Monday, November 20, 2017

"Anti-Gravity" Propulsion Systems - I (Technical Stuff)

Nick Cook has started a YouTube channel that tells us about his journey through the lore of a secret US quest for an anti-gravity propulsion system. I highly recommend watching this channel as it will provide for serious entertainment. Nick is able to weave a compelling narrative, he has also had a ring side seat into the murky world of Black Budget aerospace research. And the science side is super interesting.

I just want to tell you all a bit about the science side and help twist out the confused nonsense that one often hears from UFOlogists in this area.

The word "anti-gravity" is used in the public domain to describe ways to overcome gravity and go up instead of down (towards the earth's surface). There are five basic/known ways to do this

1) Buoyant lift - Hot air balloons, hydrogen filled or helium filled airships all rise above the earth because the density of the gas inside them is lower than the density of the air around them. Gravity actually pulls heavier air down and that pushes the bubble of less dense gas inside the balloon up. [1]

2) Aerodynamic lift - this is the way an airplane works. The flow of air over an aerofoil shape generates an upward force on the shape. At high enough speeds, this force can overcome the weight of the wing and achieve apparent weightlessness. [2]

3) Electrohydrodynamic Lift - An electric field can move ions in the air. These moving ions in turn drag air molecules with them. The resulting air flow can be used to generate lift. Very few demos of this exist - owing to the fact that electric fields required are large and we don't have compact power sources. This is sometimes referred to as the Biefeld Brown ioncraft[3]

4) Magnetic Field Skimmers - The earth (and every other massive object) has a magnetic field. If you create a magnetization gradient, you can create a force that opposes gravity. It is actually quite challenging to precisely control the magnetization gradient in a material, and the easiest way to achieve this is to create a very large but tunable magnetic field gradient using opposed magnetic poles. (This is the Boyd Bushman idea [4]).

5) "Other Ways" - this is where you find people talking about a lot of weird ideas and untested/untestable ideas on what Gravity is. There are several sub-topics you hear about in this context, I list the prominent ones below.

1) "Strong Force/Gravity A": This is the idea that came from Bob Lazar who claimed to have worked on an alien inherited technology at S4 near Area 51. The problem with this approach is that there is no known example of the strong force extending beyond the confines of an atomic nucleus. There is just now some evidence of a Quark Gluon Plasma in the data at RHIC in Brookhaven, but the idea that one can create a large long range strong force fluctuation is unsupported by openly available data. Simply put - the Strong Force exists - but we don't know how to control it like that. [5]

2) Other sub-nuclear forces - All the arguments that are used by Lazar to claim the Strong force is capable of opposing gravity, are equally applicable to other ideas we have of sub-nuclear forces. Clearly something must happen when a star collapses into a black hole - we don't know how the nuclear forces (which become intensely repulsive at those densities) interact with the gravitational pressure. There appears to be a huge diversity of high density objects in space, so its not like gravity or the sub-nuclear forces win out every time. Again we know this stuff goes on but we have no real way of controlling it.

3) "Fifth Force"/"Dark Energy" - There is a lot of evidence on extra-galactic lengthscales that something is causing the universe to expand. If gravity was all that was out there - then all the matter in the universe would collapse into a single point (or equivalently space time would curve infinetely) but something is out there making space time flatter. We do not have any real knowledge of this. All the ideas of bending space-time over large distances would run into the physics of these unknown forces. So anything in this arena is very far out as our understanding goes.


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