Author Topic: Helical Engine  (Read 11149 times)

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #20 on: 10/17/2019 04:43 pm »
Like a lot of threads in this section, this isn't so much a "New Physics" idea.  It's more a "Conventional Physics Claimed to Do Something Mathematically Proven Impossible with Conventional Physics" idea.  Or, perhaps more succinctly, "Bad Math with Conventional Physics".

Maybe we need a new section.

It's really strange and frustrating how many seem to think that some sort of clever contraption can do something that can be proven to be impossible within known laws of physics. Yet they claim that no new physics is needed. Though I guess I shouldn't be surprised, impossibility of angle trisection (under the classical rules) has been known for more than 150 years, but plenty of people are still trying.

There's appears to be an odd divide in people's minds between conservation of energy on one hand and conservation of momentum on the other.  I seems to me that people are much more willing to accept propellantless drives than perpetual motion machines, as if conservation of energy were somehow a more sacred law of nature.

The idea that we know enough to discount any conceivable possibility that the laws of physics as we know them might have some practical "loopholes" at least at a local level yet to be discovered is the more problematic stance.

You are incorrect.

You are confusing things that are really new physics with what Helical Engine idea supposes: new consequences of conventional physics that violate rules that have been mathematically proven to follow from the rules of conventional physics.

The idea of a loophole may be appealing intuitively, but math doesn't allow for loopholes.

For example, can one say apriori that it wouldn't be worth it to even consider the existence of such things as Mach effect devices?

The Mach effect does not follow from conventional physics.  It is a new physics idea.

Especially when we do admit in physics violations of energy conservation at the quantum level,

Any sort of violation of conservation of energy at the quantum level is by necessity below the observable threshold.  If it can be observed, it can't happen.  In other words, it's not possible for there to be violation of conservation of energy in a way that can have a measurable effect.  Violation of conservation of energy in quantum mechanics is really more like fuzziness of boundaries rather than true violation.

entanglement over the size of the universe, multiple universes just springing into existence which seemingly also violate conservation of energy.

If there is a violation of conservation of energy, it needs new physics to explain it, because conventionally accepted physics does not allow it.

The problem is that the proof that something is impossible often assumes only what's known at present and disallows not necessarily new physics, though that may be needed, but new understandings of established physics.

That is incorrect.  A new understanding of established physics won't do it.  That's what a mathematical proof means.  No "new understanding" can get you around a mathematical proof.

The square root of 2 is irrational.  No new understanding of math will give you a finite fraction equal to the square root of 2.

In 1957 Yang and Lee won a Nobel prize for overthrowing the conservation of Parity, something so basic to physicists it was as shocking as overthrowing conservation of momentum would be.

And that was new physics at the time.

Nobody is saying there can't be new physics.  What we are saying is that new physics is necessary for a reactionless drive.

Then there's concepts such as the Alcubierre Drive which though may never be, probably won't be practical, at least in principle allowed the possibility to overcome the speed of light.

You are incorrect.  The Alcubierre Drive doesn't allow overcoming the speed of light without new physics.  It has been proven (mathematical proof, again) that you can't set an Alcubierre Drive in motion unless you already have a faster-than-light drive.  It also requires negative mass, which is also new physics.

Shocking indeed. Perhaps the reviewers should have just told Alcubierre that his idea used "bad math" and violated Special Relativity and prevented publication! That seems simple, enough on the surface. I'm glad they didn't so the idea could be explored.

The Alcubierre drive isn't what you think it is.  It doesn't violate any mathematically proven properties of conventional physics without adding new physics.

BTW, true propellentless propulsion devices would also be energy generation devices. Just spin up the device in a rotating reference frame with constant power giving constant acceleration and harvest the kinetic energy in a non-rotating frame where the kinetic energy rises as time squared. Of course that cuts two ways as it could also be used as an argument such a device is impossible.

You're not helping your case with these statements.

Offline meberbs

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #21 on: 10/17/2019 04:50 pm »
Chris Wilson beat me to saying the exact same things (and said it better), but I already wrote this, so here it is:
The idea that we know enough to discount any conceivable possibility that the laws of physics as we know them might have some practical "loopholes" at least at a local level yet to be discovered is the more problematic stance.
No, it is called mathematics and rigorous proofs.

For example, can one say apriori that it wouldn't be worth it to even consider the existence of such things as Mach effect devices?
Such devices only maybe work when applying New Physics, since Mach's principle (at least the relevant version) is not part of GR.

Especially when we do admit in physics violations of energy conservation at the quantum level, entanglement over the size of the universe, multiple universes just springing into existence which seemingly also violate conservation of energy.
No, there are no violations of conservation of energy at the quantum level. Claims of that are misunderstandings. You successfully point out one of the major issues with the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. There is nothing in the theory that requires that that interpretation is correct.

The problem is that the proof that something is impossible often assumes only what's known at present and disallows not necessarily new physics, though that may be needed, but new understandings of established physics.
No, not true.

In 1957 Yang and Lee won a Nobel prize for overthrowing the Conservation of Parity, something so basic to physicists it was as shocking as overthrowing conservation of momentum would be.
That is what is known as new physics.

Then there's concepts such as the Alcubierre Drive which though may never be, probably won't be practical, at least in principle allowed the possibility to overcome the speed of light. Shocking indeed. Perhaps the reviewers should have just told Alcubierre that his idea used "bad math" and violated Special Relativity and prevented publication! That seems simple, enough on the surface. I'm glad they didn't so the idea could be explored.
The Alcubierrre drive relies on negative mass, which is .... new physics.

BTW, true propellentless propulsion devices would also be energy generation devices. Just spin up the device in a rotating reference frame with constant power giving constant acceleration and harvest the kinetic energy in a non-rotating frame where the kinetic energy rises as time squared. Of course that cuts two ways as it could also be used as an argument such a device is impossible.
Yep, that much is correct, and tends to get downplayed by people who propose propellantless propulsion schemes, probably related to what trm14 mentioned about how people seem more willing to throw out conservation of momentum (even in physics laws known to inherently conserve momentum), but not conservation of energy.

Offline Bob012345

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #22 on: 10/17/2019 05:59 pm »
Like a lot of threads in this section, this isn't so much a "New Physics" idea.  It's more a "Conventional Physics Claimed to Do Something Mathematically Proven Impossible with Conventional Physics" idea.  Or, perhaps more succinctly, "Bad Math with Conventional Physics".

Maybe we need a new section.

It's really strange and frustrating how many seem to think that some sort of clever contraption can do something that can be proven to be impossible within known laws of physics. Yet they claim that no new physics is needed. Though I guess I shouldn't be surprised, impossibility of angle trisection (under the classical rules) has been known for more than 150 years, but plenty of people are still trying.

There's appears to be an odd divide in people's minds between conservation of energy on one hand and conservation of momentum on the other.  I seems to me that people are much more willing to accept propellantless drives than perpetual motion machines, as if conservation of energy were somehow a more sacred law of nature.

The idea that we know enough to discount any conceivable possibility that the laws of physics as we know them might have some practical "loopholes" at least at a local level yet to be discovered is the more problematic stance.

You are incorrect.

You are confusing things that are really new physics with what Helical Engine idea supposes: new consequences of conventional physics that violate rules that have been mathematically proven to follow from the rules of conventional physics.

The idea of a loophole may be appealing intuitively, but math doesn't allow for loopholes.

For example, can one say apriori that it wouldn't be worth it to even consider the existence of such things as Mach effect devices?

The Mach effect does not follow from conventional physics.  It is a new physics idea.

Especially when we do admit in physics violations of energy conservation at the quantum level,

Any sort of violation of conservation of energy at the quantum level is by necessity below the observable threshold.  If it can be observed, it can't happen.  In other words, it's not possible for there to be violation of conservation of energy in a way that can have a measurable effect.  Violation of conservation of energy in quantum mechanics is really more like fuzziness of boundaries rather than true violation.

entanglement over the size of the universe, multiple universes just springing into existence which seemingly also violate conservation of energy.

If there is a violation of conservation of energy, it needs new physics to explain it, because conventionally accepted physics does not allow it.

The problem is that the proof that something is impossible often assumes only what's known at present and disallows not necessarily new physics, though that may be needed, but new understandings of established physics.

That is incorrect.  A new understanding of established physics won't do it.  That's what a mathematical proof means.  No "new understanding" can get you around a mathematical proof.

The square root of 2 is irrational.  No new understanding of math will give you a finite fraction equal to the square root of 2.

In 1957 Yang and Lee won a Nobel prize for overthrowing the conservation of Parity, something so basic to physicists it was as shocking as overthrowing conservation of momentum would be.

And that was new physics at the time.

Nobody is saying there can't be new physics.  What we are saying is that new physics is necessary for a reactionless drive.

Then there's concepts such as the Alcubierre Drive which though may never be, probably won't be practical, at least in principle allowed the possibility to overcome the speed of light.

You are incorrect.  The Alcubierre Drive doesn't allow overcoming the speed of light without new physics.  It has been proven (mathematical proof, again) that you can't set an Alcubierre Drive in motion unless you already have a faster-than-light drive.  It also requires negative mass, which is also new physics.

Shocking indeed. Perhaps the reviewers should have just told Alcubierre that his idea used "bad math" and violated Special Relativity and prevented publication! That seems simple, enough on the surface. I'm glad they didn't so the idea could be explored.

The Alcubierre drive isn't what you think it is.  It doesn't violate any mathematically proven properties of conventional physics without adding new physics.

BTW, true propellentless propulsion devices would also be energy generation devices. Just spin up the device in a rotating reference frame with constant power giving constant acceleration and harvest the kinetic energy in a non-rotating frame where the kinetic energy rises as time squared. Of course that cuts two ways as it could also be used as an argument such a device is impossible.

You're not helping your case with these statements.

First, thanks for your response!

I'm not exactly sure what 'case' you think I am making?

I can see where you might think I was using these examples to argue we should be open minded about the Helical Engine but that wasn't my point. I've already made my comment on that. My point was a comment on Trm14's sense of frustration that people propose such ideas in the first place and not to enter a semantic debate on whether such ideas are always about new physics or about new interpretations of existing physics. My post was not at all meant to defend the Helical Engine, it was just a general statement just about being open minded. It seems most of your response is arguing about whether to call it new physics or not. * I really don't care what we call it. I think one can argue that a new understanding of a solution in GR such as the  Alcubierre drive concept isn't actually new physics, it's a newly discovered solution of standard GR and not to a modified different theory so I respectfully disagree. A close "relative" of negative mass exists with the Casimir effect but negative mass was itself proposed by Hermann Bondi again in 1957. So that's not a recently invented concept. Woodward uses a previously existing theory by Hoyle and Narlikar again, not new.

So my comment "The idea that we know enough to discount any conceivable possibility that the laws of physics as we know them might have some practical "loopholes" at least at a local level yet to be discovered is the more problematic stance.".  is just a philosophical statement which people, are free to disagree with as I disagree with your statement " The idea of a loophole may be appealing intuitively, but math doesn't allow for loopholes." to which my response is that you simply can't know that because we don't know everything and math serves as a model for physics. If we don't know how the physics applies in all situations, we can't know what the math says in every (call it new if you want) situation.

*i edited out a comment I think was too judgmental (on my part) and this is a temporary comment in case your are still writing a response. Thanks again.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2019 06:27 pm by Bob012345 »

Offline Bob012345

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #23 on: 10/17/2019 06:25 pm »
BTW, true propellentless propulsion devices would also be energy generation devices. Just spin up the device in a rotating reference frame with constant power giving constant acceleration and harvest the kinetic energy in a non-rotating frame where the kinetic energy rises as time squared. Of course that cuts two ways as it could also be used as an argument such a device is impossible.
Yep, that much is correct, and tends to get downplayed by people who propose propellantless propulsion schemes, probably related to what trm14 mentioned about how people seem more willing to throw out conservation of momentum (even in physics laws known to inherently conserve momentum), but not conservation of energy.

Thanks. Most of my response to ChrisWilson68 is to your points as well but I want to add that I believe some folks are not trying to throw out COM but believe it is conserved in some global way such as Woodward et. al or make the case that EM field momentum can be larger than simple photon momentum and is conserved as Tuval and Yahalom make.

Offline meberbs

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #24 on: 10/17/2019 08:46 pm »
It seems most of your response is arguing about whether to call it new physics or not. * I really don't care what we call it.
You are the one turning this into a semantic argument. Physics theories, GR, the standard Model, etc. are rigorously well defined. Something either uses them or it doesn't. Results that are proven not to work within them do not work in them. Claims of propellantless propulsion, including the one this thread is about, often explicitly say that they use only existing theories. This is already enough information to know that they don't work and aren't worth wasting time on.

The Alcubierre drive DOES NOT WORK in existing physics. It is a solution to a set of equations that are known to include non-physical results. It has since been shown that the Alcubierre drive is one of these.

The Casimir effect does not have any relationship to true negative mass, which is another proven fact.

Thanks. Most of my response to ChrisWilson68 is to your points as well but I want to add that I believe some folks are not trying to throw out COM but believe it is conserved in some global way such as Woodward et. al or make the case that EM field momentum can be larger than simple photon momentum and is conserved as Tuval and Yahalom make.
The Hoyle-Narlikar theory used by Woodward is not GR, but a modification of it. It does not matter when it was invented. (It does matter that Rodal published a paper showing that when the math is done correctly, the claimed effect doesn't work in that theory either.)

The equations of electromagnetism completely exclude magical EM waves with a better energy/momentum ratio. Claims otherwise are either new physics or wrong.

You keep mixing in the "but what about this idea that was proposed as an addition to physics" which simply is not the same thing as what trm14 expressed frustration with (and again this thread is an example of) where absolutely no proposed addition to physics is provided for a purely theoretical claim, known to be impossible within the theories that were used.

On a related note, there is a good Forbes article today explaining exactly why the helical engine this thread is about does not work.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2019 09:13 pm by meberbs »

Offline Star One

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #25 on: 10/18/2019 01:58 pm »
I have to laugh at someone using Forbes to make a counter argument. Especially as seemingly any old character can post anything on that site which as the top contributor says here was a bonkers decision.

https://www.quora.com/Is-Forbes-com-considered-a-credible-source-of-journalism-by-the-industry-in-light-of-its-use-of-contributors-and-incidents-like-calling-the-President-of-Ireland-a-“homosexual”
« Last Edit: 10/18/2019 01:58 pm by Star One »

Offline meberbs

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #26 on: 10/18/2019 02:18 pm »
I have to laugh at someone using Forbes to make a counter argument. Especially as seemingly any old character can post anything on that site which as the top contributor says here was a bonkers decision.

https://www.quora.com/Is-Forbes-com-considered-a-credible-source-of-journalism-by-the-industry-in-light-of-its-use-of-contributors-and-incidents-like-calling-the-President-of-Ireland-a-“homosexual”
Try reading the article and also looking at the qualifications of the author. This article is way better than what 90% of the media wrote on this subject. Other articles on that site can be terrrible, and I've seen bad ones, but that has no effect on the contents of this article.

It is rather ironic that you discredit it by pointing to a quora comment of all things, which also can be written by anyone. The comment also kills your own point by saying "Whether it's still credible depends on the author."

Offline Star One

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #27 on: 10/18/2019 03:16 pm »
I have to laugh at someone using Forbes to make a counter argument. Especially as seemingly any old character can post anything on that site which as the top contributor says here was a bonkers decision.

https://www.quora.com/Is-Forbes-com-considered-a-credible-source-of-journalism-by-the-industry-in-light-of-its-use-of-contributors-and-incidents-like-calling-the-President-of-Ireland-a-“homosexual”
Try reading the article and also looking at the qualifications of the author. This article is way better than what 90% of the media wrote on this subject. Other articles on that site can be terrrible, and I've seen bad ones, but that has no effect on the contents of this article.

It is rather ironic that you discredit it by pointing to a quora comment of all things, which also can be written by anyone. The comment also kills your own point by saying "Whether it's still credible depends on the author."

Quora has more credibility than Forbes. It’s not difficult to find an article from a far more credible source in fact it’s the top hit on Google.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/10/corkscrewing-bouncy-ion-drive-would-provide-thrust-in-different-universe/

Offline meberbs

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #28 on: 10/18/2019 04:43 pm »
I have to laugh at someone using Forbes to make a counter argument. Especially as seemingly any old character can post anything on that site which as the top contributor says here was a bonkers decision.

https://www.quora.com/Is-Forbes-com-considered-a-credible-source-of-journalism-by-the-industry-in-light-of-its-use-of-contributors-and-incidents-like-calling-the-President-of-Ireland-a-“homosexual”
Try reading the article and also looking at the qualifications of the author. This article is way better than what 90% of the media wrote on this subject. Other articles on that site can be terrrible, and I've seen bad ones, but that has no effect on the contents of this article.

It is rather ironic that you discredit it by pointing to a quora comment of all things, which also can be written by anyone. The comment also kills your own point by saying "Whether it's still credible depends on the author."

Quora has more credibility than Forbes. It’s not difficult to find an article from a far more credible source in fact it’s the top hit on Google.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/10/corkscrewing-bouncy-ion-drive-would-provide-thrust-in-different-universe/
For either source you have to look at the individual contribution to judge the credibility. The article you just linked has already been posted in this thread. The one on Forbes I feel does a bit better job explaining why the device in question wouldn't work, but it also has useful general insights. If you have nothing to say about the content of the articles, then this discussion simply is off topic.

Offline Bob012345

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #29 on: 10/18/2019 05:31 pm »
It seems most of your response is arguing about whether to call it new physics or not. * I really don't care what we call it.
You are the one turning this into a semantic argument. Physics theories, GR, the standard Model, etc. are rigorously well defined. Something either uses them or it doesn't. Results that are proven not to work within them do not work in them. Claims of propellantless propulsion, including the one this thread is about, often explicitly say that they use only existing theories. This is already enough information to know that they don't work and aren't worth wasting time on.

The Alcubierre drive DOES NOT WORK in existing physics. It is a solution to a set of equations that are known to include non-physical results. It has since been shown that the Alcubierre drive is one of these.

The Casimir effect does not have any relationship to true negative mass, which is another proven fact.

Thanks. Most of my response to ChrisWilson68 is to your points as well but I want to add that I believe some folks are not trying to throw out COM but believe it is conserved in some global way such as Woodward et. al or make the case that EM field momentum can be larger than simple photon momentum and is conserved as Tuval and Yahalom make.
The Hoyle-Narlikar theory used by Woodward is not GR, but a modification of it. It does not matter when it was invented. (It does matter that Rodal published a paper showing that when the math is done correctly, the claimed effect doesn't work in that theory either.)

The equations of electromagnetism completely exclude magical EM waves with a better energy/momentum ratio. Claims otherwise are either new physics or wrong.

You keep mixing in the "but what about this idea that was proposed as an addition to physics" which simply is not the same thing as what trm14 expressed frustration with (and again this thread is an example of) where absolutely no proposed addition to physics is provided for a purely theoretical claim, known to be impossible within the theories that were used.

On a related note, there is a good Forbes article today explaining exactly why the helical engine this thread is about does not work.

I meant the word arguing as in making a case, not generating an argument. Thanks for the Forbes reference. It's an interesting article but I don't like the way Seigel pulls rank by commenting that Burns has a doctorate in Electrical Engineering rather than physics. Seigel also omits that Burns, unlike virtually every other dubious inventor, questions his own invention quite strongly suggesting the math may be wrong and that he doesn't fully understand the momentum issues. He doesn't tell us that Burns idea is really a proposal, that it's not clear it would work according to Burns himself and that Burns is actually proposing it so those questions could be answered. So rather than recognize that, Seigel chooses to ignore all that. All this to say of course Seigel is correct, the Helical Engine is fatally flawed. On that we fully and completely agree.
« Last Edit: 10/18/2019 06:49 pm by Bob012345 »

Offline meberbs

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #30 on: 10/18/2019 08:09 pm »
I meant the word arguing as in making a case, not generating an argument. Thanks for the Forbes reference. It's an interesting article but I don't like the way Seigel pulls rank by commenting that Burns has a doctorate in Electrical Engineering rather than physics. Seigel also omits that Burns, unlike virtually every other dubious inventor, questions his own invention quite strongly suggesting the math may be wrong and that he doesn't fully understand the momentum issues. He doesn't tell us that Burns idea is really a proposal, that it's not clear it would work according to Burns himself and that Burns is actually proposing it so those questions could be answered. So rather than recognize that, Seigel chooses to ignore all that. All this to say of course Seigel is correct, the Helical Engine is fatally flawed. On that we fully and completely agree.
We are basically in agreement here, but I disagree with your comment about the author "pulling rank." Seigel just pointed out that the the fundamental mistake made by Burns is a common one. That includes among engineers, because special relativity has little direct application in engineering, especially when it comes to understanding how relativistic mass works. "Physicists" is the one major group among which this hopefully is not a common misunderstanding, because they would have reason to study it in more depth.

As you say (and I have already stated as well) Burns should be commended for acknowledging that his idea may be wrong (and Siegel does allude to this, because he quotes Burns saying "you have to be prepared to be embarrassed" when proposing such ideas.) I am not sure how this got from Burns to the media originally, but it would be better for things like this if there was review from the appropriate experts before a presentation like this getting to the media and creating dozens of "NASA breaks physics" headlines.

Offline Iggyz

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #31 on: 07/01/2022 05:25 pm »
In this "What Da Math" video Anton (about 4 min. 30 secs. into the video) says the helical shaped beam guide of the Helical Engine*  allows the bundle of ions to be accelerated and decelerated without generating a force that would propel the space ship in the opposite direction it is supposed to travel in.

Anton illustrates this at about 5 min. and 40 secs. into the video.

Can this work and wouldn't that be revolutionary?

If he is right, why not levitate and accelerate a mass of 1000 kg to e.g. 20 meters per second by a helical shaped linear motor fitted into a helical shaped vacuum cylinder, let the mass coast and bounce off the right end of the cylinder, pushing the space ship to the right.
 
Next, the returning mass is decelerated to a full stop (the space ship should continue move to the right) and accelerated again, restarting the cycle. Can this work?

The mass would develop 20.000 kg/s of momentum and less than one MW of energy would be needed for acceleration and deceleration. Less than 1% of the original Helical Engine energy consumption.

* Please see attached screenshot of fig. 4 on page 5 of the official Helical Engine paper (also attached).
« Last Edit: 07/01/2022 05:27 pm by Iggyz »

Offline leovinus

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #32 on: 07/01/2022 05:31 pm »
« Last Edit: 07/02/2022 03:32 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Iggyz

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #33 on: 07/01/2022 05:45 pm »
Thank you leovinus but none of the posts in that topic seem to answer the specific questions I am asking. Please clarify or link to the post that answers my questions.

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #34 on: 07/01/2022 06:45 pm »
Thank you leovinus but none of the posts in that topic seem to answer the specific questions I am asking. Please clarify or link to the post that answers my questions.
That link perfectly covers what you're asking. Trying to modify Daffy Duck physics to make them work better doesn't make them any more plausible.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Helical Engine
« Reply #35 on: 07/01/2022 06:50 pm »

Can this work and wouldn't that be revolutionary?

If he is right, why not levitate and accelerate a mass of 1000 kg to e.g. 20 meters per second by a helical shaped linear motor fitted into a helical shaped vacuum cylinder, let the mass coast and bounce off the right end of the cylinder, pushing the space ship to the right.
 
Next, the returning mass is decelerated to a full stop (the space ship should continue move to the right) and accelerated again, restarting the cycle. Can this work?

The mass would develop 20.000 kg/s of momentum and less than one MW of energy would be needed for acceleration and deceleration. Less than 1% of the original Helical Engine energy consumption.

No, no, no.   Please start by analyzing conservation of momentum. It is a fundamental law of physics. If anyone ever observes an actual, replicable violation of the law of conservation of momentum it will completely change all of physics.


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