What things reduce gravity

Great idea! - What happened to it?

The recipe for reducing gravity did not sound simple, but at least feasible. Take a superconducting disk made of a ceramic ytrium-barium-copper-oxide compound, cool it to minus 233 degrees Celsius and set it in rapid rotation at up to 5000 revolutions per minute. The frozen rotating superconductor reduces the weight of objects hanging above by around two percent. At least that was what the Russian materials researcher Jevgeni Podkletnov measured in 1992 - by chance, in an experiment at the Technical University of Tampere in Finland, his employer at the time.

"My research is based on the assumption that it is possible to change the force of gravity locally in such a way that objects become heavier or lighter."

Jevgeni Podkletnov published his work in the reputable journal Physica C and soon left his job. Since his claim sounded rather remote to the ears of most experts, his career mutated into a scientific gauntlet. The young man went into hiding. He is currently allegedly working at an institute in Moscow, but making contact is difficult. Fortunately, the phantom gave the maker of an anti-gravity website a telephone interview in 2004 that can be overheard.

"Anti-gravity research is a sensitive topic - on the one hand because there has hardly been any work on it so far. On the other hand, because most scientists are extremely hostile to this area. Anyone who deals with it anyway has to take a lot."

Jevgeni Podkletnov draws parallels with the case of Giordano Bruno, who ended up at the stake for out of date views. Genius or charlatan? The British Clive Woods, professor at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, got to know the controversial gravity guru personally and warns against hasty judgments:

"He's a serious scientist, not a weirdo or dilettante. He has a doctorate in physics and chemistry and is a professional materials researcher who knows the rules of the game very well. If we assume that there is no fraud here - and there is none for it Signs - you have to ask yourself: What did he observe? "

Because what if there was something to it and a few superconducting gyroscopes on the underside of an airplane or spaceship could reduce its weight by a few percent? In addition to NASA, the aircraft manufacturer Boeing tried to quietly repeat Podkletnov's experiment - just like the British aviation group BAE Systems, in whose secret project Greenglow Clive Woods played a key role.

"Back then, we were the first to try to reproduce the experiment as precisely as possible. But the result of our measurements was negative. We could not confirm the effect - which allowed two conclusions: either Podkletnov was wrong or we were not precise enough with his experiment copied. "

In their laboratory in Sheffield, the British researchers were not able to cool their superconducting disk quite as much as the Russian said it was necessary. The Canadian inventor George Hathaway came closest to the original experiment in his laboratory in Toronto. But even he registered no weight reduction over the supposed anti-gravity machine.

"Most experts today are of the opinion that sufficient efforts have been made to test the claim. Even if the parameters specified by Podkletnov were not completely achieved in any of the copycat experiments - they were definitely so close several times that you should have seen an effect. "

Conclusion: The effect was probably a duck. All related research projects have now officially been discontinued. To this day, nobody knows what exactly Jevgeni Podkletnov measured in Finland in 1992. The Russian researcher himself claims to have meanwhile achieved a weight reduction of nine percent. In a specialist article published in 2003, Podkletnov even describes the generation of gravitational impulses, which supposedly have so much energy that they can knock over objects even over great distances. Independent reviews of this work are still pending.

Research News article from 2002
Report in the US magazine Wired from 1998
Interview with Jevgeni Podkletnov