EmDrive May Generate Warp-Like Field, NASA Engineers Discover

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EmDrive May Generate Warp-Like Field, NASA Engineers Discover

While it has yet to be confirmed, NASA engineers studying the controversial EmDrive may have discovered it generates Star Trek-styled warp fields.

Right now there are a lot of people wanting to go to space. And I'm not talking about the Mars colony folks or future asteroid miners - I mean the people who want starships that can visit other solar systems. Now if a group of NASA engineers talking shop online are to be believed, there's a pretty strong chance science stumbled across a warp drive by accident.

So here's the necessary backstory. Way back in 2000 Roger J. Shawyer developed the EmDrive, a proposed spacecraft propulsion system that doesn't need fuel as a propellent. By 2006, the concept faced heavy criticism for violating the law of conservation of momentum - not to mention a distinct lack of peer review to his research. Eventually teams in China and the US, including a group at NASA that investigates fringe proposals, constructed their own versions for testing. These devices promptly surprised everyone by working even when nobody quite understood how. It wasn't enough to get us to space, but was interesting enough to warrant future research.

Skip ahead to this month, where we have a propulsion device that somehow produces microwaves to generate thrust. According to posts on NASASpaceFlight.com, someone at NASA wondered where the thrust came from and used a tool to measure variances in light's path-time. What this tool recorded is that when lasers are fired through the EmDrive's resonance chamber, some of the beams start moving faster than the speed of light. If everything checks out - and on the surface the math does - it means the EmDrive is producing some kind of warp field.

Once again, this is not a confirmed warp drive we have on our hands. Critics will point out the effect could just as easily be caused by atmospheric heating, which means the test has to be recreated in a vacuum. But if that test produces the same results, a lot of very intelligent people around the planet will absolutely lose their minds with excitement. Of course, getting a warp field large enough to propel a spaceship creates its own problems, but it could be a very small, very significant step all the same.

At this point, it's necessary to throw up a very important disclaimer: None of the information here has been verified, peer-reviewed, or is considered academically sound. By tomorrow, someone could realize they made a mathematical error, or conducted measurements in metric and the whole thing will fall apart. But right now, very smart people are considering this to be a legitimate possibility that needs further study. Disclaimer ends.

Source: NASA Space Flight, via Mysterious Universe

Permalink

Not the EmDrive again this is just NASA trolling the internet again. It's not nor has it ever been a real thing get over it.

I'm really disappointed that we don't call it a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine. Still if your the guy to invent warp drives you can name it whatever you want. Hopefully this turns out to be true anyway.

To think that one day it might actually be possible? Almost as astounding as they fact they apparently stumbled onto it, or would anyone actually buy that?

"Accidentally" creating a warp field? More likely they don't want to admit how far they have come in propulsion technology, not that I'm saying they got it from aliens or ancient wrecked spaceships or anything so I'm not going full tinfoil. They simply wouldn't want the general public to be fully aware of the depth and scope of the research into advanced technology like this (especially things with potentially direct military applications) and like that retired Lockheed Martin guy said "Think of the most advanced prototypes the public knows about, they are secretly several decades ahead of that" (paraphrased).

The fact that the US and China were the ones most interested in this makes me more suspicious.

I can't comprehend what's going on or why it might or might not work but you had me at warp fields. Maybe I truly will be able to go space-faring before I'm 40!

P-89 Scorpion:
Not the EmDrive again this is just NASA trolling the internet again. It's not nor has it ever been a real thing get over it.

Do elaborate.

Dalek Caan:
I'm really disappointed that we don't call it a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine. Still if your the guy to invent warp drives you can name it whatever you want. Hopefully this turns out to be true anyway.

Anyone who tries that gets murdered in the night by invisible purple aliens that don't think we should have that tech yet.

Unless they're called John.

Pandalisk:
I can't comprehend what's going on or why it might or might not work but you had me at warp fields. Maybe I truly will be able to go space-faring before I'm 40!

Warp drive or not will have little effect on your chances of getting into space, even if warp drive is real unless you're will be an expert astronaut and scientist chances are that even if you can get to space none of the public and maybe even no-one at all will get to go to other solar systems for a long while yet. If it is real and does get to work you might get to see the first direct images taken of another solar system by the first unmanned probes by the time your 40, if we are lucky and they decide its worth the cost that is.

Fanghawk:
or conducted measurements in metric and the whole thing will fall apart.

Too soon, man. Too soon.

But yeah, I'll wait for verification before I start to get excited.

somehow fit an EmDrive onto the CERN super-collider=megascience.

Dalek Caan:
I'm really disappointed that we don't call it a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine.

They have to go with an easier name. By the time Captain Picard gives the order, the Beebles from Glornax IV will have destroyed the Enterprise.

008Zulu:

Dalek Caan:
I'm really disappointed that we don't call it a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine.

They have to go with an easier name. By the time Captain Picard gives the order, the Beebles from Glornax IV will have destroyed the Enterprise.

Then it gets a slang name or acronym, like FTL or warp, or whatever. Perhaps they'll call it a Phase Transition Engine, or PT Engine for short.

A lot of scientific discoveries were made by accident.

Penicillin, Microwave ovens, Velcro, The Big Bang, Teflon, Vulcanized Rubber (No relation to Vulcans), Coca Cola, Radioactivity, Viagra and many more.

Captcha: what to see

Is it becoming sentient again?

I will remain interested but skeptical. At least officially. Unofficially, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping this is real.

My dream since I was little was to go into space. That dream is always there, but it's one I'll likely never obtain.

Thank god for video games.

Dalek Caan:
I'm really disappointed that we don't call it a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine. Still if your the guy to invent warp drives you can name it whatever you want. Hopefully this turns out to be true anyway.

Eh I'd much rather it be called a Geller Field. I mean, who knows what kind of unfathomable sentiences lurk in The Warp...

vxicepickxv:
Then it gets a slang name or acronym, like FTL or warp, or whatever. Perhaps they'll call it a Phase Transition Engine, or PT Engine for short.

They will probably select something lame, like iHop.

vallorn:

Dalek Caan:
I'm really disappointed that we don't call it a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine. Still if your the guy to invent warp drives you can name it whatever you want. Hopefully this turns out to be true anyway.

Eh I'd much rather it be called a Geller Field. I mean, who knows what kind of unfathomable sentiences lurk in The Warp...

If I remember right, the Gellar field is separate from FTL travel. FTL came first and the Gellar field let warp jumps go farther.

OT: Interesting if true...

Wait... this is a gaming site... resoncance chamber...

Does nobody else see a connection here?

Of course, using that in a large scale will cause a resonance cascade!

Nasa engine produced 30 to 50 micronewtons, so if we attach together 5000 of those engines and put them in space far away from earth we can send a small cockroach to the moon in less than a year !! (that would give the vulcans enough time to detect the warp signature oh yeah)

crimson5pheonix:

vallorn:

Dalek Caan:
I'm really disappointed that we don't call it a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine. Still if your the guy to invent warp drives you can name it whatever you want. Hopefully this turns out to be true anyway.

Eh I'd much rather it be called a Geller Field. I mean, who knows what kind of unfathomable sentiences lurk in The Warp...

If I remember right, the Gellar field is separate from FTL travel. FTL came first and the Gellar field let warp jumps go farther.

Not quite. The Gellar field is an integral part of successful warp travel. It's the thing that generates a pocket of normality for the ship to stay in during transit, preventing the ship becoming Daemon chow. Which is important when your FTL literally flies through hell. It's the Navigators that let you make longer, more accurate warp jumps.

Cowabungaa:

P-89 Scorpion:
Not the EmDrive again this is just NASA trolling the internet again. It's not nor has it ever been a real thing get over it.

Do elaborate.

The Cannae and EmDrive have both been pushed online when if you read the scientific literature out on them, it is clear that there is something wrong. I haven't dug into the new findings but even just following the source, it is evident that the readings could have come from heating of air in the chamber. The results are anomalous which would be relevant if that actually could be attributed to the EmDrive actually doing something.

The previous research has always had questionable results too. Outside of Cannae LLC, the producer of the supposed engine, only two other experiments have been performed with the Cannae Drive/EmDrive. I could not find a link to any article written by the Chinese team, but it was reported that they observed 720 mN of thrust. The NASA team observed 30-50 mN but, more importantly, "Thrust was observed on both test articles, even though one of the test articles was designed with the expectation that it would not produce thrust." This definitely calls into question the efficacy of that experiment. Additional testing should definitely be done, but it is way too early to speculate about these devices. (link to the NASA abstract: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20140006052)

Let me know when we get the intra-system version of an Alcubierre Warp Sphere Drive working and I'll be interested. Unfortunately unless we can generate a double bubble it'll never be useful for FTL.

Dach:
...
"Thrust was observed on both test articles, even though one of the test articles was designed with the expectation that it would not produce thrust." ...

Vulcans don't want us to get warp capability, so they obviously meddle into our experiments to confuse us with incoherent results.

Either that or Cthulhu.

Dach:
"Thrust was observed on both test articles, even though one of the test articles was designed with the expectation that it would not produce thrust."

One doesn't usually see a placebo effect in physics. XD

Pyrian:

Dach:
"Thrust was observed on both test articles, even though one of the test articles was designed with the expectation that it would not produce thrust."

One doesn't usually see a placebo effect in physics. XD

Comparing cases build to cause an effect with ones that are not is a good way of removing systematic error from an experiment. Placebo is a bit different, but you could view it as a systematic error in determining medicinal efficacy.

Dach:
The Cannae and EmDrive have both been pushed online when if you read the scientific literature out on them, it is clear that there is something wrong. I haven't dug into the new findings but even just following the source, it is evident that the readings could have come from heating of air in the chamber. The results are anomalous which would be relevant if that actually could be attributed to the EmDrive actually doing something.

The link is sadly dead, but is it then simply not a case of doing the experiment in a vacuum chamber to rule that out?

Cowabungaa:

Dach:
The Cannae and EmDrive have both been pushed online when if you read the scientific literature out on them, it is clear that there is something wrong. I haven't dug into the new findings but even just following the source, it is evident that the readings could have come from heating of air in the chamber. The results are anomalous which would be relevant if that actually could be attributed to the EmDrive actually doing something.

The link is sadly dead, but is it then simply not a case of doing the experiment in a vacuum chamber to rule that out?

Which link? I'm not seeing any dead link.

The test is about warp interferometry and this paper (http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1407/1407.7772.pdf) claims that transient air heating causes problems with testing warp interferometry. However NASA Eagleworks claims that this doesn't appear to be an issue because external infrared cams were used to monitor the apparatus, it was constructed to maintain constant temperatures, and the setup was warmed up to a constant running temp prior to testing.

Dalek Caan:
I'm really disappointed that we don't call it a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine. Still if your the guy to invent warp drives you can name it whatever you want. Hopefully this turns out to be true anyway.

Kearny-Fuchida drive imo.

Just do it in vacuum ... the electrolytic capacitors couldn't operate in vacuum, what a bloody joke.

You can just pot them or replace them with tantalums. If potting decreases their cooling capacity too much then glue them to a heatsink before potting them ... they'll create a very nice explosion when they fail, but who cares, just replace them after the experiment. This is not rocket science, it was just a lame excuse from some people desperate to preserve their department for another year.

I don't think this is something impossible. It would be the apex of arrogance for a barely civilized bunch of apes to say we know everything about how the universe works.

There's must be still an awful lot of things we simply can't even dream about to find out about the universe.

This may be one of them.

Sounds more like a Warp Transfer Field Drive.. ..Needs more testing.

Seriously though, I still yearn for space travel.
There is a reason I'm on the Escapist and like reading/watching Sci-Fi and playing 4X games (amongst others).

P-89 Scorpion:
Not the EmDrive again this is just NASA trolling the internet again. It's not nor has it ever been a real thing get over it.

Right, NASA, those lovable scoundrels. Always promising but never providing us with any inventions. Some day, maybe they'll make good on their other inventions....

You know, like that time these whacky ne'er do goods promised us:
CAT Scanners
The Computer Microchip
Cordless Power Tools (the modern form, Black and Decker had the first model, Nasa perfected it)
Portable cordless vacuums
Ear Thermometers
Freeze-dried food
Insulation
Invisible braces
Enriched baby food
The Joystick
LEDs (red, in NASA's case)
Memory Foam (I slept real comfortably last night on what sure felt like memory foam)
Scratch resistant lenses.
Shoe insoles
Artificial limbs
Adjustable sensitivity Smoke Detectors
Solar Energy
Powdered lubricants
The Water Filter
Space Blankets
The Soaper Soaker
Flame-Resistant textiles
Thermometer Pill
Workout machines
Long Distance telecommunications
Highway Safety grooving

With over 6,000 patents and 1,800 resulting in spin-off inventions/patents, I sure wish these guys would get around to actually delivering on promises.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies

In honor of Poe's Law I will now declare the above to be sarcasm. NASA doesn't troll. They do make mistakes and that's why we need more data. But they are cutting edge where innovations are concerned.

Czann:
I don't think this is something impossible. It would be the apex of arrogance for a barely civilized bunch of apes to say we know everything about how the universe works.

There's must be still an awful lot of things we simply can't even dream about to find out about the universe.

This may be one of them.

The math works out. No one should be calling this impossible. We should merely be calling for a vacuum test to verify the results.

Dach:

Cowabungaa:

P-89 Scorpion:
Not the EmDrive again this is just NASA trolling the internet again. It's not nor has it ever been a real thing get over it.

Do elaborate.

The Cannae and EmDrive have both been pushed online when if you read the scientific literature out on them, it is clear that there is something wrong. I haven't dug into the new findings but even just following the source, it is evident that the readings could have come from heating of air in the chamber. The results are anomalous which would be relevant if that actually could be attributed to the EmDrive actually doing something.

The previous research has always had questionable results too. Outside of Cannae LLC, the producer of the supposed engine, only two other experiments have been performed with the Cannae Drive/EmDrive. I could not find a link to any article written by the Chinese team, but it was reported that they observed 720 mN of thrust. The NASA team observed 30-50 mN but, more importantly, "Thrust was observed on both test articles, even though one of the test articles was designed with the expectation that it would not produce thrust." This definitely calls into question the efficacy of that experiment. Additional testing should definitely be done, but it is way too early to speculate about these devices. (link to the NASA abstract: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20140006052)

Please note first that this was for the Cannae drive test, not the EmDrive. Also note that there were three articles. The two that produced thrust were not controls. One had radial slots in accordance with Fetta's theory (the guy that made the cannae model) and the other didn't have the slots. Both had a resonance chamber. The control producing thrust would have raised far more eyebrows as it did not have a resonance chamber (but it did correctly fail to produce thrust). Both producing thrust just meant the difference between both articles weren't as relevant as they thought and that Fetta's theory needed tweaking to say the least.

Regardless, the creator of the EmDrive criticized Fetta's design as such: "[The Cannae Drive] operates along similar lines to EmDrive, except that its thrust is derived from a reduced reflection coefficient at one end plate," which he says "degrades the Q resonance factor of the device and hence the level of thrust that can be obtained"

Pyrian:

Dach:
"Thrust was observed on both test articles, even though one of the test articles was designed with the expectation that it would not produce thrust."

One doesn't usually see a placebo effect in physics. XD

As stated above, it's important to note that neither of the thrust capable articles were a control article. It's just that one of the articles wasn't supposed to work according to one person's theory on how the thrust was being generated and this experiment showed it to be false. That it was working some other way which these new findings may explain.

Lightknight:

P-89 Scorpion:
Not the EmDrive again this is just NASA trolling the internet again. It's not nor has it ever been a real thing get over it.

Right, NASA, those lovable scoundrels. Always promising but never providing us with any inventions. Some day, maybe they'll make good on their other inventions....

You know, like that time these whacky ne'er do goods promised us:

With over 6,000 patents and 1,800 resulting in spin-off inventions/patents, I sure wish these guys would get around to actually delivering on promises.

The EmDrive is not a NASA invention.

NASA as an organisation has said nothing directly about the EmDrive.

You are right NASA as an organisation doesn't troll but the individual engineers in there spare time yeah they do.

This article if from an internet forum were some NASA scientists point out over and over again that until repeatable proven results can be done this device is fake. This has been going on for 15 years where through thousands of tests a mere handful have produced unusual results which Roger J. Shawyer then proceeds to say prove it works.

P-89 Scorpion:

Lightknight:

P-89 Scorpion:
Not the EmDrive again this is just NASA trolling the internet again. It's not nor has it ever been a real thing get over it.

Right, NASA, those lovable scoundrels. Always promising but never providing us with any inventions. Some day, maybe they'll make good on their other inventions....

You know, like that time these whacky ne'er do goods promised us:

With over 6,000 patents and 1,800 resulting in spin-off inventions/patents, I sure wish these guys would get around to actually delivering on promises.

The EmDrive is not a NASA invention.

Didn't say they did. Just pointing out a long history of innovation and cutting edge development.

NASA as an organisation has said nothing directly about the EmDrive.

That's not technically true. They have tested and verified that it does produce thrust, albeit small, in their results from several years ago. But they haven't spoken about this new finding publicly yet.

You are right NASA as an organisation doesn't troll but the individual engineers in there spare time yeah they do.

This article if from an internet forum were some NASA scientists point out over and over again that until repeatable proven results can be done this device is fake. This has been going on for 15 years where through thousands of tests a mere handful have produced unusual results which Roger J. Shawyer then proceeds to say prove it works.

It hasn't been thousands of tests, feel free to cite your claim.

From what I'm seeing there have been several tests from large organizations that have been able to replicate the results to various degrees.

Let me be very clear about this, all of them have seen thrust where no thrust is supposed to be possible. Even in the small amounts they present we're still talking about something that changes our idea about thrust as far as this technology is concerned and our traditional focus on needing propellants.

Now that we have established that it does work. The question is how it works and if it will work in a vacuum and in microgravity.

If those succeed, then we've got ourselves a possibility.

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