A Blueprint For A Quantum Propulsion Machine

I was just reading an article by this title in today’s Technology Review which described a concept based on generating propulsion via a quantum vacuum. Here is the technical article. What kind of thrust are we talking about here? The physicist behind this says that this may have “practical implications” which the blog’s author regards as a gross understatement. Can someone give the straight dope?


Hmmm… Interesting there is no mention of a wrap drive in the entire paper.

I’ll have my son look over the paper and give me a full report. Or, at least an executive summary which would be more to my level.

If I understand it right, they’re arguing that while the vacuum energy is random and no real movement is possible you could engineer a tiny device to preferentially gain momentum in a direction. I suppose kind of like tacking into the wind - if you wanted a terrible analogy.

But scaling a nanoscale machine into a craft in the 0.1-10,000 metric ton seems a stretch to me.

To within a few orders of magnitude, I’d give a rough estimate of the thrust produced as approximately 0, though it could potentially be a thousand times greater than that or so.