Friday, October 3, 2008

Emdrive - Microwaves to Create Space Thruster?

Something a little more from fringe science: I recently heard on my favorite tech news podcast that there was an article published in New Scientist about a space (as in outer space) drive that converts electrical energy into thrust using microwaves. It has caused a lot of uproar about not being possible because it violates the law of conservation of momentum, making it impossible to build. But the Chinese (looking for any technological advantage in space they can get) claim to have confirmed the theory and are building a demonstration unit.

The theory is that the drive creates thrust by tapering a resonant cavity filled with microwaves. The thrust is small, 85 compared to 92 mN for the NSTAR ion thruster used by NASA, but enough to power space vehicles and it uses much less power than the NSTAR. Apparently, the microwaves are introduced into a tapered cavity and strike the larger end of the cavity with more force than the smaller end that has less area which creates thrust. One big question is why doesn't the force exerted on the sides also create opposing forces that cancel out each other.

Interesting stuff - we will have to see how it works out. Some of us might be building space thrusters soon. Do you think it will work?


  1. Thanks for bringing it up in this forum. The web is bristling with strong objections to Shawyer's theory but most of the posters don't seem to be familiar with resonators. I have guarded optimism there could be something to this. Many of the detractor's would probably argue against laser ring gyros working at all, let alone observing frame dragging.

  2. From I First heard about this Story back in November of 2008, I have been searching for follow up stories, but so far all I cant fine are forums with unpleasant remorks about Shawyer Revolutionary if proven theory. From time to time man make Laws and man break Laws,it isn't anything new. Even I am a bit skeptical but hopeful and mindful that a legendary Physicist might have over look a thing or two. I am sure any potential reader of this would agree with me that WE HAVE DIFFERENT MINDS BUT ONE MASTER "TIME", in time I hope we will see.