Is Photon Based Propulsion, the Future?

I first met Dr. Young Bae, NIAC Fellow, at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsored 2011, 100 Year Starship Study (100YSS) at Orlando, Fla. Many of us who were there had responded to the NASA/DARPA Tactical Technology Office’s RFP to set up an organization “… to develop a viable and sustainable non-governmental organization for persistent, long-term, private-sector investment into the myriad of disciplines needed to make long-distance space travel viable …”

Yes, both DARPA and NASA are at some level interested in interstellar propulsion. Mine was one of approximately 35 (rumored number) teams from around the world vying for this DARPA grant, and Dr. Bae was with a competing team. I presented the paper “Non-Gaussian Photon Probability Distributions”, and Dr. Bae presented “A Sustainable Developmental Pathway of Photon Propulsion towards Interstellar Flight”. These were early days, the ground zero of interstellar propulsion, if you would.

Dr. Bae has been researching Photon Laser Thrust (PLT) for many years. A video of his latest experiment is available at the NASA website or on YouTube. This PLT uses light photons to move an object by colliding with (i.e. transferring momentum to) the object. The expectation is that this technology will eventually be used to propel space crafts. His most recent experiments demonstrate the horizontal movement of a 1-pound weight. This is impressive. I expect to see much more progress in the coming years.

At one level, Dr. Bae’s experiments are confirmation that Bill Nye’s Light Sail (which very unfortunately lost communications with Earth) will work.

At another level, one wonders why or how the photon, a particle without mass, has momentum that is proportion to the photon’s frequency or energy. A momentum that is observable in Dr. Bae’s and other experiments. This is not a question that contemporary physics asks. Einstein was that meticulous when he derived the Lorentz-FitzGerald Transformations (LFT) from first principles for his Special Theory of Relativity (STR). Therefore, if you think about it, and if we dare to ask the sacrilegious question, does this mean that momentum is a particle’s elementary property that appears to be related to mass? What would we discover if we could answer the question, why does momentum exist in both mass and massless particles? Sure, the short cut don’t bother me answer is, mass-energy equivalence. But why?

At the other end of photon momentum based research is the EmDrive invented by Roger Shawyer. He clearly states that the EmDrive is due to momentum exchange and not due to “quantum vacuum plasma effects”. To vindicate his claims Boeing has received all of his EmDrive designs and test data. This is not something that Boeing does lightly.

In this 2014 video a member of NASA’s Eagleworks explains that the EmDrive (renamed q-thruster) pushes against quantum vacuum, the froth of particle and antiparticle pairs in vacuum. Which raises the question, how can you push against one type and not the other? In 2011, using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope photographs, Prof. Robert Nemiroff of Michigan Technological University, made the stunning discovery that this quantum foam of particle and antiparticle pairs in a vacuum, does not exist. Unfortunately, this means that the NASA Eagleworks explanation clearly cannot be correct.

So how does the EmDrive work?

In my 2012 book An Introduction to Gravity Modification, I had explained the importance of asymmetrical fields and designs for creating propellantless engines. For example, given a particle in a gravitational field and with respect to this field’s planetary mass source, this particle will observe an asymmetrical gravitational field. The near side of this particle will experience a stronger field than the far side, and thus the motion towards the planetary mass. Granted that this difference is tiny, it is not zero. This was how I was able to determine the massless formula for gravitational acceleration, g=τc^2, where tau τ is the change in the time dilation transformation (dimensionless LFT) divided by that distance. The error in the modeled gravitational acceleration is less than 6 parts per million. Thus validating the asymmetrical approach.

In very basic terms Shawyer’s New Scientist paper suggests that it is due to the conical shape of the EmDrive that causes microwave photons to exhibit asymmetrical momentum exchange. One side of the conical structure with the larger cross section, has more momentum exchange than the other side with the smaller cross section. The difference in this momentum exchange is evidenced as a force.

However, as Dr. Bae points out, from the perspective of legacy physics, conservation of momentum is broken. If not broken, then there are no net forces. If broken, then one observes a net force. Dr. Beckwith (Prof., Chongqing University, China) confirms that Dr. Bae is correct, but the question that needs to be addressed is, could there be any additional effects which would lead to momentum conservation being violated? Or apparently violated?

To be meticulous, since energy can be transmuted into many different forms, we can ask another sacrilegious question. Can momentum be converted into something else? A wave function attribute for example, in a reversible manner, after all the massless photon momentum is directly proportional to its frequency? We don’t know. We don’t have either the theoretical or experimental basis for answering this question either in the positive or negative. Note, this is not the same as perpetual motion machines, as conservation laws still hold.

Shawyer’s work could be confirmation of these additional effects, asymmetrical properties and momentum-wave-function-attribute interchangeability. If so, the future of propulsion technologies lies in photon based propulsion.

Given that Shawyer’s video demonstrates a moving EmDrive, the really interesting question is, can we apply this model to light photons? Or for that matter, any other type of photons, radio, infrared, light, ultraviolet and X-Rays?

(Originally published in the Huffington Post)

Ground Zero of Interstellar Propulsion

Private Space exploration is gaining a lot of attention in the media today. It is expected to be the next big thing after social media, technology, and probably bio fuels . Can we take this further? With DARPA sponsoring the formation of the 100 Year Starship Study (100YSS) in 2011, can we do interstellar propulsion in our life times?

The Xodus One Foundation thinks this is feasible. To that end the Foundation has started the KickStarter project Ground Zero of Interstellar Propulsion to fund and accelerate this research. This project ends Fri, May 9 2014 7:39 AM MDT.

 

The community of interstellar propulsion researchers can be categorized into three groups, those who believe it cannot be done (Nay Sayers Group – NSG), those who believe that it requires some advanced form of conventional rockets (Advanced Rocket Group – ARG), and those who believe that it needs new physics (New Physics Group – NPG).

The Foundation belongs to the third group, the New Physics Group. The discovery in 2007 of the new massless formula for gravitational acceleration g=τc^2 , where τ is the change in time dilation over a specific height divided by that height, led to the inference that there is a new physics for interstellar propulsion that is waiting to be discovered.

What would this physics look like if nothing can travel faster than light? Founder & Chairman, Benjamin T Solomon, of the Xodus One Foundation believes that the answer lies in our understanding of photon probability. Can we discover enough physics to figure out how to control photon probability?

To facilitate this discovery one can participate in the Ground Zero of Interstellar Propulsion. If Solomon is right . . .

Background & History of the Foundation

The Xodus One Foundation[1] is a Colorado non-profit (awaiting 501(c) approval) founded by Benjamin T Solomon[2] in October 2013 with the objective of raising funds and disbursing grants to researchers with access to multimillion dollar labs, for the purpose of discovering the physics of interstellar propulsion.

The Xodus One Foundation and its Founder, Benjamin T Solomon, have been active in this outreach at the DARPA[3] sponsored 100 Year Starship Study[4]; AIAA’s SciTech 2014 Conference[5] held National Harbor, Maryland; SPIE’s Photonics West 2014[6] in San Francisco, California; and is a sponsor of the Colorado Space Business Roundtable’s (CSBR)[7] Colorado Aerospace Day (2013[8] & 2014[9] ) held in third week of March.

Background

The Researchers

The history of the investigation into gravity modification can be traced back further, and for the purposes of the Xodus One Foundation it is sufficient to consider the recent decades. Over the last 20 years about 60 serious researchers from 16 countries have investigated the field of gravity modification and/or interstellar propulsion. These include:

Klause Hense (Austria), Klause Marhold (Austria), Martin Tajmar (Austria), Fran De Aquino (Brazil), George Hathaway (Canada), Ning Li (China), Ning Wu (China), R. Nieminen (Finland), Clovis de Matos (France), Christopher Provatidis (Greece), R.C. Gupta (India), Giovanni Modanese (Italy), G.A. Ummarino (Italy), Hideo Hayasaka (Japan), Takaaki Musha (Japan), Kimio Nishino (Japan), Sakae Takeuchi (Japan), Miguel Alcubierre (Mexico), M. Agop (Romania), C. Gh. Buzea (Romania), B. Ciobanu (Romania), Eugene Podkletnov (Russia), Jozef Sima (Slovakia), Miroslav Sukenık (Slovakia), Eric Laithwaite (UK), Robert Baker (USA), John Brandenburg (USA), Whitt Brantley (USA), Andrew Beckwith (USA), Raymond Y. Chiao (USA), Rod Clark (USA), John Cramer (USA), Eric Davis (USA), Robert Forward (USA), Gustave Fralick (USA), J Gaines (USA), Bernard Haisch (USA), Jay Hammer (USA), Asit Kir (USA), Ron Koczor (USA), Jordan Maclay (USA), Paul March (USA), George Michael (USA), Peter Milonni (USA), Paul Murad (USA), Janis Niedra (USA), David Noever (USA), Richard Obousy (USA), Hal Puthoff (USA), Alfonso Reuda (USA), Center Richland (USA), Glen (Tony) Robertson (USA), Frederic Rounds (USA), L Sanderson (USA), Michael Serry (USA), Benjamin T. Solomon (USA), D.G. Torr (USA), Carlos Villareal (USA), Clive Woods (USA), and James Woodward (USA).

Solomon’s research began in 1999, and links of more than a decade of published conference & journal papers can be found at iSETI LLC[10] under ‘White Papers’ or one can request copies of his papers/presentations from the respective organizers. Having determined that there isn’t sufficient funding (either private or public) the Xodus One Foundation was set up specifically to continue this decades long tradition of investigation into gravity modification.

The funds will be used to provide grants to researchers in big science to investigate new RSQ (Relativity, String & Quantum theory) blind experiments as only big science has the multimillion dollar labs and equipment to conduct these RSQ blind experiments.

The Rational

The community of interstellar propulsion researchers can be categorized into three groups, those who believe it cannot be done (Nay Sayers Group – NSG), those who believe that it requires some advanced form of conventional rockets (Advanced Rocket Group – ARG), and those who believe that it needs new physics (New Physics Group – NPG).

Prof. Adam Franks stated in his July 24, 2012 New York Times Op-Ed, Alone in the Void[11], “Short of a scientific miracle of the kind that has never occurred, our future history for millenniums will be played out on Earth”. Obviously, logic dictates that the NSG will not deliver interstellar propulsion.

Some organizations that belong to the Advanced Rocket Group, include NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (BPP)[12], the Tau Zero Foundation[13] , The Icarus Project[14]. The empirical evidence of the Lorentz-FitzGerald Transformations (LFT) shows that the ARG approach would be limited by the velocity of light and therefore, it would take at least 4 years to reach our nearest star system Alpha Centauri A, B & Proxima Centauri. However others claim, using mathematical physics of quantum strings that it is possible to reach unimaginable velocities[15] .

The NPG on the other hand believe that existing theories cannot deliver interstellar propulsion technologies, because some of the findings of these theories conflict with the proven empirical data such as the Lorentz-FitzGerald Transformations (LFT). The correct term to describe these “theories” is “hypotheses” as they don’t have supporting empirical data and are unproven.

In his book An Introduction to Gravity Modification: A Guide to Using Laithwaite’s and Podkletnov’s Experiments and the Physics of Forces for Empirical Results, Second Edition[16] Solomon defined Gravity Modification as:

Gravity modification is defined as the modification of the strength and direction of the gravitational acceleration without the use of mass as the primary source of this modification, in local space time. It consists of field modulation and field vectoring. Field modulation is the ability to attenuate or amplify a force field. Field vectoring is the ability to change the direction of this force field.

And a succinct working definition is modification of acceleration without the use of mass. This, therefore, informs us that our contemporary RSQ (Relativity, String & Quantum) theories cannot deliver gravity modification physics or technologies as these RSQ theories require mass in their equations.

Therefore, a ‘new physics’ working definition for interstellar propulsion & interstellar travel would be destination arrival without effecting velocity or acceleration. Is this possible? The true answer is that we don’t know. The only way to find out is to research it, and therefore, the founding of the Xodus One Foundation to fund this research. Note, that unlike the Tau Zero Foundation which is focused on rocket/thrust based propulsion funding, the Xodus One Foundation is focused on new non-RSQ physics.

About, An Introduction to Gravity Modification

The book details Solomon’s 12-year research into the physics & engineering of gravity modification, and derived from his peer reviewed publications[17] [18] [19] [20] [21].

In his book Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty[22], the late CUNY Professor of Mathematics, Morris Kline, explains that mathematics has become so sophisticated that it can be used to prove anything. Therefore, the antidote to this is to stay close to the empirical data. Thus, Solomon’s 12-year research into what the empirical data can inform us about gravity & gravity modification.

With respect to gravity modification, Solomon’s two most important findings[23] [24] are:
1.The massless formula for gravitational acceleration, g=τc2 , where τ is the change in time dilation over a specific height divided by that height. Unlike quantum theory which requires a different particle for each type of force, g=τc2 is valid and works for gravitational, mechanical & electromagnetic accelerations; and by Occam’s Razor a better result than the Standard Model.
2. There exist a new property of Nature, the Non Inertia (Ni) Field. The Ni Field is defined as a spatial gradient of virtual or real velocities. In a gravitational field orbital velocities are virtual until a satellite is placed in orbit. In centripetal forces (circling stone tied by a string to a pivot) the tangential velocities along the string are real. And in electromagnetism the Ni Field is formed around an electron moving orthogonally to the magnetic field.

Therefore, with respect to gravity modification, a new physics has been found, and this new formula has been published for anyone and everyone to verify for themselves that it is true and correct. (Just note that these calculations have to be done to at least 50 decimal places else rounding errors will result in incorrect answers.)

Prof Eric Laithwaite’s Big Wheel Experiment

Professor Eric Laithwaite of Imperial College, London, in his 1974 address to the Royal Institution demonstrated that a 50lb (22.7kg) motorcycle spun to 5,000 rpm would lift as he rotated it about himself at the end of a 3 foot (1 meter) rod. Videos of his experiments can be found at Gyroscopes.Org[25] To date this has been considered illusory as no one in academia has been able to solve this using classical mechanics. However, ‘illusory’ does not address how the human wrist could carry a 50lb (22.7kg) motorcycle wheel at the end of a 3 foot (1 meter) rod. It is unfortunate that this is the same problem that Cambridge University & Imperial College London[26] avoided answering when commenting on Laithwiate’s experiments.

Using the new physics of Ni Fields, Solomon solved this. There is weight change and it is both upward & downward. The observed acceleration a is governed by the formula a=ωs.ωr.h1/2, where ωs is the spin of the wheel, ωr is the rotation of the spinning wheel about Laithwaite, and h1/2 is the square root of the hypotenuse formed by the radii of the spinning wheel, and the rotation about him.

This is a net effect as there are very strong forces acting on the wheel. These experiments should not be tried at home nor should these be conducted without professional supervision as the edge of 5,000 rpm spinning wheel is travelling at several hundred miles per hour.

The formula a=ωs.ωr.h1/2 shows that when the sense of the spin and rotation are the same the acceleration is towards the observer, and when not, away. Thus one can observe both weight gain and weight loss. The rotation is a critical factor and therefore, the Hayasaka & Takeuchi experiment [27] (weight decreases along the axis of a right spinning gyroscope) should give null results as rotation is not present in their experiments. Subsequently Chinese researchers [28] found null results, which is consistent with Solomon’s a=ωs.ωr.h1/2 .

Most importantly, we now have consistency across different experimental observations, and Laithwaite was correct. (Be careful, as far as one can infer none of the Laithwaite nay saysers conducted comparable experiments to disprove Laithwaite. There have been reports of NASA’s BBP having evaluated Laithwaites’s Big Wheel experiment with null findings, but it appears that such web links are no longer valid.)

Podkletnov’s Gravity Shielding Experiment

In 1992[29] & 1997[30], the Russian researcher Eugene Podkletnov claimed to have discovered, while experimenting with superconductors, that a spinning bilayer disc-shaped ceramic superconductor reduces the gravitational effect.

Many studies have attempted to reproduce Podkletnov’s experiment.[31][32] However, a careful read of these papers show that none of these teams were able to reproduce Podkletnov’s spinning ceramic superconducting disc as their discs would crack before they could reach the disc spins required by Podkletnov. Their conclusion should not have been negative results, it should have been experiments were not reproducible.

Solomon proposed that if correctly done a Ni Field is created that allows for weight change. In particular any hypothesis attempting to solve Podkletnov’s observed gravity shielding effect need to explain 4 observations[33], the stationary disc weight loss, spinning disc weight loss, weight loss increases along a radial distance and weight increase. None of the papers written about Podkletnov’s experiments have even begun to answer these observations.

Is Interstellar Propulsion Feasible?

Yes.

Given that the new physics of gravity modification has been discovered, one can only conclude that there is a new physics for interstellar propulsion. By the definition destination arrival without effecting velocity or acceleration one can be assured that to discover this physics we have to think outside the box.

Solomon proposed a starting point for this new physics in his paper New Evidence, Conditions, Instruments & Experiments for Gravitational Theories[34], published in the Journal of Modern Physics.

It would be great if we as a community can come together, fund and discover, this new interstellar propulsion physics.

References

[1] “Xodus One Foundation”.

[2] “Benjamin T Solomon”.

[3] “Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency”.

[4] “100 Year Starship Study”.

[5] “American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) Sci Tech 2014”.

[6] “International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Photonics West 2014”.

[7] “Colorado Space Business Roundtable (CSBR)”.

[8] “SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 13-020 CONCERNING THE RECOGNITION OF “COLORADO AEROSPACE DAY”.

[9]Sealover, Ed (March 24 2014). “Legislature declares Colorado Aerospace Day; criticizes feds for NASA cuts”. Denver Business Journal. Retrieved March 25 2014. Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)

[10] Solomon, Benjamin. “iSETI LLC”.

[11] Franks, Adam (July 24 2012). “Alone in the Void”. The New York Times. Retrieved July 24 2012. Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)

[12] “NASA Breakthrough Propulsion”.

[13] “Tau Zero Foundation”.

[14] “The Icarus Project”.

[15] Holmes, Dave (September 19, 2012). “Dr. Eric W. Davis on New Light-Speed Breaking Science”. G4 Media, LLC, A division of NBC Universal. Retrieved March 25 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

[16] Solomon, Benjamin (2012). An Introduction to Gravity Modification, A Guide to Using Laithwaite’s and Podkletnov’s Experiments and the Physics of Forces for Empirical Results, 2nd Edition. Boca Raton, FLorida, USA: Universal Publishers. ISBN 9781612330891.

[17] Solomon, Benjamin (August 27, 2013). “New Evidence, Conditions, Instruments & Experiments for Gravitational Theories”. Journal of Modern Physics. Volume 4 (8A). doi:10.4236/jmp.2013.48A018.

[18] Solomon, Benjamin (2011). “Gravitational Acceleration Without Mass And Noninertia Fields”. Physics Essays 24 (3): 327.

[19] Solomon, Benjamin (2011). “Reverse Engineering Podkletnov’s Experiments”. Physics Procedia. Space, Propulsion & Energy Sciences International Forum 20: 120-133.

[20] Solomon, Benjamin (16 March 2009). “An Approach to Gravity Modification as a Propulsion Technology”. AIP Proceedings. SPACE, PROPULSION & ENERGY SCIENCES INTERNATIONAL FORUM 1103. doi:10.1063/1.3115512.

[21] Solomon, Benjamin (28 January 2010). ““Non-Gaussian Photon Probability Distributions”. AIP Proceedings. SPACE, PROPULSION & ENERGY SCIENCES INTERNATIONAL FORMUM 1208: 261. doi:10.1063/1.3326254.

[22] Kline, Morris (1982). Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty. Oxford & New York: Ofxord University Press. ISBN 0-19-503085-0.

[23] Solomon, Benjamin (2011). “Gravitational Acceleration Without Mass And Noninertia Fields”. Physics Essays 24 (3): 327.

[24] Solomon, Benjamin (16 March 2009). “An Approach to Gravity Modification as a Propulsion Technology”. AIP Proceedings. SPACE, PROPULSION & ENERGY SCIENCES INTERNATIONAL FORUM 1103. doi:10.1063/1.3115512.

[25] “Gyroscopes.org”.

[26] Laithwiate’s Experiments “Laithwiate’s Experiments”. Imperial College London. Retrieved March 25 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

[27] Hayasaka, H. and Takeuchi, S. (1989). “Anomalous weight reduction on a gyroscope’s right rotations around the vertical axis on the Earth”. Physics Review Letters 63 (25): 2701–2704.

[28] Luo; Nie, Zhang, Zhou (2002). “Null result for violation of the equivalence principle with free-fall rotating gyroscopes”. Phys. Rev. D 65: 042005. Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)

[29] Podkletnov; Nieminen (1992). “A Possibility of Gravitational Force Shielding by Bulk YBa2Cu3O7-x Superconductor”. Physica C 203 (3): 441–444. Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)

[30] Podkletnov (1997). “Weak gravitational shielding properties of composite bulk YBa2Cu3O7-x superconductor below 70K under e.m. field”. lanl.gov.

[31] Woods, C., Cooke, S., Helme, J., and Caldwell, C., “Gravity Modification by High Temperature Superconductors,” Joint Propulsion Conference, AIAA 2001–3363, (2001).

[32] Hathaway, G., Cleveland, B., and Bao, Y., “Gravity Modification Experiment using a Rotating Superconducting Disc and Radio Frequency Fields,” Physica C, 385, 488–500, (2003).

[33] Solomon, Benjamin (March 2012). An Introduction to Gravity Modification: A guide to using Laithwaite’s and Podkletnov’s experiments and the physics of forces for empirical results. Boca Raton: Universal Publishers. p. 530. ISBN 9781612330891.

[34] Solomon, Benjamin (August 27, 2013). “New Evidence, Conditions, Instruments & Experiments for Gravitational Theories”. Journal of Modern Physics. Volume 4 (8A). doi:10.4236/jmp.2013.48A018.

100YSS A Success

I am very pleased to say that the 2013 100YSS conference held in Houston, TX, was a success. I met a lot of like minded people – people who want to make interstellar travel a reality – though we differ in our opinions of when.

I was especially pleased to be able to visit with Mae Jemison, Jill Tarter and Pamela Contag. These three are amazing, shepherding us along. Shepherding us? Yes, are a loose collection of visionaries going every which way.

Mae Jemison

Jill Tarter

Pamela Contag

Gravity Modification – What Is The Record?

If, we as a community, are intending to accelerate the development of interstellar travel we have to glower at the record and ask ourselves some tough questions. First, what is the current record of the primary players? Second, why is everyone afraid to try something outside the status quo theories?

At the present time the primary players are associated with the DARPA funded 100-Year Starship Study, as Icarus Interstellar who is cross linked with The Tau Zero Foundation and Centauri Dreams is a team member of the 100YSS. I was surprised to find Jean-Luc Cambier on Tau Zero.

Gary Church recently put the final nail in the Icarus Interstellar‘s dreams to build a rocket ship for interstellar travel. In his post on Lifeboat, Cosmic Ray Gorilla Gary Church says “it is likely such a shield will massive over a thousand tons”. Was he suggesting that the new cost of an interstellar rocket ship is not 3.4x World GDP but 34x or 340x World GDP? Oops!

Let us look at the record. Richard Obousy of Icarus Interstellar and Eric Davis of Institute for Advanced Studies claimed that it was possible, using string theories to travel at not just c, the velocity of light but at 1E32c, or c multiplied by a 1 followed by 32 zeros. However, Lorentz-FitzGerald transformations show that anything with mass cannot travel faster than the velocity of light. Note that Lorentz-FitzGerald is an empirical observation which was incorporated into Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.

It is quite clear that you can use string theories to say anything you want. I used the term ‘mathematical conjecture’.

In April 2008 the esteemed Michio Kaku said in his Space Show interview, that it would take several hundred years to do gravity modification.  But Michio Kaku is a string theorist himself. And I might add down to Earth one at that, since his opinion contradicts Richard Obousy and Eric Davis.

Then there is George Hathaway also with the Tau Zero Foundation who could not reproduce Podkletnov’s experiments, even when he was in communication with Podkletnov.

And this is the one group our astronaut Mae Jemison, leader of the 100YSS effort, has teamed up with? My sincerest condolences to you Mae Jemison. Sincerest condolences.

For the answer to the second question, you have to look within yourselves.

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Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.

The Kline Directive: Technological Feasibility (2a)

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In this set of posts I discuss three concepts. If implemented these concepts have the potential to bring about major changes in our understanding of the physical Universe. But first a detour.

In my earlier post I had suggested that both John Archibald Wheeler and Richard Feynman, giants of the physics community, could have asked different questions (what could we do differently?) regarding certain solutions to Maxwell’s equations, instead of asking if retrocausality could be a solution.

I worked 10 years for Texas Instruments in the 1980s & 1990s. Corporate in Dallas, had given us the daunting task of raising our Assembly/Test yields from 83% to 95%, within 3 years, across 6,000 SKUs (products), with only about 20+ (maybe less) engineers, and no assistance from Dallas. Assembly/Test skills had moved offshore, therefore, Dallas was not in a position to provide advice.  I look back now and wonder how Dallas came up with the 95% number.

Impossibly daunting because many of our product yields were in the 70+%. We had good engineers and managers. The question therefore was how do you do something seemingly impossible, without changing your mix of people, equipment and technical skills sets?

Let me tell you the end first. We achieved 99% to 100% Assembly/Test yields across the board for 6,000 SKUs within 3 years. And this, in a third world nation not known for any remarkable scientific or engineering talent! I don’t have to tell you what other lessons we learned from this as it should be obvious. So me telling Dr. David Neyland, of DARPA’s TTOI’ll drop a zero” at the first 100YSS conference in 2011, still holds.

How did we do it? For my part I was responsible for Engineering Yield (IT) Systems, test operation cost modeling for Overhead Transfer Pricing, and tester capacity models to figure out how to increase test capacity. But the part that is relevant to this discussion was team work. We organized the company into teams, brought in consultants to teach what team work was and how to arrive at and execute operational and business decisions as teams.

And one of the keys to team work was to allow anyone and everyone to speak up. To voice their opinions. To ask questions, no matter how strange or silly those questions appeared to be. To never put down another person because he/she had different views.

Everyone from the managing director of the company down to the production operators were organized into teams. Every team had to meet once a week. To ask those questions. To seek those answers. That was some experience, working with and in those teams. We found things we did not know or understand about our process. That in turn set off new & old teams to go figure! We understood the value of a matrix type organization.

As a people not known for any remarkable scientific and engineering talent, we did it! Did the impossible. I learned many invaluable lessons from my decade at Texas Instruments that I’ll never forget and will always be grateful for.

My Thanksgiving this year is that I am thankful I had the opportunity to work for Texas Instruments when I did.

So I ask, in the spirit of the Kline Directive, can we as a community of physicists and engineers come together, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not, to make interstellar travel a reality within our lifetimes?

Previous post in the Kline Directive series.

Next post in the Kline Directive series.

—————————————————————————————————

Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.

The Kline Directive: Technological Feasibility (1)

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Technological Feasibility. At the end of the day that is the only thing that matters. If a hypothesis is not able to vindicate itself with empirical evidence it will not become technologically feasible. If it is not technologically feasible then it stands no chance of becoming commercially viable.

If we examine historical land, air and space speed records, we can construct and estimate of velocities that future technologies can achieve, aka technology forecasting. See table below for some of the speed records.

Year Fastest Velocity Craft Velocity (km/h) Velocity (m/s)
2006 Escape Earth New Horizons 57,600 16,000
1976 Capt. Eldon W. Joersz and Maj. George T. Morgan Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird 3,530 980
1927 Car land speed record (not jet engine) Mystry 328 91
1920 Joseph Sadi-Lecointe Nieuport-Delage NiD 29 275 76
1913 Maurice Prévost Deperdussin Monocoque 180 50
1903 Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk Wright Aircraft 11 3

A quick and dirty model derived from the data shows that we could achieve velocity of light c by 2151 or the late 2150s. See table below.

Year Velocity (m/s) % of c
2200 8,419,759,324 2808.5%
2152 314,296,410 104.8%
2150 274,057,112 91.4%
2125 49,443,793 16.5%
2118 30,610,299 10.2%
2111 18,950,618 6.3%
2100 8,920,362 3.0%
2075 1,609,360 0.5%
2050 290,351 0.1%
2025 52,384 0.0%

The extrapolation suggests that on our current rate of technological innovation we won’t achieve light speed until the late 2150s. The real problem is that we won’t achieve 0.1c until 2118! This is more than 100-years from today.

In my opinion this rate of innovation is too slow. Dr. David Neyland, of DARPA’s TTO was the driving force behind DARPA’s contribution to the 100-year Starship Study. When I met up with Dr. David Neyland during the first 100YSS conference, Sept. 30 to Oct 2, 2011, I told him “I’ll drop a zero”.  That is I expect interstellar travel to be achievable in decades not centuries. And to ramp up our rate of technological innovation we need new theories and new methods of sifting through theories.

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Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.