I state that it is possible to accelerate a closed system (box on frictionless surface Fig 0a, or a spaceship) by accelerating a interior mass M1 (fig 0b) so that it travels “forward” until it collides with the box’s interior wall (Fig 0c) pushing the box forward.
I also state that the cycle can be repeated with the box gaining acceleration with every collision.
When I affirm we can make a closed system (in this example a airtight box) gain acceleration by means of some “clever mechanism” inside the box without expelling mass from the box, you are correct in being mistrustful because every engineer and/or scientist to whom the idea is presented will initially state very forcefully that:
is not possible because it contradicts the laws of
2- Many inventors have previously proposed systems that never worked when/if tested.
Therefore a “I’ll believe when I see it ” skeptical attitude is quite appropriate, a scientist has the right (duty) to be skeptical of any proposition that apparently contradicts a physical principle/law, but when a proposal can be demonstrated in a experiment that is both valid and reliable, it cannot be dismissed no mater how “fundamental” a idea/principle/method/law it is in apparent conflict with.
Designing a Valid Experiment.
Ideally any proposal of a propellantless propulsion system should be tested in a micro gravity environment, as the international space station is not available (for me) I have constructed the test assembly setup as described in the following illustrations.
First a “closed system” where we can put the mechanisms we wish to test, in this case a transparent airtight box, transparent so we can observe what is happening inside and airtight so there is no interaction with the air outside the system (any small orifice could create an invisible jet that may produce a false positive).
The transparent airtight box must be able to move with minimal friction, to that end we balance the box from a tall ceiling, when the test rig is balanced (with the apparatus to test inside the box) and at rest (Fig 2a) we turn on the apparatus to be tested, if a force is generated the test assembly will rotate around its rotation axis, said force can be estimated by the change in the box’s position after n seconds (Fig 2b)
Fig 2a Fig 2b
Simple Dynamic Tests Rig II
A square aluminum frame (2m) is attached by 4 cables to a long cord hung from the ceiling; this setup permits the frame to rotate on its central axis with minimal friction.
On one end of the aluminum frame we have the transparent airtight box (Fig 1) that will serve as our closed system, at the opposite side a ballast (counter weight) for balance. The assembly has freedom to rotate around the rotation axis (fig 3).
Test 1 (car in box)
To illustrate the effect a mass interacting inside a closed system (the transparent box), we will first use a toy R/C car (Fig 4), when the toy car (internal mass) is turned on it gains acceleration by directly interacting with the transparent box (fig 7).
Figs 5 and 6 show the toy car’s initial position at rest, at this moment all the elements on the test bed are at rest.
If we turn on the car’s wheels in a counter clockwise direction, the car will move in the –X direction and the transparent box moves in the +X direction making the frame rotate in the counter clockwise or +X direction, fig 7 shows a side view of the described actions, fig 8 shows a top view of the actions portrayed.
The frame will continue to rotate in the +X direction until the car collides with the transparent box’s inner –X surface (fig 9) excreting a force (F1), that cancels the frame’s rotation.
If we reverse the toy car’s direction the objects will return to their original position. It is not possible to give the frame a constant angular acceleration by any combination of movements we command the toy car to perform, at most we can obtain a cyclical clockwise/anticlockwise oscillation, but the frame will not gain rotational velocity.
The toy car’s motor is attached to the wheels in such a manner that any intent of acceleration the car in any direction will push the transparent box in the opposite direction, we can replace the toy car with a little cart (box on wheels) that has NO MOTOR and the wheels axis are as frictionless as possible, so it is free to accelerate in any direction WHEN A FORCE IS APPLIED ON IT.
We can try various methods to accelerate the little cart.
If we accelerate the little cart with a “pushing arm” (fig
We can accelerate the little cart without directly pushing
against the transparent box if by a mechanism we expel a ball (fig
(A more detailed presentation of methods A, B, C and D can be seen here see figs 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
We can try to accelerate the little cart INDEPENDENTLY of the box by other methods that have previously been proposed like a pendulum drive (fig 10 E)
We can also try various counter rotating masses devices (Fig
Let’s do something different
If we replace the toy car with a propeller car (Fig 11), the wheels of the propeller car are “free moving” and as frictionless as possible. If the propellers are turned on the “car” is set in motion by the collision of air molecules and propeller.
Figs 12 and 13 illustrate the test bed’s elements in their initial position at the start of the experiment, the propeller car is positioned against the transparent box’s inner +X side.
We will use the R/C control to create a 3 part cycle (1-blow air in the +X direction, 2-blow air in the –X direction, 3-collition of car and box’s inner +X wall)
Part 1: We turn on the propellers so they blow air in the +X direction against the transparent box’s inner +X side, this results in two actions: (Figs 14 and 15)
1-The propellers collision with surrounding air molecules propel the propeller car in the –X direction (fig 14 ∆2)
2-Collisions of air molecules against the transparent box’s inner +X wall give the box a slight acceleration in the +X direction (fig 14 ∆1) and the frame rotates counter clock wise (fig 15).
Part 2: As soon as the propeller car moves a few centimeters in the –X direction, the propellers direction is inverted so that air is blown in the –X direction, this makes the car change direction and accelerate in the +X direction (figs 15 ∆3 and fig 16).
We observe that although the frame’s counter clock wise rotation slows slightly it does not stop (fig 17).
Part 3: the propeller car collides with the transparent box’s inner +X (figs 18 and 19) giving a hard “bump” that increments the frame’s counter clock wise rotation velocity.
When we repeat the cycle, we will see an increment in the frame’s counter clock wise rotation with every collision.
Video of a “quick and dirty” setup.
Why does this work (or what happened to
We must remember that the propeller car in not the only object inside the box, there are also billions and billions of very small fast moving gas (air) particles that are constantly colliding against each other and the container’s wall (Fig 20).
When we activate the propellers (fig 21), the spinning blades will collide with air particles (Fig 21), every collision will result in two opposite forces, F1 pushes against the propeller blade and F2 that propels the colliding particle a in the opposite direction.
Every collision transfers momentum to the “propeller car”
that accelerates in the “forward” direction, for every collision a particle is
propelled in the opposite (backwards) direction,
As the particles travel in the “backwards” direction they have a strong chance of colliding multiple times with the billions of air particles, and every collision obeys Newton’s law (equal and opposite forces) but the particle’s vector tend to randomize therefore the resulting force against the box’s rear wall is inversely proportional to the distance between the source of the breeze and the rear surface.
This document is a work in progress
Using balancing masses behavior
to deduce the force on an objet has been done previously on many occasions, Henry Cavendish used
similar methodology in 1798 to determine the gravitational constant G and demonstrate
To control the propeller motor (on-off-left spin-right spin) it is best to use a RC controller so that no external cables protrude from the assembly. (use same method to activate any mechanism to be tested)
Obtain an inexpensive toy RC car or other toy
Remove the RC circuit (generally includes the battery compartment) (fig 23)
Connect the control wires of one of the toys motors (most have two or more) to the propeller motor, in this example a normal LEGO motor (fig 24)
This setup will control the propellers direction remotely.