Kirkland, WA (PRWEB) March 28, 2006
The European Space Agency announced on March 21st the results of an experimental test in which a superconductor rotating at 6,500 rpm is shown to gain acceleration as the result of what is believed to be a gravity-modification effect. As reported by the ESA, "The experiment demonstrated that a superconductive gyroscope is capable of generating a powerful gravitomagnetic field, and is therefore the gravitational counterpart of the magnetic coil. Although just 100 millionths of the acceleration due to the Earth’s gravitational field, the measured field is a surprising one hundred million trillion times larger than Einstein’s General Relativity predicts."
The results were presented March 21st at the ESA's European Space and Technology Research Centre (ESTEC), in a paper entitled "Experimental Detection of the Gravitomagnetic London Moment". The paper predicts the presence of a large gravitomagnetic field within a rotating superconductor, and describes the experimental detection of this phenomenon as an extra-gravitational acceleration on the superconductor on the order of 100 µg.
The experiment was performed by Dr's Martin Tajmar & Clovis De Matos at ARC Seibersdorf, Austria's largest independent research laboratory. Tajmar, the Head of Field Space Propulsion Business for ARC, was quoted as stating that these results, while preliminary, were nonetheless rigorously reviewed before publication, "We ran more than 250 experiments, improved the facility over 3 years and discussed the validity of the results for 8 months before making this announcement. Now we are confident about the measurement." Dr. Tajmar previously commented on this continuing research study during a video-interview with American Antigravity at STAIF 2006.
While the announcement of these initial test-results is highly promising, Tajmar suggested that more experimentation is required before the results can be considered fully conclusive. In a statement Saturday, Tajmar remarked, "Of course, this effect needs further confirmation with other sensors, setups, etc. As an experimentalist, it is always very hard to release such data knowing that the claims are extraordinary, so I really want to be very cautious."
Tajmar's experimental results follow in a long thread of anecdotal claims & theoretical predictions from scientists such as Dr's Ning Li, Evgeny Podkletnov, Douglas Torr, Robert Baker, Raymond Chiao, and David Maker. While Li & Podletnov have described seeing remarkable large-scale experimental results, other experiments have produced no results whatsoever, creating a general uncertainty in the scientific community as to whether gravitomagnetic effects do in fact exist in superconductors.
Dr. Clive Woods of Iowa State University addressed the issue of gravitational-coupling in superconductors in a recent publication entitled "High-Frequency Gravitational Wave Optics". His research revisits earlier calculations by Li & Torr showing that gravitational waves inside a Type-II superconductor propogate with a phase-velocity 300 times slower than in free-space, and leading to the hypothesis that a superconductor may require focusing in order to correctly absorb & re-radiate gravitational waves. This notion may explain in part at least some of the difficulty found in obtaining consistent experimental results, as illustrated by the experimental failure of Dr. Raymond Chiao's "gravity-radio" experiment in 2003.
While Woods’ publication certainly seems to provide new insight into manipulating gravitational force using superconductors, Tajmar believes that Woods’ research is not applicable to this latest experiment, "As you have probably seen in the experimental paper, we found the effect in Nb and Pb (Type-II and Type-I) -- so it's not specifically related to Type-I or II superconductors. Moreover, Clive based his focusing requirements on the speed of gravity equation from an old Li & Torr paper -- after calculating through her paper, I believe that this specific equation is not correct."
Another startling aspect of Tajmar's reported experimental results is the scale, which demonstrates a coupling many orders of magnitude higher than both Relativity Theory and earlier research into High-Frequency Gravity-Waves (HFGW's) would predict. HFGW researcher & STAIF Session-Chairperson Gary Stephenson commented on this by noting that the difference in scale of the reported effects may be the result of Tajmar's experimental implimentation, which he described as a "DC static gravitomagnetic field, potentially bound by different coupling efficiencies than those predicted by the wavelike AC-nature of traditional High-Frequency Gravitational Waves."
If the gravitomagnetic coupling coefficient is in fact higher for rotating-superconductors than for HFGW experiments, it could mean new life for the experimental research of Dr. Evgeny Podkletnov, best-known for a highly-publicized 1996 claim to have created a 2% decrease in the weight of a YBCO Type-II superconductor rotating at 5,000 rpm. Podkletnov has since then also described creating a powerful "force-beam" apparatus by passing a high-energy electrical discharge from a Marx-Generator through a superconducting spark-gap during experimentation at the Moscow Chemical Research Institute in Russia.
Gary Stephenson commented in the similarity between the 1996 experiments and Tajmar's results, stating, "Tajmar's experiment seems highly analogous to Podkletnov's experiment, but based on a firmer theoretical foundation. In essence, they are spinning a superconductor, which is exactly what Podkletnov claimed produced an identical -- albeit larger -- result."
STAIF Conference Section-F Chairman Paul Murad made a more direct comparison, stating, "Is this truly the first time that we've seen this effect, or has it perhaps already been documented under different manifestations? Is this the same as Podkletnov's gravity-shielding effect? I can't help but wonder if these results have been seen in the past in other experiments, and perhaps were either not reported or instead attributed to other causal factors..."
With Tajmar's recent publication raising more questions than answers, there seems to be only one point of clear consensus -- the need for additional research. Paul Murad summarized the views of many with the statement, "For the moment, I'm taking a wait and see attitude to see how this research further develops. We also have to see the experimental setup, possible environmental & terrestrial sources of error, and a variety of successful experimental replications before making a determination. We need to see this reproduced by others before making a final decision."
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