EM drive may not be viable after all?

InstapunditThe German team copied the NASA experiment exactly, piping microwaves into the cavity, using lasers to monitor movement and a spring to measure thrust. The setup did indeed produce thrust, as indicated by the spring. But when the researchers positioned the microwaves so they definitely could ­not produce thrust in the direction of the spring, the drive pushed just as hard. Furthermore, the same degree of thrust remained even after power was cut in half. So clearly, there are other factors at play.

The team suggests that the thrust may actually be produced by an interaction between the cables that power the microwave amplifier and Earth’s magnetic field. If this is the case, it won’t work in space.

This doesn't read like a failure to replicate to me. It seems more like they did replicate the effect, but don't think it's caused by the experimental inputs, and propose an alternative hypothesis. Previous experiments reported the odd behavior with power levels and direction. The only thing new about this experiment (aside from yet another location replicating the basic results) is that they have a new possible explanation for why it does what it does.

Fair enough. If they are right, we understand it a bit more, and it won't work in space. But I'd like to see more experiments conducted to verify their explanation. Because, to borrow a phrase, it still moves.

This entry was published Fri May 25 15:30:22 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2018-05-25 15:30:22.0. [Tweet]

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