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EmDrive  (Source: emdrive.com)
It's a a propellantless microwave thruster that defies Newton's laws of motion

Chinese scientists have taken on a heavily criticized space drive idea that could one day launch satellites, deep space probes and even flying cars.

The research team hails from Northwestern Polytechnic University in Xi'an, and was led by Yang Juan. What they developed was a propellantless microwave thruster called EmDrive, which is a controversial idea because it goes against Newton's laws of motion -- and many have claimed to create a "propellantless" thruster before and failed.

Newton's laws of motion are all based on the idea that firing propellant out of the back at a high speed will push a craft forward. While solar cells offer infinite power, thrust is limited by propellant. Many have tried to get around this, but several scams have made this particular field a joke in the scientific world.

While space drives tend to rely on Newton's laws of motion, the EmDrive is a closed, conical container that has a net thrust toward the wide end when filled with resonating microwaves. This goes against Newton, who said that no closed system could have a net thrust. However, EmDrive works because the microwaves have a group velocity (the speed of a collection of electromagnetic waves) that is greater in one direction than the other -- which is where Albert Einstein's theory of relativity comes in.

British engineer Robert Shaywer, who began looking at the concept of a propellantless thruster when he opened his own company called Satellite Propulsion Research in 2001, is the original creator of the EmDrive. He made demonstration thrusters to prove it could be done, and even made sure the test results were accurate (meaning, the results weren't affected by friction, ionization, air currents, electromagnetic effects or interference). The first, made in 2003, had a thrust of 16 mN. This was enough to show it could be done.

However, he received a ton of criticism for his idea and was ridiculed in his own country. But the Chinese team at Northwestern Polytechnic University believed in his research and took the project head on to author the latest study, "Net Thrust Measurement of Propellantless Microwave Thruster."

The Northwestern Polytechnic University team was able to create the EmDrive with 720 mN of thrust with a couple of kilowatts of power.

So what purpose does EmDrive have? It could halve launch costs of satellites because as much as half the launch weight of these objects are attributed to propellant.

Shawyer is even working on a superconducting thruster that could be ready as soon as 2016. It would boost the Q value of the cavity, which determines the amount of thrust produced. He said it could be boosted by a factor of several thousand, possibly equating to a tonne of thrust per kilowatt of power.

Source: Wired



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Interesting...keep moving forward
By Ytsejamer1 on 2/9/2013 11:28:19 AM , Rating: 5
I certainly wont' want to get into a debate on the details and whether this technology can work. My comment is more on a larger picture concept.

I'm glad people are still doing research on something where someone else or some governing science body already said, "nope, it won't or can't work". Science is never static...so what is false today, may ring true tomorrow.

I don't care where scientific discoveries come from. I'm just happy to see new things like this tried. At some point, something big will come of all the small discoveries.




RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By tng on 2/9/2013 1:32:46 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
...he received a ton of criticism for his idea and was ridiculed in his own country.
Part of the problem with "Science" and scientists today is the knee-jerk reactions like this.

Instead of taking detailed accounts and duplicating/disproving the results, to many scientists nowdays will just say it breaks a law or goes against current theory, so it can't even be worth looking at. I guess the Chinese are more open to new ideas, if we are not careful, they will be running us in 20 years.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By Shadowself on 2/9/2013 2:05:36 PM , Rating: 5
In this case, he has not performed any experiments that don't have significant flaws. Until he addresses those flaws in the experiments then no one is going to be willing to spend the time, money and effort to try to duplicate his claims.

As someone who has done what was once claimed "not possible" (it was in a rather obscure corner of physics), I can tell you the first thing you do is make your experiment as bullet proof as realistically possible. Then when someone finds an aspect for which you did not account, you redesign the experiment to handle that then redo the experiment. Rinse and repeat. Then, and only then, do you publish and go around claiming a new discovery. Otherwise it's "Cold Fusion" all over again.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By EyeNstein on 2/9/2013 2:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
In this case the Chinese seem to have documented experiments. Including quantitative results of thrust/resonant drive effectiveness. It still bends some important laws but experiment always trumps theory.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By Shadowself on 2/10/2013 6:20:07 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
It still bends some important laws but experiment always trumps theory.
ONLY -- truly ONLY -- if you run the experiment in such a way that other factors do not come into play and All -- truly ALL -- known external and internal methods that could produce the same type of effect are accounted for within the experiment design as well as fully documented in reports.

These guys have been asked legitimate questions about momentum transfer, ambient environment heating, etc. that they just wave their hands about and claim its either irrelevant or is such a small effect that it can be ignored.

The scientific and engineering communities at large are rightly scoffing at such blatant disregard for doing the experiments right and with enough formality and attention to all external sources of interaction.

This may prove to be real someday, but until they are willing to work through the setups in gory detail with outsiders and document how they have either FULLY accounted for or properly eliminated all forms of other possible sources of their claimed effect then it is just pseudoscience. Until that day, the scientific and engineering communities are right to treat it as such.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By maugrimtr on 2/11/2013 8:51:45 AM , Rating: 5
The problem with these sorts of experiments is pretty simple. When you publish your results, you must immediately ensure that everyone else on the Planet can re-perform the exact same experiment and obtain the exact same result. A single documented experiment (subject to criticism - of a scientific nature) is just the beginning of the process we call the Scientific Method. Essentially, this boils down to the following: Propellantless thrust is impossible. It still is. One experiment simply casts a little doubt. Two independent experiments casts some serious doubt. Five experiments with ever more scientists suspecting it's real starts to qualify as scientific progression. One day, it may even graduate to being an observable "fact" (not Theory - if it works, it works - the Theory is about HOW it works).

Criticising Science for exhibiting traits like doubt and suspicion is mere ignorance. Scientists don't believe stuff - they KNOW stuff. Anything phrased as a belief is a THEORY (e.g. the theories of gravitation and relativity which are likely only approximations of some deeper truth).


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By nafhan on 2/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By delphinus100 on 2/11/2013 10:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Propellentless thrust is impossible? Not true. A laser or other light source aimed out the back would cause some small (but measurable) amount of thrust - with no propellent.


It depends on what you mean by 'propellant.' Photons do carry away momentum (solar sails could not work, otherwise), and that satisfies Newton's Third Law. They are the 'reaction mass.' That's what 'photon rockets' are about, and you described a crude but accurate form of one.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By maugrimtr on 2/12/2013 8:36:53 AM , Rating: 2
Rocket which streams photons out the back is still streaming something, i.e. a propellant, out the back. Saying something is true does not make it true.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By JKflipflop98 on 2/12/2013 10:03:46 AM , Rating: 2
Likewise, people have labelled things "impossible" for as long as they've been around. Things are impossible until they're not - just like propellantless thrusters. If you really understand science, you understand how dumb it is to call anything impossible.

Sailing around the world? Impossible once. Going faster than the speed of sound used to be impossible. Going to the moon? Same. And it won't be too long before I can add EM engines and FTL travel to that list.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By 91TTZ on 2/12/2013 3:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to misunderstand basic science and the meaning of the word "impossible". You're confusing it with "not feasible".

At no time did anyone claim that sailing around the world is impossible.


By maugrimtr on 2/14/2013 9:33:04 AM , Rating: 2
In an infinite Universe with uncertain laws of Physics (the multiverse), nothing can ever be impossible.

That said, Science is a study of facts and evidence. You start with an assumption. Saying something is impossible is just such an assumption. It remains a truthful assertion UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE because it fits with what we already understand as being true.

If we took your approach, it misses the point of the Scientific Method. If you haven't proven it, it hasn't happened. It's one reason why a lot of social research appears to be self-obvious - we know that people deny Evolution because their reason has been overcome by blind faith. However, in Science that is NOT true unless it's proven, i.e. someone actually goes out, performs a poll, and collects hard data.


By nafhan on 2/12/2013 3:31:24 PM , Rating: 2
I've generally only seen the term propellant used for massive particles, but I wouldn't necessarily say your definition is wrong. It is however kind of irrelevant. You are probably looking for the term reactionless.

Anyway, the point I was making is that in both situations (photon drive and "EmDrive") you're deriving your forward movement from the expenditure of electrical energy. Thus both have the same advantage for space travel: no need to carry propellant mass . This sets both apart from standard chemical rockets, ion drives, and anything else that throws mass (i.e. propellant) out the back to move forward.

Photon drives and the "EmDrive" also have something else in common: neither are practical with current tech. :)


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By Ammohunt on 2/11/2013 2:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
On man by himself carving and moving 1,100 tons of coral rock to build the Coral Castle is impossible as well but Edward Leedskalnin did it and he wasn't even a Scientist.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By JediJeb on 2/11/2013 9:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
Funny you get rated down and yet the object exists and no one has been able to explain how it was built.


By Ammohunt on 2/12/2013 11:02:08 AM , Rating: 3
yeah not sure what that is about. People around here sometimes have problems with hard truths; mostly likely derived from lack of life experience.


By nafhan on 2/12/2013 3:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're confusing impossible with impractical.

The naysayers in your example felt it was impossible because of the scale of the project. It's unlikely that anyone believed large amounts of stone cannot be carved (as there's plenty of evidence). The naysayers regarding the EmDrive are making the case that it actually can't be done, and that's largely due to lack of evidence.


By lawsonb on 2/18/2013 1:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
All of the posts shown are important, and to the point (more or less). I possess only an undergraduate degree in physics. But what I have learned is that to pooh-pooh some concept via a knee-jerk response, can be very dangerous. Should the claims of the proponent prove correct, then the scoffer(s) will suffer the egg-on-face syndrome. We must be extremely careful to avoid this type of sneering skepticism. There is a big difference between such baloney devices as the old "Dean drive", which clearly attempted (and failed), to thumb its nose at Newton's laws, and this concept which appears to depend on Einstein's theory. Now I am on both sides of this fence. All I can say is that: Elaborate claims require elaborate proof. I congratulate the Chinese for having the guts to investigate the Emdrive concept without carrying the cock-sure intellectual baggage that some many in the west are carrying. Even if this proves to be a blind alley, at least they are not so hide-bound as to dismiss it out-of-hand.
Imagine the fun we could have if this proves to be viable! Then Shawyer and his supporters could strut to-and-fro in front of their detractors and gloat!


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By Lord 666 on 2/9/2013 2:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
"Cold fusion"... Which the USN never stopped researching using similar methods that were used in 1989 but called a hoax back then.

There are two main reasons for knee jerk reactions; for protectionism of the status quo or to "submarine" ideas so they can be taken out of the public eye.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By tng on 2/9/2013 3:35:16 PM , Rating: 1
Research into Cold Fusion continues in private and government facilities and there is progress being made.

Part of the original "Cold Fusion" issue was as the poster above mentioned, was that the original experiment was not detailed throughly enough in the paper that was published. This led to many different experiments many of which had negative results.

They have conferences on this now, although it is not called "Cold Fusion" anymore for obvious reasons.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By JediJeb on 2/9/2013 7:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
I never understood how cold fusion was supposed to generate energy. If it does not produce heat then what energy did it produce? I seem to remember back then that the experiment showed Helium being produced at room temperature from supposedly fusing Hydrogen, but it took energy to make the reaction go, and seemed to me to be net negative on energy production.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By Jackthegreen on 2/9/2013 9:37:16 PM , Rating: 3
The term "cold fusion" is meant to be about the initial state of the reactants. Normally fusion requires very hot temperatures, but the idea behind cold fusion is to try and get self-sustaining fusion to happen at more realistic temperatures like where water is a liquid under normal pressures. Once fusion has occurred the reactants do increase in temperature since that's how the released energy manifests. Some methods already exist, but they don't end up being energy-positive, hence why research continues.


By Shadowself on 2/10/2013 7:01:01 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The term "cold fusion" is meant to be about the initial state of the reactants.
Not quite. "Cold Fusion" simply means you don't have to get the initial reactants into a plasma state before fusion can occur. The concept of "Cold Fusion" is that the nuclei fuse without having to be forced together under extreme temperature and pressure while in a plasma state. The concept is that the lattice nature itself combined with the specific atoms supposedly being fused set up a state that EM repulsion is overcome and the strong and color forces take over -- resulting in the nuclei being fused.

quote:
Once fusion has occurred the reactants do increase in temperature since that's how the released energy manifests.
Again, not quite. The "temperature" of the reactants in "Cold Fusion" is not the underlying issue. The question is how that gets transferred to the lattice. In most theories the resulting elements (the reactants are gone!) radiate their energy away to the crystal lattice in which they are held. The radiation is a combination of X- and Gamma-rays. Very little is radiated away as "phonons" or "virtual thermal particles", if you will. In most theories not much is transferred through motion of the particles and direct lattice collisions.

But then again, it's pretty much a useless discussion as no one has shown "Cold Fusion" to really, undeniably work.


By Reclaimer77 on 2/10/2013 6:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I never understood how cold fusion was supposed to generate energy.


That's because you aren't one of the greatest scientific minds of our time, Keanu Reeves

http://davelozo.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/keanu....

Here he is now, making Cold Fusion a reality in the mid 1990's.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By Shadowself on 2/10/2013 6:35:14 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Research into Cold Fusion continues in private and government facilities and there is progress being made.
What progress? Have they made even a single model that works 100% of the time always giving positive net energy out -- or can be "started and stopped under the experimenter's direct control" always with positive energy out? Not that I've ever heard been aware.

I was at the University of Utah when this broke (doing work on a different set of nuclear experiments in the physics department). [[Hey, sometimes it takes going out to a backwater area of the world to do certain research!]] I knew the physicists that broke away from their own research to help Ponds and Fleishman properly implement experiments and eliminate external sources of error to prove it out. A couple of them were friends of mine. I was involved in a couple of conferences about it. Several organizations put a lot of money into it -- including the State of Utah. They spent several 10s of millions trying to prove it true. Everyone -- yes, everyone -- involved wanted it to prove out. It was going to change the world.

However, it was not just badly documented. The two "nuclear chemists" didn't even know how to properly measure total energy output (the real data point) versus transient power output as a function of transient power input (something that can easily fake you out and appear to give you results that are not real).

Sure there are a few labs still chasing this, but no one I know has seen any concrete evidence that "Cold Fusion" gives any net energy output over time. Not one single experiment.

And before you bring it up, Muon based fusion can work (and has been shown to work) at "room temperature". While this does work, it has no where near a positive energy outcome as the energy to create the base particles requires much, much more energy than you get out the each fusion.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By tng on 2/10/2013 11:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What progress?
Just what I have heard from better minds than mine...

Despite all that you have said, there is still money being put into this and has been since the original experiment. I will assume that someone sees some potential in it.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By Shadowself on 2/11/2013 4:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Despite all that you have said, there is still money being put into this and has been since the original experiment. I will assume that someone sees some potential in it.
Some people still put money into the Flat Earth Society too.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By tng on 2/11/2013 10:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
While I have my doubts as well, I am reminded about scientists quoted in a NY Times article from the mid 1800's saying that no human could survive at a speed of 60MPH (the speed of a new train engine that was being introduced).


By delphinus100 on 2/11/2013 10:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then when someone finds an aspect for which you did not account, you redesign the experiment to handle that then redo the experiment. Rinse and repeat. Then, and only then, do you publish and go around claiming a new discovery.


Which is pretty much what they did in CERN's FTL neutrino affair. And ultimately they found something disappointingly mundane that explained it...

But that's how the game is supposed to be played.

"Science is a way to not fool ourselves."
- Carl Sagan


By Mitch101 on 2/11/2013 9:46:44 AM , Rating: 3
Most scientists that collect a paycheck are just math and theory checkers they are rarely innovators. Polly wanna cracker because most just regurgitate what they were taught.

The older I get the more I discover there are few people who can actually think outside the box or color outside the lines.
quote:
which is where Albert Einstein's theory of relativity comes in.
Ill also say Al > Newton


By Any14Tee on 2/12/2013 8:19:01 AM , Rating: 2
Bumble-bees ain't suppose to fly!


By sixteenornumber on 2/10/2013 5:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't care where scientific discoveries come from


+1

also, I'm very curious what the theoretical limit of this type of energy is. ie: n/watt at 100% efficiency


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By flubaluba on 2/10/13, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By Shadowself on 2/10/2013 7:16:00 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
If we had accepted that rules could not be broken then no cars would be travelling at over 30mph, as that was the speed where everyone was told people would not be able to breath. yes crazy but it was a real Law that they said could not or should not be broken.
Name one -- just ONE -- legitimate scientist who supported this BS. The scientific community knew this was not true. Hell, anyone who had seen a cheetah run or seen a swallow dive knew that 30 mph was no kind of speed limit!

People confuse laws with scientific theories. And too many of the general public confuse "common wisdom" with scientific theory. They are three very, very different things.

"Common wisdom" is very, very often wrong. Some refer to them as "myths", and there is even a TV show out to bust most of these myths.

Scientific theory is sometimes wrong, but more often than not it just gets modified or tweaked when new, verified -- and independently reproducible -- data shows up.

Laws are never wrong. Laws are simply a statement of fact -- a statement of the data that has been recorded time and time and time and time again. There is the "Law of Gravity". Things fall toward each other. There is gravitational attraction. The theory is that it follows a simple inverse square relationship based upon some universal, measurable constant and the mass of the two bodies. That's the theory anyway. There have been some experiments in the last 30 years that may give an indication that the relationship is not a simple inverse square law, but the effect is so subtle that no one has been able to reproduce it with enough fidelity that the theory can justifiably be modified. The common wisdom is that different items are affected by gravity differently which is utter BS.

quote:
I suspect that if we had to ignore all the supposed laws we would be moving much faster in development of new technologies.
Now you sound like my crazy "inventor" friend who told me many, many years ago, "I'm not a physicist like you. I'm not bound by any of your laws." Yea, right. How's that jumping off a 1,000 foot cliff working for you?


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By theapparition on 2/11/2013 10:50:42 AM , Rating: 4
Completely correct.

quote:
Laws are never wrong. Laws are simply a statement of fact -- a statement of the data that has been recorded time and time and time and time again.

If you break a law, you go on trial. If you break a "law of nature", the law goes on trial.

As you correctly pointed out, laws are basically our tenants on how things work. Relativity was an example that violated traditional Newtonian physics, but our definition of the law was modified to account for it. The fundamental physics never change, but our understanding of the laws do.

As for this topic, I have no idea why this article is portraying this as some revolutionary or controversial advancement.

First off, it is not a closed system as it requires external energy to operate.

Secondly, the idea of propulsion from the emission of electromagnetic radiation is well documented. That is the basis for the solar sail. While photons do not have any mass, they do have impulse energy that can be transferred.

Thirdly, the speculation in that article that this work could provide launch capabilities is laughable.


By MZperX on 2/11/2013 12:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thirdly, the speculation in that article that this work could provide launch capabilities is laughable.

While we are well advised to use words like "never" rather sparingly, in this case I agree with you that the promise of propulsion such as this (assuming it turns out to be real and not a hoax) fall far short of launching spacecraft into orbit from the surface of the Earth. They are talking about thrust on the mN scale and even at the order of magnitude improvement projected, it would probably not be sufficient for any kind of launch.

That being said it could be useful for deep space probes, again if it works at all. The only launch I can imagine it being used for is departing from a halo orbit around a Lagrange point. It might have enough thrust to pull that off.


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By Shadowself on 2/11/2013 5:02:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
As you correctly pointed out, laws are basically our tenants on how things work.
Not true. "How" things work is the theory.

Pick up a rock and release it. I falls. Pick it up again and release it again. It falls. Do that one billion times and the rock falls every time. That's the LAW of gravity. Laws are the simple, observed facts. They don't change. Our understanding of HOW it works can change. The HOW is the theory.

Now "how" gravity works, e.g., the inverse square relationship (note I did NOT say inverse square LAW) is a theory. As I mentioned there have been a few experiments in the last several years that have cast a tiny bit of doubt on gravity following an inverse square relationship. So the Theory *MIGHT* need to be tweaked. However, the LAW still holds.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, many, many people confuse Physical Laws with Theories about the Physical Laws. They are not the same. Not even close.

quote:
Relativity was an example that violated traditional Newtonian physics, but our definition of the law was modified to account for it. The fundamental physics never change, but our understanding of the laws do.
No. Simply, No. The Law does not change. Newton's theory on how gravity works was flawed (mostly correct, but not quite). Einstein's theory of General Relativity modified Newton's theory. It did not change the law or modify our understanding of the law. Relativity modified the theory. It modified how we try to explain the law.


By theapparition on 2/19/2013 4:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
You're arguing semantics, and quite wrong at that I might add.

There is no such thing as a "Law" other than what we, as a human race, has determined to be a law.

The fundamental physics is the law, of which we only have a superficial understanding. We have then divided portions of that physics we think we understand into scientifically proven directives that we call "Laws". Your concept of a law as an observed phenomenon (eg drop rock billions of times) is incorrect and not supported by the scientific community. You can adopt your own bastardized definition of a "law" anyway you want, and then attempt to argue from that vantage point. I won't indulge you.

The quote I mentioned before about a scientific law going on trial if violated was from the late, great Carl Sagan. But I'm sure he had no idea what he was talking about.


By Adonlude on 2/12/2013 8:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thirdly, the speculation in that article that this work could provide launch capabilities is laughable.

Wait you mean payloads weigh more than 7/10th's an apple and space is more than 1 foot away?!?!


RE: Interesting...keep moving forward
By 91TTZ on 2/12/2013 3:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Science is never static...so what is false today, may ring true tomorrow.


You mean what is unknown today may be known tomorrow. If we already know about it and know it is false the laws of logic or the laws of physics aren't going to change.


For An Analysis of
By jfish222 on 2/9/2013 11:50:00 AM , Rating: 5
Physicist Chris Lee posted an analysis (and pointed out dubious aspects of the paper) over at Ars
http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/02/generating-...




RE: For An Analysis of
By Gondor on 2/9/2013 1:49:41 PM , Rating: 1
So basically this boils down to some kind of energy source (solar panels ?) being used to emit photons, these photons impacting into something solid and thereby transferring a portion of their energy to move the object ... as in lightbulb shining onto a "sail" ?

(insert caricature of a sailboat with a big fan at the back blowing into its sail)


RE: For An Analysis of
By Regected on 2/9/2013 2:54:42 PM , Rating: 5
Mythbusters did just that and it worked


RE: For An Analysis of
By Alexvrb on 2/9/2013 11:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, Mythbusters. If that doesn't scream scientific method, I don't know what does. Although they still are a smidge behind Ghost Hunters in terms of credibility.

Disclaimer: I still find Mythbusters to occasionally be entertaining as hell. Ghost Hunters... only the South Park version.


RE: For An Analysis of
By serkol on 2/10/2013 10:46:35 AM , Rating: 2
Do you have any doubts about such sailboat actually moving? It will definitely move. It will move even faster if you remove the sail.


RE: For An Analysis of
By Visual on 2/11/2013 4:30:08 AM , Rating: 2
but in the other direction :p


RE: For An Analysis of
By Solandri on 2/11/2013 10:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's called a thrust reverser. Planes and waterjets use them all the time to move in the opposite direction of the thrust coming out the engine.

The faulty logic is in thinking the air the fan blows hits the sail and just stops or flows out perfectly sideways. If that were true, then yes it wouldn't go anywhere. But it doesn't stop, it bounces back resulting in a net flow of air opposite the direction the fan is blowing. Hence thrust reverser.


RE: For An Analysis of
By 91TTZ on 2/12/2013 4:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
But that makes efficiency go down the drain. If you had a fan you'd be much better off removing the sail and then steering the fan to propel yourself around.


Neutrinos
By ChronoReverse on 2/10/2013 1:54:36 AM , Rating: 3
http://xkcd.com/955/ I'll take all comers, just leave a message here :P

I'm glad China is funding this so the conspiracy theorists can't claim that some corporation buried the research. Five years down the road, there won't be any hover-vehicles in China.

As an added side benefit, if they really did find a way to generate thrust in a close system without any reaction mass or light pressure, i.e., create momentum out of thin air (aka breaking conservation of momentum), then it's theoretically possible to build a perpetual motion machine from this too.

Let's say I'm betting on not happening just like the thousand times before.




RE: Neutrinos
By PaFromFL on 2/10/2013 8:45:33 AM , Rating: 2
The high Q comment sort of implied a perpetual motion machine but didn't actually make the claim that no energy input would be required for thrust.

My guess is that the group velocity or photon momentum was not properly modeled. From a momentum and energy standpoint, photons trapped in a resonant cavity are similar to gas molecules. Gas molecules possess much more momentum than photons, but do not produce unbalanced thrust when bouncing around in conical containers. When a photon reflects off a conducting surface, the induced currents conserve momentum.


RE: Neutrinos
By DiscoWade on 2/10/2013 8:56:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As an added side benefit, if they really did find a way to generate thrust in a close system without any reaction mass or light pressure, i.e., create momentum out of thin air (aka breaking conservation of momentum), then it's theoretically possible to build a perpetual motion machine from this too.


Homer: "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vxHkAQRQUQ


RE: Neutrinos
By Amiga500 on 2/10/2013 2:26:20 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
As an added side benefit, if they really did find a way to generate thrust in a close system without any reaction mass or light pressure, i.e., create momentum out of thin air (aka breaking conservation of momentum), then it's theoretically possible to build a perpetual motion machine from this too.


No no no no no.

If there is energy entering the system, it is not out of thin air.

E=mc^2


RE: Neutrinos
By ChronoReverse on 2/10/2013 4:35:14 PM , Rating: 3
It's not as simple as that. Conservation of momentum has a lot of deep implications as a fundamental symmetry. If it were not conserved (this experiment _might_ conserve energy but it doesn't conserve momentum) you can start doing very funky things because a lot of physics depends on momentum to be conserved (and we've never found anything that breaks that).

From reading other articles about this emdrive, it looks like the guy pretty dismissed testing the drive in a vacuum box which rings even more alarm bells. With 2.5MW, just heating a panel would produce significant thrust via the air heating and pushing off.


RE: Neutrinos
By drycrust3 on 2/11/2013 4:46:50 AM , Rating: 2
Just as an aside, we don't actually have any idea what makes gravity work. Gravity is definitely a closed system.
If gravity works, and we know it does, and it doesn't obey the normal laws of physics, just like the Emdrive supposedly doesn't, then it stands to reason that there is a way to make something accelerate without openly using normal Newtonian physics.


RE: Neutrinos
By JediJeb on 2/11/2013 10:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is we don't know how gravity works. It would be interesting though if somehow this system is interacting with gravity is a way that generates a net thrust.

I know that is a stretch, but since no one knows exactly how gravity works, it can not be ruled out simply because it sounds too far out to consider. We know that there are fluctuations in the microwave background that is related to the overall distribution of mass within the universe, but what if it is caused by some interaction between gravity and microwaves that we have never before considered.

While it still needs to be proven multiple times in different ways, and every possible interference eliminated in the experiments, anyone who would dismiss even the first attempts simply by saying "it defies what we know" they are going down the same road as those who said the sun could not be the center of the solar system because that defied what they knew at the time. What we currently think we understand about the universe may be 99% correct or it may be 1% correct, who knows for sure.


RE: Neutrinos
By JediJeb on 2/11/2013 9:39:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As an added side benefit, if they really did find a way to generate thrust in a close system without any reaction mass or light pressure, i.e., create momentum out of thin air (aka breaking conservation of momentum), then it's theoretically possible to build a perpetual motion machine from this too.


Since microwaves are electromagnetic maybe this is an effect of light pressure, it just isn't visible light.

This engine requires energy input to generate the microwaves, so unless the propulsion can turn a generator and the system has more than a 100% conversion of electricity into thrust then it could never be used to make a perpetual motion machine.


Violating laws of physics?
By rs2 on 2/10/2013 11:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure I see how. If the device was able to produce thrust without any energy input, then yes, I can see how that would violate conservation of energy. However, this thruster requires a constant energy input. That energy must be generated from some fuel source, either through nuclear decay in a radioisotope generator or by capturing photons in a solar collector and converting them to energy. In either case your energy source is converting mass to energy to produce the electricity that the engine uses.

That energy is then dumped into the "reaction" chamber, producing thrust. I assume some (most) of that energy is wasted heating the chamber walls in a relatively even fashion, causing waste heat to dissipate in relatively equal amounts in all directions and producing no net effect. And then I further assume that the remainder of the energy is dissipated in a directional manner, producing useful thrust.

I don't see how any fundamental principal is being violated there; energy is being expended to perform work by producing thrust. Although the thrust doesn't involve ejecting massive particles out of the vehicle, it is not massless either; it has (*must* have, in fact, due to conservation of mass and mass-energy equivalence) a net mass equivalent to the matter that was destroyed to provide the electrical energy used to drive the engine, and it departs the vehicle at the speed of light.

I don't see how this is fundamentally very different than the ion drive concept. The only change is that instead of converting a small amount of matter to energy and then using that energy to cause another small piece of matter to leave the vehicle and produce thrust; the middle-man is removed and the energy itself provides the thrust. It seems like it's basically equivalent to ejecting tiny bits of your nuclear fuel-source out the rear of the craft at the speed of light as it decays, instead of converting those tiny bits of matter to electricity.




RE: Violating laws of physics?
By ShieTar on 2/11/2013 8:14:50 AM , Rating: 2
The violated part of physics is the realation between impulse and energy. For a photon, regardless of its wavelength, this ratio is defined by the speed of ligth, i.e. p = E/c. In order to generate a thrust of 720 mN for the drive, you need to emit every second a packet of energy carriers with an impulse of 720mN*1s. If this is done with photons only, those photons have a corresponding energy of 720mN*1s*300,000,000m/s = 216 MJ per second, i.e. 261MW. Not "a few kilowatt" as discussed in this article. And it makes no difference how often you bounce these photons around in a cavity, they will never gain any additional impulse.

A fuel-based propulsion system on the other hand follows the relationship p=2E/v, which gives you significantly better Energy to Thrust ratios, as long as the velocity of the fuel is much smaller than the speed of light. Sadly, energy efficiency is best for a huge mass that is exhausted slowly, but that means a horrible fuel efficiency. And usually in space, energy is cheap, but mass is not. Thats why deep space vehicles are now often equipped with ion thrusters, which need a lot of energy but only very little fuel.


RE: Violating laws of physics?
By Jaybus on 2/11/2013 3:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
The photons do not cease to exist. Only a tiny fraction of the photon's energy is converted to kinetic energy. The impulse is the integral of force with respect to time. A force of 720 mN applied for 1 second is then an impulse of 0.72 N-s (Newton-seconds), which is equivalent to the change in momentum. A 0.72 kg mass would experience a 1 m/s^2 acceleration. So applied for 1 second, the change in kinetic energy would be 0.5*(0.72 kg)*((1.0 m/s)^2 = 0.36 J = 360 mW/s.

This very low efficiency (0.018%), doesn't look good at first glance. But let's say we have a spacecraft with a mass of 720 kg, 320 kg of which is a TOPAZ-I nuclear reactor generating 5 kW sustained for 3 to 5 years. Dedicating 4 kW to propulsion allows an impulse of 1.44 N-s, and so an acceleration of a paltry 0.002 m/s^2. However, this small force can be applied for years. In one week the spacecraft will have accelerated to 1.2 km/s. In 6 months it will be traveling at 30 km/s. In 3 years it will be traveling at nearly one third light speed.


RE: Violating laws of physics?
By PaFromFL on 2/11/2013 8:15:09 AM , Rating: 2
With an ion drive, the conserved momentum is the directed (vector) sum of mass times velocity. The ions have a very low mass and a very high velocity. The spacecraft has a high mass and therefore receives a very small velocity increase per ion. The thrust force is the rate of change of momentum (Newton).

This new drive concept does not appear to have anything that balances the forward momentum gained by the spacecraft. Photons could provide a very small thrust force if they exited the engine. When they are trapped inside a cavity, they can't provide any net change in momentum.

If a bomb goes off in a very strong conical chamber, no net thrust occurs unless the chamber ruptures and lets high speed gas escape.


RE: Violating laws of physics?
By JediJeb on 2/11/2013 10:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This new drive concept does not appear to have anything that balances the forward momentum gained by the spacecraft. Photons could provide a very small thrust force if they exited the engine. When they are trapped inside a cavity, they can't provide any net change in momentum.


This applies if the only source of thrust comes from movement of mass. But take something like a rail gun, the projectile is not moved by any expulsion of mass but by interaction of the projectile with alternating magnetic fields. What if the resonate microwaves are causing thrust not through their mass equivalency but through their magnetic equivalency? Could the moving electromagnetic fields of the microwave photons be interacting with the Earth's magnetic fields in a way that appears to give thrust? Does anyone know for certain that a resonate microwave does not somehow interact with a gravitational field? Until we know more about gravity it can not be positively ruled out.


RE: Violating laws of physics?
By PaFromFL on 2/12/2013 8:07:27 AM , Rating: 2
The recoil force pushes the rail gun backwards. If it were not attached to the earth, the rail gun would move backwards with a noticeable velocity. Otherwise, the rail gun and earth receive a tiny velocity contribution in the opposite direction of the projectile.

BTW, the recoil force is transmitted by the virtual photons of the magnetic field. Momentum is still conserved.


To infinity and...well that's far enough.
By Alchemy69 on 2/9/2013 4:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
Solar cells do not offer infinite power.




By Trisped on 2/9/2013 10:33:36 PM , Rating: 2
A more appropriate word might be "renewable".

That being said, I think it gets the point accross.


By Mclendo06 on 2/10/2013 2:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
+1. "solar cells offer infinite power" is a categorically false statement. If you are going to write an article attempting to give credence to a propulsion system that is controversial because it seems to violate generally accepted physical principles, you would be well-advised to avoid statements that belie even a basic understanding of physics.


By Odysseus145 on 2/10/2013 11:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think the author's meaning with the statement was clear. Just replace "infinite" with "mind-numblingly long-term source." Obviously nothing's infinite, but the Sun will be around for a while.


huh?
By sulu1977 on 2/10/2013 12:10:16 AM , Rating: 2
Hate to break this to you, but light has a thrust. It's been known for ... like decades. Just shine a light out of your spacecraft and you got thrust.




RE: huh?
By Visual on 2/11/2013 4:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
Problem is, the retard that "invented" this claims not even light is used as a propellant. Supposedly the system is completely closed.

Preservation of momentum is an indisputable fact, so of course he would get a lot of flak. If his experiments show otherwise, he is more than certainly doing something wrong, likely as you suggest he is letting electromagnetic waves escape in one direction, creating thrust in the other.


RE: huh?
By ShieTar on 2/11/2013 11:22:13 AM , Rating: 2
But esacping light will not explain the numbers given. 2.5 kW of light only correspond to about 8µN thrust, not 720 mN.

This thing is quiet obviously either a hoax or based on some very stupid experimental errors, which explains why he is ridiculed by other scientists. The only question here is why the author of this article was not capable of identifying the mistake in the original experiment and make fun of it in this article. That's like science reporting 101.


M Drives....
By chagrinnin on 2/9/2013 6:47:50 PM , Rating: 3
"M R Drives"
"M R Not"
"M R Too,...C M Thrusters?"
"L I B,...M R Drives"




RE: M Drives....
By ppardee on 2/12/2013 12:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
"M R Chinese Scientists" (I know, it doesn't fit the format, but stick with me)

"A R Not!"

"O S A R, C M M T Pockets?"

"L I L B! M R Chinese Scientists!"


simple test
By DockScience on 2/11/2013 12:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
Real simple test.

Put it on a small satellite and release it.
If it's real, it will go someplace.
If not, it will sit there.




RE: simple test
By ShieTar on 2/12/2013 5:00:44 AM , Rating: 2
Good Idea, only, launching even a small satellite costs more than a million $/€, much more than prooving a technobabble-hoax is worth to anybody.


By EyeNstein on 2/9/2013 1:33:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think I could stand to lose conservation of momentum as long as energy is conserved between input and kinetic output. Though Einsein will spin too as velocity (therefore kinetic energy) is relative.




A new use for tin foil.
By drycrust3 on 2/9/2013 3:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
Looking at the picture, I don't think the Emdrive itself needs to be so massively constructed. No microwave oven has such a massive iron structure, so maybe the Emdrive could be made with tin foil as long as the absence of air within that cavity is not essential. If air is permissible within the Emdrive cavity, although it may have to be dry air to prevent arcing, then the only vacuum that is essential is that within the magnetron itself. Maybe a voyage in one of these space craft won't be so bad after all: freshly cooked food will be the norm.
There is a video posted on Youtube supposedly showing this in operation, floating in air with a trolley load of test instruments, but there isn't enough shown within the video to show the claims are credible. The rotation is caused by the Coriolis effect. I think your average magician could produce a similar feat.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57q3_aRiUXs
If the tray and equipment in that video weighs 30 kilos, and earth's gravitational acceleration is 9.81 m/s downwards, then the force downwards is 294.3 Newtons, so for the trolley load of instruments and cavities to just float means the force upwards is greater than that, i.e. the whole tray should float away unless it was tethered.




incredible
By chromal on 2/11/2013 4:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
A ton of thrust per kilowatt of electric power would be revolutionary if it could be done in a weight profile in the same ballpark as chemical thrusters.

I can't believe that figure, though, it seems too incredible. How could you possibly get two pounds of thrust per watt of power consumed?




Use relatable units
By ppardee on 2/12/2013 1:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
OK, who here knows intuitively how much 750 mN of thrust is? Probably a lot fewer than know what a mN stands for (milliNewtons? very small fig cookie/cakes) I know that the Newton is the SI unit for force, but come one peeps. It is meaningless to 98% of the world.

750 mN = about .2 pounds force. So to put a 10 lbs satellite into space, it would require more than 50 of these thrusters? So, we're looking at a WHOLE lot of battery power to get into space. We use physical propellant because it is lighter and more compact than electric storage and whatever locomotive apparatus that utilizes it. Also, the solid rocket boosters and main rockets on the shuttle get lighter as they expend fuel.

Once you're IN space, however, this is probably the best thing ever. It would make a lunar waypoint very feasible. Get the space elevator going with shuttles taking you from the elevator to the lunar base and go to Mars on a solar powered EmDrive! Sign me up, Scotty!




new things new ideas
By KOOLTIME on 2/13/2013 6:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
Folks wonder where Henry Ford was 2000 years ago imagine cars were realized if it was that far back in history where things today would be.




Wasting Energy
By heerohawwah on 2/13/2013 7:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Northwestern Polytechnic University team was able to create the EmDrive with 720 mN of thrust with a couple of kilowatts of power.


If I'm reading that right, thats 0.720 Newtons of thrust for 2000 Watts.... Which isn't close to being practical. Neat stuff but with numbers like that it probably won't amount to anything useful.




!!!!
By VeronicaGibbs22 on 2/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: !!!!
By ppardee on 2/12/2013 1:00:44 PM , Rating: 1
I think I could ignore your bad spelling, grammar and punctuation just because the idea of getting a Ford is so enticing... I didn't think I could ever afford an exotic Ford Escort. But with your money-making secrets, I might be able to!

Thank you VerionicaGibbs22... where... ever you are.


China isn't 40 years behind us anymore.
By chµck on 2/9/13, Rating: -1
RE: China isn't 40 years behind us anymore.
By Totally on 2/9/2013 11:24:45 PM , Rating: 5
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you haven't seen the average American student. To put it simply, they're ####ing dumb and it worries me.


RE: China isn't 40 years behind us anymore.
By chµck on 2/9/2013 11:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
I am an average american student and I completely agree with you.


RE: China isn't 40 years behind us anymore.
By DiscoWade on 2/10/2013 9:22:42 AM , Rating: 3
When I was in college, there was one type of question that really annoyed the students. If a teacher asked a question that began with "What do you think ..." the students were confused. They were used to being lectured to, to being told what to know. Now someone comes along and tries to get them to reason, they did not like that.

Have you noticed that?

In my opinion, a teacher should give you knowledge and show you how to learn. We should be taught how to verify facts and how to reason.


By StevoLincolnite on 2/10/2013 11:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In my opinion, a teacher should give you knowledge and show you how to learn. We should be taught how to verify facts and how to reason.


People should be taught how to learn for themselves.

Seriously.

Everyone has access to the largest repository of information ever built by man (The Internet), yet so many people simply don't know how to tap into it to get the information and learn for themselves.

For example, my disc player in my car started playing up, so bought a new one, I had no idea what wires went where so I looked it up online and... Presto! Problem solved.

I think these days people should be taught at a young age on how to research online, they will be better for it for the rest of their lives.


By Shadowself on 2/10/2013 7:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, I wasn't aware the average American student could even read the prior post. You must be well above average! (sarcasm off now)


By Any14Tee on 2/12/2013 8:36:52 AM , Rating: 2
My sister who lived in California would say God those yanks are d**b, but this is becoming a global epedemic,socialist here in the UK completely dumify the masses to gain the vote.

The Chav Nation is growing and making lives a misery to all. My special plea to Obama - Stop Now.


RE: China isn't 40 years behind us anymore.
By aegisofrime on 2/10/2013 2:21:34 AM , Rating: 4
As a Chinese born in South East Asia, I find it very funny when I see that many of the authors of major discoveries coming out of American universities these days have Chinese names.

I guess the current culture of celebrating stupidity and being "anti-geek" has something to do with it.


RE: China isn't 40 years behind us anymore.
By FITCamaro on 2/10/2013 9:06:52 AM , Rating: 4
Why work hard when you can just work a minimum wage job and still have a nice car, HDTV, Xbox, cable internet, and a cell phone?

Foreign students in America aren't as spoiled and recognize opportunity.


RE: China isn't 40 years behind us anymore.
By HostileEffect on 2/10/2013 4:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
After the years of pounding away at over achieving I told myself I would find a small piece of land and spend the rest of my days on the earth in peace. The modern materialistic society commands us to kill our selves in the name of a college education and a six figure job.

I've had the opportunity to work with people from other nations and in other countries, they work full time and work on other skills, like languages, construction, etc, when they aren't working. These people do not over spend themselves and they pay off their house, car, and the like in record time. Americans ask foreigners how "How are you so successful in America?", foreigners respond "American youth work part time jobs and waste their money partying on the weekend rather than saving their money and working hard while they are able."

At least, that is what I gathered out of my conversations with an American citizen originally from Pakistan, who worked hard and earns $300K/yr now. I'm fortunate to have parents who taught me similar financial habits.

I don't get paid much for the work I do, roughly minimum wage until I upgrade jobs, but I'm without dept and I'm perfectly happy with that.


By Nutzo on 2/11/2013 11:34:09 AM , Rating: 2
There's a couple key points in your post.

quote:
The modern materialistic society commands us to kill our selves in the name of a college education and a six figure job.


quote:
American youth work part time jobs and waste their money partying on the weekend rather than saving their money and working hard while they are able.


I also had parents that taught me the value of a dollar, hard work and saving. I paid my own way through college (working and going to school full time). Only earned an AA, but then worked my way up in the computer field. My current pay rate is in the same range as people with a masters degree. It's enough to afford a nice house in a great area, and for the wife to be able to stay home with the kids.

Other than a small mortgage on the house, I'm debt free. We know families with both parents working, making 2x as much, yet they always seem to have money problems. Of couse these people drive newer and more expensive cars than we do, and eat out at more expensive places.


RE: China isn't 40 years behind us anymore.
By omgwtf8888 on 2/10/2013 12:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you notice most of the "tech" China creates looks suspiciously like a U.S. product. People like to slander the American education system, however, we are attempting to educate our entire populace. The majority of our govt. funding is going toward the economically challenged portion of our society. We do have our cream of the crop students and investment in all of our citizens will yield benefits far into the future. Countries like China and India have half of their population living on a dollar-a-day. If you do not excel in school in these countries you are cast out. Statistically if you take 1+ billion people and only advance the best you will have what appears on the short term to better education. However such a system in not sustainable and will at some point result in political upheaval.


By Totally on 2/11/2013 5:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not attacking our education system. I'm calling out the large population of students who our government spend money to send them to institutions of learning which these students perceive as only a place to socialize and vegetate. Any learning done by these individuals is secondary or purely coincidental. Just because their sent to school doesn't mean they have to or want to learn anything and are happy getting by with the bare minimum. We may have our 'cream of the crop' students but number significantly fewer than those I've described.


RE: China isn't 40 years behind us anymore.
By JediJeb on 2/12/2013 3:55:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you do not excel in school in these countries you are cast out.


In the US we don't cast them out, we just spend tons of money continuing to teach them even though those students will never learn any more that what they already have. Is it more wise to throw money at something and never change the outcome?

I have a good friend who is from China, and from what he describes they do not simply "cast them out". Sure they are not sent along to the University to waste four more years being taught things they will never learn, but they are sent to trade schools where they are taught skills such as welding, construction, auto mechanics, and other useful skills that may not require a genius level intellect to learn. For those who can not make it even at this level those are sent to be simple manual laborers.

Heaven forbid we delegate anyone here to being a simple manual laborer! No, everyone deserves to be a CEO level employee even if they only ever sit on their backside and wait to be handed everything they could ever want. I have already seen this attitude with the younger people we have tried to hire lately. One of the first things out of most of their mouths is " I don't work overtime and definitely no weekends", yet they want to be paid as much as someone who will put more effort into doing a job.

As far as the attitude the Chinese students put towards their studies, I remember in college that everyone hated having a Chinese student in class, because it meant there would be on curve in the grading, because the Chinese students would spend all of their free time studying and restudying for every class. I may have never put quite that much devotion into my studies, but I can say that having them in my classes made me a better student because I tried not to be left behind by them.

China pretty much still has the policy that the US had about 100 years ago, and that is if you don't work you don't eat. Only in the past 100 years or so has the world had a no one left behind policy which allows success even for those who put forth no effort. This is not something that has come about because of increased compassion, no, it has come about because those in power found it was a good way to maintain their power. In western democratic societies you stay in power by keeping the populace complacent and happy, while in the more authoritarian eastern societies you stay in power more by force.

A friend of mine at work said it pretty well the other day when it comes to how our current society promotes advanced learning. He said he spent four years earning a degree in Political Science and now he works in a laboratory. His degree is pretty much worthless yet no adviser ever told him that might be the case. He said "I wasted four years and a lot of money getting a degree I can not use when I could have spent those four years actually earning money from a regular job and be four years ahead financially." So, does a college degree really pay for itself for everyone who gets one, or just for those few to enter a field where it is actually a necessity?


By omgwtf8888 on 2/14/2013 11:54:06 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that education should not be limited to academics and college. We are failing at introducing children to meaningful education in the trades and crafts. At least in my experience, in NJ, if you went to the vocational high school you were pretty much deemed a loser/junky. Shop courses have been virtually eliminated. Without introduction to these career choices many kids may never find a career that they could have been passionate about. In your comment you reference that failing students in Asian schools are left to manual labor, i refer to them as cast out. The manual labor/low education/skills jobs are rapidly drying up in the United States. Many of these jobs are filled by illegal aliens. Of course the standard blurb that we are fed is that the illegals are doing jobs Americans do not want. What the illegals are doing is jobs that Americans do not want at that low of a wage. The large supply of illegal (sub minimum wage) labor drives down the salary and benefits that would otherwise have to be paid for these jobs. Unfortunately it is going to get worse. As we move to autonomous vehicles, the last high paying low skill jobs: truck driver, taxi/limo driver are going away. So really with the exception of adding more trade/craft training we are not going to have any manual labor jobs. So the U.S is ahead of the curve in recognizing that the entire populace has to be educated or the subsequent have/have not divide will be so great that conflict is inevitable.


Game changing...
By wordsworm on 2/9/13, Rating: -1
RE: Game changing...
By Shadowself on 2/10/2013 9:20:23 PM , Rating: 4
I often tell myself that it's just not fair to beat up on someone who does not know of which he is talking, but I just can't help myself...

quote:
It's hard to imagine... the world without airplanes, cell phones, computers, etc. Yet it wasn't very long ago that all of these things were impossible.
Name one person in the legitimate scientific community within the last 150 years that said these things were impossible. Hell, within the last 200 years! It's the very, very often wrong "common wisdom" that perpetuates these myths and way too many believe them even when the science community says they are pure BS.

quote:
Einstein's theories seem as flawed as any.
Which theories? Verified, reproduced data to back up such a claim? Just one more myth being perpetuated!

quote:
Math itself seems to fail whenever it tries to calculate the infinite and incalculable. Yet it tries to be the language in which we understand the laws of the infinite universe.
Every heard of the math related to abfinite, transfinite, infinite and even beyond infinite? Did you know there is even a class of numbers that are greater than infinity? Do you have *any* idea about which you are spewing utter crap? Besides the universe, as best the scientific community understands it, may not be infinite! We can only measure just so far. No one knows how far it goes. Postulating that it *might* be infinite is purely a guess. It has no basis in scientific theory or fact. None.

quote:
Before math, we used philosophy.
Yes, like 5,000 years ago. We've come a long way since then.

quote:
As time has passed, I have almost begun to lose that faith... is it too much to hope that maybe this will indeed begin the space race? Will it be enough to end our chemical dependence?
Only if they do the experiments and reporting correctly AND it proves to be legitimate. Right now it is all radical claims with extremely little to back it up.


RE: Game changing...
By wordsworm on 2/11/13, Rating: -1
RE: Game changing...
By Shadowself on 2/11/2013 9:49:13 PM , Rating: 1
Oh this is just too easy...

quote:
Oh, it's fine. I'm not offended. When science has finished calculating pi, let me know. When calculators can figure out the answer to 1/0, I'll also be equally impressed.
Science knows exactly the value of pi. Just because it is an irrational number does NOT mean we don't know what the value is. Sure, it cannot be written down in closed form in base 10 numerals, but that does not mean we don't know what it is exactly. Similarly, it is known what "1/0" is. In reality we need to know what limit you use to approach that value, but it can be known if the conditions for its evaluation are know.

Both of these comments by you show you have extremely little grasp of how mathematics works. Do you even know either of the two assumptions upon which all modern mathematics are based? Probably not. Did you know that you can derive our entire mathematical system from a single, extremely simple assumption? You probably will retort that since mathematics to work there must be an assumption made therefore the entire system is flawed. Not so. Everything -- literally everything -- requires at least one assumption. Even your ability to read this is an assumption on my part.

quote:
I could explain the flaws in some of Einstein's theories, but it's unlikely you would understand if I told you. It would probably go over your head. So, if you don't mind, I'll save my breath.
Since I've done work in field theories and uncountably infinite dimensional spaces and mapping from multi dimensional fields to finite fields, I doubt anything you say will be beyond me. Sure, it's possible, but extremely unlikely. I've worked with people like Kip Thorne, Dave Schram, and Richard Price. Have you? Do you even know who they are/were?

quote:
Philosophy has and still guides the fringes of science today. Aristotle is the father of science, and his teacher was Plato, the famous philosopher. The famous minds of today are trying to use physics to answer the major metaphysics questions which were being thought about by Socrates himself.
This one is so laughable, I'm not sure where to start. Science does not try to explain "metaphysics". Never has, never will. Are there things for which science has no viable theory? Yes. Will science ever have a viable theory for those things? Probably. Things either fit within science or they are a belief. There is no middle ground. You can come up with a theory about *how* something works, then test that theory. The theory is either supported by the experiment or not. There is really no "maybe". However, there is often a LOT of "we don't know". True implementations of the scientific method (NOT the "common wisdom" of what the scientific method is, but the real method) are quite stringent.
Observe a Law.
Make a theory to try to explain HOW the Law works.
Test that theory.
Rinse and repeat.

quote:
It took two bicycle mechanics to prove that flight was possible in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that doing such a thing was impossible. It wasn't long ago, either, when scientists suggested it was impossible to surpass the speed of sound. Just read a little science history and you'll see where those comments came from.
Again, I'm amazed at such drivel. No one in the scientific community of the time thought flying was impossible. No one. Some said that the engineering requirements were beyond the day's technology. Some even said that it would be decades before someone figured it out. However, no one in the scientific community said it was impossible. Just another myth that people spout when they don't want to try to understand science or the scientific community. --- Besides, check the backgound on your statement out more carefully. There are several -- yes, several -- claims that others did it first both within the U.S. and in Europe. The Wright brother may have been the first, maybe not. They were absolutely the most famous.

quote:
It wasn't long ago, either, when scientists suggested it was impossible to surpass the speed of sound.
No one – NO ONE – in the scientific community thought going faster than the speed of sound was impossible. Impractical, maybe. Not with that day’s technology, probably. Impossible? NO! Yes, there were myths to that effect. Yes, the “common wisdom” running amuck supported this stupid premise. But any scientist needed to only look at things in the real world to see that things can go faster than the speed of sound. There are so many examples it’s ludicrous. Just another stupid myth.

quote:
Now, they have a working model which proves that it works. What else do you want?
They have a model that PROVES nothing. There are a LOT of unanswered questions. Many of those questions they are pointedly refusing to answer. They are not implementing any of the safeguards into their experiment to make it more credible and verifiable. When they publish exactly how it is done and then *several* independent labs verify it, then you'll have your proof.

quote:
If Newton's scientific laws are being broken by the device, then it becomes clear that those laws were man made, and had nothing to do with the laws of the universe.
Again, Newton didn't come up with any Laws. He, and millions of people before him, made observations of what was already going on. Newton was just one of the first to formulate a theory of HOW it worked.

No scientific laws are man made. They may be recorded by man, but the events and actions about which those recordings are made are not "man made".

There is nothing shown in the published documents or public statements by these "researchers" that makes any credible scientific authority agree that they have certainly found something new. It is possible they have. They just haven't given anywhere near enough information to evaluate it properly. As it runs contrary to decades and decades of experiments reproduced by thousands of scientists, the general consensus is -- and will continue to be -- that this does not work.

All these researchers need to do to prove their statements is come clean and tell everything. Until then, it is not credible.

You don't say, "I have an infinite energy source right here in this box.", and then let no one see inside the box. That is not going to be credible -- ever!


RE: Game changing...
By wordsworm on 2/16/2013 2:44:54 AM , Rating: 2
Science does not know the value of pi. You have to use a word to describe it. In math, you have to round it somewhere. Math doesn't deal well with the infinite, while the universe and the energy and matter within it are. The scientific community is always trying to cram the universe into finite space.

Math is a language that cannot calculate much more than basic geometry and pennies in a bank. It has been fairly effective for a number of things, and in many instances it's the best tool we have. But at the same time, we have to recognize its limitations.

I have no idea who the people are you mentioned. There are a million names in the world worth remembering. I'm not about to begin figuring out who each of them is or how they're important.

Metaphysics... well, maybe you never got around to watching Stephen Hawking's Universe. The first words out of his mouth were "Where do we come from? How did the universe begin? Why is the universe the way it is? How will it end?" These are questions which are philosophical and more specifically metaphysical. They're good questions. Your problem is that you don't seem to know very much about science history, its origins in philosophy, the effects of philosophy on science.

You might find these branches interesting. But, you might also burn those books. I know that's what folks of faith tend to do when they hear heresy.

In any case, the reason the scientific community fears a device like this is that it would make them look like fools. It's one thing to uproot a theory, but to disprove laws of motion? That would be monumental. If this device works, and is developed and used for space transportation, we will see a fundamental shift in space travel which will rival our discovery of propellant. Going to Mars? No problem... it would take just a few months. Having a hard time funding the space station because of the constant necessity of having to use propellant? No longer required. Just upgrade it with one of these gadgets and it could be used to travel to inner planets.

And you? Well, continue shaking your head in disbelief. It might even be possible to use this device to break the speed of light, which would really make you irate.


RE: Game changing...
By Skywalker123 on 2/11/2013 10:07:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Name one person in the legitimate scientific community within the last 150 years that said these things were impossible. Hell, within the last 200 years! It's the very, very often wrong "common wisdom" that perpetuates these myths and way too many believe them even when the science community says they are pure BS.


Lord Kelvin,"Radio has no future.","There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now, All that remains is more and more precise measurement.","X-rays will prove to be a hoax." and many, many others.


RE: Game changing...
By wordsworm on 2/11/2013 2:56:29 PM , Rating: 1
I think most people believe in science in much the same way as some believe in religions. They often don't understand science at all. Often they try to define scientific theory without understanding what it means. They see a name like Einstein and believe everything that remains of him. The way I look at him is that he discovered some very important theories which are applicable to light and (where I differ with him, using my own words) how relative velocities distort the visual representation of time.


RE: Game changing...
By Shadowself on 2/11/2013 9:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
I see you said that he claimed it had no future. You did NOT say he claimed it was IMPOSSIBLE. Big difference.


RE: Game changing...
By Skywalker123 on 2/11/2013 11:50:51 PM , Rating: 1
Cmon, there are plenty more examples and you as an "expert" should know that


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