Assuming the thrust measured by the EmDrive isn't due to error and it is violating some laws of physics:

Is it possible for one go about exploiting those violations to create infinite free energy? How?

Assuming the small measured effect cannot be improved upon:

Would friction be a limiting factor given modern material science?

What would a power plant tasked with supplying the entire world's current demand for energy require to build? Land area, materials etc.


closed as too broad by Youstay Igo, o.m., Separatrix, bowlturner, The Anathema Mar 25 '16 at 17:27

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  • $\begingroup$ Hello zwerdlds, welcome to Worldbuilding. Unfortunately, a question like this doesn't really belong on Worldbuilding SE. We're asking and answering questions that come from the building of fictional worlds for stories or game settings, but what you are asking regards a controversial real-world theory. $\endgroup$ – o.m. Mar 25 '16 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ @o.m. I believe that the first line of the question sets it into Sci-Fi territory, no? $\endgroup$ – BRPocock Mar 25 '16 at 17:01
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    $\begingroup$ @o.m. Speculating on how a new technology might affect society (speculative fiction) is a significant component to world building. I also think it's posted here since it almost certainly would be closed on physics. The chances of the EmDrive actually working (being ground breaking new physics) are very very small. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Mar 25 '16 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ @BRPocock, not really, because a sci-fi question would spell out the fictional science of the setting. $\endgroup$ – o.m. Mar 25 '16 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim2B, if the question is not about hard data, it should specify a perpetual mobile power plant, not ask for the size. $\endgroup$ – o.m. Mar 25 '16 at 17:05

If the EmDrive (or any RF type drive) were to be made feasible, it still has a (high) net energy cost.

The concept is that the radio frequency (EM) energy would be pushed around some type of specially-shaped nacelle to produce a thrust effect, without expelling a propellant like a jet or rocket motor. The energy, though, is still be expended, and radiated off (typically as heat and other EM waves, eg, microwave radiation).

None of the EmDrive-type (Cannae, RF cavity, etc) devices I've seen imagined has been meant to create power, only to perform a (heretofore impossible) conversion directly from EM → kinetic force.

(It seems likely that the “thrust” measurements reported in a couple of tests may be an effect of the attraction of the resonating cavity to its own power supply, actually.)

Disclaimer: I am not a physicist at all.

  • $\begingroup$ No worries. Conversion of energy into thrust doesn't make sense from a units perspective either. It would be like saying I'm converting the length of a football field into the speed of my car. It's nonsensical. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Mar 25 '16 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ Well, one can convert magnetic attraction into a motive force, so there's certainly a vague sort of precedent for things like that. The unbalanced-ness is the real freak show, here, though, I think: magnets, gravity, et al. pull two things together/apart, never affect only one thing in one direction. $\endgroup$ – BRPocock Mar 25 '16 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ It's just occurred to me (perhaps I'm particularly stupid) that this is an exact analogue to “pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps” $\endgroup$ – BRPocock Mar 25 '16 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ If we could figure out a quantum diode that would cause quantum foam energy that is temporarily higher at one point than at another, we'd have either free energy or a lot of burned out diodes. $\endgroup$ – Howard Miller Mar 25 '16 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ Is that effectively the Stargate (TV) “ZPM”? $\endgroup$ – BRPocock Mar 25 '16 at 17:21

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