Author Topic: Woodward's effect  (Read 287808 times)

Offline grondilu

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #120 on: 02/11/2013 04:32 PM »
The point is still valid.

Okay, tell me exactly what Mach's principle is.

Inertia comes from an interaction of some sort with surrounding matter.  In an empty universe, a test particle would not feel any inertial force, whatever its motion would be.

That's how I understand it, anyway.

I also like to think about it this way:  empty space is really empty.  All motions in an empty space describe exactly the same thing, and can not be distinguished in any way.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2013 04:35 PM by grondilu »
Space is pretty much literally an astronomically-high hanging fruit.

Offline kch

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #121 on: 02/11/2013 04:35 PM »

Also, quoting a Wikipedia editor is ... kind of low.


Now, now -- let's not be Mach-ing Wikipedia ... ;)

Offline R7

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #122 on: 02/11/2013 04:43 PM »
empty space is really empty.

Is there such thing? (Casimir etc)
AD·ASTRA·ASTRORVM·GRATIA

Offline grondilu

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #123 on: 02/11/2013 04:46 PM »
empty space is really empty.
Is there such thing? (Casimir etc)

Well, yeah, apart from quantum mechanics considerations.  That's basically one of the reason why I like Mach's principle: it challenges concepts both in GR and QM.
Space is pretty much literally an astronomically-high hanging fruit.

Offline simonbp

Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #124 on: 02/11/2013 04:50 PM »
Okay, tell me exactly what Mach's principle is.

Magical space drives will always have supporters, no matter how ridiculous they sound.

Honestly, I think Woodward should do a kickstarter to launch a nanosat with his thruster in it. Only "true believers" would have to pay for it, but in 0.0000000001% chance it worked, we would all benefit.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #125 on: 02/11/2013 05:08 PM »
Okay, tell me exactly what Mach's principle is.

Magical space drives will always have supporters, no matter how ridiculous they sound.

Honestly, I think Woodward should do a kickstarter to launch a nanosat with his thruster in it. Only "true believers" would have to pay for it, but in 0.0000000001% chance it worked, we would all benefit.

That would be one way to test it.

If the effect exists it's likely very small at low power inputs so there needs to be a way to rule out other forces such as photon and solar wind pressure on the solar arrays.

Maybe two identical sats one with the drive and another with a mass simulator in it's place.
Even go as far as giving the mass simulator a power resistor bank equal to the power consumption of the operational drive.

Still even if it turns out to be real it probably won't replace rockets overnight and likely only would be a supplement to existing forms of high ISP propulsion.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2013 05:21 AM by Patchouli »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #126 on: 02/11/2013 05:48 PM »
Well, Sciama's dissertation was accepted and granted him his PhD, didn't it?  Also, it was endorsed by Dirac himself.  I don't know what else you would like.

An explanation of the gravelectric equation, and its derivation?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline grondilu

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #127 on: 02/11/2013 06:01 PM »
Not sure whether this has been posted here yet, but Heidi Fearn's presentation is up:
http://physics.fullerton.edu/~jimw/ASPW2012.pdf
Uses Comic Sans. Blasphemy!

Space is pretty much literally an astronomically-high hanging fruit.

Online KelvinZero

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #128 on: 02/11/2013 09:02 PM »
Isn't anyone here concerned that Woodward's drive is a perpetual motion machine?

I mean, once I realized that, well... forget about looking at equations, if it's a perpetual motion machine, there's no point in even considering it!

Hi, I guess you missed my earlier posts. (I think one was replying to you also, said something like "Yeah but FTL paradoxes are even worse")

To me it is a big hoot. Propellentless propulsion and perpetual motion machine are so obviously the same, at physics so incredibly trivial compared to the extremely esoteric physics invoked to justify it, that you have really just got to take them together. If we are going to talk about propellentless propulsion, why not this other thing?

btw, I like my "tarzan drive" example here. It is a silly concept that nevertheless probably is easier to swallow because it breaks no conservation law.

By the way, talking about what is and isnt possible, Here is another 'possible' as far as I can tell. if there were such a thing as a tractor beam that could reach across interstellar distances we could swing though the stars like tarzan, always chosing a new star with the desired relative velocity to us. This also gives us energy for free, at least locally.

Offline grondilu

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #129 on: 02/11/2013 09:44 PM »
Propellentless propulsion and perpetual motion machine are so obviously the same, at physics so incredibly trivial compared to the extremely esoteric physics invoked to justify it.

I'm not convinced by this argument.  You make it sound like it's not possible for an object to be moved by a constant force.   Of course it is, provided there is a reaction force somewhere.

When you fell towards a star, your momentum increases, and so does your kinetic energy.  Your kinetic energy seems to increase indefinitely but it's just the gravitational potential energy being converted into motion.  You reach amazing speeds, and yet your input energy is zero.  Does that make it a perpetual motion machine?  Is a planet orbiting a star a perpetual motion machine?

A propelentless device would not use its input energy in order to directly convert it into kinetic energy, but only to activate the conversion of some other energy into kinetic energy.  Again, like when you provoke a reaction chain in an atomic bomb.  You need some energy to reach a critical mass of plutonium or something, but this energy has nothing to do with the amount of energy that is released at the end of the process.

The universe is currently not stacked in a single point.  It thus has potential energy.   At least conceptually, this energy could be turned into kinetic energy.  Someone mentioned gravitational assistance currently used by spacecrafts.  Well, kind of like that.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2013 10:05 PM by grondilu »
Space is pretty much literally an astronomically-high hanging fruit.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #130 on: 02/11/2013 10:27 PM »
Sounds like rationalization to me.
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #131 on: 02/11/2013 10:46 PM »
Personally, I am a bit on the fence with this. I am still waiting for more convincing results to come out of their experiments before I make a decision. The idea is intriguing, but as has been said, there is reason to be sceptical. It sure would solve a lot of problems, if it worked.
I think that in order for this to work without going against the conservation of momentum the required energy input into the device has to increase with the speed of the spacecraft in order to create a constant acceleration.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2013 10:46 PM by Elmar Moelzer »

Online KelvinZero

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #132 on: 02/12/2013 12:06 AM »
Propellentless propulsion and perpetual motion machine are so obviously the same, at physics so incredibly trivial compared to the extremely esoteric physics invoked to justify it.

I'm not convinced by this argument.  You make it sound like it's not possible for an object to be moved by a constant force.   Of course it is, provided there is a reaction force somewhere.

No I accept that. Thats what I intended with the Tarzan drive. It is really just a gravitational slingshot. If you accept something as apparently propellantless it is not suprising to get apparently free energy. One isnt stranger than the other. Even when you can look under the hood and find the explanation is quite understandable you still get this.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2013 12:18 AM by KelvinZero »

Online QuantumG

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #133 on: 02/12/2013 12:30 AM »
For some reason my comment was removed.. so I'll try saying this more explicitly and diplomatically. I'm not being snarky here, I just think there's an obvious disconnect here between fundamental elements of the scientific method and the thinking I commonly see on threads like this.

Personally, I am a bit on the fence with this. I am still waiting for more convincing results to come out of their experiments before I make a decision. The idea is intriguing, but as has been said, there is reason to be sceptical. It sure would solve a lot of problems, if it worked.

It's good that you're on the fence, and it's important to stay there. You should remain skeptical regardless of whether or not it would "solve a lot of problems", or whether you've been "convinced" by the results of their experiments. There's never a time when you should make a "decision" to not be skeptical.

This cuts both ways. If Woodward is successful at producing experimental results that contradict "mainstream science", then we should both be skeptical of his methods and be skeptical of the science they contradict. Belief is not a luxury we have in science. The whole apple cart could be upset tomorrow. We could find out the speed of light is constant in all frames of reference. We could find out the universe is expanding. We could find out the expansion is accelerating. Surprises happen in science. This is a good thing.

Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #134 on: 02/12/2013 12:39 AM »

Personally, I am a bit on the fence with this. I am still waiting for more convincing results to come out of their experiments before I make a decision. The idea is intriguing, but as has been said, there is reason to be sceptical. It sure would solve a lot of problems, if it worked.

It's good that you're on the fence, and it's important to stay there. You should remain skeptical regardless of whether or not it would "solve a lot of problems", or whether you've been "convinced" by the results of their experiments. There's never a time when you should make a "decision" to not be skeptical.

This cuts both ways. If Woodward is successful at producing experimental results that contradict "mainstream science", then we should both be skeptical of his methods and be skeptical of the science they contradict. Belief is not a luxury we have in science. The whole apple cart could be upset tomorrow. We could find out the speed of light is constant in all frames of reference. We could find out the universe is expanding. We could find out the expansion is accelerating. Surprises happen in science. This is a good thing.
All very true. I have to admit that I would really love for Woodward to be right, but no matter how much I wish for it, I would never take his claims at face value. Plus at least right now his experimental results have quite a margin for error (even though they are trying hard to address all that).
It takes more to convince me, no matter how much I would love to see it work.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #135 on: 02/12/2013 01:57 AM »
For some reason my comment was removed.. so I'll try saying this more explicitly and diplomatically. I'm not being snarky here, I just think there's an obvious disconnect here between fundamental elements of the scientific method and the thinking I commonly see on threads like this.

Personally, I am a bit on the fence with this. I am still waiting for more convincing results to come out of their experiments before I make a decision. The idea is intriguing, but as has been said, there is reason to be sceptical. It sure would solve a lot of problems, if it worked.

It's good that you're on the fence, and it's important to stay there. You should remain skeptical regardless of whether or not it would "solve a lot of problems", or whether you've been "convinced" by the results of their experiments. There's never a time when you should make a "decision" to not be skeptical.

This cuts both ways. If Woodward is successful at producing experimental results that contradict "mainstream science", then we should both be skeptical of his methods and be skeptical of the science they contradict. Belief is not a luxury we have in science. The whole apple cart could be upset tomorrow. We could find out the speed of light is constant in all frames of reference. We could find out the universe is expanding. We could find out the expansion is accelerating. Surprises happen in science. This is a good thing.


I disagree. We can start being skeptical of modern scientific theory once the effect has been replicated a few times by outside parties. You act like there hasn't been mountains of experiments done which confirm GR in all kinds of ways, or conservation of energy and momentum. Every time a scientist takes a reading at CERN, they are verifying and relying on those two things to be conserved.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You can be skeptical that science is complete, but you cannot have equal levels of skepticism for a non-clearly-replicated claim that is made by a small group motivated by wishful thinking and that of all of mainstream science.
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Online QuantumG

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #136 on: 02/12/2013 02:35 AM »
I disagree. We can start being skeptical of modern scientific theory once the effect has been replicated a few times by outside parties.

If you're not already skeptical of "modern scientific theory" then you'll never bother trying any experiment that might disprove it. It's our skepticism that inspires us to look in the cracks.

Quote
You act like there hasn't been mountains of experiments done which confirm GR in all kinds of ways, or conservation of energy and momentum.

How do I do that exactly?

Quote
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Just the regular kind will do. Exactly how extraordinary we find the evidence is just a sign of how much skepticism we've lost.. aka complacency. If someone comes to me with experimental evidence that contradicts a well established scientific theory I'm going to say: Is it reproducible? Have you considered alternative explanations? What happens when you vary this or that.. etc, etc. All the same things as if they came to me with experimental evidence that contradicted a theory invented last Tuesday.

Quote
You can be skeptical that science is complete,

One would hope so!

Quote
but you cannot have equal levels of skepticism for a non-clearly-replicated claim that is made by a small group motivated by wishful thinking and that of all of mainstream science.

Yes, one has to has an appreciation for evidence, and skepticism is the means by which one achieves that appreciation. Unfortunately, I have no idea what a "level" of skepticism is, which suggests we're talking about completely different concepts. To me, the alternative to skepticism is blind dogmatic belief. If you're suggesting some sort of gray area between those two, I'm going to have to say I have a hard time understanding that. Perhaps the problem here is that you're thinking of scientific theories as some sort of description of reality. They're not. They're models of reality.
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #137 on: 02/12/2013 02:03 PM »
To me it is a big hoot. Propellentless propulsion and perpetual motion machine are so obviously the same...

No they're not.

The Tesla motor car is a propellantless drive machine.  Electricity pushes against magnets, causing rotation, and the wheels push against the road, causing forward momentum.  There may be other instances of the electric motor which I have inadvertrently overlooked.

What is new here in the claim is that electricity is pushing on something, ostensibly the rest of the universe, and is converted directly into forward momentum. 
Grondilu put it a slightly different way: "A propellantless device would not use its input energy in order to directly convert it into kinetic energy, but only to activate the conversion of some other energy into kinetic energy."  This is different from my understanding.

Woodward is pumping AC current into a PZT thingy, "just so", pushing hard, and pulling light, purportedly taking advantage of the change in mass of the vibrating nuclei of the PZT thingy.  The PZT thingy is the "wheel" and the rest of the universe is the "road".

The best analogy that I can think of is that Woodward claims that he can stand in a rowboat in the middle of the lake, and by skootching himself back and forth, can move across the lake.  He claims to have an "invisible" inertial pole with which he can push upon the distant shore to effect this movement.

If you read the other thread from end to end, and all the attachments, Woodward does discuss one of the terms in his impenetrable (to me) equations as allowing some kind of "free" energy.  No point that I see in discussing this aspect without understanding the more basic assertion, which hinges on a correct, verifiable understanding of what inertia is.

Woodward claims, in his experimental apparatus to have used "x" number of Watts to provide a very small forward momentum.  My take is that he believes that he has demonstrated a real world application to the understanding of inertia that he proposes; his understanding is based on the work of Maxwell, Mach, and Sciama mostly, that I can tell.  However, not even his adherents seem to be able to replicate the experiment.

By focusing solely on the completely unverified claims of "free" energy, everybody here is quietly acknowledging that they don't have the math to tackle the fundamental equations, sine qua non est nihil.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline antiquark

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #138 on: 02/12/2013 02:35 PM »
To me it is a big hoot. Propellentless propulsion and perpetual motion machine are so obviously the same...

The Tesla motor car is a propellantless drive machine. 

Actually, the "propellant" of the Tesla car is the earth! Yes, a Tesla will make the world rotate counter to the direction of the Tesla. Momentum is conserved!

By focusing solely on the completely unverified claims of "free" energy, everybody here is quietly acknowledging that they don't have the math to tackle the fundamental equations, sine qua non est nihil.

Not "unverified" claims, but "predicted and wholly supported by basic physics" claims.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2013 02:35 PM by antiquark »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #139 on: 02/12/2013 02:45 PM »
By focusing solely on the completely unverified claims of "free" energy, everybody here is quietly acknowledging that they don't have the math to tackle the fundamental equations, sine qua non est nihil.

Not "unverified" claims, but "predicted and wholly supported by basic physics" claims.

Think about it a bit more, young Paduan.

A "verified" claim would be "predicted and wholly supported by basic physics".  Not so with an "unverified" claim.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.