New NASA EMDrive Testing Finds ‘Anomalous Thrust Signals’

There’s been a new post by NASA engineer Paul March who has been continuing to do testing on a replication of the EMDrive, an invention of British engineer Roger Shawyer which is claimed to produce reactionless thrust — which is considered by conventional physics to be impossible since it would go against Newton’s Third Law which states that every action must have an equal and opposite reaction.

In a post on NASA’s spaceflight forum, March reports that his lastest round of testing has been on a second generation replication in which he has tried to reduce the signals from stray magnetic fields which could contaminate the testing results. He says that there are still some unwanted signals from thermal expansion.

He writes:

Not being satisfied with just this analytical impulsive vs thermal signal separation approach, we are now working on a new integrated test article subsystem mounting arrangement with a new phase-change thermal management subsystem that should mitigate this thermally induced TP cg baseline shift problem once and for-all.

And yet the anomalous thrust signals remain…

The full post can be read here:

So the mystery remains. Reactionless thrust, if verified, would be a revolutionary discovery which could affect all aspects of transportation, particularly in space, since it would allow for propulsion without the need for on-board rocket fuel.

  • radvar

    According to Shawyer, it’s relativistic, which is why doesn’t violate newtons laws. The math is difficult however I have not seen anyone claim to have broken it.

    • Zephir

      If it is relativistic, then it cannot fulfill Newton laws, because the relativity has been invented just to extend the Newton laws. At any case, the Newton laws don’t allow reactionless drive – with relativity or without it.

      • AlainCo

        shawyer use relativistic argument, but the speed limit he use is not Einstein light speed limit but groupwave speed for each photon.
        This is a great change from Einstein theory.

        MiHsC use this group speed change, but to interpret it as an acceleration creating a Rindler Horizon, with unruh radiation.

        what is interesting with Shawyer’s theory is that despite it looks wrong, it works and predict some results.
        The theory may be wrong, but the equation maybe not bad.

      • radvar

        Shawyer’s equations use the Lorentz transformations from special relativity. This is one of those situations where the math metaphors beat the verbal metaphors.

        I’ve seen arguments with wording like “Lorentz transformations still can’t produce net thrust in a closed system”. But that’s just another easy to pronounce metaphor. The difficulty is to demonstrate either where the math is wrong, or where the math is disconnected from the physics.

        The math is just a metaphor also. However, there are different levels of math. It’s like trying to come up with a theory of how LENR works. If one tries to explain coulomb barrier tunneling using Newtonian mechanics, or even Maxwell’s equations, they are never going to get there.

        Or, using an inaccurate metaphor, one cannot accurately model patterns in which the elements are the size of golf balls if one uses a measuring instrument that is the size of a basketball.

  • Mats002

    The latter more than the former. Your humor kind of shine through 😉

  • Jarea
  • Nicholas Chandler-Yates

    a reaction *is* an action.

    • bachcole

      This is a very zen question that requires a lot of self-honesty. Elsewhere someone said that the “reaction” is not necessarily a propellent. The EM Drive needs no propellent, perhaps because it is pushing against the aether, whatever that may be.

  • AlainCo

    I a gree that it is a minority, but it is the Elite, at least the dominant elite of those dominant system.
    It remind me an article of FB Huyghes citing Gramski on intelectual supremacy.

    On I read an interesting vision about an elite, a bureaucracy, which is paranoid, insulated from reality because it frighten it’s sources (like Obama team did to CIA analys to force better reports).
    I see the same in france, and in all Western countries.

    an Elite , afraid of newcomers, of new ideas, attack all that dissent, scientists, data, and organise the Mutual Assured Delusion as Benabou describe it in his Groupthink papers.

    DeDefese compare US establishment today yo the Soviet bureaucracy in 1983, and only Gorbatchev saved URSS from paranoid WW3.

    It seems that from Ukraine to Syria, US bureaucracy have replace Soviet bureacracy in the paranoid camp.
    I don’t see any “Gorbatchev” with a chance (Ron Paul? I don’t know US politics , his clip is nice)…
    In france the Soviet system is blocking the few talents, in any party.

    Cold Fusion saga realy make me thing of US geopolitics, of French economics, two gigantic groupthink leading to desperate paranoia that may trigger suicidal battle agains reality.

    Will LENR be the tomb of Western physics? of Western Science ?

    I hope pseudo science, the terrorists of science, will not win, and that multipolar science will emerge instead of “high impact journal” science.

  • artefact


    NASA’s EM Drive test shows “warp drive” engine works – Does EM Drive break Isaac Newton’s lows of physics?

  • Matt DeMinico

    I don’t understand why there is so much grief about the possibility that a force imparted on a wall at a 90 degree angle to the direction of travel causes an imparting of motion 100% in the direction of travel, while a force imparted on a wall (the top or bottom wall) at say a 135 degree or a 225 degree angle relative to the direction of motion will cause a motion to be imparted at -50% in the direction of travel, and -50% perpendicular to the motion of travel, resulting in a net force of 50% remaining in the direction of travel.

    • nietsnie

      Because it’s not really a ‘force’ is it? It’s a field. Force would imply mass. At least apparently, no mass has been displaced in the direction of thrust – and yet mass is being accelerated in the opposite direction. That’s what’s messing with people. It violates Newton’s Third Law (essentially: F = -F) and makes you take a hard look at his Second (F = MA). And those have stood up unchanged for centuries. There is still some possibility that the field is ‘pushing against’ something that we simply can’t recognize at this point – which would satisfy Newton and assure his continued spot on the pedestal.

      The import of thrust without mass ejection is that you don’t have to carry mass into space to throw out behind you to propel you forward. It would mean that only energy would be expended in space travel acceleration. With sufficient energy supply, you could continuously accelerate in space. Or, anyway, that’s the import at the thrust levels reported by NASA. At least in the tested setups there is nowhere near enough thrust available to, for instance, support Marty McFly’s hoverboard in mid-air against its own weight in Earth gravity – let alone to escape the planets gravity well in a spacecraft.

  • nightcreature3

    I agree with this view one-hundred percent. Think of an electric coil. A current through the coil creates a magnetic field in the space around it. If the circuit is opened, so that that the current stops, the magnetism quickly dissipates. Now instead of stopping the current, what if we reverse the current quickly enough so that it interacts with the field before it has time to change, It seems that something like this is what is actually happening at these high (microwave) frequencies.

  • Mats002

    You mean if the bicyclist farts, that’s a propellant?

    • US_Citizen71

      It creates .2 micro newtons of force! : )

      • Jarea

        That is relative! .
        Maybe, we have to use the Einstein equations?

  • AlainCo

    private or public is not the main question.
    One point however is that you manage better your decisions if it is your own money, or your own place.
    This make harder to take good decision in big organizations.

    So about big government, like big corp, it is a question of monopoly, and size of the mistake.

    problem with Ivy League/Nature/Science knowledge monopoly is that there is not much competition able to get funding.

    there is also a question of survival of the stupid which is longer with big organizations.
    If a Swiss canton takes a stupid decision, it get backrupt, and change his positions.
    If USA takes a stupid decision, he can pump trillion of dollar every year to hid it, untill the whole world colapse in war and poverty.

    UNO/IvyLeague/Nature/science can enforce stupid theory , killing dissenters professionaly, and thus enforcing general delusion.

    In medieval europe, science was much more varied than in Imperial China, and despite some success in “Big Science” a,d “Fashion science”, European science evolved faster…
    best was Arabian science, linked to india, Europe, and even China.

  • Sanjeev

    Is it too late for MIT and gang to do a half baked experiment costing a few cents to debunk this tech for once and for all and for the “respected” journals like Nature to call it pseudoscience so that their blind followers bury it forever ?
    Come on MIT, do something 😉

    • GreenWin

      Former BP scientist Steven E. Koonin is available.

      • Mats002

        Yeah – why don’t you write him an open letter? I would love to read his pathosceptic answer. Total silence is ok too.

    • Zephir

      Pathoskeptics know already well, that even negative popularity is a popularity.

  • Sanjeev

    On Yahoo finance news.

    NASA confirms that the ‘impossible’ EmDrive thruster really works, after new tests

  • twobob

    So my LENR sterling powered hover car,
    Is now science fact.

  • Mark

    I thought of another point to make. Unfortunately, in the so-called “western” media organizations, a lot of the reporting on the Chinese effort to make an EM drive has been a lot more sparse than the reporting on this NASA effort, despite the fact that the Chinese are probably further ahead. (it is not necessarily the fault of these media organizations, though it may be…) I have been trying to get as much information on the Chinese effort as I can, and, the last time I checked, the Chinese were looking at building a drive that is capable of levitating itself in the year 2016, though I do not know if that will happen next year, or not, partially because of the lack of reporting about it.

    Anyway, I think that this story of the Chinese effort flies in the face of that dopey Wall Street Journal article link that was posted on this website, a little while back. It was constantly bashing government funded science, and this concept of “big government,” in general. Well, it looks like this Chinese effort is an example of “big government” working very well with respect to non-mainstream claims. The Chinese scientists believed that Shawyer’s ideas were possible when almost everyone in the “west” believed that he was a nutjob, and they started the Chinese effort in, I believe, 2008. If it had not been for this “big government” state believing that this nutjob might be right (as has happened a lot more than mainstream scientists would like you to believe) most in the “west” may still be believing that Shawyer is nothing more than a nutjob.

    Unlike what that dope who wrote The Wall Street Journal article would have you believe, the issue is NOT “big government” versus “small government.” The real issue is respect for non-mainstream ideas versus lack of respect for non-mainstream ideas. It is possible to have a “big government” state that has enough people, with enough power, who have enough respect for non-mainstream ideas in the government to be welcoming to non-mainstream research. Likewise, it is possible for a “smaller government” state to be welcoming to non-mainstream research if the “smaller government” state has generalized respect, among the citizens, for non-mainstream ideas. Also, the opposite can be true, in each case. It is possible to have a “big government” state where not enough people with enough power have respect for non-mainstream ideas, so the non-mainstream ideas will be suppressed. It is also possible for a “smaller government” state to have a lack of respect for non-mainstream ideas in the general population, which will lead to suppression of non-mainstream ideas, as well.

    There may be some United-States-styled libertarian types who would want to argue that it is impossible, or, at least, unlikely, that a “big government” state can get enough people into enough positions of power who have enough of a respect for non-mainstream ideas to create a system that does not suppress non-mainstream ideas. I believe that the fact that the Chinese took up this effort before anyone else even believed that it was worthy of serious consideration is directly contradictory to that libertarian assertion.

    • AlainCo

      about china, note that this is the place where capitalism is the most popular, much before USA.
      The regulation in science, probably like in Italy, is less rational, which gives a chance to good crazy ideas…

      as I said often the problem of Western organization is faked rationality… it is “cargo Cult” prudence, in fact just bureaucracy, and social obedience, groupthink, mutual assured delusion.

      • GreenWin

        NASA is hedging its way out of the corner it painted itself in these past 40 years. The problem in the U.S. is a government programmed to dismiss unorthodox ideas. Like cold fusion – LENR. This is due (in part) to what Dr. H. Bauer calls a “knowledge monopoly;” discussed in his book “Dogmatism in Science and Medicine,” as reviewed by Ron Westrum:

        “A knowledge monopoly is a school of thought whose powers are sufficient to crush dissent. Many means are used to reinforce the dominant perspective. If research is to be done, that research must support the dominant perspective. Research that does not support the dominant perspective is seen as incompetent. Since deviant research is suppressed, the dominant perspective’s views appear obvious and unopposed.”

        It is somewhat ironic that India, China, Russia, Italy, Sweden, even Japan have all officially acknowledged LENR and openly research it at the State level. They seem less afraid of anomalous reactions. If only that… ahem, “dope” Ernie Moniz at DoE shared such vision. 🙁

        • Zephir

          Moniz banned the cold fusion research at MIT in person

          • GreenWin

            Indeed. This entire Special Report written by the late Dr. Eugene Mallove, should be serialized in a mainstream newspaper. It has enough drama for a hardcore Hollywood producer – including the mysterious murder of its author, Dr. Mallove.

    • Tom59

      You can look at it from another angle: the number of non-mainstream ideas is endless. All of them appear as not feasible and by far the most are. With limited funds, you cannot do much and need a good portion of luck to find the jewels. Pouring that limited resources into what is generally beleived to be feasible is not a bad approach. What i think is lacking a bit is the capability and drive to do something with less. Parkhomov did his trials with pots from his kitchen, AR started the same way. Chinese researchers also seem to have this ability. With less funds you need to rely on your creativity. But you have more freedom to develop / revise an approach compared to planned, structured research projects with timed deliverables based on detailed assumptions which are required before even the first test is done.

  • Axil Axil

    The EMdrive and LENR spring from the same physical mechanism. They are two peas in a pod. This mechanism is the separation of positive and negative vacuum energy using strong asymmetrical EMF fields. I have recently posted on this mechanism in the E-Cat world thread

    “LENR Produces Eternal Cosmic Inflation”

    When a microwave EMF field is setup in an asymmetric shaped enclosure, a pattern of standing EMF waves are generated. This wave pattern produces positive and negative interference zones.

    These zones separate the vacuum into associated zones of positive and negative vacuum energy. Negative energy is responsible for the generation of dark or repulsive gravity.

    This dark gravity is responsible for the ongoing cosmic inflation that is currently perplexing science. This repulsive force is being produced by hydrogen in space through an active and constant LENR mechanism.

    Negative vacuum energy is the gateway to quantum worm holes. This is the mechanism that LENR uses to bypass the coulomb barrier where energy is teleported(AKA transferred) from the site of nuclear reconfiguration to the bubble of negative vacuum energy inside the SPP.

    Because the mechanism of vacuum energy produces both reactionless propulsion and LENR, it may be possible at some future time to produce a space drive from LENR of a LENR reactor from asymmetric wave interference as exists in the EMdrive.

    It also may to possible to open a worm hole using LENR where space travelers can bypass spacetime to transfer themselves to remote locations in space and time through the 5th dimension.

    See below for further study on this subject:

  • Brent Buckner

    “A test at 50 W of power during which an interferometer (a modified Michelson device) was used to measure the stretching and compressing of spacetime within the device, which produced initial results that were consistent with an Alcubierre drive fluctuation.”