It is one of the most fundamental laws of physics: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. We all learned it in high school. It’s a principle we use every day, just by existing. And it might just have been proven to be completely wrong in a lab.
This requires some explaining. Space travel has a problem, which is that you need to generate thrust to go anywhere. Thrust requires force, generally created by burning fuel of some sort, and that fuel is generally heavy. There’s also the problem of getting anywhere once the fuel runs out, which has limited our space travel ambitions somewhat.
Enter Guido Fetta, a chemical engineer, and his “Cannae Drive.” He created what he calls a “superconducting resonating cavity.” Supposedly, it traps electrons and as you blast it with microwaves, more electrons push up against the cavity than down out of it, generating thrust.
Just to be clear about something: This shouldn’t work. This should be filed under the same category as perpetual motion machines and pyramid power as complete and utter psuedoscientific crankery. But NASA, reluctantly, tested it… and it works.
The implications of this are staggering, if the results hold up… and it’s worth noting a Chinese team tested it out in 2009 and also got results that were dismissed. First of all, it just needs electricity; thus, all the drive would need would be some solar panels to function. It would cut the weight, and thus the thrust needed, substantially. It has few moving parts, so in theory, bar a failure of hardware, it would literally offer thrust forever.
We’re not talking a ton of force, here: Your phone pulling at your hand has more energy. And it doesn’t appear to have been tested in a vacuum, so there might be a principle here we don’t know about. But the point is… there’s thrust in the first place, contrary to everything we know about physics, and this has the potential to, quite literally, change the world.