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Q & A: Mag Pulse Engines

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Most recent answer: 02/03/2011
Q:
what is a mag pulse engine
- user
dallas,tx,usa
A:
Honestly, I have never heard of a 'mag pulse engine,' but this does not mean that they don't exist. The term 'mag pulse' is short for 'magnetic pulse,' and all it means is that something uses a pulsing magnetic field in some way. Mag pulse components are fairly common in electronics, etc., and if you're interested, you can check out the webpage for the - they specialize in magnetic pulse technology.

All in all, it's fairly likely that an engine that uses a pulsing magnetic field has been made by somebody. And if they had, it would technically be called a 'mag pulse engine.' But it seems to me that you're a lot more likely to hear the phrase used in a science fiction movie, since it sounds technologically advanced.

-Tamara

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-Up #1: magnetic propulsion

Q:
So in theory can a mag pulse be used to create forward motion in a zero gravity environment given a large enough power supply say fusion????
- Will (age 32)
Indianapolis
A:
Certainly you can propel things with a magnetic field. For example, a big magnetic pulse will stir up eddy currents in a nearby conductor, repelling the conductor.  As always for an isolated rocket, one needs some sort of momentum-carrying material to expel backwards in order to propel yourself forward. So long as you have a power supply, magnetic pulses can be used to actually do the propulsion.

Mike W.

(published on 02/03/2011)

Follow-up on this answer.