The first nextbigfuture article on mach’s effect propulsion which has an interview with Paul March
A second article with answers to various questions in comments on mach effect propulsion.
Mach Effect investigation could be a path to the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics. Here is links to abot 20 hours of Stanford lectures on General relativity and another 20 on quantum mechanics plus a short video from one of the investigators of mach’s effect for potentially revolutionary propulsion. It is useful to understand the details of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics to be able to judge the quality of an attempt at unification and the possible impact of unification of those two areas.
If Mach’s effect can be used for propulsion as envisioned then what has been envisioned in terms of space travel in capabilities in Star Trek and even possibly wormholes for Faster than light travel and communication becomes possible. The work is based on solid General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and understanding of inertia and the experiments are being carefully conducted. Success development would be a candidate for one of the greatest accomplishments of humanity.
Paul March Has More Mach Effect Answers at Talk Polywell
Where does the kinetic energy of a Mach-drive vehicle come from?”
Simple, it’s the cosmological gravity/inertia or gravinertial field created by the rest of the mass/energy in the universe. This idea is at the heart of Mach’s principle as stated by Ernst mach in the late 1800s. In other words when an M-E drive accelerates itself and anything attached to it, the momentum and energy books for this acceleration step are balanced by subtracting the equivalent energy from this cosmological gravinertial field, which IMO, simultaneously lowers the overall temperature of the causally connected universe. So the Mach drive is just an electric motor that has replaced the driving electric and magnetic fields with the gravinertial field as the intermediating agent.
“The magic seems to be in how the mass of the material changes?”
The magic you refer to is wrapped around the question of what is the origins of inertia and inertial mass, and can it be dynamically modified by applied E&M fields? In the GRT/Machian view, (QM also takes a different position on this question), the property we call inertial mass comes about from the interaction of the cosmological gravinertial (G/I) field with the atoms & ions of the local mass. If you can transiently shield this G/I field interaction between the G/I field and the local mass, the local mass’ inertial mass will decrease during the initial shielding process and then increase when being unshielded. This G/I field shielding effect can be induced by bulk accelerating the local mass relative to the distant stars while a local power supply is pumping power thru the mass as would be the case in a bulk accelerated capacitor being charged and discharged. The actual change in the E= m*c^2 energy in the cap during its charge and discharging process is FAR TOO SMALL to account for the M-E’s predicted delta mass ratios or those already measured. You could consider the bulk acceleration and cap power flux simply as the catalytic elements needed to shield the local mass from its G/I field, which is the source of inertial mass in the Machian viewpoint.
As to whether the ac signal used to excite the capacitor is referenced to ground in a +/- signal around zero volts, or is a varying dc signal matters not. It’s the change in cap energy state and how fast it changes when being multiplied by the bulk acceleration that drives the magnitude of the M-E’s mass/energy fluctuations.
“So it’s an inertial dampening field? Unlike the sci-fi use of the term, however, it shields the mass from the universal gravity/inertia?”
If you are referring to the M-E impulse term as a transient inertia damping field or spherical kink in the G/I field around the local mass that propagates away at the speed of c both forwards and backwards in time, my answer is yes it is. In other words, the G/I field IS the source of inertia. If you shield this field from the local mass, the magnitude of the local mass has to be reduced or cancelled totally if the shielding is large enough.
As to your second question, I don’t have an answer for you other than it might be possible for the M-E to explain the observed satellite data if the proposed solar system E- and B-fields were aligned appropriately and if the satellites in question met the requirements of the M-E, which of course is TBD.
Does this mean that whatever space craft is being propelled by the mach-thruster is not gaining mass the closer it approaches c, unlike conventional thrusters?
Only if the entire vehicle was undergoing mass fluctuations. As currently built, these M-E drives only affect the mass density of the cap dielectrics in the drives themselves, while the rest of the vehicle would undergo the usual relativistic effects as the vehicle’s velocity approached c. How you get around that probelm is to develop the M-E wormhole term into a working FTL drive.
The MLT (Mach Lorentz Thruster) thrust varies with the sine function of the angle between the E-field and the B-field in the cap dielectric, so one can vary the MLT’s thrust smoothly between zero thrust to say max +X axis thrust at 90 deg, back to zero thrust at 180 degrees, then on to a peak -X thrust at 270 degrees, and then back down to zero at 360/0 degrees. How smooth this thrust control is depends on the granularity of your phase control system.
Any cites/links/papers/authors on QVF [Quantum Vacuum Fluctations] besides the one you already provided? Any feedback appreciated.
You might start with the “Hydrodynamics of the Vacuum” by P. M. Stevenson from Rice University. Also of interest is a STAIF-2006 paper by Harold White and Eric Davis entitled “The Alcubierre Warp Drive in Higher Dimensional Spacetime” by H. G. White-1 and E. W. Davis-2, along with Harold (Sonny) White’s STAIF-2007 Paper on QVF/MHD Thrusters.
Hydrodynamics of the Vacuum [32 page pdf]
Hydrodynamics is the appropriate “effective theory” for describing any fluid medium at sufficiently long length scales. This paper treats the vacuum as such a medium and derives the corresponding hydrodynamic equations. Unlike a normal medium the vacuum has no linear sound-wave regime; disturbances always “propagate” nonlinearly. For an “empty vacuum” the hydrodynamic equations are familiar ones (shallow water-wave equations) and they describe an experimentally observed phenomenon — the spreading of a clump of zero-temperature atoms into empty space. The “Higgs vacuum” case is much stranger; pressure and energy density, and hence time and space, exchange roles. The speed of sound is formally infinite, rather than zero as in the empty vacuum. Higher-derivative corrections to the vacuum hydrodynamic equations are also considered. In the empty-vacuum case the corrections are of quantum origin and the post-hydrodynamic description corresponds to the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. I conjecture the form of the post-hydrodynamic corrections in the Higgs case. In the 1+1-dimensional case the equations possess remarkable ‘soliton’ solutions and appear to constitute a new exactly integrable system.
There are two main points that I wish to emphasize: (i) Hydrodynamics in the empty vacuum case makes perfect sense and describes an experimentally observed phenomenon, the free expansion of an atomic Bose-Einstein condensate when the atom-trap potential is turned off. (ii) Hydrodynamics in the Higgs-vacuum case gives very strange and exciting behaviour as a consequence of the fact that the speed of sound in the Higgs vacuum is formally infinite. The Higgs vacuum is a medium that is both ultrarelativistic (pressure ≫ energy density) and ultra-quantum, being a Bose-Einstein condensate with almost all its particles in the same quantum state. Not surprisingly, perhaps, its properties are very different from those of familiar media.
The Alcubierre Warp Drive in Higher Dimensional Spacetime, 8 page pdf
The canonical form of the Alcubierre warp drive metric is considered to gain insight into the mathematical mechanism triggering the effect. A parallel with the Chung-Freese spacetime metric is drawn to demonstrate that the spacetime expansion boost can be considered a 3 + 1 on-brane simplification for higher dimensional geometric effects. The implications for baryonic matter of higher dimensional spacetime, in conjunction with the Alcubierre metric, are used to illustrate an equation of state for dark energy. Finally, this combined model will then be used to outline a theoretical framework for negative pressure (an alternative to negative energy) and a conceptual lab experiment is described.
More from Paul March:
Let’s look at thruster energy to thrust efficiencies. The best chemical rocket thrusters as exemplified by the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) has an Isp of ~453 seconds and a thruster efficiency of ~2.5×10^-4 Newtons per Watt. The current VX-200 VASIMR engine by Ad Astra company has a Isp of ~5,000 second and a net energy to thrust efficiency of ~5.0 Newtons / 200 kW = 2.5×10^-5 Newton per Watt due to its high Isp figure driven by its limited power supply. For reference, the highest performing turbofan engine used on the wide body jets has an Isp ~5,000 seconds and a thruster energy efficiency of ~2.0×10^-3 Newton per Watt, but this is only operational below 40k feet altitude here on Earth where it has access to its external propellant supply.
Now, my proof of principle Mach-2MHz, Mach Lorentz Thruster (MLT) on the other hand had a thruster energy efficiency of 2.9×10^-4 Newton/Watt, which is already equivalent to the best operational chemical rocket (SSME). And since there is no currently known theoretical restrictions on an MLT’s maximum thrust efficiency other than those placed on it by its engineering details, what is obtainable for the best MLT or M-E drive performance is only limited by the available dielectric material science and power electronics of the day in question. It may take up to 100 years to reach this 1.0 N/W efficiency level through a process of continuous improvements much like how the internal combustion engine was improved over the 20th Century, but theoretically the road is open for this kind of incremental development process.
Given that a capacitor dielectric can vary its total mass cyclically over a period of time around an average value, and you can apply an external force to the dielectric so it pushes the dielectric when it is heavy and then pulls on it when it’s light in the same direction, you create an unbalanced force in the direction of the pull light force. This is force rectification of a time varying mass. If you want to reverse this net unbalanced force due to the time varying mass, you simply reverse the push/pull order, so you push light and then pull heavy.
The M-E drives push/pull off the mostly distant mass/energy in the universe via the cosmological gravity/inertia or gravinertia (G/I) field that gives rise to Newtonian inertia per Mach’s principle. As to the origins of the momentum and energy acquired by the M-E Drive, it comes from the kinetic energy of the various parts of the universe that create this G/I field, which IMO reduces the average temperature of the universe by a very, very small percentage required to balance the energy books. However, since the 5% of the mass/energy that is standard mass in the universe is composed of over 1×10^80 atoms and ions, wiggling a block of dielectric mass that only contains at most ~1×10^26 ions is no big deal…
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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