EMdrive could enable a huge leap in travel around the solar system and interstellar travel and possibly even open up exotic warp or hyperspace physics.
Adam Crowl is writing on a broad variety of interstellar and SETI topics while changing day-jobs. Adam is on the board of Directors for Icarus Interstellar. He is a member on the Starship Congress Committee.
Adam Crowl is also a designer on the Icarus interstellar spaceship project.
Adam Crowl is a designer on Project Tin Tin. This is an effort to lay the foundations for cost-effective technology and engineering validation Cubesat missions, leading up to the first interstellar precursor mission to Alpha Centauri. The objective of Project Tin Tin is to motivate interstellar exploration by pushing the envelope of what is currently possible for deep space exploration.
The EMDrive tests seem to also be detecting some indication of warping of space at 4 times the level of the measurement error. This was reported in the NASAflightforum discussion.
Adam Crowl Noted Nextbigfuture reporting and Goatguys Hyperdrive comment
Brian Wang’s Next Big Future has reported on the EM-Drive/Q-Drive effort for years and the forum arguments there have raged as well, with the well-meant sceptics led by GoatGuy, whose physics knowledge and clear writing is very welcome in an often fractious, noisy forum. This little post was the possible vanguard of the current Hype-Storm:
Magnetron powered EM-drive construction expected to take two months …in which the EM-Drive, with Sonny White’s computations, might produce 1250 newtons thrust from 100 kW of microwave power.
The basic device which has most recently produced positive results, in vacuum chamber tests, is based on Roger Shawyer’s EM-Drive, an earlier and equally controversial propellantless propulsion system. What particularly irks orthodox physicists (and mathematical physicists, like Greg Egan) is Shawyer’s claim that his EM-Drive works in a way that obeys relativity. That it violates conservation of momentum while doing so immediately hinted that Shawyer’s mathematical treatment of his concept was incomplete – as Greg Egan was quick to point out.
Unfortunately for Shawyer’s critics, positive results from his experiments, a Chinese team, and now Eagleworks, suggests that something is missing in our current best theoretical understanding of how the world works. But what? I made this comment recently on Facebook:
It’s arguable whether it could be called a “hyper-space drive”, but it’s not a bad title. Here’s why: currently Sonny’s warp-drive concept requires the existence of the 5th dimension aka “Hyper-space” to work. If the Q-Drive/EM-Drive thingie is also confirmed, and is genetically related to the warp-drive, then it too probably works by some sort of 5-D effect. It almost certainly doesn’t work via the dubious physics that Shawyer has invoked. The recent interferometer test which has produced data *suggestive* of a space-warp being generated via the modified Q-Drive rig would not work if plain vanilla General Relativity is 100% correct. There’s just not enough energy density in the test device to warp space in an observable way. To produce a warp – as Sonny has said all along – requires the *existence* of Hyper-space. IFF the warp really is a warp, and not experimental noise, then it’s evidence of Hyper-space. In some ways that’s an even more incredible experimental outcome than some minor “violation” of action-reaction laws.
Some Arxiv papers that might explain what is being observed in the EMDrive tests.
Fernando Minotti, an Argentinian physicist, has suggested one theoretical option using Scalar-Tensor theory, which is a mathematical alternative to General Relativity. In most physics tests, the two theories give identical results, but not all tests – the EM-Drive
Recently published experimental results indicate the appeareance of unusual forces on asymmetric, electromagnetic resonant cavities. It is argued here that a particular class of scalar-tensor theories of gravity could account for this effect.
Another Theory of EMdrive
The very existence of the physical vacuum provides a framework to propose a general mechanism for propelling bodies through an agency of electromagnetic fields, that seat in that medium. When two sub-systems of a general closed device interact via nonlocal and retarded electromagnetic pulses, it is easily shown that they give a nonzero force, and that only tend to comply with the action-to-reaction force in the limit of instantaneous interactions. The arrangement of sub-systems provide a handy way to optimize the unbalanced EM force with the concept of impedance matching. The general properties of the differential electromagnetic force (DEF) are the following:
i) it is proportional to the square of the intensity and to the angular wave frequency ω;
ii) to the space between the sub-systems (although in a non-linear manner);
iii) it is inversely proportional to the speed of interaction;
iv) when the two sub-systems are out-of-phase, DEF is null.
The approach is of interest to practical engineering principles of propulsion since it offers guiding principles useful to build prototypes
More experimental data is needed to help select and build the correct theories.