Scott Manley has a good video on the EM Drive with his thoughts on the implications and the likelihood that these findings will be substantiated.
I much preferred this as a ‘rebuttal’ - lots of good information/analysis, and why to be skeptical and what it would mean if it is experimentally proven. Without all the name calling.
Scott Manley is a great blend of science educator and Kerbal Serial Killer/Space Vehicle Designer.
A rebuttal: http://motls.blogspot.com/2016/11/em-drive-new-wave-of-hype.html
There’s a lot of name-calling: imbecile, crackpot, etc. Wish the author could couch their skepticism in polite terms. I get it - over the years there have been all sorts of disproven free energy machines or what have you. THIS one has yet to be disproven, so I’d not go around slinging that language just yet.
If someone is able to figure out what is the cause of the force they measure, it may be interesting. But I can’t find enough motivation to spend a minute with this stuff because I am confident that whatever will be the actual reason why they think that they’re seeing a reactionless force, it will be dumb.
For now we have observations that do not fit existing knowledge, so why not investigate rather than dismiss? That’s all. I’m confident that they’ll figure out the mechanism of force generation as well, but I’m not as certain that it will be a ‘dumb’ reason. It may fit existing knowledge in some way, but show a novel application - which is totally ok. The point of the device AFAIK is not to prove ‘everything you know is wrong’, but rather ‘this might be useful, though we don’t understand how it works yet’.
Sadly news reporting tends to go towards the sensationalist ‘everything you know is wrong’ angle all too much, which perhaps the author is reacting to. I don’t know. But until we understand this EM drive I don’t see good reason to prance around calling everybody involved with it idiots.
Disproving very simple things can take a lot of effort. However usually something valuable is learned if it isn’t simple instrument error. A gap in understanding here, an important fact there, and rarely a fundamental part of physics. Light wasn’t found to be a wave until someone was willing to do the dumb experiment to show how dumb it was to think that light could be a wave. Poisson really thought it was the STUPIDEST thing to insinuate. Sure this is very likely not that situation we are presently in but if we never tested we’d never actually know.
A little wiki excerpt.
“Poisson studied Fresnel’s theory in detail and, being a supporter of the particle theory of light, looked for a way to prove it wrong. Poisson thought that he had found a flaw when he argued that a consequence of Fresnel’s theory was that there would exist an on-axis bright spot in the shadow of a circular obstacle, where there should be complete darkness according to the particle theory of light. Since the Arago spot is not easily observed in everyday situations, Poisson interpreted it as an absurd result and that it should disprove Fresnel’s theory.”
fwiw, lubos is not particularly well respected in the physics community, so i wouldn’t consider him a good source of information.
I’m very hopeful efficiencies improve to the point where this drive can have a more universal usage. The how is important and could unlock some significant new technologies.
Shape the chamber like a french horn.