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Warp Drive?


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This could be huge, because if Stephen Hawking is correct, the human race will need to seek out a new planet for survival, because of using up all of the planet's natural resources and not being good caretakers of the earth.  The sooner something like this can be developed, the better chance mankind will have of survival.  

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I'll never look at my microwave the same again.

 

I think you might need a nuclear powered microwave though James ;)

 

Not understanding that advanced of science :unsure: is the reason this couldn't be applied to earth due to the pull of gravity and the lack of vacuum in our atmosphere?

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Not understanding that advanced of science :unsure: is the reason this couldn't be applied to earth due to the pull of gravity and the lack of vacuum in our atmosphere?

 

Based on what they've said in the article, the thrust would be insufficient to be able to push a craft out of Earth's gravitational field. Just like an ion or photon rocket engine, this would be a low but sustained thrust.

 

As I was reading it, I couldn't help think of another 'propellentless' engine from a science fiction short story (I can't remember the author, but I believe it was either Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke). In that story, a smart scientist on an orbital satellite worked out that they could produce electricity from the electrical potential difference between two extremes of the satellite (low and high orbit portions). Someone pointed out that they didn't need electricity because solar panels produced a lot more, anyway, and that the energy produced would be as a result of passing through Earth's magnetic field, and draining power this way would result in an increased orbital decay (a problem for the satellite). It was as if they was a very, very large electric generator with a rotor that turned once per orbit.

 

However, that second person realised that the only difference between a traditional electric generator and an electric motor was the direction of flow. What they did was instead of using Earth's magnetic field to produce electricity, they feed the electricity from the solar panels back the other way and used Earth's magnetic field as an electric motor that allowed them to manoeuvre in space and maintain their orbit without the use of propellants (similar to what was proposed in the article). I couldn't help wonder if the effect that they're seeing is somehow related to a similar thing -- an interaction with Earth's magnetic/electrical field. If so, it wouldn't work in deep space to anywhere the same degree (as it would have to use the Sun's magnetic/electrical field, which would be weaker).

Edited by Graeme
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