Het onmogelijke mogelijk maken
Een nieuwe fysica voor een nieuwe energiebron
door Jeanne Manning
“Vandaag de dag wordt het vacuüm [van de ruimte] niet als leeg beschouwd… Het is een zee van dynamische energie… zoals de schuimnevel bij een turbulente waterval.”
– Harold Puthoff, natuurkundige
Moray B. King, een afgestudeerde student aan de Universiteit van Pennsylvania, dreigde in 1978 een commissie van technische hoogleraren van streek te maken met zijn voorstel voor een proefschrift over het onderwerp dat energie uit de ruimte zou kunnen worden afgetapt. De aardige, goedgehumeurde koning was niet van plan om te choqueren. In feite had hij als plichtsgetrouwe student systeemtechniek aanvankelijk de standaardopvatting aanvaard dat het vacuüm van de ruimte nutteloos is als energiebron.
Een paar zomers eerder was King echter geïntrigeerd geraakt door een nieuw idee, nadat hij een boek over UFO’s had gelezen. Tijdens zijn zoektocht door de natuurkundige literatuur naar principes die antizwaartekracht mogelijk maken, kwam hij een concept tegen dat hem nog meer interesseerde, iets dat ‘nulpuntsenergie’ wordt genoemd. Het zorgde niet alleen voor anti-zwaartekracht, het zorgde ook voor een overvloedige bron van energie.
WAT ZEGGEN DE HANDBOEKEN?
De meeste wetenschappers en ingenieurs hebben geleerd dat het vacuüm van de ruimte volledig leeg is en nog steeds in afwezigheid van warmte, licht en materie. Tenzij een student kwantummechanica bestudeert, vermeldt zijn of haar leerboek nooit nulpuntsenergie.
De student kwantummechanica leert wel dat het weefsel van de ruimte bestaat uit willekeurige fluctuaties van elektriciteit. Hij of zij leert ook dat deze fluctuaties gezamenlijk nulpuntsenergie worden genoemd omdat ze de energie vertegenwoordigen die aanwezig is zelfs bij een temperatuur van het absolute nulpunt, de temperatuur waarbij alles helemaal koud is. Het is de energie die ontstaat wanneer alle andere energiebronnen worden weggenomen.
Deze energie is moeilijk te detecteren omdat ze overal aanwezig is. Verwachten dat iemand het voelt, is als vragen aan een vis om de oceaan te detecteren; de vis heeft geen idee van een wereld die geen oceaan is. Evenzo zijn de fluctuaties van elektriciteit waaruit ruimte-energie bestaat, te microscopisch en te snel om ze waar te nemen, hetzij met ons lichaam, hetzij met standaard detectieapparatuur.
Waarom hebben de technische professoren van Moray King hem niet geleerd over nulpuntsenergie, wat we in dit boek ruimte-energie noemen? De reden is dat wetenschappers aannemen dat deze vacuümfluctuaties eenvoudigweg worden afgevlakt. Ze noemen dit de tweede wet van de thermodynamica, ook wel de wet van entropie genoemd. Onder deze wet is alles gedoemd tot toenemende wanorde, totdat alles tot stilstand komt. Dit betekent dat, volgens de traditionele wetenschap, ruimte-energie niet voor enig praktisch doel kan worden gebruikt, omdat de willekeur ervan niet kan worden omgezet in een georganiseerd systeem. Het zou zijn alsof een stapel draden zich plotseling tot een hemd had georganiseerd.
EEN NIEUWE ENERGIE FYSICA: HET ONMOGELIJKE MOGELIJK MAKEN?
King had de meest indrukwekkende verwijzing naar nulpunt- of ruimte-energie gevonden in een boek genaamd Geometrodynamics. De auteur, de bekende natuurkundige John Archibald Wheeler, zei dat deze energie die schuimt in het weefsel van de ruimte enorm krachtig is als het tot een object wordt gevormd, het meer energie zou produceren dan een heldere ster. Dat is veel kracht.
Heeft deze bron van ongelooflijke kracht echt interactie met onze wereld? King ontdekte dat ook daar de natuurkundige literatuur goed nieuws bevatte.
Kwantummechanica, de tak van de wetenschap die zich bezighoudt met protonen, elektronen en andere basisdeeltjes van materie, leert dat superhoogfrequente energie voortdurend in wisselwerking staat met fysieke materie. Er staat dat deze basisdeeltjes vermengd zijn met ruimte-energie.
Het verschil tussen de standaard kwantummechanica en de ideeën van Wheeler en andere wetenschappers is dat ze geloofden dat basisdeeltjes zoals protonen en elektronen niet alleen werden vermengd met ruimte-energie, ze waren eigenlijk gemaakt van ruimte-energie. Terwijl King doorging met het lezen van lijsterboeken over het onderwerp, begon hij energie te zien als een stroom, een rivier uit een andere dimensie van de ruimte, en elementaire deeltjes als kleine draaikolken in die rivier. Als de rivier zou ophouden met stromen, zouden de basisdeeltjes, de bouwstenen van alle materie, verdwijnen. Zo zou iedereen en alles.
Gevuld met een gevoel van ontzag, begon King verder te kijken dan het standaardbeeld van ruimte-energie als een willekeurig trillen van basisdeeltjes. Hij vond zijn nieuwe ideeën bevestigd door het werk van Timothy Boyer, Ph.D., een natuurkundige en leraar. Boyer zei in tegenstelling tot de traditionele wetenschappelijke overtuiging dat ruimte-energie de materie, de fysieke wereld om ons heen, wel degelijk beïnvloedde, en dat het niet willekeurig en zinloos was.
Uiteindelijk realiseerde King zich dat als ingenieurs maar een klein deel van die willekeurige energetische bewegingen in de ruimte konden krijgen om op één lijn te komen met elkaar, ze een enorme krachtbron voor onze dagelijkse wereld zouden kunnen aanboren.
KOMEN MET EEN NIEUWE COMBINATIE VAN THEORIEN
King vroeg zich af: waarom vroeg niemand of al die kracht kon worden benut en ingezet? Het antwoord leek te liggen in specialisatie. De mensen die machines en generatoren maken om dingen te verplaatsen en te verwarmen en aan te drijven, de ingenieurs bestuderen niet noodzakelijk kwantummechanica. De mensen die kwantummechanica bestuderen, degenen die de vergelijkingen en formules bedenken, de natuurkundigen bouwen geen machines.
Zelfs als de meerderheid van noch de ingenieurs noch de natuurkundigen in dit onderwerp geïnteresseerd waren, was King dat wel. Hij wilde nog steeds weten of er een manier was om ruimte-energie te gebruiken. Dus de jonge student stelde zichzelf een taak op. Hij zou zich houden aan de standaard natuurkundige literatuur en op zoek gaan naar concepten die kunnen worden samengevoegd om een geheel van kennis te vormen, een gecombineerde theorie over de haalbaarheid van het aanboren van die overvloedige energie. Hij zocht in de gerespecteerde tijdschriften en vond artikelen die, bij elkaar genomen, pleitten voor het doen van wat zijn professoren hadden gezegd dat het onmogelijk was.
De academische wereld was op dat moment niet echt geïnteresseerd in ruimte-energie, maar een groeiend publiek, meestal buiten de klimopmuren, pakte het boek dat King uiteindelijk schreef. Taping the Zero-Point Energy, voor het eerst gepubliceerd in 1989, bracht gepubliceerde theorieën over ruimte-energie en theorieën over de manier waarop natuurlijke systemen zichzelf organiseren samen. Dit boek legde de basis voor de ontwikkeling van een coherente theorie achter een nieuwe energiebron.
Van chaos tot bestelling
De in Rusland geboren wetenschapper Ilya Prigogine won in 1977 een Nobelprijs voor het laten zien hoe bepaalde systemen kunnen evolueren van willekeurig gedrag naar ordelijk gedrag. Dit betekent dat entropie, die ervan uitgaat dat alle systemen steeds meer ontregeld raken, niet langer het enige spel in het universum is. Het betekent dat energie inderdaad kan worden gezien als een creatieve kracht in de ruimte, in plaats van een ongeorganiseerde chaos. Dit gedrag, het tegenovergestelde van entropie, wordt sindsdien negentropie genoemd.
In de jaren zeventig, voor en na zijn afstuderen, begon Moray King voet aan de grond te krijgen in twee werelden, een in de wereld van de theoretische natuurkunde en een in de wereld van de praktische knutselaars die probeerden ruimte-energie te vangen in hun ateliers thuis. Hij maakte kennis met die tweede wereld door nieuwe-energieauteur Christopher Bird, die King vertelde over de strijd van T. Henry Moray en Moray om ruimte-energie te vangen (zie hoofdstuk 3).
Nieuwe energie-ideeën raakten King daarna van alle kanten. In het begin vroeg hij zich af of hij werd voorgesteld aan een stel koks, maar al snel begon hij deze concepten te waarderen. Hij bleef vragen stellen, netwerken en papers presenteren op conferenties over nieuwe energietechnologieën, en uitvinders aanmoedigen om met een reproduceerbaar experiment te komen om te bewijzen dat ruimte-energie kon worden aangeboord.
In 1994 had King zijn ideeën over ruimte-energie verder verfijnd. Op conferenties legde hij aan enthousiaste toehoorders uit hoe draaikolken – draaikolken of tornado-achtige spiralen die overal in de natuur te vinden zijn – een sleutel vormden tot het energieslot. Geef een plotselinge draai aan de kern van een atoom, en al zijn buren, en blijf ze draaien, zei King, en je zou wat ruimte-energie in je elektriciteitsopwekkingssysteem kunnen trekken. Draai de draaiende materialen spin na spin rond en je hebt een grotere kans om wat extra energie op te pikken. Bouw dan paren van tegengesteld draaiende draaikolken in je systeem, en je zou echt iets hebben.
Om dit concept gedeeltelijk te visualiseren, kun je twee jojo’s nemen, hun snaren draaien en loslaten zodat beide jojo’s beginnen te draaien. Je kunt de jojo’s dan in volledige cirkels zwaaien, één naar voren en één naar achteren. Dit is het soort beweging dat een uitvinder een kans kan geven om de ruimte-energie-jackpot te winnen.
Een oud idee wordt opnieuw onderzocht
Om Kings ideeën beter te begrijpen, is het nuttig om terug te gaan naar een heel oud concept. Een andere manier om over de achtergrondzee van energie te spreken is de oude term prana, later bekend als de helmknop. In de achttiende en negentiende eeuw werd de onderwereld beschouwd als een substantie die alle ruimte vult en waar licht doorheen reisde.
In 1887 probeerden twee Amerikanen Albert Michelson en Edward Williams Morley de ether experimenteel te detecteren. Ze konden het niet en concludeerden dat de ether niet bestond. Ongeveer dertig jaar later werd het concept volledig verworpen toen Albert Einstein zijn relativiteitstheorie naar voren bracht. Er staat dat er geen achtergrondstructuur is voor het universum, zoals een ether. In plaats daarvan beïnvloeden alle objecten in het universum, zoals sterren en planeten, elkaar. Dit betekent dat niets in de ruimte absoluut is.
Maar zoals bij alle theorieën waren er dingen die de theorie van Einstein niet kon verklaren. Dus in 1954 vroeg de vooraanstaande Engelse natuurkundige PAM Dirac de wetenschap om nog een keer naar de ether te kijken: “De etherloze basis van de natuurkundige theorie heeft misschien het einde van zijn mogelijkheden bereikt, en we zien in de ether een nieuwe hoop voor de toekomst.”
Een Amerikaanse wetenschapper, EW Silvertooth uit de staat Washington, reageerde op de oproep van Dirac. In 1986 voerde Silvertooth een experiment uit met laserapparatuur en zijn kennis van geavanceerde optica. Door de beweging van de aarde in de ruimte te meten, berekende hij dat ons zonnestelsel met bijna 400 kilometer per seconde of ongeveer 892.800 mijl per uur naar het sterrenbeeld Leeuw beweegt. Silvertooth was geslaagd waar Michelson en Morley hadden gefaald. Het feit dat de beweging van de aarde in de ruimte kon worden gedetecteerd, betekende dat er een stabiel referentiepunt moest zijn, zoals de ether, om deze beweging te kunnen meten.
Om een wetenschappelijk experiment als geldig te beschouwen, moet het met succes worden herhaald. Silvertooth gebruikte echter zeer dure apparatuur en zijn onderzoek werd gedeeltelijk gesponsord door de Amerikaanse luchtmacht en een andere defensie-instantie die geavanceerd onderzoek uitvoert. Voor zover ik weet, is het experiment van Silvertooth niet herhaald, hoewel een Oostenrijkse natuurkundige beweerde ook de ether te hebben gedetecteerd.
Een snel draaiende draaikolk?
De ethertheoretici van tegenwoordig zien de ether niet als een onzichtbare vloeistof die de hele ruimte vult. In plaats daarvan zeggen ze dat het een spiraalvormig fundament is voor het universum dat niet kan worden gedetecteerd door huidige meetinstrumenten omdat de bewegingen te snel zijn.
Moray King is niet de enige ruimte-energiewetenschapper die denkt dat de ether in een spiraalvormige beweging beweegt. Paramahamsa Tewari, Ph.D., uit India is een andere. Hij zegt dat het idee dat er enorme krachtniveaus zijn voor elke vierkante centimeter ruimte verkeerd zou zijn, tenzij die ruimte met een fantastische snelheid ronddraait, ‘als een draaikolk’. Hij ziet het universum als in beweging volgens zijn basisontwerp, met slechts een concentratie van materie hier en daar een melkwegstelsel, een zonnestelsel, een planeet, een elektron.
Wat deze beweging moeilijk te detecteren maakt, is het feit dat we meebewegen en dus niets hebben om het mee te vergelijken. Het is alsof we proberen het draaien van de aarde om zijn as te voelen, want alles draait, ook wij, we voelen de beweging niet. Een wetenschapper beschrijft ruimte-energie als twee gigantische, onzichtbare olifanten die aan weerszijden van een deur duwen. Zolang ze met gelijke kracht duwen, beweegt de deur niet op de een of andere manier.
De ether bestaat niet alleen, de ruimte-energie die het produceert, geeft de aarde energie. Om te begrijpen hoe het werkt, denk aan een magnetron. Als je een aardappel in de magnetron doet, zie je hem niet koken en voel je ook geen warmte uit de oven komen. Dat komt omdat de magnetron het voedsel van binnenuit kookt. De oven blijft koel, maar de binnenkant van de aardappel wordt erg heet. Op dezelfde manier “kookt” ruimte-energie de kern van de aarde, die erg heet is, terwijl het aardoppervlak relatief koel blijft. Het grote verschil is dat de energie in een magnetron afkomstig is van naar buiten bewegende krachten van verval, explosie of verbranding, terwijl ruimte-energie de vorm aanneemt van een naar binnen bewegende spiraal, zoals uitgelegd in “Energiespiralen” op pagina 13.
Ondanks een theorie die een universele overvloed aan ruimte-energie ondersteunt, kunnen veel ingenieurs hun geloof in een wereld die wordt geregeerd door een eindige hoeveelheid energie niet loslaten. Om eerlijk te zijn tegenover de ingenieurs, willen ze dat geloof niet opgeven omdat het goed heeft gewerkt als basis voor praktische engineering. Het is het idee in het hart van het industriële tijdperk.
De nieuwe-energietheoretici zeggen echter dat ruimte-energie niet in strijd is met de wetten van behoud van energie, die stellen dat energie noch gecreëerd noch vernietigd kan worden. Volgens deze theoretici heeft deze energie altijd bestaan en wordt ze dus niet uit het niets gecreëerd. Het kan eenvoudig voor menselijk gebruik worden gebruikt. “Mensen hebben moeite om te beslissen of ze het willen geloven of niet”, zegt King.
MAGNETEN EN ENERGIE
De sleutel tot veel van de apparaten waarover u zult lezen, is de magneet. Het eigen magnetische veld van de aarde, dat een kompas naar het noorden laat wijzen, kan op de een of andere manier interageren met ruimte-energie. En nieuwe-energieonderzoekers ontdekken dat de kleinere magnetische velden die gefabriceerde magneten omringen, een sleutelrol spelen bij het aan het werk krijgen van hun energieopwekkende hardware. Sommige uitvinders gebruiken superkrachtige magneten gemaakt van zeldzame materialen, terwijl anderen het soort gewone magneten gebruiken die in stereogeluidssystemen worden gevonden.
How exactly do magnets tap into space energy? It is not possible to answer that question with any authority, since scientists are unable to explain exactly what a magnet’s force field is the force that attracts metal objects to the magnet. Nor can they explain exactly what that field interacts with. One electronics engineer says that we are like early humans discovering fire; they knew what it did, but they didn’t know why. Many new-energy researchers have come up with differing theories of what makes magne ts work. But these theories have not yet jelled into one body of knowledge that is accepted by the scientific establishment.
One thing we do know about magnetism is that it is related to electricity. In the 1830s, English scientist Michael Faraday showed that magnets could be used to produce electricity, and that an electric current produces a magnetic field. While it is not fully understood why this happens, this knowledge has been put to practical use in electric motors and generators. So it is not surprising if in fact space energy is electric in nature that magnets can be used to capture space energy, even through we don’t fu lly understand how.
MAVERICKS IN HIGH PLACES
In the past decade, Moray King has been joined by scientists around the world in space-energy research, and their results have caused great excitement in the new-energy world. Former astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, Ph.D., predicted this excitement in 1980 when he said:
“There are types of energy which lie outside the electromagnetic spectrum. Unfortunately, these research efforts have not been given recognition. For the most part, they have been performed by individuals . . . without any support, whose work lies at the threshold of present-day science, and who are years ahead of science which is already established.”
The fact that many of space energy’s newer proponents are people who have been part of the science establishment means that space energy, long thought of as an oddball idea, will have to be taken seriously.
Harold Puthoff, Ph.D., of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Austin, Texas, is giving space energy the publicity that Mitchell thought it lacked. Puthoff is a scientist whose low-key personality fits into a variety of settings, from security-clearance laboratories to meetings of environmentalists. His background includes corporate work, several years with the United States Department of Defense, and a stint with Stanford Research Institute International. He gives briefings to top govermnent officials and oil industry executives, and to other audiences worldwide.
Puthoff was named Theorist of the Year in 1994 by New Energy News, for a paper that News editor Hal Fox, Ph.D., called the century’s most important theoretical paper. Puthoff and two coauthors say that inertia the tendency of a body in motion to remain in motion, or a body at rest to remain at restcan be explained by the presence of space energy. Puthoff explains by saying it is space energy that knocks you down if you are standing on a train and the train accelerates quickly from a full stop.
Fox says, “The way the various institutions of science are structured, it is important to work within the system to successfully introduce new scientific theories and facts. This is what Dr. Harold Puthoff has gently accomplished over the past few years.”
Thomas Bearden, a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel, is a more controversial theorist who is considered to be almost a guru by some in the space-energy field. Bearden believes that present-day mechanical and electrical engineering concepts and mathematics are based on the manipulation of effects, and not of underlying causes, in the same way that a driver can accelerate and deaccelerate a car without understanding how an engine works. The devices made by mainstream engineers do the work they are intended for, he notes, but are crude compared to the hardware that could be made if the deeper causes were understood.
Bearden’s quest parallels King’s to learn how to create order in a small part of the seething vacuum of space and put that tremendous energy to work: “We can dip our paddlewheel into that river.”
Puthoff and bearden are only two of the many conventionally trained scientists who have found in space-energy theory a new way of seeing the world. And their ideas of theoretical physics are not only important to the world of science. Their ideas form the basis for a technology that will ultimately affect everyone.
In the next chapter we meet inventors who have tried to turn space-energy theory into space-energy devices.
Floyd Sweet – Solid-State Magnet Pioneer
“There is suppression launched against any free-energy inventor who succeeds or is very close to succeeding.” – Ret. Lt. Col. Thomas Bearden
The late Floyd “Sparky” Sweet created a breakthrough magnetic solid-state energy generator. For complex reasons, he did not develop his device into a commercially viable product. However, as a magnetics specialist with a distinguished industrial career, Sweet was not a man whose technical claims could be easily dismissed by critics.
Sweet’s story is important for three reasons. First, creditable witnesses saw his invention convert the invisible energy of space into useable amounts of electric power without fuel, batteries, or connection to an outlet. Second, he was subjected to the same kinds of harassment that the inventors we met in Part I had to face, including threats on his life. Third, and most important, Sweet’s research has inspired the work of other space-energy inventors, some of whom may well produce a useful stationary-magn et device.
FLOYD SWEET AND MAGNETS
Floyd Sweet (1912-1995) grew up in Connecticut, in an era when radios were home-built crystal sets. At the age of nine, his intense interest in how things work was directed into building and disassembling radios and other electrical apparatus, such as a small Tesla coil (see Chapter 2) energized by a Model T spark plug.
When Sweet was eighteen, a family friend helped him find work at the nearby General Electric plant while he went to college. He got the nickname “Sparky” after he Disconnected some wires one day, which resulted in an instrument exploding in a spectacular spray of sparks. Despite this incident, his employers were pleased with his work especially his intuitive gift for coming up with answers to electrical problems.
Sweet stayed with GE after completing his education. He worked in the company’s Schenectady, New York, research and development center from 1957 to 1962 a dream job in which he could use a well equipped laboratory to follow his hunches on intriguing magnetics projects. That line of research fascinated him. In 1969, he obtained a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
By the mid-1970s, Sweet and his wife, Rose, had moved to the Los Angeles area to enjoy semiretirement. Besides serving as one of GE’s preferred consultants, Sweet designed electric equipment for other customers.
Floyd Sweet was more than a professional scientist who worked with magnets. He had a passion for magnetism, and for the concept that the entire universe is permeated with a magnetic field. Once he fully retired in the early 1980s, he would have happily spent many hours each day building a device that could tap into the energy of that magnetic field. But Rose fell ill, and was an invalid for the last seven years of her life. This demanded Floyd’s attention and forced him to dip into their savings. He also had to cope with his own ill health, including a period of near blindness. Despite these problems, he worked on his device when not preparing meals and tending to his wife’s needs.
SWEET’S VACUUM TRIODE AMPLIFIER: DEFYING CONVENTION
For decades, new-energy researchers talked about the possibility of treating a magnet so that its magnetic field would continuously shake or vibrate. On rare occasions, Sweet saw this effect, called self-oscillation, occur in electric transformers. He felt it could be coaxed into doing something useful, such as producing energy. Sweet thought that if he could find the precise way to shake or disturb a magnet’s force field, the field would continue to shake by itself. It would be similar to striking a bell a nd having the bell keep on ringing.
As usual, Sweet-who said his ideas came to him in dreams turned for inspiration to his expertise in magnets. He knew magnets could be used to produce electricity, as we learned in Chapter 4, and wanted to see if he could get power out of a magnet by something other than the standard induction process. That process involves either moving a magnet past a wire coil a coil of conductive wire, such as copper or moving a coil through the field of a magnet. This changing magnetic field causes an electric current to flow in the copper wire.
What Sweet wanted to do was to keep the magnet still and just shake its magnetic field. This shaking, in turn, would create an electric current. One new-energy researcher compares self-oscillation to a leaf on a tree waving in a gentle breeze. While the breeze itself isn’t moving back and forth, it sets the leaf into that kind of motion. Sweet thought that if space energy, discussed in Chapter 4, could be captured to serve as the breeze, then the magnetic field would serve as the leaf. Sweet would just have to supply a small amount of energy to set the magnetic field in motion, and space energy would keep it moving.
By 1985, he had come up with a set of specially conditioned magnets, wound with wires. To test his device, Sweet discharged a current into the wire coil around the magnet. As a result, the coil disturbed the magnet’s field. It was as if Sweet had snapped the magnet’s Held out of position to set it in motion. Sweet then connected a twelve-volt lightbulb the size used in flashlights to the coil. If the device was producing electricity, the bulb would light.
The results were more than Sweet expected. A surge of power came out of the coil and there was a bright flash from the bulb which had received so much power that it melted. Years later, Sweet remembered that Rose had seen the flash and called out, “What did you blow up now?”
The inventor was baffled by the dazzling flash of light why so much energy? He returned to his workbench to make further models. Needing a theory to explain his startling discovery, he remembered hearing about Thomas Bearden, retired Army officer and nuclear physicist, and John Bedini, an electronics expert, on a local radio show. Sweet called Bedini, who arranged for Bearden to visit Sweet.
Bearden saw the curious device pull nearly six watts of electric power out of the air with only a tiny fraction of a watt going into the machine. Bearden ran tests to his heart’s content, and was delighted to see a little unit embodying the unorthodox concepts that he had written about over the years, the concepts behind space energy. He called Sweet’s assembly of magnets and wire coils the Vacuum Triode Amplifier (VTA). Bearden decided that the device was serving as a gate through which energy from space w as being herded into a electric circuit.
The most amazing aspect of Sweet’s device was that it put out so much more power than it took in. How much more? In a 1988 model, Sweet found that 330 microwatts 330 one-millionths of a watt of input power made it possible for the VTA’s wire coils to put out more than 500 watts of usable energy, or about one and a half million times the input power.
The VTA’s Special Effects and Difficult Development
The VTA turned out to have some very odd effects, but Bearden’s research background prepared him for that. So in 1987, Bearden asked Sweet to perform an antigravity experiment. Bearden calcu1ated that the six-pound machine would levitate when about 1,500 watts of power were drawn out of it, but that the magnets might explode at about the same power level. He warned Sweet to limit the output to no more than 1,000 watts. A VTA would be placed on a scale so that its weight could be carefully monitored while it was hooked up to a box of lighibulb sockets. Screwing bulbs int o the sockets would draw off the power.
About a week later, Sweet excitedly read off results over the phone to Bearden who was home in Alabama as Sweet screwed in ten 100-watt bulbs, one at a time. The device gradually lost weight until it was down to 90 percent of its original weight. For safety reasons, Sweet and Bearden stopped the experiment before the device could begin to hover or fly.
Why did the VTA lose weight? According to Bearden’s theory, gravity becomes a pushing force rather than a pulling force under certain conditions. Bearden also says that space energy has a pressure, referred to as energy density. If the pressure above an object is decreased while the pressure under the object is increased, the object will be drawn upwards. The VTA may have changed the energy density by drawing on space energy.
The technology could sometimes do spooky things. Walter Rosenthal of California, a test engineer who has helped many struggling inventors test their devices, recalls an incident that Sweet had told him about. The incident occurred while Sweet was trying to document his antigravity experiment:
“The machine’s weight was observed [to be] decreasing with an increased load [of lighibulbs], in a quiet orderly fashion, until a point was suddenly reached when Floyd heard an immense sound, as if he were at the center of a giant whirlwind but without actual air movement. The sound was heard by Rose in another room of their apartment and by others outside the apartment.”
This experience has been confirmed by a Canadian space-energy researcher, who heard a similar whirlwind sound during one of his experiments.
Another unusual effect of Sweet’s VTA was the fact that it produced cold, instead of the heat usually generated by electric equipment. The inside of the VTA was as much as twenty degrees cooler than the surrounding air. The greater the load put on the device, the cooler it became. When VTA wires were accidentally shorted out, they flashed with a brilliant burst of light, and were found to be covered with frost. One time, a brief contact with the equipment froze some of Sweet’s flesh, causing him pain for ab out two weeks afterward.
Sweet discovered other interesting effects. But development of the VTA was slowed by trouble with materials and processes, and by financial entanglements. Sweet had to find magnets that could hold the self-oscillation effect. That required magnets with force fields that didn’t vary much across the face of the magnet.
Also, standard mathematical calculations didn’t work with the VTA. In 1991, Sweet produced a math theory for the VTAan engineering design model that showed how factors such as the number of turns of wire in the coils affected the device’s behavior. Producing this theory was an important step. Without it, other researchers would not reproduce Sweet’s work.
Sometimes it was difficult for Sweet to reproduce his own work. As with first models of any new technology, the VTAs he built were very unreliable. For example, at times their output went down at night and picked up again during the day. Sometimes, they just plain stopped working for no apparent reason. But when the VTA worked, the power it put out for its size was unprecedented.
Sweet Challenges the Laws of Physics
Bearden contributed to the theory that explained Sweet’s invention. Much of the theory that Bearden used to explain how the VTA worked came from advances in the field of phase conjugate optics, a specialized study of light used by laser scientists and weapons researchers. Using information from this field, Bearden said that the VTA was able to amplify the space energy it took in.
The science establishment requires that an invention be explained by accepted laws of physics, and so much output from so little input seems to violate those laws, which do not allow for such a thing. However, Sweet and bearden recognized that these laws apply to ordinary, or closed systems, systems in which you cannot get more energy out than what you put in. Because the VTA allowed energy to flow in from the vacuum of space, it was not operating in a closed system, but in an open one. (See Chapter 1 for a discussion of closed versus open systems.) A VTA operating in the flow of space energy is like a windmill operating in the wind. Both receive excess energy from an outside source. But since neither operates m a closed system, neither violates the laws of physics.
In 1991, a paper by Sweet and Bearden was read at a formal gathering of conventional engineers and physicists in Boston. Neither Bearden nor Sweet were able to attend Bearden was called away on business, and Sweet was recuperating from heart surgery. Walter Rosenthal went instead. The paper said that the VTA had the signs of being a true negentropy device, or a device that was able to turn random space energy into usable electricity (see Chapter 4).
How did this work? It helps to think of a handful of marbles on a tabletop. You can either roll them all in one direction, or you can scatter them in all directions. If you scatter the marbles into a reflector, the reflector will roll them back to you in an orderly fashion. Although the language they used was quite technical, what Sweet and Bearden basically said is that the VTA was able to take energy “marbles” and keep rolling them back and forth, building energy as they went along.
After Bearden’s paper was read, Walter Rosenthal stood up and startled the audience of skeptical engineers: “I have personally seen Floyd Sweet’s machine operating. It was running . . . those small motors you saw in the video. It was jump-started with a ninevolt battery. There was no other electrical input required…. There was no connection to the power line whatsoever.” And, no, there were no moving parts.
Although most of the audience listened politely, it was too much for one engineering professor. He stalked out of the room, saying, “To present such a remark at an engineering conference is the height of irresponsibility! It violates virtually every conceivable concept known to engineers.”
SWEET IS HREATENED
Could activity at the Sweet home been secretly watched by strangers? Sweet told the story of a time in the late 1980s when a man accosted him as Sweet was leaving a supermarket. Sweet remembered the man’s expensive-looking shoes, and the fact that he was immaculately dressed. But in the stress of the moment, Sweet couldn’t focus on much else.
What made the inventor nervous was the photograph that the man held, a photograph showing Sweet at work on his tabletop-model VTA in the supposed privacy of Sweet’s own home. In what Sweet said was a remarkably clear photo, he was sitting in the dining room on the second story of the apartment building where he lived with Rose.
“He walked me all the way to my building, telling me what would happen to me if I didn’t stop my research,” Sweet recalled. “How they took that picture through my window, I’ll never know.” As Sweet remembered it, the man claimed to be connected with a conglomerate that did not want the VTA to come onto the market at that time. He told Sweet, “It is not beyond possibilities to take you out of the way.”
Sweet said that afterward he called the FBI in Los Angeles. He believed that two agents staked out his house for a couple of weeks, but that nothing came of it.
Around the time of the photo incident, Sweet was getting telephone calls and death threats from strangers. He said there were “people calling at all hours. The police put a tap on my line and over a six-month period, over 480 calls came in from all parts of the United States. But they were from pay stations.” Thus, the police could never find the callers.
Early in the VTA’s development, someone broke into Sweet’s apartment and stole his notes. He then began to code his notes.
Sweet temporarily stopped work on his invention, out of concern for his ill wife. “They must have known I stopped; they didn’t torment me any more.”
FOLLOWING IN SWEET’S FOOTSTEPS
On July 5, 1995, Floyd Sweet suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of eighty-three. A couple of weeks before his death, Sweet said that the automotive industry was testing his power unit for use in cars, and that they had a unit running for 5,000 hours. He said he was dealing with people at General Motors, but no one has been able to confirm Sweet’s claims.
The VTA itself is bogged down in legal problems. But Tom Bearden, who put much of his own time and money into the project, hopes that the VTA can be resurrected so that the world will realize what a pioneer Floyd Sweet was. And despite the confusion surrounding Sweet’s affairs at the time of his death, other researchers are continuing this line of research.
Confusion and Secrecy
The automotive industry may not have been the only potential investor that Sweet was dealing with. At the time of his death, there was some confusion concerning the rights to Sweet’s hardware and papers, held by Sweet’s second wife, Violet. Bearden says that Sweet signed a number of agreements with a number of backers, and that some of these people have claimed rights to the invention. At least two of these investors say they want Sweet’s laboratory equipment, inventions, and technical papers to go into a p roposed Floyd Sweet Museum so that other researchers could study the technology. Walter Rosenthal is trying to help all parties work towards an agreement.
Despite Bearden’s urging, Sweet never had the VTA certified by independent testing. “He feared that his life would be snuffed out immediately if he even attempted such a thing,” Bearden says.
Sweet also frustrated his fellow researchers by keeping secret his most important process how he conditioned the magnets that are at the heart of the VTA. Did he pump the magnets with powerful electromagnetic pulses to shake up their internal structure? He refused to give details, and said it wasn’t likely that other researchers would learn his secrets: “The odds against them finding out is like trying to open a safe with 100 dials set from zero to a hundred, without knowing the combination.”
Sweet not only feared for his life, but once said he feared that if he described how he made his device work, unscrupulous people would build models without giving him his due. He was also concerned about what would happen if the VTA was widely sold everywhere at once, replacing many other electric devices. “If it all came out at once, the stock market would collapses” he said. “The government doesn’t want it.” To be fair to Sweet, I would point out that he is not the only inventor who has been uncomfortable in disclosing key aspects of his work.
Other Researchers and the VTA
Other inventors are trying to carry on Sweet’s work. The VTA is well-known on computer bulletin boards that list “free energy” as a topic of discussion. Experimenters scramble for details of how the device was built.
One researcher who has claimed some success is Don Watson, a self-educated inventor from Texas. Watson says he has built a working device similar to Sweet’s VTA, which he works on at night after working during the day as a telephone systems installer.
In Somerset, England, electronics expert Michael Watson (no relation to Don) built a replica of Sweet’s VTA, but claimed no success in the experiment. Despite that, he says, “In my opinion the inventor of the VTA, Floyd Sweet, has made a scientific discovery of [the] greatest importance.”
Watson thinks that attempts to reproduce Sweet’s results may run into problems because the type of magnets Sweet used are no longer available. But he says, “The important point about the VTA is that a form of magnetic instability exists that can act as a significant energy source.”
When this fledgling space-energy science reaches maturity, what could the VTA do for the lives of the rest of us? Bearden speculates that the new physics will change our lives in undreamed-of ways:
“By mastering, controlling, and gating the vast, incredible energy of the seething vacuum [of space], we can power our automobiles, flying machines, and technology inexhaustibly. Further, it can be done absolutely cleanly; there are no noxious chemical pollutants.
With practical antigravity, ships can be developed to cross the solar system as readily as one crosses the ocean today…. The inexhaustible vacuum fills every system, everywhere, to overflowing.”
Despite the difficulties that Sweet ran into in his attempts to perfect his invention, he helped science take a leap into the future. It perhaps could have leaped further if he had cooperated more freely with other researchers in the last decade of his life, and if he had been tidier in his business dealings. But Sparky Sweet deserves praise for charting a new course.
Rotating-Magnet Energy Innovators
“I think it is possible to utilize magnetism as an energy-source. But we science idiots cannot do that; this has to come from the outside.”
-Werner Heisenberg, Nobel laureate
“The magnet is a window to the free space energy of the Universe.”
-Bruce DePalma, Inventor
As we saw in Chapter 6, magnets can be used to capture space energy and put it to work. Magnetic fields can be tinkered with so that they serve as gates, guiding space energy into electric devices in the same way that a sluice in a river guides water into a waterwheel. This opens a whole new world of energy possibilities.
This chapter introduces us to two inventors who have shown that it is possible to use magnetism as a power source. Unlike Floyd Sweet and his stationary-magnet device, these men use rotating magnets to convert space energy into electricity. One began his career as a physics teacher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (WI ) and is now self-exiled in New Zealand, while the other is an aviation safety consultant who recently gave a lecture to a group of physicists at MIT. We will also see how space en ergy is being pursued in Asia, even as it is being ignored in North America.
BRUCE DEPALMA AND THE N-MACHINE
While his brother Brian has spun a Hollywood career directing films such as Carrie, Scarface, and The Untouchables, it looked like Bruce DePalma would live a secure life in academia, wrapped in the respect accorded an MIT faculty member. After receiving an electrical engineering degree from MIT in 1958, he worked in both government and industry before going to Harvard in 1961 for graduate work in applied physics. He became an MIT lecturer in the late 1960s.
During that turbulent time, DePalma’s life underwent a change, a period of soul-searching that was spurred by both the student movement and by his sense that society was disintegrating. As a result, he dropped out of academia and headed west to Mendocino, California, where he took up meditation. One afternoon, his thoughts turned to something he had played with as a kid and never understood why does a gyroscope behave as it does? A thought came out of the blue maybe the rotation of the gyro wheel somehow locked onto the space around a spinning body such as the earth.
Experiments With Rotation and Energy
Sometimes the simplest of experiments leads to new understanding. In the sixteenth century, Galileo’s first breakthrough came from dropping a big rock and a small rock from the Leaning Tower in Pisa and finding, contrary to accepted belief at the time, that they both fell at the same rate.
DePalma’s breakthough also came from a simple experiment. He rotated ball bearingssteel balls like those found in pinball machines at a high rate of speed, and launched them into the air while carefully taking multiple time-lapse photographs. He discovered to his surprise that they rose farther and fell faster than ball bearings that were not spinning when launched. He thought this indicated that the spinning bearings were interacting with a new kind of energy what we now call space energy.
DePalma was even more intrigued when he launched pairs of ball bearings, one spinning to the left and the other spinning to the right. He found that each bearing rose and fell at a different rate, indicating that each might be interacting with this different source of energy in a different way.
DePalma felt his findings were important, and took them to a prestigious mentor of his, a Princeton physicist. But he failed to raise the man’s interest.
So DePalma retreated with some friends to a farm in Pennsylvania for more research with rotating objects. Starting with what was at hand, he put the pendulum from a grandfather clock into a vacuum to rule out any air-pressure effects and found that spinning the bob did in fact make a difference in the length of the pendulum’s swing. He then did an experiment which showed that if you collide a rotating object into something else, it rebounds further than if it had not been rotating. As with the ball-bearing experiments, these results indicated that an object might pick up space energy while spinning. (See “Spirals of Energy” on page 13.)
As a result of his experiments and of the experiments of othrs -DePalma now imagines that space energy flows through a metal conductor and gives it different properties, just as fluid flowing into a dry sponge gives weight to the sponge. (See Chapter 4 for a more complete discussion of the theory behind space energy.)
DePalma continued his gravity and inertia research when he moved to a home in the foothills of Santa Barbara, California. His living room was full of unusual sights, such as a circle of grass growing above a spinning stereo turntable and weights hanging from ceiling hooks for pendulum experiments.
DePalma Develops the N-Machine
DePalma decided to take the results of his newfound knowledge from the realm of swinging objects into the realm of electric meters, where accurate measuring instruments are available to everyone. His intuition led him, step by step, to learning about the properties of rotating magnets, and to an energy discovery that further changed his life.
DePalma turned to the writings of the famous British pioneer of electricity and magnetism, Michael Faraday (1791-1867). Faraday is well known for inventing the two-piece induction generator, a piece of equipment that, in its basic principles, is still used to generate electricity today.
But Faraday also invented what he called a homopolar generator in 1831. He found that electric current can be taken from a spinning copper disk when the disk is rotated along with the magnets, instead of past the magnets, as in the induction generator. This unique setup may have allowed Faraday to tap into a different source of energy space energy. However, Faraday never fully developed the homopolar generator into a fully functional piece of practical equipment. DePalma studied this generator with intense interest, convinced he had found something of tremendous value
Nearly 150 years later, DePalma repeated Faraday’s experiment except that DePalma used modern materials, such as super-powerful magnets, to extract the electricity. DePalma has named his device the N-machine, “meaning to the nth degree,” because he sees the N-machine’s potential as being almost unlimited. The name also refers to his speculation that a magnet taps energy from another dimension. He believes the magnets cause a distortion of the aether, a concept we discussed in Chapter 4, allowing space energ y to flow into the machine.
From 1978 through 1979, Bruce DePalma and his assistants used the workshop of a California commune the Sunburst spiritual and agricultural community near Santa Barbara to build a prototype generator called the Sunburst homopolar generator. After a year of refinements, they began serious testing in 1980. Sunburst test results indicated that output power was more than the input power, and that the N-machine was much more efficient than a standard generator.
Then a professor of electrical engineering from Stanford University tested it. Robert Kincheloe did a series of tests on a machine designed by DePalma and built by Charya Bernard of the Sunburst Community from 1985 through 1986. Kincheloe also got more output power than input power. He reported:
“Depalma may have been right, in that there is indeed a situation here whereby energy is being obtained from a previously unknown and unexplained source. This is a conclusion that most scientists and engineers would reject out of hand as being a violation of the accepted laws of physics, and if true has incredible implications.”
DePalma Runs Into Trouble
“I thought everybody would beat a path to my door after I did these experiments, but I ran into a stone wall,” says DePalma.. “It’s as if science were in its old age and it’s gotten a long way from the laboratory.” He adds that it is as if the science establishment took the experiments that were done in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, reduced them all to mathematical equations, and made them into a gospel. “If you go to Washington, D.C. to the Department of Energy with a new way of liberating energy, they will bring out all these old relationships and say, ‘It isn’t in accord with the [law of] Conservation of Energy’ or ‘It violates Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.”‘
DePalma himself had fully believed in the law of energy conservation, which says that you can’t get more energy out of a system than you put into it. But what about the results of his experiments? like most other energy researchers we have met so far, it dawned on him that the excess energy was coming right out of space itself. Therefore, the law of conservation wasn’t really being broken.
A skeptical science establishment has not been DePalma’s only source of trouble. In 1990, he wrote:
“Three or four commercial groups have approached me to supply money for the commercial manufacture of N-machines. Many promises have been made, but no funds yet. What generally gums things up is the greed of the money people, not the ability of my machine to perform…. What is needed now is a movement to develop the N-machine source of electrical power as a national priority.”
At that time, I asked DePalma why he didn’t close the loopfeed part of the power output back into the machine to produce continuous motion. Powering a house or a set of appliances with such a setup would be the demonstration that would convince skeptics.
He replied that one reason he hadn’t developed the prototype further in the United States was “because I would get my head blown off.” He added that a threat was passed on to him through a messenger with highly placed connections to the United States government. In 1992, he perceived that space energy was wanted elsewhere, but not in the United States. Therefore, he expatriated himself, first to Australia and then to New Zealand, where he continues to work on his invention.
BERTIL WERJEFELT AND THE MAGNETIC BATTERY-GENERATOR
Bertil Werjefelt sports a Hawaiian suntan because the islands are his adopted home, but he has little time for the beach. Consulting on aviation safety, overseeing a small corporation, and writing technical papers make up only part of his life. Werjefelt has also been working on a magnet-energy device for several decades. A representative of the Sumitomo Corporation who visited Werjefelt’s manufacturing facility said that the invention could be “the most important discovery this century.”
Werjefelt was educated in his native Sweden and then came to the United States in the early 1960s. He furthered his education in mechanical engineering at both the University of Utah and the University of Hawaii. He now heads a research and development group, Poly Tech USA, that devises safety equipment for airplanes’ such as a system that allows pilots to see the flight path and vital instruments regardless of how much smoke is in the cockpit.
A New Device From Old Concepts
In the 1970s, Werjefelt was one of many people who became concerned about the problem of fossil-fuel pollution. So he used his engineering background to create an energy invention – a generator powered by energy extracted from magnetic fields.
Standard generators, which use magnets, are subject to a problem known as magnetic drag. Drag is a residual magnetism that slows the spinning of the rotor, the part that either moves the magnets past an electric coil or the coil past the magnets, depending on the generators design. Werjefelt improved the standard generator; he added a special spinning system that cancels magnetic drag by counteracting it with the force fields of additional magnets. The result is a generator that puts out more power with the same input.
That raises a question: Where does the excess energy come from? “I don’t know,” Werjefelt says. “It could be [space] energy, or something we don’t even know about.”
Werjefelt’s experimental models have not yet evolved into the Remanufacturing stage they have only produced more power output than input for several minutes at a time. But results are impressive enough to keep him going. For example, at one point his generator has shown 160 watts input and 450 watts output, or almost triple the power. He believes his crew has solved some of the most troublesome technical problems and that magnetically powered electric generators could be available for everyday use within a few years.
Some onlookers in the new-energy field are as impressed with the scientific paperwork Werjefelt has done as they are with his experimental models. After he came up with the design, Werjefelt realized that he would need to explain the results in order to get a patent. He would also need to convince a skeptical scientific community.
So Werjefelt dug into the physics literature and found evidence to Support his claim. He used this evidence in a 1995 lecture at MIT to argue that standard science’s teachings on magnetism have been incomplete from the beginning, and that as a result, the scientific community declared early on that it was impossible to use magnetism as an energy source. The other fundamental forces in nature nuclear physics and gravitation have been harnessed in the forms of nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams, but science has been blind to the possibility of using magnetism as a source of power.
In general, though, Werjefelt refuses to become caught up in what he calls “paralysis by analysis.” He is more interested in proving that his device works. “Look at it as a quantum leap in the energy field,” he says, “like the leap from slide rulers to handheld electric calculators.”
Corporate Interest From Japan
In 1990, Werjefelt sent a notice to large corporations such as General Electric and Westinghouse in the United States, Siemens in Europe, and Hitachi and Sumitomo in Japan about his discovery Most of the replies were, “It is not possible.” Others thanked him and said, “Call us when the patent is issued.”
It turned out that the Japanese were very interested in magnets and energy. In October 1993, Japanese television aired a program, The Dream Energy, in which Japanese scientist Terohiko Kawai discussed a device similar to Werjefelt’s.
Well-funded Japanese research teams have engineered this discovery into reliable units for existing motors. Werjefelt spent two days with an official from Sumitomo and learned that the Japanese motors are running for hours, days, weeks. Japanese industrialists are switching over to the new units, which will use about half as much fossil fuel as existing motors. For example, the television program showed a refrigerator, a vacuum cleaner, and other common appliances with such motors.
Werjefelt, on the other hand, is more interested in producing electricity. He estimates that if power plants are built using his Magnetic Battery-Generator instead of conventional equipment, they could put out fifteen to eighteen times as much electricity.
GOVERNMENT BACKING FOR INVENTORS ELSEWHERE
As we have seen in Bertil Werjefelt’s saga, American corporations are generally staying aloof from new-energy developments, while other countries’ governments underwrite corporate research in this field. For example, two countries are working on devices similar to Bruce DePalma’s N-machine.
Japan Becomes Involved
In Japan, a soft-spoken scientist is getting government help on his variation of the N-machine. Shiuji Inomata, Ph.D., worked at the electrotechnical laboratory of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in Ibaraki, Japan. Inomata’s version of the Nmachine named the JPI, after a private research institute produced a small amount of excess power as a first prototype.
Now retired, Inomata continues to work on the JPI, and is interested in seeing others continue his research. “Politicians and industry are increasingly becoming aware of the new energy breakthrough,,, he says. This could give Japan a considerable lead in the race to produce N-machine technology. For further discussion on why new energy fascinates the Japanese, see page 101.
India Also Pursues Space Energy
Japan is not the only Asian country that is actively pursuing space energy. In India, a government-employed nuclear scientist is also orking on a type of N-machinc with his employer’s blessing.
Paramahamsa Tewari, Ph.D., is a senior engineer with the Depattment of Atomic Energy’s Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC). HIS version of the N-machine is called the Space Power Generator (SPG). Among the Westerners who have encouraged Tewari over the years is Bruce DePalma. Tewari says, “But for DePalma, I wouldn’t have been able to tie up my theory. He was working on ular ideas and kept sending his results to me.”
Tewari is project director of the NPC’s Kaiga Project in the state of Karnataka. Although his spare time for refining the SPG is limited, Tewari is enthusiastic about it. The NPC’s managing director, S. L. Kati, says, “Tewari’s prototype SPG can be considered a major breakthrough.”
It is unusual for a government to encourage one of its nuclear physicists to explore space energy. But Tewari has gotten special treatment from his government. For example, instead of travelling on a private passport to a new-energy symposium in the United States several years ago, Tewari’s passport had been cleared by the Indian government, which smoothed his way through airports. In building SPG prototypes, he uses the services of electricians and mechanics, as well as a workshop, at the nuclear plant whe re he works. Tewari is pleased with how things are going at his day job the project is moving forward. Thus, he feels well justified in putting a “do not disturb” sign on his door twice a week to work on the SPG for a couple of hours.
Why has Tewari found such cordiality from an agency that provides megaproject power? He says, “They feel that if something meaningful comes out of (the Space Power Generator), the world may benefit.” He adds:
“I am heading the whole electrical department of a nuclear project…. I do my job great, and there is mutual respect. People didn’t [get] in my way. I also very bluntly threw away any Opposition. I just said, “Look. I don’t care about you. I earn my living as a government officer, yes. But I have my research to do and you can’t stop me.””
Solid-State Energy Devices and Their inventors
“Imagine a world in which endless, nonpolluting, and virtually free energy powers our cities, cars, and homes.”
-Owen Davies, Science writer
“Our electrical company tells us that the only two practical choices for their power are coal or nuclear. There is another alternative.
-Wingate Lambertson, Inventor
In this chapter, we’ll meet three of the leading North American inventors of solid-state energy devices, or devices that use no moving parts. These inventors are only three of many.
These men have diverse backgrounds and personalities. In California, a scientist described by Omni magazine as a star in the electronics field works in a high-tech private laboratory funded by financial backers. In Florida, a former government official pays for his research out of his retirement savings, and makes discoveries in his garage. In Canada, a self-described eccentric, well-known in Japan but unknown in his own country, cooks up a crystal-based energy device in a tiny kitche – using ordinary rocks.
What these inventors have in common is a zest for exploring. Their work on the leading edge of energy science holds promise for the development of small-scale, quiet but powerful converters devices that convert space energy into useable electric power.
THE CHARGE CLUSTERS OF KEN SHOULDERS
Solid-State Energy Devices and Their Inventors
Ken Shoulders,Ph.D., a tall, solidly built man, wears the expression of someone not inclined toward ordinary concerns. He is a discoverer on the frontier, and lets others worry about whether his findings fit into the accepted boundaries of scientific theory.
In the early 1960s, Shoulders developed much of today’s microcircuit technology. Now, he is working on an even more advanced concept: the high-density charge cluster. It is a concept that holds great promise in the space-energy field, since these donut-shaped, microscopic clusters put out more than thirty times the energy required to produce them.
Shoulders spent decades doing work in various institutions, wherever he had a chance to learn more about science and to try things out. This work included nonteaching staff positions at universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in laboratories such as Stanford Research Institute, and in private corporations. Along the way, Shoulders accumulated the equipment he needed to set up his own laboratory, which he did in 1968.
Like Nikola Tesla, the father of new energy we met in Chapter 2, Shoulders made a discovery that could render his previous work in microcircuit technology obsolete. It was a discovery made by accident.
Around 1980, Shoulders was introduced by physicists at the Stevens Institute In Hoboken, New Jersey, to strange strings of particles what scientists call vortex filaments. After working on them for awhile, Shoulders found that they weren’t strings at all, being about as broad as they were long. They showed up as strings on the instruments of most researchers because the researchers could never stop the motion of these extremely fast-moving blobs. When Shoulders learned how to get clear pictures of the blobs , he found they were little beadlike structures. The simplest name for them is charge cluster, although Shoulders calls them Electrum Validum, a name that means “strong charge.”
What Is a Charge Cluster?
The basic idea of a charge cluster is rather simple. It is a tightly packed cluster of about 100 million electrons, an electron being the part of an atom that revolves around the nucleus. Shoulders has been able to create conditions under which electrons break free from their nuclei and join together into remarkably stable little ring-shaped clusters, like tiny donuts. “It is the wildest electronic effect you will ever see,” Shoulders says, calling his creations “little engines of vast complexity that just don’t die!”
As simple as the charge cluster is, conventional science has a hard time accepting its existence. That’s because it violates a law of physics: “Like electrical charges, either negative or positive, repel.” Since all electrons carry a negative charge, conventional science says that they should not cluster.
Hal Puthoff, whom we met in Chapter 4, has worked with charge clusters, and thinks that the force which holds them together is the result of an effect named after Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir. The Casimir effect refers to the tendency for two perfectly smooth metal surfaces placed near each other to come closer together. Puthoff explains the effect this way: imagine two metal plates hovering in space, close to each other. Because the plates shield each other from space energy coming from one direction, t he space energy pressing in on each plate from the opposite direction would slam the two of them together, releasing energy as heat.
Shoulders uses the Casimir effect to pinch a cold plasma a special form of gas that conducts electricity to create heat and charge clusters. The electricity he uses is static electricity, the electricity in the spark that snaps from a doorknob if you drag your feet across a carpet. In Shoulders’s system, this electricity provides the electrons that make up the cluster. It is, essentially, an electric charge compressed into a visible form.
What inspires Shoulders’s awe about these tiny entities is that they almost seem to have an intelligence about them they are selforganizing. The clusters appear to form into various sizes, but are uniform in organization and behavior. They often look like a ring or a necklace of tiny donuts. “It’s some law of nature that’s just not spelled out for us yet,” Shoulders says.
Shoulders discovered the link between charge clusters and space energy when he tried to find out what could supply the large amounts of energy needed to make electrons overcome their tendency to repel one another and join into tightly packed clusters. Their high energy makes charge clusters very powerful they can bore holes through ceramic tile without losing strength. Because of the Casimir effect, space energy appears to fit the evidence from Shoulders’s experiments as a likely source of this energy.
As futuristic as this technology seems, Shoulders has been able to convince a tough customer of its value the United States Patent Office. While past attempts to base a patent on space energy have been unsuccessful, Shoulders has broken through with a 1991 patent titled, “Energy Conversion Using High Charge Density.” It is a milestone the first successful patent to say that space energy can be used as a source of practical electric energy.
Charge Clusters and Commercial Products
Now working with his son, Steve, Ken Shoulders continues to make breakthroughs. What Shoulders sees under the microscope is another world, hinting of future machines that will be thousands of times more powerful than our current machines.
Charge-cluster technology could be one of the first space-energy technologies to be commercialized. Unlike some of the other space energy inventions, charge clusters do not need magnetic fields or low temperatures to work. One new-energy writer says the charge cluster may be one of the most promising areas of research since the transistor.
Providing abundant clean energy is not the only thing that charge clusters can do. There is a whole range of possible products based on charge-cluster technology, according to Puthoff, who lists a few of the products besides energy devices that could result from developments in this field:
* High-resolution television screens flat enough to hang on a wall.
* Notebook computers more powerful than the largest mainframe.
* Tiny X-ray machines that can enter the body and kill cancer cells without harming surrounding tissues.
While the Shoulders team makes advances in the laboratory, a private firm with the necessary product-placement know-how makes plans in the marketplace. This firm will ensure that chargecluster technology can be licensed worldwide for eventual development into a number of products.
THE CERMET OF WINGATE LAMBERTSON
In Florida, Wingate Lambertson, Ph.D., lights a row of lamps in his garage using what he says is electricity taken from the energy of space. It took years for Lambertson, a former director of Kentucky’s Science and Technology Commission, to overcome his academic skepticism about claims that you could get something for nothing yet energy freely available from space could be tapped for useful work.
After getting his doctorate from Rutgers University, Lambertson works for United States Steel in Chicago before going into the United States Navy. After going back to Rutgers for more postgraduate work, he joined Argonne National Laboratory, where he worked on nuclear fuel technology.
Then Lambertson discovered the large body of space-energy literature that has been written by researchers in the field. Eventually, he came to believe that something similar to an nether – the basic stuff Of the universe discussed in Chapter Could exist, and that where collected, it could be used to make electricity.
After more than two decades of research and experimentation, Lambertson is certain that space energy can be turned into a practical power source through a process he calls World Into Neutrinos (WIN). He envisions it being engineered into units that will probably be set outside the home on a small concrete pad, like central air conditioning units are now, and wired into the home’s master electric switchbox. The price? About $3,000 for either sale or lease cheaper than buying or leasing a car.
The WIN Process and Cermet
The most important part of the WIN process is Lambertson’s E-dam, and the most interesting component in the E-dam is cermet. Cermet is a heat-resistant ceramic-and-metal composite invented in 1948 and considered by NASA for rocket nozzles and jet-engine turbine blades. Lambertson, who spent almost his entire career working with advanced ceramics, is experimenting to develop the best cermet for his device. The E-dam contains a plate of cermet formed into a round spacer about three inches in diameter, sandwic hed between metal plates of the same size.
The process starts with an electrical charge basically, a stream of electrons from a standard power supply. The charge flows into the E-dam, where it is held in the cermet: “It stores electrons like a [regular] dam stores water,” Lambertson says. When the dam is opened, the electrons are released. As they accelerate, the falling electrons gain energy from the space energy that is present in the E-dam. This gain in energy is what allows the device to put out more power than it takes in.
The current of electrons then flows into the device to be powered, such as a lamp, and then moves into another E-dam for recycling. Lambertson says there is no way for the process to become dangerous – if too much power were generated, the E-dams would overheat, shutting down the system.
For years, Lambertson was more interested in proving that the process gained energy than in the actual amount of energy gained, since he thought scaling up the process to higher efficiencies would be a relatively simple engineering problem. When his first of three patent applications was rejected, he saw it as a blessing because it forced him to study the space-energy literature more carefully. By the fall of 1994, he had improved the process to the point where it put out twice as much energy as it started with.
Lambertson Finds Help
Meanwhile, Lamberston was having a frustrating time in trying to find funding and marketing help. Responses to his proposals usually fell into one of two categories:
* “This will not work, your calculations are in error.”
* “You get it working and free of all technical problems, and we will take it off your hands.”
He learned, as have other inventors in this book, that it’s a waste of time to try to convince people of the validity of one’s claims when those people don’t want to listen. But he did find support in 1987, when he spoke at a new-energy conference in Germany. There, he found people who saw the need for his invention and agreed to market it when the WIN process is perfected.
Lambertson says that he now has active associates in Switzerland, in addition to interest shown by the United States Navy. Three different groups have shown interest in taking over and developing the WIN method.
THE DIRT CHEAP ROCKS OF JOHN HUTCHISON
If you ask the other residents of a certain apartment building in Vancouver, they may admit to being curious about John Hutchison. They see a tall, muscular man who carts old consoles of electronic equipment onto the elevator nearly every week. Their curiosity increased the day a Japanese television crew showed up and disappeared inside his apartment for a few hours. And in the summer of 1995, Hutchison further puzzled onlookers by sitting on the curb and picking out stones. Why would a rockhound sort through ordinary street rocks?
What the neighbors do not know is that John Hutchison is well-known in new-energy circles, and is even known to some who move in the circles of established science. His visitors have included distinguished physicists. But unlike Shoulders and Lambertson, he is a self-taught scientist. As a boy in Vancouver, he read about Nikola Tesla (see Chapter 2) and then startled neighbors with Tesla coil experiments in his backyard.
While in his twenties, he developed a medical problem that resulted in his living on a small disability pension. For years, he lived a generally reclusive life, digging for rare electrical equipment in military surplus stores and junkyards, and carrying his finds home on the city bus. Apart from time spent as a volunteer at a local ecology center, he spent hours in his bedroom-turned-laboratory, patiently rebuilding equipment. He considered opening a museum.
Antigravity and the Hutchison Effect
Hutchison’s life changed drastically in 1979 when, upon starting up an array of high-voltage equipment, he felt something hit his shoulder. He threw the piece of metal back to where it seemed to have originated, and it flew up and hit him again. This was how he originally discovered the Hutchison effect. When his Tesla coils, electrostatic generator, and other equipment created a complex electromagnetic field, heavy pieces of metal levitated and shot toward the ceiling, and some pieces shredded.
What is the Hutchison effect? As with much of the new-energy field, no one can say for sure. Some theorists think the effect is the result of opposing electromagnetic fields cancelling each other out, creating a powerful flow of space energy.
A Vancouver businessman heard about the Hutchison effect, contacted Hutchison, and brought in a consulting engineer to form a company that would promote technology developed from the effect. Despite demonstrations to potential customers from both Canada and the United States, things did not work out, and Hutchison and the company parted ways in 1986.
After a couple of other abortive business tries, including a sojourn in Germany, Hutchison returned to Vancouver in late 1990 and again lived a relatively reclusive life. Piece by piece, he sold what remained of his laboratory equipment in order to pay his bills. It would be several years before he could reestablish his collection.
Hutchison wanted to connect with other researchers, but the local media had given his work the weird-science treatment, and didn’t take him seriously. However, material on the Hutchison effect was included in a Japanese book on Hutchison’s life and work that sold well in Japan. Living in a country with almost no natural resources has led the Japanese to take new-energy ideas very seriously, as we will see in Chapter 8.
As a result, Hutchison was asked to speak in Japan, where thousands of people paid to attend his two lecture tours. These tours were organized by Hiroshi Yamabe, a well-known Tesla lecturer who made his fortune in such advanced engineering fields as robotics and artificial intelligence. Yamabe offered to set up a laboratory for Hutchison, but the Canadian was ambivalent about the prospect of moving to Japan.
Beyond the Hutchison Effect: The Dirt Cheap Energy Converter
Hutchison was undecided about what to do. He had moved beyond the Hutchison effect and into the field of space energy, and had acquired a Canadian business manager. The winter before his 1995 Japanese tour, Hutchison built a working space energy device about the size of a microwave oven. The Hutchison Converter was based on Tesla’s resonance principle. Tesla demonstrated this principle by steadily pulsing bursts of energy into his electric coils, each burst coming before energy from the previous burst had time to die away. This led to higher and higher amounts of energy, like a child going higher and higher on a swing.
Hutchison captured the same pulsing, rhythmic energy by using crystals of barium titanate, a material that can capture the pulses of certain electromagnetic frequencies in the way that a radio can pick up certain radio frequencies. When the crystal pulses, or resonates, it produces electric power.
I saw a demonstration in which the converter put out six watts, enough to power a motor that kept a small propeller spinning furiously. The whirring of a tiny propeller looked rather silly, until one realized that the apparatus contained no batteries, no fuel, and no connection to a power outlet It worked continuously for months.
One day while experimenting, however, Hutchison cracked a crucial part and decided to take the unit apart.
He built a smaller, more portable model to take on his speaking tour. Resembling an Oscar statue in size and shape, the portable converter put out slightly more than a watt of power. It lit a tiny lamp as a demonstration and also ran a small motor.
At the end of the tour, in front of an audience of about 500 Hiroshima residents, Hutchison slapped the device onto a table lit by the bright lights of a television crew. He quickly unscrewed all the parts and revealed its inner details, while the camera zoomed in for a closeup and a pair of chopsticks provided a scale to show the size of the device. It was clear that the converter contained no batteries. Afterward, men crowded around Hutchison, offering him their business cards and asking him to sell them a supply of barium titanate.
Back home, Hutchison’s business advisor fretted that the inventor had given away his secrets. But Hutchison shrugged his shoulders; he had gone beyond the prototype technology he had taken to Japan. He now had a new secret – the stovetop process he called Dirt Cheap because the ingredients included common rocks.
The new process grew out of his use of barium titanate.. He wondered, “Why can’t I make a material that works even better?” Hutchison knew that other researchers had put electrodes on certain rocks to show that the rocks generated a tiny electric current, somehow soaked up from the cosmos.
So Hutchison sorted through small stones on the street in front of his apartment and threw them into a test tube-sized metal container. Next, he added a mixture of low-cost, common chemicals he won’t reveal which ones and put this rock soup on the stove to simmer. This allowed water to evaporate and tiny pockets of air to rise from the stones so that the chemicals could enter them. Before the mixture cooled into a solid, he added specially treated posts to draw electricity from the crystal-like substance th at had formed. Again, no one is entirely sure as to how the Dirt Cheap method works, although one physicist told Hutchison that the Casimir effect, used by Ken Shoulders to create charge clusters, may be at work (see page 61).
When he first discovered his Dirt Cheap process, Hutchison didn’t bother to patent it. He had heard from other inventors how their laboratories had been vandalized and their property had been stolen once the Patent Office had been notified, and he was not eager to be the first inventor to take a bold step by manufacturing a large home-or factory-sized unit that could restructure industries. Besides, in the 1980s – when he was still working with the Hutchison effect – he had received a few threatening comme nts from strangers.
How could Hutchisonn enjoy his peaceful life and still get a space energy product to the public in a low-key manner? He says he has hit upon an unusual strategy: building miniature flying saucers powered by Dirt Cheap-supplied electricity, and selling them as space-energy children’s toys. Hutchison hopes an environmentally safe toy that lights up without batteries will intrigue the public into buying Dirt Cheap devices that could power large appliances. And perhaps, the Dirt Cheap process could help lead to a world of nonpolluting new energy.