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negative mass in contemporary physics and its application to propulsionAs first analyzed by Hermann Bondi in 1957, matter with negative mass is consistent with the structure of Einstein's general theory of Relativity. Although initially the concept was considered just a theoretical curiosity, negative mass, or "exotic matter," is now incorporated into the body of mainstream physics in a number of forms. Negative mass has a number of rather non-intuitive properties, which, as first noted by Bondi, and then later commented on by Forward (1990), Landis (1991), and others, results in possible applications for propulsion requiring little, or possibly no, expenditure of fuel. As pointed out by Morris and Thorne (1988) and others, negative mass (or, more strictly, a violation of the null energy condition) is also a requirement for any proposed faster than light travel. This paper presents the basic theory of negative mass, the ways by which it can manifest in contemporary physical theory, and the counterintiutive properties that result, including possible uses for interstellar propulsion.Although negative mass has moved from a theoretical curiosity to a concept fundamental to the contemporary understanding of physics, it is still not clear whether bulk negative mass can be manufactured, or if it is limited to only appearing at the cosmological scale (e.g., "dark energy:) or in the quantum (e.g., Casimir vacuum) limit. If it can be manufactured, the propulsion applications would be significant.
Document ID
Document Type
Landis, Geoffrey A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
January 16, 2020
Publication Date
November 10, 2019
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Interstellar Symposium and Advanced Interstellar Propulsion Workshop(Wichita, KS)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 432938.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
Single Expert

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