The Podkletnov machine misses out
In Antigravity and NASA, February 1999, we reported
on an unusual attempt by NASA to test an antigravity effect.
Podkletnov, a materials scientist at the Moscow chemical Scientific Research
centre, had claimed that a spinning, superconducting disc lost some of its
weight. Later, he added to this that the disc can lose as much as 2 per cent
of its weight.
Well, something as odd as that seemed to be worth testing, but according
to Robert L. Park, an incisive observer on the world of physics, NASA has
now got itself into a bind. After four years of testing and spending US$1
million, NASA thought maybe they saw a weight change, of about 2 parts per
million, but there was some doubt about this.
Eugene Podkletnov suggested that they needed to use larger discs, and this
should have rung alarm bells, since most perpetual motion scams are
described as almost complete, just needing better magnets, a larger widget
or a more powerful spondulick-input system. This is not to suggest that
podkletnov's disc is a scam, just that wise heads would look very closely
at the theory behind the matter before going further.
NASA tried a larger disc, and according to Park," . . . NASA said that tests
on the new shield were 'inconclusive.' That's NASA-talk for 'it didn't work,'
but if NASA just said, 'it didn't work,' they would have to explain why they
spent all that money on an idea that violates the First Law.'' This may be
a little harsh, given that the analysis has been done in hindsight, but park
has been poking fun at this line of research since 1990.
This latest story is in his October12 issue, and from there, you can follow
the trail backwards. The archives at
will give you access to the start of the trail, and a series of hot links
will quickly give you the rest of the story. This is a resource no practising
scientist should be without. and which every student of
science should be required to read.
Park's commentaries (What's New) are distributed with the following
disclaimer: ''THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY and THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.
Opinions are the author's and are not necessarily shared by the American
Physical Society or the University, but they should be.'' They can be found
on the web at http://www.aps.org/WN/,
and you can also have them e-mailed to you.
©WebsterWorld Pty Ltd/contributors 2002
See also: Anti