NASA Two Dimensional Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster
A working principle proposal
By Jean-Louis Naudin
created on November 18th, 2001 - JLN Labs - Last update December 11, 2001
All informations in this page are published free and are intended for private/educational purposes and not for commercial applications
The NASA Two Dimensional Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster
I have come to believe that the displacement current is a critical factor in explaining how the lifter works. This is why the largest thrust occurs at power up, because this is when the displacement current is the greatest, due to charging of the capacitor. This also explains why the thrust stops when the capacitor becomes fully charged (if there is no leakage current) because the displacement current stops flowing. This is why a pulsed power supply works better than a straight DC supply, because it keeps the displacement current flowing. A pulsed power supply would produce an alternating displacement current, but several people have indicated that polarity is not important, so this makes sense.
What is Displacement Current ?
From the site: http://maxwell.byu.edu/~spencerr/websumm122/node72.html
we learn what Maxwell thought of displacement current:
"At about the time of the American Civil War, James Clerk Maxwell made an attempt to combine the best mathematics of his day with all of the experimental work on electricity and magnetism from the preceding hundred years. As he did so, he was mystified by Faraday's idea that the stored energy in a capacitor was stored in the electric field between the plates. Was the energy density formula, just a formula, or was the energy somehow really stored in space? As he thought about this formula, he realized that in a dielectric it was possible to see how the energy could be stored: it was stored in the stretching of the atoms of the material. The larger the electric field, the more the atoms were stretched, and when the electric field was removed, the atoms snapped back to their original state, giving up the energy that was stored in them. Taking this as a hint, Maxwell made the hypothesis that the vacuum was not really empty at all, but was instead filled with atoms of a very fine and insensible material which he called the ether. When electric energy was stored in space, Maxwell took this to mean that the atoms of the ether became stretched, just like the atoms in paper or oil.
Once he came to believe in this picture, he was led to the following brilliant insight: if ether atoms become stretched when an electric field is applied, then when the electric field is changing in time, there must be a current in the ether. This must be so because when an atom becomes more stretched by the increasing electric field, its positive charge moves in the direction of the applied electric field while its negative charge moves in the opposite direction. But this means that both moving charges contribute to current flow in the direction of the applied electric field. This current, Maxwell realized, must produce magnetic field, and hence should be added to the conduction current in Ampere's law. He called this current displacement current..."
There is a very informative discussion of Electrohydrodynamics
" In essence, EHD is the study of high-intensity electric field phenomena and their influence on non-conducting (dielectric) media. It is in many respects analogous to the study of magnetic field phenomena and their influence on conducting media and electric currents - through which we have developed the host of electromagnetic devices we enjoy today.
There is a fundamental difference, however: Magnetic fields influence or are influenced by certain conductors, electric currents, etc. In contrast high-intensity electric fields interact with dielectric media, including gasses such as air, and, according to the fundamental laws of electricity and magnetism, a vacuum. Even as a magnetic field can be "shaped" by the geometric design of the field-producing components, so can electric fields be shaped by paying careful attention to the geometric design of the electrodes. In fact, in this way it has been possible to establish a considerable differential force between the device - essentially a condenser - and its dielectric environment.
The establishment of such a force with
respect to air, a vacuum, or any other dielectric medium results
in thrust being imparted to the device with respect to its
ambient medium. If the device is held fixed, the medium moves and
the effect of a pump is achieved. If the device is free to move,
it accelerated in the direction of the force according to
Newton's Third Law of Motion, and the effect of propulsion is
achieved. It is towards the exploitation of these potentials that
this proposal is primarily directed...
Among the observations are these:
- Device thrust (EHD force) increases directly as K (dielectric constant of the medium).
- Device thrust (EHD force) increases as the square of the voltage (in some special cases this has been observed to be a cubic function), starting with a minimum of observable effect thought to be at about 10,000 volts.
- Thrust and current in air are found to vary with pressure according to the following relationship:
Note that with a moderate reduction in pressure below one atmosphere, current rises catastrophically and thrust terminates. This is the region of so-called "glow discharge" in which the air ionizes and becomes a conductor, virtually "shorting" the electrodes.
A significant feature of the curves is that, except for this limitation, thrust remains constant with the reduction in pressure down to 10-6 mm. of Hg, while current consumption falls off sharply. - demonstrating the system's improved efficiency as a hard vacuum is approached.
An additional consideration in the development of EHD theory is the effect of so-called "ion winds" - plasmas accelerated by the electric field. In the operation of EHD lift devices, a toroidal flow of the medium (air, for example, or dielectric oil) is clearly evident.
Though procedures have been developed to calculate thrust purely on the basis of ion wind, their validity has neither been proved nor disproved. They appear to be generally reliable under the limiting condition of an appreciable atmosphere from which plasma can be generated, but fail to explain the continuing constancy of thrust at very low pressures - such as 10-6 mm. of Hg, which is the lowest pressure a which measurements have been taken.
For this reason the strong indication remains that thrust is results primarily from electrostatic field stresses - rather than plasma flow. Thus EHD may prove more efficient in a hard vacuum (10-12 mm. of Hg) than in air, where the induced plasma actually seems to result in unnecessary power consumption. It seems certain that fundamental EHD theory will become clearer with further experimentation. "
So, according to both these views, the
Lifter produces thrust by causing and reacting against a current
or flow in the dielectric medium. Both point out that the
vacuum itself is a polarizable dielectric medium, and since EHD
devices (Lifters) are known to work more efficiently in a vacuum
than in air, the Lifter must be generating and reacting against a
flow in the vacuum (ether) itself !
There are a number of Gravitational theories that rely on "ether flows" or "vacuum stresses" and I believe that these Lifter experiments tends to support to such theories. Therefore, it is fair to consider the Lifter to be an "Antigravity" device.
One final point: T. T. Brown describes that in his vacuum experiments the "device" produces a small continuos thrust while drawing a small current ( How can a current flow in a vacuum, other than a displacement current? ) with an occasional large jump in thrust coinciding with a vacuum discharge (plasma arc). The Lifter seems to require an ionization (plasma) leakage current for best performance. This seems to suggest that the presence of a plasma tends to greatly increase the coupling factor of the electrostatic charge into the vacuum flow or displacement current. This is consistent with numerous reports of anomalous actives and energy production associated with plasma arcs, as reported by Tesla, Podkletnov, and others.
All for now,
Vector Probe for Measuring Electrical Power
(11) CA 1264183
- The Transdimensional Technologies web site
Read the NASA Patent description and see the FULL NASA PATENT US 6,317,310 ( granted November 13, 2001 )
NASA MFS 31419_1 - Apparatus & Method for Generating Thrust Using a Two Dimensional, Asymmetrical Capacitor;
See also some Lifter working principles proposals at : www.terra.es/personal7/dafero4u
Email : JNaudin509@aol.com
Return to the Lifters experiments page