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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: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday June 17 2016, @09:34AM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday June 17 2016, @09:34AM (#361469) Journal

    > Second thing: two photons overlapping exactly would mean that their location is "known" with infinite precision (it's known by the other photon). That would mean that their momentum could have any value possible, just because of Schrodinger.

    OK, so to vreate your magic spacedrive you get two photons overlapping exactly, and then you persuade them to choose the highest of the possible values for momentum using a photonic vector plotter suspended in strong brownian motion producer (say, a nice hot cup of tea)...

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17 2016, @09:50AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17 2016, @09:50AM (#361474)

    Presto changeo. Infinite improbability drive.