View 836 Friday, August 01, 2014
“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”
President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009
The most interesting things I have read recently are complicated, and the most interesting of all is breaking news with no estimate of time required for further developments. Let’s begin with this: there is some speculation that NASA has confirmed the existence of a reactionless drive: a gizmo that undergoes a small but real thrust without expending reaction mass or reacting against a fixed object, or bobbing as happens with small boats and bobsleds because of differential friction.
Note that this would be revolutionary if confirmed, and the NASA engineers who tested the device are well aware of it. This isn’t like the reports I keep getting of tests that are about to be made, and offering to pay my expenses for an impartial inspection. Some years ago the Vaughn Foundation paid the expenses of participants in a rather informal conference of those who had any experience with the Dean Drive. That story is told here http://www.jerrypournelle.com/sciences/dean.html and if you aren’t familiar with any of this it might be worth your attention for a few minutes.
In any event the conclusion of the conference, which included the late Bob Forward and I believe either Greg or Jim Benford (twin Ph.D’s in physics) concluded that nothing could be done, and it was pointless to pay attention to various theories, such as that of the late Dr. William Davis, Col. USAF Ret’d, whose theoretical principle involving phase relationships of spinning disks and weights intrigued many people, particularly the late Harry Stine. Theories were not enough to justify sinking more money in research on reactionless drive. What would be interesting would be results: any results that could show thrust without reaction. If that worked the theory would be worked out – and it would be a revolutionary theory indeed.
The most likely explanation is Peter Glaskowsky’s hypothesis: NASA has indeed discovered a flaw, not in Newton’s Law, but in their test procedures, but they don’t yet know what the flaw is. That was my conclusion from the first instance, but I am prepared to believe – let us say I hope to see evidence that lets me believe – that there is such a thing as reactionless drive, a way to convert angular acceleration into linear acceleration. But as the years have worn on, and I have been told of case after case in which the first conclusion was Reactionless Drive!, only to find that it was a bad test, I am more convinced that I won’t see a working Dean Drive in my lifetime and neither will you. But I can still hope.
I do wonder why NASA hasn’t tried a swing as a test. If that shows there is thrust, put the test stand in a big chamber and pump the air out. And if still hangs off vertical with the motor on and returns to vertical when you turn the power on, Call Stockholm…
Some relevant mail.
So, NASA are now asserting they have seen a working Dean Drive?!
My guess is that this is either an instrumentation/telemetry artifact or an outright hoax. We’ll see.
Nasa validates ‘impossible’ space drive (Wired UK)
Hey, Jerry, this sounds like they did exactly the sort of test you’ve been talking about for years..
new quantum space drive
The interesting part for me is NASA says they have tested the drive and measured thrust¦
There’s more but you get the idea.
The other interesting flap involves an old friend, and I’m not sure I want to be involved; I’ll wait at least until it either heats up more or gets colder…
The situation in the Ukraine continues without anything new surfacing, and the Hamas-Israeli war threatens the Middle East. And what happens when the Revolutionary Guard of Iran gets a pair of Hiroshima style weapons? Which is fairly likely in the quite near future.
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