HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » NASA Tests "Impossib... » Reply #40

Response to DirkGently (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 03:57 PM

40. Frankly, I'm unimpressed by a lot of NASA bleeding-edge "science"

Has this been through any kind of peer review?

There's really not anything I've been able to find that lets me understand the experiments, the alleged principles behind the devices, etc. Just a lot of word salad. I just skimmed a paper (more like a lengthy abstract) called "Anomalous Thrust Production from an RF Test Device Measured on a Low-Thrust Torsion Pendulum" and it's remarkably uninformative. It also includes this curious passage:

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. Specifically, one test article contained internal physical modifications that were designed to produce thrust, while the other did not (with the latter being referred to as the “null” test article).


This really suggests to me a problem with their test procedure. And at these tiny thrust levels, there are so many things that could cause trouble.

The reporting itself is incredibly sloppy, which does not inspire confidence. Consider this gem on the MSN link:

The drive built by China managed 720mN, or 72g, of power. Not a great deal but enough to move a satellite about in space without the reliance on fuel.


Now I can sort through this hash, but believe me, any freshman writing this in my class on a lab will get hammered! What they claim to have measured was 720 mN of thrust, which is a force. That force equals the weight of an object whose mass is about 72 g. None of those quantities are power (energy transformed per unit time).

This sloppiness also makes me wonder whether they've also confused milli-Newtons and micro-Newtons (the NASA test pegged the force around 50 micro-Newtons).

For all my skepticism, I actually think there's nothing woo-like or even implausible about the existence of some quantum vacuum effect that could be exploited to created thrust without the need to lug a propellant. Since you need to supply some energy to the device it doesn't set off any "perpetual motion machine" BS detectors, and it's well-known that electromagnetic radiation carries momentum (though everyone seems to insist that classical EM theory cannot explain what they see). Even tiny thrusts can be game-changers if you don't need to lug reaction mass around!

Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 108 replies Author Time Post
DirkGently Aug 2014 OP
enlightenment Aug 2014 #1
Logical Aug 2014 #11
enlightenment Aug 2014 #12
backscatter712 Aug 2014 #59
DirkGently Aug 2014 #86
Logical Aug 2014 #87
DirkGently Aug 2014 #88
kelliekat44 Aug 2014 #55
enlightenment Aug 2014 #57
Marr Aug 2014 #100
enlightenment Aug 2014 #103
nashville_brook Aug 2014 #2
Logical Aug 2014 #17
crim son Aug 2014 #27
aint_no_life_nowhere Aug 2014 #89
G_j Aug 2014 #95
Uncle Joe Aug 2014 #3
jeff47 Aug 2014 #4
DirkGently Aug 2014 #8
jeff47 Aug 2014 #20
The Traveler Aug 2014 #24
jeff47 Aug 2014 #26
DirkGently Aug 2014 #30
jeff47 Aug 2014 #32
jberryhill Aug 2014 #101
Uncle Joe Aug 2014 #77
jeff47 Aug 2014 #78
Sirveri Aug 2014 #96
jeff47 Aug 2014 #97
Humanist_Activist Aug 2014 #69
hifiguy Aug 2014 #5
Orrex Aug 2014 #34
hifiguy Aug 2014 #36
Orrex Aug 2014 #37
Frank Cannon Aug 2014 #56
mathematic Aug 2014 #80
Go Vols Aug 2014 #6
MineralMan Aug 2014 #7
Kablooie Aug 2014 #14
MineralMan Aug 2014 #15
Treant Aug 2014 #19
DirkGently Aug 2014 #35
Treant Aug 2014 #38
DirkGently Aug 2014 #45
Treant Aug 2014 #50
backscatter712 Aug 2014 #60
sir pball Aug 2014 #74
joshcryer Aug 2014 #79
hunter Aug 2014 #9
DirkGently Aug 2014 #16
colsohlibgal Aug 2014 #10
Bosonic Aug 2014 #13
IDemo Aug 2014 #18
sarisataka Aug 2014 #21
jmowreader Aug 2014 #22
sarisataka Aug 2014 #28
awoke_in_2003 Aug 2014 #49
DirkGently Aug 2014 #53
awoke_in_2003 Aug 2014 #54
DirkGently Aug 2014 #61
DeSwiss Aug 2014 #23
DirkGently Aug 2014 #63
DRoseDARs Aug 2014 #25
paulkienitz Aug 2014 #33
DRoseDARs Aug 2014 #51
Spitfire of ATJ Aug 2014 #29
paulkienitz Aug 2014 #31
Treant Aug 2014 #39
paulkienitz Aug 2014 #43
LineReply Frankly, I'm unimpressed by a lot of NASA bleeding-edge "science"
caraher Aug 2014 #40
Eleanors38 Aug 2014 #42
paulkienitz Aug 2014 #44
caraher Aug 2014 #47
paulkienitz Aug 2014 #104
caraher Aug 2014 #105
paulkienitz Aug 2014 #107
caraher Aug 2014 #108
silverweb Aug 2014 #41
Rex Aug 2014 #46
DirkGently Aug 2014 #48
Rex Aug 2014 #52
nashville_brook Aug 2014 #62
backscatter712 Aug 2014 #58
Rex Aug 2014 #81
nashville_brook Aug 2014 #64
Motown_Johnny Aug 2014 #65
DirkGently Aug 2014 #66
Motown_Johnny Aug 2014 #67
Humanist_Activist Aug 2014 #68
DirkGently Aug 2014 #71
Humanist_Activist Aug 2014 #82
DirkGently Aug 2014 #83
Marr Aug 2014 #102
derby378 Aug 2014 #70
DirkGently Aug 2014 #72
derby378 Aug 2014 #73
DirkGently Aug 2014 #85
derby378 Aug 2014 #90
DirkGently Aug 2014 #91
derby378 Aug 2014 #92
Hugabear Aug 2014 #99
struggle4progress Aug 2014 #75
DirkGently Aug 2014 #84
intaglio Aug 2014 #76
backscatter712 Aug 2014 #93
DirkGently Aug 2014 #94
Rex Aug 2014 #98
Nye Bevan Aug 2014 #106
Please login to view edit histories.