This weeks story for the roundup is quite strange. Apparently there has been news going round for quite a while about a NASA experiment, although I hadn’t heard of it, that seemed to show a force being exerted without any resultant. Everyone was very sceptical because this is a ridiculous idea. This is directly contradicting Newton’s Third Law of Motion which in a way is more important than the rest because it describes the conservation of momentum which is never, ever, ever broken. Now the paper itself has just been released a day ago and so it has now been peer reviewed to see if it is just talking nonsense. The experiment describes a force being measured on one of the most sensitive torsion pendulum (a pendulum that spins rather that swings) in the world when it is suspended in a radio wave chamber that is also a vacuum chamber. From reading the paper there is nothing obviously wrong with the experiment it’s just questionable whether performing this experiment will actually provide the promised results. If it is true, and there is no need for a a backwards momentum change when a force is generated forwards this could be the greatest discovery this century on a level with Volta noticing that energy flows when copper and zinc are submerged in acid or Newton realising that it is the same force that holds the Earth round the sun; the Moon round the Earth; and that which makes the apple fall. My own personal view is that they’ve done something wrong. Admittedly I can’t see what it is but there should be something massive moving a tiny bit to generate the force. It’s a bit like when an object falls, although it seems like its downwards momentum is coming from nowhere the Earth actually moves upwards but only an incredibly small amount. Hopefully either another group will reproduce the results or someone will find a flaw in the methodologists to resolve this issue. When it happens I will be sure to write a post on it.
Until tomorrow, goodnight.