Author Topic: EM Drive Developments - related to space flight applications - Thread 2  (Read 2163351 times)

Offline Hexadecibel

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I'm not a engineer, or an academic,  but like those new users before me I too possess an armchair and access to basic physics books. This qualifies me as well to come here and make snarky remarks and say it can't be done.


Checkmate scientists.


But seriously. No one here is touting any sort of discovery. Science is happening, and if it can not be reproduced than it will sort itself out. You would think professionals of such caliber would have better things to do than stoop to trolling.
« Last Edit: 05/01/2015 02:53 AM by Hexadecibel »

Offline JordanLeDoux

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If you have a new physical theory which predicts some phenomenon, it should reduce to previously known physical theories, and be able to explain existing experiments and observations. If I believe that the EM drive is actually providing some nonclassical, unexplained thrust, I must throw out 100+ years of physics experiment and theory. I choose not to do that, which is why I do not believe further experimentation is warranted. Others may choose differently, but then they should ask themselves why they are so eager to disregard such a large body of established science.

I think Shawyer is completely wrong, but the device might very well produce thrust.

This: http://physicsfromtheedge.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/mihsc-101.html

Is a theory of inertia that predicts the effects of dark matter and dark energy, and one of its only testable claims with today's technology would be something like the EmDrive.

Offline squid

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I'm going to preface this by admitting straight off the bat that I don't actually know why it wouldn't have been noticed before. However, the functionality of these EM drives is dependent on resonance, which requires the broadcast energy to be absorbed, or at the very least contained, by the cavity. For the purposes of transmission, resonating cavities are a characteristic of inefficiency and loss to design against, no?

For transmission, sure, but antennas and the like are by definition resonant structures. Most microwave sources include a resonant cavity. Waveguides are resonant structures. Most concerning for the present work are superconducting RF cavities in particle accelerators (see the attached picture). I have personally worked with cavities similar to those in the picture. They are superconducting at 4K being made out of niobium, and typically support >10 MV/m of electric field, with quality factors of several 10's of million. Any loss of energy to an external medium would have been readily apparent, and we would not be able to run the LHC if there was some unknown effect affecting these sorts of cavities. Not to mention... those walls are actually fairly thin! If we believe the EM drive thrust claims... they would have buckled under the strain and torn from their mountings.

Please believe me, I am not trolling. I am a scientist who has been in love with space and NASA since my first visit to KSC as a kid some 20 years ago. I got to see the shuttle land! It was amazing! I am seriously concerned that these "results" will damage the credibility of the organization and making it even harder for people who are legitimately trying to advance science to secure funding [which is damn hard already...].

Offline sanman

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So what are the leading contenders among established physical phenomena which could account for some of the observations/results from the experimental apparatus?

Could these results be due to a mere photon rocket - ie. due to mere photon emissions?
Could they be due to the EM fields interacting with the rest of the apparatus in ways that would throw off the measurements?

Could the results be due to some mechanical effect of electric current passing through wires, etc?

List the possible legitimate effects that could be contributing to these anomalous results, and then figure out ways to modify the rig to eliminate or otherwise correct for them.

Offline squid

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So what are the leading contenders among established physical phenomena which could account for some of the observations/results from the experimental apparatus?

Could these results be due to a mere photon rocket - ie. due to mere photon emissions?
Could they be due to the EM fields interacting with the rest of the apparatus in ways that would throw off the measurements?

Could the results be due to some mechanical effect of electric current passing through wires, etc?

List the possible legitimate effects that could be contributing to these anomalous results, and then figure out ways to modify the rig to eliminate or otherwise correct for them.

In my personal opinion, in order of likleyhood

1. Buckling of the structure due to thermal or electromagnetic stresses
2. Lorentz forces from the current being carried to the device
3. Noise in electronics (there should be an error budget, and steps should be taken to minimize crosstalk, which is HIGHLY NONTRIVIAL when dealing with large RF powers). Signal to noise of (eyeballing) ~10 is pretty bad for such a huge claim.
4. Magnetic interaction between cavity and vacuum chamber wall

How to eliminate almost all of these (and for the life of me I can't understand why this hasn't been done, as it's pretty obvious) -- and I should credit Dymytry for the suggestion upthread:

1. Place the ENTIRE apparatus in a thermally shielded, electrically shielded hermetic enclosure. Doesn't need to be a vacuum, doesn't need to be anything fancy. A few hours in a machine shop with some aluminum plate is all you need for this. Mu-metal (to screen magnetic fields) would be best, though, with perhaps some polystyrene insulation on the outside. This would include a battery powered RF amplifier. Doesn't need to be anything fancy -- switch it on with a timer after you seal up, for example.

2. Hang the entire apparatus on a Cavendish-style torsion balance.

IF it moves:

3. Replicate the experiment with a 50 ohm load instead of a cavity.

IF it moves:

4. Replicate the experiment with cavities made of different metal, or filled with dielectric... this should reduce the e-field (lower the Q) and show less thrust.

Then I will be much more convinced that something interesting is going on.

Offline WarpTech

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Go back and read the entire thread, you'll find they already did most of what you suggested. Their Rig has been tested and has not been falsified.

There is another explanation that has been around for many decades, it is that variations in the gravitational field are indistinguishable from variations in the refractive index of the vacuum. When you refer to the Lorentz invariance of Maxwell's equations, this does not hold in a vacuum where epsilon0 and mu0 are variables. In General Relativity we refer to the metric components, g^uv. These can and are interpreted as components of a variable refractive index, in the Polarizable Vacuum Model. Primarily refined by Hal Puthoff, a few papers of my own and many others have contributed to it. There are many, many papers on this available.

In this case, the interior energy density is not symmetrical, so the refractive index has a gradient. It was said in a previous post that the speed of light inside is different than it is outside. This is the correct interpretation, however it must include a gradient in the refractive index, as it passes through the structure itself, to cause motion. The gradient in the refractive index "is" a gravitational field. That is what the warp drive requires.

In a separate experiment, they may have shown that the speed of light inside the chamber varies. The amount is varies would only be noticed "IF" you were looking for it. Most resonant systems are "tuned" to eliminate such affects in manufacturing. In such a small cavity, I'm not confident it can be measured.


 


Offline cuddihy

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No, no one has enclosed the entire apparatus and power suppply in a faraday cage and checked that...but that's not a trivial test to put together, either,  even if it should be easier than a vacuum rig.

Maybe you do that with additional funding if the new magnetron setup works?

Offline Hexadecibel

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The mere fact that this saga has continued for 15 years without a definitive experiment such as suggested by squid leads one to smell a rat! Could it all just be due to poor experimental method?

Granted. But perhaps maybe its been dragged on for 15 years because no one would take it seriously. Consider how sad it would be if that were the case. This is certainly the first I've heard of it.

Eagleworks isn't full of crackpots. If they discover it was experimental error then that will be the end of it. Hand waving this away because you do not agree with their observations wont kill it, but the science they're doing now will.

Offline George Turner

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How to eliminate almost all of these (and for the life of me I can't understand why this hasn't been done, as it's pretty obvious) -- and I should credit Dymytry for the suggestion upthread:

1. Place the ENTIRE apparatus in a thermally shielded, electrically shielded hermetic enclosure. Doesn't need to be a vacuum, doesn't need to be anything fancy. A few hours in a machine shop with some aluminum plate is all you need for this. Mu-metal (to screen magnetic fields) would be best, though, with perhaps some polystyrene insulation on the outside. This would include a battery powered RF amplifier. Doesn't need to be anything fancy -- switch it on with a timer after you seal up, for example.

2. Hang the entire apparatus on a Cavendish-style torsion balance.

IF it moves:

3. Replicate the experiment with a 50 ohm load instead of a cavity.

IF it moves:

4. Replicate the experiment with cavities made of different metal, or filled with dielectric... this should reduce the e-field (lower the Q) and show less thrust.

Then I will be much more convinced that something interesting is going on.

Many months ago I noted that if electrons are flowing, it's almost impossible not to accidentally build an electric motor or actuator, however weak, unless everything in the circuit is bolted or glued down.  Also, almost any material with a band gap can form a crappy little diode and create a DC current and corresponding magnetic field.  Going back to Newton, if the unit is being pushed, something else is getting pushed, too.

So imagine the test unit is the rotor, and the goal is to make the stator reveal itself.  My suggestion was to take every bit of test equipment in the room, from computers, cables, tables, chairs, and the Faraday cage, and suspend them all from the ceiling with strings, so that their pendular period of oscillation is some interval T.  Then cycle the test unit on and off with period T for an hour and see which pieces of equipment are swinging.  Those would be the stators.

Offline matthewpapa

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Go back and read the entire thread, you'll find they already did most of what you suggested. Their Rig has been tested and has not been falsified.

There is another explanation that has been around for many decades, it is that variations in the gravitational field are indistinguishable from variations in the refractive index of the vacuum. When you refer to the Lorentz invariance of Maxwell's equations, this does not hold in a vacuum where epsilon0 and mu0 are variables. In General Relativity we refer to the metric components, g^uv. These can and are interpreted as components of a variable refractive index, in the Polarizable Vacuum Model. Primarily refined by Hal Puthoff, a few papers of my own and many others have contributed to it. There are many, many papers on this available.

In this case, the interior energy density is not symmetrical, so the refractive index has a gradient. It was said in a previous post that the speed of light inside is different than it is outside. This is the correct interpretation, however it must include a gradient in the refractive index, as it passes through the structure itself, to cause motion. The gradient in the refractive index "is" a gravitational field. That is what the warp drive requires.

In a separate experiment, they may have shown that the speed of light inside the chamber varies. The amount is varies would only be noticed "IF" you were looking for it. Most resonant systems are "tuned" to eliminate such affects in manufacturing. In such a small cavity, I'm not confident it can be measured.

Yes. Go back and read the thread. They already subbed the test article for a power resistor.

This was a very productive thread. Now full of trolls like the last one.
If your not going to provide constructive discussion leave. Many of us have been following this thread for months now and and not had any issues.

As others have said if this is fake no big deal. But why not give the experiments a chance to prove itself? I've never understood how scientists can be so petty in shooting someone down who makes a claim they think is impossible.

Now back to the applied spaceflight applications for emdrive before this thread is locked like the last one...

Offline Lumina

Do EagleWorks have plans to send up a CubeSat with a prototype drive? If thrust is being produced in the lab, what is stopping the experimenters from producing this thrust in a CubeSat? A CubeSat carrying zero propellant and changing its orbital period up and down for a year or so without performance degradation would be conclusive proof that we are dealing with something real.
« Last Edit: 05/01/2015 05:13 AM by Lumina »

Offline laika

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The mere fact that this saga has continued for 15 years without a definitive experiment such as suggested by squid leads one to smell a rat! Could it all just be due to poor experimental method?

Granted. But perhaps maybe its been dragged on for 15 years because no one would take it seriously. Consider how sad it would be if that were the case. This is certainly the first I've heard of it.

Eagleworks isn't full of crackpots. If they discover it was experimental error then that will be the end of it. Hand waving this away because you do not agree with their observations wont kill it, but the science they're doing now will.
ote]


Hopefully Eagleworks will resolve it, but they haven't yet resolved to everyone's satisfaction whether or not there IS any thrust, and yet they are forging ahead hypothesizing warp effects related to zero point energy!
Even their test setup is only intended to produce micro-Newton thrust levels, extremely difficult to measure requiring complex test equipment all a potential source of measurement error.
The UK and Chinese tests apparently produced thrusts you almost could feel! So with accurate, well thought out measurements, an unambiguous result could be produced. Then would be the time to determine what is causing it.




Offline Hexadecibel

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The mere fact that this saga has continued for 15 years without a definitive experiment such as suggested by squid leads one to smell a rat! Could it all just be due to poor experimental method?

Granted. But perhaps maybe its been dragged on for 15 years because no one would take it seriously. Consider how sad it would be if that were the case. This is certainly the first I've heard of it.

Eagleworks isn't full of crackpots. If they discover it was experimental error then that will be the end of it. Hand waving this away because you do not agree with their observations wont kill it, but the science they're doing now will.
ote]


Hopefully Eagleworks will resolve it, but they haven't yet resolved to everyone's satisfaction whether or not there IS any thrust, and yet they are forging ahead hypothesizing warp effects related to zero point energy!
Even their test setup is only intended to produce micro-Newton thrust levels, extremely difficult to measure requiring complex test equipment all a potential source of measurement error.
The UK and Chinese tests apparently produced thrusts you almost could feel! So with accurate, well thought out measurements, an unambiguous result could be produced. Then would be the time to determine what is causing it.






Then remain skeptical until you are satisfied.  Hypothesizing is part of the process, its not a declaration of fact.

Offline Star One

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As I suggested in the other thread it seems like this is a topic crying out for a FAQ judging by the repeated questions?

Offline JordanLeDoux

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I haven't been following these threads closely until recently, but I'm really curious if anyone here has examined whether or not Modified inertia from Hubble scale Casimir effects (MiHsC), which is a theory I just came across today, makes any sense at all. I never got far enough in math to really evaluate this level of physics on my own, but the "crackpot" alarms in my head didn't sound as I was reading about it.

The basics of it are, any object moving to the right will create an event horizon somewhere to left beyond which information cannot be observed. Like other event horizons, this will result in radiation (similar to Hawking radiation) called Unruh radiation. The wavelengths for this radiation are at normal accelerations on the order of light years.

But if you have something like a tube with light inside and reflective surfaces, the photons (because of their speed) will generate Unruh wavelength that are the exact resonant frequency of the tube.

In a uniform tube, this does nothing, but in a cone shaped tube, it would bias the direction of force toward the narrow end.

Again, this isn't my theory, it is proposed by a physicist at Plymouth U in the UK, but it seemed... reasonable.

The theory evidently also has the nice benefit of explaining the effects of dark matter and dark energy without any special tuning, and it explains how inertia works in general from what I was reading.

Does any of that make sense or sound plausible?

EDIT: I ask mainly because a device like the EmDrive is one of the only testable predictions that you could make with this theory given the technology we have now.
« Last Edit: 05/01/2015 07:39 AM by JordanLeDoux »

Offline Mulletron

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It is clear that we are operating under other than usual symmetry conditions and that Maxwell's equations as we were trained to use them do not apply.

What are you talking about? Maxwell's equations apply to EM radiation unequivocally. Especially in these low power regimes there is no chance of observing any perturbations due to higher order effects from field theory.

Look, I want to believe in a "reactionless" drive as much as the next SF junkie, but this does not pass the smell test. Consider:
e
0. The proposed explanations violate: conservation of energy, conservation of momentum, and the Lorentz transformations. These are some of the best-tested physical arguments we have today, and yet this "drive" violates them by huge orders of magnitude. Is it really plausible that 100+ years of experiments have failed to notice a comparatively huge effect? RF cavities are not a poorly understood system. I used to work with superconducting RF cavities for particle accelerators with Q > 1 million supporting fields of > 10 MV/m. I can guarantee you we would have noticed if power was disappearing into "thrust", or if the damn things were starting to levitate.

1. Even if we are pushing against the "quantum vacuum" this does not make sense, as any such vacuumo  must be charge neutral and so we would be pushing in opposite directions on electrons and positrons. Not to mention the accelerated positrons would smash into the surrounding cavity, producing copious, easily-observable gamma rays.

1a. Even ignoring this objection, to promote particles from "virtual" to real (as in Hawking radiation...) you have to provide the particles with their mass-energy. 511 keV per electron/positron. Does this make sense?

Assume 100% of the energy delivered to the cavity goes into making virtual particles real: 100 W / (mass of electron * c^2) = 1e15 electrons / s. Assume the particles are instantaneously acclerated to the speed of light (a pretty generous assumption). Then F = (1e15 electron/s)*(mass of electron)*(speed of light) = 2e-7 newtons. Much smaller than what we observe. The explanation does not hold up to scrutiny.

2. The "quantum vacuum"/Casimir effect should not be given more emphasis than is appropriate. It is a calculational tool. For example, one can explain the casimir effect solely through the van der Waals forces between two neighboring conductors, without handwaving explanations about virtual particles: http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/11544/vander-waals-and-casimir-forces

3. The quantum vacuum publication referenced earlier is really, really bad. It starts with the Bohr formula for hydrogen (thus neglecting any fine structure, etc... effects), and takes a "radius" (which as we know from QM should not be interpreted literally...) to get a volume and from that some kind of density. This has no physical meaning. Then a function 1/r^4 is fitted to the values -- with no justification! This is then compared to the casimir force for cavities separated by this radius... and the values are  pretty far off. But it looks like a factor of 1/3! So some further handwaving about general relativity which also has a factor of 1/3 in one equation! Then there's a whole word salad about solving hydrogen atom wavefunctions with COMSOL [???], which is ridiculous since any undergraduate physics students can solve them with pen and paper...

This papers seems explicitly designed to use lots of fancy terminology and equations to look impressive to anyone with no background in physics, while saying nothing at all of substance. It does not even rise to the level of coherence.

In conclusion, this whole affair appears to be the work of someone who has convinced himself his theory is right and is on a fishing expedition for evidence that supports it. The experimental design is poor (camera pictures of LabView windows? unable to find an RF amplifier to deliver more than 100W of power? inability to measure forces that would be measurable in the 1800's?), the past 100+ years of physical experiments contradict the experiments, and there is no coherent underlying theory.

This is not science, it is cargo cult science.

I really didn't like being quoted alongside items 0-4 as that implies that I advocate such "proposed explanations", which you went on to associate me with cult science. I can tell you that I (and other regulars here) am on record as rejecting all known proposed explanations presented thus far.

From the top:

-What I mean is that any attempt to formulate a theory of where the anomalous thrust is coming from which is based on classical electrodynamics will fail. A fully quantum approach is required. What I mean by "other than usual symmetry conditions" is that based off what I've been reading (aka not my own original research), simultaneous breaking of P & T symmetries is required. Long story short, this leads to a nonzero vacuum momentum density. Want to know more? Read my posts. If you can help put this approach to bed, and replace it with a better one, then do it. If not, help out.

-There is no such thing as a reactionless drive. Just because something isn't belching fire out the back side doesn't make it reactionless. Our job is to find the reaction or find the source of experimental error that everyone is apparently making and has gone undetected.

-0 As I just said, there is NO accepted explanation to date. This means that if the experimentalist are to be believed (multiple parties reporting anomalous thrust) there is a huge opportunity for a research group to earn a nice shiny award for a correct theory backed up with experiment......if this thing really works. It seems more and more likely that it does work.

This is not a "a comparatively huge effect" otherwise we wouldn't need a low torque torsion pendulum or similar to measure it.

-1, 1a Yeah I know. You're both preaching to the choir and barking up the wrong tree. I'm not a card carrying QVPT theory believer. Eagleworks is doing great work. I acknowledge that. At the same time, I think for myself and remain respectful.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36313.msg1355944#msg1355944

2. I'm aware of the ongoing controversy you are describing. Doesn't mean you are correct any more than anyone else. The QED vacuum is accepted as fact. Virtual particles aren't only a calculation tool, they are also disturbances in a field. They aren't ONLY relegated to the vacuum either.
http://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/virtual-particles-what-are-they/

3. I feel ya. And it is not my problem.

As to the rest. You have voiced your concerns. Notice that I am not trying to call you out on any of them. I don't see a reason to be hostile to Eagleworks over their theory or experimental setup though. Now what are your recommendations? Do you have a way forward?

We are very lucky to have a representative from Eagleworks commenting and providing data here. I applaud their experimental work. How about we not scare them off. This is a unique opportunity for people to get together and try to figure out if these copper cans can be put to good use in space.
« Last Edit: 05/01/2015 10:01 AM by Mulletron »
Challenge your preconceptions, or they will challenge you. - Velik

Offline Star One

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A question I've been wanting to ask for a while if this drive was on a craft of some type and you stood behind it would you feel any force acting upon you, if you held your hand up would you feel a force pushing upon it, would you note any physical effect at all or any kind of EM effects.
« Last Edit: 05/01/2015 12:02 PM by Star One »

Offline Carl G

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I'm to tidy up the thread as there's some people who have joined this thread and should be using the entry level thread as opening posts - here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37438.0

I will move as many of posts as I can into that thread.

We're also attracting armwavers. Those posts should be reported for moderators to deal with. Insulting posts will be removed, so there's no point responding to them. That is a forum rule.

Offline SH

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I tried asking some of these questions before but they were quickly drowned out by senseless bickering, so I'm going to try asking again.

(0) Supposing that you were able to engineer the required negative energy density around the craft in such a way as to produce an Alcubierre style warp bubble.  The spacetime curvature in the CENTER but the edges of the bubble itself would be highly warped, and yet you need to have engineered some structure to hold the negative energy density ring in place.  Thus it seems that the warping of spacetime would necessarily destroy any toroidal structure used to hold the negative energy in place, making it impossible to maintain such a bubble.  Am I missing something here?

(1) The Eagleworks team reportedly made a simulation to predict thrust levels based on the assumption that the vacuum energy of empty space behaves like a plasma which is mutable as suggested by Dr. White.  Then, virtual particles would be able to store and propagate momentum as a wave from one virtual particle to the next until it reached a non-virtual particle to finally absorb the momentum.  Thus the EmDrive would leave a "wake" and this is exactly how White described it.  However there seems to be a problem with this explanation, because with the EmDrive being a resonant cavity, any such QVP wave would need to be initially generated INSIDE the closed cavity, which means the first matter this virtual particle wave would interact with would be the walls of the cavity itself, which would absorb the opposite momentum and thus cancel out any net thrust.  What additional assumptions were made in the simulation to make this not cancel out?



(2) In "The Alcubierre Warp Drive in Higher Dimensional Spacetime", White and Davis (2006) theorized that, under the Chung-Freese model they predicted any torus of positive energy density would give rise to slight negative energy density in its core due to classical energy in 3+1 dimensions being shifted "off brain" into the unobservable higher dimensions.  They proposed an experiment to test this by constructing a charged capacitor ring.  However, under the mass-energy equivalence, a rapidly spinning torus made of lead would have orders of magnitude greater positive energy density -- so why were they using capacitors in their experiment?

(3) If it were true that any torus of positive energy density contributes to a "boost" factor inside the torus, then it must be to an incredibly small amount, or else people would have noticed by pure chance that objects inside torus tend to move faster, and nobody has noticed this.  However, we have noticed that large heavy toruses require more fuel to propel.  Thus it seems that this theory of a positive energy density torus giving rise to a net boost in thrust must be impossible.

(4) In "Experimental Concepts for Generating Negative Energy in the Laboratory" Davis and Puthoff (2006) showed that negative energy density was producible in the lab using high energy lasers and other methods, and this would not require the more radical assumptions of extra dimensions in the Chung-Freese model.  Why weren't these methods explored?
 
(5) On Rodal's writeup he mentioned that skeptics were hesitant to accept the idea of a mutable QVP because "The mainstream physics community assumes the Quantum Vacuum is indestructible and immutable 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".  However, if the QVP was storing momentum then any non-virtual particles exposed to it would merely absorb this momentum, which would restore the QVP to its usual ground state without changing any more fundamental properties.  Thus this criticism seems to be moot.

Offline Notsosureofit

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Go back and read the entire thread, you'll find they already did most of what you suggested. Their Rig has been tested and has not been falsified.

There is another explanation that has been around for many decades, it is that variations in the gravitational field are indistinguishable from variations in the refractive index of the vacuum. When you refer to the Lorentz invariance of Maxwell's equations, this does not hold in a vacuum where epsilon0 and mu0 are variables. In General Relativity we refer to the metric components, g^uv. These can and are interpreted as components of a variable refractive index, in the Polarizable Vacuum Model. Primarily refined by Hal Puthoff, a few papers of my own and many others have contributed to it. There are many, many papers on this available.

In this case, the interior energy density is not symmetrical, so the refractive index has a gradient. It was said in a previous post that the speed of light inside is different than it is outside. This is the correct interpretation, however it must include a gradient in the refractive index, as it passes through the structure itself, to cause motion. The gradient in the refractive index "is" a gravitational field. That is what the warp drive requires.

In a separate experiment, they may have shown that the speed of light inside the chamber varies. The amount is varies would only be noticed "IF" you were looking for it. Most resonant systems are "tuned" to eliminate such affects in manufacturing. In such a small cavity, I'm not confident it can be measured.

Yes, the simple formula I put up is based on a similar type of assumption.  Could you reference your papers ? (publicly or privately)

Thanks

Edit:  Many decades is correct, I'm 40 years out of date trying to catch up on any changes.
« Last Edit: 05/01/2015 01:47 PM by Notsosureofit »

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