James unless you face the issues I have raised squarely I predict your book will have no impact with the mainstream and will be dismissed as crank. The statement you make about reducing rest mass density strikes any mainstream physicist as completely crazy and obviously wrong. No one in the know knows where you are coming from. I am not talking about your disciples on the list who do not understand basic physics. You need to do a synopsis in which you clearly state your basic assumptions and how your scalar potential relates to Einstein’s GR for a start. If you do that in beginning of your book, why don’t you attach relevant text in a pdf? Be best you do this BEFORE your book goes to press and it’s too late. Have you gotten John Cramer for example to agree with you? 


There are many papers in Physical Review on Star Gates AKA traversable wormholes, and warp drive and even time travel to the past both physically and in quantum information theory - from Kip Thorne & Co, Igor Novikov, Seth Lloyd, David Deutsch and many others.


On Jul 1, 2012, at 3:17 PM, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. wrote:

Sorry Jack, I do not regard it as my obligation to do what amounts to private tutoring (in public), especially when I know the likely outcome of such an exercise.  If you want to know what I have to say about making stargates, it's all there in print.  Actually, since some of what I have to say has been out in the peer reviewed literature for a couple of decades or more, and most for upwards of 15 years, I'm sure that mainstreamers who might be interested have already encountered my work.  To expect widespread mainstreamer acclaim for any scheme that might make stargates possible, I think, is wishful thinking of the most egregious sort.  It should be obvious that no scheme that relies on standard physics is going to work.  Someone would have done it already.


Please note: message attached


From: JACK SARFATTI <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

To: "This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

On Jul 1, 2012, at 12:40 PM, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. wrote:

Sorry, I'm not going to spend a lot of time responding in any detail to your comments, repeated now many times.

Not asking for details - only for a plausible qualitative argument. Right now we are not on the same page. What’s wrong with this picture. What am I missing here? I can’t connect your dots strategically. All I remember you saying is that you propose to tweak the chemical binding energies of materials. Even if you could it’s a very small percentage of the total mass - like 1 ev to 1 Gev roughly, i.e. 10^-9 so I don’t see what good that will do you. Also destabilizing matter by changing chemical binding energies significantly seems inevitable.

What I have to say about building starships and stargates, as I said, can be found in the peer reviewed literature, and in the foreseeable future in a book.

I see nothing sensible in any peer-reviewed literature on changing rest mass density of matter for flight.

I will say two things however.  Using the standard model to talk about the nature of matter, notwithstanding its spectacular successes, when it comes to serious discussions of exoticity is not reasonable for it (very obviously) doesn't encompass gravity.

No, I do not agree with what you say here and I am sure that all the top physicists in particle theory like Frank Wilczek at MIT and Lenny Susskind at Stanford and everyone at LHC will agree with you. Mainstream opinion is that gravity and cosmology have nothing at all to do with the rest energies of matter in any kind of configuration you contemplate. In other words, what you are proposing is not at all mainstream - at the very best it’s fringe and I bet to most top-gun physicists it is beyond the fringe. Yes? No?  I mean you must be clear to your readers that what you propose is extremely controversial. Also you are not addressing my objection. Even if you are correct that you need gravity, it’s obvious that any attempt to reduce the rest energy of a sample of matter will result in an uncontrollable explosion even if it could be done - I am confident that it can’t of course.

So if you are serious about making stargates, you're not going to use the standard model to try to produce the exotic matter required to make them.

I already gave my current idea on that at DARPA-NASA meeting. 

Absent some other explicit theory of matter, the best you can say about restmass is that it is the sum of the nongravitational energies of all of the stuff confined in some region of spacetime divided by the square of the speed of light -- as measured by some specified observer.  If you don't believe me, go reread Frank Wilczek's book.  That's what he has to say about restmass.  He calls it "Einstein's second law”.

I have read his book and I fail to see your logic here. Indeed, my above opinion is based on his book. So we draw opposite conclusions from the same evidence. Suppose you reduce the rest energy of 1 gram of matter to zero - where does the 10^21 ergs of energy go? Photons? In what time period will you do it? How many watts of radiation will you produce? How will you contain it and use it? How do you get exotic matter for warp anti-gravity by doing that?

The other thing is that your comment about warp drives is misleading at best.  You suggest that a ship in a warp bubble can somehow avoid all of the messiness of exoticity.  That is just plain wrong.

Red Herring. I never wrote anything of the kind. Please copy and paste my text that you think claims that? In my scheme the exoticity is from near field EM virtual photon Glauber coherent state energy densities being negative i.e.

E.D + H.B < 0  in Tuv for Guv + (n^4G/c^4)Tuv = 0

with the material speed of light c/n << c in the relevant frequency-wave vector domains.

A Jupiter mass of exotic restmass matter -- in the frame of the ship -- is REQUIRED to produce the bubble that enables the warp speed behavior.  If your arguments are right, then warp drives will never be built.  And they haven't ever been built by others either.

Wrong. In my theory the exotic rest mass required is ~ 10^-40 (Jupiter Mass).

I look forward to you reading the book and understanding it, irrespective of whether you agree with what I've said or not.

I think if you do not relevantly address these issues the book will not succeed. You should squarely confront them before you write the final draft of your book because all the mainstream physicists will say what I am saying here in their reviews. I guarantee it.


From: JACK SARFATTI <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Subject: Re: Woodward's Machian Star Ship Propulsion Strategy

Date: July 1, 2012 11:45:25 AM PDT

To: "Woodward, James" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

On Jul 1, 2012, at 10:04 AM, Woodward, James wrote:

It's in the book (and here and there in the peer reviewed literature over the years).  The book may be out before the end of the year.

Not very helpful because I think I have made a fatal objection to any scheme at all that proposes to “reduce rest mass density” on very fundamental matters of principle. I cannot even conceive of any sensible argument to the contrary. Therefore, you should at least give the list a short qualitative plausibility argument here and now as to how I am, in your view, mistaken. Many wrong arguments are published in books and even in peer-reviewed prestige journal - normal science proceeds by recursive corrections of errors both theoretical and experimental.


From: JACK SARFATTI [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2012 10:21 AM

To: Woodward, James

Subject: Re: Woodward's Machian Star Ship Propulsion Strategy

Again I do not understand Jim's words

“driving the rest density to zero”.

The rest density of matter is determined by

1) the Higgs vacuum field for the rest masses of isolated quarks and leptons

LHC has now found the Higgs at 125 Gev - not much doubt of that. It’s only a mop up from this time on getting better statistical analysis - a matter of time.

2) the confined kinetic motion of trapped real quarks in the virtual gluon/quark-antiquark plasma of quantum chromodynamics.

And if you could reduce rest density of matter to zero you would have an uncontrolled super-fusion explosion!

3) In warp drive, the ship is on a self-created timelike geodesic - changing the effective mass of the ship as a whole, even if you could do it without destroying the ship, is completely irrelevant because of the equivalence principle.

Martin Rees's Six Numbers

Martin Rees, in his book Just Six Numbers, mulls over the following six dimensionless constants, whose values he deems fundamental to present-day physical theory and the known structure of the universe:

N and ε govern the fundamental interactions of physics. The other constants (D excepted) govern the sizeage, and expansion of the universe. These five constants must be estimated empirically.D, on the other hand, is necessarily a nonzero natural number and cannot be measured. Hence most physicists would not deem it a dimensionless physical constant of the sort discussed in this entry. There are also compelling physical and mathematical reasons why D = 3.

Any plausible fundamental physical theory must be consistent with these six constants, and must either derive their values from the mathematics of the theory, or accept their values as empirical.


Just Six Numbers: the deep forces that shape the universe, by Martin Rees. ISBN 0-75381-022-0.

The laws of nature seem to have too many arbitrary constants in them; numbers for whose values we can see no explanation; numbers that, for all we can tell, were chosen at random by whatever gods there may be. One interesting thing about these numbers (which has led some people to think that those gods shouldn't be taken too metaphorically) is that it seems that some of them couldn't be very different from what they are without making life as we know it impossible. In other words, we seem to have been very lucky that there was a universe fit for us to live in.

In this book, Martin Rees discusses six of them:

  • The relative strengths of gravity and the other fundamental forces. If gravity were too strong, then stars wouldn't live long enough for the likes of us to evolve. (No very awful consequences seem to ensue if gravity is too weak; so perhaps this one isn't really so very finely tuned.)
  • The ratio of the binding energy of a helium nucleus to the rest mass of its constituents. This is determined by the strength of the strong nuclear force, and it determines the amount of energy released by nuclear fusion of hydrogen to form helium. If this were much smaller than it is, stars wouldn't burn and elements heavier than hydrogen wouldn't form. If it were much greater, there'd be no hydrogen left and (for instance) water couldn't form.
  • The density of the universe, relative to the "critical" density at which it just barely escapes a Big Crunch. Supposedly, if this wasn't incredibly close to 1 when the universe was very young, it would now have to be either very close to 0 or terribly large, and neither option produces a universe hospitable to life.
  • The cosmological constant. This seems to be very small but not 0; if it weren't very small, then the early universe would have expanded too fast for the formation of galaxies.
  • The nonuniformity of the distribution of matter in the universe. If this were much smoother, galaxies and stars and the like wouldn't form; if it were much rougher, the universe would be all black holes and very tightly grouped clusters of stars.
  • The number of macroscopic dimensions. Too few dimensions and connecting up brains is too hard; too many and there are no stable orbits.

See also

Anthropic coincidences

Main article: Fine-tuned Universe

In 1961, Robert Dicke noted that the age of the universe, as seen by living observers, cannot be random.[9] Instead, biological factors constrain the universe to be more or less in a "golden age," neither too young nor too old.[10] If the universe were one tenth as old as its present age, there would not have been sufficient time to build up appreciable levels of metallicity (levels of elements besides hydrogen and helium) especially carbon, by nucleosynthesis. Small rocky planets did not yet exist. If the universe were 10 times older than it actually is, most stars would be too old to remain on the main sequence and would have turned into white dwarfs, aside from the dimmest red dwarfs, and stable planetary systems would have already come to an end. Thus Dicke explained away the rough coincidence between large dimensionless numbers constructed from the constants of physics and the age of the universe, a coincidence which had inspired Dirac's varying-G theory.

Dicke later reasoned that the density of matter in the universe must be almost exactly the critical density needed to prevent the Big Crunch (the "Dicke coincidences" argument). The most recent measurements may suggest that the observed density of baryonic matter, and some theoretical predictions of the amount of dark matter account for about 30% of this critical density, with the rest contributed by a cosmological constantSteven Weinberg[11] gave an anthropic explanation for this fact: he noted that the cosmological constant has a remarkably low value, some 120 orders of magnitude smaller than the value particle physics predicts (this has been described as the "worst prediction in physics").[12] However, if the cosmological constant were more than about 10 times its observed value, the universe would suffer catastrophic inflation, which would preclude the formation of stars, and hence life.

The observed values of the dimensionless physical constants (such as the fine-structure constant) governing the four fundamental interactions are balanced as if fine-tuned to permit the formation of commonly found matter and subsequently the emergence of life. [13] A slight increase in the strong nuclear force would bind the dineutron and the diproton, and nuclear fusion would have converted all hydrogen in the early universe to helium. Water and the long-lived stable stars essential for the emergence of life as we know it would not exist. More generally, small changes in the relative strengths of the four fundamental interactions can greatly affect the universe's age, structure, and capacity for life


On Jul 1, 2012, at 5:59 AM, Woodward, James wrote:

Yes Jack, you are right.  The effect here produces propulsion, but it doesn't necessarity produce the sort of spacetime distortions needed for warp/wormhole effects.  So if it is simply scaled up for thrust, g forces would be felt in the spacecraft.

To get to warp/wormhole effects, further steps are required.  The effect has to be made large enough to (transiently) produce exotic effects (by driving the rest density to zero) which triggers non-linear behavior that makes possible the generation of sufficient exotic matter to do the starship/stargate thing.  Actually, a bootstrap process may make this possible with the leading term only.  But it's easier if you use the second (wormhole) term.  It's all in the book. . . .

The main point at this juncture is that theory (when done correctly) and observation are sufficiently close to have confidence that this will actually work.  If the first term is really there -- and that's what the experimental result say -- then the second term is necessarily present.