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    Posted July 26, 2014 by

    Research Group Gravlet is Crowdsourcing a Hovercraft


    An enterprising band of physicists and designers is about to launch an IndieGoGo campaign for research and experimentation to develop a product sci-fi fans and futurists have been eagerly awaiting for decades: an antigravity engine. Gravlet is a research group based in Bulgaria and the UK that is focused exclusively on the theoretical and experimental study of gravity. The group aspires to build a machine that can simulate gravitational effects. The invention, they say, would convert electricity into a driving force without the use of conventional fuels. If this has you picturing hovercrafts and UFOs, you aren’t far off the mark. But is this technology even possible?


    Gravity has been a problematic topic in the field of physics since roughly 1916, when Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity. General relativity describes gravity as a geometric property of spacetime, and comes with lots of fancy math to back up the claim. Einstein’s theory of curved spacetime, despite a few persistent sticky wickets, remains the currently accepted theory of the gravitational force today. But Nikola Tesla, inventor of the AC current induction motor, probable genius and popularly renowned mad scientist, famously rejected Einstein’s theory of relativity, and claimed to have a dynamic theory of gravity of his own. The idea, apparently, was never put to paper. But many scientists are revisiting previously dismissed plans from Tesla. And this is not the first Tesla reboot to go to the masses for funding.


    The researchers at Gravlet, expanding on the work of Koen J. van Vlaenderen and Alexander Tomlin, are working to develop a theory that might be close to what Tesla had in mind: a model of gravity that fits in with classical electrodynamics. The idea, in a nutshell, starts with Maxwell’s equations, which describe the behavior of electromagnetic waves. The equations point out a foundational concept of electrodynamics: electrical fields generate magnetic fields, magnetic fields generate electrical fields, and energy travels through this oscillation. The researchers at Gravlet are expanding a theory that suggests adding a third component to Maxwell’s picture, called scalar field S, corresponding to the force of gravity.


    The Gravlet team, founded by engineer and physicist Pavel Tashev, wants to harness the power of scalar field S to create an antigravity engine, which would be powered by electricity, involve no other source of fuel, and be ecologically sound, since it wouldn’t result in any emissions. The project is raising funds to continue theoretical work and begin conducting experiments to determine if this technology is viable. The researchers hope these experiments will culminate in building a basic engine, which is already designed, at least on the outside, and appears on the group’s website like a sleek, miniature flying saucer. The group purports that the engine would be suitable for use in “different devices and vehicles.” Hoverboard, anyone?


    Whatever these guys are up to, it looks like it’s worth keeping tabs on. Check out their IndieGoGo page here.

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