Author Topic: EM Drive Developments - related to space flight applications - Thread 2  (Read 2105758 times)

Online Rodal

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....
Be it nuclear, fuel cell or even solar, as the source of electricity, mass is being expended in the form of electrons. (Solar is taking advantage of the Sun's own expendature of mass in the form of photons).  Whiloe the quantity of mass being expended is minute, it IS being expended.
   ...
Even if (for discussion's sake) mass would be converted into energy with a nuclear reaction E=mc^2 inside the spacecraft to provide the electricity for the EM Drive, that does not solve the conundrum: the issue is not "to expend energy", the issue is to satisfy conservation of momentum.  If no mass leaves the spacecraft, while kinetic energy is converted into a change in momentum of the spacecraft's center of mass, you still have the same conundrum and the same paradoxes I previously noted:

The needed power for the EM Drive (to escape the surface of the Earth, or anything else you want the spacecraft to do) depends on your frame of reference. 

As Paul March himself admitted, for their Quantum Vacuum explanation for the EM Drive to hold, they need to disrespect the mainstream physics assumption that the Quantum Vacuum is indestructible and immutable.

Bottom line: no, "according to basic physics, it should" not be possible to directly convert electrical energy into a spacecraft's momentum change without any change in mass of the spacecraft (or the action of external forces).  If the EM Drive were to work for space propulsion, it certainly would not be explainable in terms of mainstream physics where conservation of momentum is paramount, and the Quantum Vacuum is both indestructible and immutable.



Just being curious: What, in your book, would be the most important theoretical consequences of the discovery of a different QV nature?
If the QV is not immutable and indestructible, the theoretical and practical consequences would be so groundbreaking that they would make the 20th century's discoveries of atomic and nuclear energy pale in comparison.

Dr. Rodal:

"If the QV is not immutable and indestructible,''')

We've not tired to make that a secret and in fact that is at the core of our Q-V conjecture and Q-V plasma code that Dr. White and Dr. Vera have written that produced the Q-Thruster thrust predictions that I posted earlier on this forum.  And this new paper is an expansion of Dr. White's STAIF-2007 conjecture and a partial rebuttal to the criticisms raised by the NASA Blue Ribbon panel's critique from last summer, an independent body of eight PhDs knowledge in the field that was created by NASA/JSC/EP management to vet Dr. White's QVF/MHD conjecture.  And yes, if the accumulated chemical and nuclear data keeps pointing us in the same direction as it and our own experimental data has so far, we will be able to transmit and receive momentum through the Q-V via Q-Thruster like device.  AND ultimately, be able harvest energy from the Q-V based cosmological gravitational field via various thermodynamic processes, at least in the far term.  So find attached the Abstract and Introduction of our "Dynamics of the Vacuum" paper that will be out on the NASA servers hopefully by the end of April.

Best, Paul M.

Paul,

Well, certainly the NASA Eagleworks team has very strong convictions and guts.  Pursuing the conjecture that the QV is not immutable and indestructible will run full front against physicists like Prof. John Baez and Dr. Sean Carroll that not only have commented that one cannot extract momentum from the Quantum Vacuum, but that extracting energy from the QV is impossible.   Baez, for example, wrote:


Quote from: Baez http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/follow-up-what-is-the-zer/
"One should not take this vacuum energy too literally, however, because the free-field theory is just a mathematical tool to help us understand what we are really interested in: the interacting theory. Only the interacting theory is supposed to correspond directly to reality. Because the vacuum state of the interacting theory is the state of least energy in reality, there is no way to extract the vacuum energy and use it for anything.

"It is a bit like this: say a bank found it more convenient (for some strange reason) to start counting at 1,000, so that even when you had no money in the bank, your account read $1,000. You might get excited and try to spend this $1,000, but the bank would say, 'Sorry, that $1,000 is just an artifact of how we do our bookkeeping: you're actually flat broke.'

"Similarly, one should not get one's hope up when people talk about vacuum energy. It is just how we do our bookkeeping in quantum field theory. There is much more to say about why we do our bookkeeping this funny way, but I will stop here.



Can you point out people in academia that also think that it may be possible that the Quantum Vacuum is not immutable and indestructible, (whether based on higher dimensional branes using string theory or based on other theories)?

Of course, I am aware that Albert Einstein wrote  ;)

Quote from: Albert Einstein
The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone, is likely to find himself/herself in places no one has ever been


« Last Edit: 04/08/2015 07:42 PM by Rodal »

Offline Star-Drive

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Dr. Rodal:

Sonny White formulated a compressible quantum vacuum conjecture that requires us to live in a portion of the universe that is immersed in a false vacuum that apparently has a ground or zero-energy level much smaller than science first assumed.  However what will drive this debate is experimental data first and foremost.  Experimental data like what just came out of the Eagleworks Lab's latest warp-field interferometer tests based on 27,000, 1.5 second long on/off data samples that indicates we have finally observed the first spacetime contraction effects that we are fairly confident are the real deal.  We again are looking for more possible false positives as well as ways of increasing the signal to noise ratio above its current ~2-to-3 sigma level, which I've already suggested several ways to do so to Dr. White.  However what is really interesting about these new test results is that the laser interferometer observed spacetime contractions are being developed in a TM010 RF resonant cavity that is driving ac E-field levels over 900kV/m at a 1.48 GHz rate.  A similar RF resonant system used to implement the EM-Drive and Q-thruster designs, for these spacetime contraction effects are paramount to the operation of both.

BTW, we have also started the build of our 1.2kW magnetron powered EM-Drive prototype in a tetter-totter balance system that is being built to replicate the thrust magnitudes of the Shawyer tests and the Chinese replication of same.  Estimated build time should in the 2 month time period with the limited manpower available.  A picture of the chaotic magnetron spectra that will be used on this system is attached along with the TE011 mode that will be driven.

Best,  Paul M.
« Last Edit: 04/09/2015 03:15 AM by Star-Drive »
Star-Drive

Offline Stormbringer

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this might be topical here:  http://phys.org/news/2015-04-electromagnetism-enable-antennas-chip.html

Since it couples electromagnetic radiation in dielectrics with quantum phenomenon.
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Online RotoSequence

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this might be topical here:  http://phys.org/news/2015-04-electromagnetism-enable-antennas-chip.html

Since it couples electromagnetic radiation in dielectrics with quantum phenomenon.

I found the abstract at Physical Review Letters:

Quote
We report our observation that radiation from a system of accelerating charges is possible only when there is explicit breaking of symmetry in the electric field in space within the spatial configuration of the radiating system. Under symmetry breaking, current within an enclosed area around the radiating structure is not conserved at a certain instant of time resulting in radiation in free space. Electromagnetic radiation from dielectric and piezoelectric material based resonators are discussed in this context. Finally, it is argued that symmetry of a resonator of any form can be explicitly broken to create a radiating antenna.

I haven't had any luck finding an online link to the paper itself.
« Last Edit: 04/09/2015 07:41 AM by RotoSequence »

Offline Star One

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It wouldn't surprise me if it turned out to be on a paid for service somewhere, in my limited experience that seems to be the case when you can only locate abstracts.
« Last Edit: 04/09/2015 11:25 AM by Star One »

Online Flyby

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BTW, we have also started the build of our 1.2kW magnetron powered EM-Drive prototype in a tetter-totter balance system that is being built to replicate the thrust magnitudes of the Shawyer tests and the Chinese replication of same.  Estimated build time should in the 2 month time period with the limited manpower available.  A picture of the chaotic magnetron spectra that will be used on this system is attached along with the TE011 mode that will be driven.

Best,  Paul M.

Exciting news to hear you're going for the (high) power output. That should help to finalize the debate if this phenomena is real or not...
A door to a new understanding of the world, or just yet another crackpot theory...
If this setup will generate a clear directional force then the controversy can shift towards the theoretical search on how it's  possible...

One of the things to keep in mind while building the new setup, is to have the ability to change the Q factor. I don't know if you can already factor it in now, or that it would be better to keep that for a later phase?
Shawyer's envisioned real world application rests on the notion that a dramatically increased Q will result in a substantial force increase. I've not yet seen any evidence for that...

thumbs up ! and let's hope for a positive result...

Offline Star-Drive

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this might be topical here:  http://phys.org/news/2015-04-electromagnetism-enable-antennas-chip.html

Since it couples electromagnetic radiation in dielectrics with quantum phenomenon.

Great find!  And it may provide another way to excite METs, EM-Drives and Q-Thrusters.

Dr. Rodal:

"Can you point out people in academia that also think that it may be possible that the Quantum Vacuum is not immutable and indestructible, (whether based on higher dimensional branes using string theory or based on other theories)?"

I have several papers at work that may satisfy your quest and I'll bring them home this evening to upload them to NSF.  In the meantime here are a couple of papers that are at least related to your question.
« Last Edit: 04/09/2015 12:39 PM by Star-Drive »
Star-Drive

Online Giovanni DS

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From the wikipedia article on magnetrons:

"In the post-war era the magnetron became less widely used in the radar role. This was due to the fact that the magnetron's output changes from pulse to pulse, both in frequency and phase."

"Phase is almost never preserved, which makes the magnetron difficult to use in phased array systems. Frequency also drifts pulse to pulse, a more difficult problem for a wider array of radar systems."

How would this phase instability affect this kind of system? the risk is to get incoherent data.


Offline Stormbringer

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I don't want to put a tangent on this discussion here but I have a question about something that could pertain to exotic drives of this nature. I posted my question in the "ansible" thread at http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37002.msg1355745#msg1355745

The post is reply 38 in that thread. It's about the implicit negative mass that should have to be involved in turning positive mass particles into  zero mass meta-particles called unparticles in the literature. I would appreciate your thoughts (because there are some heavy hitters in this thread) but over there so as not to further disturb this thread.
« Last Edit: 04/09/2015 02:21 PM by Stormbringer »
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Online Rodal

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I don't want to put a tangent on this discussion here but I have a question about something that could pertain to exotic drives of this nature. I posted my question in the "ansible" thread at http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37002.msg1355745#msg1355745

The post is reply 38 in that thread. It's about the implicit negative mass that should have to be involved in turning positive mass particles into  zero mass meta-particles called unparticles in the literature. I would appreciate your thoughts (because there are some heavy hitters in this thread) but over there so as not to further disturb this thread.

There is no mention of negative mass (implicit or explicit) in Georgi's presentations:

http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~hgeorgi/public-slides.pdf

http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~hgeorgi/utalkc.pdf

or in his papers:

http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-ph/0703260v3.pdf

http://arxiv.org/pdf/0704.2457v2.pdf

In fact, I don't think that Georgi's theory has anything to do with negative mass.  (and I'm glad about that  ;) )

Quote from: Georgi
We know the missing mass is zero if there is a single invisible massless particle. what missing mass do we expect for two? In any given event, we don’t know, but if we repeat the process many times, the angle between the two invisible particle momenta will be distributed at random.  If there are three invisible massless particles, all three momenta have to line up exactly to get zero missing mass, even less likely to happen at random! So small missing mass is even more unlikely, and the number of events as a function of missing mass would increase even faster

Quote from: FERMILAB  http://www.fnal.gov/pub/today/archive/archive_2014/today14-10-23.html
In a particle detector, unparticles would look like particles with random masses. One unparticle decay might have many times the apparent mass of the next — the distribution would be broad.

Also keep in mind that this unparticle  stuff is still a theoretical conjecture and that such unparticle stuff has not been verified in experiments.

« Last Edit: 04/09/2015 06:54 PM by Rodal »

Offline Mulletron

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While that's all very interesting. You can immediately rule out the drive's functionality because of the lack of reaction mass. CoM is clearly broken.

I only have a minor in physics so I honestly can't understand most of what's talked about here, but I know at the least you can't go about thrusting around the universe with no particles/energy leaving the engine without something like an Alcubierre drive. Even if you're pushing against quantum virtual particle pairs, virtual particle pairs have opposite signs so will be propelled in opposite directions thus canceling out any net force.

I have yet to year a simple explanation of how this drive works that doesn't dive into theoretical physics to explain its operation. It is true of everything in physics that simple laws lead to complex behavior. If the operation of the EmDrive or other various families of the drive cannot be explained in an abstract way within a couple sentences then it doesn't work.

People are being sold snake oil and I don't like it.

"We don't know how, why, or if it works and known physics do not readily suffice, therefore it doesn't work and its proponents are perpetuating fraud" is jumping the gun a bit, don't you think?

Tornados don't produces magical instruments. They produce junk. Luck doesn't make engineering.

The chances of someone stumbling upon some contraption that violates physics principles by throwing electronics parts out of his garage together is nil.

"I  only have a minor in physics so I honestly can't understand most of what's talked about here, but I know at the least you can't go about thrusting around the universe with no particles/energy leaving the engine without something like an Alcubierre drive. Even if you're pushing against quantum virtual particle pairs, virtual particle pairs have opposite signs so will be propelled in opposite directions thus canceling out any net force."

In a neutral plasma there is an equal number of plus and minus electrical charges or ions that can react to applied E-fields and B-fields in various ways.  If there is only an electric field applied to the plasma volume then yes the positive charges will go one way and the negative charges will go in the opposite direction.  However if we apply a spatially crossed E-field and B-field across this volume, then we have a Lorentz force produced on the plasma ions that is at right angles to the applied E-field and B-field.  Then BOTH the positive and negative ions will be accelerated in the SAME direction, but with counter rotating twists AKA Gyro radius modifying their accelerated trajectories. All of these EM-Drive like thruster utilize some form of this Lorentz force acceleration on some type of propellant, be it real as in a Hall thruster or semi-virtual.

Best, Paul M.

Playing devil's advocate, I've spent two days researching this but I simply can't find any evidence which can support that virtual particles can be accelerated and used as propellant in this fashion.

Evidence from multiple sources suggests treating virtual particle pairs as a plasma to be accelerated by the Lorentz force is not possible.

In addition, the Lorentz invariance of the QV precludes this.

Every resource I can find tells me that virtual particles are not on mass shell, are not subject to the classical equations of motion, and can't be accelerated by the Lorentz force.

http://web.mit.edu/course/22/22.09/ClassHandouts/Charged%20Particle%20Accel/CHAP03.PDF
http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/news/new-face-feynman-diagrams/deeper-dive-shell-and-shell
http://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/virtual-particles-what-are-they/
http://cronodon.com/Atomic/QED.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equations_of_motion#Electrodynamics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_shell_and_off_shell
https://universe-review.ca/R15-17-relativity01.htm








« Last Edit: 04/09/2015 08:10 PM by Mulletron »
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Online Rodal

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Concerning the issue of Lorentz covariance,  Paul March has pointed towards multi-dimensional branes in string theory and multi-vacuum states.

In quantum gravity, there doesn't seem to be a single unique observer-independent notion of a quantum gravity vacuum state (examples: the Unruh effect and Hawking radiation), hence no Lorentz covariance. Perhaps in quantum gravity the whole family of states taken together are Poincare invariant or invariant under a higher group. 

Even if this would be the case, I don't understand how these (otherwise inaccessible extra dimensions of string theory) multi-vacuum states would be accessible with simple EM Drive experiments: they involve comparatively low energies (we are not dealing with a particle accelerator and much less with a black hole), they are conducted at room temperature, and they involve electromagnetic standing waves and therefore the Poynting vector is constantly switching sign at a frequency twice as high as the frequency of the electromagnetic fields in the EM Drive. 

Also I cannot understand where the direction of the force in Dr. White's computer program is coming from. Paul admitted that Dr. White's model has the force depending on the energy density instead of the Poynting vector ExB.  This takes care of the harmonic time-average issue, because the energy density has a positive (never negative) time average.  But this energy density Too is the time-time component of the contravariant stress-energy tensor T



Therefore this stress-energy tensor component   Too has no preferred direction in space. 

Where does the directionality in space come from in Dr. White's computer model ?



For example, since 4D=3D+time spacetime is difficult to conceptualize, imagine that the time coordinate is the "x" coordinate in the following graph and the space coordinates are y and z:



Then, the  Too component of the energy-stress tensor is equivalent to the σxx component in this image.  One can see that the  σxx component is pointed in the x direction and it has no directionality along y or z coordinates (which are perpendicular to it).  Similarly, the energy density  Too is pointed in the time direction: it has no directionality along any of the space coordinates.
« Last Edit: 04/10/2015 12:39 AM by Rodal »

Offline Star-Drive

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Dr. Rodal:

As promised, find attached a few related papers from work.  As to the rest of your and Mulletron's concerns over the Eagleworks evolving theoretical musings on the EM-Drive propulsion topic, I leave you with Boyd Bushman's, (was senior scientist at LM/FW, now retired and passed-on), admonition to me when I first met him back in 2000 when discussing Jim Woodward's Mach-Effect work with Boyd's boss, "Follow the data, theory be dammed!"  We intend to do just that, no matter where it might take us.

Best,  Paul M.
« Last Edit: 04/10/2015 03:39 AM by Star-Drive »
Star-Drive

Offline dustinthewind

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I just thought this graphic might be interesting for some.  Hopefully it's correct... i think.  It just illustrates the resonating waves as traveling waves and sort of illustrates how they can alter from B max to E max or in-between. 

I found it interesting that doppler shift in the cavity, when it starts moving, should give the bouncing light a poynting vector indicating the light and cavity are in motion relative to the moving frame observer. 

Another thought is, what if the waves in the cavity are experiencing some change in velocity?  Why would this happen?  The thought goes back to the Casimir Force on two plates where radiation of wavelengths larger than a specific length can't exist between the plates.   I can't quite remember where but I thought I read that tunneling was thought to happen faster than light across the plates and one explanation was the dielectric constant of space between the plates had changed to give space an index of refraction smaller than that of free space and so the light jumped the gap faster than light.  So what if the cone shaped cavity could be slightly modifying the speed of light inside the cavity in a similar manner to the Casimir effect (narrow end as opposed to the larger end)? 

One exhaustive article on the matter, haven't read through it yet: http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/9911062
connected I think: http://cds.cern.ch/record/409429

Possibly connected and mentions ZPE thrust: http://utahspace.org/special/zero_point.html

and plenty more scattered on the webbs: http://www.utahspace.org/special/casimir-force-thrusters.html
Quote from site:"NASA Lewis Research Center Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Workshop (January 1999). Dr. Raymond Chio, in the Physics Dept. of the University of California-Berkley, has reported observation of a photon tunneling through a barrier at three times the speed of light."<-- "I believe faster-than-light tunneling times can be predicted and accurately controlled, without the need for a barrier, by both extending wave properties of a photon past its energy barrier, and using capacitive reactance phase shift correspondence, with related timing constants."

If so then maybe a change in light velocity would offset the phase of transformations from B to E inside the cavity? 
« Last Edit: 04/10/2015 05:51 AM by dustinthewind »

Offline sanman

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Just reading an excerpt from this:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/04/magnetron-powered-em-drive-construction.html#more

Quote
Sonny White formulated a compressible quantum vacuum conjecture that requires us to live in a portion of the universe that is immersed in a false vacuum that apparently has a ground or zero-energy level much smaller than science first assumed. However what will drive this debate is experimental data first and foremost. Experimental data like what just came out of the Eagleworks Lab's latest warp-field interferometer tests based on 27,000, 1.5 second long on/off data samples that indicates we have finally observed the first spacetime contraction effects that we are fairly confident are the real deal. We again are looking for more possible false positives as well as ways of increasing the signal to noise ratio above its current ~2-to-3 sigma level, which I've already suggested several ways to do so to Dr. White. However what is really interesting about these new test results is that the laser interferometer observed spacetime contractions are being developed in a TM010 RF resonant cavity that is driving ac E-field levels over 900kV/m at a 1.48 GHz rate. A similar RF resonant system used to implement the EM-Drive and Q-thruster designs, for these spacetime contraction effects are paramount to the operation of both.

So is Dr White claiming that his interferometer is detecting a path-length difference resulting from an applied voltage on a capacitor ring?

Online Rodal

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Dr. Rodal:

As promised, find attached a few related papers from work.  As to the rest of your and Mulletron's concerns over the Eagleworks evolving theoretical musings on the EM-Drive propulsion topic, I leave you with Boyd Bushman's, (was senior scientist at LM/FW, now retired and passed-on), admonition to me when I first met him back in 2000 when discussing Jim Woodward's Mach-Effect work with Boyd's boss, "Follow the data, theory be dammed!"  We intend to do just that, no matter where it might take us.

Best,  Paul M.

Paul,

Thanks so much for taking the time to dig and post these papers.  The new paper by Bush (2015) from MIT, showing that one can model quantum statistics hydrodynamically,  is outstanding, very clearly written.  :)

Also see this 2012 article from Hajdukovic from CERN, who envisions the Quantum Vacuum as a fluid where the virtual particle-antiparticle pairs in the quantum vacuum may be considered as gravitational dipoles:

"Quantum Vacuum and Virtual Gravitational Dipoles: The solution to the Dark Energy Problem?"

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1201/1201.4594.pdf

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212686414000077

and this 2014 paper:

"Virtual gravitational dipoles as alternative to cosmic inflation in the primordial Universe"

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00965289v1/document

and this 2014 easy-to-follow presentation:

http://sigrav.na.infn.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Dragan.pdf


Wiki article on antimatter gravitation:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimatter_gravity_measurement

Physics society:  http://physics.aps.org/synopsis-for/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.121102

CERN's antimatter gravitation experiment (ALPHA)  http://alpha.web.cern.ch/node/248

Quote from: CERN
Based on our data, we can exclude the possibility that the gravitiational mass of antihydrogen is more than 110 times its inertial mass, or that it falls upwards with a gravitational mass more than 65 times its inertial mass.

Our results far from settle the question of antimatter gravity. But they open the way towards higher-precision measurements in the future, using the same technique, but more, and colder trapped antihydrogen atoms, and a better understanding of the systematic effects in our apparatus.

Tests at CERN
— The ALPHA Collaboration; A.E. Charman. Description and first
application of a new technique to measure the gravitational mass of
antihydrogen, Nat. Commun. 4 (2013) 1785.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2787
— A. Kellerbauer, Proposed antimatter gravity measurement with an
antihydrogen beam Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. B 266 (2008) 351–
356
— P. Perez, Y. Sacquin, The GBAR experiment: gravitational behaviour of
antihy- drogen at rest Class. Quantum Gravity 29 (2012) 184008





« Last Edit: 04/10/2015 02:31 PM by Rodal »

Offline Star One

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Talking of CERN will the LHC be able to help with any of this? I know they are using it to see if they can prove if super-symmetry exists.
« Last Edit: 04/10/2015 03:02 PM by Star One »

Online Rodal

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Talking of CERN will the LHC be able to help with any of this? I know they are using it to see if they can prove if super-symmetry exists.

No, this is not directly related to the LHC (except that they get the antiprotons from a particle accelerator). The CERN ALPHA experiment uses instead a magnetic trap  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_trap_%28atoms%29), a Penning trap ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penning_trap  )  and an anhilitation detector (Silicon Vertex Detector http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_detector ).  In the Penning trap  charged plasmas of positron, antiproton and electrons are confined in a superposition of magnetic and electric fields. The Plasmas are axially confined in the Penning trap by quadratic electric potentials. Charged particles in the trap travel in the direction of the magnetic field lines and cannot escape outwards, or perpendicular to the field. The potentials in CERN's ALPHA experiment are produced by the application of DC voltages to a stack of hollow cylindrical electrodes.

(This is in direct contrast with the EM Drive because it uses DC voltages, in contrast  with the use of GigaHertz AC electromagnetic standing waves at room temperature in the EM Drive  !!!! ).

In the trap, positron and electron particles are subjected to the Lorenz force. The Lorenz force deflects particles perpendicular to the magnetic field, causing them to spiral around magnetic field lines.

The ALPHA trap electrodes are mounted inside of a vacuum chamber surrounded by a liquid helium cryostat ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryostat ).

Notes: Because antihydrogen is neutral, it cannot be held in a traditional Penning trap.  Therefore the ALPHA experiment uses a non-traditional Penning trap.

ALPHA derives its positrons from a radioactive beta-decay source containing an isotope of sodium, Na-22 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positron_emission)

Positrons implanted into solid material typically have a lifetime less than one nanosecond, a thousand millionth of a second. However, during that brief time most will slow down by a variety of energy loss processes to reach kinetic energies close to those characteristic of the temperature of the solid. This process is termed moderation, as the positron’s kinetic energy is lowered, or moderated. Whilst most of the positrons penetrate deep into the bulk of the material and annihilate there, about 1% stop close enough to the surface that they can diffuse back to it before they annihilate. Incredibly, most of the positrons which reach the surface are emitted into vacuum at low energy, and can be readily formed into a beam and transported, typically using magnetic guiding fields. ALPHA uses a solid film of condensed neon as its moderator; this is one of the most efficient positron moderators.







« Last Edit: 04/10/2015 08:44 PM by Rodal »

Online Rodal

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I should also note that there are a number of prestigious scientists that wholly disagree with John Baez's assertion that virtual particles are just a bookkeeping device and that they are not real ( http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36313.msg1355580#msg1355580 ) .  For example Gordon Kane, director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, also writing in Scientific American (as did John Baez with that comment) who wrote:

Quote from: Gordon Kane, director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Virtual particles are indeed real particles...But while the virtual particles are briefly part of our world they can interact with other particles, and that leads to a number of tests of the quantum-mechanical predictions about virtual particles. The first test was understood in the late 1940s. In a hydrogen atom an electron and a proton are bound together by photons (the quanta of the electromagnetic field). Every photon will spend some time as a virtual electron plus its antiparticle, the virtual positron, since this is allowed by quantum mechanics as described above. The hydrogen atom has two energy levels that coincidentally seem to have the same energy. But when the atom is in one of those levels it interacts differently with the virtual electron and positron than when it is in the other, so their energies are shifted a tiny bit because of those interactions. That shift was measured by Willis Lamb and the Lamb shift was born, for which a Nobel Prize was eventually awarded....
Another very good test some readers may want to look up, which we do not have space to describe here, is the Casimir effect, where forces between metal plates in empty space are modified by the presence of virtual particles.

Thus virtual particles are indeed real and have observable effects that physicists have devised ways of measuring.



http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-virtual-particles-rea/

and it has been predicted since the 1930's that a very strong electric field would transform virtual particles into real ones that we can observe (by separating the particle and antiparticle, so as to prevent annihilation of each other).  Lasers in the future may make this real:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19327-lasers-could-make-virtual-particles-real.html#.VSgmJfmjNpV

and this has already been done with photons:

http://phys.org/news/2011-11-scientists-vacuum.html

The assumption that the Quantum Vacuum is indestructible and immutable demands that virtual particles are exactly the same as real particles because of the experimental observation that a fundamental particle like an electron (or a positron) has the same properties (e.g. mass, charge or spin), regardless of when or where the particle was created, whether now or in the early universe, through astrophysical processes or in a laboratory.

The photons created by the Chalmers scientist, Christopher Wilson and his co-workers, who succeeded in getting photons to leave their virtual state and become real photons, are indistinguishable from real photons now and here, or photons from the early universe arriving to us.  Particles like photons, electrons, positrons, protons and antiprotons don't come with tags reading "virtual" or "real", they don't have hair, or any distinguishing features from each other.



What I have a problem seeing is how the very low power electromagnetic fields in the EM Drive operated at room temperature, and the fact that the electromagnetic fields in the EM Drive are standing waves whose Poynting vector is changing direction at a frequency twice as high as the operating frequency, can result in thrust from the vacuum acting like a positron/electron plasma.  And I also don't see how Dr. White's computer code can get a directional thrust from the energy density, which, as I discussed is a scalar component with no direction in space ( http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36313.msg1355995#msg1355995 ).
« Last Edit: 04/10/2015 08:23 PM by Rodal »

Offline Stormbringer

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excuse me but isn't the laser thing is an accomplished fact now? A few years ago there was a couple of related articles on a desktop accelerator that generated electrons and positrons then separated them with magnets.

http://phys.org/news/2013-06-physicists-tabletop-antimatter-gun.html

http://phys.org/news/2013-06-particle-tabletop-chapter-science.html


here is one of them and then there were two more. the third talks about (the rapidly approaching future ability)  using colliding laser beams to create matter out of photons.

http://phys.org/news/2014-05-scientists-year-quest.html

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19327-lasers-could-make-virtual-particles-real.html
« Last Edit: 04/10/2015 09:28 PM by Stormbringer »
When antigravity is outlawed only outlaws will have antigravity.

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