Skip to main content

Here we go again: The Eaglework's warp drive NOT

Once again the Eagleworks warp drive is in the news again.  This time purporting to be the subject of a peer reviewed article.

Errr, uhhh, where to start. First, these guys have done pretty poor science for a pretty long time. Which is sad, because if it was real, they would have some really cool stuff. Second, the AIAA reference clears up a lot of confusion I had about this announcement. The AIAA hosts an 'advanced propulsion' workshop once a year. By advanced, think... well... scifi. It's not to say that legit researchers don't turn up there, because they do, it's just to say that they're not all legit. The proceedings of this conference are in fact published. Consequently, getting peer-reviewed, and published in this particular conference doesn't infer you're entirely legit.

This leaves us with why I don't think their science is entirely legit. I'll ignore all the 'violations of Newton's 2nd law' arguments, since those have been done out the yin yang by people who enjoy Newton's laws way more than I do. (Real physicists use Lagrangians, and Hamiltonians, not Newtons' Laws). My reason for doubting them comes form extensive experience of investigating the field they work in.

Here's the thing. They used a force meter from Woodward of Woodward Effect fame. Woodward's another guy that I'd really like to be correct. He's a nice guy, and a good public speaker. Sadly, the effect he purports to observe hasn't been proven out to the satisfaction of the scientific community either. The detector that didn't prove his effect is the detector that the Eagleworks team chose to use. Simply put Woodward's force meter wasn't believable because it amounted to watching highly oscillatory wiggles. These wiggles were deemed not to have enough significance, and the whole thing went away.

Consequently, when Eagleworks went looking for a force meter, and chose Woodward's, that was a bad, bad sign. I haven't seen a reason published that the meter is now viable. It's a huge red flag to those of us who have worked in the field.

One final clarification. It's not NASA Eagleworks, it's Eagleworks, funded by a NASA NIAC, (new, innovative, and advanced concepts), grant.


Popular posts from this blog

Cool Math Tricks: Deriving the Divergence, (Del or Nabla) into New (Cylindrical) Coordinate Systems

The following is a pretty lengthy procedure, but converting the divergence, (nabla, del) operator between coordinate systems comes up pretty often. While there are tables for converting between common coordinate systems, there seem to be fewer explanations of the procedure for deriving the conversion, so here goes!

What do we actually want?

To convert the Cartesian nabla

to the nabla for another coordinate system, say… cylindrical coordinates.

What we’ll need:

1. The Cartesian Nabla:

2. A set of equations relating the Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates:

3. A set of equations relating the Cartesian basis vectors to the basis vectors of the new coordinate system:

How to do it:

Use the chain rule for differentiation to convert the derivatives with respect to the Cartesian variables to derivatives with respect to the cylindrical variables.

The chain rule can be used to convert a differential operator in terms of one variable into a series of differential operators in terms of othe…

The Valentine's Day Magnetic Monopole

There's an assymetry to the form of the two Maxwell's equations shown in picture 1.  While the divergence of the electric field is proportional to the electric charge density at a given point, the divergence of the magnetic field is equal to zero.  This is typically explained in the following way.  While we know that electrons, the fundamental electric charge carriers exist, evidence seems to indicate that magnetic monopoles, the particles that would carry magnetic 'charge', either don't exist, or, the energies required to create them are so high that they are exceedingly rare.  That doesn't stop us from looking for them though!

Keeping with the theme of Fairbank[1] and his academic progeny over the semester break, today's post is about the discovery of a magnetic monopole candidate event by one of the Fairbank's graduate students, Blas Cabrera[2].  Cabrera was utilizing a loop type of magnetic monopole detector.  Its operation is in concept very simpl…

Unschooling Math Jams: Squaring Numbers in their own Base

Some of the most fun I have working on math with seven year-old No. 1 is discovering new things about math myself.  Last week, we discovered that square of any number in its own base is 100!  Pretty cool!  As usual we figured it out by talking rather than by writing things down, and as usual it was sheer happenstance that we figured it out at all.  Here’s how it went.

I've really been looking forward to working through multiplication ala binary numbers with seven year-old No. 1.  She kind of beat me to the punch though: in the last few weeks she's been learning her multiplication tables in base 10 on her own.  This became apparent when five year-old No. 2 decided he wanted to do some 'schoolwork' a few days back.

"I can sing that song... about the letters? all by myself now!"  2 meant the alphabet song.  His attitude towards academics is the ultimate in not retaining unnecessary facts, not even the name of the song :)

After 2 had worked his way through the so…