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04 May 2015


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Or we could end up with Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Alderson drive. I sincerely believe the universe will give up it's secrets if we try hard enough. It's this kind of stuff, including the Large Hadron Collider, that just may be our legacy, rather than strife, pollution and overpopulation.

Charles I

Even if we crack the bubble surely it will come down to a power source.

Charles I

They must be on the cusp, having achieved this milestone. . .


ex-PFC Chuck

If quantum mechanics or anything else in physics superseded Newton's Third Law I didn't get the memo. When I see stuff like this is when I wish my brother were still around so I could get his take on the physics of it. He was a grad school classmate of Hugh Everett, the guy whose PhD thesis developed the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum theory.

Allen Thomson

Having posted this in the Athenium, I repeat it here:

"I fear that the current story is much like the Dean Drive one sixty years ago (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_drive). It would be great if there were something to the EM drive, but I'd not invest a lot of my retirement money in it just yet."

I.e., I think this has all the hallmarks of crackpot science, very close to perpetual motion machines.

We'll see.

A Pols

This sounds very dubious and, like many other ideas over the years purporting to repeal laws of thermodynamics or conservation of momentum, this one will end up having hidden external inputs that end up making it not work.

Babak Makkinejad

Third Law of Newton is not applicable to the electromagnetic theory as formulated by Maxwell.

Charles I

o/t this is where I'll post my latest on materials science, never mind bendable phones . . .

Toward a squishier robot: Engineers design synthetic gel that changes shape and moves via its own internal energy

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-05-squishier-robot-synthetic-gel-internal.html#jCp

Allen Thomson

> gel that changes shape and moves via its own internal energy

Don't we all? :-)


I believe that was called an amoeba in my college bio classes.

Babak Makkinejad

The warp engine requires the creation of regions of space with negative energy density.

No one know how to do that although Casimir Effect might be or relevance here.


on a related but separate topic. know that the colonel is interested in the "space elevator." likewise for me. found another novel on the topic, besides the original by Arthur Clarke. Forstchen is a professor of military history that co-authored some alternative civil war histories with Newt gingrich, wrote the Once Second Later or such about an EMP attack and some science fiction. Well, also an ISIS on the border book.


Allen Thomson

Oh, space elevators are pretty much in compliance with known laws of physics, though Earth-to-space ones require materials a lot stronger than we know how to do today.(*) However, ones based on less challenging bodies such as the moon, Ceres, maybe Mars might be doable.

The engineering and economic aspects are left for another discussion.

(*) And they would have worrisome failure modes, for values of "worrisome" in the vicinity of "catastrophic."


Newton wrote down the inverse square law of the gravitational field. (Note, he just called it the law of attraction, it was not until Faraday that people started thinking of fields and potentials). He honestly said, i have no idea why it is that way. Hypotheses non fingo (Latin for "I feign no hypotheses,"

Einstein sad, well matter curves spacetime and then other matter follows the geodesic (shortest distance) in curved spacetime. But he never explained why this happens. (General Relativity, "GR")

Taking up Faraday's lead, now the latest thinking is that the field in spacetime is more fundamental than matter or point charges. Indeed the quantization of the electric field is said to be the photon.

Quantum Mechanics ("QM") is the fundamental reality. Trying to marry the strange QM with GR has taken several different turns. One of the most interesting is string theory, with its multiple dimensions. IMO, the warp drives will use these extra dimensions, in effect tunneling thru an apparent great distance in a shorter path.

One day somebody will marry quantum electrodynamics with general relativity.



"One day somebody will marry quantum electrodynamics with general relativity." I think that is true. Ah, to see the day. pl

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