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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 5 years, 7 months ago
    So far, the numbers are just barely to the positive side of random chance, so don't get too excited yet. If, as the inventors and their NASA supporters think, the effect can be significantly improved, and the numbers in successive tests demonstrate that, then this is a monumental breakthrough. With any of the propulsion systems we currently have, fuel is a significant portion of the mass of the space vehicle. If this system is even just comparable with other electric drives in terms of thrust, it still has an enormous advantage. If it can demonstrate much higher levels of thrust, then it would appear to be the birth of the Star Trek impulse drive.

    The missing piece to this drive that makes it somewhat of an enigma is the lack of an understanding of how the phenomenon works. So far all that's happened to explain the apparent violation of the conservation of momentum is a guess that it somehow taps into "transient" particles that pop in and out of the space-time matrix. Hopefully a better explanation will be developed, even if it overturns what we currently accept as the inviolable laws of physics.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 5 years, 7 months ago
      I might see this working for inter-space travel, but with the limited information it seems hard to believe that it could be used to lift a vehicle from Earth to space or for airplanes.

      In the interview, the guy claims that airplane versions would be quiet. My guess is that a great deal of the noise of an airplane is produced by the air flowing over the airframe. In addition, the engine has to push against the air, when it is in air, so it will make noise also. These claims undermine his credibility in my mind.
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 5 years, 7 months ago
        If you've ever ridden in a sailplane, it's amazingly quiet. I've also been a passenger in a T-33 jet trainer that experienced a "flameout" (engine quit), and that silence is disconcerting. Electric aircraft are disappointingly noisier than people expect, because quite a bit of a small plane's noise is from the propeller as much as the internal combustion engine.

        A friend of mine constructed several "Q" aircraft which were powered sailplanes with silenced engines and special propellers. They were used as low altitude reconnaissance aircraft during the Vietnam war, and couldn't be heard beyond 1,000' away. Anyway, if such a propulsion system could generate enough thrust, it would be pretty quiet.

        I doubt this phenomenon will ever produce enough thrust to lift a craft from the Earth's surface. Nonetheless, even at the miniscule amounts of measured thrust, a fuelless propulsion system could achieve fantastic velocities over long periods of time.
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        • Posted by dbhalling 5 years, 7 months ago
          Thanks I would love to ride on a sea plane.
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          • Posted by DrZarkov99 5 years, 7 months ago
            I'd love to experience a seaplane ride as well. My wife flew on a seaplane to Catalina island when she was younger, but they don't do that anymore.

            Back to topic, I worked with a fellow Air Force officer who was part of the Condon study on UFOs, and he speculated on what kind of propulsion they might use. His explanation resembled the effects shown for the system under discussion.
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  • Posted by 5 years, 7 months ago
    Galt's engine?
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    • Posted by jceockwood 5 years, 7 months ago
      I think Galt's engine is the work they are doing with LENR. We may end up with a source of electricity at a cost so low its not worth metering. If successful the question will be can they develop home units to get you off the grid or larger units that will use current power infrastructure. I guess they'll charge a subscription fee to cover maintenance. I'm afraid that would bloat the bureaucratic overhead and eat up all of the savings. The best scenario is the home units.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 7 months ago
        I use "Pons and Fleischmann" as a term for making an ass of yourself with premature claims. Maybe they will be vindicated. I would love to see that.
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        • Posted by jceockwood 5 years, 7 months ago
          What do you make of this?
          http://www.elforsk.se/Global/Omv%C3%A...

          I have a degree in Biology, I ran a quality control lab doing mainly coal chemistry before I got into process and project management. Then I worked selling raw materials to the silicon metals and alloys industry. After that traveling life I took the series 7 and moved back to my little east Tennessee home town to open a small office referral only financial services practice. I tell you this to explain that much of this is over my head but a long time ago when I was getting into the management side of things a guy told me I don't need you to be an engineer but I need you to know enough so and engineer can't bs you. So assuming that this is not a total fabrication what I find compelling is the positive power output and isotopic shifts in the fuel. Do you see and big holes in this report?
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 7 months ago
            I serve on the board of professional org. One board member booked a speaker on LENR, and another contacted the venue and convinced them not to host us doing such a controversial talk. We had the event at another venue. After hearing the talk, I went from thinking it was bunk to that it's possible. If they're getting a mW gain, COP > 3, why don't we see this replicated everywhere? I'm skeptical, but I would love for it to be true.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 7 months ago
            "Do you see and big holes in this report?"
            If they can reproduce the huge difference in energy compared to the control, it will be undeniable.

            I would like to understand the experimental difficulties they describe in calculating the new isotope concentrations, using them to work out the new mass, and seeing if it went down commensurate w/ E=mc^2.
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  • Posted by $ Snezzy 5 years, 7 months ago
    Apparently Sawyer has some fundamental misconceptions about physics. See this description:
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/EmDrive

    Here is Jerry Pournelle on the (reactionless) Dean Drive:
    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/science...

    For LENR (cold fusion) see this:
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/LENR
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    • Posted by ProfChuck 5 years, 7 months ago
      The Dean drive was later shown to take advantage of non linearities in the scale mechanism. The whirling weights caused a vibration that introduced an error into the scales reading. That being said the idea that using the virtual particles to produce thrust and energy is not new. It goes by a number of different names depending on which theory you are considering; quantum foam, vacuum energy, zero point energy and so on. It is a consequence of quantum physics and the Heisenberg principal and its existence is strongly suggested by the Casimir effect which has been demonstrated in the laboratory. The problem is that either the particles have no mass or they appear in conjugate pairs of positive and negative mass. Either way it is not clear how a propulsion system can take advantage of the phenomenon. It is theorized that these virtual particles appear and disappear in time frames that are on the order of the Planck interval but in any given volume of space and at any instant of time there will always be a vast number of such particles.
      Here is a possible mechanism that could produce thrust without violating Newton's third law.
      Lets assume that it is possible to use some sort of field to accelerate these particles but their lifetime is so short that they annihilate before they reach the far wall of the chamber and thus cannot impart the opposite momentum. Interesting notion but I wonder if it is crazy enough to be true.
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  • Posted by dutchmanii 5 years, 7 months ago
    Electromagnetic Impulse is base on trying to cross to magnetic flux lines at 90 degrees. It was researched back in the late 70's in an attempt to cross two magnetic flux lines at 90 degrees. Of course they never made it but got to something like 88.3 degrees or maybe 87 degrees and it since it was a tangential factor it shot straight up in what was estimated that to cross two it would take a force of about 50,000 tons to accomplish. It is not based on particles at all. It is based upon the critical objective of crossing two magnetic flux lines.

    Working with the left hand rule of a motor and the right hand rule of a generator you use your thumb, askew to your index finger and askew to the middle finger. Hold them out in front of you and label the thumb with a M for motion and the index finger F for Magnetic Flux line and label the middle finger C for current of the induced current flow. Like a rail gun as I am sure you have heard of and being advanced for use on Navy ships it works like this. You pulse the rails that make contact with the projectile sabot that makes contact with the rail. Now for the tricky part all you have to do is figure the length of the contact rail and then you can put in the length of a electrical current pulsed square wave that would use the left hand rule for motors and right hand rule for generators and you get the gun.

    Now to convert that info to travel in space. First of all remember there are magnetic flux lines from the sun and other objects in space these flux lines go way out there. Now all you would need is a means of detecting the flux lines orientation and a vessel that could create its own magnetic flux and align the vessels flux with the strongest flux felt in space and then all you would have to do is switch the vessel flux line temporarily with a quick pulse of alignment and walla you get the thumb or M movement reaction of the left hand rule of motors. Kick in the head part is.... the impedance of the vessel would have to be minimum so as to make a quick almost instantaneous switch to 90 degrees of the detected flux line you want to ride off of. That impedance if inductive reactance which is natural to any sudden change in current. So I feel it is quite feasible but we have bigger problems. Remember it would only take one of these flux lines crossed to generate in excess of 50,000 tons of force. Well think about that for a second. If you did the experiment here on earth you couldn't survive. If you did it while in orbit you'd still have the affect of the earths gravity somewhat. But wait it gets better for problems. You need to be able to communicate faster than the speed of light because you'll be going very fast and you need to be able to send out some king of radar type navigation to detect objects that get in the way so you won't run into them. So I don't mean just a little faster than the speed of light you need many factors times. Then do you realize what kind of navigation computer you'd have to have to process this info in a speed necessary to control the vessel. It gets deep. But I assure you there are not particles involve in electro magnetic impulse this way. Oh yes, there are what is commonly termed the EMP explosion which is not related to this type of discussion, that is why I think someone got off on the wrong track as to what this was trying to accomplish.

    My two cents.

    Don Buchholz
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  • Posted by woodlema 5 years, 7 months ago
    I find the "scientists" again being real pathetic jackasses.

    I was reading numerous articles on this, and while I am by no means a scientist this makes perfect sense to me, and in my brain I can grasp why this would work.

    "The technology requires no propellent to generate thrust, which means it goes against the principles of classical mechanics, which are a set of physical laws to describe how the motion of objects should be influenced by particular forces."

    The claim it has no propellant, tells me that science yet again is caught up inside their own closed minds.

    What is propellant? These boneheads are in essence saying that propellant "must" then be a combination of chemicals that cause a physical reaction. Rockets are really only controlled explosions of chemicals.

    EM stands for electromagnetic.

    I can launch and fire massive objects propel objects across magnets. Electricity is the propellant, the motion of electrons, neutrons and protons. If E=MC^2 then I can, in my mind see how the agitation of these atomic forced could propel something.

    Now if I can grasp this why is it these "peers" refuse to even contemplate this.

    Because in my opinion the VAST majority of supposed science is not really science, but the closed minded nature of elitist intellectuals who want to prop themselves up as superior. To admit a mistake or lack of understanding they feel diminishes their self important status.

    Only a few REAL scientists take new thinking seriously and explore it and use the REAL scientific method to determine the value, as opposed to their own closely held beliefs they they hang on to like the more religious of people to their faith.

    Scientific Method for those who may not be familiar:

    http://www.sciencebuddies.org/enginee...
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  • Posted by $ Susanne 5 years, 7 months ago
    So... lets see... average speed of 60K MPH. a human can handle (on the average, not taking into account various ancillary conditions) is a MAX of 7-9 g. So 70-88 meters per second squared. (And reality for sustainable constant G force is probably closer to 3g, or 30 meters per second squared, meaning the average human would have to get used to an implied body weight of a quarter ton. And that's heavy, brother!)

    4 hours would (IMO) be pushing it (I'll have to do the math), but only because the distance from the Earth to the moon is relatively close. The further one travels, the more velocity can be built... Essentially, if you were following a constant acceleration curve from, say, here to Alpha Centauri, at the point of max velocity you could make that trip much faster, but the stop at the moon would be the killer, not the ride there.

    The largest issue with high velocity spaceflight (say, the 96,000 KpH you would need to average to do a 4 hour Terra-Luna run) isn't the acceleration, per se... it's the debris you would hit in space at those speeds. You would almost need to ride aft of a huge magnetic (or anti-gravitic) wave to make sure you didn't plow into something significant that would go through the ship (and the occupants)...

    Sure, IF the science does pan out, and the drive is able to push something to hypersonic velocities like this, it would be a boon... but it's a very, very small baby step from that point to actually being able to have something that could eventually get us to the Kuiper belt and back in time for supper...
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 5 years, 7 months ago
    Interesting concept but they will still have some type electrical storage to get the phenomena started. Special capacitors will be needed to provide a huge dump of electrical power to fly a larger vehicle.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 7 months ago
    So the next question: if they can get to the moon in four hours, can you imagine the forces of acceleration and deceleration on any occupants? My suspicion is that it's going to take at least a day on the deceleration side just so the occupants don't die in flight.
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    • Posted by $ AJAshinoff 5 years, 7 months ago
      Place occupants in capsules of liquid. That should dampen, if not eliminate, the forces of acceleration/deceleration. Negative, it adds weight.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 7 months ago
        Yeah, there is more than one sci-fi world built on this, as well as the popular MMORPG EVE Online (pod pilots). It still is going to add an effective day for embarkation/debarkation, but it's a fixed cost instead of a variable cost so definitely worth looking into.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 5 years, 7 months ago
    Yes, those of us that grew up in the 50ies have long longed for a flying car in spite of the logistical nightmare that would ensue. But at least, I would hope that they have or will take precautions against strong electromagnetic events...which are not just confined to our earth but are actually catastrophic in outer space.
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  • Posted by jdg 5 years, 7 months ago
    Hey, if you think it works (I'm not convinced yet), go ahead and build the thing and try it out. Just don't tax me to pay for it.

    If it works, you'll be a hero, and rich too! If it doesn't, you'll be one of many fools, forgotten in a week or two when something interesting happens.
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  • Posted by minorwork 5 years, 7 months ago
    I'm not buying the principle since when the power is turned off there is still measured thrust.

    "If the EmDrive is still generating thrust even when the power is turned off, it strongly implies that the measured energy was thermal, and therefore indicative of a false positive reading."

    "Eric W. Davis, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Austin said to io9: “I noted in [the study’s] conclusion paragraphs that [Tajmar’s] apparatus was producing hundreds of micro-Newtons of thrust when it got very hot, and that his measuring instrumentation is not very accurate when the apparatus becomes hot,” Davis told io9. “He also stated that he was still recording thrust signals even after the electrical power was turned off, which is a huge key clue that his thrust measurements are all systematic artifact false positive thrust signals.” ~ http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/21...

    Perpetual motion machine? When the rants about science being blinded by dogma arrive at this site, I wonder if the perpetual motion machines will be pushed too. I'm thinking of the type that move but cannot sustain a load or do any useful work.

    http://io9.com/no-german-scientists-h...
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 5 years, 7 months ago
    Galt's engine, maybe. Moon in four hours, NFW.

    If this had any chance of being able to achieve escape velocity, the thrust would not be so subtle there was a question that it actually functioned.
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