An “impossible” EmDrive thruster that breaks the laws of physics could one day carry astronauts to Mars in 10 weeks at “warp speed” thanks to research being published soon.
The technology behind the “warp drive” has yet to be field tested, but scientists at NASA’s Eagleworks lab are about to publish groundbreaking research that could make the EmDrive accessible for space travel.
With a now-deleted post to the NASASpaceFlight forum, Dr. Jose Rodal has confirmed that EmDrive research from NASA’s Eagleworks lab has been accepted for publication in a peer-review journal, reports the International Business Times.
The paper entitled “Measurement of Impulsive Thrust from a Closed Radio Frequency Cavity in Vacuum” will be published in the AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power.
The EmDrive provides thrust without the need for fuel, so if NASA could harness the technology, it would speed up space travel and make the colonization of Mars much easier, as its inventor, Roger Shawyer, told the International Business Times.
“People think it’s black magic or something, but it’s not. Any physicist worth his salt should understand how it works, or if they don’t, they should change their profession.”
The EmDrive was first proposed by Shawyer in 1999; he was ridiculed by the scientific community and accused of faking his research, even though the U.K. government funded his work. That research has since been declassified and is available on Shawyer’s website for free.
It’s that research that NASA’s Eagleworks lab used to produce their EmDrive paper. The lab deals with experimental technology, much like the Google X moonshot labs, and the space agency isn’t ready to publicly endorse the projects there quite yet. That’s probably why it took so long for the EmDrive research to be published; it was submitted back in March, but is only just now being released, Rodal told Hacked.
“It is my understanding that Eaglework’s new paper has been today accepted for publication in a peer-review journal, where it will be published. Congratulations to the Eagleworks team!”
The U.K. has had the EmDrive research for years and only recently have American researchers, like the scientists at NASA’s Eagleworks, been trying to recreate the work, Shawyer told the International Business Times.
“People all around the world have been measuring thrust. You’ve got guys building them in their garages and very large organizations building cavities too. They’re all generating thrust, there’s no great mystery.”
The EmDrive is called an “impossible” engine because it appears to break the laws of physics, specifically the law of conservation of momentum, which says for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction.
That means a rocket can only move in one direction if exhaust is moving in the other direction, but Shawyer’s EmDrive provides thrust without exhaust. He argues the EmDrive does obey the law of conservation, but it does so by using the theory of special relativity.
NASA 'Warp Drive' Might Take Humans to Mars in 10 Weeks - Nature World News https://t.co/I3PIXUMMDu— SolarNewsNow (@SolarNewsNow) August 30, 2016
It works by bouncing microwaves around an enclosed chamber to produce thrust using only solar power for electricity. The microwaves are fired within a closed cone-like container and produce thrust by exerting more force on the flat surface than the end of the cone.
Besides NASA’s Eagleworks, there are four other labs working to develop the technology. It’s been suggested that the EmDrive doesn’t break the law of physics, we may simply not understand the full implications of those laws. Other scientists say the EmDrive does produce exhaust in the form of photons, but those photons are cancelling each other out so they can’t be observed.
Shawyer wants to use the EmDrive to solve the energy crisis, end climate change, speed up space travel, and make flying cars a reality, according to the International Business Times.
“Essentially, anything that currently flies or drives or floats can use EmDrive technology.”
What do you think of the EmDrive?
[Image via Thinkstock]