Leaked NASA paper shows the ‘impossible’ EM Drive really does work

Leaked NASA paper shows the ‘impossible’ EM Drive really does work, by Fiona MacDonald.

The results of NASA’s tests on the ‘impossible’ EM Drive have been leaked, and they reveal that the controversial propulsion system really does work, and is capable of generating impressive thrust in a vacuum, even after error measurements have been accounted for.

The EM Drive has made headlines over the past year, because it offers the incredible possibility of a fuel-free propulsion system that could potentially get us to Mars in just 70 days. But there’s one major problem: according to the current laws of physics, it shouldn’t work.

The issue is the fact that the EM Drive defies Newton’s third law, which states that everything must have an equal and opposite reaction. So, according to Newton and our current understanding of the world around us, for a system to produce propulsion, it has to push something out the other way (in space, that’s usually combusted rocket fuel).

But the EM Drive works without any fuel or propellants at all. It works by simply bouncing microwave photons back and forth inside a cone-shaped closed metal cavity. That motion causes the ‘pointy end’ of the EM Drive to generate thrust, and propel the drive in the opposite direction.

Despite years of testing and debate, the drive remains controversial. The bottom line is that, on paper, it shouldn’t work, according to the laws of physics. And yet, in test after test, the EM Drive just keeps on working. …

And back in June, a team of researchers from Finland proposed a way that the EM Drive could work without defying Newton’s third law, by propelling photons as a type of exhaust – although that hypothesis has yet to be tested.

It may work because the conservation  of momentum law has a quantum aspect, rounding off very small amounts of momentum. Here is anotehr theoyr, with sdome cool photos:

hat-tip Matthew