Documents collected by Jeff, Ufocom Science Team
researcher reportedly discovers gravity-change effect
By Greg Gillespie
Assistant Editor, The Institute
A researcher in Finland has reported on a gravity-change effect during an experiment that, while steeped in controversy, is being viewed as a promising development in new physics propulsion research by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
Dr. Eugene Podkletnov, a researcher at the Tampere University of Technology, Finland, reported that during a superconductivity experiment, tests showed a small drop in the weight of objects placed over a device made up of a rotating superconducting ceramic disk suspended over a magnetic field produced by three electric coils enclosed in a cryostat.
The latest experiments by the Finnish researchers have reportedly registered a 2 percent drop in the weight of objects suspended over the cryostat.
The report has already generated a fair amount of skepticism and controversy, owing to the dramatic departure from accepted physics. The controversy was further fueled by Podkletnov's decision to request his paper be withdrawn from publication in the Journal of Physics-D: Applied Physics, which is published by Britain's Institute of Physics.
But the report is being taken seriously by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, said Whitt Brantley, chief of the advanced concepts office at the flight center.
Brantley said NASA has already funded research into gravity-modification devices, and has determined that the Tampere University experiment should be reproduced in the flight center's facilities in Huntsville, Ala., USA.
THEORY SOUND. "We have taken a look at the foundations of the theory, and they look sound," Brantley said. "Many of these theories are at best controversial, but we'll never know until we test them in a lab and see if the results of the experiments are valid.
"We know that it's a touchy situation, since the initial research was supposedly funded by a private company and there's concern about releasing information before any patents are in order," Brantley said.
"But this kind of controversy is not really that unusual -- it often occurs when a research professor figures out he hasn't read the fine print of his agreement with private funders."
NASA has already contributed US$150,000 for research conducted by Dr. Ning Li, a research scientist at the University of Alabama Huntsville's Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research.
Li published a 1991 paper in the Physical Review-D on gravity-modification experiments based on the interaction between a rotating superconductor in a electromagnetic field and the local gravity field.
Her theories postulate that the lattice-ion structure in a superconductor plays a significant part in superconduction. Rotation of the lattice ions caused by the EM field generates a gravito-magnetic force which can affect the local gravity field. Two later papers expounded upon her theory.
PROMISING. Dr. Li believes that the Podkletnov test results are consistent with her theories, and further tests at Marshall will enhance understanding of the effect.
The funding for gravity-modification research is through the breakthrough propulsion physics program of NASA's Advanced Space Exploration Program.
Together with the Lewis Research Center, the NASA program has identified propulsion theories, often controversial, that have been identified by a loosely-organized group of physics peers as having a sound theoretical basis that could be extended through experiment.
NASA plans to fund US$300,000 in research a year for the next three years in the breakthrough propulsion physics program.
as scientists beat gravitiy
by Robert Matthews and Ian Sample
Sunday Telegraph (UK), 1st of September, 1996, page 3.
SCIENTISTS in Finland are about to reveal details of the world's first anti-gravity device. Measuring about 12 inches across, the device is said to reduce significantly the weight of anything suspended over it.
The claim -- which has been rigorously examined by scientists, and is due to appear in a physics journal next month -- could spark a technological revolution. By combatting gravity, the most ubiquitous force in the universe, everything from transport to power generation could be transformed.
The Sunday Telegraph has learned that NASA, the American space agency, is taking the claims seriously, and is funding research into how the anti-gravity effect could be turned into a means of flight.
The researchers at the Tampere University of Technology in Finland, who discovered the effect, say it could form the heart of a new power source, in which it is used to drive fluids past electricity- generating turbines.
Other uses seem limited only by the imagination: Lifts in buildings could be replaced by devices built into the ground. People wanting to go up would simply activate the anti-gravity device -- making themselves weightless -- and with a gentle push ascend to the floor they want.
Space-travel would become routine, as all the expense and danger of rocket technology is geared towards combatting the Earth's gravitation pull. By using the devices to raise fluids against gravity, and then conventional gravity to pull them back to earth against electricity- generating turbines, the devices could also revolutionise power generation.
According to Dr. Eugene Podkletnov, who led the research, the discovery was accidental. It emerged during routine work on so-called "superconductivity", the ability of some materials to lose their electrical resistance at very low temperatures. The team was carrying out tests on a rapidly spinning disc of superconducting ceramic suspended in the magnetic field of three electric coils, all enclosed in a low-temperature vessel called a cryostat.
"One of my friends came in and he was smoking his pipe," Dr. Podkletnov said. "He put some smoke over the cryostat and we saw that the smoke was going to the ceiling all the time. It was amazing -- we couldn't explain it." Tests showed a small drop in the weight of objects placed over the device, as if it were shielding the object from the effects of gravity - an effect deemed impossible by most scientists.
"We thought it might be a mistake," Dr. Podkletnov said, "but we have taken every precaution." Yet the bizarre effects persisted. The team found that even the air pressure vertically above the device dropped slightly, with the effect detectable directly above the device on every floor of the laboratory.
In recent years, many so-called "anti-gravity" devices have been put forward by both amateur and professional scientists, and all have been scorned by the establishment. What makes this latest claim different is that it has survived intense scrutiny by sceptical, independent experts, and has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Physics-D: Applied Physics, published by Britain's Institute of Physics.
Even so, most scientists will not feel comfortable with the idea of anti-gravity until other teams repeat the experiments. Some scientists suspect the anti-gravity effect is a long-sought side- effect of Einstein's general theory of relativity, by which spinning objects can distort gravity.
Until now it was thought the effect would be far too small to measure in the laboratory. However, Dr. Ning Li, a senior research scientist at the University of Alabama, said that the atoms inside superconductors may magnify the effect enormously. Her research is funded by Nasa's Marshall Space Flight centre at Huntsville, Alabama, and Whitt Brantley, the chief of Advanced Concepts Office there, said: "We're taking a look at it, because if we don't, we'll never know."
The Finnish team is already expanding its programme, to see if it can amplify the anti-gravity effect. In its latest experiments, the team has measured a two per cent drop in the weight of objects suspended over the device - and double that if one device is suspended over another. If the team can increase the effect substantially, the commercial implications are enormous.
By David Brown
In 1989, Dr. Ning Li of UAH predicted that if a time varying magnetic field were applied to a superconductor, charged and deformed lattice ions within the superconductor could absorb enormous amounts of energy via the magnetic moment effect. This acquired energy would cause the lattice ions to spin rapidly about their equilibrium positions and create a miniscule gravitational field. Dr. Li's calculations showed that if these charged, rotating, lattice ions were aligned with each other by a strong magnetic field, the resulting change in local gravity would be measurable.
Podkletnov and Nieminen (1992) made the accidental discovery that a single-phase, dense, bulk, high T_c, superconducting, ceramic disk spinning at 5,000 rpm can produce a 2 percent reduction in the weight of non-conducting, non-magnetic objects placed over the spinning disk. UAH and MSFC have recently been cooperating on a joint research project to independently confirm the results of the Podkletnov experiment and to validate Dr. Li's theory of gravity modification via superconductor. On March 26th, 1997, as part of this project, the joint UAH-MSFC research team produced the largest high temperature superconducting disk ever manufactured in the USA. This disk measures 12 inches in diameter and is 0.5 inches thick.
Ning Li and D. G. Torr, Phys. Rev., 43D, 457, 1991.
Ning Li and D. G. Torr, Phys. Rev., 46B, 5489, 1992.
Ning Li and D. G. Torr, Bull. Am. Phys. Sco., 37, 948, 1992.
E. Podkletnov and R. Nieminen, Physica C, 203, 441, 1992.
D. G. Torr and Ning Li, Found. Phys. Lett., 37, 948, 1993.
be 'made' in the laboratory?
A theory that might lead to the creation of measurable manmade gravitational fields has been developed by physicists at UAH.
If the theoretical work is borne out in the laboratory, it will prove that physicist Albert Einstein was correct in predicting that moving matter generates two kinds of gravitational fields: gravito-magnetic and gravito-electric. The 'artificial' gravitational field would be generated inside a container made of a superconducting material, said Dr. Douglas Torr, a research professor of physics and director of UAH's Optical Aeronomy Laboratory. "I think we can at the very least generate a microscopic field ..." If Einstein was right, the amount of gravito-magnetic energy produced by an object is proportional to its mass and its movement, explained Dr. Ning Li, a research scientist in UAH's Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research. To create the artificial gravitational fields, Torr and Li propose placing a superconducting container in a magnetic field to align ions that are spinning or rotating in tiny circles inside the superconducting material. Their theory predicts the existence of ionic spin or rotation in a superconductor in a magnetic field.
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