August 4, 2014 by JImbo
I’m not entirely an idiot. In fact I like to do “back of the envelope” space rocket calculations for fun.
Such as… how hard would it be to launch a Ford Pinto into Geosynchronous Orbit?
I even get way too in depth and involved sometimes. Such as… what would the logistical requirements for a Moon Base? How much would it cost using what launch vehicles to keep x number of “Lunar-nauts” supplied?
I WANT to believe all sorts of cool things. I WANT to believe Star Wars and Star Trek and Magic and Communism could work in real life. I WANT to believe in many things that just aren’t probable.
I can’t say totally impossible because hey… who knows? MAYBE there are things we still don’t know out there. Maybe we will find out that gravity only works because we THINK it does and we can all fly by just wishing really hard.
However, the odds are against something like that. It breaks too many existing laws. It would mean unravelling too many known “facts.”
I don’t even like movies or fiction that ignore internal logic. I will suspend disbelief for awhile, but you have to make sense in your own frame of reference. Total turn off.
If you tell me that there are sweet replicator machines in Star Trek for example that can make ANYTHING out of NOTHING apparently… then don’t try to sell me on how there are fleets of “freighter” ships.
What the hell are they carrying? You can MAKE anything in your OWN HOUSE. Why have ships to carry things across the Galaxy? What is the point?
Why have factories? Or stores? Or jobs?
What do people DO in an economy where everything just POOFs into existence? No one has to work? If you had Maytag make the machines then even the repairmen for the machines would get bored. You can’t build a universe based on an illogical premise now can you?
Taken to the next step, I REALLY don’t like it when people wave their hands and make huge leaps of faith in science to do EVERYTHING and EVERYTHING. No, not everything IS possible, much less probable. Some things are just not going to happen.
For example, this “EM Drive.” The theory behind it is that we just forget about the Law of Conservation of Energy. All we have to do to believe there is “unlimited free rocket propulsion” in is to stop believing in one of the key building blocks of science.
Oh is that all? It’s very nearly the whiz-bang equivalent of disbelieving in gravity in order to fly.
Rocket engines work ON the principle of this law and others. It works BECAUSE it shoots propellant out one end and the rocket goes in the other. That’s pretty IMPORTANT.
In this engine they say some cool words like “Microwave” and “Low Thrust Torsion Pendulum.” So, that makes it okay. Well, if a “scientist” says it then it MUST be okay!
I have a few issues with this if you can’t tell. First, microwaves are well known. Assuming they somehow have some magical properties to them is like the idea that radiation had anything to do with creating Godzilla or Superheroes.
Radiation causes cancer, not super powers. It mutates cells, but that mutation has to be in there originally. It must be something that COULD happen naturally. It doesn’t really create NEW DNA.
You COULD have people born with six fingers, or fish with two heads without radiation. It happens sometimes. Radiation could just make that happen more often. It won’t however make anti-gravity fish or fish with laser beam eyes.
It’s just not something that fish DO.
Microwaves too act in known ways. Putting them into a specially shaped container don’t suddenly give them super abilities. If that were the case YOU could make an EM drive like this with your home microwave. That’s not happening.
Granted, partially it’s because of the really HUGE power requirements to conduct this experiment. If true, the proposed device would take the energy output of Ginna nuclear power plant to lift a car. Your home microwave wouldn’t be able to (literally) lift a hair.
It’s not exactly a practical amount of work for all that energy used. That’s kind of my point. They’re basing these “successful” tests on an apparatus that is producing about 40 MILLIONTHS of a kilogram of force.
That is smaller than the standard of error in the test equipment. If your bathroom scale is only accurate to 2 lbs and you step on it and it says you lost a pound… how do you know it’s right? It could be so far off that you could have GAINED a pound and not know the difference!
Then the designer adds that “Well, the SECOND generation would be significantly more powerful.” Why? Essentially his answer boils down to “Well because I said so.”
I have some waterfront property in Arizona to sell you too.
At the low low low cost of a HUGE investment in money, power and gullibility.
All you’ll have to do is go broke, get a near useless machine (at best) and forget about some of the fundamental forces of the universe.
Oh is that all?
Now you’re telling me that
Having said that… sometimes I just don’t “get it.” I don’t get all the hype. I can’t make that leap of faith to some new “miracle machine.”