Ning Li (physicist)

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Ning Li (Chinese: 李宁, pinyin: Lǐ Níng; January 14, 1943 – July 27, 2021) was a Chinese American scientist. Born in Shandong, she graduated from the Department of Physics of Peking University, and in 1983 she emigrated with her family from China to the United States.[1] She is known for her physics and anti-gravity research. In the 1990s, Li worked as a research scientist at the Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, University of Alabama in Huntsville. In 1999, she left the university to form a company, AC Gravity LLC, to continue anti-gravity research.

Anti-gravity research[edit]

In a series of papers co-authored with fellow university physicist Douglas Torr and published between 1991 and 1993, she claimed a practical way to produce anti-gravity effects. She claimed that an anti-gravity effect could be produced by rotating ions creating a gravitomagnetic field perpendicular to their spin axis. In her theory, if a large number of ions could be aligned, (in a Bose–Einstein condensate) the resulting effect would be a very strong gravitomagnetic field producing a strong repulsive force. The alignment may be possible by trapping superconductor ions in a lattice structure in a high-temperature superconducting disc. Li claimed that experimental results confirmed her theories.[2][3][4][5] Her claim of having functional anti-gravity devices was cited by the popular press and in popular science magazines with some enthusiasm at the time.[6][7] In 1997 Li published a paper stating that recent experiments reported anomalous weight changes of 0.05-2.1% for a test mass suspended above a rotating superconductor. Although the same paper describes another experiment that showed the gravitational effect of a non rotating superconductor was very small, if any effect existed at all.[8]

Li is reported to have left the University of Alabama in 1999 to found the company AC Gravity LLC. AC Gravity was awarded a United States Department of Defense grant for $448,970 in 2001 to continue anti-gravity research. The grant period ended in 2002 but no results from this research were ever made public.[9] No evidence exists that the company performed any other work, although as of 2021, AC Gravity still remains listed as an extant business.[10]

A 2023 article published by the Huntsville Business Journal cited an interview with Li's son, Dr. George Men. According to Dr. Men, Li continued anti-gravity research for the Department of Defense until suffering an auto-related injury in 2014. She stopped publishing or discussing her research findings upon attaining a TOP SECRET security clearance.[when?] Dr. Men also stated that members of the Chinese Communist Party approached her in 2008 regarding returning to China to continue her research. Li rejected their offer, which resulted in her being barred from entering China to attend her mother's funeral. [11]


In 2014, Ning Li was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street on the University of Alabama in Huntsville campus. Li’s husband, seeing the accident, suffered a heart attack and died a year later in 2015. For Li, this accident caused permanent brain damage that resulted in Alzheimer’s disease shortly after.[1] On July 27, 2021, Ning Li died at the age of 78.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Logan, Noah (July 30, 2023). "Solving the mystery of Huntsville's brilliant anti-gravity scientist". Huntsville Business Journal. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  2. ^ "CSPAAR - Research [Gravity]". Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research (CSPAR) at University of Alabama in Huntsville. August 11, 1998. Archived from the original on May 20, 2000.
  3. ^ Li, Ning; Torr, DG (January 15, 1991). "Effects of a gravitomagnetic field on pure superconductors". Physical Review. D43 (2): 457–459. Bibcode:1991PhRvD..43..457L. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.43.457. PMID 10013404.
  4. ^ Li, Ning; Torr, DG (September 1, 1992). "Gravitational effects on the magnetic attenuation of superconductors". Physical Review. B46 (9): 5489–5495. Bibcode:1992PhRvB..46.5489L. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.46.5489. PMID 10004334.
  5. ^ Li, Ning; Torr, DG (August 1, 1993). "Gravito-electric coupling via superconductivity". Foundations of Physics Letters. 6 (4): 371–383. Bibcode:1993FoPhL...6..371T. doi:10.1007/BF00665654. S2CID 122075917.
  6. ^ Wilson, Jim (October 1, 2000). "Taming Gravity". Popular Mechanics. 177 (10). Archived from the original on September 20, 2022.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Powell, Corey (May 1999). "Zero Gravity – Antigravity devices". Discover Magazine. Archived from the original on 2021-08-26. Retrieved 2021-08-26.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ N. Li; D. Noever; T. Robertson; R. Koczor; et al. (August 1997). "Static Test for a Gravitational Force Coupled to Type II YBCO Superconductors". Physica C. 281 (2–3): 260–267. Bibcode:1997PhyC..281..260L. doi:10.1016/S0921-4534(97)01462-7.
  9. ^ "Annual Report on Cooperative Agreements and Other Transactions Entered into During FY2001 Under 10 USC 2371". US Department of Defense. p. 66. Archived from the original (doc) on August 1, 2021. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  10. ^ "Business Entity Details, AC Gravity, LLC". Alabama, Secretary of State. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Obituary for Ning Li at Berryhill Funeral Home & Crematory". Retrieved August 25, 2021.

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