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Scientists Confirm ‘Impossible’ EM Drive Propulsion

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Later today, July 27, German scientists will present new experimental results on the controversial, “impossible” EM Drive, at the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Propulsion and Energy Forum in Orlando. The presentation is titled “Direct Thrust Measurements of an EmDrive and Evaluation of Possible Side-Effects.”

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Presenter Martin Tajmar is a professor and chair for Space Systems at the Dresden University of Technology, interested in space propulsion systems and breakthrough propulsion physics.

A Revolutionary Development for Space Travel

Tajmar's ExperimentThe EM Drive (Electro Magnetic Drive) uses electromagnetic microwave cavities to directly convert electrical energy to thrust without the need to expel any propellant. First proposed by Satellite Propulsion Research, a research company based in the UK founded by aerospace engineer Roger Shawyer, the EM Drive concept was predictably scorned by much of the mainstream research community for allegedly violating the laws of physics, including the conservation of momentum.

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However, NASA Eagleworks – an advanced propulsion research group led by Dr. Harold G. “Sonny” White at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) – investigated the EM Drive and presented encouraging test results in 2014 at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference.

White proposes that the EM Drive’s thrust is due to virtual particles in the quantum vacuum that behave like propellant ions in magneto-hydrodynamical propulsion systems, extracting “fuel” from the very fabric of space-time and eliminating the need to carry propellant. While a number of scientists criticize White’s theoretical model, others feel that he is at least pointing to the right direction. The NASASpaceFlight website and forums have emerged as unofficial news source and discussion space for all things related to the EM Drive and related breakthrough space propulsion proposals such as the Cannae Drive.

Shawyer has often been dismissed by the research establishment for not having peer-reviewed scientific publications, but White and Tajmar have impeccable credentials that put them beyond cheap dismissal and scorn. Physics is an experimental science, and the fact that the EM Drive works is confirmed in the lab. “This is the first time that someone with a well-equipped lab and a strong background in tracking experimental error has been involved, rather than engineers who may be unconsciously influenced by a desire to see it work,” notes Wired referring to Tajmar’s work.

em-drive-concept

Hacked has obtained a copy of Tajmar’s Propulsion and Energy Forum paper, co-authored by G. Fiedler.

“Our measurements reveal thrusts as expected from previous claims after carefully studying thermal and electromagnetic interferences,” note the researchers. “If true, this could certainly revolutionize space travel.”

The nature of the thrusts observed is still unclear.

“Additional tests need to be carried out to study the magnetic interaction of the power feeding lines used for the liquid metal contacts,” conclude the researchers. “Nevertheless, we do observe thrusts close to the magnitude of the actual predictions after eliminating many possible error sources that should warrant further investigation into the phenomena. Next steps include better magnetic shielding, further vacuum tests and improved EMDrive models with higher Q factors and electronics that allow tuning for optimal operation.”

Contrary to sensationalist reports published by the sensationalist press, the EM Drive is not a “warp drive” for faster than light travel. It could, however, according to current experimental evidence, be a revolutionary development for faster and cheaper space transportation.

Wired notes that an EmDrive could get to Pluto in less than 18 months and mentions more ambitious ideas including a manned trip to the moons of Saturn with a three-year mission time. “Some damage to our theories of physics is an acceptable payoff if we get a working space drive,” concludes the Wired article.

Images from M. Tajmar, G. Fiedler, and Wikimedia Commons.

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164 Comments

164 Comments

  1. user_kp

    July 27, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    So this drive violates conservation of momentum? Makes no sense. Unless they are converting matter to energy (i.e. matter pushed in one direction while energy emitted in opposite direction), this isn’t possible. This isn’t a nuclear reaction so that shouldn’t be happening. The researchers are missing something.

    • itty bitty loki

      July 27, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      It doesn’t, the writers are just sensationalizing it. It’s harnessing the energy of virtual particles somehow. Look at the Casimir Effect for e.g.

      • Joel Detrow

        July 27, 2015 at 7:53 pm

        Actually, they don’t know exactly how it works, all they know is that it does. The most consistent theory they have is only a model of the effect, not why or how it works. That will come with time.

        • Kris

          July 27, 2015 at 9:06 pm

          Sorry but someone in the comment section said it’s not possible so it must be so.

          • shnoopy

            July 27, 2015 at 9:22 pm

            What’s impossible to understand is that you have a girlfriend.

          • Dan Rizzatz

            July 27, 2015 at 10:11 pm

            I am finding it hard to understand that you are a two dimensional red and blue cartoon animal.

          • Kris

            August 17, 2015 at 6:20 pm

            Whoosh…

        • Lady Orwellian

          July 28, 2015 at 2:35 pm

          “….they don’t know exactly how it works, all they know is that it does.” Sounds like the description of most of the meds I’ve ever taken…

    • R V

      July 27, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      Actually they claim it does not violate conservation of momentum but it does violate our current understanding of that principle and how it relates to this system.

    • CMinsky

      July 28, 2015 at 12:59 am

      If “somehow” it’s interacting with quantum fluctuations it might just be possible. More data and reviewing is needed

    • Freedspeak

      July 28, 2015 at 2:30 am

      When you get to the quantum level, physics gets very strange, and seems more like magic/philosophy.

      • user_kp

        July 29, 2015 at 1:47 am

        Very true. But that generally only applies at the quantum level not the aggregate level that any such drive would operate at.

  2. jknuble

    July 27, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I hope the possibility that they are self-generating the propellant due to microwave energy interacting with the materials in their setup is addressed. High power RF is a known particulate generator when events such as breakdown, multipaction, corona, etc. occur. Whether or not this is occurring could be verified in a test under vacuum. I outlined the details of a such test here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36313.2780

  3. AssHat900

    July 27, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Not really sure. It always makes hot-dogs gross.

  4. AbeFromanEast

    July 27, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Amazing, if true.

    • Omega

      July 28, 2015 at 12:09 am

      Birds of a common feather flock together. The pseudoscience train goes rolling on.

      • svartalf

        July 28, 2015 at 3:46 am

        Ah, the “sceptic”… And yes, birds of a feather DO flock together- and that sword cuts both ways. “Reason”? Hardly. You “know better”, just like the people that said the same things about Tesla’s and the Wright Brother’s endeavors did back when they were forging forward.

        We don’t know it all like you foolishly claim.

      • Nzenit

        July 28, 2015 at 3:48 am

        Omega, what are your credentials? Check Philosopher Rex answer/comment above. Closest to the scientific “truth”…if possible to do practically.

  5. ergzay

    July 27, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Hacked.com sensationalized the title. https://mega.co.nz/#!2VYkxJTL!Wfl6Bu59oQX0YEL8-DhisNopoes3be1h9MvgaK3HT-o

    “Our test campaign can not confirm or refute the claims of the EMDrive but intends to
    independently assess possible side-effects in the measurements methods used so far.”

    Failure of basic reading comprehension hacked.com…

    • Bruno Dias

      July 27, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      Please, insert the remaining text of the abstract:

      “Our test campaign can not confirm or refute the claims of the EMDrive but intends to
      independently assess possible side-effects in the measurements methods used so far.
      Nevertheless, we do observe thrusts close to the actual predictions after eliminating many possible error sources that should warrant further investigation into the phenomena.”

      • svartalf

        July 28, 2015 at 3:38 am

        Heh…go and bring actual facts to the table… All you’re going to do is confuse the hell out of people that “know better”- much like the people said the same thing about my distant relatives at Kitty Hawk. No, I’m not saying this is real- that remains to be seen, but to pooh-pooh this like we’re seeing right now is premature. We have an intriguing anomaly that we need to dig into further.

        • hairspray2

          July 28, 2015 at 8:07 am

          Exactly. I have always liked the saying: “man who say it cannot be done should not bother man doing”.

    • Gear Mentation

      July 28, 2015 at 5:30 am

      “Nevertheless,
      we do observe thrusts close to the magnitude of the actual predictions
      after eliminating many possible error sources that should warrant
      further investigation into the phenomena. Next steps include better
      magnetic shielding, further vacuum tests and improved EMDrive models
      with higher Q factors and electronics that allow tuning for optimal
      operation.”

  6. Steve Bowden

    July 27, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Please don’t be cold fusion all over again. Please don’t be cold fusion all over again.

    • Omega

      July 27, 2015 at 11:52 pm

      It is.

      • Steve Bowden

        July 27, 2015 at 11:54 pm

        yeah it all sounds too good to hope for.

        • Omega

          July 27, 2015 at 11:56 pm

          It’s not even that good. We already have “propellantless” propulsion. It’s called the photon rocket. At relativistic speeds, it reaches an asymptotic energy efficiency of 100% (due to redshift of exhaust downstream). Doesn’t stop if from requiring ungodly amounts of fuel.

          • Snickering

            July 28, 2015 at 12:17 am

            If I remember correctly, the photon rocket is also theoretical.

          • Omega

            July 28, 2015 at 12:54 am

            Nope. The photon rocket is based on well established physics. Any time you turn on a flashlight, you have activated a photon rocket. That being said, no actual photon rockets have been used for propulsion because they require 300 megawatts per Newton of thrust.

          • Matthew Harwood

            July 28, 2015 at 1:19 am

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjCRUvX2D0E Dont you mean 1.21 gigawatts?

          • ctrippp

            July 28, 2015 at 8:26 pm

            Damn you, you beat me to it… lol

          • stoffer

            July 28, 2015 at 9:45 pm

            Any light source is a photon rocket. Also, a light sail, which is proven to work works also by exchange of momentum with Photons. I am a physicist and I confirm that everything “Omega” wrote is correct.

          • [email protected]

            July 29, 2015 at 11:20 am

            Yes. A light source is a rocket. The force is computed simply as Power / c. For a 700 W microwave, that gives you 2 micro newtons. The prediction and measured value for this type of drive is 20 micro newtons… The question is where are the other 18 micro newtons of force coming from? I have lots of guesses, but not a detailed enough description of the experiment to say if any are correct. In theory they could account for many of the possible sources of force simply by rotating the experiment. e.g. If it is interactions with external magnetic fields, pointing the drive in different directions would not have the expected results one would get if the drive produces the thrust. I have no way of knowing at this point if they have even tried that, or can try it.

            Really I doubt there is new physics here. This is just a problem like a reverse sprinkler that is difficult to properly analyse, and that analysis needs to be done to explain the effect.

          • Icarus

            July 28, 2015 at 2:01 am

            I’m not sure you entirely understand the meaning of “efficiency” in scientific terms. Secondly not all the energy in the photons is transferred as thrust, infact it’s a tiny tiny fraction, most of the energy is “wasted” creating heat and light (they are photons after all). So your photon rockets in terms of providing thrust are approximately 100,000x less efficient than an EM drive that some one literally built in their garage.

            For reference Photon rocket. “The power per thrust required for a perfectly collimated output beam is 300 MW/N”

            and EM drive prototype. “In October 2006, Shawyer conducted tests on a new water-cooled prototype, which increased thrust to 0.1 Newtons and ran on 300W of microwave power.” That’s 3KW/N

            Both those are from wikipedia, so take that however you like it.

          • Omega

            July 28, 2015 at 2:44 am

            No, I do understand. I’m not talking about thrust per unit power. By efficiency, I literally mean efficiency. That is, energy in divided by energy out. Think about it this way. When a rocket fires, energy goes in two directions. Into the rocket, and into the exhaust. Suppose my exhaust velocity is 1 km/sec. Then if I am traveling at 1 km/sec, all the energy generated by the rocket motor goes into the rocket, and none into the exhaust. This is because the exhaust will appear stationary with respect to Earth.

            Now consider a photon rocket. Although the light will always appear to be traveling at “c”, you do get a redshift effect. At relativistic velocities, very little of the rocket power escapes through the exhaust, almost all of it goes to the spacecraft. This is why the EM drive is no better for interstellar missions (if it exists, which it doesn’t) than a photon rocket. At relativistic speeds, photon rockets are already delivering nearly all of their energy into the rocket. Does that make sense?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propulsive_efficiency#Rocket_engines

          • Icarus

            July 28, 2015 at 2:49 pm

            Did you even read the article? The EM drive has been built and tested by multiple labs each confirming the results, this point is not up for debate, if you want to argue against it you can try and disprove Dr. Whites work and discredit his paper, but he has an impeccable record so good luck with that.

            As for your explanation “Suppose my exhaust velocity is 1 km/sec. Then if I am traveling at 1
            km/sec, all the energy generated by the rocket motor goes into the
            rocket, and none into the exhaust.” This is incorrect, you fail to understand the most basic principals of Newtonian physics here, that’s something that you should have learned in high school.

            For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

            You might find this helpful http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/newtlaws/Lesson-4/Newton-s-Third-Law

          • Omega

            July 28, 2015 at 6:19 pm

            No, I’m 100% right on this one. If I’m traveling at 100mph forward, and I throw a baseball at 100 mph backwards, how fast will it be traveling relative to a stationary observer? 0mph. Where did the energy go then? All of it must have gone into me. It is a simple fact that mechanical efficiency of rockets goes up with velocity. Don’t believe me, look at the Wikipedia article, or if you would rather not, here’s a helpful diagram:

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/45/Propulsive_efficiency.png

            And this article:

            http://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/History/SP-4026/noord12.html

            Quote:

            “The travel velocity is equal to the velocity of expulsion…Under this assumption in the reaction process, no energy is lost; reaction itself works with a (mechanical) efficiency of 100 percent. If the travel velocity was, on the other hand, smaller or larger than the velocity of expulsion, then this
            “efficiency of reactive propulsion” would also be correspondingly low. It is completely zero as soon as the vehicle comes to rest during an operating propulsion.”

            As for your action and reaction bit. What is equal is not the outgoing momenta, but the *change* in momenta. If the change in momentum equals the current momentum of the rocket fuel, the rockets exhaust ends up with no momentum, and no energy.

          • Tom Arrow

            July 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm

            That example does not make any sense. Half of the energy went into slowing down the baseball, simple as that.

          • [email protected]

            July 29, 2015 at 11:08 am

            Absurd. Virtual particles can’t work that way, the math does not support it. Essentially, what would be required to make sense of that is a standing E-M field would exist permanently in the absence of the charged particles that created it. Sounds like the mathematics that describe a Z boson, but this is definitely not a Z bosons factory.

            Now essentially, they are claiming to observe a net force 10 times greater than one would receive beaming a 700 W microwave into space. But they admit the experiment does not have adequate magnetic shielding. Magnetrons themselves have a significant size magnets. Anyone of these can be responsible for this size of force. Also, I’ve yet to see a complete experimental description. I know they aren’t actually moving the drive, so how are they measuring the force? A vibration or metal expanding because of the heat would push against any sort of spring used to measure a force. I heard mention of a pendulum, a constant angle would be a good indicator of constant force against gravity. But this experiment produces considerable heat, all the medal is going to expand, and the magnetic properties of medal change as it heats. So one needs to take into account the changing magnetic properties and shifting center of balance. There is no indication if that has been done. Power is coming from an external source. Has there been any calculations how much momentum the electrons are delivery as they deposit energy?

            So far all that has been proven is this seems like an interesting concept, like a reverse sprinkler, and deserves further analysis.

          • IgnoranceBeater

            July 30, 2015 at 8:34 pm

            Well said.

            Though I would conclude that the only thing which has been proven, is that it’s very difficult to measure a very tiny force if the parameters aren’t all accounted for.

            Maybe this whole process and ‘story’ will lead to better pendulums and other measurement-devices or better magnetic shielding, but that is all.

            People who think a microwave will show us why we should throw away all of current physics, just don’t get how basic some of these laws are. If there is no conservation of momentum, it would mean that physical laws differ upon localisation. This has NEVER been observed, on the contrary: all indications point to this NOT being the case. Furthermore, if this would happen in a microwave-oven HERE, it would mean our own locality has different physical properties. If that were the case, nothing would be stable, and atoms (and we, thus) would fall apart on the spot.

            To contemplate such a thing as being ‘true’, is utter nonsense, thus.

            Which is why one is going with the “oh, but it pushes against virtual plasma, so it conserves momentum”. Only problem: THERE IS NO SUCH THING as virtual plasma. You can’t derive, nor ‘push’ against, nor extract energy from a virtual vacuum. It’s just complete nonsense. It’s like saying “it uses tooth-fairy magic, and thus it conserves momentum.” It’s absurd and simply does nothing to explain anything, and the breach of the law of conservation of momentum is still there.

          • IgnoranceBeater

            July 30, 2015 at 8:21 pm

            ahum. NONE of the tests were peer-reviewed. The first one, of the inventor, is obviously not independent neither. The three others claimed to measure thrust: NONE have actually claimed, let alone proven, that the measured ‘thrust’ isn’t an artefact or error in either measurement or error. In fact, this last german experiment EXPLICITLY says it can neither confirm nor disprove the claims, but it will search for other possible errors.

            The most likely cause is interference with magnetic lines, from the Earths’ magnetic force, for instance. Heat/wind was the prime suspect, but since it’s done in a vacuum, that’s far less likely now. However, some seem to think that means it’s ‘proven’ that no error is at play here. No, it only proves that it wasn’t convection of the atmosphere.

            You guys should stop acting as if anything has been proven. There hasn’t. Even taken all tests together, the scientific value of each test has been so low, it hasn’t breached the threshold of becoming worthwhile for the mainstream science to take note of. Which is as it should be, with extra-ordinary claims which have nothing to back that claim up, apart from some dubious experiments that don’t rule out measurement and other errors.

            The fact that em-fanfappers prefer to believe that it’s more likely that the whole of physics is wrong, including two of the major, basic natural laws – all without noticing this for the last 400 years – instead of rationally concluding it’s FAR more likely to be an error, says a lot.

          • OGIS

            July 28, 2015 at 3:09 pm

            Just don’t be anywhere near the beam. The more efficient a reaction drive is, the better a weapon it makes. Getting cut in two by a rocket exhaust at 30 million miles would simply ruin your day.

          • Going Knightly

            October 29, 2015 at 5:24 pm

            If you were able to drive an object anywhere near relativistic speeds, you’d have spent an impossible amount of energy to get there, irrespective of the object turning into shredded cheese from interstellar gases, etc. Your Photon Rocket concept has not even had the basics of experimental testing done, as the technology doesn’t exist, but even so, traveling at 1km/sec requires NO thrust. Thrust causes acceleration, not velocity. The red shift effect is only caused by the velocity of an object RELATIVE to another, not from an object’s velocity alone. If you were in the path of those photons, you’d see them as blue shifted. The photons themselves are not changing properties.

    • Don K Johnson

      July 27, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      but so called cold fusion is real and SPAWAR was testing in here in San Diego and the Navy base just down the hill from my old office, contracted by SAIC. They proved it worked, they even produced video on the process. But they called is another name than cold fusion but it was the same thing.

      • Pathoskeptic

        July 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm

        Don. It is not real.

      • Chuck Glenn

        July 28, 2015 at 5:05 pm

        Google LENR / CANR.

      • Opposite Day

        July 28, 2015 at 5:29 pm

        Yup, LENR is real. But it’s going to take a real long time before the hot fusion scientists realize most of what they think they know is wrong. Not to mention the fact that they’re pouring billions of dollars into projects that are bound to fail, and do fail. If you took 1/100th of that money and put it towards LENR, the world would be a much better place.

      • percykins

        July 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm

        SPAWAR was indeed researching cold fusion, but at no point did they “prove” that it had happened. It’s much like this EM drive – they’re pointing at tiny, almost immeasurable effects that can easily be the result of random chance. Hence why research funding was discontinued for SPAWAR.

        • NukeWaste

          July 28, 2015 at 10:17 pm

          For any energy conversion to be economically viable, it has to produce significant amounts of usable electricity, heat, etc.
          Peer review is total BS. I refused to publish in any scholarly rag. Hint!!: Nobody reads them. They read the equivalent of a Cliff’s Notes description of the article and make their vote based upon popularity. I’d rather be published in a real hobby mag. I got fan mail over a letter that I got published.

          • Minerverse

            July 29, 2015 at 4:58 am

            You’re an idiot.

          • FireWaia

            July 30, 2015 at 3:02 pm

            You’re a windowlicker.

          • IgnoranceBeater

            July 30, 2015 at 8:06 pm

            Yes, well… since peer-review is a standard element of scientific verification and progress, and has already proven it’s worth – your assertion to the contrary not withstanding – I still prefer peer-reviewed ‘BS’ above non-peer-reviewed BS.

            You seem to miss the point that it’s not about getting fanmail. At all.

      • IgnoranceBeater

        July 30, 2015 at 8:01 pm

        SPAWAR claimed to have detected neutrons, but since they didn’t have a control device, this is scientifically worthless. You can measure ‘a’ neutron, but if you can’t pinpoint it, it can come from any source whatsoever.

        The set-up of SPAWAR had serious deficiencies, thus, and what’s more, they already got a DOE review. This reads: “In summary, reviewers found that cold fusion evidence was still not convincing 15 years later, and they didn’t recommend a federal research
        program.”

        When are you guys going to get it? There’s nothing THERE. Cold fusion (which is NOT the same as LENR with muons, btw) is a pipedream. It’s a waste of time and money. Which is why it was a good thing the SPAWAR research into cold fusion – paid with taxpayers’ money, thus – has been cancelled.

        I’ve seen dozens upon dozens of links from aLainco and you guys. Almost all of those links were nonsensical links to blogs, extracts of books of cold-fusion believers as authors, fora, and the ilk – all with no scientific value, thus. A few dozen or so were papers. Most of THOSE were not peer-reviewed nor independent, nor gone through the process of falsification by a third party, and thus scientifically worthless too. Of those, a handful remained, where they claimed to have seen ‘excess heat’ – which is, apparently, not able to be stable replicated, and which isn’t a clear sign of cold fusion to begin with. Extremely dubious at best, thus. And then one remains that is purported to claim it is peer-reviewed and has proof of cold fusion, but nowhere is to be found the actual paper online so one can analyse it. Instead, all links go to an ultra-short summary which says nothing.

        In the end, thus, there is only one conclusion possible: cold fusion has NOT be demonstrated to work. Not even by a long shot.

        And that after 25 years… one might think this would ring a bell with some proponents, but apparently, it doesn’t.

        • Christopher

          October 18, 2015 at 3:17 pm

          We couldn’t figure out how to fly for the longest time and the dumbest people were the ones saying we couldn’t ever do it. Fact.

          • IgnoranceBeater

            October 18, 2015 at 10:01 pm

            Actually, this is a meme without much argumentational value. It’s claimed the ‘something heavier than air can not fly’ is made by Lord Kelvin, and/or by some other scientists. It’s uncertain whether one or all of them actually said that, however. But no doubt there will have been people who actually said so. Those people obviously weren’t ornithologists, or they would have clearly observed the fact that birds are heavier than air, yet can fly.

            What is not understood when people give these examples, is that these kind of statements handle the *technical* possibility of something. (aka: someone, somewhere, thought it would be infeasible for man to create such a thing by technical means.)

            I have no such qualms, and in fact, I, for one, believe almost anything that is possible, the human race will make possible, if the only question is the technical feasibility of it. Simply because we have – thanks to science – tremendous progress, and that which is impossible today, might become possible tomorrow.

            The difference is – and this is what most people trying to ‘argument’ with these quotes don’t get – that this is not a matter of *technical* prowess. Here, it deals with one (actually two) of the most fundamental and basic laws of nature there are. It DOES NOT matter HOW much technological progress we have or will have: you cannot break such a law of nature. It has nothing to do with technological development: even if we had progressed another 1000 or even a million years, nothing would have changed at the impossibility of it. The problem is not technical, nor economical, not social, etc.; it’s fundamental. Fundamental to how our universe works.

            As I’ve explained in many, many posts in this thread, it is extremely unlikely – and I mean *extremely* – that a new physical law has been discovered by running a microwave-oven, which would contradict everything we’ve learned over the past 200 years. If CoM and CoE are not upheld, basically whole swats of our universe would disintegrate and exotic particles would flood the universe, because the physical constants wouldn’t be stable. Yet, we’ve observed nothing of the kind, not in 200 years.

            To put it into perspective: the chance that such a thing has been discovered, is about as big as the chance that the thrust is due to Toothfairy-magic. You can not ‘exclude’ neither, nor say they’re ‘impossible’ in the strict sense, but for all intents and purposes, they have about the same likelihood of being true.

          • Going Knightly

            October 29, 2015 at 5:10 pm

            That being said, the basic premise of cold fusion is to have fusion at high temperatures (relatively high, that is). We are able to create fusion reactions at temperatures in low Kelvins, but a sustainable reaction needs that higher temperature. After all, our Sun is able to sustain a fusion reaction at far higher temps, so maybe we will be able to do it, as our knowledge of materials science improves. I wouldn’t preclude the possibility entirely, but so far there has been no success.

          • IgnoranceBeater

            October 31, 2015 at 1:16 am

            Hmm. That being said… You’re responding about cold fusion to a post of mine where I didn’t mention cold fusion. 😉

            But anyway: I have no problems with ‘hot’ fusion – in fact, I think that’s the only way to go, but we’re still a long way off, even if ITER is successful. I also have no problem with cold fusion if LENR with muons is concerned – for the simple fact this is a well understood process, which has little to do with the cold fusion some fanfappers are talking about (aka; self-sustaining and with heat surplus).

            There is not a shred of real (this means validated, peer-reviewed and replicable) scientific evidence for ‘real’ cold fusion, even after 25 years of trying. And while, in contrast to the EM-drive, there is no breach of a natural law per sé, our understanding of nuclear fission and fusion is quite good, and there is no way cold fusion could happen without vast amounts of neutrons and/or gamma rays, etc. Yet, they are strangely absent in almost all of the ‘proof’ for it.

            In fact, if it HAD worked as advertised, most researchers and people meddling around with it would have died. We therefore have to imagine a completely new, undiscovered, unfathomed working outside of our current knowledge and understanding of fusion, outside all our theories, and outside our observations of the last 100 years – to make such a thing even remotely possible.

            Again, I find such a thing highly unlikely. Not quite as unlikely as the EM-drive, but it’s not far off.

            And it’s not like there aren’t any novel approaches to fusion possible that do NOT involve such unlikely constraints. If anyone would be interested in a new approach for nuclear fusion with far more promise in regard to actually being workable, I would suggest looking at the polywell. (http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/06/magnetic-mirror-holds-promise-for-fusion/ )

      • sara paola

        July 31, 2015 at 5:38 pm

        Thanks Don, its about time they wake up and smell the roses. The military uses cold fusion to power droids and other air craft now, along with tesla’s earthquake machine. They used it on the wtc. Do you think they are going to tell you they caused the Japan 9.0 earthquake? They will not. Why, because that is how crooked they are. Its called, High Power Radio Frequencys… And Im not talking about a normal tranceiver reciever, but a very special one. John Kansas on You Tube, punch that in and watch it. Then tell us that you cannot take laser tech and apply it to cold fusion hydrogen Helium technology, and I will eat my hat. Stan Meyer already shit that out long ago, but hardly anyone understands what he was talking about when he mentioned the Laser on the electrolyser. I watch those droids myself zip across the sky here in the state of Washington in the late of night, at Mach 10. You would be surprised what that looks like….

        • vahnn

          August 4, 2015 at 10:34 am

          Lots of reports of sonic booms in the area, eh?

          • Going Knightly

            October 29, 2015 at 5:14 pm

            Mach 10 would make a pretty big bang, wouldn’t it?

        • Brian

          October 13, 2015 at 7:23 am

          Maybe you should book yourself into an Asylum 😉

          • IgnoranceBeater

            October 21, 2015 at 10:27 pm

            Hard to tell if she’s being deliberately sarcastic or not. Well…’she’… Anyhow, I first thought she was making such blatant idiotic statements to try to mock the former poster, but it’s really difficult to tell, since you *have* nutcases like that, who actually mean what they’re saying, and are not sarcastic or ironic, but just plain serious, even when spouting all that nonsense.

          • Going Knightly

            October 29, 2015 at 5:13 pm

            Scary, huh? You’d think people that actually BELIEVE all that rot are from an alternate universe or something, because in all my years on this planet, I’ve not seen any such high-tech, sci-fi devices. ChemTrails, anyone?

        • Jimmy Hoffa

          November 8, 2015 at 7:06 am

          and don’t forget HAARP.

    • BaSH PR0MPT

      July 28, 2015 at 2:47 am

      Cold fusion was annoying not because it got our hopes up, but because it spawned a whole new tedious banality of repetitive “I dunno how to science!” wall of green text in multiple font types and colors by conspiretards the world over, claiming that it works and they can prove it but ‘they’ are suppressing the technology because $reasons. Although thankfully it seems the internet as a whole is beginning to stand up against conspiretards (esp. alt med douche nozzles) fighting back to stop the spread of misinformation, fear, and doubt in science.

      (PS: I spend most of my free time combating conspiretard FUD, if anyone reading this wants to help out http://www.twitter.com/bashpr0mpt dog pile me with rationalist support and you’ll find my feed like a hitlist of cancerous faggotry for your squirrely wrath.)

      • Christopher Vaughan

        July 28, 2015 at 7:18 am

        you’re pretty wrong about cold fusion. The name has changed to LENR but it doesn’t get much more reputable than this. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00114-008-0449-x

        • Daniel Schegh

          July 28, 2015 at 4:18 pm

          Actually, no. First, LENR (and other names it goes by) is a reference to the fact

          that even proponents of it realize that it is not nuclear fusion. Critics are correct that cold fusion is not real. Now, if by “cold fusion” you mean “something weird” happens that is not well understood, then yes, LENR research has some validity. By “some validity”, I mean that there have been some results that are not fully explained. But, despite now 27 years of scientific investigation since 1988, nobody has been able to create reliably consistent results, show any useful purpose, produce any heat of any usable value, or demonstrate any potential for ever achieving those things. LENR isn’t flat out dismissed simply because there does appear to be some evidence of things happening that are not fully understood yet.

          As far as your link, I beg to differ about “not much more reputable”. The journal you linked to is Naturwissenschaften (The Science of Nature), a mediocre journal focused on science of nature applied to biology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturwissenschaften

          It’s not a bad journal; it’s just not exactly the highest quality journal around even on biology, and has really nothing to do with nuclear physics per se. Again, that doesn’t mean the results aren’t valid, just not all that conclusive. Even the abstract refers to “is diagnostic of … and suggests …”. Even that work doesn’t measure actual energy output, just looking at indirect evidence of possible reaction modes using some low-end investigation equipment.

          • Christopher Vaughan

            July 28, 2015 at 7:18 pm

            First LENR stands for “Low Energy Nuclear Reaction” so i’m not sure if you’re confused or what. Maybe English is not your first language.

            Second: Naturwissenschaften is one of the top Springer journals…seriously do you fact check yourself? I will however concede that it is a bio science journal and not a physics journal. I’ve got another for you how about from the US Navy begging congress for more research money in 2002. http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/MosierBossthermaland.pdf

    • wallypalo

      July 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Actually the two together, LENR (aka Cold Fusion) for the power source and EM drive for the propulsion, could make for some really long distance trips (thinking interstellar). Check out Rossi’s eCat.

      • Steve Bowden

        July 28, 2015 at 5:32 pm

        Holy Crap that’s nothing short of brilliant. I may have to steal your idea and use it in a some sort of sci fi short story.

        • Minerverse

          July 29, 2015 at 5:06 am

          I think you forgot the SarcMark in your comment.

          • Steve Bowden

            July 29, 2015 at 5:14 am

            I wasn’t being sarcastic. It’s the sort of thing I might do.

  7. peter

    July 27, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    I sort of understand how this is controversial and new but on the other hand, don’t understand. Genuine question here:

    How is this different from using light, a form of electromagnetic radiation? Everyone has seen a radiometer (the thing with the black and white vanes that spins when in light. My thought experiment is if you have a directional light source that is pointed at a radiometer, that will cause the radiometer to spin, i.e. impart a thrust on the radiometer. That means there must be an equal and opposite force imparted on the light source. I would imagine this would work in a vacuum– it is light after all. Isn’t this another example of electromagnetic radiation (light) giving thrust?

    • RationalActor

      July 27, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      except that its happening in a closed container. If you had the source of light attached to the thing that captures that light, the forces would cancel – that is, the momentum produced by light striking the surface would be offset by the momentum produced by generating the light.

      this doesn’t have that – they are purporting to see the effect even though all emission sources should be balanced – thus the whole “pushing against quantum vaccum” thing.

      • iteration2

        July 28, 2015 at 2:15 am

        It has nothing to do with the light (or any other energy) source being attached to the ship or separate. A radiometer would still spin even if the light source was attached to the ship.

        A radiometer turns light into movement, just as a solar panel hooked up to a motor does. The problem is in converting internal movement into thrust that can propel the whole ship. Spaceships can already use reaction wheels to convert energy into rotational force without emitting any propellant. A ship could also convert rotational momentum into directional momentum (imagine a rotating wheel that pushes a heavy piston towards the rear of the ship), but any thrust gained by pushing a piston in one direction would be canceled out as the piston resets to it’s forward position. So we can make a ship spin without propellant, or lurch back and forth without propellant, but constant acceleration in one direction is problematic without having something to push off of.

        I don’t entirely understand how the EM drive overcomes this limitation. They say “virtual particles”, but I suspect each EM drive simply has a small wizard inside.

        • RationalActor

          July 28, 2015 at 5:09 am

          I dont see where I anything I wrote contradicts what you just said. I was addressing the GP’s analogy about using light to move the radiometer; i believe he was getting at the idea of a lightsail, not angular momentum, but making the idea accessible.

          Using light to push the craft from a source attached to the same craft wouldn’t work for the reasons both of us gave.

      • [email protected]

        July 29, 2015 at 11:53 am

        There is no such thing as a closed container in this case. As you keep dumping energy it heats up. After bouncing around a bit the microwaves will reflect back down the wave conduit they came in from, or be absorbed somewhere. All energy that goes into the box quickly escapes as microwaves, or heat (IR radiation). Think about it this way. If I took a box and made all the sides mirrors, and then I dropped a flash light inside and closed the box. When you open the box again, do you expect a sudden burst of light, as all the light that has been bouncing around while the box since it was closed? No. Same thing with this drive cavity. If you run it for 10 minutes and then open it up, you don’t get a sudden burst of 10 minutes of microwaves that can suddenly escape. In fact, if you turn it off and then open it, you won’t observe any microwaves. Just as you won’t see any light from your box if you wait for the flashlight battery to run dead before opening it. The microwaves all find ways of being absorbed or escaping within a very very small fraction of a second after entering the box.

  8. IAmDerick

    July 27, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    “””Some damage to our theories of physics is an acceptable payoff if we get a working space drive,” concludes the Wired article.””

    Perhaps that quote
    it’s taken out of context, but the so-called “damage” to our theories
    is EXACTLY what we’re looking for with all experiments. The whole point
    of experimentation it to find conflicts with an existing theory. It’s
    something to focus on and investigate and will help us determine what’s really
    going on!

    • hairspray2

      July 28, 2015 at 8:04 am

      Its about time that the experimentalists take science back from the theoreticians.

      • OGIS

        July 28, 2015 at 3:10 pm

        THIS!!!!!

      • Clem Fandango

        July 28, 2015 at 8:20 pm

        ‘Scrapping and yelling and mixing it up … putting a brick through the other guy’s windshield’ to quote Royal Tenenbaum, who was not a scientist but understood the value of controversy.

  9. dudebuddypal

    July 27, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Pretty sure they can’t steal it because it’s in published journals and I believe at least one lab there has already confirmed it, the journal article have a full description of their setup. So too late to red-hate here.

  10. Omega

    July 27, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    This is basic physics. The pressure induced in a closed microwave cavity by light must be equal on all sides. This is simply nonsense.

    • the_unorthodox

      July 28, 2015 at 3:40 am

      Hey, you sound like you should be working for NASA Eagleworks.

      Seems those plebes have no bloody idea what they’re doing and they need you to square them away.

      Fucking internet.

      • Omega

        July 28, 2015 at 5:06 am

        I seriously doubt they do. There is a lot of crack pottery coming out of that lab. Weren’t they talking about FTL warp drives earlier? It’s utter horsecrap. I’m not against having an open mind, but you need the capacity to distinguish genuine revolutions from quackery. This is obviously the latter.

        • Lady Orwellian

          July 28, 2015 at 2:36 pm

          I suppose that is possible. on the other hand, sometimes how we understand the universe changes – just because on the surface it flies in the face of known physics doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It obviously does conform to physics. Just not in a way we understand yet.

    • svartalf

      July 28, 2015 at 3:43 am

      Is it? They said the same thing about supersonic flight and heavier than air flight before it. Step back and see what comes from studying an interesting anomaly rather than being a blind fool like the rest before you with similar things presented to them.

      • Omega

        July 28, 2015 at 5:03 am

        None of those inventions violated the known physics at the time. Your analogy is invalid.

      • KeithJF82

        July 28, 2015 at 11:16 pm

        “They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”
        -Carl Sagan ( https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Carl_Sagan )

  11. Omega

    July 28, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Yeah, let’s hook up a LENR reactor to power my EM drive

    /sarcasm

    These scams are a dime a dozen:

    http://www.blacklightpower.com/

    Hydrinos? Give me a break

    http://www.starscientific.com.au/muon-catalysed-fusion/

    While the physics is genuine, no one has ever built an efficient muon generator. Not even star scientific.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_fusion

    Bubble fusion never worked, and never will.

    http://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/science/050399sci-cold-fusion.html

    No, you cannot get fusion from electrochemistry.

    What are the odds that LENR and EM drive are frauds too? 100%

    • svartalf

      July 28, 2015 at 3:42 am

      Ah, but you CAN get it from inertial electrostatic confinement- which all clearly claimed wasn’t possible when Farnsworth initially showed the Fusor to the world.

      Hint for you: Pretty much every one of the things you take for granted, even AC power, was deemed crackpottery before we leveraged the viable stuff. Each and every bit of it. They viewed my distant relatives crazy- but we now have aviation because of them. They viewed AC power as crackpottery, but Tesla forged on. No, I’m not saying all of it is viable/valid- but to pooh-pooh it…you are in ignoble company that was just as wrong about it then as you are now.

      • Omega

        July 28, 2015 at 5:01 am

        I don’t think you understand the nature of technological progress. It has almost always been the case that theoretical advances preceded engineering advances. Tesla was using the long discovered principles of electrodynamics developed by Maxwell and others. This mythology of science by tinkerer simply isn’t true.

        As for IEC, there is a very simple reason why it doesn’t work. Grid transparency. Plasma erosion on the electrodes kills plasma purity and completely prevents net fusion power. This is the reason why Bussard with his Polywell went to using magnetic fields to confine the net charge at the center of the reactor. Could this work? I don’t see any fundamental reason why not, but the devil is in the details.

        There are strong reasons to think that polywells, even if they work, will not be the miracle fusion reactor. First of all, forget about aneutronic fusion. If you want to know why, it’s that the temperatures required are too high. Bremsstrahlung radiation kills your energy balance. The loopholes aren’t that great either. Optically thick plasmas are science fiction. Non neutral plasmas require field strengths far beyond our capabilities. Non equilibrium energy configurations require more energy to sustain than improvements from bremsstrahlung reduction provide. In short, fusion is hard.

        • Christopher Vaughan

          July 28, 2015 at 7:39 am

          according to Lord Kelvin, James clark Maxwell had “lapsed in mysticism” look it up and as for Tesla, Maxwell was proving Faraday’s ideas about lines of force, which was also considered crackpottery. That is how advancement works… This whole argument from you is meant to flame those less capable. I’m sure you will attack my grammar or some stupid shit like that, however i do agree that the EM Drive is good PR and not good science. Though the thought is intriguing that we missed a huge chunk of GUT somewhere in the annuals of science.

        • hairspray2

          July 28, 2015 at 8:13 am

          That’s a bit off. Theory lags experiments, most of the time. It is a rare occasion when a new theory explains that which has not been observed. These instances are so rare that they become famous, for example, Maxwell predicting the EM waves.

          • Omega

            July 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm

            Really? Give me an example of the opposite. Thermodynamics predated refrigeration. Quantum mechanics predated transistors. Relativity predated the GPS system. Fluid dynamics was known prior to the airplane. Classical mechanics was known well, well, well before the development of the rocket. I can’t think of a single engineering project that produced a fundamental scientific advance. In nearly every example I can think of, those doing the tinkering and engineering were using already known physical laws and theories, and their main contribution was to apply those theories to the real world, not to discover new theoretical principles.

          • hairspray2

            July 31, 2015 at 9:31 am

            It seems that you don’t have a good understanding of what science is.

          • Omega

            July 31, 2015 at 10:08 am

            Depends on what you mean by “dark energy”. The idea of a cosmological constant was first proposed by Einstein. A cosmological constant is one of many hypotheses for what “dark energy” actually is. So this one is still up in the air, actually.

          • hairspray2

            August 1, 2015 at 1:03 am

            A bunny wears a pancake.

          • WesleyBarrios

            June 28, 2016 at 5:42 pm

            Meissner effect was discovered by a “tinkerer” and only fully explained and “predicted” about 2 decades later. Feel free to nit-pick and nibble at the edges of the semantics in this example, Omega.
            The point other posters are making is that you come off a tad elitist in proposing that value of theoretical > experimental > engineering.
            Yes, theory usually drives progress. But often enough the “isn’t that odd” moments come from tinkerers and sometimes even engineering. This site is hacked.com. Not LettersofTheoreticalPhysics.org.
            Have a very nice day.

      • Robin Hart-Jones

        July 28, 2015 at 8:02 am

        I thought the main argument against A/C power was that Edison had invested in a national DC grid and needed to discredit the opposition 🙂

  12. CMinsky

    July 28, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Is this actually working in vacuum? I mean, are we sure it isn’t interacting with the environment?

    • Daniel Dogeanu

      July 28, 2015 at 1:46 am

      Yes it is. They did several tests and apparently works in vacuum too. You can follow their forum at nasaspaceflight.com, to see more details.

      I really hope that something will come out of this. The creator of the technology is very confident that it’s really working.

  13. Philosopher Rex

    July 28, 2015 at 1:50 am

    This sounds like the work being done by Dr. Jim Woodward with the Woodward/Mach effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodward_effect) The origin of this effect from wikipedia:

    The Woodward effect is based on the relativistic effects theoretically derived from Mach’s Principle on inertia within general relativity and is attributed by Albert Einstein to Ernst Mach. Mach’s Principle is generally defined as “the local inertia frame is completely determined by the dynamic fields in the Universe.”

    A formulation of Mach’s principle was first proposed as a vector theory of gravity, modeled on Maxwell’s formalism for electrodynamics, by Dennis Sciama in 1953, who then reformulated it in a tensor formalism equivalent to general relativity in 1964.

    Sciama stated that instantaneous inertial forces in all accelerating objects are produced by a primordial gravity-based inertial radiative field (now referred as “G/I field” or “gravinertial field”) created by distant cosmic matter and propagating both forwards and backwards in time at light speed. As previously formulated by Sciama, Woodward suggests that Wheeler–Feynman absorber theory would be the correct way to understand the action of instantaneous inertial forces in Machian terms.

    Sciama’s inertial-induction idea has been shown to be correct in Einstein’s general relativity for any Friedmann–Robertson–Walker cosmology. According to Woodward, the Mach effects’ derivation is relativistically invariant, so the conservation laws are satisfied, and no “new physics” is involved besides general relativity.

    • Nzenit

      July 28, 2015 at 3:45 am

      Amen.

    • Omega

      July 28, 2015 at 5:08 am

      Woodward is a complete crackpot. There are no valid physical theories that violate the conservation of momentum:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noether%27s_theorem#Example_2:_Conservation_of_center_of_momentum

      • Philosopher Rex

        July 28, 2015 at 6:35 am

        Why use ad-homs and make statements without evidence? If you are correct, then just show the contradiction. As for ‘valid physical theories’ – go and study the philosophy of science – there is no such thing as a ‘valid’ theory, there are only ‘unfalsified’ theories & ‘falsified’ theories. You are speaking as though science is a popularity contest – it is not.

        • Omega

          July 28, 2015 at 6:13 pm

          The contradiction is with Noether’s Theorem. ALL theories of physics to date, Classical Mechanics, Relativistic Mechanics, and Quantum Mechanics, have satisfied this theorem. This is as close to an absolute law as we will ever get. It’s up there with the second law of thermodynamics. Woodward fails to explain how you can get net thrust without violating Noether’s theorem.

          He claims “mass fluctuation” is the answer. Fine. What makes the masses fluctuate? Simple fluctuation violates mass/energy conservation. Transporting mass back and forth would cancel out any momentum you produce. The whole thing is rubbish.

          • Philosopher Rex

            July 29, 2015 at 6:09 am

            Doesn’t the accepted theory of how the universe can into existence – out of some quantum vacuum appear to violate the the conservation of mass/energy? I guess, we ultimately don’t know as we can’t explain where the universe came from – we can only see the universe from our perspective. I thought it was mostly accepted that matter/energy can pop into existence – am I wrong?

            Also, I know it’s common practice by many scientists to refer to theories as laws, but as I’ve already said, there are only falsified theories and unfalsified theories. Use of p-values only tells you about the particular data at hand, which is always infinitesimal in comparison to the all the data potential of the universe – meaning that ultimate probabilities about the nature of reality are incalculable. So calling something a ‘law’ is really a rather political statement IMO. This is why science focuses on falsifiability and not truth or probabilities of ultimate truth (only probabilities with regard to data-sets).

            So, while I am interested in the ‘how it works’, ultimately I don’t care, so
            long as we can model it – such that it is a usable technology. We
            model gravity too, via Newtonian and Einsteinian equations … but do we
            understand how gravity works … no we don’t. So I don’t understand the
            obsession with people saying this is B.S. just because they don’t
            understand it. Explain gravity in a way that perfectly meshes with
            Quantum Mechanics … and then let’s see if your idea is accepted by the
            status quo – it won’t be, even it it’s right – it would take decades
            before the establishment ages and moves to the next plane of existence
            before acceptance will take hold.

            If you have an alternate theory on how it works that doesn’t suffer the negatives you’ve described, then by all means put it out there. Until you have such a theory, calling other people’s efforts ‘rubbish’ seems hubris indeed.

  14. Luke McGregor

    July 28, 2015 at 2:02 am

    If its firing virtual particles to produce trust what’s happening to the antimatter component of the particle?

    • Russel aka 'Rusty' Shackleford

      July 28, 2015 at 2:37 am

      Ever wonder what’s reeeallly in a hot dog Luke?

    • Robert van de Walle

      July 28, 2015 at 5:30 am

      I recall a short Syfy story that used something like this to explain the expansion of the Universe. The story predated the discovery that the rate of expansion is increasing.

    • Cleo the Muse

      July 28, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      From information I’ve read on the EM drive previously, the virtual particle ceases to exist in our universe before reaching the end of the chamber; it bounces off the other end of the container in a parallel universe. Somewhere, in a parallel universe, scientists are baffled by an EM drive that travels BACKWARD…

    • OGIS

      July 28, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Perhaps the antimatter is falling into another Universe, where it is messing with people. And then, of course, those people will take steps to stop it.

  15. Opposite Day

    July 28, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I hope this doesn’t get suppressed like every other fuel-less/”anti-gravitic propulsion breakthrough.

    • aldousd

      July 28, 2015 at 3:18 am

      Troll, troll troll troll TROLL!

      • Opposite Day

        July 28, 2015 at 5:33 pm

        Is it really a troll if I believe it? I thought a troll was basically a lie. So how can something be a troll if its true?

        • Robin Hart-Jones

          November 27, 2015 at 9:29 am

          A troll does not have to be a lie at all. The purpose of a troll is stir up outrage and watch the mayhem. A bit like poking an ants nest just to see the chaos that ensues 🙂

  16. The Wet One

    July 28, 2015 at 2:41 am

    Well.

    This is pretty effin’ cool!

  17. Will

    July 28, 2015 at 3:25 am

    You know, the best articles out there are so good, that sourcing is just dead weight. I mean, who needs any of that stuff…

  18. Steven Dutch

    July 28, 2015 at 3:53 am

    NASA’s got some very big vacuum chambers. Put one of these puppies inside and show it can get itself off the ground. Or put it on a sled and get it to move. What could be simpler? Because you can’t get anything to Pluto with micronewtons of thrust. Go big or go home.

    NASA is already taking heat from the climate denialists. Getting involved with stuff like this won’t help them a bit.

    According to Noether’s Theorem, conservation of linear momentum is linked to the spatial symmetry of the universe. Actually, if the laws of physics are invariant in space, that implies conservation of momentum. So if you can violate conservation of momentum, the laws of physics are not invariant in space, and that should have large-scale consequences in the universe. So I hope these researchers can take time out from thinking about virtual particles to deal with this issue.

    • DStaal

      July 28, 2015 at 5:12 am

      Sure you can get to Pluto with micronewtons of thrust – as long as you start in space and can put out those micronewtons for a long time. The advantage of this drive – if it works – is that it can put out thrust for very long periods of time; basically indefinitely. It may not be able to lift itself off the ground, or even overcome friction in an Earth-bound test environment, but it could still be an amazing space drive where it doesn’t have to worry about that.

  19. Disqustd

    July 28, 2015 at 3:57 am

    Seems legit.

  20. Rehbock

    July 28, 2015 at 4:23 am

    Complete crap. There is no free lunch.

    • docmerlin

      July 28, 2015 at 5:05 am

      This doesn’t have free lunch, it requires huge amounts of energy, it just doesn’t require propellant.

      • Omega

        July 28, 2015 at 5:06 am

        Where is the momentum coming from?

  21. OMGWTFZPMBBQ

    July 28, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Its possible that some as-yet-undiscovered (cough axion /cough) or a dark matter candidate similar to a pion is interacting with the chamber to generate thrust. This would explain the apparent violation of CoM and lead to new physics, also it could be even more effective in space as the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field would act as a shield.

  22. Peter Ivanov Jivkov

    July 28, 2015 at 7:14 am

    you can always ask Stark.

  23. foofly

    July 28, 2015 at 10:02 am

    How much force are we talking here? Could this counteract gravity so I can finally have my hoverboard?

  24. Anders tn

    July 28, 2015 at 10:14 am

    To the nay sayers. Saying that this is impossible because it violates the laws of physics as we currently understand them is pointless. Mainly because there are a myriad of things going on in the universe around us that constantly break said laws. For instance dark matter, dark energy and the phenomenon we have dubbed black holes. So far all of these things predated our models and still show that there are aspects to the forces in the universe we have yet to understand.

    Personally I think there is a very real possibility that this whole thing is a fluke in the measurements, but given the potential upside if it were real it’s still worth pursuing further. Essentially if this turns out to be true it would violate nearly everything we know. It would be the biggest shift in science since Albert Einstein created the theory of general relativity.

  25. Dennis Young

    July 28, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Build a working model of the EM drive and prove the concept. Then it’s off to the races, so to speak.

  26. jodeo

    July 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Forget Pluto. If this can make my rush hour drive go from 1h 20m down to 15m, I’ll take one.

  27. shambles1980

    July 28, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    i dont see why the theory was at all scorned upon.

    And I am going to vote “Journalistic extra for extravagance” on the whole “they all said it was impossible” part
    unless of course they are going to name who said it was impossible..

  28. Pathoskeptic

    July 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    “Hacked” does not wish to appear credible source of info then? Not surprised, I must say.

  29. Pathoskeptic

    July 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    “The nature of the thrusts observed is still unclear.”

    No, it is not unclear, it is a measurement artifact. Translates to layman’s language as “shitty science”.

    • [email protected]

      July 28, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      If you do the calculations, a 700 Watt laser would give you 2 micro-newtons of Force. They measured 10 times that much. The most likely scenario to me seems to be that this setup caused a vibration, which was misread as a thrust. However, it is also possible there are interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field, or magnetic attraction to other objects. It is the electrons coming into the magnetron provide classical momentum. The magnetron itself needs to be connected to the drive cavity, so there is the possibility of momentum transfer from that source. Really the only think the have established at this point is a deep analysis is justified.

      • None

        July 29, 2015 at 3:27 am

        “White proposes that the EM Drive’s thrust is due to virtual particles in the quantum vacuum that behave like propellant ions in magneto-hydrodynamical propulsion systems, extracting “fuel” from the very fabric of space-time and eliminating the need to carry propellant. ”

        If you understand quantum physics you should grasp this and the huge implications it has if proven correct.

        • [email protected]

          July 29, 2015 at 11:40 am

          This is a classical E-M dynamics problem. The analysis that predicts the force does not use Q-M, so there is absolutely no reason to expect a Q-M explanation. That said, there have of course been times in history when one accidently discovers something due to faulty predictions. The dwarf planet Pluto comes to mind as an example. In that case though, we would find predictions will not hold for other drive designs. If White is right, it means virtual particles work completely different that the way we think they do. We’ll have to throw out all the physics for the last 100 years, and rewrite all the text books. No reputable physicists would dare speculate such a possibility with such little evidence. So I much conclude one of three possibilities. 1. White is being misquoted. 2. White is a quack. 3. White is an idiot. I’m personally willing to give White the benefit of the doubt and assume 1.

  30. RJF

    July 28, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    The “laws” of physics only exist to be broken…

  31. Mark Roberts

    July 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    The editors apparently didn’t read the actual paper, which states, “Our test campaign cannot confirm or refute the claims of the EM Drive
    but intends to independently assess possible side-effects in the
    measurements [sic] methods used so far…”
    In the tests, one horsepower input equaled one-five-millionths of a pound of thrust output. Next.

  32. GrangerFX

    July 28, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    It is time to test this thing in space and remove all doubt. Considering the relatively silly things they are testing on the ISS, a reactionless drive experiment seems like a slam dunk. Just park it outside the station with the arm, fire it up and see if it moves in the right direction. Grab it again, point it in a different direction. Rinse. Repeat.

  33. Zardoz Wiz

    July 28, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    any thrust quickly becomes very large over time, this needs large studies now!

  34. kmarinas86

    July 28, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    potential momentum = magnetic vector potential * test charge = (coulombic potential energy / c^2) * velocity of source charge

  35. Damnyankees

    July 28, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Bull

  36. Brett Wilkins

    July 29, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Isn’t that Hero Image of a VASMIR (ion thrust) engine?

  37. Friedrich

    July 29, 2015 at 3:53 am

    Kinda kool ==== but since the Earth is surrounded by the Van Allen belt — and humans cannot be protected from the radiation when flying through it — what good is it? Or — isn’t the Flat Earth covered by an impenetrable canopy? Even nuclear bomb tipped rockets couldn’t break through it in the late 1950’s! 😉

  38. oldrolledgold

    July 29, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Why isn’t Shawyer’s own principle of operation accepted and quoted? http://emdrive.com/principle.html

  39. oldrolledgold

    July 29, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Also,why if his principle of operation gave him a thrust equation that was matched by the testing results,is some ‘new physics’ being mooted by scientists? Are they setting it up to kill it? http://emdrive.com/feasibilitystudy.html

    • [email protected]

      July 29, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      Well first off it takes a lot more than one experiment to throw out 400 years of physics. Second it is not remarkable the measurements are near the predictions. The experiment is set-up to measure values near that. The design only takes them a factor of 10 times higher than the classical predictions. For very sensitive experiments phycists normally eliminate source of noise one at a time until they get well below standard predicted value they are trying to measure. Not only has this not been done, but the papers themselves state this is part of the “next steps”. Reasonably they need an accuracy of 1 micronewton or better, but they are not even confident the 20 micronewton force they are measuring predicted by this alternate theory is not completely noise. Apparently the force does not start as soon as they turn the magnetron on, and it continues after they have turned it off. Indicating either they are just measuring noise, or at minimum the force is not produced by the theory they are attempting to test.

      Really there is no need to get excited. This is just a “progress” report, not actual results. When the complete the experiment, then there is a chance there might be something to get excited about. Nobody expects this thing to work as designed, there is something we can learn from it by understand why the failure initially appears like success. Perhaps that will result in being able to design a better photon rocket or such. If there are interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field or such, maybe we could take advantage of that when slingshotting space probes around planets like Jupider… There is probably a lot of useful engineering to be learned as well.

      • WesleyBarrios

        June 28, 2016 at 5:09 pm

        This “Apparently the force does not start as soon as they turn the magnetron on, and it continues after they have turned it off. Indicating either they are just measuring noise, or at minimum the force is not produced by the theory they are attempting to test.”

        Reminds me of the cell-phone tower induced headaches from towers that were not yet turned on.

  40. [email protected]

    July 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    http://io9.com/no-german-scientists-have-not-confirmed-the-impossibl-1720573809

    Looks like there is a fairly strong case the effect being measured is thermal. Best guess, the metal is expanding as it heats, shifting the center of balance and tipping the pendulum as if there was a force.

  41. Christian Koncz

    July 29, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Elon Musk has probably been up all night trying to figure out how it works and how he can use it to power his spaceships once they are in orbit. I can see this being used for mining planetoids and possibly the moon, as well as sending people to Mars and other planets. Exciting times. Now if they’d hurry up and finish work on warp drives (Albucierre drive), transporters, replicators and photon torpedoes…

  42. Seijinvet

    July 30, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Ok, here is a thought. Instead of using a magnetron what if microwave laser LEDs were used to inject the microwave radiation into the thruster? The production of microwave radiation would be much more energy efficient, and the coherent nature of them would perhaps increase the thrust. I wonder if changing the specific wavelengths of the microwave radiation used would affect efficiency also.

  43. Dwight Huth

    July 30, 2015 at 8:05 am

    What about the huge hole in the middle of the Universe that has some type of unknown matter. No known matter not even Dark Matter has been detected in it. There has to be some type of field that it is generating otherwise because of the rotation of the Universe matter would have passed through the region.

  44. IgnoranceBeater

    July 30, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    For f- sake, the nutcases are going to crawl out of the woodwork, again.

    AS USUAL when the article itself says ‘we can can not prove or disprove’, almost all the headings of all online and offline newspapers have the title ‘EM drive proven again’. They don’t even PRETEND to read the thing they’re writing (well, most often just copy-pasting) anymore, do they? It’s so pathetic. The standards of journalism really have gone down the drain.

    It’s NOT confirmed, thus (the opposite as what is being claimed by the press and fanfappers alike, thus).

    In fact, this was, again, a non-peer-review paper, which makes it of little scientific use. Yes, like all the ones before it, be it from the chinese or nasa. I keep repeating this, but this means the scientific value of it is really, really low.

    But luckily, when one actually READS it, it’s clear no ‘conirmation’ that the EM drive works is given here. Not one of the many dubious, faulty, and highly unlikely theorethical ‘explanations’. In fact, they seem more inclined to search for the most obvious: errors in measurement or set-up. Which is the most logical thing to do. They should start with eliminating all the potential magnetic and thermal influences. They clearly realise this too.

    Well, it’s there money (or is it the taxpayers?), so they can do as they wish, even if their goal is just looking for possible errors (in fact, that’s more worthwhile for this project than anything else).

    The problem with this ‘story’, is that it’s rekindling all the hype and the nutcase-ery of half the uneducated net-populace out there.

  45. Chris Creamer

    July 30, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Where do I sign up for the Saturn moon mission? For real, I would go with out hesitation. I have no credentials but I have studied quantum physics, space-time, cosmology, etc. for many years just out of personal interest so that would be a most incredible experience, not to mention the things I could learn on a venture such as that.

  46. Verp

    July 31, 2015 at 8:09 am

    It makes sense if you realize the rest of the cosmos is your reaction mass.

  47. sara paola

    July 31, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    These people could not put a man in space above the earth, for such a long long time with use of the space shuttle, so bad, that they killed numerous men and women, not to mention, school teachers, and the space shuttle too, and you think they are going to build this? And Make it work?????? Any ding dong that gives these so called scientists like White money, has to be off their rocker no matter who it is. Planting a skin thick solar panel on the side of a comet, is not what this is really all about folks. Just like they plan to be able to make you warp into a time dimension, and no one has ever done this successfully at all ever. Area 51 is a perfect example of their failure rate. Yet, they all claim to be so smart… Of course cold fusion is real. They have driven cars on water, yes petro engines, and even a 727 boeing jet, But why is it, that they will not let it happen on this earth? Gov tears this down every day even now, to stop gov grants to the small companies for foolish reasons to help them make it a true reality. The reason why, is money $$$ Greed…. Yet, it says on the same dammed by God Money, In God We Trust. Now if all this is not hippocrite enough for you, OBAMA musilim, God is not a muslim… I dont know what is. Why would anyone listen to them? They are all thieves. Lets see em do it. Without killing themselves. That ill be the day…

  48. tweeksdisqus

    August 2, 2015 at 12:52 am

    HOW, MUCH, THRUST?

  49. gnappi .

    August 4, 2015 at 2:31 am

    Easy to explain: the microwaves clash with the inside of the device that is narrower and transfer momentum when reflected. When moving to the other side of the equipment (wider) they cancel partially (destructive interference) before reach it, creating an overall effect of thrust on the opposite side.

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Biotech

Biotech Dominates July Penny Stock Picks

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July brings new opportunities to trade penny stocks, according to the Investopedia top 10 penny stocks to watch. Biotechnology stocks in particular are poised for a breakout. Biotechnology funds broke out of the long-term basing pattern in June, forcing rotational buying pressure, which bodes well for the low-priced sub-sector, with many penny stocks ready to hit multi-year highs.

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At the same time, the tech sector is getting sold with equal force in a profit-taking exercise that could deliver a period of under-performance for the sector’s lower-priced issues.

June’s biotechnology picks drew strong buying interest, led by ImmunoGen, Inc.’s 48% advance to a 52-week high. Small China stocks also posted strength, as China Commercial Credit, Inc. gained close to 35%. China Commercial Credit and June’s three biotech picks return to the July top penny stock list, joined by six new penny stocks.

1. ImmunoGen Inc. (IMGN)

Source: Investopedia

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ImmunoGen, a provider of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer, jumped from number four in June to the top spot in July.

The stock posted a 12-year high at $20.25 in 2013 and sold off to $5.34 in December 2014. A recovery in 2015 stalled less than a point below the prior peak, creating a decline that continued into an 18-year low at $1.51 in November 2016.

Buyers took over in 2017, generating an uptick that reversed at the 2014 resistance approximately three weeks ago. In June, the stock broke out and made the top 10 list for the first time. It could end up in the $8.00 to $10.00 price zone.

ImmunoGen creates targeted cancer therapeutics using its proprietary ADC technology. The company’s candidate, mirvetuximab soravtansine, is in a Phase 3 trial for an ovarian cancer, and is in Phase 1b/2 testing in combination regimens for earlier-stage disease.

The technology is used in Roche’s Kadcyla, in three other clinical-stage ImmunoGen product candidates, and in programs in development by Amgen, Bayer, Biotest, CytomX, Lilly, Novartis, Sanofi and Takeda.

2. China Commercial Credit, Inc. (CCCR)

Source: Investopedia

China Commercial Credit Inc. (CCCR), which provides business loans and loan guarantee services to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), farmers and individuals in China’s Jiangsu Province, jumped from number five in June to second place in July.

The company went public on the U.S. exchanges at $6.50 in August 2013.

The stock experienced a downtrend that bottomed out at 25 cents in February 2016 and began an upward trend that stalled at $3.20 in September. The stock hit a higher low in March 2017 before recovering, testing the 2016 high. A breakout should bring broad buying interest that could support a continued upside that could double the price by year’s end.

The company was founded in 2008 and provides business loans and loan guarantee services to small-to-medium enterprises, farmers and individuals in China’s Jiangsu Province.

3. CymaBay Therapeutics, Inc. (CBAY)

Source: Investopedia

CymaBay Therapeutics Inc. (CBAY), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies to treat specialty and orphan diseases, returns from the June list, where it ranked number 9. The stock rallied to an all-time high at $13.78 in February 2015, then suffered a steep downtrend that continued into the first quarter of 2016. The stock then dropped to an all-time low at 82 cents before bouncing to $3.04 in April, a yearly high, ahead of a pullback that continued into the November low at $1.15.

The stock broke above the 2016 high in February 2017, reaching a two-year high at $4.81.

Net loss for the 2017 first quarter was $5.4 million, or ($0.20) per diluted share, compared to $6.8 million, or ($0.29) per diluted share in the first quarter of 2016. Net loss in the 2017 first quarter was $1.4 million lower compared to the prior year period, primarily due to the recognition of collaboration revenue in 2017.

The rally has now reached a two-year high, attracting buying interest that could move into double digits.

4. Peiris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PIRS)

Source: Investopedia

Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc., a, clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to providing solutions for oncology, respiratory disease and other therapeutic areas, moved from June’s 7th spot to July’s 4th spot. The stock launched on the OTC market in 2014, trading between $2.00 and $4.25 before falling to $1.26 in January 2016. It ground sideways through November, then tested the first-quarter low ahead of a January 2017 breakaway gap that has drawn steady buying interest. The rally gathered momentum in early May after announcing a partnership with AstraZeneca PLC and is currently testing the 2015 high, the all-time high.

The company’s product includes immuno-oncology multi-specifics tailored for the tumor microenvironment, an inhaled Anticalin protein to treat uncontrolled asthma as well as a half-life-optimized Anticalin protein to treat anemia. Anticalin proteins, proprietary to Pieris, are a class of therapeutics validated in the clinic and partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. Anticalin is a registered trademark of Pieris.

5. 22nd Century Group, Inc. (XXII)

Source: Investopedia

22nd Century Group, Inc. (XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is a provider of tobacco harm reduction and development of proprietary hemp/cannabis strains, broke out above multi-year resistance near $1.50 in 2013, rallying to a record high a few months later at $6.36. The stock then began a persistent decline through August 2015 before finding support at 56 cents, followed by a bounce to $1.75.

The stock has traded within those boundaries for 22-months, bouncing at support three times and reversing at resistance in equal measure. The price returned to that level a fourth time, improving odds for a breakout that could double the price in the year’s second half.

22nd Century Group is a plant biotechnology company focused on genetic engineering and plant breeding that allows the increase or decrease of the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants. The company’s main goal in tobacco is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. The main goal in cannabis is to develop proprietary hemp/cannabis strains for new medicines and agricultural crops.

The stock last month joined the Russell Microcap Index, when FTSE Russell reconstituted its U.S. and global equity indexes. Membership in the Russell Microcap Index means automatic inclusion in the appropriate growth and value style indexes. FTSE Russell determines membership for its Russell indexes primarily by objective, market-capitalization rankings and style attributes.

6. Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc. (CVRS)

Source: Investopedia

Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc. (CVRS), a developer of precision vascular robotics, returned to the national market in 2015 following a trading halt, topping out around $4.50 and starting a decline that continued to reach new lows in January 2017 when it bottomed at around 40 cents. Since that time, the price activity has been constructive, with high volume rally bursts moving the stock into 2016 resistance at $1.75. The bullish behavior has created a cup and handle basing pattern that points to an uptrend into the 2015 high following a breakout.

Revenue for the first quarter of 2017 was $0.8 million compared to $1.1 million for the same period in the prior year. The decrease is due mainly to the deferral of system revenue associated with a future obligation to upgrade multiple customer units from the company’s CorPath 200 System to the CorPath GRX System.

The company installed three new CorPath Systems in the first quarter of 2017, increasing its total installed base to 48 CorPath Systems.

Gross loss was $1.1 million for the 2017 first quarter, compared to a gross profit of $0.03 million for the 2016 first quarter. The cost of revenues for the first 2017 quarter continued to include the effect of under-utilization of production facilities and the cost of CorPath GRX System upgrades that installed pursuant to pre-existing contractual arrangements.

The company continues to expect the full year 2017 revenue to be in the range of $13.

7. RADA Electronic Industries, Ltd. (RADA)

Source: Investopedia

RADA Electronic Industries, Ltd. (RADA), a defense electronics system of advanced electronic systems for airborne and land applications, fell into a multi-decade decline after it joined the Nasdaq in the 1990s. The stock ground out a series of lower highs and lows through January 2016’s all-time 54-cent low.

The stock spent 16 months moving sideways in a narrow basing pattern before turning higher in May 2017 and rallying back to 2016 resistance at $1.78. The bullish activity completed a cup and handle breakout pattern that could point to a fast rally into the August 2015 gap between $3.70 and $2.50.

Revenues totaled $4.7 million in the 2017 first quarter, up 91% compared to revenues of $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Gross profit totaled $1.7 million in the first 2017 quarter of 2017, a gross margin of 35.7%, compared to gross profit of $6,000 (gross margin of 0.2%) in the 2016 first quarter.

Operating income was $0.4 million in the first 2017 quarter compared to an operating loss of $1 million in the 2016 first quarter.

Net income attributable to RADA’s shareholders in the 2017 first quarter was $0.4 million, $0.02 per share, versus a net loss of $1.8 million, or $0.23 per share, in the 2016 first quarter.

8. ChromaDex, Corp. (CDXC)

Source: Investopedia

ChromaDex, Corp. (CDXC), a provider of proprietary health, wellness and nutritional ingredients, that creates science-based solutions to dietary supplement, food and beverage, skin care, sports nutrition and pharmaceutical products, went public in April 2016 at $4.70. The stock rallied to an all-time high at $6.18 in May, then fell one month later to $2.46 in a single session, eventually posting a lower December low. It tested that support level in April 2017, then turned sharply higher, now testing 2017 resistance at $3.80. A breakout could point to a significant upside, taking the stock back to last year’s high.

For the first quarter of 2017, ChromaDex reported net sales of $4.4 million, a decrease of 39% compared to the same period of 2016, due mainly to decreased sales in its ingredients business segment, as a result of dropping its largest customer for fiscal year 2016. The ingredients segment created net sales of $2.1 million for Q1 2017, a decline of 55%, compared to the same 2016 period.

The net loss attributable to common stock holders for Q1 2017 was $1.9 million or ($0.05) per share versus a net income of $0.3 million or $0.01 per share for Q1 2016.

In May, the company announced the closing of the $16.4 million second tranche of the strategic investment of up to $25 million led by Hong Kong business leader Li Ka-shing.

Li Ka-shing has invested in many innovative companies in the last decade, including Facebook, Spotify, DeepMind, Siri, Impossible Foods and Modern Meadow. The new investment will support future ChromaDex developments in the global marketplace.

The $16.4 million second tranche follows an initial $3.5 million tranche that closed on April 27, 2017.

9. Safe Bulkers, Inc. (SB)

Source: Investopedia

Safe Bulkers, Inc. (SB), a player in the hot and cold dry bulk shipping sector, topped out at $11.48 in March 2014, then entered a downtrend reaching an all-time low at 30 cents in January 2016. A recovery wave in November stalled at $2.38, followed by sideways action that has completed a small-scale cup and handle breakout pattern. A buying spike over $2.60 can be expected to set the upside into action, supporting a rally that could surpass $5.00.

The company declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share on its 8.00% Series B, Series C and Series D Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares for the period from April 30, 2017 to July 29, 2017.

This is the 16th consecutive cash dividend declared on the company’s Series B Preferred Shares, the 13th cash dividend declared on its Series C Preferred Shares and the 12th cash dividend declared on its Series D Preferred Shares since their respective commencement of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

10. Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP)

Source: Investopedia

Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP) is a provider of clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve challenges in their fuel cell programs. The stock reached an all-time high at $144.95 in 2000 before falling into a downtrend lasting more than 12 years, sending the stock to an all-time low at 56 cents. A 2013 upward trend continued through 2014, hitting an 8-year high at $8.38, followed by a correction that’s now returned to 2015 resistance at $3.10. A breakout could catch fire, pushing the stock to a test of its 2014 high.

Total revenue was $22.7 million in the quarter, an increase of 39% from growth in both power products and technology solutions.

Gross margin was 42% in the quarter, an improvement of 22 points due to a shift in product mix toward higher margin technology solutions and heavy duty motive for the China market, including the establishment of a production line in Yunfu, China for the manufacture and assembly of FCvelocity-9SSL fuel cell stacks.

Cash operating costs were $10 million in the quarter, a 6% increase due to higher research and product development expenditures as well as a stronger Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar, since a significant amount of cost is denominated in Canadian dollars.

Low-priced biotech stocks have risen following a long slumber, with steady buying interest likely to continue. This group should offer a variety of profitable penny stock plays during the quiet summer trading season, while low-priced stocks in other sectors move into narrow trading ranges.

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Business

Last Week’s Top Cannabis Stock Winners And May’s Stocks To Watch

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Medicinal and recreational cannabis continues to spur investment in marijuana-based pharmaceuticals.

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Several publicly traded cannabis stocks gained more than 5% this past week, some of which have market capitalizations exceeding $50 million, according to Investopedia. The Solactive North American Medical Marijuana Index, which tracks the medical marijuana sector, gained 1.5% for the week.

Cannabis stocks also trade on other exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and over the counter.

Following are last week’s five top performers, followed by a list of four cannabis stocks to watch for the month of May.

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Insys Therapeutics Inc., Nasdaq: INSY

Insys Therapeutics, a Chandler, Arizona-based specialty pharmaceutical company, was one of the week’s top performers, gaining more than 11%. The stock was boosted by Wednesday’s announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Syndros product label. Syndros, the company’s lead product, is a liquid, oral dronabinol (synthetic THC) solution for treating nausea that is chemotherapy induced, and for treating anorexia related to AIDS. The approval means the company can now market the product commercially.

Insys Therapeutics, Inc. also markets Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray for cancer pain in opioid-tolerant cancer patients in the U.S.

The company is also developing Cannabidiol Oral Solution, a synthetic cannabidiol for catastrophic epilepsy syndromes in children. It is also developing other products, such as dronabinol line extensions and sublingual spray products.

Insys has posted flat revenues for the last three years, but its operating income fell at the end of 2016 as the company invested more in research. Gross profit has improved over the last three years.

Insys did not post the biggest gain in the past week, but it is the only one of this week’s top five winners that is also listed on Investopedia’s cannabis stocks to watch for March.

Marapharm Ventures Inc., OTC: MRPHF

Marapharm Ventures Inc., a Kelowna, Canada-based medical marijuana company, gained more than 40% this week after the company announced on Tuesday it will apply for a recreational marijuana license in Nevada. The following day, the company received approval for building permits for modular structures. On Thursday, the company announced that Nevada gave final approval to grow and sell cannabis.

Formerly known as Capital Auction Market Inc., the company serves the medical and recreational marijuana industry in Canada and the U.S.

Marapharm applied to Health Canada for a production and sales license three years ago and has passed the necessary security clearances, according to the Daily Marijuana Observer. The application is currently in the screening process. Health Canada advised the company in September it seeks to amend its application to allow for new regulations.

Marapharm’s common shares are traded in Canada under the MDM symbol and in the U.S. and on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol MRPHF on the OTC. In Europe, it trades under the symbol 2M0 on the FSE.

MMJ Phytotech Ltd., ASX: MMJ

MMJ Phytotech Ltd., trading on the Australian Stock Exchange, gained more than 5% for the week, closing at $0.365 AUD Friday. Australia is developing its own medical marijuana program after legalizing it in November of 2016. MMJ is one of several ASX listed cannabis companies.

Shares of Australian companies involved in the production and research of medicinal marijuana have soared more than 130 percent on average in Sydney this year, exceeding the growth rate of peers in the U.S. and Canada by six times, according to Bloomberg. The surge was also sparked by the country easing restrictions on cannabis imports to treat illnesses from cancer to epilepsy.

MMJ Phytotech has focused on becoming a direct supplier to the growing Canadian recreational and medical and markets, which are estimated to have a combined value of C$8 to C$9 billion by 2024.

MMJ holds one of 41 licenses issued by Health Canada.

The company controls operations across the complete medicinal cannabis value chain through three business units.

Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc., OTC: TBPMF

Tetra Bio-Pharma saw shares jump more than 20% for the week. One factor was an agreement signed Wednesday with Panag Pharma to develop and commercialize a pair of cannabinoid based formulations for treating pain and inflammation.

The filing of a patent in ocular disease combined with the patents from Panag in the ocular space indicates strong revenue potential, according to the company.

Tetra Bio-Pharma will have exclusive access to sell the topical and ocular drug in North America with the right of first negotiation outside the U.S. and Canada. The company will also have the right of first negotiation for future cannabinoid-based products.

Tetra Bio-Pharma will work with Panag to ensure a successful development leading to marketing authorization. Panag will continue to focus on the development of new products for unmet medical needs while Tetra will take the lead in commercializing the products.

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc., Nasdaq: ZYNE

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc., another player in the cannabinoid space, finished the week with about a 5% gain.

The company develops and markets synthetic cannabinoid therapeutics for transdermal delivery. The products address the symptoms of patients with fibromyalgia, epilepsy, peripheral neuropathic pain, osteoarthritis and Fragile X syndrome.

Zynerba is developing ZYN001 and ZYN002, the first being a THC pro-drug patch that provides transdermal THC delivery for fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathic pain, the second being a synthetic CBD gel that provides transdermal, non-psychoactive CBD delivery for osteoarthritis, epilepsy and Fragile X syndrome.

Top four cannabis stocks to watch in May.

1. AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)

AbbVIe is a pharmaceutical company that already has a cannabis-based drug on the market. The FDA approved Marinol, a drug that helps alleviate vomiting or nausea for chemotherapy patients. It also helps AIDS patients who have lost their desire to eat.

ABBV has increased revenues for the past four years. Its operating income has also steadily increased.

AbbVie concentrates almost exclusively on U.S. markets, which represents some degree of risk. Most pharmaceuticals market globally. Should the domestic market falter, ABBV could see a drop in value.

2. Scott’s Miracle-Gro Company, SMG

Known for its lawn and garden products, Scotts Miracle-Gro is developing products for cannabis growers, including pesticides for use on marijuana plants. The products can be used to grow medicinal marijuana.

The stock has experienced a sideways pattern since December 2016. Should the stock find support at its 200-day moving average, recovery is possible.

Revenues surged in the quarter ended April 1, 2017, as did the company’s income. But given the drop in price recently, this could be a stock to watch rather than buy for the time being.

3. Corbus Pharmaceuticals, CRBP

Corbus Pharmaceuticals stock has been up and down over the past year. The company’s marijuana-based drugs are in clinical trials. Resunab, designed to treat sclerosis, has shown promising trials.

The stock tends to dip right before trial results are announced, then rally when results are positive. The company is currently testing Resunab for treating cystic fibrosis. The pessimism/optimism pattern will continue as this drug is tested yet again.

The company has posted negative operating income, with revenues close to zero. It relies on the success of a single drug.

4. Insys Therapeutics Inc. Nasdaq, INSY

Insys Therapeutics is the only one of the cannabis stocks to watch that was listed among last week’s top gainers.

As investors sober up about the marijuana craze, the reality of using it in medicines will set in. Like other sources for drugs, cannabis offers positive prospects and some failures.

The drop in share price for some cannabis stocks indicates the companies have to deliver soon on the promise of medical cannabis.

Investors are advised not to act based on enthusiasm for marijuana, and to pay attention to drug trial results.

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Science

Directed Evolution Teaches Nature the Unnatural, Brings Silicon to Life

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Organosilicon-based life

Caltech researchers have achieved a spectacular demonstration that living organisms can be persuaded to make silicon-carbon bonds. The study is the first to show that nature can adapt to incorporate silicon into carbon-based molecules, the building blocks of life. This breakthrough could have en important impact on how medicines and other chemicals are made in the future, and open new horizons to synthetic biology.

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