Journalists and commentators got a new physics-reporting challenge in November: not neutrinos purportedly exceeding the speed of light, but a peer-reviewed NASA paper claiming in-principle confirmation of an electromagnetic (EM) drive system that seems to violate physical law. In general, media coverage has happily celebrated the apparently revolutionary possibilities, but has also stipulated forthrightly the importance of skepticism.
After an earlier round of EM drive excitement in 2014—before peer review became a factor—investments expert Clem Chambers captured the excitement by declaring at the business site Forbes.com that if “there is a get around to Newton’s Third Law,” even the internet is going to look small. “Inventing a time machine would be more dramatic … but not a lot more,” he enthused. “A force engine would be like inventing fire.”
The extraordinary claim comes from principal investigator Harold G. White’s team of NASA research engineers in Houston, Texas, at Johnson Space Center’s ambitious Eagleworks Laboratories. NASA established Eagleworks in 2011 “to pursue propulsion technologies” and to enable “interstellar spaceflight by the end of the century.”To read more, click here.