Author Topic: Woodward's effect  (Read 285591 times)

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9163
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 610
  • Likes Given: 316
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #320 on: 06/19/2013 02:40 AM »
The thrust levels cannot be "efficiently" generated at 0.4 N/kWe (about 1 1/2 ounces of force per thousand watts of electricity) AND difficult to distinguish from background effects simulataneously.

Well, yes - yes they can.

A one-ampere current in a loop a foot wide could produce a few micronewtons of thrust in LEO without expending any power at all beyond making up resistive losses ...

Me still not savvy. 

We're talking about four tenths of a newton per kilowatt of electricity, a good bit more than what you just mentioned, even with my current counting skills.

And if what you just described only works in the Earth's magnetic field in a preferred direction, then it would be limited to utility in that environment only.  All the talk about intergalactic starships should be minimized to, well, stationkeeping in LEO.

Plenty of people raise families and send their kids to college based on money made with satellites in LEO.  So there is some real utility there.

Quote from: 93143
It's probably possible to design an experiment that would be effectively immune to these sorts of effects, and/or run it in such a way as to rule them out.  My point is simply that a space demo is not automatically ironclad proof of principle ...

But that ties back into the pragmatic application of the ME thruster itself; the claim of 0.4N/kWe doesn't seem to apply to a pragmatic problem of immediate utility.

If the device is this good, why not apply it in a space experiment?  That would be the next obvious step.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9163
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 610
  • Likes Given: 316
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #321 on: 06/19/2013 02:50 AM »


The lab with the exception to this current rule of thumb performance range uses high voltage, low currents, and they are reporting specific force numbers in the 1.0-to-20.0 N/kWe range with possibilities of going up to well over 100.0 N/kWe.

They have talked they are investigating warp drives and they are pretty sure they will colonize Mars. And will only go public after starting Mars colonization.

One can be sure, in this NSA infested world, that honest efforts will not go unnoticed.

Given the successful operative theory of the drive, there are still many years of scaling up the effort, and there is still the medical restraint on low gravity human living arrangements that will have to be determined empirically, over at least one generation at the earliest.  And to create an offworld government would require a good number of competent people and systems.  No principle of which I would not agree with in theory, remembering that if one is not invited, one is not invited.

They can talk all they want about the 'possibilities' of the drive.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline djolds1

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #322 on: 06/19/2013 07:19 AM »
Given the successful operative theory of the drive, there are still many years of scaling up the effort,
It took 51 years to go from the Wright Flyer to the Boeing 367-80 (the prototype for the 707), but SPAD S.VIIs were flying within 12 years. That initial uptick of development and differentiation on the development-evolution/ diminishing returns/ logistic curve is fast and glorious.

and there is still the medical restraint on low gravity human living arrangements that will have to be determined empirically, over at least one generation at the earliest.
Back in his 2005 paper, when he was still calling Mach Effect devices "UFGs," Paul claimed it should be possible to create an artificial gravity gradient using "UFGs." Would 'ease' a number of problems wrt space access, no?

And to create an offworld government would require a good number of competent people and systems.
You're overthinking the matter. Similar to assuming the need for global government before Columbus can be permitted to depart Madrid in discovery of the New World. That is not how the human animal works.

No principle of which I would not agree with in theory, remembering that if one is not invited, one is not invited.
Every major and mid-rate power on Earth would jump these patents once the device is demonstrated. The potential is too vast to allow IP to be respected. Rather like Columbus struggling and failing to get his promised titles and claims to discovered lands respected at the Spanish Court after his voyages of discovery.

Offline 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3039
  • Liked: 292
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #323 on: 06/19/2013 07:19 AM »
We're talking about four tenths of a newton per kilowatt of electricity, a good bit more than what you just mentioned, even with my current counting skills.

Key phrase is "per kilowatt".  The M-E thrusters I'm aware of don't use a kilowatt.  The best-controlled experiments I've heard about (Woodward's) register thrusts in the micronewton range.

Quote
And if what you just described only works in the Earth's magnetic field in a preferred direction, then it would be limited to utility in that environment only.  All the talk about intergalactic starships should be minimized to, well, stationkeeping in LEO.

You haven't gone and confused genuine M-E thrust with a magnetically-induced false positive, have you?  M-E works fine pretty much anywhere in the universe, if it works at all.  Magnets only produce thrust in magnetic fields.  What I described is a much closer relative of the electrodynamic tether than of the M-E thruster.

Quote
If the device is this good, why not apply it in a space experiment?  That would be the next obvious step.

First off, because a guy doing self-funded experiments out of his retirement savings isn't about to be able to afford that sort of thing.  (If aceshigh is onto something, on the other hand, that's a whole other ball game...)

Second, because there are still issues that can be worked on the ground.  Let's face it - if the question is whether or not it's real, who's going to pay for a spacecraft and rocket to find out it's not?  If the question is how well does it work, why do we need an in-space test before the bugs have been worked out on the ground?

Last I heard, the average thruster lifetime was about a quarter of an hour of operation before the crystals needed annealing (fortunately this process doesn't require anyone to steal gamma photons from a naval reactor).  And controlling/matching electrical and mechanical resonances in a device that heats up this much during operation is an 'interesting' problem.  There are promising paths forward, but Woodward has been having trouble affording them...
« Last Edit: 06/19/2013 08:48 AM by 93143 »

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9163
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 610
  • Likes Given: 316
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #324 on: 06/19/2013 01:42 PM »
We're talking about four tenths of a newton per kilowatt of electricity, a good bit more than what you just mentioned, even with my current counting skills.

Key phrase is "per kilowatt".  The M-E thrusters I'm aware of don't use a kilowatt.  The best-controlled experiments I've heard about (Woodward's) register thrusts in the micronewton range.

Insufficient information for me to make a comparison.  My recollection from one of their early experiments, was that about one thousand watts went into that test article.

Quote from: 93143
M-E works fine pretty much anywhere in the universe, if it works at all.

Quite understood.  It is the "if" you mention, which is always at hand in this discussion.

Quote from: 93143
Last I heard, the average thruster lifetime was about a quarter of an hour of operation before the crystals needed annealing ...  And controlling/matching electrical and mechanical resonances in a device that heats up this much during operation is an 'interesting' problem.

...what the problem is? ...

Too much experimental mass, and no clear method of reducing it?  Cooling problems?  Degenerating "flux" capacitors?

So I properly understood and characterized two out of three problems.

As to the first, there also appears to be too much experimental mass, caused by the vacuum chamber, it's operating mechanism, the shielding, and so forth, particularly as compared to the amount of power you have to send in to the pendulum arm part of the device.

Of course, in that sense, it's not ready to fly.  I'm still not grokking 0.4N/kWe in the experimental apparatus.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9163
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 610
  • Likes Given: 316
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #325 on: 06/19/2013 02:04 PM »
...the fact YOU think its a good idea based on a sound theory doesnt change anything.

Took a more careful read of your comment.  "YOU" as in moi?  There is no "fact" that I think it is based on a "sound theory".  A careful read of my commentary should confirm that.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9163
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 610
  • Likes Given: 316
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #326 on: 06/19/2013 02:14 PM »
Backing up to the "questionable motivation".  Questionable, in that, why wouldn't one attempt to get funding for a good idea based upon a sound theory?

As always, romance without finance don't stand no chance.  They could get funding without me being any the wiser.  If they wanna pull a Sun Tzu and argue that they are impoverished when they are not, that's fine by me in principle.  I have not been invited to their party.

Obviously, if I can figure out the math, anybody could.  The following rings true:

Every major and mid-rate power on Earth would jump these patents once the device is demonstrated. The potential is too vast to allow IP to be respected.

Well certainly.  Like I said:

One can be sure, in this NSA infested world, that honest efforts will not go unnoticed.

Even so, NDA's and the proper lab personell culture, can protect work for a long time:

The lab with the exception to this current rule of thumb performance range uses high voltage, low currents, and they are reporting specific force numbers in the 1.0-to-20.0 N/kWe range with possibilities of going up to well over 100.0 N/kWe.  And no Iím not at liberty to say who is doing this or how far along they are in making a reliable thruster that works every time.  NDAs etc.

However, while it is true that they have talked about colonization:

They have talked they are investigating warp drives and they are pretty sure they will colonize Mars. And will only go public after starting Mars colonization.

... they will have to be very private indeed if they plan to start a colonization effort, along with its expected new government, else why the lack of publicity.

The talk about warp drives seems more to be the gleam in the eye of the rooster.  There's not even an egg yet.  Much less a chicken.

At some point, if there are spaceships involved, the team will have to purchase a volcanic island somewhere, create a retractable lake over the crater, build submarine portals, etc., etc.  All the while looking over their shoulder for an incredibly fit 70 to 80 year old British spy to destroy the whole shebang in twenty minutes, over a bag of popcorn.

All of which is a future game, and which seems unbelievable at the moment.

So my focus is on understanding the theory, sussing out the reality of the 0.4N/kWe statistic, and more mundane stuff like that.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9163
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 610
  • Likes Given: 316
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #327 on: 06/19/2013 02:14 PM »
BTW, in the yet to be answered column:

Quote from: Woodward
This condition on gravitational potential energy reveals Einstein's first prediction quoted above as wrong.

Is that "first prediction" the addition of Einstein's "cosmological constant"?

If Einstein is wrong, then somebody else needs to come out and say this.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline aceshigh

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 608
  • Liked: 171
  • Likes Given: 16
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #328 on: 06/19/2013 02:45 PM »

... they will have to be very private indeed if they plan to start a colonization effort, along with its expected new government, else why the lack of publicity.

I am sorry for choosing the wrong words. When I said "going public" after the colonization of Mars, I was talking about an SpaceX IPO.

What I meant is that Musk is obsessed with his objective of colonizing Mars so much he wont even consider an IPO of SpaceX before achieving his objective. Because if SpaceX goes public, it will hinder its efforts on programs that are not uh... seen as very lucrative.

Like for example, investigating Mach Effect or Warp Drives.


Quote
The talk about warp drives seems more to be the gleam in the eye of the rooster.  There's not even an egg yet.  Much less a chicken.

Thats why I think they are first investigating Woodward. In an interview Musk said "a warp drive may come or not come to fruition". And the interview article then mentioned the works of White at Eagle Works.

As soon as I read that article, I had in my mind that Musk had probably contacted Dr White and his team, including Paul March.

Paulīs saying "a laboratory" somewhere, with a NON DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT got such a good result tells me its someone with money to investigate the effect using state of the art materials, the best electric engineers, etc. At least some other discussions I read about the people pursuing Mach Effect in their extra time always involved discussions about what were the best materials, how expensive they were, etc.

Musk of course wont invest many millions pursuing a warp drive he doesnt know if can comes to fruition (nobody knows, even White is trying to investigate if its even plausible).

But if he can select a good team available at SpaceX to do some tests, and he needs to spend lets say U$500k to test Mach Effect, its much more than Woodward, Paul, etc, can spend on their spare time, but for Musk, its probably ok, considering his obsession with colonizing Mars.



Offline simonbp

Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #329 on: 06/19/2013 02:46 PM »
Most of the test results from various labs working on these types of RF and shuttler like devices save one indicate that 0.1-to-1.0 N/kWe is the current norm for the 1st generation experimental devices, and yes that includes all the resistive losses in the system.  The lab with the exception to this current rule of thumb performance range uses high voltage, low currents, and they are reporting specific force numbers in the 1.0-to-20.0 N/kWe range with possibilities of going up to well over 100.0 N/kWe.  And no Iím not at liberty to say who is doing this or how far along they are in making a reliable thruster that works every time.  NDAs etc.  As to the thrust output range they go from Woodword's single digit micro-Newtons (uN), which is a tribute to Woodward's torque pendulum design and sensitivity, up to just over 10 milli-Newton (mN).   

Have any of those results been published? Submitted? Uploaded to a preprint server?

Hiding behind NDAs about a physical process is an instant red flag that the science isn't working. It's always in the best interest of a new technology company to provide some evidence that their technology actually works. Without that, there's no point in an investor taking any notice.

Offline aceshigh

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 608
  • Liked: 171
  • Likes Given: 16
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #330 on: 06/19/2013 02:49 PM »
...the fact YOU think its a good idea based on a sound theory doesnt change anything.

Took a more careful read of your comment.  "YOU" as in moi?  There is no "fact" that I think it is based on a "sound theory".  A careful read of my commentary should confirm that.


english is not my first language, so sometimes my wording may get a little confusing (as when I talked about SpaceX IPO and it sounded like they wanted to keep it all secret until starting Mars colonization)


I said "you" as in anyone (including Woodward) thinking his theory is good, does not means everyone else thinks the same, thus asking for money may actually be pretty suspicious (just like with Andrea Rossi)

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9163
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 610
  • Likes Given: 316
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #331 on: 06/19/2013 03:31 PM »
I said "you" as in anyone (including Woodward) thinking his theory is good, does not means everyone else thinks the same, thus asking for money may actually be pretty suspicious (just like with Andrea Rossi)

No prob.  Thanks for the clarification.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline djolds1

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #332 on: 06/19/2013 04:11 PM »
Every major and mid-rate power on Earth would jump these patents once the device is demonstrated. The potential is too vast to allow IP to be respected.
Well certainly.  Like I said:
One can be sure, in this NSA infested world, that honest efforts will not go unnoticed.
Even so, NDA's and the proper lab personel culture, can protect work for a long time:
Perhaps. IMO, once the Wright Flyer analogue shows up (assuming of course that it does), we're off to the races. Vast monies, governmental and private espionage, outright theft, etc. The initial developers will get some wealth and vast glory, but nothing near to what the original paper should've entitled them.

At some point, if there are spaceships involved, the team will have to purchase a volcanic island somewhere, create a retractable lake over the crater, build submarine portals, etc., etc.  All the while looking over their shoulder for an incredibly fit 70 to 80 year old British spy to destroy the whole shebang in twenty minutes, over a bag of popcorn.
The retractable lake is sooooo dated. The Modern Retro Supervillain Lair launches its rockets from the volcano cone.

So my focus is on understanding the theory, sussing out the reality of the 0.4N/kWe statistic, and more mundane stuff like that.
As it should be.

Offline Supergravity

  • Member
  • Posts: 43
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #333 on: 06/20/2013 03:16 AM »
No offense, but this seems like fringe-science at best. If Woodward was onto something, then this would have ignited the experimental physics community as it would allow us to probe new physics without the massive energy levels and cost associated with behemoth colliders. Because, this is actually new physics. It is not at all consistent with general relativity, and you certainly won't find any coupling of gravity and electromagnetism at the scales accessible to a table-top experiment. This is just common knowledge. It seems Woodward and the other physicists and engineers working on this are making underlying assumptions they wish were true but are, in fact, not. I guess it just upsets some people, even if they are experts, that the best nature will ever give us are solar sails and fusion rockets. Unfortunately, things like "space drives" or other propellantless proposals are just not consistent with the laws that govern the universe we live in.

Every modern understanding of physics predicts Woodward et al. will not see anything in their experiments.

Also, I remembered this question being asked on Physics.Stackexchange and this is what a notable string theorist and former faculty of Harvard had to say about the Woodward Effect.
« Last Edit: 06/20/2013 08:38 AM by Supergravity »

Offline 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3039
  • Liked: 292
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #334 on: 06/20/2013 05:22 AM »
Your string theorist is not a reliable authority on the subject.  I doubt such a thing exists at this point in time.  There is certainly some debate about the issue - in fact there is not a universally accepted definition of Mach's principle, and as far as I know there is no widely accepted explanation for inertia in GR.

Physics isn't a one-dimensional wave of advancement that progresses inexorably toward truth and obviates all the ideas it leaves behind.  Rather, it's similar to an evolutionary algorithm, but distorted by the side effects of the herd instinct, and it can miss stuff.  I'm not saying Woodward is right, but some people seem to be a bit hasty in dismissing Mach's principle simply because it is old and because some formulations of it don't seem to be correct.

Woodward's papers have withstood peer review so far, and no critique I'm aware of can say the same.  As a published scientific author I have some experience with peer review, and I don't regard it as an ultimate authority, but it's not nothing.

Have you read any of it?  His papers, his book?

Also, I believe the assertion "He claims his theory can explain virtually every unsolved problem in contemporary physics." is untrue, unless you consider the origin of inertia in a general relativistic sense to be virtually the only thing we don't know yet.  I am aware of no other theoretical claims made by Woodward.
« Last Edit: 06/20/2013 08:05 AM by 93143 »

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8224
  • Australia
  • Liked: 2991
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #335 on: 06/20/2013 05:45 AM »
On a spaceflight forum.. if it's related to spaceflight, talk about spaceflight. If it's not, take it elsewhere.

« Last Edit: 06/20/2013 06:26 AM by Andy USA »
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 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3039
  • Liked: 292
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #336 on: 06/20/2013 05:53 AM »
if it's related to spaceflight, talk about spaceflight.

I see what you did there.

This forum is not just for talking about spaceflight.  There was plenty of discussion about the sequester.  There's plenty of discussion about the legislative process that's currently hard at work producing NASA's budget.  There's been plenty of discussion about the technical merits of Skylon and certain subsystems thereof.  Lots of discussion about low-altitude lander testbed experiments.  None of these things are spaceflight - but they're related to spaceflight, so we get to talk about them.

Offline R7

  • Propulsophile
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2738
    • Don't worry.. we can still be fans of OSC and SNC
  • Liked: 944
  • Likes Given: 663
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #337 on: 06/20/2013 06:12 AM »
if it's related to spaceflight, talk about spaceflight.

Faulty logic. If it's related to spaceflight, talk about it.

Propellantless in-space propulsion is about the only practical application of the effect, should it and the claimed physics behind it be real.

While at it; hasn't anyone built a 'Woodward drive' large enough to either confirm or disprove the effect without any doubt? I mean big enough (1N or so) so that any positive reading is clear and cannot be mistaken for tremor caused by someone falling of their chair three blocks down the street. If not, why?
« Last Edit: 06/20/2013 06:13 AM by R7 »
AD∑ASTRA∑ASTRORVM∑GRATIA

Offline 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3039
  • Liked: 292
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #338 on: 06/20/2013 06:19 AM »
If not, why?

Apparently it's a bit fiddly getting it to work just right, and Woodward's budget is limited.  Recent results have been pretty consistent, and all his control tests seem to be behaving as expected, but he'd have to get some serious ceramics and custom electronics to do much better, and that takes cash.  Even the PZT stacks he's been using were something of a windfall (EDIT:  actually, I think that was just the first batch.  Regardless, the point stands).

He is apparently working on some devices intended to get higher thrust.  But 1 N is quite a leap from the few μN he's getting now...

Regarding other researchers, IIRC Paul March got low mN results with high-frequency devices, but his experimental controls weren't good.  He says someone has managed ~10 mN, but won't say who...  Personally I think it's entirely understandable for a number of reasons for someone to want to keep this sort of work under wraps at this stage...
« Last Edit: 07/12/2013 06:54 AM by 93143 »

Offline Supergravity

  • Member
  • Posts: 43
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #339 on: 06/20/2013 09:46 AM »
Your string theorist is not a reliable authority on the subject.  I doubt such a thing exists at this point in time.
I disagree. While not directly related, a good string theorist will have an eye for good ideas even if there is no experimental verification given the nature of the field they work on.

There is certainly some debate about the issue - in fact there is not a universally accepted definition of Mach's principle, and as far as I know there is no widely accepted explanation for inertia in GR.
Likewise, there isn't a universally accepted interpretation of quantum mechanics. However, the most mainstream interpretation of Mach's Principle is in violation of general relativity which is why Einstein rejected it in 1920. If Mach's principle really carried much physical significance, than the cosmological implications would be stupendous. Unfortunately, it makes no predictions of any cosmological or astrophysical phenomena, and is not at all consistent with general relativity. Hence, any interpretation that is more than philosophical of Mach's principle is not consistent with the universe we know.

As for inertia, this is easily explained by general relativity which posits that inertial effects are the byproduct of matter's interaction with local spacetime.

Woodward's papers have withstood peer review so far, and no critique I'm aware of can say the same.  As a published scientific author I have some experience with peer review, and I don't regard it as an ultimate authority, but it's not nothing.
Peer review means nothing these days unless it is published in one of the few respectable physics journals, such as Physical Review D. Let's not forget, notorious crackpot Harold Puthoff's paper on the Polarizable Vacuum has also been peer-reviewed. These days, the number a paper has been cited by other physicists is one of the few benchmarks that distinguishes ideas with a promising future from pseudo-science.

Have you read any of it?  His papers, his book?

I'll admit, I have not. But I have also not read Tom Bearden's books, but I don't need to in order to conclude that Bearden is a lunatic.

Also, I believe the assertion "He claims his theory can explain virtually every unsolved problem in contemporary physics." is untrue, unless you consider the origin of inertia in a general relativistic sense to be virtually the only thing we don't know yet.  I am aware of no other theoretical claims made by Woodward.
I haven't asserted that Woodward's hypothesis or interpretation explains everything about what we don't know, but rather that a justification for his idea to work clearly requires new physics at best, as it is inconsistent with the most fundamental principles of general relativity. As for inertia, I have stated above that general relativity provides a complete description of it and there really is no need for further explanation.
« Last Edit: 06/20/2013 08:48 PM by Supergravity »