Are anti-gravity machines possible

THE TIME

Who is down to earth? But only those boring contemporaries whose imagination does not strive for higher things. The real heroes of mankind have always taken up the fight against the oppressive force of gravity - like Sisyphus, Leonardo da Vinci or the tailor of Ulm. Didn't the history of Homo sapiens begin when our ancestors defied gravity for the first time around 4.5 million years ago and rose on two legs? Now that we have successfully mastered walking upright, flying to the moon and bungee jumping, it is time for the next stage in human history: the final lifting of gravity.

It is well known that gravity mainly has disadvantages: The eternal urge to get to the center of the earth makes it difficult to get up in the morning, slows down road, air and space traffic and, to top it off, gives us that unfortunate property called weight, which when looking at the bathroom scales Creates depression. But the rescue is near: In various laboratories work is being done on the victory over gravity - for example at the American space agency Nasa, which is currently starting to test a $ 600,000 antigravity machine. It is only a matter of time before the researchers take off completely.

As so often, the approaching turning point is felt especially by those who have access to the subtle world. "A taboo is over," proclaims the magazine Anthroposophy today, "Gravity is no longer what it was." Because the worldview of our civilization "changed forever in September 2001" - not because of the terrorist attacks in New York, but because of the publication of the book The Hunt For Zero Point (Random House). In his "Hunt for Zero", Nick Cook describes the discovery of "the greatest secret since the invention of the atomic bomb". The author, after all, an aviation specialist for the leading military magazine Jane's Defense Weekly, reveals that American researchers are not only working on revolutionary antigravity techniques, but have already unlocked the mystery of gravity. But the sensational discovery, which fundamentally changes both transport and weapon technology, has been kept top secret for years.

Cook also only found out about it through mysterious circumstances. One day he stumbles upon a quote from armaments expert George S. Trimble, Vice President of the "G-Project" at Martin Aircrafts. Trimble claimed as early as 1956 that the taming of gravity "could be achieved in about the same time it took to build the atomic bomb". What was he alluding to?

Cook throws himself into research that grows into a spy thriller. There are, for example, those Nazi scientists who, in the service of the SS, researched the possibility of anti-gravity weapons and time travel. What became of the head of these armaments projects, SS-Obergruppenführer Hans Kammler? For Cook, there are many indications that Kammler fled his findings to the USA and made them available to the military there. It is quite possible that at the end of the 1950s a secret research laboratory was set up somewhere in the vastness of the American prairie, which - like the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb - aimed at mastering gravity.

Has this effort been successful? Is anti-gravity technology already in use? During his research in the laboratories of the arms industry, in the corridors of the Pentagon and in the tunnels of former Nazi research centers, Cook confirms this suspicion. Although he cannot provide solid evidence, the journalist discovered something else during his research: the feeling of a great secret "that has a black heart". Cook can literally "feel the fear that is clutching it".

And yet the shielding is not complete. Even the attentive observer of scientific literature could not fail to notice that our textbook knowledge is facing a revolution.

For some years now, astronomers have been observing that space is expanding much faster than previously assumed - a finding that many explain as a kind of cosmic antigravity that is driving the galaxies apart. The astronomers emphasize again and again that this force has no influence on earthly masses and only becomes effective over great cosmological distances. But who knows?

The so-called zero-point energy of the vacuum also stimulates wild speculations. According to quantum theory, nothing is by no means empty, but full of potential. The only question is how big this is zero point energy (ZPE) is. "Some say that there is enough energy in a shoebox to explode the whole world," says Cook's book, "others say that you can't even boil an egg with the whole ZPE of the world."

Does Yevgeny Podkletnov know more about this? In 1992 the Russian émigré reported that he had discovered a method for shielding gravity for the first time at the Tampere University of Technology in Finland: To do this, Podkletnov let a disk made of a special superconducting material rotate over a strong magnetic field. At over 5000 revolutions per second, measurements with a superfine balance showed that samples suspended above the disk lost up to one percent of their weight!

Although experts have doubts about these results to this day, the American physicist Ning Li soon came up with a theoretical explanation: The rotating superconductor produces a "gravito-magnetic" effect, a phenomenon that Einstein had already predicted. Similar to how a moving electrical charge generates a magnetic field, according to the theory of relativity, rotating matter should also influence the gravitational field. Indeed, according to Einstein's theory, the effect should be so small that it could only be demonstrated in space. Nonetheless, Ning Li was able to convince NASA to repeat Podkletnov's groundbreaking experiments.

The fact that these attempts failed for years and that Ning Li no longer wants to comment on the whole topic can probably only be explained by the power of that "black heart" that Nick Cook suspected during his research. Yevgeny Podkletnov also felt his power. The anti-gravity pioneer lost his job at Tampere University of Technology and has to pursue his research on his own. A reporter from New Scientist he recently revealed that he had now developed a "pulse gravity generator" that could knock down an upright book at a distance of one kilometer. Unfortunately, a tour of the facility is not possible because it is in a security zone at Moscow University. In addition, he was obliged to remain silent "for reasons of patent law".

But progress cannot be stopped. The NASA researchers who work in the "Breakthrough in Drive Technology" department are also aware of this. They have now recognized that Podkletnov's experiment apparently only works if the rotating superconducting disk has a very specific chemical composition - and the Russian physicist has so far carefully kept this mixture a secret. But in exchange for a generous check, he has meanwhile given his special recipe to an American company, which had an exact copy of his anti-gravity apparatus made for NASA for $ 600,000. Trials are due to begin these days at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and it is probably only a matter of months before official confirmation of Podkletnov's groundbreaking discovery is received.

Just that scientific community is still reluctant to face the impending paradigm shift. The physicist and author Hans Christian von Baeyer, who teaches in the USA, considers antigravity to be as likely as "the possibility that your office will explode today". Even Lawrence M. Krauss, who did the physics of Star Trek analyzed and regarded as a science fiction expert, considers the anti-gravity experiments of NASA to be nothing but "nonsense". As chairman of a corresponding Nasa advisory committee, he will do his best to "end this stupid project".

Is it just the arrogance of the physical establishment behind such statements? Or are they just diversions to cover up the truth of the "dark secret" Nick Cook found? Everything indicates that in God's own country gravity has long been defeated. And if you follow the television appearances of George W. Bush carefully, you will find that the American president is floating very slightly above the ground.