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Showing posts from February, 2012

NMSU Superconductor Gravity Experiment: Liquid Helium Fluid Drag Demo

One of the Podkletnov rotation magnetic field arrangements essentially 'points' a set of solenoid at the side of the superconducting disc.

I came across a demonstration from the 1963 movie by Alfred Leitner about liquid helium that uses a very similar setup. The superconducting disc in this case has been replaced by a diamagnetic copper cylinder.

Practical Radio by Henry Smith Williams

I've come across another excellent amateur radio book from 1922. The book details all manner of circuits and apparatus including the variometer shown to the left. The variometer was a couple inductance device that worked by rotating one 'honeycomb' coil within another. When the coils were at right angles, very little coupling resulted and when they shared a parallel winding axis, the greatest inductive coupling was obtained.

The book also contains an inspiring discussion of the value of amateur radio to students. It's excerpted in the two pages below:

Toroidal Solenoids Actually Pancake Coils NMSUSCGE

In his 1992 Physica C paper, Podkletnov references the use of a toroidal solenoid as the levitation coil for the superconducting disc. In Hathaway's 2003 reported replication attempt, he describes the same coils as pancake coils. It was unclear to me if a toroidal solenoid and a pancake coil were in fact the same device. It turns out that they are in fact different names for the same thing. See the page excerpted from the "Standard Tables and Equations in Radio-Telegraphy" by Bertram Hoyle, (1919), below.

Podkletnov, Nieminen, Physica C, 203, (1992), 441

Hathaway, Cleveland, Bao, Physica C, 385, (2003), 488

New Mexico State University Superconductor Gravity Experiment: Two Phase Disc Rotation

Here's a suggestion for how the threaded two rotation coil version of Podkletnov's apparatus works. A diagram of the coil arrangement is shown below. Only one of the coils is shown in the diagram. The second coil is a mirror image of the first on the right side of the disc.

From EE Podkletnov, arxiv, (1997),

The magnetic field, (B coil), created by the coil will be parallel to the surface of the superconducting disc. Via the Meissner effect, supercurrents will be setup in the superconductor that are parallel to the coil windings, but in the opposite direction. These supercurrents are at right angles to the magnetic field that originally created them. The magnetic field, (B supercurrent), setup by the supercurrents opposes the magnetic field in the rotation coil, (see figure below). If the two rotation coils are driven by alternating currents that are 180 degrees out of phase, then the opposing magnetic fields setup by the supercondu…

Tesla Coil Construction Book from 1916

While searching for information on pancake coils for the New Mexico State University Superconductor Gravity experiment, I came across a great book:

"High frequency apparatus: its construction and practical application' by Thomas Stanley Curtis

The book was published in 1916 and contains a great deal of detail on how to construct Tesla coils and other high frequency, and typically high voltage apparatus. Nothing is left out of the instructions. Among other things, the book even details how to make your own capacitor from glass plates.

NMSU Superconductor Gravity Experiment: Superconductor as Induction Motor Rotor

One of the interesting aspects of the project so far has been determining how to model the rotation of the superconducting disc in the Podkletnov apparatus. The variety of rotation coils described by Podkletnov has made the task somewhat more difficult. One of the early thoughts was that the superconductor rotated due to eddy currents created by the two-phase magnetic fields created by the rotation coils. The first video below shows a similar rotation of a normal conducting 'egg' in the presence of a rotating magnetic field created by a three-phase toroid. The next video explains the physics behind the apparatus around the time 23:35.

Apparatus Demonstration:

Apparatus Explanation:

Nuclear Spin and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

The Podkletnov apparatus we're reconstructing in the New Mexico State University Superconductoro Gravity experiment places a superconducting disc in two orthogonal oscillating magnetic fields. Early nuclear magnetic resonance experiments by Bloch and Purcell's groups used a constant magnetic field in combination with an orthogonally oriented RF coil that was driven around 29 MHz, (a frequency in the same range as that used by Podkletnov for the rotation coils). Li and Torr, two of the early researchers of the Podkletnov effect hypothesized that gravitomagnetic fields might be observed as the result of aligned nuclear spins in superconductors.

Figures from Bloch, et. el. NMR setup:
From Rigden, Reviews of Modern Physics, 58, (1986), 433

Rigden, Reviews of Modern Physics, 58, (1986), 433

Figure of orthogonal field coils in Podkletnov apparatus:
From From EE Podkletnov, arxiv, (1997),

I did a little research on nuclear magnetic resonance today a…

Antimatter and Dark Matter

I came across an article on the National Geographic website describing a new theory that replaces dark matter with gravitationally repulsive antimatter. The new theory was proposed by Dr. Hajdukovic. An experiment to determine whether antimatter is gravitationally attracted or repelled by normal matter was proposed and at least partially completed by Dr. William Fairbank Sr.’s team at Stanford. While the results were published for electrons in the apparatus, no results were published for positrons,the antimatter counterpart of the elecctron. The experiment is described in an article from the Review of Scientific Instruments. Another paper by Dr. Fairbank regarding what I assume is a similar experiment is mentioned on the NASA abstract site. There is currently an experiment at CERN that proposes to measure the acceleration of gravity on anti-hydrogen. By using neutral anti-hydrogen, they hope to avoid some of the issues that have cropped up around trying to measure the affect of …

NMSU Superconductor Gravity Experiment: The Podkletnov Apparatus' Rotational Solenoids

One of the first tasks in this project has been to determine what the Podkletnov apparatus should do when it is operated and what physical mechanisms account for each aspect of the operation. In Dr. Podkletnov's papers, he points out that the disc is rotated with the use of solenoids that are placed around the superconducting disc in a number of configurations as shown below. I'll compare these configurations to other existing superconductor motor research in a future entry.

From EE Podkletnov, arxiv, (1997),

The above diagram shows the two phase coils that are wrapped through the disc. The magnetic field inside these solenoids will be parallel to the surface of the disc. The dashed circles indicate the levitation solenoids that lie below the disc.

The next diagram is a detail of one of the through wrapped solenoids as well as a second solenoid configuration in which the solenoid windings are bent out of the way of the disc. To be cl…

New Mexico State University Superconductor Gravity Experiment

I've begun background work, as part of my graduate physics studies at New Mexico State University, on an attempt to reproduce Eugene Podkletnov's 1992 superconductor gravity experiment as reported in Physica C. Dr. Podkletnov reported a small reduction in the weight of test samples suspended above his apparatus.

Diagram from "Podkletnov, Nieminen, Physica C, 203, (1992), 441 - 444"

The project has been loaned the superconductor and other equipment used by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in their replication attempt. A NASA team and another laboratory led by George Hathaway attempted to replicate the experiment and reported null results. For the findings of George Hathaway's group see their Physica C article.

My background research has led to a lot of interesting physics. Check back here for periodic progress reports and references to other interesting research in the field.

Podkletnov, Nieminen, Physica C, 203, (1992), 441 - 444
Hathaway, Clev…

Feynman on Path Integrals

While looking for an article on the sun's self-absorption of spectral lines, I came across a very early review article by Feynman on path integrals. The article is in Reviews of Modern Physics:

The article is excellent! It starts from basic quantum mechanics and explains path integrals in a very matter-of-fact, pragmatic manner.

Review of Modern Physics carries fairly comprehensive reviews of a variety of physics topics.