The Mach-Lorentz Thruster

Prof. James Woodward has spent more than a decade working out a Machian theory of inertia which holds the promise of a propellantless space-drive able to turn power directly into motion. Brian Wang, at Next Big Future has covered Paul March’s exposition of Prof. Woodward’s work…

Mach Effect 4: More Mach Effect Answers

…the hoped for efficiency is 1 N thrust per watt of power. That may not happen, but what about more modest thrust/power levels? What if we can get 1 N/kW? Consider the high-powered VASIMR we’ve discussed here, running with 200 MW of power. At top-gear, when it’s exhaust velocity is ~300 km/s, it’s using about 150,000 W for every newton of thrust. An MLT getting 1 N/kW and massing 200 tons, with that power supply would accelerate at ~1 m/s2. Where does that get us? Mars, when it’s at opposition and ~0.5 AU, is just 6.3 days travel away, while Pluto, at it’s aphelion at 50 AU, is but 63 days away. Nine weeks.

What about further goals? The Sun’s gravity-focus is 587 AU away, minimum – just 31 weeks. A small fleet of MLT propelled ships could drop gravity focus telescopes to spy, at high resolution, on all the nearby stars, confirming whether they have planets worth launching probes to. And those probes? Results from Alpha Centauri would be just 18 years away – including the time required to signal back. Results from Tau Ceti would be just 36 years away. In just 100 years we’d be hearing back from stars 42 lightyears away.

4 Replies to “The Mach-Lorentz Thruster”

  1. If they are able to expand it to cover the entire craft, wouldn’t that kill anyone on board? Your heart and lungs would keep going like normal, but since the air and blood now have far less inertia, the flow would be disrupted just like if trauma pushed it. Cardiac arrest or collapsed lungs would be the result I think.

    1. Hi Daniel

      I believe the effect is Lorentz invariant and thus while its inertia relative to the rest of the Universe changes, the inertial relationships within the system inside the field remain the same. Equivalence of inertial reference frames and all that. But that would be if the thruster field could be expanded outside the capacitors undergoing the dynamic mass changes and I don’t think it does expand. The inertial change is only happening to the capacitors and if we attached something to them, then the system will be “thrusted” not enveloped. But who knows? That’s why more experimentation is vital to understand what’s going on.

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