Author Topic: Woodward's effect  (Read 284485 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #340 on: 06/20/2013 12:59 PM »
This thread is on incredibly shaky ground. If you think we're going to have a thread that is about "what?" and is calling people "lunatics" then you're on the wrong site.

I'll be back later today to see if we're still on a physics forum or a space flight forum.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #341 on: 06/20/2013 01:31 PM »
Obviously, if the physics are correct, the implications to HSF are indeed stupendous.

I think the argument for discussing the physics, even on this spaceflight forum outweighs the lazy intellectual excuse of an argument that basically, the math is inscrutable, therefore "take it elsewhere".

More later, if Chris so allows.
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Offline aceshigh

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #342 on: 06/20/2013 09:08 PM »
If not, why?
  He says someone has managed ~10 mN, but won't say who...


SpaceX. Not that I have any proof, but the pieces fit quite nicely, with:

A - Elon Musk talking about investigating Warp Drive recently, and saying it might work or not

B - Elon Musk each time more sure he can colonize... NOT JUST VISIT Mars, in a decent timeframe... even saying he wont make an IPO of SpaceX while not COLONIZING Mars. Seriously... to COLONIZE Mars, meanign, taking LOTS OF PEOPLE THERE, Elon Musk is probably looking beyond conventional propulsion means.

C - Woodward Effect being investigated at NASA Eagleworks Laboratory by Paul March and Dr Sonny White... Sonny white of the Warp Drive (which was referenced by Elon Musk in the recent interviews) and Paul March which is quite involved with Woodward Effect and the QVF Thruster... and is the same person telling us "someone" got such good results.

D - the fact these good results probably depended on more MONEY being poured on acquiring the state of the art solid state materials needed for better Woodward Effects, the sort of which Woodward himself doesnt have the money to buy and research.



Anyway, want anything more space related than an propulsion effect being researched at a NASA Laboratory, and probably (my own instincts however) by SpaceX???

Offline mrmandias

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #343 on: 06/20/2013 09:49 PM »
If not, why?
  He says someone has managed ~10 mN, but won't say who...


SpaceX. Not that I have any proof, but the pieces fit quite nicely, with:

A - Elon Musk talking about investigating Warp Drive recently, and saying it might work or not

B - Elon Musk each time more sure he can colonize... NOT JUST VISIT Mars, in a decent timeframe... even saying he wont make an IPO of SpaceX while not COLONIZING Mars. Seriously... to COLONIZE Mars, meanign, taking LOTS OF PEOPLE THERE, Elon Musk is probably looking beyond conventional propulsion means.

C - Woodward Effect being investigated at NASA Eagleworks Laboratory by Paul March and Dr Sonny White... Sonny white of the Warp Drive (which was referenced by Elon Musk in the recent interviews) and Paul March which is quite involved with Woodward Effect and the QVF Thruster... and is the same person telling us "someone" got such good results.

D - the fact these good results probably depended on more MONEY being poured on acquiring the state of the art solid state materials needed for better Woodward Effects, the sort of which Woodward himself doesnt have the money to buy and research.



Anyway, want anything more space related than an propulsion effect being researched at a NASA Laboratory, and probably (my own instincts however) by SpaceX???

Do you h ave the Musk quote?  I remember something like that, but in an off-hand, joking way that I wouldn't read as a tea leaf.  But I could be wrong.

Offline Supergravity

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #344 on: 06/20/2013 09:53 PM »
This thread is on incredibly shaky ground. If you think we're going to have a thread that is about "what?" and is calling people "lunatics" then you're on the wrong site.

I'll be back later today to see if we're still on a physics forum or a space flight forum.

Then you might as well close or delete this thread now. We can only talk about space flight once an experimental phenomenon has been clearly demonstrated and the theoretical aspects of it have been worked out and fully understood. That's how practical applications work. Otherwise, this discussion is always destined to devolve to a debate about fundamental physics.

Honestly, I'm surprised it took you 23 pages to bring up these concerns. If you are that strict on physics discussions not being allowed on this site, you should have locked this thread when it was first started.

In my opinion, this sub-forum should stick with conventional and known physics and its implications, rather than speculative ideas that have no experimental basis (and Woodward's Effect wouldn't even fall under that; it is fringe science).

Offline R7

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #345 on: 06/20/2013 10:05 PM »
I'll throw in one more question hoping for an answer before thread closes;

Assuming the effect is real will the drive work only if reaction mass is vibrating linearly back'n'forth? Haven't read much except wiki article said 'proper acceleration' is required. Would centrifugal acceleration qualify as such, enabling the driver to be spinning wheel with capacitors on the rim, charged and discharged in sync with rotation? Could easily enable several hundred kHz frequency with much larger stroke than stack of piezoelectrics, no?
« Last Edit: 06/20/2013 10:06 PM by R7 »
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #346 on: 06/20/2013 10:15 PM »
How to talk about the spaceflight implications: if it works, what would it allow you to do? Actually think about that answer instead of yelling PONIES! and you might come up with something worth talking about.
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 Cinder

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #347 on: 06/21/2013 05:28 AM »
I'll throw in one more question hoping for an answer before thread closes;

Assuming the effect is real will the drive work only if reaction mass is vibrating linearly back'n'forth? Haven't read much except wiki article said 'proper acceleration' is required. Would centrifugal acceleration qualify as such, enabling the driver to be spinning wheel with capacitors on the rim, charged and discharged in sync with rotation? Could easily enable several hundred kHz frequency with much larger stroke than stack of piezoelectrics, no?
This sounds like the flywheel that 93143 (?) described a number of times in the Propellentless Propulsion thread where much of the 'Mach/Woodward Effect' discussion took place before this here thread.


This thread is on incredibly shaky ground. If you think we're going to have a thread that is about "what?" and is calling people "lunatics" then you're on the wrong site.

I'll be back later today to see if we're still on a physics forum or a space flight forum.

Then you might as well close or delete this thread now. We can only talk about space flight once an experimental phenomenon has been clearly demonstrated and the theoretical aspects of it have been worked out and fully understood. That's how practical applications work. Otherwise, this discussion is always destined to devolve to a debate about fundamental physics.

Honestly, I'm surprised it took you 23 pages to bring up these concerns. If you are that strict on physics discussions not being allowed on this site, you should have locked this thread when it was first started.

In my opinion, this sub-forum should stick with conventional and known physics and its implications, rather than speculative ideas that have no experimental basis (and Woodward's Effect wouldn't even fall under that; it is fringe science).
You said this already, so why repeat it other than push the thread closer to being locked?  Your argument has already been presented in past discussion of Mach/Woodward Effect here at NSF.

Notice that your language (lunatics etc) is specifically mentioned as cause for locking. Consider that previous much longer thread on this same topic was not locked.  Why spoil it for others who are willing to play by the rules?

How to talk about the spaceflight implications: if it works, what would it allow you to do? Actually think about that answer instead of yelling PONIES! and you might come up with something worth talking about.

Off the wall:  would Space Elevators be feasible with ME thrusters buoying a tether made with more or less current state of the art materials?

On the current unmanned spaceflight budget, couldn't we have quite a swarm of small probes pushed by such thrusters?  Wouldn't that be a seriously compelling science platform?  As I understand it we wouldn't have to get anywhere close to wormholes or other extreme predictions of the Woodward Conjecture.. Just mundane, but really affordable performance away from gravity wells.

But it just seems like putting the cart ahead of the ox, given how the effect is at once dubious and promising and soon to be proven/ruled out experimentally.  There is no other place (as far as I've heard of) on the internet where the Woodward Effect rubber would meet the Spaceflight Industry asphalt as well as here on NSF.  It'd be a shame to lock news, from Paul March or any others, out of here because a few users can't stay civil and/or bother to read thru past discussion to avoid repeating what's already been said.
If nothing else it seems worthwhile to keep the thread open so we can get official updates, the same way we have one for E.G. Grasshopper.
« Last Edit: 06/21/2013 06:02 AM by Cinder »
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Offline 93143

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #348 on: 06/21/2013 06:29 AM »
How to talk about the spaceflight implications: if it works, what would it allow you to do? Actually think about that answer instead of yelling PONIES! and you might come up with something worth talking about.

It's a thruster that doesn't require the storage of onboard propellant.  Reported experimental results seem to indicate that it is not limited to photon thruster efficiency, and no one has suggested any other plausible theoretical upper limit on performance.  Personally I'd feel a bit obvious trying to spell out why exactly this could be a good thing for spaceflight...

Even if it works, it could end up as no more than a propellantless ion thruster replacement, which would still be good.  But depending on how well it works, the sky's the limit - and we don't have the data yet to speculate on that sort of thing, except in a very general sense.  There's a term in Woodward's mass fluctuation equation that's always negative, which combined with a couple of other ideas means we could seriously get FTL propulsion out of this.  Even without that, a sufficiently high-performance thruster could reduce the whole solar system to a matter of days, at most weeks, of travel time, and easily allow relativistic starships.

It's too wide a range.  Discussing basic theory and experimental results is the best way to stay grounded, I think.

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.

I think that's a bit of a stretch given what we know of humans, but even if we go with it, it doesn't mean his word should be taken as gospel on a topic he doesn't specialize in.

I've seen him hold forth on the subject before.  His opinion is certainly strongly held, but he's not a reliable authority.

His idea of what Mach's Principle is doesn't seem to be comprehensive, for one thing.  There are certainly formulations of it that are false, but the larger question is not settled yet, perhaps because modern physics has been concentrating on extending quantum mechanics while more or less ignoring GR as a settled, complete theory.

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Unfortunately, it makes no predictions of any cosmological or astrophysical phenomena, and is not at all consistent with general relativity.

Sciama's interpretation is a derivation from general relativity, and it does involve a prediction.  Namely, that the total gravitational potential Φ is equal to c˛.  Which is (so far as we can determine) pretty much true, based on cosmological data Sciama didn't have.

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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.

But they aren't emergent from the field equations themselves without something like Sciama's approach.  Inertia is pretty much assumed to work the way it does; its origin is an unsolved problem that people still write papers on now and then.

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I haven't asserted that Woodward's hypothesis or interpretation explains everything about what we don't know

Not you - the first poster at your link.  He misrepresented what he was presenting, making it sound more far-fetched than it actually is.

speculative ideas that have no experimental basis

Woodward's experiments are producing the expected results.  Control experiments expected to produce null results do so.  His non-thrusting rotator experiments showed a signal in opposition to the electrostrictive effect and scaling as predicted.  Recent thruster data shows 2-3 μN from a device the theory says should produce 3.2 μN.

No experimental basis?  I'm a bit leery of his derivation myself, though I haven't given it enough attention yet due to being distracted by other stuff, but his devices do seem to do what they're supposed to.

...

I will note that Woodward's theoretical explanation doesn't strictly have to be correct for his devices to work.  White's QVF-MHD hypothesis supposedly predicts thrust from an M-E thruster, though it's not clear that the two ideas are compatible (Woodward is somewhat contemptuous of QVF).  It also predicts thrust from an EmDrive (for reasons unrelated to Shawyer's explanation), which I believe the M-E hypothesis doesn't - and according to Paul March, multiple experimenters (not all of them in China) claim to have gotten substantial thrust out of EmDrives...

...

It's funny how the actual post that pulled this thread to the top of the section contained a large, relatively information-rich e-mail from Dr. Woodward himself, discussing his experimental results and their practical implications, and no one has commented on it...  I'm not on the mailing list, but I have his book, which shows data plots for numerous experimental runs including null tests and reversal tests, so maybe I should make some time and see if I can see what he's talking about.

Quote
Would centrifugal acceleration qualify as such, enabling the driver to be spinning wheel with capacitors on the rim, charged and discharged in sync with rotation? Could easily enable several hundred kHz frequency with much larger stroke than stack of piezoelectrics, no?
This sounds like the flywheel that 93143 (?) described a number of times in the Propellentless Propulsion thread where much of the 'Mach/Woodward Effect' discussion took place before this here thread.

Not quite, but under the circumstances it seems unwise to get into that...

Woodward made a rotator-type device, but it wasn't designed to produce thrust; it was designed to show predicted aspects of the Mach effect that weren't clear with the linear stack devices.  And it did.

...100 kHz is 6 Mrpm.  That's really fast...
« Last Edit: 06/21/2013 07:46 AM by 93143 »

Offline R7

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #349 on: 06/21/2013 07:35 AM »
...100 kHz is 6 Mrpm.  That's really fast...

Whoops, my bad. Mixed rpm with Hz  :-[

Note to self: don't 'engineer' break-through propulsion at 2am...
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #350 on: 06/21/2013 02:06 PM »
If not, why?
  He says someone has managed ~10 mN, but won't say who...

SpaceX. Not that I have any proof, but the pieces fit quite nicely, with:

A - Elon Musk talking about investigating Warp Drive recently, and saying it might work or not...

I happen to know one person on their team who has thrown an eyeball on some of Woodward's math and briefly opined here that there could be a there there.  But that person will not share anything more with me.  Or the thread.  And I've asked.

So... not that I have any proof either.

It's a math problem.  Whoever gets the answer right first, gets to make the device first.  Nobody here has the math.  That's a good part of the reason that the word "lunatic" is thrown around.  And a good part of the reason that some questions are not answered, but rather left for the student to figure out.

Like they say, E=mc^2 is not just a good idea.  It's the law.
« Last Edit: 06/21/2013 03:26 PM by JohnFornaro »
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Offline D_Dom

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #351 on: 06/21/2013 02:28 PM »
If memory serves, the kid correctly answering math questions first was rarely spitballin'. Not saying never, but exceedingly rare.
« Last Edit: 06/21/2013 02:28 PM by cygnusX1 »
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #352 on: 06/21/2013 02:50 PM »
If memory serves, the kid correctly answering math questions first was rarely spitballin'. Not saying never, but exceedingly rare.

When I went to school, it was rare indeed that the smartest kid in math class would throw spitballs.  Obviously, classroom behavior has changed today.  I suppose that's a part of the vareious education "innovations" we suffer from.

But back to regularly scheduled programming...
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #353 on: 06/21/2013 03:00 PM »
I think that's a bit of a stretch given what we know of humans, but even if we go with it, it doesn't mean his word should be taken as gospel on a topic he doesn't specialize in.

I've seen him hold forth on the subject before.  His opinion is certainly strongly held, but he's not a reliable authority.

So uhhhh... which string theorist are you referring to?  I browsed over to that site that you linked, and they were talking about the Unruh effect and its possible relation to Mach's principle.

Thus, for example, an acceleration of 10^22m/s^2 corresponds to a temperature of 1 K.

I'm supposed to believe this acceleration?

You're making my head hurt, and I will be sending you a bill for the aspirin.

As an aside, I keep saying that the "vacuum state" is the ether.  But hey.

************************************

Anyhow, here's a good link:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20110023492

... to a very interesting article:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110023492_2011024705.pdf
« Last Edit: 06/21/2013 03:27 PM by JohnFornaro »
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Offline 93143

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #354 on: 06/21/2013 06:54 PM »
Okay, calm down.  I've talked to Chris, and he agreed to let the thread live for now.  Just don't drag it off topic with finger-pointing.

which string theorist are you referring to?

Luboš Motl.  You can Google him; he's got a Wikipedia page.  He's the guy Supergravity was referencing for his claim that Mach's principle is wrong.  Very opinionated character.  It could be someone else using his name, but that seems an unnecessary complication...

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a very interesting article:
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110023492_2011024705.pdf

That's "Sonny" White's lab.  IINM the "existing Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster" they talk about is actually one of Paul March's old high-frequency MLTs.  Like I said, White's hypothesis predicts thrust from Woodward-type devices...

Offline Supergravity

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #355 on: 06/21/2013 10:23 PM »
You said this already, so why repeat it other than push the thread closer to being locked?  Your argument has already been presented in past discussion of Mach/Woodward Effect here at NSF.

Yes, because it is a valid concern and I'd think the majority of mainstream physicists would raise these same issues. If my position is so easily discredited and untenable, then surely it must not be difficult for you to rehash the same rebuttals used against my position. On the other hand, I don't exactly have all the time in the world to go through 23 pages, which is unfortunate.

Notice that your language (lunatics etc) is specifically mentioned as cause for locking. Consider that previous much longer thread on this same topic was not locked.  Why spoil it for others who are willing to play by the rules?

I think you're confused. His concern is that we are not discussing spaceflight but rather physics. If my post was the only problem, then that could easily be remedied by a deletion rather than locking the entire thread.
« Last Edit: 06/21/2013 10:23 PM by Supergravity »

Offline Supergravity

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #356 on: 06/21/2013 11:05 PM »
I think that's a bit of a stretch given what we know of humans, but even if we go with it, it doesn't mean his word should be taken as gospel on a topic he doesn't specialize in.
I agree with you.

His idea of what Mach's Principle is doesn't seem to be comprehensive, for one thing.  There are certainly formulations of it that are false, but the larger question is not settled yet, perhaps because modern physics has been concentrating on extending quantum mechanics while more or less ignoring GR as a settled, complete theory.
The main problem with Mach's principle, or at least the interpretation that most mainstream physicists use, is that it is inconsistent with the core principles of general relativity. This wouldn't be a problem at all if Mach's Principle could explain everything general relativity could and make further predictions that are correct but inconsistent with GR. But, that is clearly not the case. As for the reason why physicists ignore GR is because most have the feeling, with good reason, that a comprehensive theory of quantum gravity will be intrinsically probabilistic. GR, as successful as it is, is still a classically deterministic framework.

Sciama's interpretation is a derivation from general relativity, and it does involve a prediction.  Namely, that the total gravitational potential Φ is equal to c˛.  Which is (so far as we can determine) pretty much true, based on cosmological data Sciama didn't have.
I'll look into that, but from my understanding so far, Sciama's work on this seems to be using a different mathematical formulation to come to the same results as predicted by GR and not Mach's Principle, which is essentially "spooky action at a distance" and is not limited causally by the speed of light according to the interpretations of Woodward et al. This is clearly at odds with GR and by extension Sciama's work. Is Woodward's Effect limited by the speed of light or is it instantaneous action? According to what I'm seeing of this work, it suggests the latter.

But they aren't emergent from the field equations themselves without something like Sciama's approach.  Inertia is pretty much assumed to work the way it does; its origin is an unsolved problem that people still write papers on now and then.
That is because you are assuming it is a problem. Most mainstream physicists don't and believe inertia simply is what it is. There's really nothing more to it than that. Sometimes, there doesn't need to be an answer to everything. For example, why is the strong interaction stronger than the electromagnetic interaction? There really isn't any way to answer that question at least from a physicist's perspective. It simply just is and let's leave it at that.
« Last Edit: 06/22/2013 03:43 AM by Supergravity »

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #357 on: 06/22/2013 02:34 AM »
But they aren't emergent from the field equations themselves without something like Sciama's approach.  Inertia is pretty much assumed to work the way it does; its origin is an unsolved problem that people still write papers on now and then.
That is because you are assuming it is a problem. Most mainstream physicists don't and believe inertia simply is what it is. There's really nothing more to it than that. Sometimes, there doesn't need to be an answer to everything. For example, why is the strong interaction stronger than the electromagnetic interaction? There really isn't any way to answer that question at least from a physicist's perspective. It simply just is and let's leave it at that.
An exceptionally incurious perspective. Seems inappropriate to a spaceflight board.

Offline 93143

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #358 on: 06/22/2013 04:42 AM »
Hopefully this physics discussion is starting to wind down; it's making me nervous.  It seems to be a question of reading the references, because I suspect neither of us has sufficient expertise to hash it out in detail here even if we were allowed to.

from my understanding so far, Sciama's work on this seems to be using a different mathematical formulation to come to the same results as predicted by GR

Not exactly.  As I understand it, his idea was that the inertial effect in GR can be shown to result from the field solution in the presence of sources, rather than being assumed a priori.

Okay, yes, in his first paper (1953) he derived the effect from a vector theory of gravity that turned out to be an approximation to GR, but the principle is the same.

In a second paper (1969) he and his coauthors worked out a linearized integral form of Einstein's field equations suitable for doing the problem right.  Further work was done by a number of researchers, including Gilman (1970), a coauthor of the 1969 paper, who showed that of a number of different spacetimes (Minkowski, Gödel, etc.), only the Robertson-Walker metric (ie: the set of big-bang cosmologies) was Machian.  Citations of the 1969 paper continue right up to the present day, including work related to Mach's principle (see Hanno Essén, Eur. J. Physics (2013)).

It seems solving the Einstein field equations without approximation techniques can be really really hard...  who knew?

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and not Mach's Principle, which is essentially "spooky action at a distance" and is not limited causally by the speed of light according to the interpretations of Woodward et al.

Woodward describes the interaction with distant matter happening at the speed of light; he conjectures a transactional radiative interaction involving both advanced and retarded waves, but as I understand it this is not assumed in the derivation, which has to do with local effects in the context of the local value of the total gravitational potential (c˛).

I have to look into this more, but I've been busy...

I'll emphasize that: Woodward does not posit superluminal interactions.

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Sometimes, there doesn't need to be an answer to everything.

Now you've gone and touched on a philosophical issue...  In any case, you've granted me the point.

Einstein considered Mach's principle to be one of the three pillars of general relativity, along with the equivalence principle and general covariance, and remarked on how odd it was that people kept ignoring it.  He never came up with a good way to include it explicitly, but if Sciama was approximately correct it's just as well.

...

Well, whatever you think of Woodward's mass fluctuation derivation (and I haven't been able to give it enough sustained attention to form a solid opinion yet), the foundation seems to be plausible, and the experiments do seem to be working...
« Last Edit: 06/22/2013 07:12 AM by 93143 »

Offline R7

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Re: Woodward's effect
« Reply #359 on: 06/22/2013 12:20 PM »
Has MEMS been considered as a way to build a prototype? Individual vibrating masses would be miniscule but manufacturing would enable building large array of them. Microscopic mechanical structures should enable quite high frequency oscillation.

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