9 votes

NASA's former EmDrive lead left to pursue a new project

6 comments

  1. [6]
    moocow1452
    Link
    I was under the impression that EmDrive was thoroughly debunked as a weird error, and it didn't actually break our understanding of physics. Maybe that's why he's seeking greener pastures?

    I was under the impression that EmDrive was thoroughly debunked as a weird error, and it didn't actually break our understanding of physics. Maybe that's why he's seeking greener pastures?

    5 votes
    1. Loire
      Link Parent
      As per the article: I assume he's seeking greener pastures because NASA is no longer the only organization with realistic ability to operate in space, and may not even be the ideal organization...

      As per the article:

      White will also be conducting research that grows out of his work at NASA on the EmDrive, a so-called “impossible engine” that produces thrust without propellant by bouncing radio waves around in a metal cone. The EmDrive test device used by White and his colleagues was a copper frustum—a cone with its top lopped off—that was just under a foot long. During tests it was placed in a vacuum chamber, and a device outside the chamber sent microwaves to antennas inside the cone. How those microwaves generate thrust inside the cone is a subject of divisive theoretical debate.

      I assume he's seeking greener pastures because NASA is no longer the only organization with realistic ability to operate in space, and may not even be the ideal organization for that endeavour these days.

      6 votes
    2. [4]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      The emdrive fundamentally violates conservation of momentum. For it to work, you'd also prove that the universe as a system does not exhibit conservation of momentum. Idk why there was ever any...

      The emdrive fundamentally violates conservation of momentum. For it to work, you'd also prove that the universe as a system does not exhibit conservation of momentum.

      Idk why there was ever any money spent on this "idea".

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        drannex
        Link Parent
        Because science is designed to be broken, the common sense of conservation of momentum is a new concept (as well as all of physics) and we should allocate as much time and resources to attempt to...

        Because science is designed to be broken, the common sense of conservation of momentum is a new concept (as well as all of physics) and we should allocate as much time and resources to attempt to debunk it as it would open up a playground of possibilities of it were done so.

        We learn a lot either way, such is science, progress, and innovation.
        Scientific laws are made to be broken.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          Only when put under the rigors of said science. Here's what you're going up against. Noether proved that conservation of momentum is an emergent property of systems that have translational...

          Only when put under the rigors of said science. Here's what you're going up against.

          Noether proved that conservation of momentum is an emergent property of systems that have translational invariance (i.e the laws of physics work the same regardless of where you are). To say that there is no conservation of momentum, you imply that the universe does not have translational symmetry.

          Remember, we're on a spinning planet, in orbit on a solar system, in orbit in a galaxy. Literally every observation, from planetary orbits, to everyday life, to quantum interactions, are consistent across translation.

          Does that necessarily mean that the universe has translational symmetry? No, but if you want to argue that it doesn't, you better have some good ass evidence.


          He has zero evidence. There is no evidence, or even an idea on how CoM is broken. Science is based on evidence, and critical thinking, and peer reviews. Until any of those are satisfied, this is nothing but the work of a crank.

          2 votes
          1. PendingKetchup
            Link Parent
            Conservation of momentum doesn't really prohibit microwaves bouncing around in a tin can from pushing the tin can along. It could just push on Earth, or on neutrinos, or shoot out...

            Conservation of momentum doesn't really prohibit microwaves bouncing around in a tin can from pushing the tin can along. It could just push on Earth, or on neutrinos, or shoot out heretofore-undiscovered nearly-massless momentum carriers. It's easy to just find some random thing and dump the momentum there in theory, to explain an experimental result.

            The real problem is that there isn't a consistent experimental result that needs explaining. If two labs can't agree on the size or direction of the force these things supposedly exert, then the force probably isn't actually there.

            6 votes