Email on the subject... its not anti gravity at all just capacitance moving the air around.
In a recent issue we touched on a hobbyist "antigravity" device called the "Lifter" as one example of the technologies that *may* be undergoing
research by NASA, national laboratories, and universities. (See www.theharrowgroup.com...
20031027/20031027.htm#_Toc54762180) for a picture and pointers.)
Although the Lifter looks interesting at first glance, I asked for anyone with direct knowledge in this field to teach us a bit more, and of course
you came through! Here is a selection of your insights:
* Bill Hees --
"About a year ago I built a lifter according to instructions on Tim Ventura's "antigravity" web page. Then I did a little research as to
how it worked. Lifters are not as special as the name implies. It
seems the asymmetrical capacitance effect is capable of moving small amounts of air relative to the device, which amounts to being able to
push a very lightweight device through the air. A conventional motorized propeller or fan blade does a much better job of this but nobody calls them
"antigravity devices"! No so-called lifter has even gotten close to lifting itself completely off the ground. While a lifter's 2 ounces of thrust
may overcome its 1.9 ounces of aluminum foil
and balsa wood, you can't ignore the 20 pound power supply it's tethered to.
A lifter engine is still potentially useful in that it pushes air using no moving parts. If made a couple orders of magnitude more powerful it
might make a nice bathroom fan."
In fact many of you, such as David below (and thanks! to all who responded), advised us that "lifters" apparently will not work in a vacuum, and so
clearly are not "antigravity" devices:
* David Schachter --
"I looked at web references regarding "lifters" for an hour or two this past summer. Lifters don't work in a vacuum, which they would if they
actually nullified gravity in some way. They create streams of
ionized air (like the Sharper Image "Ionic Breeze" air cleaner) that result in an upward force on the platform."
Closing out our discussion on lifters, Luke and a partner spent a semester of their USC days explicitly studying lifters with some scientific rigor.
The result is an interesting and easy to read report at www.princeton.edu...
which would seem to clearly support their final conclusion:
* Luke Uribarri --
"This paper's firm denial of antigravity's existence (in the lifter) and of the usefulness of the lifter for practical applications refutes the
more misguided of the claims iven by the researchers on the Internet.
While the lifter can continue to be a fun (albeit dangerous) novelty item, it can now be approached as such and not as [a] revolutionary
Taking The Air Out Of Lifters' Sails.
So, overall, it seems that the lifter is a lot of hot air (ions, actually) when it comes to antigravity. Take away the air, and it lifts-no-more.