance.
                    Velocity = Distance / Time
                    Power(out) = Energy / Time

                    Doing some rearranging and substituting:
                    D = V * T
                    E = F * V * T
                    Divide both sides by T
                    E/T = P(out)_ = F * V
                    However small the F produced by the drive is, if it is greater than zero then there is a speed where P(out) will exceed P(in).

                    --
                    No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
              • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday September 05 2016, @03:38PM

                by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday September 05 2016, @03:38PM (#397815) Journal

                I dunno, some of my sci-fi fantasies are pretty wild.

                We'll throw in a flying sexbot.

                It would take a lot more than that to achieve the star-hopping fantasies of Star Trek.

                I mentioned the warp drive in there. One of the authors of this upcoming paper, Harold White, is famous for his work on trying to turn the Alcubierre drive into something plausible (changing the shape of the warp bubble to reduce energy requirements, and trying to build a warp field interferometer [wikipedia.org]). Even if your hypothetical warp bubble "traveled" at less than 1c instead of being "faster-than-light", it might still avoid some of the issues associated with traveling at 0.6c or 0.1c due to the way it bends space around the ship.

                Maybe if we stuff enough power output into these ships, we can talk shields (more magic).

                If this tech is really as easy to reproduce as claimed then it could put city or even state-killing weapons into the hands of any nutjob with common engineering skills, a modest budget and the necessary knowledge.

                It will make car bombs look like sparklers! We are entering into a dangerous future on many fronts, why not add emdrive to the list? Strong emdrive could make it easy to steer an asteroid into Earth. Not cheap enough for terrorists since it would take years, but it might be within the grasp of secret world destroyer Elon Musk (who would then rule all of humanity with his home base on Mars).

                There is a lot more to building a flying car than strapping an EM drive to a pickup truck.

                Sure, but Shawyer is talking about it. Rather than just flying cars, electric cars could also use the emdrive to propel. It is all within the scope of the things he is claiming (orders of magnitude more than millinewtons of thrust).

                This brings up an interesting point: your cars and spaceships need emdrives on multiple sides to get the best maneuverability. For solar system travel, maybe you could put most of the emdrives on the "back", put some on the sides, and when you need to slow down, pause the back drives, do a 180° turn, and fire them up again. That's instead of putting the same amount of large drives on the back and front.

                The men in the black helicopters are trying to suppress or slow down development of the technology

                Chinese researchers claim to have replicated the results. If emdrive is real, it will spread around. It doesn't seem out of reach for garage tinkerers or startups (for better versions) either.

                --
                [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @05:16PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @05:16PM (#397847)

                "If this tech is really as easy to reproduce as claimed then it could put city or even state-killing weapons into the hands of any nutjob with common engineering skills, a modest budget and the necessary knowledge."

                oh noes!! the freedom's gonna get us!

          • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday September 05 2016, @02:03PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday September 05 2016, @02:03PM (#397789) Homepage Journal

            You're not going to get a flying car out of it, the thrust (if real) is tiny. It's easy to lift a car, hard to control one in three dimensions. BTW, we've had flying cars since 1903. They're called "airplanes".

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
            • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday September 05 2016, @03:56PM

              by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 05 2016, @03:56PM (#397826) Journal

              Let's see you tuck and roll out of a plane doing one-quarter full speed (without a parachute!) :)

              --
              --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday September 05 2016, @02:00PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday September 05 2016, @02:00PM (#397788) Homepage Journal

        Let's take a "wait and see" attitude.

        That's why I'm not using an em drive in my SF... yet.

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday September 05 2016, @02:16PM

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday September 05 2016, @02:16PM (#397793) Journal

          It's funny that some of the same NASA scientists testing the emdrive are also working on the warp drive concept. Harold White is the name I know off the top of my head.

          Dr José Rodal posted on the Nasa Spaceflight forum – in a now-deleted comment – that the new paper will be entitled "Measurement of Impulsive Thrust from a Closed Radio Frequency Cavity in Vacuum" and is authored by "Harold White, Paul March, Lawrence, Vera, Sylvester, Brady and Bailey".

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mcgrew on Monday September 12 2016, @05:19PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday September 12 2016, @05:19PM (#400816) Homepage Journal

            The difference is they might find out, in my lifetime (maybe next year, who knows?) that the em drive is impossible and does in fact violate physical laws, but I'll be long dead and forgotten before warp drives are actually being built and tested, as these drives are.

            SF gets out of date quickly. For instance, in one of my Asimov books there's a short story called "The watery place" where we are visited by Venusians. Of course, we now know there are no Venusians, or Venusian water. Vonnegut's story "2BR02B" is full of such anachronisms, including a telephone booth.

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Monday September 12 2016, @08:34PM

              by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday September 12 2016, @08:34PM (#400912) Journal

              Life extension, mcbro.

              Sure, the "exotic matter" requirements for the warp drive look insurmountable, but warp field interferometer experiments could at least disprove the concept. Also, if we manage to discover/confirm lots of aliens visiting Earth in UFOs right now, as if it was a tourist trap, then we can be reasonably sure they have faster-than-light travel.

              Emdrive is an exciting prospect since it could take us to the next level if real, and will at least produce some interesting science if fake (since multiple teams are now trying to explain thrust measurements, a situation unlike the faster-than-light neutrino hype from a couple of years ago). The fact that we have an expanding universe means that we can entertain ideas that could lead to "free energy". Now here's a crazy idea: tapping into the "free energy" could slow down some of the expansion of the universe and prolong life as we know it!

              --
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    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Monday September 05 2016, @08:43AM

      by sjames (2882) on Monday September 05 2016, @08:43AM (#397722) Journal

      I'm cautious as well, but there are a few possabilities I will speculate about in advance (why not, it's fun :-)

      While some have claimed a true reactionless drive, I find that to be extremely unlikely. A wild but less improbable guess would be that it creates an equal but opposite reaction in the quantum foam. Essentially transferring momentum to space itself. This one has also been proposed. Another is gravity waves, transferring momentum to whatever gets in the way. I don't know if that has been proposed or not.

      Whatever it is (if anything), I'm betting it is not reactionless, though finding the reaction might be hard.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday September 05 2016, @11:06AM

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday September 05 2016, @11:06AM (#397756) Journal

        A wild but less improbable guess would be that it creates an equal but opposite reaction in the quantum foam.

        Does that have something to do with virtual particles?

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        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday September 05 2016, @04:26PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 05 2016, @04:26PM (#397829) Journal

          A wild but less improbable guess would be that it creates an equal but opposite reaction in the quantum foam.

          Does that have something to do with virtual particles?

          Yes, that would. I believe the "quantum foam" is a quantum vacuum with plenty of virtual particles combined with spatial structure at the classical scale. That didn't sound like gibberish to me.

        • (Score: 2) by sjames on Monday September 05 2016, @06:23PM

          by sjames (2882) on Monday September 05 2016, @06:23PM (#397861) Journal

          Yes. The quantum foam is composed of virtual particles.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @04:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @04:32PM (#397831)

      I don't see what all the excessive crying is all about. Energy is matter, photons have momentum, draining that energy in a specific direction could generate thrust.

    • (Score: 2) by turgid on Tuesday September 06 2016, @12:57PM

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 06 2016, @12:57PM (#398072) Journal

      Perhaps if they wished harder the signal to noise ratio would improve?

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by wonkey_monkey on Monday September 05 2016, @10:16AM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Monday September 05 2016, @10:16AM (#397739) Homepage

    Long thought to be nothing more than a space dream, the EmDrive [...] has cleared peer review

    No, a paper about the EmDrive has cleared peer review.

    For all we know, the paper might debunk the thing entirely.

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @11:49AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @11:49AM (#397768)

    Consider this:

    Notice how they stir up and test the waters so they see how much the 'educated public' (that's you) bites to the romantic notion of "we did it, humanity. We can sail to the stars now, with practically unlimited energy!

    If this thing works, even in the mN or nN scale or whatever, why not make it spin a generator and have endless power forever, and end misery for all, period? If so, let's all quit what we are doing and build as many of those as we can. What is the holdup?

    Only that it doesn't work. Sure there are undiscovered tricks and tweaks in electromagnetism, but the only purpose here is to kick the hopeless can of the myth of the globe earth down the road for as much as possible, because more and more people are becoming aware that the Earth's shape is geometrically consistent with that of an infinite plane.

    Hint: The artificial horizon device in aircraft, which is a gyroscope leveled along the ground before take-off, is a purely mechanical device. Only very recently there were some magic-hoaxbox 'electronics' added with a sticker "to be serviced only by Lockheed Martin". And once you open this, there is YET ANOTHER(!) hoaxcircuit with a sticker proclaiming "to be serviced only by (you guessed it!) NASA. Only this happened recently, just after the Earth 'turned' into a globe.

    There is no 'countering' for the Earth's convexity, because there is none. Aircraft fly fine with a purely mechanical artificial horizon. Look this up, before (or even after) your reflex-ranking this comment Troll/Flame/Whatever, and see for yourself how deep the rabbit hole goes.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @03:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @03:01PM (#397806)

      Eratosthenes and every sailor ever would like to have a word with you.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @03:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @03:43PM (#397817)

        Eratosthenes and every sailor ever would like to have a word with you.

        Granted. I can safely assume Eratosthenes is not, nor has been, any drinking buddy of yours, so here you are merely regurgitating what you think you know about his work. Let's then take a closer look on said work:

        There are four unknowns: a) the shape of the Earth, b) the distance between Eratosthenes and the well, c) the distance between the Sun and the Earth, and d) the error in time measurement. Let's further assume that (d) can be circumvented by an extremely accurate astronomical measurement of the position of the Sun as it crosses a certain meridian. And let's simplify (a) by assuming either a plane or a convex sphere.

        In either case of (a), you still have more unknowns that equations to conclusively apply trigonometry: you simply cannot tell how far the Sun is away from the Earth. However far, in the globe model the distance is still finite and measurable. Only when you are certain for the distance (b) AND the value of (c) (and don't forget the accurate timing) can you be confident of having figured out the radius of a ball Earth (if that is the case). Note that in the case where you take the infinite plane as a given, AND you know with good precision the distance between Eratosthenes and his well, AND your clock rocks, THEN you can have an estimate about how far the Sun is from those two points through trigonometry.

        Also, how can you be so sure about what was it that Eratosthenes wanted to measure?

        About 'every sailor ever': I can understand how 'some sailor somewhere' may actually HAVE been your drinking buddy, unlike Eratosthenes. However, if you again bother to investigate the bibliography regarding the exploration South of the equator, Oceania and especially Antarctica, you will note what the Captains of that time took note: namely that they would find themselves inexplicably 16, 20 or ore nautical miles away from their reckoning each day, something that puzzled them and could not be attributed to currents or any known factor. There are numerous accounts, all from logs of ships, mostly from the 19th century (but also earlier) and absolutely preserved and accessible until today (to you as well), due to the accurate and notorious record-keeping of the British Navy. Add to this the fact that every attempt to circumnavigate Australia adds a thousand or more miles to the journey when compared to the one predicted by the globe Earth model, plus that every attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica has taken years and consistently described around 50,000 nautical miles. Measure this on the globe, and try and find any plausible combination of icebergs, bad weather, currents and mermaids that can stretch the number you see up to 50,000 nautical miles.

        I am going to disregard the fact that you completely ignored the purely mechanical artificial horizon device. For now.

        Give my best to your sailor friends.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @04:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @04:37PM (#397834)

      This has nothing to do with free energy. They dump power into this drive and it produces a small thrust. What it is doing is causing the generated photons to all lose their momentum in one direction based on the geometry of the reflecting chamber. No magical claims besides generating thrust without solid propellant.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @03:56PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @03:56PM (#397824)

    The longer it stays in orbit, the more the satellite will show that it must be producing thrust without propellant.

    They can't simply measure believable levels of thrust. They have to go out and make some ass-backwards argument "proving" it works. No, this doesn't mean that it is producing thrust if all you are doing is saying that "we expected it to be in orbit X days, and it lasted X+e days. Therefore it is providing thrust!" And how do you know what X is in the first place? Are the models for atmospheric drag decent enough to calculate X? No. If it stays in orbit 10X or more, then maybe you can start looking for something.

    Put up or shut up. What is the expected thrust needed to maintain a 240 km orbit? Show you can produce that much thrust first. This has been one big money scam from day one, all powered by the wonders of hydrinos no doubt. And if Eagleworks measures something significant, then pass it over to a real thruster lab for confirmation; NASA even has real labs of their own [nasa.gov] and under contract [nasa.gov] with people who have the equipment and actually know how to make these measurements.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @04:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @04:43PM (#397837)

      They have already done that, so you are just not paying attention. The thrust levels are small so people claim all sorts of possible interference. In space there will be nothing to complicate things, and either it will work or not.