What does the consensus say?

Jerry Pournelle considers the veracity of some claims concerning reactionless drive inventions:

I would very much like to see a proof of principle for a reactionless drive: a way to convert angular momentum into linear momentum, angular acceleration into linear acceleration, some new cosmic principle that requires energy conservation but does not require equal and opposite reaction; and indeed I applaud NASA for doing the tests.

However, it is my understanding that the current tests have been done in air, using torsion to measure acceleration, and that is suspect to me: I’d prefer they used gravity (a swing) and a vacuum chamber. If that’s too hard to arrange, put a garbage bag around the entire apparatus.

Complex electronics produce complex force fields; it’s quite possible for a torsion spring to be affected by such a field. That’s not mysterious; but if gravity is affected I’d call it extraordinary evidence.

We can only wait for more results. But if I had to bet, so far I’d still bet that they have found a demonstration of flawed testing principles, rather than disproving Newton.

I have to confess that I am more than a little confused here. My understanding is that the correct way to determine whether science is correct or not is to take a poll of scientists in mostly unrelated fields.