A reactionless drive, and the likelihood of it existing, can be compared to a perpetuum mobile. And there is a reason why patents are not granted for perpetuum mobile: it's because they don't work, and can't work.
The further discussion in this, thus, is whether one indeed 'need' to test it, seen the fact there is a limited budget, time and money, of scientific research. And if one deems it is, then why should you then also not claim the same for any perpetuum mobile or other crack-pot idea that pops up, to be researched?
It then is often argued 'because three tests have confirmed it', but that is exactly the crux of the matter: they didn't. There is as much proof or evidence or confirmation for that microwave-oven to be a reactionless device, then there is for any perpetuum mobile to be truly working, or for the 'thrust' to be due to dragon-magic.
My suggestion is: that those who are so convinced of it actually working start a kickstarter, and pay for it that way. Then, everyone is happy: the EM-believers, the sceptics, and the taxpayers.
Most physicists worth their salt realise how EXTREMELY (and I'm using an euphemism here) unlikely this is, and that's exactly why the scientific community at large doesn't jump on it: they have better things to do than waste their time and money on such a thing.
The inventor claims it can be explained by conventional (Newtonian) physics. That is utterly impossible. Newtonian laws (nor GR, *nor* classical QM for that matter) allow for such a thing.
At least White realised this, which is why he invented the "pushing against the virtual plasma" as an 'explanation'. Only problem is, there is no such virtual plasma, at least not in any known theoretical framework (or even an unknown but consistent one), and I didn't see White put one forward neither. So, basically, it has the same validity as saying 'it's pushing against dragon-magic'. It explains *nothing* at all, and thus can't be considered a valid explanation for the force measured neither.
Basically, for all intents and purposes, it IS a reaction-less drive, because it adheres to all the hallmarks of one. Claiming it is not doesn't change that fact. It would be akin to someone claiming the apple he throws and comes down is not due to gravity, but due to dragon-magic. Now, one might *CLAIM* it' not due to gravity, but it doesn't change the fact it IS still due to gravity. And until one comes up with proof or at least a consistent theory which is better than the explanation of gravity (aka, a falsifiable explanation of dragon-magic) such claims change nothing and are nonsensical statements.
To the defence of Tajmar, White, and maybe even the inventor: I don't think it are *deliberate* falsehoods. Contrary to say, Rossi with his scam of the E-cats. I don't think they are scamming or consciously deluding people. I've seen the presentation of White, and noted the critical stance of Tajmar: they don't seem to be deliberately confusing people into believing this story. Certainly not the latter. White might have been a bit too speculative, and the scoop-searching press and EM-fanfappers do the rest.
That said, one can rationally argue, or at least ask the question: with a limited budget for scientific research, if it's warranted to put taxpayers' money in such an extremely unlikely claim - without any theory nor decent experimental data to back it up. Even if it's only 500K, it could be better spend on some other scientific projects.
Or, alternatively, the fanfappers could make a kickstarter for it. I've asked this 6 times already, but: where *is* that kickstarter? What's keeping them from doing one? If everyone of the EM-believers would put their money where their mouth is, it would already have gotten 500K. Everyone happy.
I love new things. Only, I don't *believe* every new thing that comes along, until proof of it has been delivered.
And, as usual, you are reversing the burden of proof. And you know it. I have told you numerous, numerous times in the past, so you ARE aware of this: it's for the ones MAKING the claim, to prove it exists, not for others to prove it doesn't exist.
That's exactly why I give the example of a magical dragon in my garage.
Now, what is the initial claim here? That the EM-drive is a reactionless drive who pushes itself forward by bouncing microwaves around INSIDE itself, in a closed compartment.
Well, then: the burden of proof is on those making that claim. It's as simple as that.
And did they prove that? No, they proved they measured a tiny force, which could be caused (and is far more likely) by a myriad of things, such as artefacts and measure errors.
Am I claiming it IS an artefact? No, I'm saying it's a trillion times more likely to be an artefact or error than it is that we've discovered new physics that invalidates all what we know and have observed for the last 400 years. It's for THEM to prove it's due to the EM-drive working as they claim it does, and not something which is vastly more likely to be the case, such as artefacts/errors.
Seems rather rational and logical to me.
The problem with White's 'explanation' is that it can not be. There is no virtual plasma to push anything off, and the quantum Vacuum can not act like a propellent. It's simply not possible, within QM. Some people also mistakenly think that QM defies the law of conservation of momentum. IT DOESN'T. Not only classical physics, but also QM adheres to CoM.
So, there is NO way one can explain things that way.
What white is saying, basically, is that that it works by tooth-fairy magic. That is to say: that statement has the EXACT same worth as what he is saying for an explanation.
Hence, nothing has been explained at all, and you still have that CoM violation, which is impossible. Ergo, it can't be working as it is claimed that it does (as a reactionless drive).
Btw, not too many people seem aware of this, but the EM drive would also violate the law of conservation of energy, since you could make an over unity device with it, and thus free energy (aka, a perpetuum mobile).
Now, what about 'new physics'? Why couldn't completely new physics not explain everything, and be responsible for the 'thrust'?
This is because IF the CoM principle could be violated (and by the mere resonance of microwaves, no less), it would mean that fundamental laws vary depending on localisation. This in turn would mean, the speed of light varies, the strong nuclear force would change, etc., and thus whole swats of matter would spontaneously disintegrate into atomic and subatomic particles and exotic matter, and flood the universe . This, however, we have not observed, not even once, for the last 400 years. Hence, the extreme unlikelihood of such a claim.
As said, any new laws would still need to adhere to all previous predictions and observations. Since we never observed any of the consequences of such a thing, it is EXTREMELY unlikely to be true. About as unlikely as that we'll discover tooth-fairy magic holds the universe in check.
What a lot of people do not seem to get, is that any new physics will not suddenly make all our previous observations and predictions invalid, and THUS any new physics will incorporate the old physics (just as newtonian physics was incorporated in that of Einstein). Only, it will do a better job at it, especially in domains where our current laws falter, like inside a singularity.
What it WON'T do, however, is being antithetic to it, and claiming a violation of CoM, even under normal conditions (like in a mirowave-oven), is suddenly no problem anymore.