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Superconductors usable as propulsion devices?

  1. Nov 2, 2006 #1
    If I were able to get a particle with mass to tunnel through a superconductor (for the sake of having a point, a long, thin, cylindrical one), would that mass's travel through the superconductor have the same equal-but-opposite-reaction effect as the same mass if it were accelerated to such speed by other means? I realize that the particle would return to it's original speed when it left the superconductor, but would it effect the momentum of whatever the superconductor was mounted on while going through the superconductor?

    I (perhaps mistakenly) understand that particles (usually electrons) travel through superconductors instantly, the speed of light non-withstanding.

    If both of the above mentioned things are true, then this would be a way to propel a vessel faster than the speed of light, yes?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2006 #2


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    No, it isn't.

    Have you seen any particle that can tunnel through a realistic, physical material? Try shooting a beam of electrons through a material. Do you see any "tunneling effect"?

    You cannot use a phenomenon to do something if that phenomenon hasn't been demonstrated to be true. You are applying the physics of tunneling, but not in ways in which we know it to work. I posted about a week ago on here a review of tunneling spectroscopy of High Tc superconductors. This type of phenomenon has been verified. The one you're suggesting, has not!

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