“EmDrive“It claims to turn the impossible into reality: a method that doesn’t require pushing the spacecraft away-well, pushing. There is no propulsion. There is no exhaust. Just plug in the power, fire it, and you can cruise to The destination of your dreams.
But EmDrive not only violates our basic understanding of the universe; experiments that claim to be able to measure effects have not yet been replicated. Speaking of EmDrive, please continue to dream.
related: Ultrafast spacecraft propulsion concept (pictured)
The microwave of the future
It has different names-EmDrive, Q-Drive, RF resonator, impossible drive-but all incarnations of the device claim to have the same function: reflect some radiation in a closed room, and then change color. You can get propulsion .
This is important because all forms rocket (In fact, all forms of motion in the entire universe) need to maintain momentum. In order to move yourself, you must first accomplish a few things. With your feet off the ground, the aircraft pushes itself out of the air, and the rocket pushes some parts of itself (for example, exhaust gas) to the rear end to make it move forward.
But EmDrive does not. It is just a box with a microwave oven, and it will bounce around. It is said that it can move.
The explanation of how EmDrive might work is beyond the scope of known physics.Maybe in some way with Quantum vacuum energy (Even the quantum vacuum of space-time can not allow anything to push away from it). Maybe our understanding of momentum is broken (even if there are no other examples in our entire experimental history). The EmDrive experiment indicates that this may be a whole new kind of physics.
Don’t be aggressive
Let’s talk about the momentum part. Momentum conservation is very simple: in a closed system, you can accumulate the momentum of all objects in the system. Then they interact. Then, you add the momentum of all objects again. The total momentum at the beginning must be equal to the total momentum at the end: keep momentum.
The idea of staying motivated has been around for centuries (Newton’s famous Second Law even hinted at this), but in the early 1900s, it gained a new status. The eminent mathematician Emmy Noether proved that the conservation of momentum (and other conservation laws, such as the conservation of energy) reflect the following facts: Our universe Has some symmetry.
For example, you can choose a suitable location to perform physical experiments. Then you can conduct a physical experiment, transmit it to any location in the universe and repeat it.Just take into account environmental differences (for example, different air pressure or Gravitational field), your results will be the same.
This is a natural symmetry: physics does not care where the experiment is performed. Noether realized that this symmetry of space directly leads to the conservation of momentum. You can’t live without one.
Therefore, if EmDrive proves to violate the conservation of momentum (which it claims to do), it must break this fundamental symmetry of nature.
But almost every physical theory Newton’s Law Quantum field theory expresses spatial symmetry (and conservation of momentum) in its basic equations. Indeed, most modern physics theories are just retellings of the conservation of momentum. The breakthrough to find this symmetry is not only an extension of known physics, it will also completely subvert hundreds of years of understanding of how the universe works.
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This is certainly not impossible (the scientific revolution has already happened), but it takes a lot of persuasiveness to make it a reality.
So far, the experiment is not satisfactory enough.
Since the introduction of the EmDrive concept in 2001, a group claimed to measure the net force from its equipment every few years. However, these researchers are measuring incredibly small effects: such a small force cannot even sheet paper. This leads to significant statistical uncertainty and measurement errors.
Indeed, of all the published results, there is no measurable result more than “almost ineligible for publication”, let alone anything meaningful.
Nevertheless, other teams have also developed their own EmDrives, trying to replicate the results as good scientists.These replication attempts either failed to measure anything at all, or found some confusing variables that could easily explain the meager results measured, such as Interaction of cables and earth’s magnetic field in equipment.
Therefore, this is the result of EmDrive’s original proposal nearly 20 years after it was put forward: a bunch of experiments that have not yet been delivered without any explanation (except “Let’s move on, break all physical principles and violate the past 100 other experimental years”).
A breakthrough, a revolution in space travel that breaks through the principles of physics or a dream or dream? Obviously, which side is “Nature”.
Paul Sartre Is an astrophysicist State University of New York Stony Brook and the Flatiron Institute, Ask the astronaut with Space radioAnd the author How to die in space.He contributed this article to Space.com Voice of the Experts: Views and Insights.
Learn more by listening to the episode Does “”EmDrive” really work? In the “Ask the Spaceman” podcast ITunes Online http://www.askaspaceman.com. Thanks to Mitchell L. For the problem that caused this problem!Use #AskASpaceman or follow Paul’s questions to ask yourself on Twitter @PaulMattSutter with facebook.com/PaulMattSutter.
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