Gravity research gets off the
A leading UK company is challenging what we understand to be the fundamental laws of physics.
The military wing of the hi-tech group BAe Systems, formerly British Aerospace, has confirmed it has launched an anti-gravity research programme.
It hopes that Project Greenglow will draw scientists from different backgrounds to work on future technologies that will have echoes of the propellantless propulsion systems being investigated by Nasa's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program.
If any of the work is successful, it could lead to dramatic developments in the way we travel - anti-gravity devices could make it much easier for aeroplanes, spacecraft and even the next generation of cars to get off the ground.
In 1996, the experiments of a Russian scientist were jeered at by the physics world. Writing in the journal Physica C, Dr Yevgeny Podkletnov claimed that a spinning, superconducting disc lost some of its weight. And, in an unpublished paper on the weak gravitation shielding properties of a superconductor, he argued that such a disc lost as much as 2% of its weight.
However, most scientists believe that such anti-gravity research is fundamentally flawed. It goes against what we know about the physical Universe and is therefore impossible, they say.
"I find it rather peculiar that they've done this," said Bob Park from the American Physical Society, in reaction to the BAe Systems admission. "One can only conclude that at the higher levels of these organisations there are people who don't have a very sound grounding in fundamental physics.
"You can invest a little money in far-out projects if they have some chance of success - it's called Pascal's Wager. In this case, most scientists would say there is zero chance of success."
Nonetheless, this view will not stop anti-gravity devices from continuing to be a popular feature of science fiction and the inspiration for countless websites.
SOURCE: BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/692968.stm
Anti-gravity propulsion comes ‘out of the closet’
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29 July 2002
By Nick Cook, JDW Aerospace Consultant, London
Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, has admitted it is working on experimental anti-gravity projects that could overturn a century of conventional aerospace propulsion technology if the science underpinning them can be engineered into hardware.
As part of the effort, which is being run out of Boeing’s Phantom Works advanced research and development facility in Seattle, the company is trying to solicit the services of a Russian scientist who claims he has developed anti-gravity devices. So far, however, Boeing has fallen foul of Russian technology transfer controls (Moscow wants to stem the exodus of Russian high technology to the West).
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Jane's Defense Weekly
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