For someone who is determined to get propellantless propulsion off the ground, I worry that there isn't enough experimental research to make propellantless propulsion a reality sooner rather than later. And if you think that propellantless propulsion will not be big science one day, take a look at Airbus's Sept 17 2015, US Patent, US 2015/0260168 A1. (Begs the question, how many years of quiet research did they put in before reaching a patent worthy application?) That is, any major aerospace company that is ignoring propellantless propulsion will be blindsided.
The discovery of physics is a deliberately orchestrated endeavor that requires forethought, planning and above all the willingness to face the unknown. And occasionally we hit jackpot with accidental or serendipitous findings only because we were searching with an open mind.
Some years ago, Prof. Tajmar and I were Co-Chairs of the Space, Propulsion, Energy Sciences, International Forum (SPESIF 2010, 2011, 2012) A03.1. Theories, Models & Concepts: Frontiers in Propulsion Science. We had different approaches to physics. He was very meticulous about experimental methods. Getting it right required examining all sources of experimental errors. Having accounted for the errors you could be sure of what you were observing. And then using theory to guide the experiments.
If the observations would not confirm the theoretical underpinnings of legacy physics, it could suggest new physics. However, the physics community frowns on new physics, and every attempt is made to explain new phenomena with legacy physics, even if it gets convoluted. If it cannot be explained with legacy physics, then the experiments are defunded and the physics community moves on to something else. Antigravity or gravity modification is a good example. At least since the 1960s many different organizations have repeatedly failed to solve this Holy Grail of physics.
It took me eight years of perseverance in the face of null results, repeated roadblocks and vilification to finally solve the massless formula for gravitational acceleration, g=tau.c^2. Luckily for me, the 1999 Noble Laureate, Prof. Gerardus 't Hooft only came close by suggesting that ". . . absence of matter now no longer guarantees local flatness . . ."
Eight years of nothing to show for but failures, is not something any public or private sector research organization could withstand scrutiny of, and therefore, g=tau.c^2 was not discovered by any research lab, let alone a major research lab. This immensely long gestation time explains why new ground breaking fundamental sciences can only be discovered by science entrepreneurs working alone in their garages.
My approach to physics was different. It was imperative that you get the concept right, and then have empirical proof of your concept by way of mathematical formulae. This would almost always require regression analysis of the empirical data. The statistic used to determine correlation or how good the fit was, is R-Square, with 0% being absolutely no fit or relationship with the data, and +/- 100% being a perfect fit, and equivalent to an analytical derivation.
My 30+ years working with large empirical data sets show that an R-Square of 99.99999% (seven 9s) is a perfect fit with no noise in the empirical data. But beware, in some cases six or seven 9s could suggest artificial data.
Building a theoretical physics model from empirical data requires six or seven 9s, nothing less. A 95% to 99% R-Square though excellent, would suggest (1) that experimental noise was present in the data, thus the need for additional experimental rigor (2) the presence of unaccounted factor(s), aka incomplete model and/or (3) non-ideal model, one that does not quite fit. To resolve these issues would require an open minded iterative dialog between theory and experiment.
This can be very difficult if you are investigating a new phenomenon, and therefore, not sure of what you are looking for. Unfortunately, legacy physics assumes that we know everything about the Universe, and there is nothing new to be discovered. As the Zen would ask, can you pour more water into a full glass? This can result in negative pronouncements about any new discovery, by an establishment that is fearful its budgets may be reassigned to new physics.
From a theoretical physics perspective, an R-Square of between 75% and 85% would be considered very unsatisfactory as there is (1) too much noise in the data, therefore the need to improve experimental designs and/or (2) more likely, the model is incorrect. An R-Square of 75% is equivalent to throwing away 25% of your data. Nature is unambiguous else all parts of the Universe could not work with the same consistency every time for all 10^82 atoms. From a reliability engineering perspective this is equivalent to 0 failures in 10^82. Incredible. Well outside the scope of 5 or even 25 sigma testing.
In my previous articles I had explained the dire need for new physics models. I achieved greater than seven 9s with g=tau.c^2, and would recommend physics be retested in carefully controlled experiments to confirm an R-Square of seven 9s. If not, this should open the way to better if not different physics models. For example Slater's Rule suggests that electric force is inversely proportional to charge. This is wrong, and an opportunity to discover the true physics.
So how does this get us propellantless drives?
Applying the schema approach to gravitational fields, shows that gravity can be separated into 3 parts. (1) The source of these fields. In Nature, as far as we know the amount of the source of the gravitational field can be measured by mass. Einstein, in General Relativity, assumed that mass is the source, so do all contemporary physics, and did Newton. This axiom is at least 300 years old. (2) The field itself. We had the simple Newtonian Gravitational Transformations (NGT) until Einstein came up with the tensor field structure of spacetime. (3) The field effect or acceleration. A straight forward and simple observable phenomenon.
Given g=tau.c^2, we now have the physics to generate accelerations by altering the spacetime field we are in, without the axiomatic errors of the Alcubierre Warp Drive. In one of my peer reviewed papers I had shown that the mass source can be replaced with something else. This is the key to propellantless propulsion, the ability to replace mass with something else. Let's call this mass replacement the Omega function. The Omega function is a handle for something we don't know just yet.
Note, we are working in the opposite direction of the Higgs physicist. They work to figure how to put mass into everything. We, propulsion physicists, work to figure out how to take mass out of the equation. Working at opposite ends of this physics spectrum, we are most likely to discover opposite things, but us propulsion physicists will change the world as we know it, and Higgs physicists will write more papers.
More, in my next article.