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EmDrive  (Source:
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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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.

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

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.

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