Thanks Nils for finding this one. It raises more red flags and questions than it answers. I am sure i twill create a lot of discussion. If it works, out it could have a major impact on space travel and terrestrial travel. There are also some energy saving possibilities .This science is above my pay scale but I am sure many others and Simon will have some worthwhile comments. From their plan I believe the business roll out may be a little impractical, but good luck to them.
The information comes from a crowd funding campaign to help build a prototype
Superconducting Levitation Thruster
Self-levitating reaction less thruster, 9 times more powerful than the Space Shuttle main engine
Although this is not directly This superconducting thruster was invented by Dr. Athanassios Nassikas, a professor formally with the Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly, Greece (recently retired). Early in 2015 professor Nassikas filed a patent application on his idea and the next step is to construct and test a proof of concept of this thruster, and this is where we need your Indiegogo crowd funding help.
Calculations indicate that the test thruster we intend to build should develop a thrust about 13.6 times the thruster’s own weight. In other words, a group of these thrusters could easily lift a vehicle off the ground. This thrust-to-weight ratio is about 9 times that of the Space Shuttle main engine! A more practical production version should be capable of generating thrusts even 20 times greater at liquid nitrogen temperatures.
How the Nassikas thruster-II works
The Nassikas thruster-II is basically a superconducting coil that has a slight taper so that it has the form of a frustrated cone, rather than a cylinder; see diagram below (Fig. 1). The coil is wound from high temperature superconducting tape (such as REBCO CC tape). When energized with an electrical current from an energizer, a very high amperage current begins to flow in the coil windings (~ 200 amps per square millimeter) and this generates a very strong magnetic field oriented in the direction of the coil’s axis. This field is several times higher in the vicinity of the coil’s superconducting windings as compared with its center.
Fig. 1. A cross sectional view of the Nassikas thruster-II superconducting coil.
The magnetic field surrounding the coil’s windings will penetrate into them to some extent and will interact with the high current flowing there. This interaction produces a very strong force called a Lorentz force, which is oriented at right angles to both the direction of the current and the direction of the magnetic field; see outward pointing arrow F sub L in Figure 1. This is very straight forward, something that any physicist or electrical engineer will attest to. Also it is something that designers of superconducting coils are very wary of because if this outward pushing force is too strong it can rip the coil apart.
Because superconducting coils are normally wound as cylinders, their Lorentz forces will push radially outward on the sides of the coil and oppose one another, resulting only in a stress attempting to radially expand the coil but counteracted by the tensile strength of the coil’s windings. This is something known by all engineers who wind superconducting coils. However, in the case of the Nassikas thruster, which has a conical shape, there should also be a thrust component resultant that is directed along the axis of the coil in its vertical direction pushing in the direction of the coil’s narrow end; see force vector F sub A in Fig. 1. Because there is no opposing force to counterbalance this force, the coil should develop a net thrust that should tend to propel it upward. This should not manifest merely as a static stress in the coil itself, but should actually levitate the coil.
The test coil we intend to have made will have an outside diameter of 16 centimeters (6.3″) and a taper of 3°. Since the purpose is only to demonstrate the coil’s ability to produce a propulsive thrust, we are designing it with fewer windings than would be used in a marketable version. Hence the current density and magnetic field intensities will be lower than those quoted above. Computer calculations performed by our coil manufacturer subcontractor show that at liquid nitrogen temperatures the coil should achieve a current density of 70 amperes per square millimeter in its windings and should produce a reasonably strong magnetic field in the vicinity of those windings. Lorentz force calculations indicate that this lower thrust version should generate an axial propulsive force of 66 kilograms. The coil together with its dewar flask filled with liquid nitrogen should weigh about 5 kilograms. Hence the thruster is predicted to produce a levitation force over 13 times greater than its weight.
Remember the above calculations are based on standard physics (the cross product of current and magnetic flux density). So even if our test shows that these computer model calculations have been overly optimistic even by a factor of ten, it should still be possible to produce more powerful versions that have the capability of levitating a heavy payload.
For our test we intend to have the thruster and its liquid nitrogen dewar suspended by a cord from the ceiling of our subcontractor’s laboratory facility. The thruster coil inside the dewar would have its axis oriented in a horizontal position. So once cooled down and energized it should produce a lateral force. We will measure this force with an electronic balance oriented sideways so that the dewar and its coil would exert a force on the balance, the force being transferred through a rigid styrofoam spacer block. If the coil shows an over unity thrust to weight ratio, we plan to test it in a vertical orientation to show that it can levitate. Provided that the liquid nitrogen test is successful, and that we have extra money available from our crowd funding campaign, we plan to conduct a similar test with the coil immersed in a larger liquid helium dewar (4° Kelvin temperature) which is expected to cause it to exhibit far more thrust.
More About Our Already Tested Low Thrust Version: The Nassikas thruster-I
The Nassikas superconducting thruster I (version 1) was invented some years ago by professor Nassikas as an outgrowth of a physics theory he had been working on regarding the nature of the quantum vacuum (Nassikas, 2010, 2012, 2015). It consists of a hollow conical nozzle casting made from a high temperature superconductor with a permanent magnet fixed at the narrow end of its throat; see Figure 2. For his previous experiments he forged the nozzle from YBCO (Yttrium Barium Copper Oxide) and utilized a 0.5 Tesla permanent magnet fixed within it. The thruster measures about 5 cm in diameter and 4.2 cm in length to the tip of its magnet. Together with its magnet, it weighs 118 grams. Pendulum tests similar to the one shown in the video below have demonstrated that it generates a force of 2.2 grams (21 milliNewtons).
Fig. 2. A cross sectional view of the Nassikas thruster-I.
To understand how the Nassikas thruster-I works, we must first learn about Meissner forces, a subject which is standard physics. When a superconductor is cooled below its critical temperature (e.g., by immersing it in liquid nitrogen), it impedes external magnetic fields from entering its interior. That is, “super currents” are generated within the superconductor which produce a mirror field that repulsively opposes any external magnetic fields. This repulsive force has been called the Meissner effect force. This is the force that levitates maglev trains. That is, the superconductor plates on the bottom of a maglev train repel the upward pointing magnetic field produced by magnets embedded in the rail and as a result the train is made to float above its track.
Now, what Prof. Nassikas has done is find a way of attaching the magnet to the superconductor and thereby producing a net propulsive force. The “secret” behind this is that his thruster is able to produce unbalanced Meissner forces. Referring to Figure 2, it is seen that the magnetic field from the attached permanent magnet surrounds the superconductor nozzle producing Meissner effect forces both on the surface within the nozzle’s throat as well as on the nozzle’s exterior surface. These forces, however, are unbalanced. Because the magnet’s lines of flux are more concentrated in the nozzle’s throat, the outward directed forces dFsub1 pushing against the nozzle interior will be much greater than the inward directed forces dFsub2 pushing against the nozzle’s exterior surface. Hence dFsub1 >> dFsub2. As a result, when all these opposing force components are accounted for, it is found that a net resultant force remains which is directed toward the nozzle’s narrow end. It turns out that this resultant force is able to displace the nozzle as a whole, i.e., cause it to accelerate. These is not a stress force acting within the superconductor, this is a propulsive force.
In other words, although the permanent magnet is creating this magnetic field, the magnetic field itself is not rigidly attached to the magnet; it resides in the space around the magnet and the superconductor and is able to act in a manner free of attachments to this magnet. As a result, the net Meissner effect force it produces on the superconductor is able to propel the superconductor relative to the instantaneous space reference frame. As the superconductor moves forward, so does the attached magnet and the Meissner-effect-generating magnetic field. So, if left free in space where temperatures are cool enough to keep the thruster in its superconducting state, the thruster should accelerate indefinitely.
Now some physicists might complain, does this not violate the law of energy conservation? Where does the energy come from that propels the thruster? We maintain that it comes from quantum space-time itself, which is similar to what physicists call the quantum vacuum. Dr. Nassikas has explained this in various publications listed in the reference section below. In effect, we propose that the Nassikas thruster taps into the quantum vacuum prime mover, or what Nikola Tesla referred to as harnessing the wheelwork of Nature.
Furthermore one must realize that when it comes to imposing the standard teachings of physics, the subject of how superconductors interact with external fields constitutes a gray area. Currently a unified theory does not exist that describes what happens both outside a superconductor as well as inside. Physics relies on Maxwell’s equations to describe field phenomena in space outside of a superconductor and on the London equations to describe phenomena occurring in the thin outer layer of the superconductor within its “London penetration depth”. Deeper than that we have no theories and no unified theory to tie all of these together. So any concerns that the Nassikas thruster shouldn’t possibly work because it violates “known laws of physics”, are not well grounded. Moreover we have the pendulum test results to prove that it does work.
By comparison, the Nassikas thruster-II also produces its thrust with no energy input, but the principle behind the way it functions is virtually the same as for the version I thruster. In both cases you have unbalanced forces acting on superconductors that have a conical overall geometry and in both cases these forces are produced by magnetic fields interacting with electrical currents within the superconductor (supercurrents induced within the superconductor nozzle versus strong currents energized within a superconducting wire coil). In thruster I the magnetic field is created by means of a permanent magnet, while in thruster II it is created by means of current flowing in the superconducting nozzle itself, the REBCO tape winding in the coil being both a superconductor and a current carrier at the same time. The end result is the same: propulsion toward the nozzle’s narrow end, or toward the coil’s narrow end.
There are differences in that the first version operates by virtue of unbalanced Meissner effect forces while the second version operates by virtue of unbalanced Lorentz forces. But there are enough similarities that we feel that the positive test results we have gotten with the version I give strong reason to believe that version II should also work as expected.
- Build and test the Nassikas thruster II technology.
- If successful inform news media and secure investment funding.
- Use the investment funding to finance world wide patenting.
- Market the technology to qualified manufacturers.
- Allow them to develop products that will transform the world.