Story on Gravity Control / EmDrive on BBC 2 Today (2016-03-23) @ 8 pm UTC

The following post was submitted by Wolfgang Reimer

Today (2016-03-23) at 8 pm UTC a story on gravity control will be broadcasted on BBC2. It also mentions Podkletnov and the EM drive.

Background regarding the story is here:

Here are some quotes from the article:

One device survived, almost unnoticed, from the Greenglow days – a propellant-less electromagnetic or EmDrive, created by British aerospace engineer Roger Shawyer. What sets the EmDrive apart from other concepts? As Shawyer puts it: “We’re no longer looking to control gravity itself. We’re beating gravity the smart way.” Because the EmDrive actually appears to do something. In tests, it seems to move under its own steam.

Shawyer claims his concept uses a known property of microwave energy called “cut-off” to generate thrust. According to Shawyer, the conical shape of the closed box causes the microwaves to effectively stop at one end of the cavity, while continuing to vibrate against the other, creating a difference in pressure.

With a solar power supply, Shawyer claims he would be able to accelerate the EmDrive in any direction almost continually. “You would suddenly have a lift engine, which simply hovers there, or indeed accelerates upwards. So you can envisage launching large payloads into space on an EmDrive-driven space plane.”

The theorists are deeply sceptical of these claims because the EmDrive seems to defy Newton’s law of conservation of momentum. John Ellis at Cern is particularly scathing: “With the EmDrive, unlike a rocket, nothing comes out of it. So I don’t see how you can generate momentum out of nothing.”

Info on the BBC 2 program can be found here:

  • radvar

    “I don’t see how you can create momentum out of nothing.”

    “If you sail too far west you will fall off the edge of the earth, which, as anyone can see, is flat.”

    “Repent or burn, signor, because as anyone can see the sun rotates around the earth.”

    “I don’t see how the coulomb barrier could possibly be overcome in a way that would allow cold fusion”

    • roseland67


      Proven incorrect, you can see it yourself
      Proven incorrect, you can see it yourself,

      May be proven incorrect, as of today you cannot see it yourself, maybe soon, but not yet

    • Albert D. Kallal

      While many scientific claims can and do
      change over time, there are still basic rules of logic and reason that science
      must adhere to.

      For example:

      Can a house fly?

      Well, if it had wings, then yes the house could fly.

      And then I state:

      Houses cannot fly

      And you respond back:

      If the house had wings it could.

      So how do we get out of this circular discussion?

      Well, we make a true statement based on

      Houses do not have wings and thus they cannot fly.

      In the case of an object in space?

      The simple answer is objects cannot move themselves.

      Since an object cannot move itself, then some force has to act on that object for it to move.

      So we cannot create momentum out of nothing, and if the object moves, then we simply ascertain what that force exists to move the object, but such a force must exist.

      Science MUST play second fiddle to logic and reason – that’s also what math is based on.

      So one has to distinguish between physical objects, and that of logic and reason.

      I do not have to create, make or build a triangle, but such a triangle must have 3 sides, and even if I only show this proof by math, the result is the triangle must have 3 sides, even if we never built or seen such a triangle. There is simply no other way a triangle can exist.

      The same goes for objects. The simple basic fact is objects cannot move themselves unless some force acts upon that object.

      So **if** the EM drive can work in space, then it is creating a force – even if we don’t know what that force is.

      And I not bring up that planets rotating around the earth was a science consensus at that time, and Galileo was rejected by the high court based on his math failing.

      Albert D. Kallal
      Edmonton, Alberta Canada

      • idlespeculator

        Perhaps the point was too subtle. Perceptions change when the frameworks that limit them change.

        “…create momentum out nothing” makes unstated assumptions. Every example you gave above has implied frameworks. If you want try to derive “truth” and “logic” from vernacular language, you can be easily tripped up. e.g. houses can fly if they are in an blimp hanger-size space station, and use the exhaust from their heaters for propulsion.

        But rather than being absurd, perhaps it would be easier to observe that there could be a framework in which EM makes perfect sense. We don’t perceive the effects of special relativity in everyday life, but it’s here. If you read the papers on EM drive, they evoke special relativity. That’s the place to apply your fine critical analysis, if you’re able to.

  • Gerard McEk

    Well, I hope they can prove it, but I am sceptical. A space test seems the simplest to do that.

    • Mats002

      EMDrive is tested positive in vaccum and replicated by main stream science institutions time and time again the last years.

      But not until now MSM dare to show it’s existence to a broader audience. Interesting development.

      • Albert D. Kallal

        This is interesting. I would suggest until tests are made outside of the magnetic force of the earth (which does a great job of moving a compass needle), then such forces could be due to the earth magnetic field.

        If this device can work in the vacuum of
        space (not a vacuum on earth under the influence of earth magnetic field), then
        this does bring back the debate about the existence of aether.

        I mean, either particles of mass are being ejected from the device, or it “moving” particles or something outside of the device. So just like the “mag” drive in the movie Hunt for Red October, that mag drive pulled sea water through hollow tubes. So perhaps this device is “pulling” though the aether of space.

        An interesting effect never the less.

        Albert D. Kallal
        Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    • Brent Buckner
    • Gerard McEk

      After having seen it, I am even less convinced.

  • If you can get continuous 1G acceleration, you can go to Mars without the negative effects of weightlessness. You reach a certain point in space, then turn your spaceship around and then decelerate at 1G. We have a long way to go in LENR and EM Drive technology before we can do that, but it is theoretically possible,…maybe.

    • Albert D. Kallal

      Well, just like dropping a rock from a
      bridge, the rock going to reach SPECTACULAR velocities in a very short time.

      If you could accelerate at 1G to mars, you would get there in

      1 day! (25 hours).

      Of course at that point you would be moving so fast, so a more reasonable plan would be to accelerate at 1G for half way, and then turn the ship around, and then decelerate at 1G. This would result in the crew having a 1G gravity at all times. IN this case, it would
      take 1 day and 21 hours (still less than two days!)

      Gong to the moon, you would get half way
      in 1.5 hours, and then decelerate from half way point at 1G, your total time
      would be 3 hours. (however, if you just flying by the moon, then the trip is
      only 2 hours and 22 minutes).

      So while dropping an egg on your kitchen floor at 1G does not seem very fast, 1G is a rather spectacular acceleration speed if maintained.

      We having nothing close that can sustain such accelerations over time. And even settling for 1/10th of a G acceleration at all times would solve the gravity issue.

      So while we walk around in this 1G earth all day, the speed you get from such an acceleration is mind boggling.

      Albert D. Kallal
      Edmonton, Alberta Canada

      • For that kind of a spacecraft the flying saucer shape would actually be good because it would allow lots of space for crew quarters around a centrally located LENR reactor core. You could have multiple EM DRIVE engines around the bottom edges of the saucer. To get into space you would rise very slowly as there is no rush and gradually get to 100 miles altitude in an hour or two. Then you accelerate with no atmosphere and head to Mars or the Moon, or anywhere you like with no wind resistance against your craft. On reentry the enormous surface area of the saucer helps slow the craft without the need for ceramic heat dissipating tiles. The saucer design in *Forbidden Planet* (1956) was pretty nice. By then we could probably even make the robot.

        • Albert D. Kallal


          And forbidden Planet is a Sci-Fi classic – very much the Star Wars of it’s day! Here is a cool clip from that movie:

          Albert D. Kallal
          Edmonton, Alberta Canada

        • Thanks – you’ve reminded me that this was my favourite film for a long time after I first saw it at a cinema in about 1960. Off to Amazon to find a copy on DVD!

        • builditnow

          Anyone thought of a disposable high altitude “parachute”. At reentry speeds a large mesh that could have large holes, say as big as a foot square, perhaps bigger, made of material that can burn off. This would create a lot of drag in the upper atmosphere and slow reentry before the space craft had to endure much direct heat. Because of the super sonic speeds, the mesh would be creating shock waves at each of it’s “strands”, and that creates a lot of drag.

          One might be able to fly a shuttle like plane with a coat of paint designed to burn off. Perhaps even no special paint. A fresh coat of paint, a new parachute and ready for relaunch. The right sized “parachute” could be made lightweight, disposable, fairly cheap and decelerate at the correct G force. Once the speed is low enough, the high altitude parachute could be cut loose and deploy it’s own normal parachute to drop to earth safely. Perhaps it could also be re-coated and reused. The space / aircraft could then land normally.

          Alternatively, with a high energy LENR powered space craft capable of several G, the rocket to do the deceleration while still in space, then enter the atmosphere at a speed easily handled by conventional aircraft design. Much nicer.

          • If your engines are driven by a reactor that can run one full year without refueling, you will have all the thrust you need for a slow re-entry. The large size of the saucer shape would just add to craft’s stability and controllability. Also you don’t want the kind of tipping over problems Elon Musk has been having on landing. A big saucer with multiple legs would be stable as hell on landing.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    I don’t believe it works, because the experimental confirmation is lacking and because it appears to manifestly break momentum conservation.

    Momentum conservation is equivalent to translation invariance of space and energy conservation is equivalent to time-invariance of natural laws. Momentum non-conservation would also break energy conservation.

    Invariance of natural laws with respect to translation and time has a lot of observational backing. For example, ratios of frequencies of spectral lines from distant galaxies are the same as what we measure here locally, which can only be true if the fine structure constant (electric charge) here and there have the same value.

    But of course, if it’s experimentally proven, then… well, then pigs could fly.

    Anyway, the claim is much more radical than cold fusion, because cold fusion does not manifestly break any physical laws. I cannot really explain rationally that the scientific community seems in principle ready to investigate this claim while ignoring cold fusion results. By saying this I do not mean to criticise that they investigate this one, but it brings up (again) the old question why cold fusion results are ignored. In some matters (like here) mainstream science seems quite open-minded, even sometimes willing to jump to conclusion (dark energy), while in cold fusion it seems almost singularly closed-minded.

    • Mats002

      Happy FP day to you and all here at ECW!

    • tomandersen

      It does not break momentum conservation any more than a person does when they climb a ladder. That’s not saying that I think it works. If the EmDrive couples to some sort of static background field, it can use that as an invisible ladder to push against.

      Its similar to north pole on north pole magnetic repulsion. Its an invisible mysterious force until Faraday comes along.

      Beta decay violated energy conservation for quite a few years – until the neutrino was discovered.

    • LarryJ

      Regarding your wondering why the mainstream scientific community appear to be more open to this more controversial topic than cold fusion I would propose that funding is at the root. Cold Fusion threatens billions in funding while the EM drive does not really pose any kind of funding threat.

    • Fedir Mykhaylov

      Cold Fusion necessary for explaining the balance between the protons and neutrons. The neutrons are unstable outside the nucleus. It requires the formation of neutrons.

  • gdaigle

    Thanks for posting, Wolfgang. The linked article at the BBC mentions more than just the EM Drive and Podkletnov, but has also made some points that require clarification.

    1. Podkletnov never tried to change the strength of the earth’s gravitational field. In 1992 Drs. Evgeny Podkletnov and R. Neiminen published a paper concluding that rotating a bulk sintered ceramic disk containing a high-temperature superconductor revealed a small shielding effect against the gravitational force at temperatures below 60ºK and maximized below 40ºK.

    2. Martin Tajmar was not in Dresden at the time he was doing gravity testing. He was at the Austrian Lab AIT/ARC. Experiments performed by Martin Tajmar and published in 2006 measured strong gravity-like fields in close proximity to spinning superconductors. His findings were later reinterpreted but never withdrawn. Dr. Tajmar’s original studies were supported by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. He is now doing more testing of devices to generate gravity-like fields, including those proposing methods to convert photons to gravitophotons.

    3. The article makes it sound like this all arose in the 1980s, when in fact in the mid 1950s gravity control seemed like the next “big thing” after the development of nuclear energy. Such research gained the support of well-known scientists of the day including Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, Dr. Edward Teller, Dr. Freeman J. Dyson, Dr. John A. Wheeler and Dr. Bryce S. DeWitt. Aircraft industry firms participating or actively interested in gravity included Glenn L. Martin Co., Convair (designers and builders of the giant B-36 intercontinental bomber), Bell Aircraft, the Sikorsky Division of United Aircraft, and the Sperry Gyroscope Division of Sperry-Rand Corp.

    In 1956 the General Physics Laboratory of the Aeronautical Research Laboratories (ARL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio engaged Joshua N. Goldberg (later Emeritus Professor at Syracuse and Fellow, American Physical Society) to direct the support of research into gravitational and unified field theories stemming from general relativity with the purpose of generating field propulsion by the manipulation of gravity.

  • LION

    I HOPE all of you who are interested in the subject find this interesting-
    RON EVANS has written a GREAT book, happy reading.

    • Obvious

      Does the frustum eventually load up with former virtual particles that have been made real by adding the microwave’s energy (and therefore momentum) to them?
      If you “steal” virtual particles from The Vacuum, does it create a partial vacuum in the Vacuum that causes the relative pressure of the universe to push you into the new vacuum?

      • vibrator !

        Presumably momentum and energy are ultimately conserved, relativistic mass equivalency always applies and there must be a corresponding change in entropy (negentropic gradients not precluded).

        If any fundamental constants such as alpha or the Higgs are dependent on the vacuum potential, then bad things will happen.

        For instance if the local value of mass drops by even a tiny amount, the rest of the universe outside our bubble (expanding outwards at C) will be heavier relative to us – precisely the kind of vacuum you allude to (and which nature abhors).

        A motion to re-equilibrium implies a reshuffling of what constitutes stable particles, resulting in a cataclysmic phase transition that destroys the universe as we know it.


        Without classical reaction mass (the solid corporeal kind) classical CoE and CoM do not apply. It matters not that Newton is satisfied by quantum or relativistic substitutes – from the non-inertial frame, KE evolves as half the square of mass times velocity, while on board an “EM-drive driven craft” acceleration is a constant linear function of input energy (ie. scaling with the identical units and dimensions as momentum). In other words, to all practical intents and purposes an EM drive delivers not KE, but raw momentum, which if conserved must be provided from the ambient environment.

        It’s hard to avoid concluding that the global value of “spin” is devalued by any asymmetric exchange of positive and negatively-signed virtual photons between charges. That’s the EM mediator, and the “stuff” of EM force.

  • pelgrim108

    It was not mentioned in this BBC TV program.

  • Preston

    Nasa did get positive results testing the EM drive but was criticized because the forces measured were pretty low. But,they may be getting ready to release some new test results.

    It seems like it may actually work – at least well enough to replace location adjusting thrusters on satellites. But it will probably be a very long time before they generate enough thrust for launching things.

  • e-dog

    anyone know where you can watch that bbc doco online.. if youre not in the uk???

  • Alan DeAngelis

    The TT Brown effect. It’s nothing new.

  • AdrianAshfield

    Peerhaps the E-Cat Quark X would be a better source of energy to run an Em-Drive than solar. We have to wait for data.
    From what I’ve seen the thrust is minuscule though. How is it supposed to scale up?
    An ion drive might be more feasible.

    • Brent Buckner

      Shawyer and the Chinese have reported more than minuscule thrust from their experiments. NASA Eagleworks (Paul March) discussed scaling up their experiments to 2000 Newtons (cf. ).

      • AdrianAshfield

        0.0004 ounces from 17W doesn’t sound very promising. Neither does just talking about scaling it up.

        • Brent Buckner

          You asked how it might scale. I pointed you to NASA Eagleworks thoughts via link. I also pointed you to Shawyer and the Chinese. As you’re quoting 0.0004 ounces, it seems to me that you didn’t bother to look at the Chinese stated results. The amount of time it took you to write your dismissive comment you could instead have spent googling for those stated results (Chinese: 72g of thrust).

          • AdrianAshfield

            I read your linked piece and the figures quoted were from it. If you are so keen on the Chinese why didn’t you post a link to that?

          • Brent Buckner

            You wrote: “If you are so keen on the Chinese why didn’t you post a link to that?” In response to your question about scaling I provided a link in support of my answer. In response to your assertion about minuscule I gave you a counter-assertion with enough to follow up on if you wanted.

  • I don’t know bout that. In anything there is usually leakage. I would not like to stand behind a 5,000 foot pound microwave based EM Space Drive Engine. You might end up looking like Gumby.

  • Frank Acland

    A different approach is reported here:

    The idea was revealed by Phillip Lubin, who is a physics professor at the University of California Santa Barbara. Lubin was also responsible for the photonic propulsion technology proposal. This time, however, he identified the use of high-powered lasers to propel wafer-thin spacecrafts to the Red Planet faster than the speed of light. Lubin wrote in an email to Headlines and Global News that using a “directed energy propulsion,” which involved firing laser at a spacecraft, can revolutionize space travel because it will lead to the achievement of frictionless acceleration.

    • Steven Irizarry

      different technology based on known physics

  • LION

    We have never been alone on this planet, there are others who are themselves very Ancient. The guys in the deep Black simply reverse engineered their craft and propulsion systems, the evidence is in plain sight. Main stream scientists are BLIND because they REFUSE to look at the evidence, a familiar story, this is their WATERGATE, how will they ever recover the public respect they presently enjoy when all of this becomes KNOWN. DENIED-COLD FUSION, DENIED GRAVITY CONTROL, the two things to safeguard the future of the human race, that they have actively tried to KILL.
    Please watch this video carefully and give due consideration to the evidence presented, because as someone who really does know, I assure you it contains a vital clue to Gravity Control.

  • LION