For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction
~Sir Isaac Newton
The great Sir Isaac Newton had published his third law of motion in 1687 that has today formed the foundation for classical mechanics. Over the next several hundred years physicists and scientists have tested Newton’s theories over and over again to verify his findings and to find the ‘holes’ in the logic. With our universe being so mind-blowingly massive and mysterious in infinite ways, it is being discovered that perhaps the law of physics as we know it may not paint the entire picture of what we think as reality.
A research time at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX has developed a type of engine that could make long distance space travel a reality in our lifetime. Even a trip to Mars that was once thought to take months to a couple of years with our current technology, but with the EmDrive, could get us to Mars in as little as 70 days by using no fuel.
How does the NASA EMDrive work?
The EmDrive, or electromagnetic drive, works kind of like a giant microwave. It was originally proposed two decades ago by aerospace engineer Roger Shawyer. The technology can be simply described as a propellantless propulsion system, meaning the engine doesn’t need fuel in order to create a reaction. Since that time, the EmDrive has become a reality through a series of tests by engineers at NASA. In order to get a rocket from here into space, it needs thrust, and a lot of it. Normally, this is achieved by using a powerful propellant, rocket fuel or xenon gas.
The NASA EmDrive works by inducing electromagnetic waves inside an enclosed cavity (like a microwave). These microwave photons bounce around the inner walls of the cone-shaped chamber that then propel the device forward.
What does this mean?
This new type of engine simply breaks the laws of physics? Why? Simply put – Newton’s third law of motion,”For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This means when you sit in a chair, you create downward force on the chair, while the chair exerts upward force to hold you up.
Astonishingly, the EmDrive doesn’t expel anything. According to Newton’s law, as the photons are colliding around in the enclosed chamber, they should be expelling anything at all. But it is not. Essentially, the engine moves forward without expelling anything out back and there is no opposing force to explain the thrust. It appears as if “it just is”. We do not have new physics to explain this extraordinary phenomenon.
Now, this concept just needs to survive the scrutiny of NASA. The research team has published their experimental results in a peer-reviewed journal which indicates that a few independent scientists have looked over the results and have found the findings to be reasonable. Since the report has passed the peer review process, their finding will soon be published in the ‘American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power.
There will perhaps be years of scrutiny and experimentation of this new EmDrive to try and find the errors and ‘holes’ in the impossibility of this system. If the EmDrive survives, we will be traveling into the stars much sooner and more quickly than previously thought.