College of Science and Mathematics


Physics Department

Degree Name

BS in Physics




Robert Echols


The Electromagnetic Drive (EMDrive) is a propellant-less engine concept hypothesized by aero- space engineer Roger Shawyer. Shawyer’s proposed thruster technology is grounded on the theory of electromagnetic resonant behavior exhibited by a radiofrequency cavity, though the source of any generated thrust is undetermined by current physical laws. NASA Eagleworks Laboratories at John- son Space Center conducted a vacuum test campaign to investigate previously reported anomalous thrust capabilities of such a closed radiofrequency cavity, using a low-thrust torsion pendulum. The team published positive, although small-scaled thrust results in 2017. Following NASA Eagleworks breakthrough result and operating under the assumption that the proposed EMDrive technology may eventually be proven true, we explore the physical features and geometries required of such a thruster to maximize the thrust generated. Our simulation results show that the use of a superconducting cav- ity material is the greatest contributor to a possible higher thrust. In the case of any practical indus- trial and manufacturing applications, the use of a cylindrical cavity with the desired superconducting material may provide the greatest efficiency.