Talk:Reactionless propulsion

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 Definition The technological concept of a an engine that moves a spacecraft without using any external body to push from, and without jettisoning any of its parts. [d] [e]

I try to fill the subpages... Dmitrii Kouznetsov 12:47, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
P.S. I did all I could, and I cannot improve it more; so, I nominate it. Dmitrii Kouznetsov 13:47, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Some comments from a Constable

Hi, Dmitrii, glad to see you back in action! There are, however, a couple of problems with the creation and edits of this article. First, you cannot make up your own WorkGroup categories, such as "Russian space science" -- you can only use existing WorkGroups such as "Physics" or "Chemistry" and such-like.

Second, an Editor who has worked on an article cannot nominate it himself. Here are the relevant guidelines:

If the editor has worked on it herself as an author, he/she asks another editor to approve it; or, if there are several editors all doing significant work as authors on the article, then at least three of them can agree to approve it. (These rules are to prevent a single person from approving his or her own work without involving review by experts who were not authors.)

This means that you will have to find some other Editors to make the initial nomination. In the meantime I have removed the Approval template from the article.

Best wishes, Constable Hayford Peirce 16:34, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Thank you, Hayford, for the explanation (First, I misunderstood the recommendations about the subpages). Also, I like your improvements. Dmitrii Kouznetsov 03:31, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Title and scope

Reactionless propulsion is probably the more general term for non-Newtonian methods. Is this article intended to be general about the subject (e.g., science fiction "warp drives" and more serious speculation about tachyon or gravitational technology) or simply address Russian work?

Most of the Russian references about criticism belong in a Bibliography subpage. In general, however, CZ discourages non-English references because it cannot be assumed other Citizens can read them. --Howard C. Berkowitz 18:05, 2 March 2010 (UTC) (Engineering Workgroup Editor)

Reactionless propulsion sounds good. Consider to rename the article, leaving the redirect.
About references: I copypasted them all in order to indicate that there is a lot of criticizm, but few of it appears in serious journals. One has no need to speak Russian in order to see the amount. For this reason, I cited them all together. The English sources cited are sufficient to see that all these "gravitsapas" are just milking of funds for pseudo-science, supported by suppressing of scientists and murdering of critical journalists. (Do you know who was Trofim Lysenko?)
As for the "warp drives", they may deserve a section. It seems, some distributors of funds do not make difference between science, science fiction and pseudo-science. I wrote about this, and I think about modification of the article Science (in order to exclude all the "wrap drives", the "gravitsapas" and the Reactionless propulsion automatically, since the beginning). You may see the sandbox User:Dmitrii_Kouznetsov/Science and criticize it; it is my proposal for Science. Dmitrii Kouznetsov 03:31, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Brief review and edits

I just made a number of edits to improve the English, correct spelling errors and to correct some of the references to the proper format. I got down to the end of the History section. To complete such edits down to the end of the article would take quite a bit of time. I may try to do that in the next few days ... but, meanwhile, anyone else may take a shot at it.

Dmitri, the Bibliography subpage needs to be completely redone. All you did was to simply re-list all of the references for the main article. That is not what is wanted for the Bibliography subpage. Therefore, I am going to delete all of the re-listed references.

The bibliography subpage is meant to include a list of books and journal articles relevant to the article. The books should be listed using the {{cite book}} template and the journal articles should be listed using the {{cite journal}} template. Dimitri, please take a good look at 5-10 other engineering articles with a Bibliography subpage to see what I mean.

The External Links subpage is intended primarily for links to Internet sources of relevant information. All you did for that section was to link to a Wikipedia article and quote a large part of the Wikipedia article. Very few (if any) of us at Citizendium would accept a Wikipedia article as an External Link. You also used the same link to a Wikipedia article and the same quote from the Wikipedia article as your reference 9 for the Main article. There is no purpose served by repeating main article references as external links ... therefore, I am going to remove that link from the Related Links subpage. Again, take a good look at other engineering articles with External Links subpages to see what I mean.

Dmitri, all of my comments are meant to be constructive and to point you to the way to improve your article. I hope you will accept my comments in that spirit ... that I am trying to help you. Milton Beychok 07:03, 3 March 2010 (UTC) (Engineering Workgroup Editor)

Valery Menshikov wrote some books, for example, the 2009 Valery Menshikov, Michael I. Makarov, Sergey V. Pushkarsky, Russia "Union State Multifunction Space System" Space System Research Institute, Jubileiny, Russia, 2007
Should this book be mentioned? I do not have it in hands.. Dmitrii Kouznetsov 12:15, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Dmitri, if that book is relevant to this article. then you could use it either as a reference to the main article or as a Bibliography book ... but not as both a reference and a Bibliography book. Regards, Milton Beychok 15:48, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Milton, I begin to understand, what are you talking about. Then, at the bibliography page, there should be some Landau,Lifshitz, or some berkeley lectures on physics and so on. Is it correct? Dmitrii Kouznetsov 16:04, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
If I understand your comments, Dmitri, the Russian-language references are not necessarily supportive of the idea. Nevertheless, they aren't accessible to the average reader or relevant Editor.
Yes, I do know what Lysenko did, and, if the Russian scientific press is responding to this as they ideally should have to Lysenko, that is major news in and of itself. Can you think of anything in English that presents this, rather than a string of Russian references?
There is a joke among American dogs and their humans that Pavlov is a psychologist whom dogs taught to ring bells whenever the dogs were thinking of salivating. :-) Howard C. Berkowitz 16:15, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

(Unindent) Dmitri, the Bibliography subpage is primarily for published books and for published scientific/engineering journal articles. Lectures or other material found on the Internet should go into the External Links subpage. Look at the Edit page of this Talk page to see how the following examples were formatted:

Example of a Bibliography subpage book:

  • Michael Clugston and Rosalind Flemming (2000). Advanced Chemistry, 1st Edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-914633-0. 

Example of a Bibliography subpage journal article:

  • M.V. Orna (1980). "Water, the Peculiar Molecule". J. Chem. Ed. 57 (12): 891-892.

Examples of Related Links subpage links:

Example of how to use a book as a Main Article reference:[1]

Example of how to use a journal article as a Main Article reference:[2]

Example of how to use an Internet website page as a Main Article reference:[3]


  1. Michael Clugston and Rosalind Flemming (2000). Advanced Chemistry, 1st Edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-914633-0. 
  2. M.V. Orna (1980). "Water, the Peculiar Molecule". J. Chem. Ed. 57 (12): 891-892.
  3. Distillation Lecture Notes by Prof. Randall M. Price at Christian Brothers University

Again, please look at the Edit page of this Talk page to see how the above examples were formatted.

Does this make it clear? Milton Beychok 21:42, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

More clean up

The section about the interest (revival) in inertial propulsion in Russia has been cleaned up and reformatted. There were some highly biased statements about the current socio-political system in the Russian space system. In accordance with Citizendium's policy of maintaining a neutral point of view (NPOV), those statements were deleted. There was also a statement about how much it would cost to maintain the overall Russian space program ... which was irrelevant to the focus of this article on inertial propulsion. Therefore that was also removed. The two quotes, from the Russian Information Agency Novosti and from Pravda were retained along with the references pointing to them.

Finally, the word "Jubileiny" was translated into "Jubilee". Also, the image was shifted to the right side to avoid conflict with the two block quotes.

All that remains now is how to handle all of the Russian language references for the "Criticism" section. I will try to get at that tomorrow, probably using Howard Berkowitz's suggestion to put them into the Bibliography subpage. Milton Beychok 23:31, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Transfer of the Russian language references about criticism of the Russian inertial propulsion program from the Main article page to the Bibliography page

Dimitri, I have transferred all of your references (except one) about criticisms of the inertial propulsion program to the Bibliography subpage. Your last of those references was simply a copyrighted (and copylefted ??) Russian version as well as an English version of this article as you had initially written it (before all of my edits). I don't understand what that is all about, so I deleted it completely. Have you published this article elsewhere (in Russian or in English) and copyrighted it? Please explain.

Since I cannot read Russian, I am trusting you that the other references which I transferred to the Bibliography page are valid, credible publications and reports. Pleas confirm that. Thanks, Milton Beychok 03:07, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Milton, the materials from my Dictionary are copylefted: Everyone may use it for free, but should cite.
If you criticize my original version, you may do it at but the statement that such opinion exists is true; and I think, it should be mentioned at CZ.
As for the criticizm, it is not exact: for me, "conradicts the Law of Conservation of Momentum" is almost synonym of "wrong". For some readers, these two things are not the same. Therefore, I corrected the title of the section in the "Bibliography". Some publications are not very creadible resourses, but we should cite them, because there are very few creadable sources about Russia. BBC is creadable, I go to move it back to the main page (I cannot find the English version... Do BBC provide the English version of all texts they publish?). If we cite many English sources, we may cite few sources in other languages.
Also, from your explanaiton, I do not understand the difference between "Bibliography" and the "External Links". I would move some of clickable "bibliography" to the "External links". Dmitrii Kouznetsov 11:12, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Dmitrii, if you want to move some (or all) of those nine Russian language articles from the "Bibliography" subpage to the "External Links" subpage, I would have no objection. Since I cannot read them, I must again trust you as to which should be moved. However, if you believe that some of those sources are not credible (as you seem to have said just above), then they should be completely deleted. If some of those sources are bloggers who are just ranting, then they should be deleted. Milton Beychok 16:39, 5 March 2010 (UTC)


To get this to be a viable CZ article, we need first to decide if it's about the general subject of reactionless propulsion, or, directly or indirectly, the politics and motivations of the Russian aerospace/scientific community.

Let me contrast this article, which clearly is intended to be a serious CZ article, with Apollo Moon landing hoax theory, which also suffered from the problem of Russian-only references. In that case, the original author stopped participating on the grounds that Westerners couldn't handle the truth. Another difference, however, was that the various technical mechanism in that theory were given in sufficient detail that, as an Engineering Editor with some specific subject matter knowledge in telemetry, electronic warfare, and tracking, I could debunk them. In other words, there were enough specific non-Russian references that I could tell what was being claimed.

You mention Novosti, and one of my questions would be if Novosti has an other than scientific agenda. In like manner, what are the motivations among the government and the design bureaus to push what might be questionable engineering? Is the Scientific Research Institute for Space Systems credible? Please understand that I'm not suggesting you write anything that would be politically awkward.

Overall, however, I'm at a loss to know where to go, in giving Engineering guidance, with the core references being things that I cannot read. Milton is an engineering editor, but not in aerospace; but I suspect he's having some of the same problems -- I'll leave it to him to comment. --Howard C. Berkowitz 14:26, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Howard, there is very little if any aerospace theory (or even physics theory) in this article at present, so that does not present me with any problems. But I do get the "feeling" that this article is, as you say, directly or indirectly impugning the politics and motivations of the Russian aerospace/scientific community. I also get the "feeling" that this subject is somewhat of an "idee fixe" with Dimitrii.
I tried to avoid those "feelings" when I made my edits. Almost all of my edits were concerned with correcting the English, many typos and spellings, and formatting of the references ... as well as correctly providing content for the Bibliography and the Related Links subpages. I did remove some statements that were not politically neutral. As for the Russian language references, as I have said above, at this moment we must trust Dmitrii that they are valid and credible. Milton Beychok 17:00, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Hello, I do my best about the English references, but I still hope to find more. The last reference cites hindreds of sources; some of them are in English, so, you can help me to see if any of them are useful for the article. Dmitrii Kouznetsov 17:48, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
In the United States, there certainly is an intersection of science and politics. If I may speak for Milt, I think both of us simply are not aware of the equivalent inside Russia. Cold fusion may not be the best analogy, since it did go international, but let me try to use it as an analogy: is this subject very important to a small faction of the Russian technical community but not accepted by the wider one? Howard C. Berkowitz 16:00, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes. This is important for the top of the "vertical vlasti", who wash the money assigned for the space research. Dmitrii Kouznetsov 17:24, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Are there any particular interests, if nothing but funding, that would be served by greater acceptance of the concept? Yes, I understand that if this were demonstrated and available for wide-spread deployment, it would have immense benefits. It's far from that point. In contrast, for example, there are a lot of Americans who wonder why there isn't greater use of Russian ekranoplane technology — are there problems we don't see, or is the lack of such deployments in the U.S. political or commercial? Howard C. Berkowitz 16:00, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Howard, there is certain difference between the cold fusion and inertioids. Everyone who knows the First law of Newton may say that gravitsapa is fraud. But the basics of the nuclear physics and aerodynamics are not sufficient to say that the cold fusion and the ekranoplan are frauds. If you want an appropriate analogy of the inertial propulsion, purchase some ethanol for cleaning of the optical axis, or order boxes for packing the empty set. Dmitrii Kouznetsov 17:13, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
You may have surprised me -- I though ekranoplans were in commercial and military use. Are you saying they don't work?Howard C. Berkowitz 17:25, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I did not investigate ekranoplans and I cannot say that they are "fraud". The descriptions I saw do not violate the fundamental concepts. Dmitrii Kouznetsov 22:21, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Milt and I want to help you achieve your purpose with this article, but it's a little confusing right now. Other than the proponents, I think most people who have worked with the homeopathy article believe it's fair to describe the nature of homeopathy, accurately, according to the homeopaths. At the same time, most people also want to establish that medical and biological scientists think that homeopathy is essentially 19th century superstition, which admittedly has lots of people who believe intensely in it. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:25, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
There is no problem if one just believe. The disaster begins if one claims that his believe is science and begins to eliminate non-believers. Often this happens with history. This happened with biology. Now it comes to Physics. I expect, Mathematics may be the next victim. Dmitrii Kouznetsov 22:21, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Is this similar to your objective here? In other words, do you want to explain clearly what inertioids are described to be, and then indicate why they are implausible? Should, then, the article title be about inertioids rather than reactionless propulsion in general, since the latter can be discussed both as a science fiction plot device, as well as some theoretical concepts dealing with such things as gravitational warping of space-time? Howard C. Berkowitz 17:25, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Inertioid is any system that realises the inertial propulsion (violating of the Laws of Newton). The article is about inetrioids. I did not know that this term is used in science-fiction; I thought it is specific for the pseudoscience. Dmitrii Kouznetsov 22:21, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Howard, Dmitrii has pretty much added some of the same content (as in this article) to the Perpetual motion machine article in a section he entitled "Usage in frauds". In response to question raised by Paul Wormer at Talk:Perpetual motion machine, Dmitrii responded: "It is nonsense, there is no way to measure the absolute speed; all the inertioids are fraud, trick, pseudoscience. Milton Beychok asked me to be polite, "neutral", so, I do not mention in the article that the gravitspa is a fake device, that the inventors and the promoters are liars, knaves, who use it as a pretext to plunder the funds assigned for the development of science in Russian Federation." (with corrections by me of a few spelling errors). I think that is a very open and honest statement of Dmitrii's motivations in writing this article as well as the "Usage in frauds" section of the Perpetual motion machine article. Milton Beychok 23:20, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Motivations are actually immaterial as long as the text of any given article is neutral and unbiased. I myself, for instance, am *very* anti-Uri Geller and similar charlatans, yet I wrote a fair amount of balanced, fair-minded text about the rascal at the WP article about him. And had to fight off the *really* rabid anti-Gellerites, who were *not* writing balanced text. So as long as Dimitrii contributes fair-minded text, it does matter whether he personally thinks that everyone he is writing about is an absolute fraud and/or crook. Hayford Peirce 23:27, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Please explain ILS preprints

Dmitrii, I note that one of your references for this article is a paper you wrote and referenced as a preprint of the ILS. I assume that is a preprint from the "Institute for Laser Science" in Japan.

I also note a number of other papers you have written and marked as "Preprint ILS" at this site:

Does that Institute publish a technical journal? If not, just what is a preprint of the ILS? I am confused. Please explain. Regards, Milton Beychok 22:13, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Hello. The institute (ILS) edits the journal "Optical review", but it has no relation with the topic. The paper mentioned is writen for the Far East Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Physics by the request from the editor. It is expected to be reviewed within one mohth. So, I mention it as preprint.
The same applies to any other "preprint": it is not a per-reviewed publication. I cite such preprints only in cases I cannot find the result in a publication in any scientific joural, book, nor a magazine. If you see a serious publication that may substitute the preprint, consider to replace the reference.
Dmitrii Kouznetsov 14:52, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Dmitrii, I now understand what you meant by preprint. I would just point out that to me a preprint means a paper that has already been accepted for publication in a journal but has not yet appeared in print. I don't know how other people define a preprint, but that is simply my definition. Regards, Milton Beychok 18:31, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

The Dean drive

A United States submarine in Martian orbit, propelled there by a Dean drive, on an Astounding cover.

Shouldn't there be some mention of the Dean drive here? See WP for

Also Damon Knight's reaction to its many mentions in Astounding Science Fiction (John W. Campbell):

"Knight also wrote a four-stanza ditty mocking some of Campbell's new interests. The first stanza reads:"

Oh, the Dean Machine, the Dean Machine,
You put it right in a submarine,
And it flies so high that it can't be seen—
The wonderful, wonderful Dean Machine! Hayford Peirce 17:40, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Submarines? Submariners tend to laugh at stealth aircraft people, as they consider it their defining technology.
Still, I'm reminded of an airshow, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where a newly announced F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter was to be on display. For mundane reasons, it didn't make it. Some enterprising Air Force people, however, roped off an area on the tarmac, put up a sign saying "stealth fighter", and watched as people trooped by and nodded knowingly at the progress in invisibility.
Eventually, they felt enough guilt to put up an empty flight suit with a sign, "stealth pilot". Howard C. Berkowitz 21:43, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
So who would crew this Dean Drive Baby to Mars? Air Force, Navy? Astronauts? Science-fiction writers? Hayford Peirce 22:50, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
The cover graphic helps me cope with the unbidden mental image of cowboys herding gowned academics (see also herding cats), although, I suppose, that's more common than Chancellor Drives and less so than Faculty Drives. Howard C. Berkowitz 00:24, 15 March 2010 (UTC)