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posted by martyb on Friday June 17 2016, @12:39AM   Printer-friendly
from the invisible-light dept.

International Business Times writes:

A new peer-reviewed paper (open, DOI: 10.1063/1.4953807) on the EmDrive from Finland states that the controversial electromagnetic space propulsion technology does work due to microwaves fed into the device converting into photons that leak out of the closed cavity, producing an exhaust.

So how could something come out that you can't detect? Well, the photons bounce back and forth inside the metal cavity, and some of them end up going together in the same direction with the same speed, but they are 180 degrees out of phase. Invariably, when travelling together in this out-of-phase configuration, they cancel each other's electromagnetic field out completely.

That's the same as water waves travelling together so that the crest of one wave is exactly at the trough of the other and cancelling each other out. The water does not go away, it's still there, in the same way the pairs of photons are still there and carrying momentum even though you can't see them as light.

If you don't have electromagnetic properties on the waves as they have cancelled each other out, then they don't reflect from the cavity walls anymore. Instead they leak out of the cavity. So we have an exhaust – the photons are leaking out pair-wise.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17 2016, @08:11AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17 2016, @08:11AM (#361456)

    well heres some crackpot.
    i think everyone ligo agrees that space can have a geometry. so it's bendable.
    i think every one also agrees that light lives "inside" space, that is, if space is flat then light goes straight, but if space is bent then light trajectory will be bend also ( something called a geodesic? )

    so for now we always have concentrated on space and embedded mass and shot light through it to measure and observe it (space).

    but what if we turn it around? what if we ignore space and mass geometrics and instead try to devise a way to bend light instead ... will the space then bend tooo, in response?

    if it walks like a duck, quaks like a duck it probably is a duck.

    i would like to hope that this new device uses light to bend space (and probably time too)...

    note: it is tough going for new physics so please forgive if this might not help much to further support of this new propulsion type ...

  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday June 17 2016, @03:23PM

    by Immerman (3985) on Friday June 17 2016, @03:23PM (#361594)

    Yep, all you need to do is something impossible, and then you can do impossible things.

    How exactly would you bend light? You have to apply a force, and then the light is just bending in response to the force.. which is something it does all the time. May as well make it more mundane - throw a baseball in a vacuum and it will likewise follow a geodesic. So, just bend its path without applying a force, and maybe you bend the geodesic as well?