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Place to study electromagnetic space drives?

  1. Oct 16, 2013 #1
    Would anyone have suggestions for places to investigate studies for next generation electromagnetic space drives?

    Life sometimes takes us far from our passions, and after being a HS genius-turned-automotive engineer-turned-IT salesman-turned-yachtracer-turned HS physics teacher, I'm trying to find out what Universities or government funded institutions I might approach in my attempt to return to academic pursuits.

    Thank you for your help.

    ps if anyone knows of a HS between North Dakota and Washington that needs a physics teacher, let me know- my wife and I can't stand the entitlement mentality and crazy taxes in NY.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2013 #2


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    I'm not sure of your educational background, I'm assuming you have a B.S/M.S and want to go back to school. Otherwise, you should post this in the career advice section.

    If you want to go back to get a PhD, you should apply to some programs and get a feel for whether or not you’re wasting your time. Retake the various exams/study old materials. I would also recommend applying to this program: http://smart.asee.org/about/eligibility. It’s mostly for workers already in civil service who want to go back to school, but you can submit a resume at the same time you apply. You get to pick three agencies you would like to work for when you complete your program, and will be hired by one after you’re done if you get accepted. Obviously, you’d want to apply to NASA (as they have a next generation drive program) and maybe DARPA. If accepted, you’d get full tuition coverage and a 28-41K stipend to help cover living costs. You must be willing to work for the agency based on the number of years you receive assistance and maintain a good academic standing.

    Again, I’m making a ton of assumptions here, which is why I’m assuming no one has replied to your question yet. If you could flesh it out a bit that would be most helpful. Be warned, the program is a long shot to say the least in the current enviroment, although it has the benefit that many people don't know about it's existance.

    Just checking the website, looks like NASA is no longer a participating sponsor, although there are a couple of Air Force places that might be interesting to you. At any rate, if you want to do government work, getting your foot in the door at any agency won't hurt.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  4. Nov 1, 2013 #3

    Look for astronautical engineering programs ... the discipline is not as "next generation" as you think... hall thrusters are kinda old and a lot of the physics for theses things were figured out in the 60s.

    the most famous figure in this field, chang-diaz, teaches at rice, he studied plasma physics at MIT.

    at purdue AAE for instance, there might be one or two faculty with part-time interest in the field and they might push a grad student or two through in that specialty, but i think specialists in this area are widely dispersed.

    aero/astro engineering. try seeing which schools place at the top for that, and then filter down to which do more space things than aero things.
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