• Tag Archives Tesla
  • Anti-Gravity in the 1950s

    LaViolette_cover
    There are several reference books available on electrogravitics, also known as anti-gravity. Two of the best are Electrogravitics II by Thomas Valone, and Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion by Paul A. LaViolette. These books contain a wealth of information.

    Modern anti-gravity research began with Nikola Tesla’s shock discharge experiments in the 1890s. Tesla discovered, quite by accident, that under certain conditions a tangible force could felt several feet away from his discharge apparatus. The presence of this force was completely unexpected. Intrigued, he re-focused his experiments and determined that this force could be transmitted over distance, in a narrow beam and with only minimal losses. Tesla lacked sufficient funds to develop the technology further, and could only speculate on its possible applications.

    In later interviews, Tesla predicted a future in which electric airships traversed the skies for commerce and pleasure. The airships would be self-propelled or supported by energy beams from the ground. These ideas, widely reported in the popular press, provided an atmosphere of scientific credibility to fanciful visions of the Atlantean Vailx.

    Another prominent researcher was Thomas Townsend Brown of Zanesville, Ohio. Brown observed an unexpected force while experimenting with high voltage tubes. His first patent, granted in 1928, describes “…a method of controlling gravitation and deriving power therefrom, and to a method for producing linear force or motion. The method is fundamentally electrical.” (British patent 300,311 dated Nov. 15, 1928)

    U.S. Patent 1,974,483
    U.S. Patent 1,974,483

    The force that Brown discovered is called the Biefeld-Brown Effect, named after Brown and his mentor, a professor of Physics at Denison University. Brown’s research continued while serving as a Naval Radio Officer in the 1930s, and as an Allied Intelligence agent in the 1940s. Eventually, his results captured the attention of leading aerospace firms. Brown was largely responsible for the interest in gravitation control that flourished in the aerospace industry during the 1950s.

    One of the many fascinating points covered in the books by Valone and LaViolette is how open and publicly acknowledged anti-gravity research was in the 1950s. Several articles about research projects at U.S. aviation firms were published in the mid 1950s. The New York Herald Tribune reported in November 1955:

    Many in America’s aircraft and electronics industries are excited over the possibility of using its magnetic and gravitational fields as a medium of support for amazing “flying vehicles” which will not depend on the air for lift. Space ships capable of accelerating in a few seconds to speeds many thousands of miles an hour and making sudden changes of course at these speeds without subjecting their passengers to the so-called “G-forces” caused by gravity’s pull also are envisioned. These concepts are part of a new program to solve the secret of gravity and universal gravitation all ready in progress in many top scientific laboratories and long-established industrial firms of the nation.(p75)

    The Herald goes on to cite gravitational control research at General Dynamics, Glen L. Martin Co., Convair, Bell Aircraft, Lear Inc. and Sperry-Rand. Technical reports from this era have surfaced and support the existence of these research programs.

    In an effort to prepare the public for the appearance of new, unconventional flying vehicles, the U.S. Dept of Defense issued a press release on Oct. 15, 1955. Secretary of the Air Force Donald A. Quarles was quoted as follows:

    We are now entering a period of aviation technology in which aircraft of unusual configuration and flight characteristics will begin to appear…The Air Force and other Armed Services have under development several vertical-rising, high performance aircraft… Vertical-rising aircraft capable of transition to supersonic horizontal flight will be a new phenomena in our skies, and under certain conditions could give the illusion of the so-called flying saucer.(p73)

    John Searl's Levity Disc
    John Searl’s Levity Disc

    Within a few years, the commercial programs quietly shut down and official references disappeared from mainstream press. Copious amounts of dis-information began to appear, suggesting that flying disks were of interplanetary origin. Apparently it was decided that anti-gravity research should become a state secret, and that public sightings of advanced flying vehicles could be dismissed as fanciful tales of science fiction.

    Anti-gravity research continued in the form of highly classified programs by military contractors and secret labs in the U.S, Britain and Soviet Union. LaViolette presents evidence that the American B-2 Advanced Technology Bomber utilizes electrogravitic propulsion to extend its range. (During the Kosovo War in 1999, B2 bombers flew non-stop from their home base in Missouri to Kosovo and back.)

    Several different approaches to field-propulsion technology have been documented. I was amused to note that the direction of my own research, which diverged from Brown’s early work, has gone unreported. Government-funded programs are using more energy-intensive approaches such as flame-jet ionization and microwave phase conjugation. Meanwhile, a few private enterprises exist in isolation, flying literally “under the radar” with low altitude, all-electric airships.

    Links:

    U.S. Gravity Control Propulsion Research

    The Thomas Townsend Brown Family Website

    Defying Gravity: The Parallel Universe of T. Townsend Brown

    The Scientific Notebooks of Thomas Townsend Brown

    The Story Behind the John Searl Story


  • Nikola Tesla Day

    Tesla at Colorado Springs, 1900
    Tesla at Colorado Springs

    Nikola Tesla was born on this day, 158 years ago. Depending on who you ask, he was either a crazy eccentric who fed pigeons, or a brilliant engineer who changed the world. If he were to be judged by his works, there would be little debate.

    Do you use electricity from a power grid to light your home? Did you listen to the radio today? Have you used an electric motor, or ever had an X-ray? All of these things can be attributed to Tesla.

    Tesla made it clear, in his writings and lectures, that his motivation for discovery was to improve the quality of life for humanity. Tesla was a pacifist, and although much is made of his plans for a so-called “death ray”, he never used that term and in fact had designed a particle beam device solely for the defense of nations. The same technology was intended to power electric airships for convenient, safe transportation.

    It was a tradition, while Tesla was alive, to honor his birthday with a lavish party to which prominent members of the press were invited. The tradition continues, as evidenced by several articles that appeared on the Internet today. People are still fascinated by Tesla, although men of science generally scoff at his claim that nature could supply limitless amounts of free energy. Of course, those are the same people who make a big deal about Newton’s apple that fell from a tree, but never ask how it got up there in the first place. They like to quote the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that all systems tend to dis-associate and decay. But they will spend two or three hours on a Saturday, cutting back the lawn that self-assembles in their yard.

    In 2013, Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal series of Web comics, led a successful crowd-funding campaign to acquire Tesla’s old laboratory, where the famous Wardenclyffe Tower once stood. And today, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, contributed $1 million dollars to help build a museum there. It’s a good day.


  • Tesla’s Radiant Energy Patents

    685957_excerpt
    In 1901 Nikola Tesla was granted several patents for a system of radiant energy transmission and reception. The system utilized “natural media” such as the atmosphere and ground to transmit power with virtually no losses. The patents include a generalized radiant power receiving circuit, developed and optimized during his nine month stay in Colorado Springs.

    The radiant energy system was revolutionary because it did away with wires and meters. Modest amounts of electric power would be available anywhere, at any time, for lighting and communications. Simply erect an elevated collector, attach the ground plate and begin drawing power from a distant transmission station. Tesla’s vision was to provide free electricity in the service of humanity. Industrial applications such as beaming power to electric airships was also planned.

    A decade earlier, Tesla’s polyphase AC power system had destroyed the DC power industry, primarily because of it’s significant advantages in power transmission. By 1901, the major utilities were heavily invested in Tesla’s AC system, and the business of electrifying America’s cities and industries was underway. There was a huge, expanding market for electrical power transmisson equipment. With these new patents, Tesla was poised to revolutionize industry again with broadcast power distribution.

    Scientific American carried a story on Tesla’s patents in the Nov. 30, 1901 issue (full text appears below.) Of particular interest is this paragraph:

    In another method the energy stored is not, as in the previous instance, obtained from the energy of the disturbance effect transmitted from a distance, but from an independent source. The method in general consists in charging a storage device with energy from an independent source, controlling the charge of the device by the action of the effects or disturbances transmitted through the natural media and coincidently using the stored energy for operating a receiver. A condenser is used as the storage means.

    Tesla_Lecture_1892
    In this passage, Tesla’s receiver is extracting power not from the transmitting station, but from an independant source. It is an oblique reference; the patents cited here do not identify the independant source of energy. Many believe that Tesla refers to background, environmental energy. Indeed, the answer to this mystery is not hard to find.

    Continue reading  Post ID 587


  • Colorado Springs Notes, 1899 – 1900

    Tesla_circuit

    I received a most unusual package the other day, containing a leather-bound, first edition of Nikola Tesla’s research diaries from his lab at Colorado Springs. The existence of these diaries was unknown until 35 years after his death, when they were published by the Tesla Museum in Beograd, Yugoslavia. This handsome book is packed with meticulous records of Tesla’s research into high frequency power transmission.

    To get a feel for Tesla’s writing style, I opened a page at random and was surprised to see a circuit diagram that looked familiar. Indeed, the circuit was similar to something I had been working on recently. It was an early receiving apparatus for wireless power, complete with commentary in Tesla’s own words.

    I recognized C’ as the elevated terminal described in his subsequent patent applications. The part that really interested me was a, described as a sensitive device. From the entry on July 23rd, I leaned that this was a type of primitive semiconductor. It was constructed of a partially evacuated glass tube, enclosed with polished brass plugs, spaced from 1/8 to 1/2 inch apart. The gap was filled about 1/3 full with coarse chips of nickel, and the entire thing rotated by a clockwork.

    George Trinkaus, in his short book Radio Tesla, describes the sensitive device as a coherer, a form of detector used in early radio research:

    Tesla’s detector research was paralleled by many others at the time. The popular detector among radio experimenters was the coherer. This is simply a short glass tube partly filled with small metal chips or filings. Strained to near-conduction by battery voltage, the early semiconductor mysteriously switches on when an oscillating disturbance is present. A tap is needed to reset the coherer back to nonconduction. Breaking the battery circuit also works. Tesla improved the coherer by setting it into constant rotation at about 16 RPM so it would automatically reset. Changing the rate of rotation controls sensitivity.

    Describing the receiver circuit displayed here, Tesla wrote:

    In this plan all the advantages so far aimed are successfully realized. The secondary is free on one end towards device a and the potential rise can freely take place; the earth and air connections are both very advantageously situated; the condenser is excited exactly to the degree desired by adjusting resistance r. The vibration of the secondary is not sensibly affected by attaching the air line and capacity C’, and the current through the relay is made small by opposing batteries B and B1.