Eugene Podkletnov

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Yevgeny Podkletnov[1] (Russian: Евгений Подклетнов) is a Russian engineer, formerly affiliated with the Materials Science Department at the Tampere University of Technology, Finland.

Born in Russia in 1955, Podkletnov graduated with a master's degree from the University of Chemical Technology, Mendeleyev Institute, in Moscow; he then spent 15 years at the Institute for High Temperatures in the Russian Academy of Sciences. Later he received a doctorate in materials science from Tampere University of Technology, and worked at the university, on superconductors, until 1996.[citation needed]

He is best known for his controversial work on a so-called "gravity shielding" device.

Podkletnov's gravity shielding experiments[edit]

According to the account Podkletnov gave to reporter Charles Platt in a 1996 phone interview, during a 1992 experiment with a rotating superconducting disk,

Someone in the laboratory was smoking a pipe, and the pipe smoke rose in a column above the superconducting disc. So we placed a ball-shaped magnet above the disc, attached to a balance. The balance behaved strangely. We substituted a nonmagnetic material, silicon, and still the balance was very strange. We found that any object above the disc lost some of its weight, and we found that if we rotated the disc, the effect was increased.[2]

Podkletnov published a paper in 1992 reporting that the weight of an object directly above the disk was decreased. He concluded that the superconducting disk was shielding the Earth's gravitational force above it.[3] This is sometimes called the Podkletnov effect.

Public controversy[edit]

Podkletnov's first peer-reviewed paper on the apparent gravity-modification effect, published in 1992, attracted little notice. In 1996, he submitted a longer paper, in which he claimed to have observed a larger effect (2% weight reduction as opposed to 0.3% in the 1992 paper) to the Journal of Physics D. According to science reporter Charles Platt, a member of the editorial staff, Ian Sample, leaked the submitted paper to Robert Matthews, the science correspondent for the British newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph.[2]

On September 1, 1996, Matthews's story broke, leading with the startling statement: "Scientists in Finland are about to reveal details of the world's first antigravity device."[4] In the ensuing furor, the director of the laboratory where Podkletnov was working issued a defensive statement that Podkletnov was working entirely on his own.[citation needed] Podkletnov's supposed coauthor disavowed prior knowledge of the paper,[citation needed] but some[who?] have found this disingenuous. Podkletnov himself complained that he had never claimed to block gravity, only reduced its effect.

By 1997, Podkletnov had withdrawn his second paper (after it had been initially accepted[5][non-primary source needed]), was no longer allowed into his former lab in Tampere and had returned to Moscow, where he quietly took an engineering job. (In 1998 he was however reported to be working on superconductors at Tamglass Engineering Oy in Tampere.[6])

Podkletnov's gravity reflection beam[edit]

In a second interview (1997) by Wired magazine reporter Charles Platt, Podkletnov told Platt that he was continuing to work on gravitation, claiming that with new collaborators at an unnamed "chemical research center" in Moscow he has built a new device. He said:

Normally there are two spheres, and a spark jumps between them. Now imagine the spheres are flat surfaces, superconductors, one of them a coil or O-ring. Under specific conditions, applying resonating fields and composite superconducting coatings, we can organize the energy discharge in such a way that it goes through the center of the electrode, accompanied by gravitation phenomena - reflecting gravitational waves that spread through the walls and hit objects on the floors below, knocking them over...The second generation of flying machines will reflect gravity waves and will be small, light, and fast, like UFOs. I have achieved impulse reflection; now the task is to make it work continuously.[2]

More recently, in collaboration with Italian physicist Giovanni Modanese, Podkletnov has reported on a similar device which he claims generates a coherent gravity repulsion beam. (See the citation below.[where?]) Supporters claim it has been seen to move a pendulum located 150 meters away in another building.[citation needed] Allegedly, Podkletnov has observed that the "backside" of this second device emits "radiation" (not otherwise specified) which seems to be dangerous to biological tissues.[citation needed]

Attempted verification[edit]

In his 1997 interview with Charles Platt, Podkletnov insisted that his gravity-shielding work was reproduced[2] by researchers at universities in Toronto and Sheffield, but none have come forward to acknowledge this. The Sheffield work is known to have only been intended as partial replication, aimed at observing any unusual effects which might be present, since the team involved lacked the necessary facilities to construct a large enough disk and the ability to duplicate the means by which the original disk was rotated. Podkletnov counters that the researchers in question have kept quiet "lest they be criticized by the mainstream scientific community".[citation needed] Podkletnov, in fact, visited the Sheffield team in 2000 and advised them on the conditions necessary to achieve his effect—conditions that they never got close to matching.[7]


In a BBC news item, it was alleged that researchers at Boeing were funding a project called GRASP (Gravity Research for Advanced Space Propulsion) which would attempt to construct a gravity shielding device,[8] but a subsequent Popular Mechanics news item stated that Boeing had denied funding GRASP with company money, although Boeing acknowledged that it could not comment on "black projects".[9] A possible solution of this contradiction has been suggested: it is alleged that the GRASP proposal was presented to Boeing, but that Boeing chose not to fund it.[10]

In 2013 an experiment was proposed that uses recent advances in HTSC materials i.e. MgB2 disks to attempt to duplicate the effect. The proposed experiment would layer MgB2 and YBa2Cu3O7 (Type 1 and Type 2) superconductors which has never been attempted before, and as such there would be a junction between different mechanisms of superconductivity.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A literal transliteration of Podkletnov's first name would be "Evgeny", but in English language publications he has used the Anglophone equivalent, "Eugene", and we follow that practice here.
  2. ^ a b c d Platt, Charles (1998-03-06). "Breaking the Law of Gravity". Wired. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  3. ^ Matthews, Robert (1996-09-21). "Antigravity Machine Weighed Down By Controversy". New Scientist. 
  4. ^ Archer, Graeme. The Daily Telegraph (London) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/1996/09/01/ngrav01.html |url= missing title (help). [dead link]
  5. ^ See page proof here: bp0.blogger.com
  6. ^ ylioppilaslehti.fi/1998/04/24/painovoimaa-kumoamassa/
  7. ^ Gravity Modification by High Temperature Superconductors, Woods, Cooke, Helm & Caldwell AIAA (2001)
  8. ^ "Boeing tries to defy gravity". BBC News. 2002-07-29. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  9. ^ Science Does The Impossible: February 2003 Cover Story - Popular Mechanics
  10. ^ Gravity Shielding Still Science Fiction, Boeing Says
  11. ^ High Temperature Superconductors as Quantum Sources of Gravitational Waves: The HTSC GASER. Chapter 3 of book "Gravity-Superconductors Interactions: Theory and Experiment", Bentham Science Publishers

Publications[edit]

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