Saturday, October 31, 2020
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

How does NASA's EmDrive actually work ?

Posted on Friday, 22 April, 2016 | Comment icon 24 comments

The EmDrive could revolutionize space travel. Image Credit: NASA / Mark Rademaker
Scientists have been coming up with new ideas to explain how the controversial propulsion system works.
The electromagnetic propulsion engine, which some scientists believe could herald a new era of spaceflight by replacing conventional chemical rocket engines, has been a hot topic recently.

EmDrive allegedly works by converting electrical power in to thrust without the need for propellant through a process that scientists argue is in direct violation of the laws of physics.

Now in a renewed effort to understand exactly what is going on inside the controversial engine, researchers have been mulling over possible explanations for its peculiar behavior.

One new hypothesis, which has been presented by Mike McCulloch from Plymouth University, suggests that the anomalous propulsion being generated by the drive is the result of something known as "the Unruh effect" which asserts that an accelerating observer will see black-body radiation where a stationary observer will see none.
In other words, the universe warms up when you accelerate and, according to McCulloch, the inertia is the pressure that this Unruh radiation is exerting on the accelerating body.

"At very small accelerations, the wavelengths of Unruh radiation become so large they can no longer fit in the observable universe," he said.

"When this happens, inertia can take only certain whole-wavelength values and so jumps from one value to the next. In other words, inertia must [be] quantised at small accelerations."

Whether this turns out to be what is causing the EmDrive's thrust however remains to be seen.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (24)

Tags: EmDrive, NASA

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by Skulduggery on 22 April, 2016, 22:06
Me too. They are on the right track. The concept is a good one.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Vox on 22 April, 2016, 22:40
See? That's the problem when you reverse engineer Alien Tech which you are dying to try out but need to have a conventional answer as to how it works so that the world doesn't go into meltdown Sarcastic mode: OFF
Comment icon #17 Posted by DieChecker on 23 April, 2016, 5:08
So... The microwaves bounce around inside the chamber, and the shape of the chamber causes the microwaves to interact with the virtual particles (providing thrust) in only one direction? Is the shape of the chamber scalable? Or does only the one very specific sized chamber work?
Comment icon #18 Posted by drewiduk on 23 April, 2016, 7:32
This is great, the laws of physics have been defined by humans, anything that pushes these boundaries will lead to new thinking and progression of science
Comment icon #19 Posted by Maars on 23 April, 2016, 9:15
Stupid question: How can they speculate on how it works if it has not been built yet?
Comment icon #20 Posted by herbygant on 23 April, 2016, 15:25
Let's reinvent the flying saucer, which never existed, right?
Comment icon #21 Posted by QSTR on 24 April, 2016, 0:00
Could it be as simple as when the microwaves hits the back of the chamber it provides a little punch/kick which create the motion.
Comment icon #22 Posted by CBbeachbum on 24 April, 2016, 0:01
Chances are, it' s already in the time WE know that it's in production, it will have already been in use for 40 years.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Saitung on 24 April, 2016, 4:16
Maybe it's time to rewrite our concepts of the laws of physics! So true paperdyer, We must first stop calling them laws, as that title asserts that we have the answers to every aspect of physics, when we clearly do not.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Codenwarra on 27 April, 2016, 14:23
Question is whether it works at all.

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Self-driving race car crashes before race starts
An autonomous car taking part in the recent Roborace event managed to crash before crossing the start line.
Doctor pays $41,500 for 'wish-granting lamp'
A physician in India was conned into paying a huge sum for a magic lamp that he was told could grant wishes.
New York man falls into sinkhole full of rats
A man who had been waiting for a bus was unaware of the nightmare scenario he was about to experience.
Rogue world found drifting through the galaxy
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized world that is drifting freely through the cosmos without a parent star.
Stories & Experiences
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California
Grim reaper-like visitation
6-16-2020 | Canada
My monster catfish story
6-15-2020 | Dallas texas
Orb of light in room
5-9-2020 | USA/Texas/Waco
Not sleeping alone
5-9-2020 | Los Angeles

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
NASA studies underwater 'white smoker' vents
Posted 4-17-2020 | 3 comments
Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor can teach us about possible habitats on other worlds.
10 strange things about our solar system
Posted 3-17-2020 | 0 comments
A look at some of the most mysterious things about our solar system.
Lizzie - Scotland's other loch monster
Posted 3-8-2020 | 0 comments
Amelia Dimoldenberg investigates the Loch Ness Monster's neighbor.
Adam Savage and Spot
Posted 2-14-2020 | 4 comments
Adam Savage tests out Boston Dynamics' impressive Spot robot.
NASA 2020: Are you ready ?
Posted 1-1-2020 | 3 comments
A look at what's coming up in the world of spaceflight this year.
 View: More videos
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 (c) 2001-2020
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ