The Speculist: Electromagnetic Drive


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Electromagnetic Drive

The Chinese are building a radical, game-changing propulsion technology. It converts electrical energy into thrust via microwaves. It will revolutionize satellites and space probes. It could get us to Mars in less than two months!

There's just one little thing:

To say that the "Emdrive" (short for "electromagnetic drive") concept is controversial would be an understatement. According to Roger Shawyer, the British scientist who developed the concept, the drive converts electrical energy into thrust via microwaves, without violating any laws of physics. Many researchers believe otherwise. An article about the Emdrive in New Scientist magazine drew a massive volley of criticism. Scientists not only argued that Shawyer's work was blatantly impossible, and that his reasoning was flawed. They also said the article should never have been published.

Hmmm... The linked article goes on to say that the scientist who developed the idea stands by his work. So we'll see. Looks like a pretty big longshot, though.



It might be a long shot, but it is a testable premise, right? So we should know soon one way or another.


True. But the guy who came up with this idea has had a working prototype in his lab for a few years now. Either its a hoax or a huge breakthrough.

Its hard to get peer review on an "impossible" thing.

One pic I saw had it sitting on a scale, presumably pointed upward. If it were an electronic scale, I'd be concerned about interference. If it were a spring scale, I'd be concerned about vibration resonance effects making it indicate lighter than the weight actually on it.

Simple way to see if it works - hang it from a string and see how far it displaces from vertical with the power on. If it's a straight-line thrust, then he's got something. If it wobbles around in a circle, he doesn't.

I believe that this system works and would work more efficiently if one were to increase the frequency and slice the wavelength into a fraction. My model is at my URL.
By the way. I hope you get funding for this research Roger.

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