TodayApril 15, 2022

EmDrive engine and Sir Issac’s third law blues

#EmDrive Skinny:

  • Thrust is the reaction to an electromagnetic frequency (read vibration) and a waveguide (read metal pipe)
  • NO fuel (chemical, nuclear) required
  • The Universe is “fuel.”
  • Newton is listening

Hotel Mars is a robust recurring John Batchelor Show segment with Dr. David Livingston, AKA Dr. Space of The SpaceShow which reviewed #EmDrive propulsion with Dr. Mike McCulloch last week.

NASA’s thumbs-up that there is a there-there for #EmDrive has lit many Twitter feeds. Dr. McCulloch’s Twitter page illustrates that the only constant of science is the transition, not stability.

Note, Dr. McCulloch also presents an alternative to Dark Matter which he argues must be tweaked for each galaxy to explain the missing stuff which totals a galaxy. He calls his theory “quantized inertia or MiHsC” and his @worldscientific published book, Physics from the Edge: A New Cosmological Model for Inertia to illustrate Dark Matter’s flawed data fixing to meet an observation.

Dr. McCulloch’s “notes” preparing for his #EmDrive propulsion Hotel Mars segment on The John Batchelor radio show with Dr. David Livingston had my mind spinning, thinking of terrestrial applications for #EmDrive besides traveling to Mars in 70 days.

If autonomous land vehicles are in their early days then #EmDrive land vehicles are not yet in their first seconds to continue the metaphor.

“Second-generation” land-based #EmDrive engine conjecture from the U.K. company Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd (SPR Ltd) noted, “… 1 kilowatt (typical of the power in a microwave oven) of a static thrust of 3 tonnes (3,000 kilograms) can be obtained, which is enough to support a large car…”

But Newton’s law of conservation of energy (read energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed in a separated enclosed system, i.e. a land vehicle) dictates that an #EmDrive engine would need another source of energy to move the vehicle across the ground.

How soon before someone switches from Chemical energy to EmDrive energy for space use? How soon after that do we find a hybrid of EmDrive with electric vehicles for instant thrust and longevity?

As Dr. McCulloch noted, “… zero to 60 mph in days” is AOK if you have the time to accelerate to a tenth of the speed of light to reach the exoplanet Proxima Centauri b in a human lifespan, but would be a tough way to get to the pub for a pint, chips, and a banger.


Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.