Gravity and Antigravity
Feb 2001, last revised Oct 2019
Part 1 of 2
1. Gravity and mass
2. Shielding, electrogravity, antigravity
3. Explaining gravity
4. Gravitational waves
5. Levitation and technology
6. Human levitation
7. Theosophical writings
1. Gravity and mass
It is said to have been the sight of an apple falling from a tree that, around 1665, gave Isaac Newton the idea that the force that pulls an apple to earth is the same as that which keeps the moon in its orbit around the earth. The reason the moon does not fall to earth is because of the counteracting effect of its orbital motion. If the moon were to cease its orbital motion and fall to earth, the acceleration due to gravity that it would experience at the earth’s surface would be 9.8 m/s² – the same as that experienced by an apple or any other object in free fall.
Newton’s universal law of gravitation states that the gravitational force between two bodies is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. To calculate the gravitational force (F), their masses (m1 and m2) and the gravitational constant (G) are multiplied together, and the result is divided by the square of the distance (r) between them: F = Gm1m2/r².
According to newtonian theory, the gravitational force between two or more bodies is therefore dependent on their masses. However, the gravitational acceleration of an attracted body is not dependent on its mass: if dropped simultaneously from a tower, and if air resistance is ignored, a tennis ball and a cannonball will hit the ground simultaneously. This is explained by means of Newton’s second law of motion, which states that the force applied to a body equals the mass of the body multiplied by its acceleration (F = ma); this implies that gravity pulls harder on larger masses.
If Newton’s two force equations are combined (F = ma = Gm1m2/r²), it can be deduced that, for the equation to balance, the gravitational constant (G) must have the rather curious dimensions m³/kg.s² (volume divided by mass multiplied by time squared).
In her book Gravitational Force of the Sun,1 Pari Spolter criticizes the orthodox theory that gravity is proportional to the quantity or density of inert mass. She argues that there is no reason to include any term for mass in either of the force equations. She points out that to deduce from the earth-moon system that gravity obeys an inverse-square law (i.e. that its strength diminishes by the square of the distance from the attracting body), Newton did not need to know or estimate the masses of the earth and moon. He needed to know only the acceleration due to gravity at the earth’s surface, the radius of the earth, the orbital speed of the moon, and the distance between the earth and moon. And as already said, a body’s gravitational acceleration in free fall is independent of its mass, something that has been verified to a high degree of precision.2
Spolter rejects Newton’s second law (F = ma) as an arbitrary definition or convention, and maintains that it is not force that is equal to mass times acceleration, but weight. Her equation for ‘linear’ force is F = ad (acceleration times distance). Her equation for ‘circular’ force (including gravity) is F = aA, where a is the acceleration and A is the area of a circle with a radius equal to the mean distance of the orbiting body from the central body. She holds that the acceleration due to gravity declines by the square of the distance, but that the gravitational force of the sun, earth, etc. is the same for any body revolving around it. In newtonian theory, by contrast, gravity varies according to both the mass of the orbiting body and its distance from the central body.
Spolter’s theory contains several flaws. First, her attempt to deny any link between force and mass is unconvincing. She does not question the equation for a body’s momentum (momentum = mass times velocity), yet momentum with a rate of repetition constitutes a force, which therefore cannot be independent of mass. Moreover, weight is a type of force, rather than a completely separate phenomenon. Second, Spolter would have us believe that there are two types of force and energy – one linear and one circular – with different dimensions: she gives ‘linear’ force the dimensions metres squared per second squared, while ‘circular’ force is given the dimensions metres cubed per second squared. But there is no justification for inventing two forms of force and energy and abandoning uniform dimensions.
Third, defining ‘circular’ force in such a way that the gravitational force of a star or planet remains exactly the same no matter how far away from it we happen to be, is counterintuitive if not absurd. Furthermore, it is disingenuous of Spolter to say that her equation implies that acceleration is inversely proportional to the square of the distance. If it were true that a = F/A, with force (F) proportional to r³ (see below) and area (A = πr²) proportional to r², acceleration would in fact be directly proportional to r³/r² = r.
Spolter believes that her gravity equation solves the mystery of Kepler’s third law of planetary motion: this law states that the ratio of the cube of the mean distance (r) of each planet from the sun to the square of its period of revolution (T) is always the same number (r³/T² = constant). Her gravity equation can be rewritten: F = 2²π³r³/T². As explained elsewhere, the factor 2²π³ is entirely arbitrary, and Spolter has merely obscured the real significance of Kepler’s constant.3
Gravity does not involve some (mean) area being accelerated around the sun, as Spolter’s equation implies. Rather, it involves a coupling of the mass-energy of the sun and planets, along with their associated gravitational energy. And it acts not through empty space but through an energetic ether – something that is as much missing from Spolter’s physics as from orthodox physics (see section 3). As shown in subsequent sections, the net gravitational force need not be directly proportional to inert mass, as characteristics such as spin and charge can modify a body’s gravitational properties.
Spolter proposes that it is the rotation of a star, planet, etc. that somehow generates the gravitational force and causes other bodies to revolve around it – an idea advanced by the 17th-century astronomer Johannes Kepler.4 But she does not suggest a mechanism to explain how this might work, or what causes a celestial body to rotate in the first place. She shows that the mean distance of successive planetary orbits from the centre of the sun, or of successive lunar orbits from the centre of a planet, is not random but follows an exponential law, indicating that gravity is quantized on a macro scale (i.e. it can only assume certain preferred values), just as electron orbits in an atom are quantized on a micro scale. There is no generally accepted theory to explain this key fact either.
The Devil’s Dictionary defines gravitation as: ‘The tendency of all bodies to approach one another with a strength proportioned to the quantity of matter they contain – the quantity of matter they contain being ascertained by the strength of their tendency to approach one another’.5 Such is the seemingly circular logic underlying standard gravity theory. The figures given for the masses and densities of all planets, stars, etc. are purely theoretical; nobody has ever placed one on a balance and weighed it. It should be borne in mind, however, that weight is always a relative measure, since one mass can only be weighed in relation to some other mass. The fact that observed artificial satellite speeds match predictions is usually taken as evidence that the fundamentals of newtonian theory must be correct.
The masses of celestial bodies can be calculated from what is known as Newton’s form of Kepler’s third law, which assumes that Kepler’s constant ratio of r³/T² is equal to the inert mass of the body multiplied by the gravitational constant divided by 4π² (GM = 4π²r³/T² = v²r [if we substitute 2πr/v for T, where v = velocity]). Using this method, the earth’s mean density turns out to be 5.5 g/cm³. Since the mean density of the earth’s outer crust is 2.75 g/cm³, scientists have concluded that the density of the earth’s inner layers must increase substantially with depth. However, there are good reasons for questioning the standard earth model.6
CODATA’s official (2018) value for the gravitational constant (G) is 6.67430 ± 0.00015 x 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2. While the values of many ‘fundamental constants’ are known to eight decimal places, experimental values for G often disagree after only three, and sometimes they even disagree about the first; this is regarded as an embarrassment in an age of precision.1
Assuming the correctness of Newton’s gravitational equation, G can be determined in Cavendish-type experiments, by measuring the very small angle of deflection of a torsion balance from which large and small metallic spheres are suspended, or the very small change in its period of oscillation. Such experiments are extremely sensitive and difficult to perform. For instance, electrostatic attraction between the metallic spheres can affect the results: in one experiment in which the small mass of platinum was coated with a thin layer of lacquer, consistently lower values of G were obtained.2 Note that variations in the experimental values of G do not necessarily mean that G itself varies; they could mean that the local manifestation of G, or the earth’s surface gravity (g), varies according to ambient conditions. Scientists have occasionally speculated on whether G is truly constant over very long periods of time, but no conclusive evidence of a gradual increase or decrease has been found.3
In 1981 a paper was published showing that measurements of G in deep mines, boreholes and under the sea gave values about 1% higher than that currently accepted.4 Furthermore, the deeper the experiment, the greater the discrepancy. However, no one took much notice of these results until 1986, when E. Fischbach and his colleagues reanalyzed the data from a series of experiments by Eötvös in the 1920s, which were supposed to have shown that gravitational acceleration is independent of the mass or composition of the attracted body. Fischbach et al. found that there was a consistent anomaly hidden in the data that had been dismissed as random error. On the basis of these laboratory results and the observations from mines, they announced that they had found evidence of a short-range, composition-dependent ‘fifth force’. Their paper caused a great deal of controversy and generated a flurry of experimental activity in physics laboratories around the world.5
The majority of the experiments failed to find any evidence of a composition-dependent force; one or two did, but this is generally attributed to experimental error. Several earlier experimenters have detected anomalies incompatible with newtonian theory, but the results have long since been forgotten. For instance, Charles Brush performed very precise experiments showing that metals of very high atomic weight and density tend to fall very slightly faster than elements of lower atomic weight and density, even though the same mass of each metal is used. He also reported that a constant mass or quantity of certain metals may be appreciably changed in weight by changing its physical condition.6 His work was not taken seriously by the scientific community, and the very precise spark photography technique he used in his free-fall experiments has never been used by other investigators. Experiments by Victor Crémieu showed that gravitation measured in water at the earth’s surface appears to be one tenth greater than that computed by newtonian theory.7
Unexpected anomalies continue to turn up. Mikhail Gersteyn has shown that ‘G’ varies by at least 0.054% depending on orientation of the two test masses relative to the fixed stars.8 Gary Vezzoli has found that the strength of gravitational interactions varies by 0.04 to 0.05% as a function of an object’s temperature, shape and phase.9 Donald Kelly has demonstrated that if the absorption capacity of a body is reduced by magnetizing or electrically energizing it, it is attracted to the earth at a rate less than g.10 Physicists normally measure g in a controlled manner which includes not altering the absorption capacity of bodies from their usual state. A team of Japanese scientists has found that a right-spinning gyroscope falls slightly faster than when it is not spinning.11 Bruce DePalma discovered that rotating objects falling in a magnetic field accelerate faster than g.12
As mentioned above, measurements of gravity below the earth’s surface are consistently higher than predicted on the basis of Newton’s theory.13 Sceptics simply assume that hidden rocks of unusually high density must be present. However, measurements in mines where densities are very well known have given the same anomalous results, as have measurements to a depth of 1673 metres in a homogenous ice sheet in Greenland, well above the underlying rock. Harold Aspden points out that in some of these experiments Faraday cage-type enclosures are placed around the two metal spheres for electrical screening purposes. He argues that this could result in electric charge being induced and held on the spheres, which in turn could induce ‘vacuum’ (or rather ether) spin, producing an influx of ether energy that is shed as excess heat, resulting in errors of 1 or 2% in measurements of G.14
All freely falling bodies – individual atoms as well as macroscopic objects – experience a gravitational acceleration (g) of about 9.8 m/s² near the earth’s surface. The value of g varies slightly all over the earth owing to its departure from a perfect sphere (i.e. the equatorial bulge and local topography) and – in the conventional theory – to local variations in the density of the crust and upper mantle. These ‘gravity anomalies’ are believed to be fully explicable in the context of newtonian theory. However, the net gravitational force is not necessarily proportional to inert mass. Section 2 will consider evidence for gravity shielding, gravity cancellation and antigravity.
On the basis of newtonian gravity, it might be expected that gravitational attraction over continents, and especially mountains, would be higher than over oceans. In reality, the gravity on top of large mountains is less than expected on the basis of their visible mass while over ocean surfaces it is unexpectedly high. To explain this, the concept of isostasy was developed: it was postulated that low-density rock exists 30 to 100 km beneath mountains, which buoys them up, while denser rock exists 30 to 100 km beneath the ocean bottom. However, this hypothesis is far from proven. Physicist Maurice Allais commented: ‘There is an excess of gravity over the ocean and a deficiency above the continents. The theory of isostasy provided only a pseudoexplanation of this.’15
The standard, simplistic theory of isostasy is contradicted by the fact that in regions of tectonic activity vertical movements often intensify gravity anomalies rather than acting to restore isostatic equilibrium. For example, the Greater Caucasus shows a positive gravity anomaly (usually interpreted to mean it is overloaded with excess mass), yet it is rising rather than subsiding.
Newtonian gravity theory is challenged by various aspects of planetary behaviour in our solar system. The rings of Saturn, for example, present a major problem.16 There are tens of thousands of rings and ringlets separated by just as many gaps in which matter is either less dense or essentially absent. The complex, dynamic nature of the rings seems beyond the power of newtonian mechanics to explain. The gaps in the asteroid belt present a similar puzzle.
- Pari Spolter, Gravitational Force of the Sun, Granada Hills, CA: Orb Publishing, 1993.
- Ibid., pp. 39-40, 141-7; ‘Equivalence principle passes atomic test’, physicsworld.com.
- Aetherometry and gravity: an introduction, section 10, davidpratt.info.
- Johannes Kepler, Epitome of Copernican Astronomy (1618-21), in Great Books of the Western World, Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1952, v. 16, pp. 895-905.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary: Complete & unabridged, New York: Dover, 2011, p. 111.
- See Mysteries of the inner earth, davidpratt.info.
- D. Kestenbaum, ‘The legend of G’, New Scientist, 17 Jan 1998, pp. 39-42; Vincent Kiernan, ‘Gravitational constant is up in the air’, New Scientist, 26 Apr 1995, p. 18.
- Spolter, Gravitational Force of the Sun, p. 117; Pari Spolter, ‘Problems with the gravitational constant’, Infinite Energy, 10:59, 2005, p. 39.
- Rupert Sheldrake, Seven Experiments that Could Change the World, London: Fourth Estate, 1994, pp. 176-8.
- F.D. Stacey and G.J. Tuck, ‘Geophysical evidence for non-newtonian gravity’, Nature, v. 292, 1981, pp. 230-2.
- Seven Experiments that Could Change the World, pp. 174-6; Gravitational Force of the Sun, pp. 146-7.
- Charles F. Brush, ‘Some new experiments in gravitation’, Proceedings of the American Philosophy Society, v. 63, 1924, pp. 57-61.
- Victor Crémieu, ‘Recherches sur la gravitation’, Comptes Rendus de l’académie des Sciences, Dec 1906, pp. 887-9; Victor Crémieu, ‘Le problème de la gravitation’, Rev. Gen. Sc. Pur. et Appl., v. 18, 1907, pp. 7-13.
- Mikhail L. Gershteyn, Lev I. Gershteyn, Arkady Gershteyn and Oleg V. Karagioz, ‘Experimental evidence that the gravitational constant varies with orientation’, Infinite Energy, 10:55, 2004, pp. 26-8.
- G.C. Vezzoli, ‘Materials properties of water related to electrical and gravitational interactions’, Infinite Energy, 8:44, 2002, pp. 58-63.
- Stephen Mooney, ‘From the cause of gravity to the revolution of science’, Apeiron, 6:1-2, 1999, pp. 138-41; Josef Hasslberger, ‘Comments on gravity drop tests performed by Donald A. Kelly’, Nexus, Dec 1994-Jan 1995, pp. 48-9.
- H. Hayasaka et al., ‘Possibility for the existence of anti-gravity: evidence from a free-fall experiment using a spinning gyro’, Speculations in Science and Technology, v. 20, 1997, pp. 173-81; keelynet.com.
- The Home of Primordial Energy (Bruce DePalma), depalma.pair.com; Jeane Manning, The Coming Energy Revolution: The search for free energy, NY: Avery, 1996, pp. 82-6.
- S.C. Holding and G.J. Tuck, ‘A new mine determination of the newtonian gravitational constant’, Nature, v. 307, 1984, pp. 714-16; Mark A. Zumberge et al., ‘Results from the 1987 Greenland G experiment’, Eos, v. 69, 1988, p. 1046; R. Poole, ‘ “Fifth force” update: more tests needed’, Science, v. 242, 1988, p. 1499; Ian Anderson, ‘Icy tests provide firmer evidence for a fifth force’, New Scientist, 11 Aug 1988, p. 29.
- Harold Aspden, ‘Gravity and its thermal anomaly’, Infinite Energy, 7:41, 2002, pp. 61-5.
- M.F.C. Allais, ‘Should the laws of gravitation be reconsidered?’, part 2, Aero/Space Engineering, v. 18, Oct 1959, p. 52.
- W.R. Corliss (comp.), The Moon and the Planets, Glen Arm, MD: Sourcebook Project, 1985, pp. 282-4.
2. Shielding, electrogravity, antigravity
Both gravity and electromagnetism obey the inverse-square law, i.e. their strength declines by the square of the distance between interacting systems. In other respects, however, they seem to be very different. For instance, the gravitational force between two electrons is 42 orders of magnitude (1042) weaker than their electrical repulsion. The reason electromagnetic forces do not completely overwhelm gravity in the world around us is that most things are composed of an equal amount of positive and negative electric charges whose forces cancel each other out. Whereas electric and magnetic forces are clearly bipolar, gravity is generally assumed to be always attractive so that no analogous cancellations occur.
Another difference is that the presence of matter can modify or shield electric and magnetic forces and electromagnetic radiation, whereas no weakening of gravity has allegedly been measured by placing matter between two bodies, and it is assumed that this is true whatever the thickness of the matter in question. However, some experiments have found evidence that can be interpreted in terms of either gravitational shielding or of deviations from the inverse-square law.
In the course of a long series of very sensitive experiments in the 1920s, Quirino Majorana found that placing mercury or lead beneath a suspended lead sphere acted as a screen and slightly decreased the earth’s gravitational pull. No attempts have been made to reproduce his results using the same experimental techniques. Other researchers have concluded from other data that if gravitational absorption does exist it must be at least five orders of magnitude smaller than Majorana’s experiments suggest.1 Tom Van Flandern argued that anomalies in the motions of certain artificial earth satellites during eclipse seasons may be caused by shielding of the sun’s gravity.2
Several investigators have detected gravitational anomalies incompatible with both newtonian and einsteinian models of gravity during solar eclipses, while others have detected no such anomalies.3 However, the experimental setup and/or eclipse conditions are different in each case. During solar eclipses in 1954 and 1959, physicist Maurice Allais (1911-2010), who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1988, detected disturbances in the plane of oscillation (swing direction) of a paraconical pendulum (i.e. one suspended on a ball) – this was named the Allais effect.4 During the solar eclipse on 15 February 1961, Gheorghe Jeverdan, Gheorghe Rusu and Virgil Antonescu discovered that the period of oscillation of a Foucault pendulum changed, a phenomenon now known as the Jeverdan-Rusu-Antonescu effect.5 Erwin Saxl and Mildred Allen measured significant variations in the period of a torsion pendulum during a solar eclipse in 1970. They also detected unexpected daily and seasonal pendulum variations.6
A similar anomaly was measured using a two-pendulum system during the line-up (syzygy) of Earth-Sun-Jupiter-Saturn in May 2001.7 During the total solar eclipse in 1997, a Chinese team performed measurements with a high-precision gravimeter. However, in contrast to Allais, they detected a decrease in the earth’s gravity. Moreover, the effect occurred immediately before and after the eclipse but not at its height.8 In the course of observations conducted since 1987, Shu-wen Zhou and his collaborators have confirmed the occurrence of an anomalous force of horizontal oscillation when the sun, moon and earth are aligned, and have shown that it affects the pattern of grain sequence in crystals, the spectral wavelengths of atoms and molecules, and the rate of atomic clocks.9
Dimitrie Olenici and his coworkers have detected various anomalies during solar and lunar eclipses, and conjunctions, oppositions and transits of planets – i.e. during various types of syzygies.10 On 26 January 2009, two torsinds (ultralight disc torsion balances) in Kiev, Ukraine, and a paraconical pendulum in Suceava, Romania, showed correlated disturbances during a solar eclipse, even though it was not visible at those locations but only in the Indian Ocean.11 A Foucault pendulum and a torsion balance installed in a disused salt mine in Cacica, Romania, where they were subject to minimal interference, displayed a clear response to the solar eclipse on 6 January 2011. Again, the eclipse was not visible at that geographical location.12 During the solar eclipses on 13 November 2012 and 10 May 2013 the disc of a torsind was observed to rotate, and deviations occurred in the plane and period of oscillation of a Foucault pendulum.13
Various conventional explanations have been put forward to account for gravity anomalies during eclipses, such as instrument errors, gravity effects of denser air due to cooling of the upper atmosphere, seismic disturbances caused by sightseers moving into and out of a place where an eclipse is visible, and tilting of the ground due to cooling. Physicist Chris Duif argues that none of them are convincing. Another interpretation is that anomalies during solar eclipses are due to the sun’s gravity being shielded by the moon, resulting in a slight increase in terrestrial gravity. Duif believes that gravitational shielding, too, cannot explain the observations, as it would be far too weak (if it exists at all).14
Dimitrie Olenici and his associates argue that gravity cannot explain pendulum anomalies because the gravitational potential grows slowly and smoothly in the days before an eclipse and then declines smoothly afterwards without any sudden variations. Moreover, torsinds are not sensitive to changes in gravitational potential. The fact that anomalies have also been measured deep in a Romanian mine indicates that electromagnetic radiation is not involved either; the sun appears to radiate an unknown type of vortex-like energy.15
Miles Mathis proposes that the ‘gravitational’ field defined by Newton’s equation is actually a compound field, comprising both an attractive gravity field and a repulsive ‘foundational electromagnetic field’ (caused by the motion of photons emanating from the earth). He argues that during solar eclipses the partial or complete blocking of the solar wind leads to an increase in the electromagnetic field and therefore an apparent decrease in ‘gravity’, thereby explaining many anomalous observations.16
Possible evidence of gravity shielding is provided by experiments reported by Evgeny Podkletnov and his coworkers in the 1990s. When a ceramic superconductor was magnetically levitated and rotated at high speed in the presence of an external magnetic field, objects placed above the rotating disc changed weight.* Weight reductions of 0.3 to 0.5% were obtained, and when the rotation speed was slowly reduced from 5000 revolutions per minute to 3500, a maximum weight loss of about 2% was achieved for about 30 seconds.17 5% weight reductions have been recorded, though not with the same repeatability.
*The weight of a body is equal to its mass multiplied by gravitational acceleration (W = mg). Strictly speaking, an object with a mass of 1 kg weighs 9.8 newtons on earth. However, weights are commonly given in kilograms, with the gravitational acceleration of 9.8 m/s² at the earth’s surface being taken for granted. If the force of gravity acting on a body is reduced, its weight is likewise reduced, while its mass (in the sense of ‘quantity of matter’) remains the same. Note that a body’s apparent weight will change if it is accelerated by nongravitational forces that either oppose or reinforce the action of the local gravitational field; for instance, an electrodynamic force can be used to cancel gravity.
Other investigators have found the Podkletnov experiment extremely difficult to duplicate in its entirety (Podkletnov has not revealed the exact recipe for making his superconductors), but stripped-down versions have produced small effects (on the order of one part in 104).18 From 1995 to 2002 NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center attempted a full experimental replication of the Podkletnov configuration, but ran out of resources. A privately funded replication was completed in 2003, but found no evidence of a gravity-like force. NASA has concluded that this approach is not a viable candidate for breakthrough propulsion.19 In Mathis’ theory, a superconductor cools a small portion of the atmosphere to near zero, allowing the electromagnetic field being emitted outwards by the earth to move more quickly through the atmosphere or some object, so that smoke rises, objects appear to lose weight, etc.20
Gravity and electromagnetism
Various experimental results seem to point to a link between electromagnetism and gravity. For instance, Erwin Saxl found that when a torsion pendulum was positively charged, it took longer to swing through its arc than when it was negatively charged. Maurice Allais conducted experiments in 1953 to investigate the action of a magnetic field on the motion of a glass pendulum oscillating inside a solenoid, and concluded that there was a connection between electromagnetism and gravity.1 Bruce DePalma conducted numerous experiments showing that rotation and rotating magnetic fields can have anomalous gravitational and inertial effects.2 Podkletnov’s experiments seem to confirm this.
A controversial electrogravitics researcher is John Searl, an English electronics technician.3 In 1949 he discovered that a small voltage (or electromotive force) was induced in spinning metal objects. The negative charge was on the outside and the positive charge was around the centre of rotation. He reasoned that free electrons were thrown out by centrifugal force, leaving a positive charge in the centre.
In 1952 he constructed a generator, some three feet in diameter, based on this principle. When tested outdoors, it reportedly produced a powerful electrostatic effect on nearby objects, accompanied by crackling sounds and the smell of ozone. The generator then lifted off the ground, while still accelerating, and rose to a height of about 50 feet, breaking the connection with the starter engine. It briefly hovered at this height, still speeding up. A pink halo appeared around it, indicating ionization of the surrounding atmosphere. It also caused local radio receivers to go on of their own accord. Finally, it reached another critical rotational velocity, rapidly gained altitude and disappeared from sight.
Fig. 2.1 A Searl disc.
Searl has said that he and his colleagues subsequently built over 50 versions of his ‘levity disc’, of various sizes, and learned how to control them. He claims to have been persecuted by the authorities, resulting in wrongful imprisonment and the destruction of most of his work, so that he had to start all over again. His claim that in the early 1970s one of his craft flew round the world several times without being detected does nothing to enhance his credibility.
Although Searl has been dismissed as a con man, there are indications that the ‘Searl effect’ involves a genuine anomaly. Two Russian scientists, V.V. Roschin and S.M. Godin, carried out an experiment with a Searl-type generator that they called the magnetic energy converter. They observed a 35% weight reduction, luminescence, a smell of ozone, anomalous magnetic-field effects, and a fall in temperature. They concluded that orthodox, etherless physics cannot explain these results.4 Aerospace engineer Paul Murad and his team have developed the ‘Morningstar Energy Box’, a modified version of Searl’s and Godin and Roshchin’s devices. They have verified several of the Russians’ findings and measured transient weight losses of over 35%.5 It should be noted that separating genuine gravity anomalies from electrodyamic artifacts in such experiments is no easy task.
In the 1980s electrical engineer Floyd Sweet developed a device consisting of a set of specially conditioned magnets, wound with wires, known as the vacuum triode amplifier (VTA), which is designed to induce oscillation in magnetic fields. It was able to put out much more power than it took in, by capturing energy from the ‘vacuum’ (i.e. ether energy). In one experiment it lost 90% of its original weight before the experiment was stopped for safety reasons. Sweet later succeeded in making the VTA hover and accelerate upward, with the unit on a tether. He became very paranoid after an alleged assassination attempt, and died without revealing the full secrets of his invention.6
The ‘Hutchison effect’ refers to a collection of phenomena discovered accidentally by inventor John Hutchison in 1979. Electromagnetic influences developed by a combination of electric power equipment, including Tesla coils, have produced levitation of heavy objects (including a 60-pound canon ball), fusion of dissimilar materials such as metal and wood, anomalous heating of metals without burning adjacent material, spontaneous fracturing of metals, and changes in the crystalline structure and physical properties of metals. The effects have been well documented on film and videotape, and witnessed many times by credentialed scientists and engineers, but are difficult to reproduce consistently.7
A Pentagon team spent several months investigating the Hutchison effect in 1983. Four of the investigators came away convinced it was real, while the fifth simply dismissed whatever happened as ‘smoke and mirrors’. Many phenomena were witnessed: a super-strong molybdenum rod was bent into an S-shape as if it were soft metal; a length of high-carbon steel shredded at one end and transmuted into lead at the other; a piece of PVC plastic disappeared into thin air; bits of wood became embedded in the middle of pieces of aluminium; and all sorts of objects levitated. Two aerospace companies (Boeing and McDonnell Douglas) have also investigated the Hutchison effect. The problem is its randomness and unpredictability. Indeed, some researchers think that it is at least partly attributable to Hutchison’s own unconscious psychokinetic powers.8
The 2% weight loss Podkletnov says he has achieved with his superconductor apparatus is about 10 billion times greater than allowed for in general relativity theory. Off the record, Podkletnov has claimed that if the superconductors are rotated 5 to 10 times faster than the usual speed of about 5000 rpm, the disc experiences so much weight loss that it takes off.9 Joe Parr and Dan Davidson say they have measured weight losses of up to 50% in a ‘gravity wheel’ – a small wheel with copper triangles around the circumference, which is spun on a shaft by a high-speed motor, between permanent magnets mounted on either side.10
In addition to his ongoing work with rotating superconductors, Podkletnov has also conducted experiments with stationary high-temperature superconductors: he reports that discharges from a superconducting ceramic electrode are accompanied by the emission of a force beam that passes through different materials without noticeable attenuation and exerts a repulsive force that can knock over objects in the lab and even punch holes in solid materials. It resembles a gravitational impulse since it is proportional to the mass of the objects and independent of their composition. Experiments indicate that the impulse travels at about 64 times the speed of light. Podkletnov says he has also used rotating magnetic fields to generate an antigravity effect without any superconductors.11
Ether scientists Paulo and Alexandra Correa have demonstrated that gravity can be controlled by electric means. In one experiment, a 43-milligram piece of gold leaf, suspended from the arm of a wooden beam connected to a sensitive electronic balance (far off to the side), was quickly reduced in weight by 70%. This was achieved by imposing an electrical frequency adjusted to match that of the gold antigraviton (as it is called in the Correas’ aetherometry model). This technique is able to produce 100% weight reduction in objects of known composition in the 100-milligram range.12
There are an estimated 2000 to 3000 experimenters worldwide conducting unorthodox research into technologies beyond the currently accepted scientific paradigms, including gravity control and ‘free energy’ devices.13 The Correas stand out for their rigorous experimental approach. They say that they have observed weight losses with their PAGD (Pulsed Abnormal Glow Discharge) reactors, but the fact that the observations were difficult to reproduce led them to believe that they had not properly protected the experiments from electrodynamic artifacts seated in the input wires or in the arrangement of liquid conductors. Not all alternative researchers are as cautious and self-critical as this, and the standard of research is uneven.
The field of electrogravitics is often said to have been pioneered by physicist and inventor Thomas Townsend Brown (1905-1985). The traditional ‘Biefeld-Brown effect’ refers to his discovery that if an electrical capacitor* using a heavy, high charge-accumulating dielectric material between its plates is charged with tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of volts, it moves in the direction of its positive pole. He found that the greater the voltage and the greater the mass of the dielectric material, the greater the effect. He initially attributed this force to an electrostatically-induced artificial gravity field acting between the capacitor’s plates.1
*Capacitors are devices that store electric charge in the space between two separated, oppositely charged electrodes. Their capacity to store electric energy can be greatly increased by inserting a solid dielectric material into the space separating the electrodes. Dielectrics are materials that are poor conductors of electricity (e.g. ceramics).
In 1952 an Air Force major general witnessed a demonstration in which Brown flew a pair of 18-inch disc airfoils suspended from opposite ends of a rotatable arm (fig. 2.2). When electrified with 50,000 volts, they circuited at a speed of 12 miles per hour. Later that year, however, an investigator from the Office of Naval Research wrote a report which concluded that the discs were propelled by the pressure of negative ions striking the positive electrode (ion wind), rather than by modifying gravity. Around 1953 or 1954, Brown staged a demonstration at Pearl Harbor for a number of admirals, using 3-foot-diameter discs. Paul LaViolette writes:
Powered by a potential of 150 kilovolts, the discs flew around a 50-foot-diameter course at such an impressive speed that the subject became highly classified. The speed may have been in excess of 100 miles per hour, because the May 1956 issue of the Swiss aeronautics magazine Interavia stated that the discs were capable of attaining speeds of several hundred miles per hour when charged with several hundred kilovolts.2
There is no hard evidence that Brown’s work became ‘highly classified’ or that any demonstrations achieved speeds of 100 mph or more. Moreover, such speeds are minuscule given that by 1956 ion-engines capable of effective exhaust velocities of 11,250 mph had been attained. Brown thought that his discs might be capable of speeds of over 1200 mph,3 but a 1956 intelligence report entitled Electrogravitics Systems stated that a saucer-shaped interceptor capable of around 2000 mph (Mach 3), as proposed by Brown, would require ‘ten or more years of intensive development’.4
Fig. 2.2 Brown’s electrokinetic flying disc setup.
Patent no. 2,949,550, 16 August 1960.
In 1955-56 Brown carried out vacuum chamber tests which in his opinion showed that his devices continued to experience a thrust even in the absence of ionic wind. But as the Correas explain, and as Brown himself admitted, ‘One cannot ignore ion thrust in vacuum devices’.5 By 1958 Brown had developed a 15-inch-diameter dome-shaped saucer model which, when energized with 50 to 250 thousand volts, lifted itself up and hovered in mid-air, while supporting an additional mass equal to 10% of its weight. There is no convincing evidence, however, that Brown’s later work had anything to do with antigravity. The Correas argue that what he was working on was ‘in essence an ion-engine having arcjet characteristics and thus belonging to the electrodynamic class’.6
LaViolette, on the other hand, believes that Brown’s work supports his own theory that negative charges such as electrons generate an antigravity field (see section 3). He writes:
Brown’s discs were charged with a high positive voltage on a wire running along their leading edge and a high negative voltage on a wire running along their trailing edge. As the wires ionized the air around them, a dense cloud of positive ions would form ahead of the craft and a corresponding cloud of negative ions would form behind the craft. Brown’s research indicated that, like the charged plates of his capacitors, these ion clouds induced a gravitational force directed in the minus to plus direction. As the disc moved forward in response to its self-generated gravity field, it would carry with it its positive and negative ion clouds with their associated electrogravity gradient. Consequently, the discs would ride their advancing gravity wave much like surfers ride an ocean wave.7
In his experiments with electrokinetic saucers where the positive and negative electrodes are of different sizes, Brown found that the apparatus always produced a thrust toward its larger electrode, regardless of polarity, though the thrust was greater when the larger electrode was positive. LaViolette interprets this to mean that ‘the electrogravitic force is being overpowered by the unbalanced electrostatic thrust that depends on field geometry rather than plate polarity’.8
In the mid-1950s, over 10 major aircraft companies were actively involved in electrogravitics research. Since then no publicity has been given to whatever work in electro-antigravity the US military has conducted. It is quite possible that attempts to achieve antigravity ended in total failure. LaViolette, however, speculates that secretly developed electrogravitic technology has been put to use in the B-2 Stealth Bomber to provide an auxiliary mode of propulsion. His view is based on the disclosure that the B-2 electrostatically charges both the leading edge of its wing-like body and its jet exhaust stream to a high voltage.
Positive ions emitted from its wing leading edge would produce a positively charged parabolic ion sheath ahead of the craft while negative ions injected into its exhaust stream would set up a trailing negative space charge with a potential difference in excess of 15 million volts. ... [This] would set up an artificial gravity field that would induce a reactionless force on the aircraft in the direction of the positive pole. An electrogravitic drive of this sort could allow the B-2 to function with over-unity propulsion efficiency when cruising at supersonic velocities.9
Fig. 2.3 The B-2 Stealth Bomber.
Each plane costs over two billion dollars.
B-2 pilots and engineers have openly ridiculed LaViolette’s speculations. The official explanation is that enveloping the B-2 in a shield of static electricity is designed to reduce its radar and thermal signature and make it ultra-stealthy. Some writers have argued that it also reduces the craft’s air resistance and thereby improves its lift – but this is achieved aerodynamically rather than electrogravitically.10
LaViolette believes that the US military have various other types of craft powered partly by electrogravitics. One type is said to fly by directing an intense microwave beam at the ground, a technology he thinks has been developed in secret since the early 1950s. Like many other researchers, he believes that secret military craft account for some UFO sightings.11
The nature of the Biefeld-Brown (B-B) effect continues to generate controversy. According to the classical B-B effect, the largest force on an asymmetric capacitor (i.e. one where the two electrodes are of different sizes) is in a direction from the negative (larger) electrode toward the positive (smaller) electrode. Thomas Bahder and Chris Fazi, at the US Army Research Laboratory, have verified that when a high voltage of about 30,000 volts is applied to an asymmetric capacitor (in the form of a ‘lifter’), the capacitor experiences a net force toward the smaller electrode, but they found that the force is independent of the polarity of the applied voltage.
They calculate that the ion wind contribution is at least three orders of magnitude too small to explain the entire effect, and say that more experimental and theoretical work is needed to find an explanation. They do not believe that the B-B effect has anything to do with antigravity or that it demonstrates an interaction between gravity and electromagnetism.12 Bahder suspects that the asymmetric electric fields created by an asymmetric capacitor lead to a charge flow of ions around the capacitor, and the back-reaction force ‘propels’ it forward.
In 1996 a research group at the Honda R&D Institute in Japan conducted experiments on the B-B effect. Here, too, an upward thrust was created (so that the capacitor appeared to lose weight) regardless of the polarity of the voltage applied. Takaaki Musha holds that the effect may involve the generation of a new gravitational field inside the atom by a high-potential electric field, due to an interaction between electricity and gravitation whose mechanism is not yet understood.13
The B-B effect is said to be demonstrated by cheap, lightweight devices known as ‘lifters’, made of aluminium foil, balsa wood and thin wire, and powered by a ground-based high-voltage power supply.14 Hundreds of independent researchers around the world have experimented with these devices. The lower and larger electrode is a strip of aluminium foil stretched between balsa wood struts. The smaller electrode is a thin strip of wire mounted about one inch above the aluminium foil. When a 30,000 volt charge is applied, a hissing noise is heard and the lifter rises into the air as far as its tether will reach. A thrust also occurs when the lifter is oriented horizontally, showing that the effect does not involve gravity shielding. The lifter works regardless of whether the positive or negative terminal is connected to the wire (the leading electrode), though the thrust is slightly larger if a positive voltage is applied.
NASA claims that the motion of ionized air molecules from one electrode to another explains the B-B effect, and has excluded it from its search for exotic new propulsion technologies. So if an electro-antigravity technology based on the B-B effect has really been put to use in the B-2, NASA appears to know nothing about it. It did, however, take out a patent on a tubular version of Brown’s asymmetrical capacitor thruster in 2002 – though without bothering to mention Brown’s name. Such devices certainly create an ion wind, for the breeze can be felt. More stringent tests are required to determine to what extent the effect persists in a vacuum, as experiments to date have not been conclusive. A lifter experiment performed at Purdue University inside a vacuum enclosure gave positive results, but tests by other investigators have yielded negative results.15 A key consideration is the strength of the vacuum. In short, it has not yet been proven that the ‘lifter’ phenomenon involves anything more than electrostatic and electrodynamic effects.
In their own analysis of the B-B effect,16 Paulo and Alexandra Correa begin by highlighting the contradictory results that have been reported. In the case of an asymmetric capacitor with the canopy oriented upward, Brown found that the capacitor lifts whether the canopy is positively or negatively charged (but more so if positively charged), whereas Bahnson (his coworker) found that the capacitor lifts only if the canopy is positively charged, and falls if it is negatively charged. Brown also found that the capacitor falls if the capacitor is turned upside down and the canopy is negatively charged, whereas Bahder & Fazi reported that a downward-oriented canopy lifts whether negatively or positively charged.
The Correas argue that since the force on the capacitor is independent of its orientation with respect to the earth’s surface, it has nothing to do with the earth’s gravitational field or with the electric potential of the earth’s atmosphere; the B-B effect is therefore not an antigravity effect and does not demonstrate an interaction between gravity and electromagnetism. Based on their own systematic experiments, they conclude that the original B-B effect has been confused with anomalous phenomena associated with electron emission and cathode reaction forces. But while denying that charges trapped in conventional capacitors produce an antigravity effect, and dismissing LaViolette’s speculations, they argue that the B-B effect masks a genuine antigravity phenomenon connected with repulsion between like charges.
Gyroscopes: Newton in a spin
Spinning flywheels or gyroscopes can apparently produce ‘antigravity’ effects. In 1989 Japanese scientists H. Hayasaka and S. Tackeuchi reported in a mainstream journal that a gyroscope spinning about a vertical axis in a vacuum experienced a small weight loss directly proportional to the rotation speed. The effect was observed only for rotation clockwise (as viewed from above in their northern hemisphere laboratory). The anomaly was buried in an avalanche of rushed criticism and flawed efforts to replicate the experiment.1 In 1997 Hayasaka’s team reported an experiment that confirmed their earlier findings: when a gyroscope was dropped 63 inches in a vacuum, between two laser beams, it took 1/25,000 second longer to fall this distance when spinning at 18,000 rpm clockwise (viewed from above), corresponding to a weight reduction of 1 part in 7000.2
If a flywheel or gyroscope is forcibly made to precess,* very substantial weight losses can be produced. Professor of electrical engineering Eric Laithwaite (who died in 1997) once gave a demonstration at London’s Imperial College of Science and Technology involving an 8-kg flywheel on a 2.7-kg support shaft, which he could barely lift off the ground with his right arm. After the flywheel was forced to precess, he was able to lift it effortlessly on his little finger, by applying a force of less than 1 kg. In another experiment, a young boy was tied to a pole on a turntable and handed a 1-metre shaft at the end of which was 20.4-kg spinning gyroscope. When the turntable was accelerated, the gyro soared into the air as easily as if the boy was opening an umbrella, and when it was decelerated, the gyro dipped towards the ground. In whichever direction the gyro moved, the boy could easily support it. Another remarkable effect is that if an upright pencil is placed in the path of the shaft of a precessing flywheel, it can arrest the flywheel’s precessional motion without any lateral force arising on the pencil; in other words, the flywheel produces little or no centrifugal force.
*‘Force-precessed’ means that the gyroscope is made to precess faster than arises from normal gravitational action. ‘Precession’ means, for example, that while one end of a shaft is held steady by the hand, the end bearing the rotating flywheel traces a circle, so that the shaft sweeps out a cone.
Fig. 2.5 One of Eric Laithwaite’s gyroscope demonstrations. The top is spinning at 2000 revolutions per minute and is rising quite rapidly up a helical path.3
Since there is no accepted theory to explain this phenomenon, most scientists have tended to either ignore it or to try and discredit it. Laithwaite was ostracized by the scientific establishment, especially after he used a lecture before the Royal Institution in 1974 to demonstrate that a force-precessed gyroscope becomes lighter and produces a lifting force without any counterbalancing reaction force – in defiance of Newton’s third law of motion. The Royal Institution was not amused: for the first time in 200 years, the guest lecture was not published, and Laithwaite was denied fellowship of the Royal Society. He continued to experiment with a variety of complex gyroscopic rigs, and believed he had discovered a brand-new thrustless propulsion system, known as ‘mass transfer’, for which two patents were granted.
Several other inventors, such as Sandy Kidd and Scott Strachan, have built gyroscopic propulsion devices which develop a reactionless thrust. Kidd received financial backing for a time from an Australian company (until it went bust) and British Aerospace, and his prototypes displayed a small anomalous force under rigorous independent testing. He continued to develop his devices, claiming they could produce 7 kilos of thrust.4
Harold Aspden argued that an out-of-balance linear force is produced by drawing on the gyroscope’s spin energy, so that energy conservation still holds. He explains the phenomenon in terms of his ether-physics model: ether spin decouples the flywheel from the flux of etheric particles that normally give it weight.5 His theory can also account for the amount of lift measured in the Japanese gyroscope experiments. If the theory is correct, it would be more accurate to say that gyroscopes can produce degravitation, or weight neutralization, rather than antigravitation in the strict sense of the word.
- Q. Majorana, ‘On gravitation. Theoretical and experimental researches’, Phil. Mag., v. 39, 1920, pp. 488-504; Q. Majorana, ‘Sur l’absorption de la gravitation’, Comptes Rendus de l’académie des Sciences, v. 173, 1921, pp. 478-9; Q. Majorana, ‘Quelques recherches sur l’absorption de la gravitation par la matière’, Journal de Physique et le Radium, I, 1930, pp. 314-24; Matthew R. Edwards (ed.), Pushing Gravity: New perspectives on Le Sage’s theory of gravitation, Montreal, Quebec: Apeiron, 2002, pp. 219-38, 259-66.
- Tom Van Flandern, ‘Possible new properties of gravity’, Astrophysics and Space Science, v. 244, 1996, pp. 249-61.
- Héctor A. Múnera (ed.), Should the Laws of Gravitation Be Reconsidered? The scientific legacy of Maurice Allais, Montreal: Apeiron, 2011.
- M.F.C. Allais, ‘Should the laws of gravitation be reconsidered?’, parts 1 and 2, Aero/Space Engineering, v. 18, Sep 1959, pp. 46-52, and v. 18, Oct 1959, pp. 51-5, allais.maurice.free.fr; allais.info.
- G.T. Jeverdan, G.I. Rusu and V. Antonescu, ‘Expérience à l’aide du pendule de Foucault pendant l’éclipse du soleil du 15 fevrier 1961’, Science et Foi, v. 15, 1999, pp. 36-44.
- E.J. Saxl, ‘An electrically charged torque pendulum’, Nature, v. 203, 1964, pp. 136-8; E.J. Saxl and M. Allen, ‘1970 solar eclipse as “seen” by a torsion pendulum’, Physical Review D, v. 3, 1971, pp. 823-5; Journal of Scientific Exploration (scientificexploration.org), 10:2, pp. 269-79, and 10:3, pp. 413-16, 1996.
- Gary C. Vezzoli, ‘Gravitational data during the syzygy of May 18, 2001 and related studies’, Infinite Energy (infinite-energy.com), 9:53, 2004, pp. 18-27.
- Qian-shen Wang et al., ‘Precise measurement of gravity variations during a total solar eclipse’, Physical Review D, v. 62, 2000, 041101, arxiv.org; Xin-She Yang and Qian-Shen Wang, ‘Gravity anomaly during the Mohe total solar eclipse and new constraint on gravitational shielding parameter’, Astrophysics and Space Science, v. 282, 2002, pp. 245-53, eclipse2006.boun.edu.tr.
- Shu-wen Zhou, ‘Abnormal physical phenomena observed when the sun, moon, and earth are aligned’, 21st Century Science and Technology, fall 1999, pp. 55-61.
- D. Olenici and S. Olenici-Craciunescu, ‘Short history of our research into Allais’s and Jeverdan-Rusu-Antonescu’s effects’, in Múnera, Should the Laws of Gravitation Be Reconsidered?, pp. 207-22.
- A.F. Pugach and D. Olenici, ‘Observations of correlated behavior of two light torsion balances and a paraconical pendulum in separate locations during the solar eclipse of January 26th, 2009’, Advances in Astronomy, v. 2012, 263818, 2012, hindawi.com.
- D. Olenici and A. Pugach, ‘Precise underground observations of the partial solar eclipse of 1 June 2011 using a Foucault pendulum and a very light torsion balance’, International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, v. 2, no. 4, 2012, pp. 204-9, file.scirp.org.
- D. Olenici, A.F. Pugach, I. Cosovanu, C. Lesanu, J.-B. Deloly, D. Vorobyov, A. Delets and S.-B. Olenici-Craciunescu, ‘Syzygy effects studies performed simultaneously with Foucault pendulums and torsinds during the solar eclipses of 13 November 2012 and 10 May 2013’, International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, v. 4, no. 1, 2014, pp. 39-53, file.scirp.org.
- Chris P. Duif, ‘A review of conventional explanations of anomalous observations during solar eclipses’, 2004, arxiv.org; Chris P. Duif, ‘Conventional explanations of anomalous observations during solar eclipses’, in Múnera, Should the Laws of Gravitation Be Reconsidered?, pp. 265-82; Govert Schilling, ‘Shadow over gravity’, New Scientist, 27 Nov 2004, pp. 28-31.
- Pugach and Olenici, ‘Observations of correlated behavior of two light torsion balances and a paraconical pendulum in separate locations during the solar eclipse of January 26th, 2009’; D. Olenici et al., ‘Syzygy effects studies performed simultaneously with Foucault pendulums and torsinds during the solar eclipses of 13 November 2012 and 10 May 2013’.
- Miles Mathis, ‘The Allais effect and Majorana’, milesmathis.com.
- E.E. Podkletnov, ‘Weak gravitation shielding properties of composite bulk YBa2Cu3O7-x superconductor below 70 K under e.m. field’, 1997, arxiv.org.
- Edwards, Pushing Gravity, p. 315.
- Marc G. Millis, ‘Prospects for breakthrough propulsion from physics’, 2004, lerc.nasa.gov.
- Mathis, ‘The Allais effect and Majorana’.
Gravity and electromagnetism
- E.J. Saxl, ‘An electrically charged torque pendulum’, Nature, v. 203, 1964, pp. 136-8; Maurice Allais, ‘The action of a magnetic field on the motion of a pendulum’, 21st Century Science and Technology, summer 2002, pp. 34-40.
- The Home of Primordial Energy (Bruce DePalma), depalma.pair.com; Jeane Manning, The Coming Energy Revolution: The search for free energy, NY: Avery, 1996, pp. 82-6.
- Rho Sigma (Rolf Schaffranke), Ether-Technology: A rational approach to gravity control, Lakemont, GA: CSA Printing & Bindery, 1977, pp. 73-82, 87-8, 108; John Davidson, The Secret of the Creative Vacuum, Saffron Walden, Essex: Daniel Company, 1989, pp. 200-16; The Searl Effect, searleffect.com.
- V.V. Roschin and S.M. Godin, ‘Experimental research of the magnetic-gravity effects’, rexresearch.com.
- P.A. Murad, M.J. Boardman, J.E. Brandenburg, J. McCabe and W. Mitzen, ‘The Morningstar Energy Box – an unusual electromagnetic device’, 2012, americanantigravity.com; ‘Paul Murad’s Searl Effect Generator’, americanantigravity.com.
- The Coming Energy Revolution, pp. 74-6; Thomas E. Bearden, Energy from the Vacuum, Santa Barbara, CA: Cheniere Press, 2002, pp. 305-21, 436-8, 455, 459-64, 502-3.
- Mark A. Solis, ‘The Hutchison effect – an explanation’, geocities.com; ‘The Hutchison effect’, americanantigravity.com.
- Nick Cook, The Hunt for Zero Point, London: Arrow, 2002, pp. 377-87.
- Ibid., p. 342.
- Dan A. Davidson, ‘Free energy, gravity and the aether’, 1997, keelynet.com; Dan A. Davidson, Shape Power, Sierra Vista, AR: RIVAS, 1997, pp. 98-104.
- ‘Eugene Podkletnov on antigravity’ (interview), americanantigravity.com; E. Podkletnov and G. Modanese, ‘Impulse gravity generator based on charged YBa2Cu3O7-x superconductor with composite crystal structure’, 2001, arxiv.org; E. Podkletnov and G. Modanese, ‘Investigation of high voltage discharges in low pressure gases through large ceramic superconducting electrodes’, Journal of Low Temperature Physics, v. 132, no. 3, 2003, pp. 239-59, springer.com; E. Podkletnov and G. Modanese, ‘Study of light interaction with gravity impulses and measurements of the speed of gravity impulses’, in: Giovanni Modanese and Glen A. Robertson, Gravity-Superconductors Interactions: Theory and experiment, Bentham Science Publishers, 2012, pp. 169-82, eurekaselect.com; Paul A. LaViolette, Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion: Tesla, UFOs, and classified aerospace technology, Rochester, VE: Bear & Company, 2008, pp. 165-89.
- Eugene F. Mallove, ‘A matter of gravity’, Infinite Energy, 8:45, 2002, pp. 6-8, infinite-energy.com; aetherometry.com/mallove_letter2.html; The New Aetherometric Technologies, aetherenergy.com.
- Davidson, ‘Free energy, gravity and the aether’.
- Paul A. LaViolette, Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion: Tesla, UFOs, and classified aerospace technology, Rochester, VE: Bear & Company, 2008, ch. 1-3; Paul A. LaViolette, Subquantum Kinetics: A systems approach to physics and cosmology, Alexandria, VA: Starlane Publications, 2nd ed., 2003, pp. 243-59 (etheric.com); Rho Sigma (Rolf Schaffranke), Ether-Technology: A rational approach to gravity control, Lakemont, GA: CSA Printing & Bindery, 1977, pp. 25-49.
- Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion, pp. 50-1; Intel, ‘Towards flight – without stress or strain or weight’, Interavia, 23 March 1956; reprinted in Thomas Valone (ed.), Electrogravitics II, Washington, DC: Integrity Research Institute, 2004, pp. 77-83.
- T.T. Brown, ‘Project Winterhaven – For Joint Services R&D Contract’, written Oct 1952, revised Jan 1953, reprinted in Thomas Valone (ed.), Electrogravitics Systems: Reports on a new propulsion methodology, Washington, DC: Integrity Research Institute, 1999, pp. 102-14.
- Gravity Research Group, Special Weapons Study Unit, ‘Electrogravitics systems: an examination of electrostatic motion, dynamic counterbary and barycentric control’, Aviation Studies (International) Ltd., Report GRG-013/56, Feb 1956; reprinted in Electrogravitics Systems, pp. 11-44.
- Paulo N. Correa and Alexandra N. Correa, The Gravitational Aether, Part II: Gravitational aetherometry (5), Concord: Akronos Publishing, 2005, monograph AS3-II.7, pp. 43-4 (aetherometry.com).
- Paulo N. Correa and Alexandra N. Correa, The Gravitational Aether, Part II: Gravitational aetherometry (6), Concord: Akronos Publishing, 2006, monograph AS3-II.8, p. 43.
- Paul LaViolette, ‘The U.S. antigravity squadron’, in Electrogravitics Systems, pp. 82-101 (p. 85); see Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion, pp. 142-64.
- Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion, pp. 100-1.
- ‘The U.S. antigravity squadron’, p. 82.
- Nick Cook, The Hunt for Zero Point, London: Arrow, 2002, pp. 194-200.
- Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion, ch. 7-9.
- Thomas B. Bahder and Chris Fazi, ‘Force on an asymmetric capacitor’, Infinite Energy, 9:50, 2003, pp. 34-44, jlnlabs.imars.com.
- Takaaki Musha, ‘The possibility of strong coupling between electricity and gravitation’, Infinite Energy, 9:53, 2004, pp. 61-4.
- Infinite Energy, 8:45, 2002, pp. 6-8, 13-31, infinite-energy.com; Jean-Louis Naudin, jnaudin.free.fr.
- Gravitec Inc, foldedspace.com; Blaze Labs Research, blazelabs.com.
- The Gravitational Aether, Part II: Gravitational aetherometry (5).
Gyroscopes: Newton in a spin
- H. Hayasaka and S. Tackeuchi, ‘Anomalous weight reduction on a gyroscope’s right rotations around the vertical axis on the earth’, Physical Review Letters, 63:25, 1989, pp. 2701-4; Gary C. Vezzoli, ‘Gravitational data during the syzygy of May 18, 2001 and related studies’, Infinite Energy (infinite-energy.com), 9:53, 2004, pp. 18-27 (p. 18).
- H. Hayasaka et al., ‘Possibility for the existence of anti-gravity: evidence from a free-fall experiment using a spinning gyro’, Speculations in Science and Technology, v. 20, 1997, pp. 173-81; keelynet.com.
- Alex Jones, Electronics & Wireless World, 93, 1987, p. 64.
- Davidson, The Secret of the Creative Vacuum, pp. 258-74; gyroscopes.org; Sandy Kidd, Beyond 2001: The laws of physics revolutionised, London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1990.
- H. Aspden, ‘The theory of antigravity’, Physics Essays, 4:1, 1991, pp. 13-19, in: Harold Aspden, Aether Science Papers, Southampton: Sabberton Publications, 1996, pt. 2., p. 69, paper 13; H. Aspden, ‘Anti-gravity electronics’, Electronics & Wireless World, Jan 1989, pp. 29-31.
3. Explaining gravity
Empty space, curved space, and the ether
Newtonian gravity theory assumes that gravity propagates instantaneously across empty space, i.e. it is believed to be a form of action at a distance. However, in a private letter Newton himself dismissed this idea:
That gravity should be innate, inherent, and essential to matter, so that one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum, without the mediation of anything else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an absurdity, that I believe no man, who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking, can ever fall into it.1
Newton periodically toyed with the idea of an all-pervading ether filling his ‘absolute space’, and thought that the cause of gravity must be a spiritual agency, which he understood to mean ‘God’.
The need to postulate an ether is underlined by G. de Purucker:
We either have to admit the existence of [the] ether or ethers, i.e., of this extremely tenuous and ethereal substance which fills all space, whether interstellar or interplanetary or inter-atomic and intra-atomic, or accept actio in distans – action at a distance, without intervening intermediary or medium of transmission; and such actio in distans is obviously by all known scientific standards an impossibility. Reason, common sense, logic ... demand the existence of such universally pervading medium, by whatever name we may choose to call it ...2
Logically, every type of force must ultimately be produced by the activity of material – though not necessarily physical – agents of some kind, moving at finite, though possibly superluminal, speeds.
In 1905 Albert Einstein rejected the ether as ‘superfluous’. However, he recognized that gravitational fields were present in all regions of space, and for a time he spoke of a ‘gravitational ether’, but he reduced it to an empty abstraction by denying it any energetic properties. The fact that space has more than 10 different characteristics – dielectric constant, modulus of elasticity, magnetic permeability, magnetic susceptibility, modulus of conductance, electromagnetic wave impedance, etc. – is a clear sign that it is far from empty. But it makes more sense to regard space as being composed of energy-substance, rather than simply ‘filled’ with it.
In 1915 Einstein published his general theory of relativity, which is essentially a theory of gravity. He did not challenge the newtonian notion that inert mass was the cause of the gravitational force. But whereas Newton attributed gravitational attraction to the density of matter, Einstein assumed that the same quantity of matter (‘gravitational mass’) somehow warped the hypothetical four-dimensional ‘spacetime continuum’ and that this deformity made the planets orbit the sun. In other words, gravity is not regarded as a force that propagates but supposedly results from masses distorting the ‘fabric of spacetime’ in their vicinity in some miraculous way. Thus, rather than being attracted by the sun, the earth supposedly follows the nearest equivalent of a straight line available to it through the curved spacetime around the sun.
Relativists attribute the bending of starlight passing near the sun mainly to space curvature. At Jupiter’s distance the bending would be just 0.00078 arc-seconds – and we’re supposed to believe that this minuscule deformity of ‘spacetime’ can cause a planet the size of Jupiter to orbit the sun. Moreover, ‘curved spacetime’ is simply a geometrical abstraction – or rather a mathematical monstrosity – and can in no way be regarded as an explanation of gravity. Although it is commonly claimed that relativity theory has been confirmed by observational evidence, there are alternative – and far more sensible – explanations for all the experiments cited in its support.3
General relativity theory claims that matter, regardless of its electrical charge, produces only an attractive gravitational force, and allows for only very tiny gravitational shielding or antigravity effects. Furthermore, it does not predict any coupling between electrostatic and gravitational fields. In fact, Townsend Brown’s pioneering 1929 paper that reported the possible discovery of electrogravity was turned down by Physical Review because it conflicted with general relativity.
Fields, strings, branes
According to quantum field theory, the four recognized forces – gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces – arise from matter particles constantly emitting and absorbing different types of force-carrying ‘virtual’ particles (known as bosons), which are constantly flickering into and out of existence. The gravitational force is supposedly mediated by gravitons – hypothetical massless, uncharged, infinitesimal particles travelling at the speed of light. Since gravitons would apparently be identical to their antiparticles, this theory, too, appears to rule out antigravity, and it also fails to explain electrogravity.
Experimental support for these particle-exchange theories is lacking, and it is not clear how particle impacts can produce attractive as well as repulsive forces. Bosons are sometimes said to carry a ‘message’ telling matter particles whether to move closer or move apart – but this explains nothing at all. Moreover, in the standard model, force-carrying particles, like fundamental matter particles, are regarded as infinitely small, zero-dimensional point-particles – which is clearly absurd. As a result of these idealized notions, quantum calculations tend to be plagued with infinities, which have to be done away with by a trick known as ‘renormalization’.
Einstein spent the last 40 years of his life attempting to extend the geometrical notions of general relativity to include electromagnetic interactions, and to unite the laws of gravitation and the laws of electromagnetism in a unified field theory. Many other mathematicians also worked on this subject, and some of these theories introduced a fourth, curled-up dimension. None of these attempts was successful, and the search for a unified theory continues.
Some scientists believe that string theory, which first emerged in the 1970s, is a major step towards a ‘theory of everything’. String theory postulates that all matter and force particles, and even space (and time) as well, arise from vibrating one-dimensional strings, about a billion-trillion-trillionth of a centimetre (10-33 cm) long but with zero thickness, inhabiting a ten-dimensional universe in which the six extra spatial dimensions are curled up so small that they are undetectable. This theory has no experimental support; indeed, to detect individual strings would require a particle accelerator at least as big as our galaxy. Moreover, the mathematics of string theory is so complex that no one knows the exact equations, and even the approximate equations are so complicated that so far they have only been partially solved.1
Some scientists believe that beyond string theory lies M-theory, which postulates a universe of 11 dimensions, inhabited not only by one-dimensional strings but also by two-dimensional membranes, three-dimensional blobs (three-branes), and also higher-dimensional entities, up to and including nine dimensions (nine-branes). It is even speculated that the fundamental components of the universe may be zero-branes.2 Such crazy ideas do nothing to advance our understanding of the real world and merely show how surreal pure mathematical speculation can become.
According to quantum theory, electromagnetic fields (and other force fields) are subject to constant, utterly random* fluctuations even at a theoretical temperature of absolute zero (-273°C), when all thermal agitation would cease. As a result, ‘empty space’ is believed to be teeming with zero-temperature energy in the form of fluctuating electromagnetic radiation fields (the zero-point field) and short-lived virtual particles (the ‘Dirac sea’).1 Formally, every point of space should contain an infinite amount of zero-point energy. By assuming a minimum wavelength of electromagnetic vibrations, the energy density of the ‘quantum vacuum’ has been reduced to the still astronomical figure of 10108 joules per cubic centimetre.
*H.P. Blavatsky writes: ‘It is impossible to conceive anything without a cause; the attempt to do so makes the mind a blank.’2 This implies that there must be a great many scientists walking around with blank minds!
The reason we do not normally notice this energy is said to be because of its uniform density, and most scientists are happy to ignore it altogether. However, many experiments have been carried out whose results are widely regarded as consistent with the existence of zero-point energy. The presence of surfaces changes the density of vacuum energy and can result in vacuum forces, an example being the Casimir effect – an attractive force between two parallel conducting plates. However, far more experimental work is needed to test the theory and alternative explanations. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center studied the possibility of harnessing zero-point energy for spacecraft propulsion as part of its Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Programme (1996-2002).3
Whereas conventional quantum electrodynamics derives the zero-point field (ZPF) – sometimes called the ‘quantum ether’ – from quantum theory and assumes that it is generated by physical matter-energy, there is a competing approach (stochastic electrodynamics) which regards the ZPF as a very real, intrinsic substratum of the universe.
Some scientists have theorized that mass, inertia and gravity are all connected with the fluctuating electromagnetic energy of the ZPF.4 Inertia (a body’s resistance to a change in its state of motion) is said to be an acceleration-dependent, electromagnetic drag force stemming from interactions between a charged particle and the ZPF. The fluctuations of the ZPF are also said to cause charged particles to emit secondary electromagnetic fields, which give rise to a residual attractive force – gravity. In this theory, then, gravity is seen as a manifestation of electromagnetism. It is thought that by reconfiguring the ZPF surrounding a body, it may be possible to modify its inertia, or ‘inertial mass’, and to control gravity.
Some ZPF researchers suggest that there is no such thing as mass – only charges, which interact with the all-pervasive electromagnetic field to create the illusion of matter.5 However, since they do not go on to present a concrete picture of what they understand by ‘charge’ or ‘charged particle’, this theory does not get us very far. In the standard model of particle physics, ‘fundamental’ charged particles such as electrons and quarks are modelled as infinitely small particles with no internal structure – which is clearly a physical impossibility.
According to the impact theory of gravity, which originated primarily with the 18th-century scientist Georges-Louis Le Sage, gravity is caused by physical matter being continuously bombarded by extremely tiny, unobservable particles (‘gravitons’ – a word denoting different things in different theories), which travel through space in all directions far faster than the speed of light. The particles would have to be so small that they only occasionally strike material constituents within the bodies they pass through, so that each constituent has an equal chance of being hit. Any two bodies in space will shadow one another from some graviton impacts, resulting in them being ‘attracted’ (i.e. pushed) towards one another with a force that obeys the inverse-square law. There are several competing versions of Le Sage’s theory. They fall into two main groups: those that pursue the particle (or corpuscular) approach, and those that replace the graviton sea by very high or low frequency electromagnetic radiation that fills all of space.1
James Clerk Maxwell and Henri Poincaré argued that graviton collisions with matter would have to be inelastic, since gravitons would otherwise bounce back and forth between two bodies, thereby cancelling the shielding effect, and that inelastic graviton impacts would quickly heat all material bodies to an enormous temperature. The theory’s proponents responded by asserting that bodies must somehow radiate as much heat back into space as they absorb, though there is no clear evidence to support this in the case of the earth. Héctor Múnera objects to Maxwell and Poincaré’s assumption that gravitons must be point particles that are reflected by matter in a coherent manner; he contends that if gravitons are spatially extended particles (as they would have to be if they really exist), they could undergo elastic collisions without cancelling each other out, and that no heat problem would therefore arise.2
In newtonian theory, gravity supposedly acts instantaneously, while in relativity theory it propagates at the speed of light. It is sometimes argued that if the sun’s force propagated at the speed of light, it would accelerate the earth’s orbital speed by a noticeable amount – something which is not observed. Tom Van Flandern calculates from binary-pulsar data that gravitons must propagate at least 20 billion times faster than light.3 How these gravitons originate and manage to get accelerated to such incredible velocities is not explained.
While it is logical to suppose that all attractive forces ultimately arise from pushes at some level,* the impact theory of gravity is too simplistic to account for all the relevant facts. Like conventional gravity theory, it cannot explain why all the planets orbit the sun in planes which form only small angles to the sun’s equatorial plane, or why all the planets circle the sun in the same direction as the sun’s sense of rotation. Although Le Sage-type theories can explain gravitational shielding (since matter placed between two gravitating bodies will absorb or deflect gravitons), they cannot readily explain antigravity and levitation, and usually ignore them. No impact theory has been devised to explain bipolar forces such as electricity and magnetism, and adopting an impact theory of gravitation therefore downgrades the link between gravity and electromagnetics.
*If we reason by analogy (as above, so below), the microscopic world is a vastly scaled-down and speeded-up version of the macroscopic world (see The infinite divisibility of matter). At the macroscopic level, it is impossible to find an attractive or pulling force that is not really a push. For instance, a person who is ‘sucked’ out of a pressurized cabin if the door opens while the aircraft is in flight is really pushed out by the greater number of molecular bombardments ‘behind’ them.
If an object immersed in an elastic fluid emits waves of condensation and rarefaction, other bodies will be attracted or repelled depending on whether the wavelength is very large or very small compared with their dimensions.4 This case therefore involves both attractive and repulsive forces, and both are ultimately reducible to pushes, but the underlying processes are far more complex than in the aircraft example.
Researchers in the field of ether physics have developed a variety of models to explain the nature of matter and force. Such theories are already ‘unified’ in the sense that physical matter and forces are derived from the activity of the underlying ether. Subatomic particles are often modelled as self-sustaining vortices in the ether, continuously radiating and absorbing flows of ether. Inertia can be pictured as the drag force exerted by the disturbed ether as a body accelerates through it. Electric charge can be pictured as a difference in ether concentration, and magnetic forces as circular flows of ether. Some researchers, such as Dan Davidson, say that just as electric charge is a gradient in ether, the gravitational force is a gradient of electric charge. This means that if the etheric gradient is changed around an atom, the gravity force will also change. This phenomenon can be amplified by synchronizing ether flows through the nucleus of a given mass, either by rotation or movement or by sonic stimulation, which causes all the atoms to resonate together.1
Paul LaViolette has developed a theory known as ‘subquantum kinetics’, which replaces the 19th-century concept of a mechanical, inert ether with that of a continuously transmuting ether.2 Physical subatomic particles and energy quanta are regarded as wavelike concentration patterns in the ether. A particle’s gravitational and electromagnetic fields are said to result from the fluxes of different kinds of etheric particles, or etherons, across their boundaries, and the resulting etheron concentration gradients. Positively charged particles such as protons generate matter-attracting gravity wells whereas, contrary to conventional theory, negatively charged particles such as electrons generate matter-repelling gravity hills. Electrically neutral matter remains gravitationally attractive because the proton’s gravity well marginally dominates the electron’s gravity hill.
Most scientists assume that electrons are attracted by gravity, but this has not been verified experimentally due to the difficulty of the measurement. LaViolette sees confirmation of his theory that electrons have antigravitational properties in an experiment performed by Evgeny Podkletnov and Giovanni Modanese in 2001, which showed that ‘an axial high-voltage electron discharge produces a matter-repelling gravity wave that travels in the direction of the discharge exerting a longitudinal repulsive gravitational force on a distant test mass’.3 Although the hypothesis that negative charges produce antigravity fields would explain the classical Biefeld-Brown effect (a thrust directed from the negative to the positive electrode of a high-voltage capacitor), it poses the problem of explaining why a thrust can be produced regardless of whether the leading electrode is positive or negative.
Building on the work of pioneering scientists such as Nicola Tesla, Louis de Broglie, Wilhelm Reich and Harold Aspden,4 Canadian scientists Paulo and Alexandra Correa have developed a detailed, quantitative model of a dynamic ether, known as aetherometry. They have also developed technological applications, such as their pulsed-plasma (PAGD) reactors, which produce more power than is required to run them, their self-sustaining aether motor, and their weight-neutralizer and anti-gravitator.5
The Correas have conducted meticulous experiments with electroscopes, ‘orgone accumulators’ (specially designed metal enclosures), and Tesla coils which point to the existence of both electric and nonelectric forms of ‘massfree’ (nonphysical), nonelectromagnetic energy, one component of which (known to chemists and climatologists as ‘latent heat’) has antigravitational properties.6 By showing that the ether (or ‘aether’, as they prefer to spell it) cannot be reduced to electromagnetic energy, they have clearly exposed the inadequacy of zero-point-energy models. When electrical massfree waves encounter physical matter (e.g. earth’s atmosphere), they impart energy to charged particles such as electrons, and when these charges decelerate they shed this energy in the form of transient, vortex-like structures of electromagnetic energy, i.e. photons.
Aetherometry proposes that the rotational and translatory movements of planets, stars and galaxies are the result of spinning, vortical motions of ether on multiple scales. Electric and nonelectric ether waves impart impulses to the earth, for example, as they curve in towards the planet, and this influx of energy not only propels the earth but also produces its gravitational field. When nonelectric ether energy interacts with physical or etheric charges it produces either gravitons, which impel a particle or body towards regions of greater mass density, or antigravitons, which impel them in the opposite direction. Gravitational forces are essentially electrodynamic forces that depend on polarity: aetherometry contends that gravity ultimately results from an electrodynamic attraction that occurs when matter, which is mostly neutral (with balanced charges of both polarities), interacts with ether lattices formed by in-phase massfree charges, whereas antigravity ultimately results from an electrodynamic repulsion that occurs when matter has net charge and interacts with the same in-phase charge lattices.7
Empty space, curved space, and the ether
- Quoted in G. de Purucker, The Esoteric Tradition, Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press (TUP), 2nd ed., 1940, pp. 443-4fn; H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, TUP, 1977 (1888), 1:490-1.
- The Esoteric Tradition, 901-2fn.
- See Space, time and relativity (Einstein’s fallacies), davidpratt.info.
Fields, strings, branes
- Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, hidden dimensions, and the quest for the ultimate theory, London: Vintage, 2000, p. 19.
- Ibid., pp. 287-8, 379.
- R. Forward, ‘Mass modification experiment definition study’, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10:3, 1996, pp. 325-54.
- H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1977 (1888), 1:44.
- Marc G. Millis, ‘Prospects for breakthrough propulsion from physics’, 2004, nasa.gov.
- B. Haisch and A. Rueda, ‘The zero-point field and the NASA challenge to create the space drive’, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 11:4, 1997, pp. 473-85; ‘Questions and answers about the origin of inertia and the zero-point field’, calphysics.org.
- B. Haisch, A. Rueda and H.E. Puthoff, ‘Beyond E=mc²’, The Sciences, 34:6, 1994, pp. 26-31.
- Matthew R. Edwards (ed.), Pushing Gravity: New perspectives on Le Sage’s theory of gravitation, Montreal, Quebec: Apeiron, 2002.
- Héctor A. Múnera, ‘A Le Sagian atomic-type model for propagation and generation of gravity’, in Héctor A. Múnera (ed.), Should the Laws of Gravitation Be Reconsidered? The scientific legacy of Maurice Allais, Montreal: Apeiron, 2011, pp. 385-422.
- Tom Van Flandern, ‘The speed of gravity – what the experiments say’, Meta Research Bulletin, 6:4, 1997, pp. 49-62.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed., 1898, p. 64.
- Dan A. Davidson, Shape Power, Sierra Vista, AR: RIVAS, 1997, pp. 1-7; Dan A. Davidson, ‘Free energy, gravity and the aether’, 1997, keelynet.com.
- Paul A. LaViolette, Genesis of the Cosmos: The ancient science of continuous creation, Rochester, VE: Bear and Company, 2004; Paul A. LaViolette, Subquantum Kinetics: A systems approach to physics and cosmology, Alexandria, VA: Starlane Publications, 2nd ed., 2003 (etheric.com).
- etheric.com/predictions-part-ii-physics-and-astronomy/2; Subquantum Kinetics, pp. 126-8.
- Harold Aspden (aether physics), haroldaspden.com.
- The New Aetherometric Technologies, aetherenergy.com; Keith Tutt, The Search for Free Energy: A scientific tale of jealousy, genius and electricity, London: Simon & Schuster, 2001, pp. 218-22, 315-7.
- Paulo N. Correa and Alexandra N. Correa, Experimental Aetherometry, vols. 1, 2A & 2B, Concord: Akronos Publishing, 2001, 2003, 2006 (aetherometry.com).
- Aetherometry and gravity: an introduction, davidpratt.info.
4. Gravitational waves
According to general relativity theory, accelerating bodies cause gravitational waves, or ‘ripples in the fabric of spacetime’, which travel outwards in all directions at the speed of light. The waves are predicted to be very weak, and only those caused by cataclysmic events, such as the merger of a pair of neutron stars or black holes, are believed to be potentially detectable on earth. Efforts to directly observe gravitational waves began in the 1960s.
In March 2014 astronomers using the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP2) telescope at the south pole triumphantly announced that they had detected evidence of primordial gravitational waves imprinted on the cosmic microwave background radiation. They insisted that there was only a one-in-a-trillion chance that this signal could have been caused by other factors, such as galactic dust. However, in January 2015 they were forced to admit that dust was indeed the cause.1 Astrophysicist Peter Coles commented: ‘I don’t think BICEP2 comes out of this very well, but neither do the many theorists who accepted it unquestioningly as a primordial signal and generated a huge PR bandwagon.’ The debacle, he said, ‘has exposed a worrying disregard for the scientific method in some very senior scientists who really should know better. It can be dangerous to want your theory to be true so much that it clouds your judgement.’2
On 11 February 2016 the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced with great fanfare that the first gravitational-wave signal had been observed on 14 September 2015 by its two detectors, located in Livingston (Louisiana) and Hanford (Washington).3 The wave reached Livingston first and Hanford 7 milliseconds later, indicating that it was travelling at around the speed of light. The measured oscillation, which lasted just one fifth of a second, began at 35 cycles per second (hertz), sped up to 150 hertz, then rapidly disappeared – a waveform known as a ‘chirp’. Calculations and computer simulations based on general relativity theory indicate that the gravitational wave was triggered by the violent collision and merger of two black holes (of 29 and 36 solar masses) 1.3 billion years ago; in the final fraction of a second, the explosion supposedly emitted more energy than all the stars in all the galaxies, producing the observed wave.
Fig. 3.1 LIGO’s Livingston observatory. (mediaassets.caltech.edu)
LIGO is described as ‘one of the most sophisticated, complex, and precise scientific instruments ever built’.4 It cost over US$620 million, and research grants and operating costs take that figure to well over US$ 1 billion. LIGO’s two interferometers bounce laser beams between suspended mirrors at opposite ends of two 4-km-long vacuum tubes, set at right angles to each other. A passing gravitational wave will cause one of the arms to lengthen and the other to shorter, resulting in the laser beams shifting slightly out of sync. After an upgrade in September 2015, the Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) detectors are reportedly able to detect stretches and compressions of ‘spacetime’ as small as one part in 1022 – comparable to a hair’s-width change in the distance from the sun to Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to the sun. The gravitational wave was actually detected while the upgraded instruments were still being calibrated and tested, ready for the first observing run four days later.
Since this first alleged observation, the detection of about 10 more gravitational-wave events has been announced by LIGO and other teams.
The precision claimed by LIGO has been called into question. A gravitational wave is expected to displace the mirrors by barely 10-15 mm (0.000000000000001 mm), or one hundred-millionth of the diameter of a hydrogen atom. The tolerance of the mirrors used in the LIGO instruments is such that some parts of a mirror can be 50 nanometres (billionths of a metre) further from or closer to the point of observation – a distance a billion times bigger than the gravitational-wave signature. Numerous factors can change the distance between the mirrors by many orders of magnitude greater than a gravitational wave, including temperature and charge variations, seismic activity, weather changes, and traffic on nearby roads. The interferometers are even sensitive to ocean waves crashing on shores thousands of miles away, distant lightning strikes, signals from global positioning satellites, and electromagnetic pulses in the earth’s upper atmosphere. That is why they are equipped with numerous shielding devices and use hundreds of levels of feedback and control systems. Known disturbances are monitored by an array of sensors so that they can be taken into account in interpreting the measurement results. Some scientists doubt whether this can be done with sufficient certainty and without interfering with the sought-after signal.1
For test purposes, LIGO uses a method known as ‘blind injection’, which involves secretly inserting a fake signal into the raw data to see whether the rest of the team will spot it. When a potential gravitational-wave signal was detected in September 2010, the scientists set to work and after a six-month study concluded that it was genuine and should be announced to the world. The blind injection team then revealed that it was faked!2
The LIGO team says it is 99.99994% confident that the signal observed in September 2015 (GW150914) is a genuine gravitational wave and was not caused by environmental influences or instrument noise.3 They believe that dampening and filtering systems are able to get rid of all unwanted disturbances. The similarity of the signals detected by the two interferometers is seen as proof that the wave arrived from space. There is of course no way to verify that the wave really was caused by the collision of two hypothetical black holes and took 1.3 billion years to reach earth, and no way to rule out every other possible cause.4 There is no certainty that the signal detected has anything to do with gravity. One suggestion is that it could have been caused by tiny stresses in the metal vacuum tubes resulting from currents induced by a geomagnetic storm originating in the earth’s ionosphere.5
Fig. 3.2 After processing, the signal from LIGO’s Washington observatory (orange), when shifted by 0.007 seconds and inverted (due to the different orientation of its detector), makes a quite a good match with the signal from LIGO’s Louisiana observatory (blue). The differences in the strengths of the signals have not been explained. (mediaassets.caltech.edu)
Mainstream scientists and the mass media have hailed the alleged detection of gravitational waves as confirmation of Einstein’s general relativity theory and the existence of black holes. Given that the data were interpreted on the basis of relativistic assumptions, it’s hardly surprising that, after months of analysis, the scenario the scientists came up with matches relativity theory. The signals measured by the detectors are mixed up with a significant amount of random noise. Various techniques are used to identify any strong waveforms buried in the noise. These signals are then compared with about 250,000 template waveforms expected on the basis of black hole theory, until they find a match in both detectors within 10 milliseconds of each other. Shannon Sims comments: ‘Given enough time with that many acceptable patterns, an eventual match was guaranteed.’6
Even so, the theoretical masses of the black holes involved were far lower than previously predicted for merger events, and the spin of the final black hole was one-third less than predicted. 0.4 seconds after LIGO’s observation of the gravitational wave, a one-second gamma ray burst was detected coming from the same region of the southern sky.7 If this was generated by the same cosmic event, it poses a problem for the orthodox theory because merging black holes are not expected to produce bursts of electromagnetic radiation.
As indicated in section 3, general relativity theory is an abstract geometrical model and therefore cannot provide a realistic understanding of gravity or gravitational waves. Logically, waves can only propagate through a material medium, whether physical (like rocks, water or air) or nonphysical (like the ether); nothingness does not wave. Since curved spacetime is an abstract mathematical construct, and since abstractions cannot vibrate, ‘ripples in spacetime’ cannot exist and can therefore never be observed. Waves and ripples in the ether of space, however, are to be expected.
A black hole is defined as an object so massive that no light can escape from it; its mass is said to be concentrated in an infinitesimal singularity of infinite spacetime curvature at its centre – a nonsensical idea.8 Stephen Crothers argues that ‘the whole theory of black holes is fallacious’ and reflects ‘the intellectual decrepitude of modern physics and astronomy’.9 It’s certainly hard to imagine two structureless point singularities coalescing. However, any merger of two massive objects could theoretically create the type of gravitational signals predicted by Einstein’s quadrupole equation.
Fig. 3.3 In April 2019 the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration released this fuzzy, two-year-old image of the centre of galaxy M87, 55 million light years away (eventhorizontelescope.org). It was hailed worldwide as the first ever picture of a supermassive ‘black hole’. The central region is actually not that dark compared to the background. Moreover, since the EHT uses microwave imaging, any X-ray and gamma radiation being emitted from the core would not be visible (etheric.com). The picture therefore proves nothing at all about black holes. As Stephen Crothers comments: ‘This is how astronomers and cosmologists do science: fraud by means of mass-media induced mass-hysteria’ (sciencewoke.org). According to the ‘electric universe’ theory, there is a superdense, toroidal (donut-shaped) structure of electromagnetic energy – known as a plasmoid – at the centre of galaxies (holoscience.com; thunderbolts.info).
Assuming that gravitational waves have indeed been detected, there are several alternatives to the relativity theory interpretation. Stochastic electrodynamics (see section 3) proposes that the merger involved two massive charged bodies (or plasmoids), rather than two black holes, and that gravitational waves are disturbances in the virtual particles and/or zero-point energy that make up the ‘quantum vacuum’.10 Based on his model of a dynamic ether, Paul LaViolette argues that gravitational collapse leading to the creation of black holes cannot occur, but that two highly dense, compact objects – which he calls ‘mother stars’ – spiralling in towards each other could generate quadrupolar gravitational waves, as detected by LIGO. He contends that supernova explosions, galactic core outbursts and other natural events would most likely produce longitudinal gravity wave pulses (i.e. similar to sound waves), but observatories such as LIGO are not designed to detect that type of wave.11
- Ian O’Neill, ‘BICEP2 gravitational wave “discovery” deflates’, 30 Jan 2015, seeker.com; Miles Mathis, ‘Gravity waves of propaganda’, 18 Mar 2014, milesmathis.com.
- Tushna Commissariat, ‘Galactic dust sounds death knell for BICEP2 gravitational wave claim’, 3 Feb 2015, physicsworld.com.
- Tushna Commissariat, ‘LIGO detects first ever gravitational waves – from two merging black holes’, 11 Feb 2016, physicsworld.com; Adrian Cho, ‘Gravitational waves, Einstein’s ripples in spacetime, spotted for first time’, 11 Feb 2016, sciencemag.org; Davide Castelvecchi and Alexandra Witze, ‘Einstein’s gravitational waves found at last’, 11 Feb 2016, nature.com; B.P. Abbott et al., ‘Observation of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger’, Physical Review Letters, v. 116, 061102, 2016, journals.aps.org.
- ‘Feedback and control systems’, ligo.caltech.edu.
- Hilton Ratcliffe, ‘“Discovery” of gravitational waves’, Feb 2016, researchgate.net.
- Tom Hartsfield, ‘Faking data for a good cause’, 13 Jan 2016, realclearscience.com.
- B.P. Abbott et al., ‘Characterization of transient noise in Advanced LIGO relevant to gravitational wave signal GW150914’, arxiv.org.
- Wal Thornhill, ‘An examination of “gravitational waves”’, 19 Feb 2016, youtube.com; ‘Absurdity of modern physics: LIGO gravitational wave detection as ill-posed problem’, 12 Feb 2016, claesjohnson.blogspot.nl.
- ‘A commentary on LIGO by Dr Bibhas De’, facebook.com; Hilton Ratcliffe, ‘Playing devil’s advocate on the discovery of gravitational waves’, 22 Feb 2016, thehansindia.com.
- Shannon Sims, ‘Problems with the LIGO gravitational wave discovery’, 6 March 2016, plasma.pics.
- Marcus Woo, ‘LIGO’s black holes may have lived and died inside a huge star’, 16 Feb 2016, newscientist.com.
- Black holes: fact or fiction?, davidpratt.info.
- Stephen J. Crothers, ‘The Painlevé-Gullstrand “extension” – a black hole fallacy’, American Journal of Modern Physics, v. 5, no. 1-1, 2016, pp. 33-9, vixra.org.
- Barry Setterfield, ‘Gravitational wave announcement’, 12 Feb 2016, setterfield.org.
- Paul LaViolette, ‘First discovery of quadrupole gravity waves still does not prove existence of black holes’, 18 Feb 2016, etheric.com.
Gravity and Antigravity: Part 2