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Response to DirkGently (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 05:00 PM

75. (1) There is no adequate theory

"... the mysterious drive actually worked even when they modified it in such a way it shouldn’t have produced any thrust ..."

This means nobody is sure that they are measuring

(2) The tiny forces were measured with a torsion balance

"... The torsion balance they used to test the thrust was sensitive enough to detect a thrust of less than ten micronewtons, but the drive actually produced 30 to 50 micronewtons ..."

So it looks like a measurement of an attraction or a repulsion, not a measurement of thrust

(3) The results don't accord with classical physics

... "Test results indicate that the RF resonant cavity thruster design, which is unique as an electric propulsion device, is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon ..." ...

This suggests something like the Casimir effect may be involved

(4) So we've got a device that generates some very tiny force. The inventor has some theory about how the force is produced, but the inventor's theory is wrong because a modified device produces a tiny force even when the inventor's theory says it won't. The device doesn't seem to be explicable on the basis of classical physics, so known or unknown quantum effects are involved. The inventor propose using the device to propel spacecraft. But before one rushes to build such craft, it would most appropriate to attempt to understand the actual physics involved in the device. The Casimir effect, for exactly, operates only at very short distances and seems unlikely to produce any usable thrust. Moreover, as a general rule, quantum effects tend to merge into classical physics in large systems, so one often can't expect quantum effects at small scales to be reproducible at larger scales

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