The controversial theory of quantum inertia will be tested in practice: IVO Ltd. launches its Quantum Drive in October
In October, IVO Ltd., a US wireless power transmission technology company, will send an electric satellite propulsion system into space for the first time.
The IVO Quantum Drive system was scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle as part of the Transporter 8 mission in June. However, due to delays in prototype development, IVO decided to reschedule testing of its technology aboard the Transporter 9 mission later this year.
If the Quantum Drive system lives up to IVO’s expectations, it could rewrite the critical principles of physics that have been the backbone of the space industry since its inception.
Contrary to Newton’s laws of motion
QI is an acronym for Quantized Inertia, which means Quantum Inertia. This is a theory proposed by British physicist Mike McCulloch that attempts to explain the nature of inertia using quantum mechanics. According to this theory, inertia is a force that arises from the interaction of a body with quantum fluctuations in vacuum. This is contrary to the classical understanding of inertia, which is based on Newton’s first law.
The theory of quantum inertia has many critics who consider it unscientific and inconsistent with experimental data. However, it also has supporters who see it as a potential for new types of space propulsion systems that do not require propellant. One such company is IVO Ltd., which developed the Quantum Drive based on the principles of quantum inertia. The company plans to launch its Quantum Drive in October 2023 and test its performance in space.
On my own site McCulloch writes that Isaac Newton’s first law of motion, which defines inertia, stating that “objects move in straight lines at a constant speed unless there is a force acting on them”, does not fully describe what inertia is.
McCulloch developed his QI theory to explain the true nature of inertia in terms of the strange properties of quantum mechanics. His theory is subject to massive criticism, some physicists claiming that his proposal contradicts the laws of motion established by Newton.
These laws of motion are fundamental to the space and rocket industry, but that didn’t stop IVO. The company built its Quantum Drive system on principles from McCulloch’s QI theory and claims it has been able to generate thrust in the lab.
IVO Claims Its Quantum Drive Generated Thrust in Lab Tests
This means that in October we will see the first real test of the QI theory in space, and classical physics could be compromised. Critics of the theory will probably feel there is no cause for concern, but IVO founder and CEO Richard Mansell believes the test could be a watershed in the history of space exploration.
IN interview The Debrief Mansell said that IVO conducted 100 hours of testing in a vacuum chamber, during which their Quantum Drive constantly produced a small amount of thrust (roughly 10 millinewtons), consistent with McCulloch’s QI theory.
During their testing, they tried to make sure that the force was not coming from some other aspect of their drive, such as electrostatic forces.
IVO believes its Quantum Drive will eventually be able to generate up to 52 millinewtons (mN) of thrust from a single watt of electricity. In a press release in March, the company said it would get “unlimited thrust power from the sun,” meaning it could eliminate the need for satellites to descend into orbit altogether.
As with other controversial systems, for example, EmDrive the trials may not lead to anything, but they may be worth doing because winning has a minimal chance to change the space industry forever.