Exotic Physics

NIAC 2017: Interstellar Implications

April 12, 2017

I always look at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) awards with interest as well as a bit of nostalgia. When I began researching the book that would become Centauri Dreams, NIAC was an early incentive. Then known as the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, it was under the direction of Robert Cassanova (this was […]

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Close Look at Recent EmDrive Paper

January 3, 2017

The concluding part of the Tau Zero Foundation’s examination of what is being called the ‘EmDrive’ appears today. It’s a close analysis of the recent paper by Harold ‘Sonny’ White and Paul March in the Journal of Propulsion and Power. Electrical engineer George Hathaway runs Hathaway Consulting Services, which has worked with inventors and investors […]

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Uncertain Propulsion Breakthroughs?

December 30, 2016

Now that the EmDrive has made its way into the peer-reviewed literature, it falls in range of Tau Zero’s network of scientist reviewers. Marc Millis, former head of NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics project and founding architect of the Tau Zero Foundation, has spent the last two months reviewing the relevant papers. Although he is the […]

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EmDrive Back in the News

July 28, 2015

Martin Tajmar’s presentation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Propulsion and Energy Forum and Exposition in Orlando yesterday has been getting plenty of press. Tajmar is looking at the device now commonly called an EmDrive, studied by Sonny White’s team at Eagleworks (Johnson Space Center) and advocated by Roger Shawyer, Guido Fetta and […]

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A Lab Experiment to Test Spacetime Distortion

September 18, 2012

Sonny White’s work on exotic propulsion has galvanized the press, as witness this story in the Daily Mail, one of many articles in newspapers and online venues. I was fortunate enough to be in the sessions at the 100 Year Starship Symposium where White, an engaging and affable speaker, described what his team at Eagleworks […]

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Exotic Detections: Wormholes and Worldships

August 22, 2012

SETI always makes us ask what human-centered assumptions we are making about extraterrestrial civilizations. When it comes to detecting an actual technology, like the starships we’ve been talking about in the last two posts, we’ve largely been forced to study concepts that fit our understanding of physics. Thus Robert Zubrin talks about how we might […]

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Resolving the Pioneer Anomaly

July 18, 2012

Anomalies are always fascinating because they cause us to re-examine our standard explanation for things. But in the case of the so-called ‘Pioneer anomaly,’ the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Slava Turyshev, working with a group of scientists led by JPL’s John Anderson, needed an explanation for practical reasons. The possibility that there was new physics to […]

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FTL Neutrinos: Closing In on a Solution

February 24, 2012

The news that the faster-than-light neutrino results announced to such widespread interest by the OPERA collaboration have now been explained has been spreading irresistibly around the Internet. But the brief piece in ScienceInsider that broke the news was stretching a point with a lead reading “Error Undoes Faster-Then-Light Neutrino Results.” For when you read the […]

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New Work on FTL Neutrinos

December 28, 2011

A paper in the December 24 issue of Physical Review Letters goes to work on the finding of supposed faster-than-light neutrinos by the OPERA experiment. The FTL story has been popping up ever since OPERA — a collaboration between the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) in Gran Sasso, Italy and the CERN physics laboratory […]

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The SN 1987A Experiment

September 24, 2011

If neutrinos really do travel at a velocity slightly higher than the speed of light, we have a measurement that challenges Einstein, a fact that explains the intense interest in explaining the results at CERN that we discussed on Friday. I think CERN is taking exactly the right approach in dealing with the matter with […]

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