Jul 27, 2012

Real Scientist Working in the Field of Propulsion Physics

Posted by in categories: physics, space

While emailing back and forth with Ron Kita, I realized that it would be useful to compile a list of researchers who have published serious papers, past & present, in the new field of propulsion physics (gravity modification is an example) at least for the purpose of finding out how many countries are at some stage in this field.

This is important to do if we are to hasten the theoretical & technological development to leave Earth on a commercially feasible scale. I was surprised by what I found.

Below is the list. I’m sure it is not complete but it is a start. If you know of anyone who should be on this list, please let me know, and I will update this post.

Here are the ground rules for including a name.

1) They must have published their research in a journal accessible to the public (preferably in English as I’m monolingual and cannot verify the validity if it is not). This excludes anyone in secret projects or black projects (therefore Greenglow, Phantom & Skunk), or could not reach the level of research where peer review would consider the paper acceptable.

2) Excludes papers related to conventional technologies. This excludes sails, tethers, conventional fuels, ion propulsion and nuclear detonations.

3) Excludes the extension of conventional physics. For example, it is estimated that doing interstellar travel to Alpha Centauri, with conventional fuels would require a fuel cost of approximately 3.4x 2011 World GDP.

4) Exclude papers requiring ‘Millennium Theories’. Millennium Theories are theories that will require more than a 100 years to falsify. This eliminates research using exotic matter. For example, it is estimated that doing interstellar travel to Alpha Centauri, with antimatter would cost of approximately 43,000x 2011 World GDP.

5) Includes researchers attempting to solve anomalies or unexplained observations, today, but exclude those whose focus is not propulsion.

6) Includes researches in established organizations but excludes researchers involved in the test methodologies or the management of such programs.

7) It would be desirable if the publishing journal/conference was associated with a national organization such as AIP, AIAA, Elsevier or other similar organizations.

Country Count People Count Country Last Name First Name
1 1 Austria Hense Klause
1 2 Austria Marhold Klause
1 3 Austria Tajmar Martin
2 4 Brazil De Aquino Fran
2 5 Brazil Alcubierre Miguel
3 6 Canada Hathaway George
4 7 China Li Ning
4 8 China Wu Ning
5 9 Finland Nieminen R.
6 10 France de Matos Clovis
7 11 Greece Provatidis Christopher
8 12 India Gupta R.C.
9 13 Italy Modanese Giovanni
9 14 Italy Ummarino G.A.
10 15 Japan Hayasaka Hideo
10 16 Japan Musha Takaaki
10 17 Japan Nishino Kimio
10 18 Japan Takeuchi Sakae
11 19 Romania Agop M.
11 20 Romania Buzea C. Gh.
11 21 Romania Ciobanu B.
12 22 Russia Podkletnov Eugene
13 23 Slovakia Sima Jozef
13 24 Slovakia Sukenık Miroslav
14 25 South Korea Tajmar Martin
15 26 UK Laithwaite Eric
16 27 USA Brandenburg John
16 28 USA Brantley Whitt
16 29 USA Chiao Raymond Y.
16 30 USA Clark Rod
16 31 USA Cramer John
16 32 USA Forward Robert
16 33 USA Fralick Gustave
16 34 USA Gaines J
16 35 USA Haisch Bernard
16 36 USA Hammer Jay
16 37 USA Kir Asit
16 38 USA Koczor Ron
16 39 USA Maclay Jordan
16 40 USA March Paul
16 41 USA Michael George
16 42 USA Milonni Peter
16 43 USA Murad Paul
16 44 USA Niedra Janis
16 45 USA Noever David
16 46 USA Puthoff Hal
16 47 USA Reuda Alfonso
16 48 USA Richland Center
16 49 USA Robertson Glen (Tony)
16 50 USA Rounds Frederic
16 51 USA Sanderson L
16 52 USA Serry Michael
16 53 USA Solomon B.T.
16 54 USA Torr D.G.
16 55 USA Villareal Carlos
16 56 USA Woods Clive
16 57 USA Woodward James

There are 16 countries! and 57 researchers. In a 2011 email to us, James Woodward had suggest that there are only about 35 of us seriously researching propulsion physics, on this planet. He came close, or I’m being generous. OK you can exclude Finland and India because I do not think these two countries have a concerted effort to develop a new propulsion technology.

Thanks to Ron Kita for pointing me to Takaaki Musha (Honda), Kimio Nishino (Toyota) and RC Gupta. I was surprised that Honda and Toyota, the car companies were interested in gravity modification.

Ron had also suggested Mike Gamble (supposedly of Boeing, and I did not attempt to either confirm or disprove his employement), and Brice Cassenti. I did not include Cassenti because his work was on Biefield Brown, which is an electric field effect.

Propulsion physics is about anything that is not related to gliding, rocketry, jets, electric motors, and internal combustion engines. I included South Korea because Tajmar is there now.

I excluded Mike Gamble, and here’s why. At SPESIF 2012 (which I had not attended) he announced that ‘Boeing has been using a “scissoring gyroscope” style of inertial propulsion for satellite maneuvering for years!’ and showed a picture (see

I am very skeptical. I could not make out what the picture shows, and in my opinion a “scissoring gyroscope” type technology is too jerky to be used as a means of satellite propulsion.

Kumaran Sanmugathasan had suggested Mehran Keshe of Belgium, he does not satisfy the rules. Thanks Kumaran.

Gary Stephenson had suggested many, many names. Thanks Gary. Gary had also suggested S.M. Godwin & V.V. Roschin of Russia, but I could not find enough information about them with respect to the rules, above, and have to exclude them.

Hope this blog posting will increase the number of serious researchers in the new field of propulsion physics, increase the funding, and raise the awareness of propulsion physics as opposed to astronomy or cosmology.


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative


Comments — comments are now closed.

  1. Brandon E Larson says:

    I am at California State University, Fullerton,which is where James Woodward is doing his research. I have met with Dr. Heidi Fearn who is working with him and she gave me a copy of their preliminary report that they are presenting at the Space 2012 conference. I will admit that some of the physics is beyond my reach but I can get the basic idea behind the Woodward effect. I am hoping to meet him and see his experimental setup in the next week. If anyone has looked at his work I would be glad to get some opinions on it.

  2. anonymous says:

    There are bad understanding about gravity and how system works, which makes us not to leave earth economically. Gravity within earths region of influence and out side are different. Looking for power source to eject out of the influence by opposing is a bad idea. Synchronizing and modifying the system to pass through such force is the easiest way.

    I worked on 2 systems one is gravity wheel that will help us on ground transportation within the earth or on planets where we have similar gravity. Another is to derive power from the natural force to modify and fly to distant places outside earth. Both are possible.

    From my analysis, existing mechanism to build gravity wheel was not possible because all of them missed the point that algebraic sum of all the forces meeting at a point is zero. I broke it by creating multiple system and exchange. I went 2 hops ahead to create imbalance and create a system that will be elliptical while maintaining circular motion.

    For interstellar travel, We need different system. Material quality and geometry played a crucial role. In my research (nearly 12 years) I concluded that Aliens have perfect understanding of universal physics and geometry. They continue to demonstrate and also showed lot of interest in helping humans is adorable.
    After studying their input, and also connecting the same with ancient documents, I am now 100% confident It is practical. Major set back I found is that the physics taught in schools seems to be way out of correct understanding of the actual principle. This stood on my way in getting help.

    Any way I decided to leave USA and pursue these goals. I can say this. I am done with deriving power required make such machines. But I need to work further to make it a machine suitable for interstellar travel.

    Gravity wheel for ground transportation is nearing completion.
    My question is do I have to publish it now or go further on my own?

  3. JohnHunt says:

    Shouldnt dead people be excluded because, by their nature, they are not working on the topic? :)

  4. Anonymous, yours is a difficult question to answer.

    Assuming that what you are proposing works let me try to address your comments and question in a manner that would be helpful to others, too, who have chosen a non-traditional approach in their field of endeavor.

    First, you have to ask yourself, do you want to make money for yourself (& your associates) or do you want to place some or all of your knowledge into public domain. If you choose the second option you could risk losing recognition for your work, because if and when people realize that you are correct, a lot of people will jump in.

    Second, what would you publish? Some of your work or all of it? The point is, can you figure out how much to publish to receive recognition for your work, while giving yourself the opportunity to form a team to make money from your own work, if the first is the option you choose? You need to recognize that if you are correct, then something like this would eventually require team work – also sometimes called a company or research lab.

    Third, bear in mind that the word ‘nearing’ has different meanings to different people. To a theorist ‘nearing’ could mean several decades at best while to an engineer it could mean several months at worst. Why don’t you complete your gravity wheel technology and demonstrate it?

    Fourth, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Interstellar travel is whole different ball game then planet-based travel. Take it one step at a time. Complete one thing at a time. Build a track record of your accomplishments.

    Fifth, stay disciplined & build credibility. Use scientific and engineering language, only. Avoid mentioning aliens, UFOs or other such terms. The language you use reflects strongly on your scientific & engineering rigor. Your paper(s) are not likely to be accepted for publication if you do not demonstrate scientific &/or engineering rigor. Bear in mind that for something non-traditional, the peer review process can be very difficult for the author. So can you persevere?

    Sixth, (I didn’t want to say this earlier) if you want to raise funds for your technology, you need recognition i.e. you need to publish in peer reviewed journals or conferences. That is, the more established professionals in your field are giving you a vote of confidence that you may have something important to say. That is all. The rest is up to you.

    Seventh, if you have met or decided on the previous six recommendations, stay focused on what you are doing and not on what other people say. Many will wax & wane, hot and cold. Many will come and go. If you are correct stay your course.

  5. JohnHunt says:

    I’m fine with people working on propulsion physics in hopes that we’ll have a breakthrough which makes Star Trek a reality. However, I am concerned that it has somewhat distracted the interstellar field from sufficiently examining propulsion methods based upon conventional physics. In particular, if we can get the payload mass down, then we wouldn’t have to spend multiples of world GDPs but might be able to use terrawatts of night time spare energy production capacity as it will exist in several decades in the future. Again, we’re talking low mass per launch such as in the low kilogram range. We need to set aside, for now, consideration of world ships, awake crew ships, and even mega-sized science probes requiring outer planet automated industry and instead look at those approached most likely to be launched first. Smaller mass –> smaller power –> smaller in-space infrastructure –> less cost –> earlier launch.

  6. Brandon E Larson says:

    “However, I am concerned that it has somewhat distracted the interstellar field from sufficiently examining propulsion methods based upon conventional physics.”

    The issue I have with that is that the problems of you cite are already being dealt with in the existing space industry by big aerospace companies as a part of conventional launch technology. I’m sorry, but the idea that a few dozen scientists working on their pet projects is distracting from workable solutions is just absurd. If everyone thought that way, that EVERYONE should be working on improving existing tech and that further investigation into new sciencific fields is a “distraction”, then we would all be discussing the latest stone knife technology around the campfire while enjoying some half cooked mastadon. When I have run into this kind of thinking it is usually from two types of people. The first is from those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. The second is from those looking for funding for huge outlandish schemes that will not see results within their lifetime, and the existence of more economical and shorter term alternative scares them.

    Our old friend Gary Michael Church, as the son of a ULA lobbyist is a good example of the former, while a lot of the asteroid people I have met unfortunately seem to fit into the second category.

    These researchers may be cranks, or they may be heading down a dead end. Most of them, maybe even all of them will probably fail. The only thing that is certain is that if new research is curtailed in an attempt to placate one group or the other, then no new discoveries will be made and we all lose. People with new ideas need to be free to persue those ideas.

  7. Thanks Brandon Larson.

    John Hunt, for our discussion there are effectively two types of filters in the march to success as a society. First, is the peer review by scientist, engineers, technologies & other professionals on the feasibility of some hypothesis or project. This goes on in all forms at all organizations, and not just at conferences or in journals. That is why when private companies don’t get it right they fail, and if the failure is big enough the tax payer foots the bill.

    Your low-mass-conventional-launch interstellar expedition obviously has some scientific and engineering backers.

    Now the second filter and this can make or break a society. Economic feasibility. Do you really think that it is worth “terrawatts of night time spare energy production capacity” to send a tiny satellite to Alpha Centauri, to get a signal back from it 45 years later? And since it will be in the “low kilogram range” there is no guarantee that it would not be so severely damaged during its journey that it is essentially a rock by the time it gets to Alpha Centauri.

    “terrawatts of night time spare energy production capacity” informs me that after spending trillions this is not going to be a repeatable process anytime soon, at least not in the way NASA’s immensely successful (at least in my opinion) Space Shuttles were.

    Sure one could get government sponsorship in the US to try something like that – it was called state sponsored programs in the now defunct Soviet Union. So the second filter of economic feasibility becomes vitally important.

    OK let say you managed to get government funding. I might remind you even DARPA would not go for it. DARPA found the next best solution. They started the 100 Year Starship Study.

    Let us play out the scenarios. OK you got government funding, sent something off, what next? (1) More public funding? (2) Or may be angel capital? (3) Or venture capital?

    Well, (3) venture capital, is out of the question because i) you don’t have a repeatable process & ii) because of (i) you don’t have a revenue stream.

    (2) Angel capital is out of the question because angels at the very, very best can only do a few million.

    That leaves us with (1) more public money. Do you think that is going to happen with our national debt? No.

    So how are you going to progress? Note, the BRIC countries are right on our tails. Does that not worry you that these countries who have no legacy scientific interest blocks, might decide to chance it with something much more non-traditional, especially if they have done their calculations?

    Now, that is why the diversity of hypotheses, theories and projects are vital to our success. It is not about “distractions”. If other types of projects are a “distraction” then conventional space interstellar travel has lost out even before it started.

  8. JohnHunt says:

    Thanks to both of your for your responses.

    Brandon, I am in neither of the two groups that you mentioned. The status quo / stone tools implies no progress. What I’m talking about is looking at current, but more importantly reasonably near-term technology that we can expect our current technology to reach within 30 or so years. As for the second category, colony ships is an example of a huge outlandish scheme and yet it appears to be the leading concept being favored by Project Hyperion. In contrast, beamed propulsion using near-term power production is a more modest approach.

    The problem is that a few dozen scientists is all that we have who are doing the organized heavy lifting in terms of serious interstellar designs. Direct those experts toward non-intermediate term mission designs and they will not be working on the mission designs which are more likely to launch first. The practical result is that the first launch is delayed.

    Benjamin, it seems like you may not understand what I’m talking about. Spare nighttime power production would specifically use existing electricity production infrastructure. This would involve directing electricity to that part of the grid where microwave transmitters are connected that would then beam that energy to rectennas on the Moon (telerobotic assembly). All of this uses reasonable technology. Once the infrastructure is set up, it can be used again and again without having to set it up brand new each time. So succeeding launch costs would be less expensive than the first. This beamed propulsion system could also double as a transporter for heavier payloads throughout the solar system.

    I would see the interstellar missions as being completely government funded since one could not expect return-on-investment. And since it would take 30–50 years to set up the infrastructure, we would be dealing with future economic situations not the current situation. We would also be using the space technology of the time such as low-cost, reusable launchers and lunar telerobotic mining and metal manufacturing infrastructure.

    However, if the interstellar experts don’t spend the time now detailing how such an intermediate plan would look like then we won’t get onto the track of promoting the steps we need to take now to be prepared to launch at the earliest possible date.

    As for the the interstellar probe essentially being a rock, we launched Pioneer and Voyager craft some fourth years ago and we are still getting useful signals despite the craft not being designed to last that long.

    I have no problems with diversity of ideas unless the pursuit of less probable ideas results in more probable ideas not getting the attention that a first launch mission deserves. Fundamentally, we need to identify those concepts which are more likely to be launched first and then ensure that those get enough expert development time so that the first launch isn’t delayed. That’s all that I’m saying.

  9. Brandon Larson says:

    So, does anybody have an opinion on Woodward’s research?

  10. Brandon, I have not seen the experiments myself, and reading his 2001 paper (at

    I do believe that there is a lot going for Woodward’s work if the funding could be substantially increased for many more experiments. I have presented my comments as a comparison between Woodward’s and my approaches to a gravity modification technology, as I feel that would provide more avenues for investigation:

    1. “that purport to manipulate electromagnetic fields in ways intended to achieve propulsion by generating a force in one part of a system that is allegedly not cancelled by an equal and opposite force elsewhere in the system.”

    Agreed. Take a look at the momentum equation h/(lambda)=mv. Is not one side momentum and the other side a wave function? We have taken this equation for granted for so long that we miss this point that Woodward was making.

    2. “there is no credible evidence that localized electromagnetic fields can be directly converted into strong gravitational fields”

    We haven’t figured out the technology, and that is the only reason why this statement is true.

    3. “Electromagnetic fields couple to, and have as their sources, electric charge, not mass. Gravitational fields, on the other hand, have mass-energy as their source, not electric charge (and its currents) per se.”

    This is contemporary physics, and I disagree. Acceleration is present when Non Inertia Ni fields are present, whether gravitational, electromagnetic or mechanical. I develop and show that this is true in my book “An Introduction to Gravity Modification, Second Edition”, and a major portion of this was published in Physics Essays, September 2011 volume (titled Gravitational Acceleration Without Mass and Noninertia Fields).

    4. Woodward explains his results by way of mass fluctuations, interesting.

    I never would have thought of mass fluctuations. This has a very high degree of being the correct explanation for his experiments because h/(lambda)=mv. I take a different approach, I use Ni fields to explain forces.

    5. Mach’s principle. “inertial reaction forces are a consequence of the gravitational action of chiefly the most distant matter in the universe”

    This is important in physics, but I have never come to terms with Mach’s principle. My work suggests that even though gravity appears to be action at a distance, all acceleration effects are local.

    ‘t Hooft in a 2008 paper showed (using string theory) that the absence of matter does not guarantee flatness. Woodward has taken a different step, that fluctuating mass creates ‘non-flatness’.

    In my book/paper I show that separation vectors, the basis for general relativity, can be split into 2 parts, the familiar tensor portion and the source (or omega) part. If I were to fit Woodward’s work here I would say that Woodward is working on the omega part. However, all theorists, Eric Davis included work on the tensor part.

    I had suggested that Laithewaite’s work was on the omega part, too.

    6. “find a way to “convert” electromagnetic fields directly into gravitational/inertial fields“

    Ni fields do this.

    Hope this is helpful. Again let me stress that it is so important to further investigate Woodward’s experiments, because it opens up a lot of avenues, e.g. what would Woodward’s fluctuating mass imply about the Higgs (type?) boson?

  11. 2 points I missed, regarding (5) above,

    + I had shown that Laithwaite’s experiment showed that spinning-rotating masses create ‘non-flatness’ like Woodward’s fluctuating mases create ‘non-flatness’.

    + w.r.t ‘the absence of matter does not guarantee flatness’, I showed that independently of whether matter exists or not, g=(tau)c^2 was the equation that determined acceleration present in spacetime, in flat or non-flat spacetime.

    Can you see the emerging picture? How the omega versus the tensor parts provide a common ‘mechanism’ to pull together anomalies and known phenomena?

  12. John, it not about spare time or not, and I don’t who you are refering to when you say ” few dozen scientists is all that we have who are doing the organized heavy lifting in terms of serious interstellar designs”.

    The term “heavy lifting” tells me that these few dozen scientist are trying to conventional (chemical, ion & nuclear) propulsion on a grander scale. They are wasting their time and ours.

    If you do your financial/economic calculations you will find that this would cost upwards of $238,596 billion in today’s dollars at the very least. The real question is who is going to pay for this?

    Let me reword this, more horses pulling bigger buggies will not get us to China. You need to invent the sailing machine or the flying machine.

  13. David McCarroll says:

    “Heavy Lifting” as the last poster comments is a ridiculous notion for anything much beyond launching satellites. The original notion of rockets, albeit noble and remarkable for the achievements of our earliest astronauts, are basically an extension of the firecrackers that China invented around 2000 years ago. The sooner we admit to ourselves that the chemical rocket is a dead end technology and get on with alternatives, the quicker we will get somewhere.

    A second point — I have pondered the notion of “generation ships” for most of my adult life, and I see a fundamental “problem” if you like with this approach; if we can build a vessel that can sustain life indefinitely, why would you bother looking for another planet orbiting another star — you already have all you need for continued survival, and I find it hard to believe that the 100th generation on the vessel will still want to pursue the original objective.

    I also find it curious that no one brings up the “Valkyrie” studies that Charles Pellegrino has bubbling away in his spare time — okay, it is a theoretical study, but he and his collaborators have gone into pretty considerable detail regarding his ideas. Of course they rely upon large scale production of anti matter, which currently does not exist, but as Dr Robert Forward pointed out many years, it only doesn’t exist because we have never devoted any resources into doing so. (I am also sure it isn’t quite that simple!)

  14. David McCarroll, thanks for your comments.

    Your second point is a very valid & interesting, because a 100 generation ship to sustain life indefinitely would have to be the size of a city. Forbes recently published ‘5 Horrifying Facts You Didn’t Know About the Space Shuttle’…e-shuttle/

    that the cost of placing a mere 7 people into LEO at between $450 million and $1.2 billion. Imagine trying to put a 10,000 or 100,000 or 1,000,000 people into space with conventional technologies. Using Shuttle’s average costs, that costs would be $8,250 or $82,500 or $825,000 billion! If you remember a few years ago NASA had plans for a $5 billion spaceship that was cancelled because it was considered too ‘grandiose’. So what would launching a city be considered?

    My guess is that our planet Earth does not have even 10,000 billionaires, so who is going to fund generational ships?

    Regarding Charles Pellegrino, I looked him up ( and obviously a very fascinating and brilliant physicist, but unfortunately Project Orion, Valkyrie and the most recent Vasmir don’t meet rule 2.

  15. I just found this on An article ‘Rocket Scientists Say We’ll Never Reach the Stars’ stating the opinions of 2 professors, Paulo Lozano of MIT and Brice Cassenti of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Marcus Young, a researcher at the U.S. Air Force Research Lab’s Advanced Project Group

    Here is the link:

    Summary: “There are a lot of ideas that initially you say, ‘Hey, that might work,’” Young said. “But after a little research, you quickly find that it won’t.”

  16. So what happened Brandon? How did your meeting with Prof Woodward go? What was the feedback on my comments?

    I have started the LinkedIn group ‘Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification’ (…g_ugrp_ovr)

    It is the precursor to the Other 100 YSS. All are welcome.