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·The scientists say they've created a working prototype and are testing in orbit

1. 科学家们声称他们已经做出了一个样机并且在低轨道测试中

·They've revealed plans to implement it in satellites 'as quicklyas possible'

2. 他们已经公布了“尽可能快的”装配在卫星上的计划

·They say it is 'currently in the latter stages of the proof-of-principle phase'

3. 他们声称此项技术已经“处于原理验证阶段的后期”

·EmDrive creates thrust by bouncing microwaves around a chamber

4. 电磁引擎通过在密闭空间发射并发射微波来产生推动力

·The system has caused a stir as it it 'goes against' the laws of physics

5. 该系统由于工作原理“违反经典物理定律”已经引起了反响

Scientists in China claim they’ve created a working prototype of the ‘impossible’ reactionless engine – and they say they’re already testing it in orbit aboard the Tiangong-2 space laboratory.

中国的科学家们声称他们已经做出了一个“不可能的“无工质引擎”,并且他们声称已经在低轨道的天宫2号空间实验室上进行了测试。

The radical, fuel-free EmDrive recently stirred up controversy after a paper published by a team of NASA researchers appeared to show they’d successfully built the technology.

美国航空航天局(NASA)的一个研发团队最近发表的一篇关于他们成功研究出这个彻底无需燃料的电磁引擎相关技术的论文引发了巨大的争议。

If the physics-defying concept is brought to reality, it’s said the engine could get humans to Mars in just 10 weeks.

如果这个反物理学的理论成为现实,那么使用这个引擎将可以将人类在10周内送到火星。

But now, scientists with the China Academy of Space Technology claim NASA’s results ‘re-confirm’ what they’d already achieved, and have plans to implement it in satellites ‘as quickly as possible.’

但是目前,中国空间技术研究院的科学家们声称NASA的结论是对他们的成果的“再次确认”,他们已经有了将其“尽可能快”的装配到卫星上的计划。



A fuel-free engine, described as 'impossible' to create, may now be a step closer to reality, according to leaked Nasa documents.
Pictured is a prototype of the EMDrive

据NASA的资料,这是曾被描述为“不可能造得出来”的一个无需燃料的引擎,现在就差一步就将实现。图为电磁引擎的样机。

With no fuel to eject, the EmDrive would violate Newton’s third law, which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

由于不需注入燃料,电磁引擎违反了牛顿第三定律,即作用力与反作用力定律。

At a press conference in Beijing, however, researchers with Cast confirmed the government has been funding research into the technology since 2010, and claimed they’ve developed a device that’s already being tested in low-Earth orbit, IBTimes UK reports.

据英国国际商业时报报道,在北京召开的一个记者招待会上,研究人员证实了政府自从2010年以来就对此项技术研究持续注入资金,并且声称他们已经开发了一个设备,正在近地轨道上测试。

It comes just a month after anonymous sources told IBTimes UK that tests on the EmDrive were underway aboard Tiangong-2.

一个匿名的消息源一个月前告诉英国国际商业时报,这个电磁引擎正在天宫2号上进行测试。

‘National research institutions in recent years have carried out a series of long-term, repeated tests on the EmDrive,’ Dr Chen Yue, head of the communication satellite division at Cast said at the press conference, IBTimes UK reports.

“各国科研机构近几年陆续开展了对电磁引擎的一系列长期、反复的试验,”中国空间技术研究院通信卫星事业部陈粤博士在记者招待会上说。

‘NASA’s published test results can be said to re-confirm the technology. We have successfully developed several specifications of multiple prototype principles.

“这次NASA发表的试验结果,可以说是再次确认了该技术。我们已研制成功几种规格的多台原理样机,”

‘The establishment of an experimental verification platform to complete the milli-level micro thrust measurement test, as well as several years of repeated experiments and investigations into corresponding interference factors, confirm that in this type of thruster, thrust exists.’

“并建立了实验验证平台,完成了毫牛级微推力测量试验,通过几年来的重复试验及相应的干扰因素排查试验,确认该类型推力器的推力存在。”

Cast is a subsidiary of the Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and the manufacturer of Dong Fang Hong satellites.

中国空间技术研究院(CAST)是中国航天科技集团(CASC)旗下的一个附属机构,并且是东方红系列卫星的生产方。

According to Li Feng, chief designer of Cast’s communication satellite division, the team has built a prototype that so far generates just a few millinewtons of thrust, IBTimes UK reports.For it to work on a satellite, they will need to bring the levels up to something between .1-1 Newtons.

中国空间技术研究院通信卫星事业部总设计师李峰说,团队目前所制造的样机能够产生微牛级到毫牛级的推力,至少要提高到百毫牛级甚至牛级才能用于卫星的工作。

This means they will have to improve the cavity design to reduce electrical losses, and develop a solution for the placement of the microwave thruster on the satellite itself.

这意味着他们必须优化腔体设计,减小损耗,将微波能量更有效的作用于产生推力。

‘This technology is currently in the latter stages of the proof-of-principle phase, with the goal of making the technology available in satellite engineering as quickly as possible,’ Li Feng said at the conference, IBTimes reports.
‘Although it is difficult to do this, we have the confidence that we will succeed.’ 

“这项技术目前处于原理验证阶段的后期,后继目标是使该技术尽快在卫星工程领域实际应用。”李峰在记者招待会上说,“虽然难度很大,但我们有信心做成。”



The NASA tests managed to generate powers of 1.2 millinewtons per kilowatt (mN/Kw), 
a fraction of the current state of the art Hall ion thruster, which can achieve a massive 60 mN/Kw (illustrated)

NASA测试产生的能量为1.2毫牛/千瓦,霍尔推力器可以产生的是60毫牛/千瓦(如图)

THE EMDRIVE 

科普:电磁引擎

The concept of an EmDrive engine is relatively simple.

电磁引擎的理论其实挺简单的。

It provides thrust to a spacecraft by bouncing microwaves around in a closed container.

它通过在一个密闭空间发射并反射微波产生推力。太阳能可用于产生微波,这意味着不需要额外的推进剂。

Solar energy provides the electricity to power the microwaves, which means that no propellant is needed.

这个潜在的意义是非常巨大的。比如,卫星可以做成现在的一半大小因为它们不需要携带燃料了。

The implications for this could be huge. For instance, current satellites could be half the size they are today without the need to carry fuel.
Humans could also travel further into space, generating their own propulsion on the way.

人们可以到更遥远的空间去旅行,因为他们可以在路上自行产生推力。

But when the concept was first proposed it was considered implausible because it went against the laws of physics.
Its allegedly fuel-free nature also means the drive may directly contradict the law of conservation of momentum.

但是当这个理论第一次被提出时,被认为是不合理的,因为这违背了经典物理理论。不仅如此,按照描述,它还直接违背了动量守恒定理。

It suggests it would produce a forward-facing force without an equal and opposite force acting in the other direction.

它似乎想表述的是,作用力不一定会产生反作用力。

(译者注:这项实验是通过向密闭空间发射光子,触及圆盘后动量发生变化,一边变大一边变小,有了量差就能动了。形象一点的说,就好比两个人在船上互相扔石头,产生动量让船前进,结果船还真的一直开下去了。)

Following the official publication of the NASA research last month, many have dismissed the results as an experimental error.
This includes advanced propulsions systems expert Brice Cassenti, who says there is likely a ‘mundane explanation’ behind the findings.

根据NASA上个月发布的官方研究结果,数据结果中有很大一部分其实是实验误差。涉及此事的高级推力系统专家Brice Cassenti说,这些发现的背后其实都是很普通的解释。

But, while the expert argues that there’s a ‘slim’ probability that the results will hold up in further investigation, he also notes that ‘it’s not zero.’

但是,虽然这位专家力争(这个理论正确的)概率“很小”,并且将对结果进行深入的调查,他同样确认了“(这个概率)不是0”。

The violations seen in the EmDrive concept would ‘invalidate much of the basis for all of physics as we know it,’ Cassenti, an engineering professor at the University of Connecticut, told UConn Today.

这位专家所,电磁引擎理论中违背定律的这一部分可能“颠覆了我们所知的物理学基础”。

The paper, now published in the AIAA’s Journal of Propulsion and Power, describes a series of successful tests carried out by scientists at NASA’s Eagleworks Laboratories. 

这篇发表于美国飞机工业协会(AIAA)旗下的《推进与动力》期刊上的论文,描述了NASA的雄鹰实验室的科学家们进行的一系列成功的测试。

Its publication means it has been reviewed by scientists independent to the study, adding to its credibility – but, this does not necessarily mean that the results are valid.

公开发表的内容表明此项研究的科学家们独立的进行了反复核查,增加了它的可信度 --- 但是这还不能一定说明结论是有效的。

As there is no ‘plausible proven physical explanation’ for the findings as of yet, either experimentally or theoretically, the expert says the results may boil down to an experimental error.

由于对于目前的发现没有“合理可信的物理解释”,专家认为无论是实验性的还是理论性的,结果都将被归结于实验误差。

‘I personally believe that there is a mundane explanation for the results,’ Cassenti said.
‘For example, electric currents are heating components within the Drive that expand during the experiments, causing motion that would appear as a force.

“我个人认为对于结果可以有一个普通的解释,”Cassenti说,“比如,实验中在引擎内的电流属于加热元件,使得运动将产生作用力。”

THE NASA PAPER

关于NASA的论文

The paper, which has now been published in the AIAA’s Journal of Propulsion and Power, describes a series of successful tests carried out at Nasa’s Johnson Space Center in Texas.
It outlines a experiments with a 'closed radio frequency cavity'.

这篇论文,发表于美国飞机工业协会(AIAA)旗下的《推进与动力》期刊,描述了在NASA设于德克萨斯州约翰逊太空中心中进行的一系列成功的实验。它概述了一个发生于“密闭腔体内的高射频”的实验。

The paper describes how early tests of the system in a vacuum, recreating the conditions of the engine if were used in space.
Engineers carried out controlled bursts at 40, 60 and 80 watts, reporting that the thrust achieved in a vacuum was similar to the performance achieved in air.

论文描述了很早以前系统被放置在真空中测试,模拟出引擎用于太空的实验环境。工程师们于20,40,60瓦进行脉冲控制,显示在真空中获得的推力和在空气中获得的很相似。

The tests managed to generate powers of 1.2 millinewtons per kilowatt (mN/Kw), a fraction of the current state of the art Hall thruster, which can achieve a massive 60 mN/Kw.
But the researchers say that the lack of fuel consumption could make up for the drop in power.

实验希望产生1.2毫牛/千瓦的能量,目前的霍尔推力器可以产生60毫牛/千瓦。但是研究者们声称减小燃料的消耗可以弥补能量上的损失。


 
The technology has been dubbed the 'warp drive' for its similarity to the fictional propulsion system seen  in the Star Trek series

此项科技在《星际迷航》中就有类似的系统,被命名为“曲速引擎”

‘It is very difficult to remove such effects, although the authors of the journal article tried to remove not only these thermal effects but also many other possible sources for experimental errors.’

“尽管期刊文章的作者尽力去移除这部分、以及其他可能导致实验误差的热量的影响,但是要想移除这部分影响很困难。”

According to Cassenti, it’s extremely difficult to be certain that all sources of error have been eliminated, and this can only be proven through independent tests of the hypothesis.
If the EmDrive results do turn out to be valid, the achievement ‘points to new physics.’

据Cassenti说,要想确认导致这些误差的来源都被根除是非常困难的,而且这只能在独立测试的假设下才能被证明。如果电磁引擎的结果被证实是正确的,那么这项成就将“指向新的物理学”。

And while there have been circumstances where Newton’s laws have been found not to apply at high speeds, as in large gravitational fields and with tiny molecules, the researcher note that ‘Newton is still mostly right.’

尽管牛顿定律已经被发现在高速、重力场、微粒子的环境中并不适用,研究人员说“牛顿大部分情况下还是正确的。”



If the physics-defying concept is brought to reality, it’s said the engine could get humans to Mars in just 10 weeks

如果反物理学的理论成为现实,这引擎将使人类在10周内到达火星

‘Over my professional life, I have seen several of these exciting experimental or theoretical results reported in peer-reviewed literature,’ Cassenti said.
‘So far only the reality of black holes has come through. 

“纵观我的整个专业生涯,我见过好多类似这样的实验性或理论性的结果在同行审查的文件报告里出现,”Cassenti说,“目前只有黑洞成为了现实。”

'So, based on my experience, the probability of this holding up under further analysis and testing appears slim. But it’s not zero.’  

“所以,按照我的经验,(这个理论)在深入分析和测试后(被证实是正确的)的概率很低,但这个概率不是0。”

Essentially, the EmDrive generates thrust by harnessing particles of light and bouncing microwaves around inside a closed chamber, shaped like a cone.

本质上说,电磁引擎通过向一个密闭腔体发射光子并反射微波来产生推力,使得引擎能够前进。

The movement generates thrust at the slim end of the cone, which drives the engine forward. 
In the new study, which tested if the device could operate in a vacuum, the researchers found that 'thrust data from forward, reverse, and null suggested that the system was consistently performing at 1.2±0.1 mN/kW1.2±0.1 mN/kW, which was very close to the average impulsive performance measured in air.'

在新的研究里,测试了这个装置是否能在真空中工作,研究者们发现“正反方向的推力数据表明系统的表现稳定在1.2±0.1毫牛/千瓦,这和空气中测量的平均值差不多。”

NASA测试引擎的视频

The supporting physics model for these conditions, according to the researchers, could be a 'nonlocal hidden-variable theory, or pilot-wave theory for short' - an interpretation of quantum mechanics. 

根据研究者们所述,支持这些条件的物理模型,应该是“非局部隐变量理论,或者是导航波理论的缩略版” ——也就是量子力学的一种解释。

Many have taken interest in the findings, including one physicist who has claimed that there ‘may really be something’ in the findings – but, the cause might be something entirely different than what’s been proposed.

许多人都对发现表示了兴趣,包括一位物理学家,他声称这个发现“可能真的有点分量” —— 但这和实际的情况可能完全不一样。

Rather than the quantum vacuum theory which was initially cited in the leaked version to explain the findings, a phenomenon known as the ‘Mach effect’ could be to blame, according to Motherboard. 

与其引述量子真空理论来解释这些发现,一个名为“马赫效应”的著名发现更应该对此负责。

By this effect, which Woodward first theorized in the 1990s, some of the force applied to an accelerating body of mass is stored as potential energy in its body rather than generating kinetic energy, according to Motherboard.

根据1990年Woodward第一次提出理论的这个效应,作用于运动中的物体的某些力会被储存成潜在其内部的能量而不是成为动力。

This causes fluctuations in the object’s resting mass, and this effect could be harnessed to create the type of thrust seen in the experiments.

这导致物体的静止质量产生波动,并且这个效应很可能就是导致实验中出现的推力的罪魁祸首。