NASA and warp drive: An update

25/04/2015 There is some excitement in the net about some news of Harold White’s experiment at NASA. I have uncovered it by chance at a forum. This is a well-frequented site with people at NASA posting on it and regularly updating about the work that they are carrying out. You can also have noticed some activity in the Wikipedia’s pages about it (see here at the section on EmDrive and here). Wikipedia’s section on EmDrive explains in a few lines what is going on. Running a laser inside the RF cavity of the device they observed an unusual effect. They do not know yet if this could be better explained by more mundane reasons like air heating inside the cavity itself. They will repeat the measurements in a vacuum chamber to exclude such a possibility. I present here some of the slides used by White to recount about this NASA White ExperimentNASA White experimentNASA White experimentThis is the current take by Dr. White as reported by one of his colleagues too prone to leak on nasaspaceflight forum:

 …to be more careful in declaring we’ve observed the first lab based space-time warp signal and rather say we have observed another non-negative results in regards to the current still in-air WFI tests, even though they are the best signals we’ve seen to date. It appears that whenever we talk about warp-drives in our work in a positive way, the general populace and the press reads way too much into our technical disclosures and progress.

I would like to remember that White is not using exotic matter at all. Rather, he is working with strong RF fields to try to develop a warp bubble. This was stated here even if implicitly. Finally, an EmDrive device has been properly described here. Using strong external fields to modify locally a space-time has been described here. If this will be confirmed in the next few months, it will represent a major breakthrough in experimental general relativity since Eddington  confirmed the bending of light near the sun. Applications would follow if this idea will appear scalable but it will be a shocking result anyway. We look forward to hear from White very soon.

Marco Frasca (2005). Strong coupling expansion for general relativity Int.J.Mod.Phys.D15:1373-1386,2006 arXiv: hep-th/0508246v3

Looking for the Lucasian Professor


Michael Green, the current Lucasian Professor, is now 67 and Cambridge University is looking for his substitute (see here). It is interesting that Wikipedia is now reporting rumours from researchers at DAMPT (see here)

As of 3rd April 2014, the University of Cambridge is recruiting the 19th Lucasian Professor. Rumour amongst DAMPT researchers is that the process is a required formality, but that unless there’s a last minute surprise the Lucasian Professorship will be held for the first time by a woman. It may also be the first time that the chair is not held by somebody born in the British Isles.

Wikipedia is generally not doing gossip so I report this here because I think this will not last too long. Anyhow, the procedure will be brief. The candidates should send their CV for 15 April and the chosen one should take up the appointment on 1 September this year.  I would like to remember that this is a really prestigious chair held by Newton, Dirac and Hawking to name just a few. Surely, Cambridge University will choose for the best once again.

“Please do not believe the blogs”


CERN does not confirm rumors that were spreading about Higgs particle  in the blogosphere recently (see here). We have not to wait too long anyway as ICHEP is just a few days ahead.

Update: CERN confirms that curtain will be raised at ICHEP on 4th July (see here for the official news).

Today great news!


A couple of fundamental great news, well one is just a rumor, is hitting scientific community today.

Higgs search

At Paris Conference, Gigi Rolandi addressed his talk on combination for LHC and Tevatron. This picture has been waited for a long time since the excellent work of Phil Gibbs at his blog (see here for an account of this). So far, this combination accounted just for a 2.3\ fb^{-1} luminosity and what is obtained is that no excess greater than 2\sigma is observed on all the range starting from 114 GeV to near 600 GeV. I give here, as done by other bloggers, the picture

Now, the most promising region seems to be at high mass but we are always around 2\sigma. The great news here, but it is an uncontrolled rumor, is given at Jester’s blog: Also with 5\ fb^{-1} no excess greater than 2\sigma is seen in the low mass region! Standard model Higgs seems to be ruled out and the physics here is somewhat different. My view is that if it is proven true that such a scalar particle exists and has a high mass, something unacceptable so far for the standard model, also supersymmetry will be proven true (see here).


OPERA Collaboration confirmed their measurements on the speed of neutrinos. This is a major breakthrough in physics and a new version of their preprint is appeared on arXiv today (see here).  This will soon be published on JHEP. So, no more discussions whatsoever but the last word is left to other independent measurements. This is really a breaking news for physics and my personal view is that this should represent a first example of a measurement that could have some impact in the area of quantum gravity. For a fine account, as usual, you can read here.

These are the promises for exciting time ahead. Stay tuned!

Update: Dennis Overbye commented on OPERA new results on New York Times (see here). A few comments from reputable scientists are worth reading.

Marco Frasca (2010). Mass generation and supersymmetry arXiv arXiv: 1007.5275v2

The OPERA Collaboraton: T. Adam, N. Agafonova, A. Aleksandrov, O. Altinok, P. Alvarez Sanchez, A. Anokhina, S. Aoki, A. Ariga, T. Ariga, D. Autiero, A. Badertscher, A. Ben Dhahbi, A. Bertolin, C. Bozza, T. Brugière, R. Brugnera, F. Brunet, G. Brunetti, S. Buontempo, B. Carlus, F. Cavanna, A. Cazes, L. Chaussard, M. Chernyavsky, V. Chiarella, A. Chukanov, G. Colosimo, M. Crespi, N. D’Ambrosio, G. De Lellis, M. De Serio, Y. Déclais, P. del Amo Sanchez, F. Di Capua, A. Di Crescenzo, D. Di Ferdinando, N. Di Marco, S. Dmitrievsky, M. Dracos, D. Duchesneau, S. Dusini, J. Ebert, I. Efthymiopoulos, O. Egorov, A. Ereditato, L. S. Esposito, J. Favier, T. Ferber, R. A. Fini, T. Fukuda, A. Garfagnini, G. Giacomelli, M. Giorgini, M. Giovannozzi, C. Girerd, J. Goldberg, C. Göllnitz, D. Golubkov, L. Goncharov, Y. Gornushkin, G. Grella, F. Grianti, E. Gschwendtner, C. Guerin, A. M. Guler, C. Gustavino, C. Hagner, K. Hamada, T. Hara, M. Hierholzer, A. Hollnagel, M. Ieva, H. Ishida, K. Ishiguro, K. Jakovcic, C. Jollet, M. Jones, F. Juget, M. Kamiscioglu, J. Kawada, S. H. Kim, M. Kimura, E. Kiritsis, N. Kitagawa, B. Klicek, J. Knuesel, K. Kodama, M. Komatsu, U. Kose, I. Kreslo, C. Lazzaro, J. Lenkeit, A. Ljubicic, A. Longhin, A. Malgin, G. Mandrioli, J. Marteau, T. Matsuo, N. Mauri, A. Mazzoni, E. Medinaceli, F. Meisel, A. Meregaglia, P. Migliozzi, S. Mikado, D. Missiaen, K. Morishima, U. Moser, M. T. Muciaccia, N. Naganawa, T. Naka, M. Nakamura, T. Nakano, Y. Nakatsuka, V. Nikitina, F. Nitti, S. Ogawa, N. Okateva, A. Olchevsky, O. Palamara, A. Paoloni, B. D. Park, I. G. Park, A. Pastore, L. Patrizii, E. Pennacchio, H. Pessard, C. Pistillo, N. Polukhina, M. Pozzato, K. Pretzl, F. Pupilli, R. Rescigno, F. Riguzzi, T. Roganova, H. Rokujo, G. Rosa, I. Rostovtseva, A. Rubbia, A. Russo, O. Sato, Y. Sato, J. Schuler, L. Scotto Lavina, J. Serrano, A. Sheshukov, H. Shibuya, G. Shoziyoev, S. Simone, M. Sioli, C. Sirignano, G. Sirri, J. S. Song, M. Spinetti, L. Stanco, N. Starkov, S. Stellacci, M. Stipcevic, T. Strauss, S. Takahashi, M. Tenti, F. Terranova, I. Tezuka, V. Tioukov, P. Tolun, N. T. Tran, S. Tufanli, P. Vilain, M. Vladimirov, L. Votano, J. -L. Vuilleumier, G. Wilquet, B. Wonsak, J. Wurtz, C. S. Yoon, J. Yoshida, Y. Zaitsev, S. Zemskova, & A. Zghiche (2011). Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam arXiv arXiv: 1109.4897v2

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