Project Title

Biefeld-Brown Levitator: Theoretical and Experimental Study

Major

Physics

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Marco Ciocca

Mentor Department

Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

In 1922, Dr. Thomas Townsend Brown discovered that there was a net force (thrust) that was exerted in a Coolidge X-Ray Tube when a high voltage (minimum 30 KV to more than 120 KV) was applied. Along with his mentor, Dr. Paul Alfred Biefeld, Brown elaborated on the effect, which now became called as the Biefeld-Brown Effect. However, till today, there are theoretical discrepancies in regards to which physical principles are responsible for the self-propulsive effect of the device, which allows levitation to be achieved without the need of any moving parts. By understanding the past and current theoretical and experimental standpoints of the Biefeld-Brown effect, a study is done to find the physical principle behind the effect that will serve to invent a novel device that will surpass modern ionocraft propulsion. The experimental approach consists of a designed lightweight ioncraft made of balsa wood, aluminium foil, thin cooper wire and a built iondriver, and the theoretical aspect investigates the relationship of the electric field created by asymmetric capacitors and its medium. The combination of both experimental and theoretical facets of this research provide us with the quintessential ioncraft.

Presentation format

Poster

Poster Number

78

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Biefeld-Brown Levitator: Theoretical and Experimental Study

In 1922, Dr. Thomas Townsend Brown discovered that there was a net force (thrust) that was exerted in a Coolidge X-Ray Tube when a high voltage (minimum 30 KV to more than 120 KV) was applied. Along with his mentor, Dr. Paul Alfred Biefeld, Brown elaborated on the effect, which now became called as the Biefeld-Brown Effect. However, till today, there are theoretical discrepancies in regards to which physical principles are responsible for the self-propulsive effect of the device, which allows levitation to be achieved without the need of any moving parts. By understanding the past and current theoretical and experimental standpoints of the Biefeld-Brown effect, a study is done to find the physical principle behind the effect that will serve to invent a novel device that will surpass modern ionocraft propulsion. The experimental approach consists of a designed lightweight ioncraft made of balsa wood, aluminium foil, thin cooper wire and a built iondriver, and the theoretical aspect investigates the relationship of the electric field created by asymmetric capacitors and its medium. The combination of both experimental and theoretical facets of this research provide us with the quintessential ioncraft.