In a recent press release, NASA reported that a team of scientists was successfully in developing the first prototype of a working electromagnetic engine.
Although the EM drive project sits on NASA’s table for more than two decades, scientists have recently developed a working prototype despite the fact that the majority of the scientific community considers that such a device is impossible since it violates Newton’s third law of motion.
However, the recent tests have shown that the EM drive became a science fact, rather than a science fiction. According to Isaac Newton’s third law of movement, ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ This means that you cannot create thrush if you do not push something in an antipodal direction.
The EM drive propels itself into space by bouncing around high-intensity microwaves in a copper enclosure. Considering Newton’s third law of motion, this type of device cannot be produced since it defies the laws of physics.
However, the scientists involved in the project proved that the device’s design is sound. Furthermore, peer reviews of the project revealed that the experiment’s results were accurate, realistic and that no anomaly occurred during the experiments.
According to NASA’s statements, the experimental EM drive uses microwaves in order to produce thrust. As the scientists explain, the EM drive assembly sends out high-intensity microwave into a copper chamber. Since the chamber is shaped like a cone, the microwaves will bounce around.
This back-and-forth movement creates thrust which can propel a craft into space. Although the project is far from being feasible, the developing team declared that the results are quite promising.
In fact, the team added, should the EM drive mounted on a space vehicle, it would take astronauts approximately 70 days to reach Mars, rather than 300 days on conventional jet-fuel-based engines. Furthermore, the preliminary results showed that the EM drive could produce a thrust of approximately 1.2 millinewtons per kilowatt (approximately 1000 kilometers per second).
Meanwhile, the team of scientists in charge of the projects is going over the data gathered during the experiment in order to validate it. Even if the project doesn’t prove feasible, the scientists still managed to prove that there’s indeed a device that can violate the laws of physics.
As NASA’s preparing to send a manned crew to the Red Planet, the possibility of an engine that can make the trip shorter is an avenue worth pursuing.
Image source: Wikipedia