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#164 - You 100,000 signatures for them to even consider it. The final… 04/16/2015 on Petitions 0
#42 - What are the odds that we will someday discover faster-than-li…  [+] (5 new replies) 03/17/2015 on Horizon 0
User avatar #71 - gravysponge (03/17/2015) [-]
That's hard to say, I won't even bother trying to figure out the odds for something like that.

I will say though that if there's any way of making the physics work, finding a loophole, or revising a flawed theory, that allows for the invention of warp drive or quantum vaccuum thruster technology, people will figure it out eventually.

In fact, there have been recent developements of something called an EM drive, which (very basically) works by bouncing microwaves around in a very specific way inside a special chamber to produce thrust. If the EM drive turns out to be functional, and tests so far seem to indicate that it is, then we could develop technology in our lifetimes that could send people on a two way trip to Saturn in less than a year, as opposed to more than 12. This is because an EM drive uses no fuel, just a power supply, and therefore doesn't have to accelerate it's own fuel. An EM drive could be used to accelerate forever, arbitrarily close to the speed of light, and basically unlock interstellar travel.

I'm excited for EM drive technology, and I really hope it turns out to work and be improved. Rockets would still be needed to launch things into orbit, but once in orbit they could use an EM drive to go pretty much anywhere they wanted.
User avatar #73 - zomaru (03/17/2015) [-]
I thought they weren't able to replicate those experiments?
User avatar #74 - gravysponge (03/17/2015) [-]
They have been replicating them for a while now, the problem at first was they couldn't test in vacuum with their setup because someone made an error when ordering parts. Since then they fixed the issue and tested in vacuum, they've still managed to produce about the same level of thrust. If they can get the setup to put out more than a certain amount of thrust their testing program will get a bunch of upgrades and funding to allow them to explore different prototype versions in the hope of making a more powerful version.

There was some misunderstanding about the null test they did that produced thrust, a lot of people said that it mean't the whole thing was done. However, a null test is only done to reduce the number of ways the machine could have been working. It basically means 'If this is how it works, then doing this will prevent it from working.' The null test ended up working, meaning that even though the machine worked, the original inventor was wrong about how exactly it works. Either way, it produces thrust in vacuum, and hopefully the team will be able to pass their milestone soon.
User avatar #75 - zomaru (03/17/2015) [-]
But don't we already have Ion engines? Shouldn't they be able to provide adequate thrust in a vacuum? If we used EM drives we'd have to use the little amount of Plutonium we have to power them wouldn't we?
User avatar #76 - gravysponge (03/17/2015) [-]
Ion engines use a propellant. EM drives do not.

Ion engines require heavy fuel tanks and piping systems, Em drives do not.

Ion engines can only produce a few milinewtons of thrust, EM drives could be made that produce several dozen newtons of thrust.

Ion engines and Em drives require about the same amount of power, meaning a solar array that works with an ion drive can also power an EM drive.

Ion engines eventually break down, usually lasting a couple years of constant thrust. An EM drive has no flowing propellant and no moving parts, and theoretically could thrust continuously for decades or centuries.

Xenon gas used in ion thrusters is very expensive and hard to collect, solar powered EM drives are dirt cheap by comparison.

The efficiency of an Ion engine is measured in thousands of seconds per specific impulse. A rocket is measured in the low hundreds of seconds. An EM drive is technically infinitely efficient, because it uses no propellant at all.

In every field of technology, there is a 'holy grail' so to speak that is pretty much the best thing we can imagine. In energy production it's sustainable fusion. In medicine it's stem cell manipulation. And in rocketry, it's Non-reactive engines. Non-reactive means they don't work by the 'every action has an equal and opposite reaction' law, they work by kind of pushing against empty space itself. It means that, as long as you have a power supply, there is literally no limit to how fast or how far you can go. Since time slows down the closer you get to light speed, you could accelerate your spaceship constantly until you got so close to the speed of light that you appeared to be going faster than you actually were. Before you aged a decade you could literally cross the universe. Unfortunately you'd see most of it fade as time accelerated outside your frame of reference, but it would still be a very interesting trip to take.

In short, EM drives render every single method of space propulsion obsolete, except for the rocket needed to get the EM drive craft into space in the first place.
#51 - *reported rape* with feminism, people have more confidence in … 03/06/2015 on feminism cause rape -1
#147 - I'm playing the game of life, its an interesting one no doubt. 02/16/2015 on What games are you playing? 0
#2211 - San Francisco East Bay Area 02/16/2015 on Where are you from FJ? 0
#37 - what the **** who gives a **** about how ***…  [+] (1 new reply) 02/16/2015 on Wiper blades 0
User avatar #43 - thatguyontheright (02/16/2015) [-]
see comment #39
#432 - You make it sound as though I'm attacking you personally and t… 02/11/2015 on Muhammad Sex Simulator 2015 0
#430 - And what exactly is the virtue of faith? What is the value of …  [+] (2 new replies) 02/10/2015 on Muhammad Sex Simulator 2015 -1
#431 - trolololer (02/11/2015) [-]
**trolololer used "*roll picture*"**
**trolololer rolled image** Tru scientist right here. Congratulations for your opinion, you are the most cynical human being in the universe. Do you want a prize? A trophy, maybe? Just leave people with religion be, you can't judge their experience based on your own. Some parts you can, but some people just believe there is a higher power. Perhaps it is a higher EQ, or a greater spiritual sense that made them begin to believe, and allowed them to continue. People believe in God, so fucking what. People don't believe in God, so fucking what. I'm not going to try to change them now, it's impossible. These things are cemented during childhood, there's no point in changing it now.
#432 - trollsarereal (02/11/2015) [-]
You make it sound as though I'm attacking you personally and trying to convince you that God doesn't exist. I really don't care what other people choose to believe, I just want to understand the thinking behind it. I want to know why people think faith is a good thing, I'm not attacking you. I'm the most cynical person on the planet? Ad hominem is a logical fallacy sir, and you don't even know me so don't make rash judgements please let's keep the conversation civil.

My point is that religion and belief in God isn't a logical decision and that is why I choose not to believe. A fundamental base for religious belief is that faith is a good thing, and all I'm asking is why? Faith without evidence can lead people to do crazy irrational things, sometimes even violent. Now of course it isn't always violent, hell most religious people of any religion are completely harmless. But the fact of the matter is that blind faith in anything (be it a person, god, nation, etc. you get the point) is a deadly weapon that has been used over the millennia to wage wars for various reasons.
#23 - There's a metaphor here. 02/10/2015 on All for him +7
#352 - Furthermore, do you mean to tell me that you don't believe in gravity? 02/10/2015 on Muhammad Sex Simulator 2015 +1

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