Talk:Quantum vacuum thruster

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

EM drive[edit]

It is untrue that the null device produced unexpected results. They did not know what the results would be, but there was still a possibility for thrust because they never removed the resonant cavity. However, when they removed the resonant cavity, they got no thrust. As such, the information in the second paragraph is absolutely inaccurate and I will be modifying it. Copulative (talk) 16:05, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Umm... A null device is assumed to represent the null hypothesis. Did they miss name the test device, or were the results not expected, suggesting a flaw in either the science or testing procedure. It is reasonable to assume that the expected result from a null device is to fit the null hypothesis. (talk) 17:30, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Disagree with top poster - the null device did get unexpected results - on the Nasa forum when discussing it Paul M. who helped run the test specifically points out that they used a null device with no ports ( the ports were to release thrust) was used to help rule out heat and other reasons for thrust etc - but to their surprise the null device without ports and the ported device gave the same amount of thrust after doing the calculations for heat thrust etc they found an unexplained amount of additional thrust - They probably used the null device so they could subtract the null devices heat thrust from the test device and get easy thrust answers right away. (talk) 17:11, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Article appears to be missing research by Chinese team. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

  • this is Quantum vacuum plasma thruster, not EMdrive. the two are not the same thing. (talk) 05:35, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

I would not say that they are so dissimilar as to not merit mention of Allen Cullen and the Shawyer EmDrive (which precedes Fetta's Q drive) and the Yang group's and Juan group's work verifying it. The article is too US centric by mentioning only US scientists working in this area (who are conducting important follow on research, but still you owe the predecessors some analysis too). I find the EmDrive page to now be giving a more balanced treatment of the subject matter. You should consider merging these pages and perhaps putting them under a common title such as Microwave Drive or Q-Drive given the Northwestern Polytechnic University in Xi'an and NASA experimental confirmations of the work. You already acknowledge they are similar drives in reference 2. I still do not understand why Shawyer is not mentioned by name, given he pioneered the application of this engine technology, nor why Allen Cullen's work is omitted. Consider adding a history section to cover the genesis of this concept and its current status. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 2 August 2014 (UTC))

  • this is Quantum vacuum plasma thruster, not EMdrive. the two are not the same thing. (talk) 14:43, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

... They are the same thing - one group is calling it EMdrive - the eagleworks lab is calling it a q thruster because they believe that the physics behind it is related to the quantum vacuum.... It is absolutely the same thing - in the EMdrive you use EM to create a thrust from unknown reasons - in the q-thruster you use EM to create thrust from unknown reasons but the hypothesis is that the reasons are quantum vacuum related. (talk) 17:11, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

John Baez thinks this is junk[edit]

While I tend to agree with what he says, I think we'd need a better source for WP's purposes than someone's personal blog. mike4ty4 (talk) 13:02, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
He's a recognised expert in the field. See Wikipedia:SPS#Self-published_sources William M. Connolley (talk) 18:43, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
Did Wikipedia suddenly become 4chan? I don't think that kind of language has any place in this discussion. Will the Great (talk) 00:52, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

This is irrelevant. Removed. Copulative (talk) 16:10, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

New sources[edit]

jps (talk) 03:01, 5 August 2014 (UTC)


This page is based on a very controversial experiment that has not been published in any peer-reviewed journal yet. Since Wikipedia is not supposed to be a primary source of information, I wonder why this page is here instead than on WikiNews. At least it should be made clear that the controversy is there, not hide the fact. (talk) 08:22, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

measuring forces in micro-newtons? Using instruments of what resolution? Heck, I have a fan at home that spins from the force of sunlight, and I recall a deep space probe of ours that was slowing faster than predicted due to it radiating heat unevenly. Tiny things become big when the prefix micro is used, experimental error becomes big as well. I'd cull this page down to a 'theoretical reaction-less propulsion system of some controversy, using virtual particles as a reaction mass source. Not yet scientifically reviewed.' Save a proper page for when it pans out, or line it up with global cooling if it flops. (talk) 15:39, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Requested move/merge with Emdrive[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this merge discussion was: not merged. Will the Great (talk) 23:05, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

This has been proposed on 5 August 2014 on the main page article by User:Lowellian (talk), see diff. I add it to the Talk page since it has not been discussed yet. Tokamac (talk) 20:49, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - EmDrive (that also can be called "RF resonant cavity thruster") and Quantum vacuum plasma thruster (aka QVPT or Q-drive) are two proposals of different unconventional propulsion schemes. The EmDrive is a closed, tapered (usually as a frustum) resonant cavity filled with microwaves bouncing between the two internal plates of the cavity, which purportedly creates a thrust due to radiation pressure imbalance, according to its inventor British engineer Roger Shawyer (see first patent on this drive in 1999). The QVPT, proposed by NASA engineer Harold "Sonny" White's is a torus with a magnetic coil around it (see the picture of it on the Harold G. White (NASA) article) was sort-of "borrowed" from Jim Woodward's Mach Effect Thruster (MET) 2006 test article (see Woodward effect) that White modified to run on DC because is theory of MHD compressible "virtual plasma" from quantum vacuum fluctuations does not require AC activation of the QVPT. When his test article didn't produced thrust (except when transients occurred, i.e. when the DC current was switched on then off, mimicking Woodward's AC switching) White decided to test other types of exotic drives that he thought can also be explained within the quantum vacuum framework. The fact is the "quantum vacuum plasma" presumes an unproved conjecture made by Sonny White. In conclusion I think the person who proposed the merge between the quantum vacuum plasma thruster and the Emdrive articles has been confused by the fact Sonny White also replicated Shawyer's EmDrive in 2014 at NASA's Eagleworks Labs (as well as Guido Fetta's Cannae drive, another microwave cavity thruster that is close to EmDrive, in 2013) and that he talks every time of his idea of a quantum vacuum virtual plasma as the possible source of thrust. Tokamac (talk) 20:49, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
  • No opinion at this time. To me, both this (and EmDrive) are close to utter bollocks, and the page is certainly far too kind to them. But we're clearly having trouble telling them apart. I'd suggest they both get merged into something "unconventional hypothesised reactionless drives". Or reactionless drive. Which already has a link here. Is there really enough substance on this page do deserve its own page? I doubt it. I'd suggest merging a much shortened version of this page there William M. Connolley (talk) 22:05, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Tokamac has already detailed my reasons for opposition much more comprehensively than I could ever hope to. Current claims that the EmDrive produces thrust through interaction with quantum vacuum - indeed, claims that said device produces thrust at all and is not simply a measurement error - are unsubstantiated at this time. If a comprehensive theoretical model for the drive's operation consistent with that of a quantum vacuum thruster were published, I would not oppose merging these two articles - but since such a claim is at present nothing more than speculation, merging the articles would misrepresent the factual accuracy of said claim. Will the Great (talk) 00:59, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose The two subjects appear to describe content which is different as any other two subtypes of a more general thing. We have individual articles about at least a hundred types of automobile, fifty breeds of dog and a thousand species of grasses. Trilobitealive (talk) 02:13, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree that the EMdrive is a different concept than the quantum vacuum plasma thrusters. The quantum vacuum plasma thrusters is a class of devices that Harold White and his team at Nasa have been working on since 2006 I believe. They tried a number of different designs over the years. The premise of all the designs is that the test articles interact with virtual particle through crossed magnetic and electric fields to create thrust. More recently in late 2013 and 2014 they have tested an EMdrive like design in addition to another design by a company Cannae LLC. However, I do not think that that it would be correct to say that the quantum vacuum plasma thruster should be merged with the EMdrive. First, I think the team at Nasa disagrees completely with the theoretical position put forward by Shawyer to explain the alleged thrust produced by the device. They also do not subscribe to the opinion put forward by the team at Cannae LLC. Second, I also think that the original quantum vacuum plasma thrusters design the Eagleworks team has been working on for close to a decade is very dissimilar to the EMdrive design. Their design is based more closely on the Woodward Effect test articles. They were conventional capacitor with a ceramic dielectric. The resonant cavity approach is a recent development. I do agree that the Eagleworks team believes the EMdrive may be a kind of quantum vacuum plasma thruster, but they also believe that several other devices such as the SFE thruster by Gravitec and the Cannae Drive may also be quantum vacuum plasma thrusters. I believe they have also interpreted the Woodward effect test articles as quantum vacuum plasma thrusters. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pomezi (talk • contribs) 22:52, 4 August 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pomezi (talkcontribs)
  • "No opinion" but,.. EM Drive already describes a drive using quantum vacuum plasma... Have your cake or eat it. Pick one people. (talk) 03:28, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- presumes the theory that EmDrive is a QVPT. Details of my objection in Emdrive talk Alanf777 (talk) 01:59, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose It is unknown whether QVPT is a valid technology. It is equally unknown if the Emdrive is an example of that technology. Until Emdrive fundamentals are properly understood, we should not merge Emdrive with anything. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Charlieworton (talkcontribs) 08:45, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Seems like we have a consensus. I'm going to go ahead and close this discussion, and remove the merge header from the article. Will the Great (talk) 22:59, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


This article is suffering from whitewashing of criticism. As a very bare minimum, if you're going to remove a POV tag, you need to put in an edit comment saying you're doing that. So [1] is bad. You really ought to say *why* you're doing it too William M. Connolley (talk) 10:05, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

I disagree with you that this quote is useful:

John Baez has described this as "graduate-level baloney", adding that " 'Quantum vacuum virtual plasma' is something you'd say if you failed a course in quantum field theory and then smoked too much weed. There's no such thing as 'virtual plasma' ". See

To me it seems you are trying to discredit this technology. Brian Everlasting (talk) 15:27, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I think you're being rather premature in describing this as "technology". Its more in the nature of experiment, hypothesis or speculation. And I disagree that the quote isn't useful: it seems extremely useful: its the opinion of a recognised expert in the field as to the merits of the underlying theory. Why don't you believe that to be useful? William M. Connolley (talk) 15:53, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I believe the technology to create a thruster without propellant exists. Whether or not the theory behind it is correct is of lesser importance. You are putting too much emphasis on one theory for the underlying technology. This article should be about the technology not the theory behind it. Brian Everlasting (talk) 16:10, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
The article you're talking about is reactionless drive. This isn't that article; this is Quantum vacuum plasma thruster and its about a specific theory, not the tech in general. Moreover, while you're of course entitled to your own opinion that "the technology to create a thruster without propellant exists", that opinion is very much a minority one; importantly, its not shared by the bulk of the experts in the field, viz physicists. I trust that you want wiki to reflect the general state of knowledge, rather than your personal opinion William M. Connolley (talk) 18:18, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

The report by Mr. Baez should not be in the article. This guy simply put up a post or article on a blog. That does not make his point of view worthy of mention. If he wants to weigh in, he should have carefully studied the theory behind the quantum thruster concept which Dr. White has discussed in several papers. He should then have published his own paper detailing the physics behind why the theory behind the quantum vacuum thruster does not work. Just because this Mr. Baez has a PHD does not make him worthy of belief. He has not studied the concept. He has not published a paper. As a result, his criticism is totally worthless. His criticism that Dr. White uses the term "quantum vacuum virtual plasma" is totally unfounded. Dr. White was simply drawing an analogy to ordinary plasma thrusters that produce thrust by ionizing gases. Dr. White was simply saying in a similar manner a spacecraft could accelerate virtual particles to create thrust. But Mr. John Baez does not address this, because as far as I can tell, he has not studied the concept in any detail and does not know anything about the theory. He has simply approached the issue that because he has a PHD and is obviously a superior person, he knows everything, and therefore does not need to put forward a detailed and thorough analysis of the subject. Mr. Baez even goes as far as to suggest that the person who coined the term "quantum vacuum plasma" must have failed physics and smoked weed. Dr. WHite has a PHD and has been working in this area for more than a decade. The theory deserves much more respect. The comment that Dr. WHite failed physics smokes weed is unprofessional . There is no reason for this on Wikipedia, in the media or academia. That's not a reasoned critique of the quantum vacuum plasma thruster concept. The recent experiments shows there are virtual particles via the dynamic cashmir effect. It makes sense that if these short lived positrons and electrons are propelled away from a device the device should move in the opposite direction, in accordance with Newton's laws and conservation of momentum. I am not certain the quantum vacuum thruster idea is correct. But it needs some serious critique. I don't think that Mr. Baez blog article is serious and I don't think it belongs on Wikipedia. This is an extremly low quality article from an obviously low quality "academic" who as far as I know has not published any meaningful scientific work on this subject. I think that a good critique or criticism should be put on Wikipedia. But it should come from a reliable and competent source, such as a peer reviewed journal or a credible and detailed media article from someone familiar with the subject matter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pomezi (talkcontribs) 18:12, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

You're wrong. It is not necessary for someone to have published a paper in order to have an opinion on this subject worth mentioning. Indeed, the paper we've been using as a source recently - - isn't a proper published paper. Its just a conference preprint. Blog postings by recognised experts in the field - which Baez is - are acceptable as sources William M. Connolley (talk) 18:21, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

You're missing the point. Mr. Baez's article is not a serious attempt to refute the quantum vacuum plasma approach. As a far as I can tell from the article he has no idea what he's talking about. I think the quality of his blog post is so low and so bad it should not be included. But the real problem is not just that he does not have a detailed and credible analysis of the subject. The major problem is that he mixes up insults with legitimate critique. Saying the person who coined the term "quantum vacuum plasma thruster" failed physics and smoked weed is very very very low blow and so unprofessional that one wishes there was some professional body to censure people like Mr. Baez. If a lawyer or another professional attacked another collegue's integrity by suggesting they did drugs and flunked out of school, they better be prepared to appear before the disciplinary comittee, unless they had something to prove what they're saying. There is nothing to suggests that the several PHDs working at Nasa that wrote the recent article on the subject or have been working on this quantum vacuum plasma thruster concept for close to a decade are using drugs. The comments are defamatory, inapproprate and quite frankly stupid. The experiments have proved that the quantum vacuum can be excited by any electric field or lasers and there should be no reason why these excited virtual particles cannot be accelerated in a megnetic field, just as ordinary or real particles can be accelerated in particle accelerators or Hall Thrusters. So in theory subjecting the vacuum to an intense magnetic and electric field should "move the quantum vacuum virtual particles" in one direction and the spacecraft in the other. It should take an intelligent, detailed, thorough, and painstaking study to prove that this is not possible. Such an analysis would be very welcome. However, accusing the team at Nasa of using drugs and relying on nothing except the fact that you earned a PHD to support your argument is not very credible. The peer review process at least ensures that this kind of sloppy and careless analysis does not make it into the scientific journals. I guess Wikipedia should have lower standards? Wikipedia should accept anything it can get? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pomezi (talkcontribs) 19:33, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Wow, someone has apparently never met a lawyer, if you don't think they insult each other viciously all the time. Of course lawyers know what the actual limits of defamation, libel, and slander are better than physicists, but that just means they're slightly more careful about the phrasing in their insults.
Also, what makes you think Baez thinks smoking weed is an insult? I'm willing to bet he's smoked enough weed himself to recognize the kinds of brilliant-seeming but go-nowhere ideas that usually come out of it. The accusation isn't that White is a bad person because he does drugs, it's that White is a bad scientist because he doesn't know how to distinguish between his late-night drug fantasies and actual research.
At any rate, none of this is important. If we've got a scientific claim that hasn't been published in a peer-reviewed journal, you can't demand that rebuttals must come from peer-reviewed journals. Unless you just want to article to say that most physicists don't take this seriously, without any indication of why that's true, you need a sourced quote from a physicist answering that question. -- (talk) 03:25, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Confirmation that this subject is notable[edit] William M. Connolley (talk) 11:37, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

notable how? Does inclusion of any subject in a single webcomic make it instantly notable? Worth more might be the discussion of said comic, simply because it gathers links to several articles that are critical of the drive on grounds of it not following scientific process, such as "Hmm. That's interesting. Both the test object and the null object are giving thrust..." (talk) 17:02, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
It was a joke William M. Connolley (talk) 19:05, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Proxima Centauri on 30 years...[edit]

Near the top of the article is this text: "According to Harold White, a quantum vacuum plasma thruster-powered spacecraft weighing 90 tonnes would be able to reach Proxima Centauri in ~29.9 years at 4 newtons per kilowatt."

If I take standard physics equations with force, mass, and delta-v, I can show, given 90 tonnes and 4 newtons per kilowatt, that you can get from here to Proxima Centauri in under 5 years. All I do is substitute infinity in the kilowatts applied box, and according to me you get there at light speed.

Q1: how much power would we need to generate continuously for 30 years to get to Proxima Centauri in that time 29.9 years? Q2: do we have any power plants capable of doing that, and plus mass of fuel, still come in under 90 tonnes? Figure your average train engine is in the range of 125-250 tonnes. A typical engine (if I got the math...) produces under 3.4 megawatts/hr, and run for just over 3 days without refueling. (talk) 17:23, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

"Quantum vacuum plasma"[edit]

Sources suggest there is no such thing as "quantum vacuum plasma". Virtual particles in no way, shape, or form constitute any state of matter, let alone a plasma.

Should it perhaps be mentioned in the lede that "plasma" here is a misnomer? Or perhaps should the page instead be "quantum vacuum thruster"?

(Also, the citation on a talk page is REALLY annoying. It looks like it is a reference for whichever section is lowest, even though in this case it applies to my comments. I've removed it and inlined it where it was referenced.) TricksterWolf (talk) 16:41, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

In Theory of Operation you'll find: "The atomic particles produced by the fluctuations are subsequently electrically ionized to form a plasma." How in the world do you ionize a virtual particle? You can't ionize an electron or a positron. Calling it a plasma is rubbish. It is more like quantum vacuum virtual electron positron pair degenerate matter. Anyone? Mulletronics (talk) 15:28, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

We already have a John Baez quote in the intro saying much the same thing. I'm not really sure this page should exist; its just yet-another reactionless drive William M. Connolley (talk) 18:01, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Aren't virtual particles arising from quantum fluctuations almost inherently charged? And so why wouldn't this be a plasma, albeit very rarefied. --JorisvS (talk) 11:50, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
They don't fit the definition of what a plasma is: A lone electron or positron isn't a plasma by sake of its charge. --Mulletronics (talk) 23:58, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
The intergalactic medium is a plasma, and more rarified than anything a functional QVPT would use. --JorisvS (talk) 10:41, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

After exhaustively studying this issue, I am confident the interaction is due to what is presented in reference 22, Donaire, Manuel; Van Tiggelen, Bart; Rikken, Geert (2014). "Transfer of linear momentum from the quantum vacuum to a magnetochiral molecule" 1404. p. 5990. arXiv:1404.5990v1. Bibcode:2014arXiv1404.5990D....coupled with cavity QED Another look by anyone at the issue would be much appreciated. --Mulletronics (talk) 23:57, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

As the intergalactic medium example indicates, there may not be a single definition of how sparse a plasma can be before one stops modelling it as a plasma and starts modelling it as a scattering of electrons & ions. It depends on context. Is there any value to modelling the virtual particles produced by vacuum fluctuations as a plasma? Some of the people working on these drives think so. If they are wrong, their analyses will likely not pan out. – SJ + 03:04, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Conservation of momentum[edit]

If any reactionless drive can work, conservation of momentum is disproved, terminating physics as we know it. One can predict with confidence that this latest effort will end up in the bin with delusions like perpetual motion machines, cold fusion, autism from vaccination, death by aspartame, and shooting bleach to cure cancer. Nothing is wrong with documenting such claims, but they should be documented as fantasies, not as serious contenders for anything but grant money. Doctorate or not, some people will say anything to get grant money. Ornithikos (talk) 19:50, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Although I completely agree with you I will point out that they said the same thing about many technologies/theories that exist today. The scientific community is infamous for having moments of smearing by others simply to get their own work in the limelight, supergravity was attacked relentlessly by the string theorists until it was proven correct and actually a part of the main theory. Although I do severly doubt that this thruster is true, personally I suspect the thrust is caused by a side-effect, we must be cautious not to rubbish the idea simply due to it being outlandish. If it is to be discredited it must be done so in the lab. (talk) 11:29, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Either way, it's not up to Wikipedia the make that determination. Find a quote by a reputable scientist from an appropriate source saying all of this, and add it to the article. -- (talk) 03:29, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Conservation of momentum would be out if a reactionless drive could be made to work, but a Q-thruster would not be a reactionless drive. It would be an ion engine that uses quantum fluctuations as its propellant. --JorisvS (talk) 08:22, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

These two sentences appear to contradict each other:

"If correct, this would essentially be ... a falsification of the conservation of momentum and energy..."

"The Q-thruster would not technically be a reactionless drive, because it expels the plasma and thus produces force on the spacecraft in the opposite direction, like a conventional rocket engine."

Setting aside the question of whether the QVPT is possible, would such a device, or would it not, violate conservation of momentum? And how does conservation of energy come into it? Conservation of energy and conservation of momentum are not the same thing. Dausuul (talk) 21:34, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

It would not falsify conservation of energy and/or momentum, but only a common conception of the quantum vacuum. I've removed the sentence as incorrect OR. --JorisvS (talk) 08:38, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

"If any reactionless drive can work, conservation of momentum is disproved, terminating physics as we know it."

I think it is important to point out that this is not how science works. Even if it is found that the conservation of momentum IS violated (without relying on the transfer of momentum to virtual or otherwise undetectable places) all previous science *will still be just as accurate as it always has been* - the only effect it would have would be a gradual improvement of other theories, or replacement with new ones - *which would still have to adequately explain all currently known phenomena to equal or greater accuracy*.

No mention of egyptian inventor[edit]

A egyptian inventor is responsible for the q thruster

I love it :) – SJ + 20:02, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Revisiting the merge proposal[edit]

The only known example of an engine that might be a QVPT is the RF resonant cavity thruster (EmDrive, &c). That's likely to remain true for some time. So at one level, it makes sense for this to be compressed into a section of that article.

The main reason for keeping the two separate is that this article is much more tentative, and perhaps shouldn't exist at all. We have experiments showing that these resonant cavity thrusters (RCTs) produce thrust. Whether or not the experiments are right, that's clearly reason to have an article about those thrusters – even as scientists try to work out where the thrust might come from. On the other hand, there's only speculation that QVPTs could possibly exist. And the only slender evidence that they might exist, is that some RCTs can't be explained by other known physics, and this is a hypothesized new type of interaction with vacuum energy that hasn't yet been definitely disproven. That's not a very strong reason to create an article; indeed even today, 5 years after the first research claiming to have demonstrated experimental thrust from such a device, there are no compelling peer-reviewed physics papers describing and defending the theory behind QVPTs.

I'm fine with keeping this as a separate article to allow the main RCT article to improve without flame wars about what a 'quantum vacuum plasma' is. But in another year or so, if this article is kept, it should probably be merged with the other. – SJ + 20:02, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Hypotheticality or proof are not reasons to keep or delete an article. These topics have very different origins. The RFRCT topic has grown from experiments with a resonant cavity, whereas the Q-thruster idea came from a hypothesis surrounding the quantum vacuum. There is speculation that these things might really be the same thing, but there is nothing definite to justify a merge: It would be POV to assume that the quantum vacuum is what's going on in the EmDrive etc. and merge these. --JorisvS (talk) 09:09, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
I would agree they shouldn't be merged, this is about theory, and not tied to any particular experiments, which may or may not be related. There are many theories for the RCT article though for some reason the current version of the article only focuses on the quantum vacuum thruster idea - I've just added a comment to that article suggesting that it might be good to mention some of the other theories if the sources are acceptable for wikipedia (mainly refer to the Eagleworks video which mentions several different theories they are exploring). And theoretical ideas don't need to be experimentally verifiable at present to be suitable for a wikipedia article, e.g. Alcubierre drive, or string theory etc. Robert Walker (talk)

Opposed to deleting the page or including it with RF Resonant Cavity Thrusters[edit]

Unfortunately this topic is on the leading edge of science where theories and speculation get mixed together and reliable references are few. I believe RF cavity thrusters are a passing fad, even if they work as claimed by supporters, there are better devices discussed in private. Quantum vacuum thruster in various synonyms is the only theory at present that could eventually enable space exploration outside the solar system.

The real topic should be the interaction of gravity fields, curved space and electromagnetic fields, for which theories exist, but predict small change of curvature for large electric power. References are scarce and much of it is untested theory and complicated stress energy in difficult mathematics of General Relativity. It is unlikely that Wikipedia principles can be complied with unless the page is written as a report on speculative theories with references.

From Skylab program in the 1970's it was discovered that the lab, a large vehicle of it's time tended to tumble backward to balance the difference of gravity acceleration on opposite ends of the vehicle. One of the gyroscopes burned out trying to keep it from tumbling. In that experience a rescue technique was developed called swimming in space[1] which only works in a gravity field. An astronaut separated from the orbiting vehicle can swim in space to reach the vehicle by using arms and legs with asymmetric rhythm to exploit the small gradient in gravity over the length of a body.

RF resonant cavity thrusters could be exploiting a principle related to swimming in space that only works in a gravity field. If so there are better designs of equipment.

Is there a viable theory or not?[edit]

General Relativity allows energy to curve space like in the electromagnetic stress energy tensor[2].

Curved space is just an induced gravity, usually of small magnitude.

The virtual mass is given by E = mc2. Part of the electron mass has long been thought to be induced this way from the electric field[3].

This only works if the energy that goes into a space doesn't come out in any other form.

Induced gravity works just like a small particle dropped to free fall, except the particle is not real and the small curvature it represents can pass through any barrier until it dissipates or is absorbed into a real gravity field. No thrust is predicted in flat space because the induced stress energy stays in the vehicle and approaches the center of mass as it dissipates. So General Relativity allows the RF cavity thruster to work, but only in an external gravity field like swimming in space. The induced stress energy must exit the vehicle to produce thrust and conserve momentum.

Theoretical efficiency of force and power is F = P/v when v2 = 2MG(1/r - 1/r0) from the two body problem[4].

Maximum force works out to 0.1 Newton per Watt of power consumed near the Earth surface, if the curved region has effective height of 9.8 centimeters.

Q-Thrusters and RF Resonant Cavity Thrusters seem to have in common some version of electric power disappearing into space in an asymmetric pattern, specifically a number of patents[5] [6] in which electromagnetic waves are cancelled out to some degree by standing waves creating interference patterns. Efficiency claims are less than allowed by General Relativity, but the descriptions given by the inventors do not show a knowledge of stress energy. Otherwise the claims find no theory or principle to support them in main stream science.

The Q-Thrusters have bigger problem with arguments about virtual particles, but a firmer foundation on directional energy leaving the space at less than light speed. Specialists in this branch of science will not agree on virtual mass acceleration unless it becomes real mass. Then it can accelerate at speeds less than light and give better efficiencies than radio waves. Q-Thrusters do not depend on external gravity, if force is generated internally to accelerate real particles. Weinberg–Witten theorem allows Q-Thrusters because the accelerated particles have spins of ± ½, but tends to oppose the composite stress energy of RF Cavity Resonators.

There is published experimental evidence of electron and positron pairs being created by saturating the vacuum with electromagnetic energy[7] [8] as evidenced by real x-rays created when electrons and positrons collide[9]. A very powerful field is required which in experiments is developed in a LC resonator. In practice part of the energy will always be lost as x-rays, other wise the theoretical efficiencies are the same as the space curvature described above.

To answer the question there is established science that predicts interaction of electromagnetic power with gravity fields, and at least three concrete examples are given for how the power can be applied to create thrust. Two examples predict better efficiencies than directional radio waves. These are examples of field effect propulsion and are an extension of the topics on electric propulsion in space.

Does it belong in Wikipedia? There seems to be an opportunity to upgrade the topic to Wikipedia standards, but also a long history of failure to present these topics in other media. The underlying science is decades old, continually recreated with new names and different machines. I've come to the opinion that the less contentious parts can continue in public view by upgrading the Wikipedia pages but with better explanations and references. Already the talk is too technical to convey a meaning to the editors. Astrojed (talk) 23:27, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're proposing. What do you suggest we do exactly? --JorisvS (talk) 23:38, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
@JorisvS: The best thing to do would be to create a new page on "Advanced Deep Space Transport" which has multiple references from NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program, DARPA Tau Zero, and The 100 Year Starship Symposiums. Then these other pages on Quantum Thrusters and RF Cavity Resonators could become paragraphs in the new page with Wikipedia appropriate differentiation between theory, practice, and speculation. Advanced Deep Space Transport is a robust long lasting topic that will continue indefinitely while the various ideas about how to accomplish it come and go like design of machines, test reports, people, and patents. The problem of continuing separate pages for Q-Thrusters and RF cavities is that the story is changing rapidly and not enough impartial specialist in space transport have taken part in the writing.
@JorisvS:I don't want to write a whole new page my self on "Advanced Deep Space Transport", but would be willing to help get it started and contribute some paragraphs. The biggest problem with leading edge technology is to get a group of objective people cooperating on a big enough topic to attract expertise and help with the editing. The impression I got from reading the two pages on Q-Thrusters and RF Cavities together with talk messages about them was a strong disagreement among a small group of people who feel passionately about one point of view. It just doesn't seem to fit the Wikipedia model. Thanks for asking, and all ideas are welcome. Astrojed (talk) 20:12, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
You could start by writing up a draft in your own userspace at User:Astrojet/Advanced deep space transport. I'll be happy to review it. Make sure it doesn't look like an essay, but a lead followed by distinct subtopics ordered by sections. If at some point it looks best to merge these into that page, we could do that (though more likely these would be restructured to be subpages of that article, then). Let's see where it brings us. --JorisvS (talk) 20:16, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
@JorisvS:I did start a draft at User:Astrojet/Advanced deep space transport as you suggested. It's a big topic in outline form with subtopics and will take a while to develop. Anyone who wants to work on it is welcome. I'm not expert in all of the categories. Astrojed (talk) 17:40, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Okay, good. I can't take a look at it now, I'll do that tomorrow. --JorisvS (talk) 17:50, 17 September 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Swimming In Space". Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  2. ^ Einstein, Peter Gabriel Bergmann ; with a foreword by Albert (1976). Introduction to the theory of relativity (Corr. and enl. republ. ed.). New York: Dover Publications. p. 129-132. ISBN 0-486-63282-2. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  3. ^ Pais, Abraham (1982). "Subtle is the Lord ..." : the science and the life of Albert Einstein (11. impression of paperback ed.). Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. p. 155-159. ISBN 0-19-853907-X. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  4. ^ White, [by] Roger R. Bate, Donald D. Mueller [and] Jerry E. (1971). Fundamentals of astrodynamics (1st. ed. ed.). New York: Dover Publications. p. 11-18. ISBN 0-486-60061-0. |access-date= requires |url= (help)CS1 maint: extra text (link)
  5. ^ "Shawyer". Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Fetta". Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Electron Positron Creation". Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Particle Pairs". Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  9. ^ "X-rays from vacuum" (PDF). Retrieved 15 September 2015.

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Quantum vacuum thruster. Please take a moment to review my edit. You may add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it, if I keep adding bad data, but formatting bugs should be reported instead. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether, but should be used as a last resort. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

☑Y An editor has reviewed this edit and fixed any errors that were found.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 03:42, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Page name and abbrreviation - QVPT vs. QVT[edit]

While I would prefer if NASA dropped the "plasma" from the name, there seems to be no basis for the page title to be "Quantum vacuum thruster" and abbreviation QVT rather then "Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster" (QVPT). given the source material refers exclusively to the later rather then the former.[1][2][3] The wikipedia article should reflect the source material and not our own preferences as editors.--Sparkyscience (talk) 09:29, 21 December 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Joosten ;, B. Kent; White, Harold G. (2015). "Human outer solar system exploration via Q-Thruster technology" (PDF). Aerospace Conference, 2015 IEEE. doi:10.1109/AERO.2015.7118893.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. ^ White, H.; March, P. (2012). "Advanced Propulsion Physics: Harnessing the Quantum Vacuum" (PDF). Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space.
  3. ^ "Eagleworks Laboratories: Advanced Propulsion Physics Research" (PDF). NASA. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2013.

Fair use rationale for File:A pilot-wave walker in a circular corral.png[edit]

Ambox warning pn.svg

File:A pilot-wave walker in a circular corral.png is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a non-free use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

-- Marchjuly (talk) 07:03, 11 April 2017 (UTC)