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Davis' Advanced Propulsion Paper Describes

From: J. Maynard Gelinas <j.maynard.gelinas.nul>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2013 15:21:41 +0800
Archived: Thu, 30 May 2013 15:21:58 -0400
Subject: Davis' Advanced Propulsion Paper Describes

So I've been reading Dr. Davis' actual papers. He has an
advanced propulsion overview available which wasapparently
done for the Air Force. See here:


Therein he begins with a list of prosaic propulsion concepts and
possible timeframes to achieve. We're talking stuff like SSTO
chemical rocketry, nuclear heat accelerated exhaust, laser /
maser energy transfer, railgun, space elevator, and even Bussard
style fusion. Neat, but not warp drive.

Then, in section 4.2.1, he moves on to discussing 'vacuum
engineering' to achieve warp drive and traversable wormholes.
Really speculative, but it's the fun stuff I wanted to read.
However, before going there, he gives the most cogent
explanation of Puthoff's PV-GR ideas I've seen anywhere. I mean,
as a lay person, trying to dig through Puthoff's papers and
grasp any meaning whatsoever is like trying to eat a hot fudge
sundae with chopsticks.

Here are Puthoff's papers for those on List who can penetrate
through the obtuse language and maths. Waaaay beyond me.




And please note that skeptics deride this stuff as pure nuttery:


"The nation's number two drumbeater for [Zero-Point-Energy] is
none other than Harold Puthoff, who runs a think tank in Austin,
Texas, where efforts to tap ZPE have been underway for years. In
December 1997, to its shame, Scientific American ran an article
praising Puthoff for his efforts."

Bearden then insults Puthoff's religious views (or former
religiousviews - whatever), in a personal attack that's
entirely beside the point yet nasty to the core. These guys
really don't like Puthoff. But still, it's instructive to
recognize that the general establishment view is that these
ideas by Puthoff violate fundamental principles of physics -
energy conservation for one - and therefore cannot be valid.
Always walk into speculative quicksand with a rope tied around
your waist to pull back onto firm ground when you sink too far.

Anyway, this is what Davis says about Puthoff's work in section
4.2.1 of that paper:

Long Quote:

"The role of virtual particle pairs in determining the =CE=B50 (=C2=B50)
of the vacuum is analogous to that of atoms/molecules in
determining the relative permittivity =CE=B5 (and =C2=B5) of a
dielectric material. We know that the absorption/re-emission of
photons by atoms/molecules in a transparent medium (note: there
are no strongly absorbing resonances, so the atoms/molecules
remain in their excited states for a very short time before re-
emitting photons) is responsible for the refractive index of the
medium, which results in the reduction of the speed of light for
photons propagating through the medium. This absorption/re-
emission process is also known in physics as a scattering
process. We know from experiment that a change in the medium
leads to a change in =CE=B5 (=C2=B5), thus resulting in a change of the
refractive index. The key point arising from this analogy is
that a modification of the vacuum produces a change in =CE=B50 (=C2=B50)
resulting in a subsequent change in c, and hence, a
corresponding change in the vacuum refraction index.

Scharnhorst (1990) and Latorre et al. (1995) have since proved
that the suppression of light scattering by virtual particle
pairs (a.k.a. coherent light-by-light scattering) in the vacuum
causes an increase in the speed of light accompanied by a
decrease in the vacuum refraction index. This very unique effect
is accomplished in a Casimir Effect capacitor cavity (or
waveguide) whereby the vacuum quantum field fluctuations (a.k.a.
zero-point fluctuations or ZPF) inside have been modified
(becoming anisotropic and non-translational invariant) to
satisfy the electromagnetic boundary conditions imposed by the
presence of the capacitor plates (or waveguide walls). The
principal result of this modification is the removal of the
electromagnetic zero-point energy (ZPE) due to the suppression
of vacuum ZPE modes with wavelengths longer than the
cavity/waveguide cutoff (=CE=BB0 =3D 2d, where d =3D plate separation).
This removal of free space vacuum ZPE modes suppresses the
scattering of light by virtual particle pairs, thus producing
the speed of light increase (and corresponding decrease in the
vacuum refraction index). We know from standard optical physics
and quantum electrodynamics (QED) that the optical phase and
group velocities can exceed c under certain physical conditions,
but dispersion always ensures that the signal velocity is =E2=89=A4 c.
But recent QED calculations (Scharnhorst, 1990; Latorre et al.,
1995) have proved that in the Casimir Effect system, the
dispersive effects are much weaker still than those associated
with the increase in c so that the phase, group and signal
velocities will therefore all increase by the same amount. Note
that, in general, no dispersion shows up in all of the modified
vacuum effects examined by investigators.

The polarizable-vacuum representation of general relativity
(a.k.a. PV-GR) treats the vacuum as a polarizable medium of
variable refractive index (Puthoff, 1999, 2002a, b; Puthoff et
al., 2002). The PVGR approach treats spacetime metric changes in
terms of equivalent changes in the vacuum permittivity and
permeability constants (=CE=B50 and =C2=B50), essentially along the
lines of the "TH=CE=B5=C2=B5" methodology used in comparative
studies of alternative metric theories of gravity (reviewed by
Davis, 2004). Such an approach, relying as it does on parameters
familiar to engineers, can be considered a "metric
engineering" approach. Maxwell's equations in curved space
are treated in the isomorphism of a polarizable medium of
variable refractive index in flat space (Volkov et al., 1971);
the bending of a light ray near a massive body is modeled as due
to an induced spatial variation in the refractive index of the
vacuum near the body; the reduction in the velocity of light in
a gravitational potential is represented by an effective
increase in the refractive index of the vacuum, and so forth.
This optical-engineering approach has been shown to be quite
general (de Felice, 1971; Evans et al., 1996a, b).

As recently elaborated by Puthoff (1999, 2002a, b; Puthoff et
al., 2002) the PV-GR approach, which was first introduced by
Wilson (1921) and then developed by Dicke (1957, 1961), can be
carried out in a self-consistent way so as to reproduce to
appropriate order both the equations of general relativity and
the match to the standard astrophysics weak-field experimental
(PPN parameters and other) tests of those equations while posing
testable modifications for strong-field conditions. It is in
application that the PVGR approach demonstrates its intuitive
appeal and provides additional insight into what is meant by a
curved spacetime metric.

Specifically, the PV-GR approach treats such measures as the
speed of light, the length of rulers (atomic bond lengths), the
frequency of clocks, particle masses, and so forth, in terms of
a variable vacuum dielectric constant K in which the vacuum
permittivity =CE=B50 transforms as =CE=B5 0=E2=86=92 K=CE=B5 0 and the=
permeability transforms as =C2=B50=E2=86=92 K=C2=B50 (see also Rucker,=
In a planetary or solar gravitational potential K =3D exp(2GM/rc2)
> 1 (M is a local mass distribution, r is the radial distance
from the center of M) while K =3D 1 in "empty" or free asymptotic
space (Puthoff, 1999, 2002a, b; Puthoff et al., 2002). In the
former case, the speed of light is reduced, light emitted from
an atom is redshifted as compared with a remote static atom
(where K =3D 1), clocks run slower, objects/rulers shrink, etc.

Davis (2004) reports that a small number of K < 1 solutions were
developed that describe FTL motion [i.e., c is increased, or the
vacuum refraction index < 1, when the modified vacuum has a
lower energy density] which is generated by some distributed
negative energy density such that the total energy density of
the system as seen by remote observes is approximately zero.
These solutions are similar in function to that of a traversable
wormhole (see the next Section) or warp drive effect
(Alcubierre, 1994), which both arose from Einstein's General
Relativity Theory and are both generated by distributed negative
energy density in spacetime. On this basis, we therefore offer
the following conjecture:=C2=89 An ETO propulsion concept can be
envisioned whereby an aerospace vehicle uses specially
engineered energy fields to modify the local gravity field (via
modifying the vacuum index of refraction) so that the craft can
be lifted from the Earth's surface and propelled up to orbit.
We can exploit this mechanism to propel an aerospace vehicle
into and around space without having to necessarily engage any
FTL motion. A dedicated research program will be necessary to
develop and mature this propulsion concept."

{End Quote}

OK. These are some _extremely strange_ claims. And that's just a
small selection of that section in the paper, Davis goes on to
extend this concept to speculative warp drive and flat opening
traversable wormhole generation. My head spins. But I'll try to
untangle what he says here as best a lay person might.

It starts with refraction. Anyone who took entry level physics
would have shined a laser beam from air into water and watched
the beam bend as it changed mediums. That's an example of
refraction. Here's wikipedia to the rescue:


As Davis notes, this is due tomolecularabsorptionand
reemission of photons changing the group velocity of light while
shifting from one medium to the next; also known as scattering.
That is, the velocity of light in a vacuum is limited to c (in
ordinary physics). But through atransparentmedium of a given
density, it will slow down proportionally to a known limit.
That's why refracted light bends as it transitions to a new
transparant medium.

Feynman gives perhaps the most entertaining and informative
lecture on light reflection and refraction available on the
Internet. He speaks in terms that are very easy for the
layperson to understand, yet seems to delve pretty deeply into
the subject. A real fun watch.

"Corpuscles of Light" http://vega.org.uk/video/programme/45

OK, so the angle at which light deflects while changing mediums
is called the Refractive Index, which changes in proportion to
the density of the medium. So a flat plate glass sheet has one
refractive index, wateranother, etc.

Anyway, that's background entry level stuff, and for Davis it's
assumed that the reader understands this.

He then moves on to Puthoff's speculative work. The vacuum
background is assumed to be made up of a sea of virtual
particle-antiparticle instantiations andannihilationsthat
spring to life and disappear randomly within exceptionally short
time-spans, but which on average result in the lowest possible
energy state for a given volume. See here:


According to an establishment view, one can't extract energy
from the vacuum because it's already at the lowest possible
energy state. Except for theCasimireffect, which has already
been tested in the lab and known to be real. See here:


Here's Casimir's classic paper on the subject:


It was predicted back in 1948 byHendrikCasimir. In simple
lay terms, when two conducting plates are placed very close
together - at nanometer scales - the plates will kinetically
attract. Where does that energy come from? I've asked many
physicists this question and they all wave their hands saying
something like, "Well, it's an interesting curiosity, but you
can't use the energy for anything useful. Forget it."

One of the reasons for discounting the effect as relevant for
engineering is because if one could extract useful energy from
the vacuum, it would immediately imply a violation of the 2nd
Law of Thermodynamics. As in: an energy conservation violation.
And nobody's ever seen that before. So the assumption is that
this curiosity occurs at such small scales, with such small
energies, and since the effect of conductive plate attraction
suggests nomechanicalmeans of generating useful work (one
needs to impart energy to pull the plates back apart), how could
it be possible to convert that effect into an energy extractive
work cycle? So, forget it kid; exploring the Casimir effect will
go nowhere.

Au Contraire! Sez Puthoff, Davis, et all.

Let's look at the problem through the metaphorical lens of
refraction. Suppose these virtual particle-antiparticle
annihilationscould be viewed as a medium through which light
propagates. The scattering effect of these virtual particles in
a vacuum thus represents a refractive index for c. Well, what if
it were possible to change the state of this vacuum medium?
Wouldn't that change the speed of c in a vacuum, perhaps even
increase it beyond the established speed limit?

Whoa. I can just see traditional physicists thrashing around and
grasping their chests in apoplectic sputtering. That has GOT TO
BE WRONG. And let's be honest here, the consensus scientific
view is probably right. But that doesn't mean Davis isn't
entertaining, and that the idea isn't fun to think about.

Davis goes further in that quote. He proposes a way to test this
idea. He says, 'hey, why not run light through a Casimir gap as
a waveguide and see if it comes out the other end faster than
the expected value of c?' Which gets back to the notion of a
refractive index. From my limited understanding, I think what
he's saying is that if one did this, the proposed result should
be light reacting with a NEGATIVE REFRACTIVE INDEX. Which is
very interesting. Because there have recently been discovered
and manufactured certain atomic scale material arrays which
ALREADY SHOW THIS EFFECT. They're called 'metamaterials'. See:


And note that metamaterials are already being used to do nifty
things like bend light around objects in order tocamouflage
their existence; an invisibility cloak, for example. It gets a
whole lot weirder if you dig into the metamaterial literature.
And this stuff is _definitely_real_. And notice in that
wikipedia page a microscopic photo of one metamaterial. What
does it look like? An array of nanometer scale TUBES - just like
Davis' proposed 'Casimir waveguides.' Only the traditional
science folks describe it as an effect of sub-wave-length EM
waveguides having an unexpected effect. Still, what a strange

Davis then continues on with a discussion of Puthoff's attempt
to normalize his idea withEinstein's General Theory of
Relativity, which is really a way to topologically map the idea
using a distorted coordinate system in relation to gravitational
effects and shifting reference frames. Another problem my little
layperson's brain finds difficult to grasp in detail. However,
note Davis' comparison of Puthoff's proposed effect to
gravitational lensing. Oh my. That's interesting.

BUT, in my little lay mind, I immediately associated this stuff
with Smolyaninov's suggestion of using metamaterials with their
negative refractive index to model potential warp drive effects.
See here:



"Electromagnetic metamaterials are capable of emulating many
exotic space-time geometries, such as black holes, rotating
cosmic strings, and the big bang singularity. Here we present a
metamaterial-based model of the Alcubierre warp drive, and study
its limitations due to available range of material parameters.
It appears that the material parameter range introduces strong
limitations on the achievable "warp speed", so that ordinary
magnetoelectric materials cannot be used. On the other hand,
newly developed "perfect" bi-anisotropic non-reciprocal
magnetoelectric metamaterials should be capable of emulating the
physics of warp drive gradually accelerating up to 1/4c."

If you read the MIT Tech Review lay article on this paper,
you'll find the assertion that this test model (it's not the
real thing, just a model)approachsuggests that warp drive
would be limited to .25c.


But look at figure 3 in the actual paper. See those red lines
that set a boundary from the scattering of photons in the model?
That represents .25c, the limit Smolyaninov suggests is possible
to MODEL WITH THE EXPERIMENT. From my little lay brain, I don't
think he's really saying .25c is the potential limit of Warp
Drive. I THINK he's saying that his model can't generate useful
results beyond .25c. Beyond that boundary, you get garbage data.
Because available metamaterials won't test farther than that
threshold. Anyway, it's just a model. And maybe I

Smolyaninov doesn't cite Puthoff (or Davis, for that matter),
but it seemed to me as though there appeared a relationship
between these two ideas. Though, again, that's coming from a lay
perspective that may by ignorance draw associations where there
are none.

But let's look at this from anotherperspective. James
Woodward, of California State, and Harold White of NASA are both
trying to experimentally look for a warp drive effect. Here's a
lecture by James Woodward where he describes his Mach Effect
idea, and then shows photographs of his bench experiment as well
graphs from data collection. Still, he's just using a scale to
measure the effect, and he has problems blowing out capacitors
during experimental runs. So, it's an ambiguous result so far,
but he claims he's seeing something. Nifty video with terrible
audio. Sorry about that.


Now look at his bench experiment. What is he using to generate
the effect? He says he's taking very large capacitors rated to
high voltage potentials and then running a charge-discharge
cycle at high frequency. If I understand Woodward correctly,
it's a pressure change effect. Something Dobyns discusses in
detail in this video as well. Though I have some difficulty in
understanding how Dobyn's explanation of Woodward's approach is
born out by what I see in the video. I should start digging
through Woodward's papers, I guess.


The electro-gravitics and lifter guys, who have bet the farm on
Biefeld-Brown, simply charge up to a high voltage potential.
They don't run a charge-discharge cycle. And interestingly, if
you look at the entirety of Davis' SSE video (the one where he
claimed to have used UFO data as part of the NASA BPP research),
Davis discusses work done with Biefeld-Brown that indicated this
is a dead end. He said (somewhat derisively), "It's not even ion
wind, it's neutral particle wind."

Davis video set to the approximate time for that statement:


General info in Biefeld-Brown:


Anyway, let's compare that to Harold White's paper at NASA to


White is using some kind of ring or torus with capacitors, or
perhaps designed as a series of pancake layers of conducting and
nonconducting material to hold charge. I don't know. The guy
won't say in the paper, and the reason he says he won't say is
because of IP concerns at NASA.

(Which - as a discussion tangent - is interesting to the Marc
Millis story with NASA BPP, if only because when Millis went and
met with Joe Firmage and other UFO guys back in '99, NASA opened
up an internal investigation into the matter; ostensibly over IP
concerns. So White ain't talking details, and I wonder - I
speculate - if the wholebrouhahawith Millis back then might
have something to do with that.)

Anyway, back to White's approach. There's some kind of
capacitor-like way to store charge in the shape of a ring or
donut. He doesn't specify if he plans to charge-discharge the
unit in a cycle. Basically, we know nothing about his
contraption except a pretty picture. But he DOES specify the
detector. Unlike Woodward, who uses a scale, White is going to
use interferometry with a HeNe laser, beam splitter, and
mirrors. Anyone who's done hobby level bench holography will
immediatelyrecognize this set up.

The beam is split, and a detection beam goes through the field
generating ring, then a mirror bounces it to a detector. A
reference beam goes straight to the detector. By comparing a
presumed change in the interference pattern between when the
thing is turned on and when it's off should show whether an
effect exists. AND, in the paper he had a figure of what he
believes that change should look like. The interferometry
approach should be a whole lot more sensitive than a scale, I

But - speculating - I'm going to guess that Woodward's and
White's approach to generating an effect is very similar. I'm
also going to guess that the reason White has chosen a torus is
because if you look at the Alcubierre paper, he proposes a
generator ring wrapped around the center of a ship. And I
_guess_ White wants to test not just an effect, but a general
configuration that might be deployable. Maybe?!?! I dunno.

I asked Sarfatti about the connection between Davis' paper and
Smolyaninov's metamaterial approach. Further, I was wondering
how Puthoff's supposed dynamic manipulation of the vacuum might
relate to changes in metamaterial configuration - changing
shape, unit size of the array, etc. But... no answer. I don't
know if this is because that crowd is annoyed with me for the
Davis stories, or because it's either too stupid or too obvious
to warrant a reply, or if it's an interesting insight and he
wouldn't speak to it for IP reasons. Or maybe the guy is just
busy. I'm flying blind here, so if a real physicist wants to
answer, I'd love the perspective of a professional.


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