Saturday, August 9, 2014
Last week over the course of a number of days I had read several contradictory reports in regards to the apparent confirmation by NASA scientists of a controversial new space technology. Beyond the claim itself which was remarkable I found myself fascinated by an ensuing drama. In most instances such as this when extraordinary claims are made a phalanx of establishment detractors’ rise up against the claim in judgment and ridicule. However in this instance it was not the usual case of “The Dreamers” versus “The Nay Sayers”. An observant reader could easily see that as battle lines were being drawn that the Nay Sayers were careful not to mock too vigorously.
The major bone of contention is the fact that this technology, what British Engineer Roger Sawyer calls an EmDrive should not work at all. According to the theory electric power is converted directly into thrust, bypassing the need for propellant. Within a sealed vacuum chamber high energy radio frequencies are bounced around somehow propagating thrust from the quantum ether.
In a recent report published by NASA it has officially reported that experiments to either confirm or disprove this technology were conducted in 2013. The published results seem to back up earlier reports out of China that confirm that small but measurable levels of thrust were detected. I thought it was rather interesting how the NASA abstract states right from the beginning that it is in no way trying to explain or describe their observation beyond the results. It would seem that the scientists at NASA the venerable granddad of space science are at a loss for word as to explain or describe their observation beyond the results. As for now it is standing by its results and has published them to the internet.
An abstract of the report entitled “Anomalous Thrust Production from an RF Test Device Measured on a Low-Thrust Torsion Pendulum” was published July 28th and can be found at the following link.
At the bottom of the abstract one of the authors states;
“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 and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma. Future test plans include independent verification and validation at other test facilities.”
Science is often scared to get ahead of itself. According to accepted conventional physics this theoretical technology breaks the law of conservation of energy therefore it cannot work. However with NASA making such extraordinary claims the scientific community should take a moment to examine these findings. It will be curious to watch this unfold over the next months or years. In the worst case scenario if they are proved wrong you can still reserve the right to say I told you so and then it’s back to giant rocket that goes nowhere. However if it proves to be true this could lead to a golden age of science and could possess the side effect of offering economically priced space travel to all. So for the moment let’s indulge the dreamers. In this case it’s the right thing to do.