Electrogravitics is a research subject based upon the original work of Nikola Tesla, and hypotheses advanced by Thomas Townsend Brown and Brown's subsequent extensive experimentation and demonstrations of the effect. The term was in widespread use by 1956.[1] The effects of electrogravity have been searched for extensively in countless experiments since the beginning of the 20th century; to date, other than Brown's experiments and the more recent ones reported by R. L. Talley[2], Eugene Podkletnov, and Giovanni Modanese, no conclusive evidence of electrogravitic signatures has been found. Recently, some investigation has begun in electrohydrodynamics (EHD) or sometimes electro-fluid-dynamics, a counterpart to the well-known magneto-hydrodynamics, but these do not seem a priori to be related to Brown's "electrogravitics" .

Electrokinetics is the term used by Brown for the electrically generated propulsive force. Fran De Aquino has published calculations explaining the cause and proper harnessing of the electrogravitic effect. No widely accepted experimental data yet supports these calculations.

Description[edit | edit source]

The research, based upon Thomas Townsend Brown's hypotheses, includes the idea that electrogravitics could be used as a means of propulsion for aircraft and spacecraft. The field became popular in the mid-1950s, but rapidly declined in popularity within mainstream science thereafter. Electrogravitic processes use an electric field to charge or, more properly, polarize an object and counteract or alter the effects of gravity. This was thought by Brown, and today is thought by many others, to be different from purely electrostatic effects, which are well-known and do not involve any new physics. Electrostatic levitation is used, for instance, in Robert Millikan's oil drop experiment and is used to suspend the gyroscopes in Gravity Probe B during launch. Due to Earnshaw's theorem, no static arrangement of classical electrostatic fields can be used to stably levitate an object. There is a point where the two fields cancel, but it is unstable. However, it is possible to design a feedback control system that uses dynamically changing electric fields to hold an object in position. On the moon the photoelectric effect charges fine layers of dust on the surface forming an atmosphere of dust floating in "fountains" over the surface of the moon.

The Biefeld–Brown effect, discovered by Thomas Townsend Brown (USA) and Dr. Paul Alfred Biefeld (CH), was researched mainly during the 1950s and 1960's on the use of this electric propulsion effect during the publicized era of gravity control propulsion research, which included the United States gravity control propulsion initiative. Eventually, the Biefeld-Brown effect was verified by experiment, including experiments conducted in vacuum. But nevertheless some skeptics thought that the observed propulsive effects were not caused by electrogravity or new physics; rather it was alleged that ion-induced airflow around the device created the observed forces. During 1964, Major De Seversky had in fact published a lot of his related work in U.S. Patent 3,130,945 , and with the aim to forestall any possible misunderstanding about these devices, had termed these flying machines as ionocrafts. These "ion wind" interpretations are, however, patently inconsistent with the observations of these effects even in a vacuum.

In the following years, this promising concept was abandoned, perhaps due to the technological limitations, or more likely as a result of obfuscation of its mechanism by the "ion wind" crowd. But it was not forgotten. With more recent advances in the EHD field, the effect has become popular again and such flying devices are now known as EHD thrusters. Simple single-stage versions lifted by this effect are sometimes also called lifters.

Some, such as Byron Preiss, considered electrogravitics development to be "much ado about nothing, started by a bunch of engineers who didn't know enough physics". Preiss stated that electrogravitics, like exobiology, is "a science without a single specimen for study".[3]. But perhaps Preiss was not as well informed as he imagined. Parts of the aviation industry evidently explored electrogravity with some seriousness, e.g. the Glenn L. Martin Company, who placed advertisements looking for scientists who were "interested in gravity", and asked candidates to ponder the question, "What is charge?". Given the acknowledged competence of this company, and in particular their Baltimore-based research institute, RIAS, it seems unlikely that these advertisements were really directed at recruiting people interested in the ion wind phenomenon rather than, as the ad said, gravity.

In May, 1991, the U.S. Air Force Systems Command, Propulsion Directorate, published a Final Report[2] on a project by Veritay Technology, Inc., led by Principal Investigator R. L. Talley, entitled "Twenty First Century Propulsion Concept". The Abstract summarizes as follows: "This Phase II SBIR contract was concerned with exploring the Biefield-Brown effect which allegedly converts electrostatic energy directly into a propulsive force in a vacuum environment." ... "...no detectable propulsive force was electrostatically induced by applying a static potential difference up to 19 kV between the electrodes of test devices under conditions in which electrical breakdowns did not occur. Near the conclusion of this program, force generation effects were examined using a high dielectric constant, ceramic piezoelectric material between electrodes of an asymmetric test device under voltage conditions which caused repetitive electrical breakdowns to occur. Very limited test results of this type suggest that anomalous forces were produced, and these may warrant further consideration in the future." The report concludes by recommending that no further experiments be done with static DC voltages, but that further experiments should be done using pulsed excitation to "piezoelectric and/or select dielectric materials". It should be noted in this context that a 1956 article[4] in InterAvia Magazine reported that high dielectric constants had been found, according to their sources, to be important, and that voltages of not just 15 kV but perhaps as high as 15 Megavolts were thought to be needed to obtain dramatic effects. This suggests that Veritay's recommendations ought to have also included experiments at much higher voltages.

Note that the Veritay experiments which appeared to produce anomalous forces, albeit only transiently, were performed in a vacuum.

More recently, Bernard Haisch, Harold E. Puthoff, and several other physicists[5] have shown intriguing connections between electromagnetics, notably the electromagnetic zero-point field, and inertia, and have speculated about possible further connections with gravity. Physicist Ning Li and engineer Eugene Podkletnov have, respectively, shown theoretically, and reported observing experimentally, anomalous gravitic attenuation effects above a superconducting disk spinning in a strong magnetic field such as is produced in a Meissner effect demonstration apparatus. Giovanni Modanese has conducted further experiments on the phenomena seen by Podkletnov, and has reported some additional much stronger, but transient, anomalous gravitational effects. Perhaps Brown's work and the experiments by Veritay Technology should be considered anew in this larger context. This growing list of reported anomalous effects, all seeming to connect gravity with electromagnetism, may be an indication that we are now witnessing the early stages of a scientific revolution that is following the model described by Thomas Kuhn.

In fiction[edit | edit source]

In Robert Quest's novel Starbridge, electrogravitics is said to be based within the technology utilizing electromagnetic potentials that can produce and control the phenomena of localized gravity fields.[6]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Kerstin Klasson, Developments in the Terminology of Physics and Technology. Page 30.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Veritay Technology, Inc., "21st-Century Propulsion Concept", DTIC AD-A237 853, Phillips Lab. PL-TR-91-3009, Contract Nr. F04611-89-C-0023; Approved for Public Release; Distr. Unlimited.
  3. Byron Preiss (1985). The Planets, Bantam Books. pp. 27. ISBN 0553051091. 
  4. "Towards Flight Without Stress of Strain", by "Intel" (pseudonym). In InterAvia Magazine, 1956.
  5. See http://www.calphysics.org/sci_articles.html
  6. Roger Quest, Starbridge. iUniverse, 2005. 232 pages. Page 217. ISBN 0595359159

Additional reading[edit | edit source]

Paul LaViolette[edit | edit source]

  • Paul A. LaViolette, Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion: Tesla, UFOs, and Classified Aerospace Technology. Bear & Co., 2008.
  • Paul A. LaViolette (March 2003). "Concerning a technology that could help avoid another Columbia disaster" (PDF). — LaViolette's submission to NASA, in the wake of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, asserting that "electrification technology" would have averted the disaster and noting the failures of his several prior attempts over a period of 13 years to engage any support within NASA
  • Paul A. LaViolette (2003). Subquantum Kinetics: A Systems Approach to Physics and Cosmology, Starlane Publications. ISBN 0964202557.  — LaViolette's book, published by his own publishing company, Starlane, which documents his view of Electrogravitics in detail in chapter 11.
  • Paul A. LaViolette "An Introduction to Subquantum Kinetics" Part 2 International Journal of General Systems, Special Issue on Systems Thinking in Physics, 11(1985):295-328.
  • Paul A. LaViolette Subquantum Kinetics: The Alchemy of Creation. Starlane Publications, Schenectady, NY, 1994 (first edition of "Subquantum Kinetics", now out of print).
  • Paul A. LaViolette "A Theory of Electrogravtics." Electric Spacecraft Journal, Issue 8, 1993, pp. 33 - 36.
  • Paul A. LaViolette "Electrogravitics: Back to the Future." Electric Spacecraft Journal, Issue 4, 1992, pp. 23 - 28.
  • Paul A. LaViolette "Electrogravtics: An Energy-Efficient Means of Spacecraft Propulsion." Explore 3 (1991): 76 - 79; idea No. 100159 submitted to NASA's 1990 Space Exploration Outreach Program.

Other research[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Patents[edit | edit source]

  • GB300311 - A method of and an apparatus or machine for producing force or motion (accepted 1928-11-15)

Websites[edit | edit source]

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