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posted by janrinok on Friday August 01 2014, @08:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the it-shouldn't-work-but-does dept.

This story from a Wired article: NASA is a major player in space science, so when a team from the agency this week presents evidence that "impossible" microwave thrusters seem to work, something strange is definitely going on. Either the results are completely wrong, or Nasa has confirmed a major breakthrough in space propulsion.

British scientist Roger Shawyer has been trying to interest people in his EmDrive for some years through his company SPR Ltd. Shawyer claims the EmDrive converts electric power into thrust, without the need for any propellant by bouncing microwaves around in a closed container. He has built a number of demonstration systems, but critics reject his relativity-based theory and insist that, according to the law of conservation of momentum, it cannot work.

NASA states... "Test results indicate that the RF resonant cavity thruster design, which is unique as an electric propulsion device, is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma"

 
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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by mcgrew on Saturday August 02 2014, @03:22PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday August 02 2014, @03:22PM (#76730) Homepage Journal

    Yes, the article points that out but adds that much having to do with particle physics seems to violate Newtonian laws while following relativistic laws. This seems to work on the principle that waves added in phase with each other double amplitude, while waves added out of phase cancel them out, making it only seem to violate conservation of momentum without actually doing so.

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