A NASA scientist confirmed online Tuesday that the highly controversial and allegedly physics-defying EmDrive “warp drive” has passed peer-review
Researchers will publish the study in the journal of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which is one of the world’s largest technical societies dedicated to aerospace innovations. The EmDrive is extremely contentious since it allegedly uses exotic physics to violate Newton’s Third Law and the law of conservation of momentum.
“People all around the world have been measuring thrust. You’ve got guys building them in their garages and very large organisations building cavities too,” Roger Shawyer, the British scientist who first proposed the concept of EmDrive in 1999, told International Business Times. “They’re all generating thrust, there’s no great mystery. People think it’s black magic or something, but it’s not. Any physicist worth his salt should understand how it works, or if they don’t, they should change their profession.”
Shawyer claims that the drive generates thrust through radiation pressure. The EmDrive first gained prominence after NASA’s secretive Eagleworks lab published a non peer-reviewed technical report attesting it generated a small amount of thrust by an unknown mechanism. All three attempts to replicate the drive’s thrust results were successful, but the amounts of thrust generated were relatively low and could have been the result of experimental error.
If successful, the device could make it much cheaper to move satellites and spacecraft around in space as well as have numerous terrestrial applications.
NASA is not ready to officially confirm tests results. The development of EmDrive was funded by the British government and licences by aerospace giant Boeing. Testing of the EmDrive has been plagued by experimental design issues and repeated delays.
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