Thomas Townsend Brown experimented with many different types of so-called gravitators during his work on electrogravitics. A gravitator is defined as at least two metal plates separated by a dielectric, with a high voltage applied therebetween. In this sense, the definition is almost that of a normal capacitor, but the empirical effects are much different. Brown's gravitators were either cellular or homogeneous. They were either many many small gravitators put into one box and wired in series, or simply a chunk of high dielectric constant material with electrodes at either end.
Brown used in one instance lead foil and cellulose acetate for a cellular capacitor, but made 10,000 layers in his gravitator. The whole array weighed 10kg and when charged to 50 kilovolts experienced a force of 25,000 dynes in the direction of negative to positive. It was a similar model which he used to power a small model ship and amaze visitors by moving it with no apparent propulsive means. His homogenous gravitators tended to be slabs of either bakelite litharge (lead dioxide powder mixed with plastic and set) or the legendary Koolau basalt from Hawaii, used later in his experiments with petroelectricity.
My attempt is neither one nor the other. As with my Trouton-Noble experiment, I have used Pavisolo earthenware tiles to form the dielectric cells of my gravitator. They measure 7cm x 7cm x 0.5cm. The gravitator will have six such cells, and thus six electrode plates. I am also building two versions - one wired in parallel (positive-negative-positive-negative style), and one wired in series. The voltages used will be 175, 88 and 44 kilovolts. Current can, as usual, never exceed 10uA, due to the limitations of my PSU.
I decided to bond the cells together using a type of household plaster. This was applied to only the plate area itself, not the edges of the dielctric. This ensures that the only contact areas are electrified ones. Also, there will be a little overlap, preventing bare metal touching air and causing ionisation, except for on the tabs where they can ontribute virtually nothing to any motion caused. The plaster I used is as below:
The parallel cells are below:
...And the serial cells:
In both cases, the gravitators were set up in the same support. In the parallel experiment, the tabs were commoned and linked to the PSU. In series, only the end plates were linked to the high voltage:
The results occurred in a rather unexpected way, which prevents me from simply tabulating them. The results were very significant.
In the parallel experiment, nothing happened when the power was applied, and I at first thought it was a failure. I then tried switching the power on and off, to try to get the whole mass to swing like a pendulum. After about 60 switchings (to build momentum), the whole parallel array swung from left to right and back again on its support, with a period of about 1.1 seconds, and a swing amplitude of about 4cm either side of the resting point.
This is very exciting, because the device was completely silent - practically no ionisation was occurring as the device had all electrodes either enclosed or insulated around the edges (I used sellotape).
The serial version performed in the same manner, except there was zero ionisation due to everything being enclosed or taped. The main difference was that the gravitator needed just over 100 power on-off cycles to build up the same swing as the parallel version. I put this down to longer charging time due to no contact with active electrodes in between the layers.
Voltage was important - the maximum voltage version required roughly half as much time as the least voltage version to swing up to maximum (60 seconds vs 110 seconds on parallel and 85 seconds vs 150 seconds serial). The total swing amplitude was less at lower voltages, but only very little, perhaps 2mm from greatest to least.
This is very important as an experiment because it confirms that the thrust generated in accordance with Biefeld-Brown theory is not caused by air movement. Though the effect took a long time to start up, and was limited, this paves the way for better dielectrics, faster swing times and better gravitators. The technology will be equally well applied elsewhere. A good success!