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Author Topic: Impossible Space Drive.  (Read 955 times)
Rockula
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« on: August 03, 2014, 01:37:36 pm »

'Impossible' Space Engine Might Work, NASA Test Suggests...'

But there's a long way to go yet.

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/weird-science/impossible-space-engine-might-work-nasa-test-suggests-n171201
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Siliconous Skumins
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2014, 03:12:24 pm »

Oddly enough it works on a similar principal to the theoretical (not real theory, just SCFI imagining) way the anti-grav units on the Hoverboard (film B.T.T.F II) work.

SO - Hoverboards here we come!  Grin


A pic of the thruster device for anyone interested:

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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 03:54:56 pm »

"less than 0.1 percent of the thrust the Chinese measured"

Well, yeah.. I bet they used Made in China measuring gear bought from DealExtreme or Alibaba.com  Grin

Interesting technology, but you'll still need quite a bit of electricity to produe any form of meaningful thrust. I would think a solar sail might be much mroe efficient..
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2014, 05:52:42 pm »

Interesting technology, but you'll still need quite a bit of electricity to produe any form of meaningful thrust. I would think a solar sail might be much more efficient..

At the moment, yeah. They need to improve on the efficiency and get a grip with the physics behind the device first, then we may see something usefull. Don't forget this device is the equivalent of a petrol engine made from a baked bean tin on a stick, inside a slightly bigger baked bean tin - then compare that with a modern F1 race car engine... Wink

If the the technology can be scaled up to provide usefull thrust from a reasonably sized thruster, then it has massive potential for space vehicles - satellites that never run out of fuel is just one example that would be worth BILLIONS. Ion engines are very efficient, but once the propellant mass (the gas, usually Xenon) runs out, they are useless. This thruster has the potential for deep space probes that could achieve incredible speed and distances compared to the best of our current and experimental technology.

This could very well be the only viable technology that enables humans to explore extrasolar planets on a reasonable (human life expectancy) timescale. Then again it could fizzle out to be an interesting, but ultimately useless physics curiosity.
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2014, 11:25:02 pm »

You'd be hard pressed to find a credible physicist questioning solar sails.  This space drive, if it proves anything other than an experimental error, raises some very difficult questions about physics.
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Alexis Voltaire
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 01:04:15 am »

the bit about "...the thruster harnesses subatomic particles that pop into and out of existence in accordance with quantum physics." seems interesting (if logically incomprehensible to someone like myself.)

A parallel thought: I wonder if pulling energy out of another universe  (or simply harnessing energy that bleeds through naturally) would be a legitimate loophole in the thermodynamics perpetual motion problem, since the energy is coming from outside of the (supposedly) closed system. (I can't tell if that's what's going on here, just reminded me of something I read once about an experiment proving photons could bleed through from other universes. Not sure if that was true though.)
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2014, 01:52:05 am »

Wow.  What a can of worms.

Yes, that's right.  One Masters degree specialising in aerothermodynamics and one in combustion and heat transfer and that's all I have to say  Grin

Two days ago, I applied to a new Aerosoace company who builds small rockets with aerospike engines.  Somehow seems more tractable to me  Grin
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2014, 03:18:12 am »

This space drive, if it proves anything other than an experimental error, raises some very difficult questions about physics.

That's why I'm so impressed that they found ANY thrust from this device.  Wink

I read about it in New Scientist a number of years ago, and while an interesting concept, I dismissed it as 'unlikely'. Then I heard about the Chinese results, which again I dismissed as 'it's China...' as you hear stuff like this quite often from there. But when NASA engineers start to say "it does something", I start to listen. Doesn't mean I believe it yet, but I'm open to the possibilities that it might just be of some scientific value. I don't think that thruster device will be the answer, but the physics behind it may actually allow something to be built that would be of real value. Assuming the physics theory of the device are real... and depending on WHICH theory it is you believe...

However it may just turn out to be like the "Farnsworth Fusor" fusion reactor - yeah it works, but not in any practical way or of any use.
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Atterton
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 05:18:40 pm »

The suggestion that it it might interact with the supposed zero point field, does make it sound like an aetherdrive.
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2014, 09:04:47 pm »

One possibility - and the one that doesn't violate any conservation laws of physics, although it's going to require some re-evaluation of our models - is that it's interacting with dark matter. If it is, then we might be able to tap it for power, either decelerating them and extracting the power, or even better, annihilating them. Either way, if this works, we're going to be a solid K2 civilisation in the few decades...
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