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Did This NASA Scientist Just Break the Laws of Physics?

Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2024
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by Andrew Shirley
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11 Comments
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A new startup co-founded by former NASA engineer Charles Buhler believes that it is on the verge of developing a new type of engine that can produce forward motion without releasing propellant – a discovery which, if true, would rewrite physics textbooks and change the world overnight.

Buhler’s company, Exodus Propulsion Technologies, says it has created a drive powered by a “New Force” which exists outside the established laws of physics. Specifically, Buhler says, the New Force proves “that electric fields alone can generate a sustainable force onto an object and allow center-of-mass translation of said object without expelling mass.” Using this discovery, Exodus says it can overcome earth’s gravity without any traditional propellants.

Translation? Exodus claims it can shoot a spaceship into orbit without any sort of fuel or combustion just by harnessing and directing the energy from electric fields.

On the company’s website, they liken a traditional spacecraft engine to a fire extinguisher. They explain that a spacecraft moves through space by using a chemical reaction “to force mass at high velocity out through a nozzle, making the rocket move in the opposite direction.”

But rocket engines and fire extinguishers both have a major limitation – a finite amount of propellant.

Exodus’s new drive is described as a rocket motor that works “more like a light bulb than a fire extinguisher.” Using electrical charges and microwaves, the drive would take in energy and create forward momentum without any discernible exhaust.

If this were possible, the application would be far greater than just space travel. If it could create a virtually limitless amount of propulsion without traditional fuel, then this would be equivalent to pulling energy “out of empty space itself.” Everything from cars to entire cities could be powered by the invisible electric fields that exist all around us.

All of this might sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie – and there remains good reason to be skeptical. Scientists and engineers have for decades claimed to have discovered the same type of “impossible” drive system as the one Exodus now also says it has produced, only to be disproven.

British Electrical Engineer Roger Shawyer pioneered the concept of a propellant-free drive system in 2001, dubbing it the “EmDrive.” His team also claimed to have created a working prototype much like the one Buhler now describes. But after two decades of scientific scrutiny, Shawyer’s EmDrive was exposed as bunk in 2021.

The major reason many scientists don’t believe a propellant-free drive system is possible is that it appears to violate long-established laws of physics.

Specifically, Newton’s Third Law asserts that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” – the basic idea which underpins all existing propulsion technology. From this law, Newton also derived the Law of Conservation of Momentum, which states that momentum in a closed system can neither be created nor destroyed.

That law is fundamental to how all engines work. As NASA explains, “a jet engine produces thrust and hot exhaust gases flow out the back of the engine, and a thrusting force is produced in the opposite direction.” These laws are considered immutable and critical to our understanding of the universe.

Importantly, Newton’s Third Law is the only of his three famous principles that still holds up with no exceptions following Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and the revolution in quantum mechanics.

If Buhler’s team really has created a drive that is truly reactionless yet produces momentum, it means that Newton, Einstein, Maxwell Planck, and every other great physicist throughout history were all fundamentally wrong about physics and the nature of the universe.

Both Newtonian physics and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity rest on the principle of translational symmetry, or the idea that the laws of physics are the same no matter where you are in space. But a successful EmDrive would mean that a closed system’s momentum and overall energy can change – and change by different amounts depending on where that system exists in space.

As astrophysicist Ethan Siegel explained in a piece for Forbes, “The most sacred law of particle physics – one that has been observed to apply to every system and every interaction set in history – would be busted.”

Siegel and other experts in the field remain doubtful that Buhler’s “New Force” is what he claims it to be. The momentum which Shawyer’s team supposedly created in their EmDrive tests was ultimately shown to be from poor experiment design and faulty measuring devices.

However, it should not be forgotten that Einstein’s breakthroughs once represented a similar earthquake in physics, and that he too faced intense skepticism from the scientific establishment. It may well be that mankind is on the precipice of a new breakthrough that changes our understanding of the universe and could reshape our lives forever.

Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.

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PaulE
PaulE
13 days ago

The video on the Exodus web site is much more grounded in the many still unsolved issues associated around trying to create a workable EM style drive to power a spacecraft than the author of this AMAC article suggests. Just the power required to generate a field of this nature would be measured in at least several megawatts continuous energy output and thus require some form of nuclear generator to run it. We’re decades away, if not much longer at our current rate of progress in this area, from being able to achieve this sort of technology on a commercial scale. So yes, the on-line discussion on the Exodus web site is all accurate, but even the participants agree there is a LOT MORE research and work that needs to happen before anything Andrew Shirley suggests becomes a practical replacement for the antiquated liquid propulsion rockets we use today.

The idea of utilizing a mix of electro-magnetic and variable wave technology to create a stable energy bubble to not only propel but neutralize the earth’s gravitational field impacting the craft has been the much sought after holy grail of interstellar space travel since at least the 1950s. Essentially, you’re talking about a controllable gravity / warp drive. If Exodus has truly discovered the means to achieve this, one of two things would have already happened:
1) A long line of very rich investors would have already formed outside this company’s doors looking to buy the company outright to make hundreds of billions from the true commercialization of space.
2) The second is the DoD would have shown up already to seize the technology and IP of this company in the name of national security.

TOBS
TOBS
13 days ago

BRANDON SAYS HE CLIMBED MT EVEREST AND TALKED TO A YETI THAT TOLD HIM THE SECRET TO EV CARS AND THAT WAY CANOES CAN CROSS THE DESERT TO WATCH HIM PLAY FOOTBALL AT HIS OLD ALMAMATER WEST POINT

Max
Max
13 days ago

So, is this a ploy from the Left to hype on electric vehicles? Everyone knows that the nation is not set up for rapid conversion from fossil fuels to electric vehicles as some of the states have jumped on the band wagon and passed ridiculous laws that are insane. Maybe someday for space travel, but it will happen in the far, far future.

LMB
LMB
13 days ago

SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING NICHOLAS TESLA SPOKE OF OR RATHER WAS WORKING ON WHEN HE WAS ALIVE!!!

PapaYEC
PapaYEC
12 days ago

Seems unlikely. Collection and redirection of ambient energy, perhaps.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
13 days ago

Test rocket on Probe to Mars Then later manned Mars mission

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