The Heretic Who Challenged Newton
“Every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it.”
Isaac Newtons first Law of Motion of 1666 as quoted by NASA
Not only is the first law wrong but just about every word in the first law is wrong. When we examine Newton’s first law, or just look at the pictures in a child’s astronomy book we observe that nothing in the universe is in a state of rest – everything is moving. Everything is in orbit about something else and so nothing moves in a straight line. Additionally, every body in the universe is affected gravitationally by every other body in the universe. One would need to be outside of the universe to test Newtons law; therefore it is impossible to check the validity of the law. It begins to become apparent why it was so difficult to land the first probes on the Moon using 300 years-old science. Readers are encouraged to check these facts for themselves.
Newton’s laws of motion were devised more than 300 years ago and contrary to what may be assumed NASA still uses them in their original form. I can find no evidence that any attempt has been made to include modern updates or improvements such as those of Einstein. Moon and Mars missions have been and are conducted with the original version of Newton’s laws.
The video below gives an insight into the reception Laithwaite received from academic science. Genius is a word exclusively reserved for scientists, Nobel prizewinners, be they dolts. Once one has, so to speak, lifted the bonnet of science and gazed into its dark black heart – seen how it all works – it becomes impossible ever again to see it in the light of truth and beauty. Laithwaite made fun of science whilst being declared a genius by the press and so he had to go the way of all heretics. We see the creepy scientists using Arthur C Clarke’s quote: “New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along! We see the gollum protecting his precious and the pilferer saying there’s nothing to it whilst recording every experiment for future scientific reference.”
The Royal Institution is Not Amused
Few people visit the Royal Institution, in London’s Albemarle Street, for amusement. There are not many laughs at Britain’s second oldest scientific institution, founded in 1799, where Sir Humphry Davy demonstrated his discovery of the elements sodium and potassium and where Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction. It’s true there have been some lighter moments in the famous circular lecture theatre, especially since Sir William Bragg introduced Christmas Lectures for Children in the 1920s. But, on the whole, this is stuffed shirt territory.
One night in 1973 the stuffed shirts got a shock from which they have still not recovered. It was an experience at which, like Queen Victoria, they were not amused. Indeed it was so unamusing for them that it is the only occasion in the Royal Institution’s two hundred year history that it has failed to publish a proceedings of a major lecture, or ‘evening discourse’. The cause of this unique case of scientific censorship was the maverick professor of electrical engineering of Imperial College, London, Eric Laithwaite.
Laithwaite was no stranger to controversy even before his shadow fell across so distinguished an institutional threshold. In the 1960s, Laithwaite invented the linear electric motor, a device that can power a passenger train. In the 1970s, he and his colleagues combined the linear motor with the latest hovercraft technology to create a British experimental high speed train. This was a highly novel, but perfectly orthodox technology.
The advantages of such a tracked hovercraft are obvious to anyone who sees a hover-rail train running along,suspended in the air above the track — it is quiet, has no moving parts to wear out and is practically maintenance-free. The significance of this last point quickly becomes clear when you learn that more than 80 per cent of the annual running costs of any railway system is spent on maintenance of track and rolling stock because of daily wear.
The British government at first invested in the development of his device but later, after a series of budget cuts, pulled out pleading the need for economy. Laithwaite, a blunt-speaking Lancashire man who did not shrink from speaking unpopular truths, told the Government and its scientific bureaucrats the mistake they were making in no uncertain terms, but its decision to cancel was unchanged.
Laithwaite refused to be beaten and took his invention one step further. He designed an even better kind of hover train — one in which his linear motor was levitated by electromagnetism giving a rapid transit system that not only provides quiet, efficient magnetic suspension over a maintenance-free track, but which generates the electricity to power the magnetic lift of the track from the movement of the train.
Speaking in the early 1970s, Laithwaite said of his new ‘Maglev’ system, ‘We’ve designed a motor to propel [the train] that gives you the lift and guidance for nothing — literally for nothing: for no additional equipment and no additional power input. This is beyond my wildest dreams — that I should ever see that sort of thing.’
Laithwaite’s Maglev design was not quite perpetual motion, but certainly sounded enough like something-for-nothing to make the scientific establishment turn its nose up in suspicion. But this project, too, was cancelled by the government and further development was halted. Today, Maglev trains are being built in Germany and Japan but Britain continues to spend 80 per cent of its railway budget on maintenance of conventional transport systems — several hundred millions every year.
With the Maglev project cancelled, the technology Laithwaite had devoted the previous twenty years to developing was put in mothballs. The object of his entire career for decades disappeared overnight. By an extraordinary chance at just the same time that the Maglev project was cancelled, Laithwaite received an intriguing telephone call out of the blue from an amateur inventor, Alex Jones.
Jones claimed to have a remarkable new invention to demonstrate which he had tried to interest scientists and engineers in, so far without success. Would Laitwaite like to take a look at it? While others had dismissed Jones as a crank, Laithwaite, now with time on his hands, invited him to come to Imperial College.
When Jones arrived in the laboratory he had a strange-looking contraption to show. It was a simple wooden frame on wheels that could be pushed backwards and forwards on the bench top, like a child’s trolley. But suspended from the front of the frame was a heavy metal object that could swing from side to side like a pendulum. The metal object, Jones explained, was a gyroscope.
As Laithwaite looked on in puzzled amazement, Jones started the gyroscope spinning and then allowed it to swing from side to side. The wooden box moved along the bench top on its wheels although there was no drive to the wheels and no external thrust of any kind — something that shouldn’t happen according to the laws of physics.
‘When Alex switched his machine on,’ recalled Laithwaite, ‘it was quite disturbing to one’s upbringing. The gyroscope appeared to be producing a force without a reaction. I thought I’d seen something that was impossible.’
‘Like everyone else I was brought up on Newton’s laws of motion, and the third law says that for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction, therefore you cannot propel a body outside its own dimensions. This thing apparently did.’
Laithwaite started some gyroscope experiments of his own, making large spinning tops with most of the mass in the rim of the wheel, and he found that, ‘these very definitely did something that seemed impossible.’
It was at this critical point in his career that he was invited by Sir George Porter, president of the august Royal Institution, to deliver a Friday Evening Discourse.
In retrospect it might seem to be rather risky for Sir George to have invited a blunt-speaking and controversial figure to address the Institution. But, until then, Laithwaite’s clashes with the government and scientific bureaucrats over the development of his Maglev train had been a conflict over money and over innovation: not over scientific principles. He had fought the same kind of battle as most senior scientists in Britain for scarce resources.
He may have been the sort of outspoken individualist who finds himself in the headlines, but he was still a distinguished professional scientist, still a member of the club. It was against this background that the Royal Institution invited him to deliver the lecture. But the Friday Evening Discourse is no ordinary lecture. It is a black tie affair, preceded by dinner amidst the polished silver and mahogany of the Institution’s elegant Georgian dining room, under the intimidating gaze of portraits of the giants of science from the eighteenth and nineteenth century, staring down from the panelled walls.
When you are invited to be thus feted by your fellow members of the Royal Institution and to deliver a Discourse from the spot where Faraday and Davy stood, it is usually the prelude to collecting the rewards of a lifetime of distinguished public service: Fellowship of the Royal Society; Gold Medals; perhaps even a Knighthood. In keeping with such a conservative occasion, those invited to speak generally choose some worthy topic on which to discourse — the future of science, perhaps, or the glorious achievements of the past.
But Laithwaite chose not to discourse on some worthy, painless topic but instead to demonstrate to the assembled bigwigs that Newton’s laws of motion — the very cornerstone of physics and the primary article of faith of all the distinguished names gathered in that room — were in doubt.
Standing in the circular well of the Institution’s lecture theatre, Laithwaite showed his audience a large gyroscope he had constructed — an apparatus resembling a motorcycle wheel on the end of a three foot pole (which, is precisely what it was). The wheel could be spun up to high speed on a low-friction bearing driven by a small but powerful electrical motor.
Laithwaite first demonstrated that the apparatus was very heavy — in fact it weighed more than 50 pounds. It took all his strength and both hands to raise the pole with its wheel much above waist level. When he started to rotate the wheel at high speed, however, the apparatus suddenly became so light that he could raise it easily over his head with just one hand and with no obvious sign of effort.
What on earth was going on? Heavy objects cannot suddenly become lighter just because they are rotating, can they? Such a mass can only be propelled aloft if it is subjected to an external force or if it expels mass, in a rocket engine for example. Had Laithwaite taken to conjuring tricks? Were there concealed strings? Confederates in trapdoors?
If Laithwaite expected gasps of admiration or surprise, he was disappointed. The audience was stunned into silence by his demonstration. When he went on to explain that Newton’s laws of motion were apparently being violated by this demonstration, the involuntary hush turned to frosty silence. ‘I was very excited about it,’ he recalled, ‘because I knew I had something to show them that was startling. And I did it rather in the spirit of “come and see what I’ve discovered — come and share this with me.” It was only afterwards that I realised no-one wanted to share it with me. The reaction was “the man’s obviously a lunatic”. “There must be some trick” was what people said.’
‘I was simply trying to tell them, “look, here’s something very unusual that’s worth investigating. I hope I’ve got sufficient reputation in electrical engineering not to be written off as a crank. So when I tell you this, I hope you’ll listen.” But they didn’t want to.’
‘After the Royal Institution lecture all hell broke loose, primarily as a result of an article in the New Scientist, followed up by articles in the daily press with headlines such as “Laithwaite defies Newton”. The press is always excited by the possibility of an anti-gravity machine, because of space ships and science fiction, and the minute you say you can make something rise against gravity, then you’ve “made an antigravity machine”. And then the flood gates are unleashed on you especially from the establishment. You’ve brought science into disrepute or you’re apparently trying to because you’ve done something that is against the run of the tide.’
The resounding silence of his audience continued long after that fateful evening. There was to be no Fellowship of the Royal Society, no gold medal, no ‘Arise, Sir Eric’. And, for the first time in two hundred years, there was to be no published ‘proceedings’ recording Laithwaite’s astonishing lecture. In an unprecedented act of academic Stalinism, the Royal Institution simply banished the memory of Professor Laithwaite, his gyroscopes that became lighter, his lecture, even his existence.
Newton’s Laws were restored to their sacrosanct position on the altar of science. Laithwaite was a non-person, and all was right with the world once more.
For the next twenty years, Laithwaite carried on investigating the anomalous behaviour of gyroscopes in the laboratory; at first in Imperial College and later, after his retirement, wherever he could find a sympathetic institution to provide bench space and laboratory apparatus.
By the mid-1980 — what he called ‘the most depressing time’ — Laithwaite had conducted enough empirical research to demonstrate that the skeptics were right when they said that there were no forces to be had from gyroscopes. ‘The mathematics said there were no forces and that was correct’, Laithwaite recalled. ‘The thing that wouldn’t go away was: can I lift a 50 pound weight with one hand or can’t I? Of all the critics that I showed lifting the big wheel, none of them ever tried to explain it to me. So I decided I had to follow Faraday’s example and do the experiments.’
After retiring from Imperial College, laithwaite began a long series of detailed experiments. Sussex University offered him a laboratory and he formed a partnership with fellow engineer and inventor, Bill Dawson, who also funded the research. Laithwaite and Dawson spent three years from 1991 to 1994, investigating in detail the strange phenomena that had unnerved the Royal Institution. ‘The first thing I wanted to find out was how I could lift a 50 pound wheel in one hand. So we set out to try to reproduce this as a hands-off experiment. Then we tackled the problem of lack of centrifugal force and the experiments were telling us that there was less centrifugal force than there should be. Meanwhile I started to do the theory. We devised more and more sophisticated experiments until, not long ago, we cracked it.’
The real breakthrough came, said Laithwaite, when they realised that a precessing gyroscope could move mass through space. ‘The spinning top showed us that all the time, but we couldn’t see it. If the gyroscope does not produce the full amount of centrifugal force on its pivot in the centre then indeed you have produced mass transfer.’ ‘It became more exciting than ever now because I could explain the unexplainable. Gyroscopes became absolutely in accordance with Newton’s laws. We were now not challenging any sacred laws at all. We were sticking strictly to the rules that everyone would approve of, but getting the same result — a force through space without a rocket.’
The research of Laithwaite and Dawson has now borne practical fruit. Their commercial company, Gyron, filed a world patent for a reactionless drive — a device that most orthodox scientists say is impossible. Sadly Eric Laithwaite died in 1997. His device remains in prototype form, comparable perhaps to the Wright Brother’s first aircraft or Gottlieb Daimler’s first automobile. Shortly before his death, Laithwaite spoke philosophically about the long experimental road he had trudged virtually alone. Why should people reject the idea of something new?’ he asked. ‘Well, of course, they always have. If you go back to Galileo, they were going to put him to death for not saying the earth was the centre of the universe. I’m reminded of something that Mark Twain once said; ‘a crank is a crank only until he’s been proved correct.’
‘So now I myself have demonstrated that I’ve been correct all along. Anyone seeing the experiments would know at once, if they knew their physics, that I’ve done what I said I could do, and that I’m no longer a heretic.’
Laithwaite’s reactionless drive is an extraordinary machine; a machine that orthodox science said could never be built and would never work. But though it may well eventually prove of great value — perhaps even providing an anti-gravity lifting device — it is a net consumer of energy, just like Griggs’s Hydrosonic pump. There is no evidence at present that it is an over-unity device — merely a novel means of propulsion that proves there are more things in heaven and earth than are currently dreamed of by scientific rationalism.
But there are other Laithwaites, and there are other engines: some even more extraordinary than the reactionless drive.
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Laithwaite
LETTER FROM HAROLD ASPDEN
Regarding Antigravity and Prof. Eric Laithwaite
I read your E-Mail message dated December 2 inviting news having bearing on antigravity. Hence this message which I am copying to Hal Fox and James Cox.
I have seen in this morning’s U.K. newspaper: THE TIMES (Thursday, December 4, 1997, page 25) the obituary of Professor Eric Laithwaite, who died on November 27, aged 76.
Having followed his research with interest and visited him a while ago to discuss his findings and witness his demonstration of the loss of weight of a 50 lb. flywheel that he lifted effortlessly I thought I should draw your attention to some comments that were included in his obituary.
The obituary reminds us that, as a recipient of many crank letters when he was Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Imperial college in London, there was: One which caught his eye: in it an amateur inventor described a wheeled device which apparently contravened Newton’s Third Law of Motion – it moved without any power to the wheels or any thrust. Intrigued, Laithwaite invited the inventor, Alex Jones, to Imperial College. The device Jones brought was a simple gyroscope and it moved forward on Laithwaite’s bench with ease. “Alex showed me something I could not explain, so I just had to investigate it. It was sheer curiosity ….”
The obituary goes on to explain then how Laithwaite’s efforts to show the weight loss of the gyroscopic devices he built were met with ‘utter hostility’. He retired from Imperial College in 1981 pretty much in disgrace. But he never lost his fascination for gyroscopes. “None of my critics could ever explain to me how a 50 lb spinning wheel loses weight,” he said. He teamed up with Bill Dawson, a fellow electrical engineer and businessman and spent the last years of his life experimenting with a variety of complex gyroscopic rigs, finally proving to his satisfaction that they could produce “mass transfer” – a brand of new thrustless propulsion system. In 1993 he applied for a patent on a gyroscopic space-drive. In September 1996, however, two NASA scientists arrived at his Sussex University laboratory, and his life went full circle. They were looking for a new way of getting spacecraft into earth orbit, and headed straight for the world expert. “I showed them all the magic of magnetic levitation,” said Laithwaite happily, “and they gave me a contract.” He was working on Maglifter when he collapsed.
The obituary published in THE TIMES is quite lengthy. Its opening paragraph adds a little more detail to the latter project: At the age of 76, at a time when many emeritus professors have long since hung up their gowns, Eric Laithwaite was happily working, like a schoolboy with a Meccano set, on the biggest project of his life – a huge working model of a futuristic rocket launcher. America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration had commissioned him to develop a concept worthy of Ian Fleming’s Dr. No – a five-mile long track to be tunneled up the inside of a 10,000 ft. mountain, hurtling a space capsule through the summit into Earth orbit. The power was not to come from conventional rockets but from the love of Laithwaite’s lift- linear motors.
Readers of this message who are interested in anomalous levitation phenomena will feel added sadness to hear that this great pioneer, Eric Laithwaite, has passed away. No doubt NASA will pursue that project regardless of this loss. For my part as a remote observer, I am reminded of my own brief meetings with Alex Jones and with Eric Laithwaite and am more than curious about that comment about “mass transfer”. I recall that Laithwaite told me of research funding received from Prince Charles and used to build a machine involving gyroscopic devices set in two adjacent compartments. These were to be screened from one another in a physical sense, but arranged to allow the transfer through the physical screen of something associated with the spin of one gyroscopic device that could be detected by its effect on the other device. Here, my mind was on the possibility of the aether developing its own spin and being shed as a kind of ‘thunderball’ which could be moved through the wall separating those two compartments. If that machine, when eventually built and tested, did in fact exhibit such a phenomenon, then one can but be curious and wish to know more. As to that loss of weight by the 50 lb flywheel I also recall the time when Professor Salter of Edinburgh University, an expert of gyroscopes, was offered funding by British Aerospace to stage demonstrations testing devices that purport to lose weight, but the event, though planned, was cancelled. Laithwaite, I heard, had refused to go to Scotland to prove something that could be demonstrated so easily in his own university base in the South of England. All one needed to see was Laithwaite standing on a large weighing machine and doing his flywheel lift while one read the weight recorded. It was only years later that a television documentary on Laithwaite’s gyroscopic activity, which included participation by the Alex Jones, was screened here in U.K. and it did include that weighing machine demonstration which proved the weight loss.
Such interest as I have in these matters is merged with my own pursuits that I am recording on my own Web pages on Internet at http://www.energyscience.co.uk and so I regret that I cannot add more to this note about Professor Laithwaite. Perhaps others will already have notified you of his death, but being here in U.K. it seemed appropriate for me to send you this message.
http://www.rexresearch.com/laithwat/laithw1.htm#art1 patents and other
PENDULUM TESTS CONFIRM LAITHWAITE-JONES GYROTHRUST EFFECT
By: James Cox
Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 14:29:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: james cox
Subject: PENDULUM TESTS CONFIRM LAITHWAITE-JONES GYROTHRUST EFFECT
PENDULUM TESTS CONFIRM LAITHWAITE-JONES REACTIONLESS GYROTHRUST EFFECT
Since receiving a copy of the BBC (1992) Heretic Television series on Eric
Laithwaite from Chris Tinsley at the Mallove residence in New Hampshire, I have
studied it closely to see how I could replicate some of the extraordinary
experiments shown in this half hour video.
It was harder than I thought it would be, but over the last few weeks, success!
Alex Jones was able to advance the c.g. of a gyro device mounted on wheels on a
level table a distance of two feet, by forcibly tumbling a pendulus suspended
In my successful experiment, I hung the special designed gyro-carriage from a
four “V” string configuration from ceiling 6 feet to c.g. of gyro-carriage
assembly. The motion is thus biased to travel linearly. The total weight is
about 24 ounces. The vertical plumb line through the c.g. is marked on the floor
beneath the test assembly. The gyro is held horizontally and spun up with a hand
drill. It is then released from a dead-rest at the plumb line. In the first 180
degrees of force precession, beginning immediately upon release, the c.g of the
entire system moves outward about two feet away from the plumb line!
The whole series of tests with different designs has been video taped and will
be made available in June for interested parties (to be included in my
“Introduction to Inertial Propulsion video soon to be released. The thrust is
calculated (F=mgtanO) as about 5 to 6 ounces, or 21`% of the static weight. In
the next 180 degrees, it strokes in the reverse direction .
The mystery is, how does this darn thing operate — generate a one-way force in
a self contained unit!!!!
The summer issue of Antigravity News will be devoted entirely to Gyro Propulsion
Technology, covering the work of Alex Jones, Eric Laithwaite, Sandy Kidd, Fran
McCabe, Richard Foster, and many others.
My website is at:
—Jim Cox, ed. AGN.
May 29, 1998.
August 25, 1991
This file is from the Sunday, November 10, 1974, Indianopolis Star.
Scientist says Invention can Defy Gravity
A British scientist said yesterday he is on the threshold of
inventing an antigravity motor that could fly a manned spaceship to
the stars using nuclear fuel the size of a pea.
Eric Laithwaite, professor of heavy electrical engineering at
London’s Imperial College of Science and Technology, said the motor
is based on the gyroscope, a rapidly spinning top that defies
gravity. Gyroscopes already are used to guide spaceships.
“The motor is not easy to explain. If it was, others would have
tried to produce one by now,” said Laithwaite, who described himself
as an astro engineer.
Laithwaite began working on the motor about six months ago after
Edwin Rickman, who works with an electrical engineering firm, came
to him with the idea. Rickman had patented it after he said it came
to him in recurring dreams. Laithwaite incorporated in the device
ideas of another amateur inventor, Alex Jones.
Although Laithwaite is far from the production stage with his motor
to defy gravity, the 53-year old professor demonstrated his
principle Friday at the Royal Institution at London.
Inside a box he brought before his distinguished audience were two
electrically driven gyroscopes, each placed on a central pivot.
Laithwaite made the gyroscopes rotate at high speed, and they rose
into the air on the arms until they reached a curved rail that
pushed them down again. The process then repeated itself.
With the two gyroscopes motionless, the box weighed 20 pounds on an
ordinary kitchen scale. With the gyroscopes spinning, the
contraption weighed 15 pounds.
Laithwaite said the loss of weight corresponded to the gravity loss
produced by the spinning gyroscopes. Theoretically, the machine
could produce weightlessness, Laithwaite said.
A spaceship with his device could be blasted from the earth’s
gravitational field with conventional rocket fuel, Laithewaite said.
Then, without friction to hamper the anti-gravity engine, nuclear
power or solar energy could begin operating the gyroscopes and to
drive the vehicle to other solar systems, he said.
Laithwaite is the inventor of the electrical linear motor capable of
propelling a device through strong magnetic currents.
He said the antigravity motor also could be adapted to drive ships
and land vehicles silently but added: “Man is not interested in
traveling horizontally. He always wants to go up.”
Laithwaite said the antigravity motor is based on electromagnetism
and vector multiplication “too complicated to explain.”
Then he tried:
“Let me put it this way:
You take a go-kart with no engine and sit in it. It is
loaded with a box of lead balls. If you throw one ball out
behind you, you move forward a little. Throw another and
you move farther still and so on.
But if these lead balls were attached to a strong elastic
band and could be sprung back into the go-kart, you would
have continuous propulsion. That is what a gyroscope does
when it moves from one plane to another.”