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NASA Engineer Designs a Near Light Speed Engine But Does It Work?

Rabe

I identfy as a 9000 series intelligences
What the name says on the tin, I don't "get" this bit of spacetime exploitation but that hasn't stopped the rest of existence from working so I figured I'd see if anyone here had heard of this Helical Drive before, and what you all thought of it
 
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Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
This seems to be more like: NASA manager misunderstands conservation of momentum, doesn't check with physicists despite presumably managing them. Although the general track record of engineers and understanding STR is not stellar.

I think the most to-the-point flaw is that it effectively presumes an external field (the magnetic field to keep the ions rotating), where the reaction on the field (and whatever it producing it, which is presumably inside the hypothetical ship) is ignored.

More generically, whenever one sees calculations involving transverse and longitudinal masses backing a result that violates fundamental laws of physics, it's even more likely to be some deep misunderstanding than otherwise (chances of which are already very, very high). The energy-momentum is preserved exactly, F = dp/dτ, mass is invariant and does not change with velocity, and transverse/longitudinal masses are just some old dross that hasn't been seriously used in physics contexts in the last sixty years or so, but some engineers still use them and confuse themselves with.
 

Rabe

I identfy as a 9000 series intelligences
This seems to be more like: NASA manager misunderstands conservation of momentum, doesn't check with physicists despite presumably managing them. Although the general track record of engineers and understanding STR is not stellar.

I think the most to-the-point flaw is that it effectively presumes an external field (the magnetic field to keep the ions rotating), where the reaction on the field (and whatever it producing it, which is presumably inside the hypothetical ship) is ignored.

More generically, whenever one sees calculations involving transverse and longitudinal masses backing a result that violates fundamental laws of physics, it's even more likely to be some deep misunderstanding than otherwise (chances of which are already very, very high). The energy-momentum is preserved exactly, F = dp/dτ, mass is invariant and does not change with velocity, and transverse/longitudinal masses are just some old dross that hasn't been seriously used in physics contexts in the last sixty years or so, but some engineers still use them and confuse themselves with.
I'd have given this an informative rating if I could follow this but, the fact someone else chimed in on this is appreciated
 
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