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Eugene Podkletnov Physica C (1992)

Eugene Podkletnov Physica C (1992)

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Dr. Podkletnov's original 1992 paper
Dr. Podkletnov's original 1992 paper

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Physica C 203 (1992) 441-444North-Holland
PHYSICA x
A possibility of gravitational force shielding by bulk YBa2Cu307 _-xsuperconductor
E. Podkletnov and R. Nieminen
Tampere University of Technology, Institute ofMaterials Science, P.O. Box
589, SF-33101
Tampere, Finland
Received 9 September 1992Revised manuscript received I3 October 1992Shielding properties of single-phase dense bulk superconducting ceramics of YBa,Cu,O,_, against the gravitational force werestudied at temperatures below 77 K. A small non-conducting and non-magnetic sample weighing 5.48 g was placed over a levitat-ing superconducting disk and the loss of weight was measured with high precision using an electro-optical balance system. Thesample was found to lose from 0.05 to 0.3% of its weight, depending on the rotation speed of the superconducting disk. Partialloss of weight might be the result of a certain state of energy which exists inside the crystal structure of the superconductor at lowtemperatures. The unusual state of energy might have changed a regular interaction between electromagnetic, nuclear and gravi-tational forces inside a solid body and is responsible for the gravity shielding effect.
1. IntroductionHigh-temperature ceramic oxide superconductorsas well as conventional ones can be used as effectiveshields against electromagnetic fields at low temper-atures due to the Meissner effect. But physical phe-nomena inside metal superconductors and ceramicones might be entirely different, as well as the mech-anisms of superconductivity. It is well-known thatthe current carriers in both types of superconductorshave a charge of 2-. But the energy state in thestructure of ceramic superconductors seems to be ofa different nature, as compared to metallic ones. Theinternal state of energy of ceramic superconductorscan be influenced by several parameters forming acrystal lattice with a defined order.Various physical properties of ceramic supercon-ductors, such as thermal conductivity, lattice dis-tances, optical reflection etc. show abnormal changesnear the transition temperature. No overwhelmingtheory has yet been proposed to explain the mech-anism of superconductivity and the abnormal be-haviour of high-T, oxide ceramic materials at lowtemperatures.The aim of this study was initially to investigatethe shielding properties of dense y-based bulk su-perconductors against electromagnetic fields of var-ious frequencies and intensities in a wide range oftemperatures. But an unusual behaviour of the ce-ramic material observed during the first stage of thiswork initiated a separate set of experiments dealingwith the shielding of the gravitational force.2.
Experimental
Superconducting single-phase YBa,Cu@,_, com-pound was prepared in a form of a disk with a di-ameter of 145 mm and a thickness of
6
mm. Thepreparation procedure consisted of mixing the initialoxides followed by calcining the powder at 930°C inair, grinding, pressing the disk at 150 MPa and sin-tering it in oxygen at 930°C for 12 h with slow cool-ing down to room temperature.The disk was placed over a toroidal solenoid andkept at a temperature below 77 K using liquid he-lium and its vapours. The disk was usually first sub-merged into liquid helium and kept there for severalminutes, then the power was connected to the to-roidal solenoid and the disk raised over the surfaceof the helium. This massive disk maintained its tem-perature below 60 K for about 2.5 min.
0921-4534/92/%05.00 0 1992 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. All rights reserved.
 
442
E. Podkletnov, R. Nieminen /Gravity shielding by bulk YBCO
Two coils with rotating magnetic fields, similar tothose used in regular electric motors, were placed onboth sides of the disk, as shown in fig. 1. The disklevitated above the toroidal magnet and was able torotate around its central axis at a variable speed. Thefrequency of the electromagnetic field in all three so-lenoids was varied from 50 to 1O6 Hz. A sample madeof silicon dioxide hanging on a thread was placed overthe disk at a distance of about 15 mm from it, andwas separated from the He vapours by a thin trans-parent plastic foil. The weight of the sample wasmeasured with high precision using an electro-opti-cal comparing balance.The phase and crystal structure of the supercon-ductor were studied by X-ray diffraction analysis(XRD) and under a scanning electron microscope(SEM). The electrical resistivity of the supercon-ductor was measured by the four-probe method us-ing an AC current and gold contacts.3.
Results
As determined by XRD-analysis, the sintered diskwas pure single-phase orthorhombic 123-compound
////
I
I
plastic thread
I
electronic balance
I
I
II
I
plastic film2 magnets with/ rotating fieldsupportingtoroidalmagnet-liquid
HeFig. 1. Schematic diagram of the installation for the measure-ments of shielding properties of the YBa,Cu@_,bulk ceramics.
with random orientation and lattice parameters:~~0.381 nm,
bc0.385
nm, ~~1.165 nm. SEM in-vestigations showed that the material was extremelydense with no open porosity and consisted of smallgrains with pure grain boundaries free from phasesegregation.The transition temperature
T,
measured from theresistive transition was 92 IS with a width of 0.7 K.The superconducting ceramic disk revealed a weakbut clearly detectable shielding effect against thegravitational force at the temperatures from 20 to 70K. The sample with the initial weight of 5.47834 gwas found to loose about 0.05% of its weight whenplaced over the levitating disk without any rotation.When the rotation speed of the disk increased, theweight of the sample became unstable and gave fluc-tuations from - 2.5 to + 5.4% of the initial value.At certain speeds of rotation and at certain fre-quencies of electromagnetic field in the rotationmagnets the weight of the sample stabilized and de-creased by 0.3%. The readings in the stable regionswere recorded several timeswith goodreproducibility.The levitating superconducting disk was found torise by up to 7 mm when its rotation moment in-creased. Test measurements without the supercon-ducting shielding disk, but with all operating sole-noids connected to the power supply, had no effecton the weight of the sample.Every precaution was taken to prevent the influ-ence of static electricity and air flow on the sampleor the supporting thread. Also, the electro-opticalbalance was shielded from the possible influence ofelectromagnetic fields.4.
Discussion
There exist several types of levitation which canbe explained by different physical phenomena. Freeflotation of the objects can be caused by aerodyn-amic, acoustic, and optical forces, and can also begenerated by electrostatic or magnetic fields or byradio-frequency radiation, as analyzed in detail inref. [2],In the present work, a typical superconducting lev-itation due to the Meissner effect is used to lift a su-perconducting disk by an alternating electromag-
 
E. Podkletnov. R. Nieminen /Gravity shielding by bulk YBCO 443
netic field. The rotating magnetic field at the positionof the hanging sample generates an AC field whichis partly shielded by the sample. Therefore, part ofthe AC magnetic field is expelled from the sample.Since the AC field decreases with increasing height,the expulsion results in a levitation force. Magneticlevitation counteracts the gravitational force and de-creases the weight of the sample. This explanationcan be given for the case when the superconductingdisk is rotated by the magnetic field. But it becomesrather difficult to explain the loss of weight when thefield is switched off and the disk is still rotating, andthe weight of the sample remains decreased till therotation speed of the disk decreases.Another possible explanation of the observed phe-nomenon could be the levitation of the sample in theradio-frequency (RF) field generated by the sole-noids on both sides of the superconducting disk. TheRF rotating field penetrates a specimen to a certainskin depth and induces small currents in the surfaceof the sample. The RF field is then partly screenedfrom the interior and the sample is expelled from theRF field. This interpretation also seems quite rea-sonable because the maximum loss of weight of thesample was observed only at high frequencies of themagnetic field up to lo6 Hz. Still, the explanation isnot adequate for the conditions of the experimentwhen 50 Hz electric current was used and also whenthe rotation solenoids were off and the supercon-ducting disk was immobile.Partial acoustic levitation, usually caused by a high-intensity ultrasonic field with a frequency of 20 to 40kHz, seems hardly probable in the present case, as nospecial transducers generating standing waves wereapplied and the intensity of ultrasonic radiation fromthe solenoids was relatively low.The interaction of an external magnetic field witha bulk ceramic superconductor is defined by severalparameters, and the main ones are: the temperature,the coherence length, the flux pinning, the frequencyand the force of the field, and the penetration depth.All these factors are interrelated in a complex way.It is known that the coherence length for Y-Ba-Cu-0 at 77 K in a zero field is much smaller than thepenetration length
[
11, but these parameters dependon the temperature
[
3-51 and can change consid-erably under certain conditions.The lifting force in a superconductor levitating overa permanent magnet was studied by several authors
[
6-8
1,
but the interaction of the ceramic supercon-ductor with the alternating field was not studied indetail.Intergrain boundaries were always regarded onlyas obstacles for the current, and it is known that themagnetic field penetrates inside a superconductormainly along the grain boundaries. According to ourexperience, this penetrating field interacts with thesuperconducting grain boundaries in such a way thatits further propagation inside the material is stillpossible along the grain boundaries but the intensityof the field is greatly reduced.When the wavelengths of the external magneticfields having various directions become comparableto the coherence length and to the interplane dis-tances, they interact with the whole atomic structureinside the superconductor. The rotation of the su-perconducting body moves the grains and grainboundaries in the field, causing various disturbancesof the magnetic fields because of the hysteresis effectThese disturbances can also be influenced by the greatnumber of Josephson junctions which exist inside thebulk superconducting disk and are responsible forthe corresponding effects.These disturbances change the standard interac-tion of magnetic, nuclear and gravitational fields in-side a solid body, and the superconductor might ob-tain its own new gravitational momentum whichyields a small gravitation shielding effect. It is wellknown that any physical body rotating around itsvertical axis loses a part of its weight. Under certainconditions, the rotation of magnetic fields around thebody might have a similar effect. In the present workthe superconducting disk has its own rotation mo-mentum and current carriers with the charge of mi-nus two, and is moving in a high-frequency magneticfield. It might be possible that such a system mod-ifies the magnetic field in such a way that it coun-teracts the gravitational force.5.
Conclusion
A bulk sintered ceramic disk of YBa2CuJ0,_-x re-veals a small shielding effect against the gravita-tional force at temperatures below 60 K. This effectincreases when the disk is rotated around its central

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