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Indiana Inventor Granted US Patent for Anti-Gravity-Powered Spaceship

.: The USPTO has granted Boris Volfson, an inventor in Huntington IN, US Patent 6,960,975: Space vehicle propelled by the pressure of inflationary vacuum state. According to National Geographic News, the patent is a design for an antigravity space vehicle:

Volfson’s craft is theoretically powered by a superconductor shield that changes the space-time continuum in such a way that it defies gravity. The design effectively creates a perpetual-motion machine, which physicists consider an impossible device.

The “invention” defies the laws of physics (you cannot change the laws of physics, laws of physics, laws of physics). Robert Park tracks scientifically absurd patents for the American Physical Society. Excerpt from an article in 10 November 2005 Nature, discussed in Physics Forums:

This is not the first such patent to be granted, but it shows that patent examiners are being duped by false science, says physicist Robert Park, watchdog of junk science at the American Physical Society in Washington DC. Park tracks US patents on impossible inventions. “The patent office is in deep trouble,” he says.

“If something doesn’t work, it is rejected,” insists Alan Cohan, an adviser at the patent office’s Inventors Assistance Center in Alexandria, Virginia. And when something does slip through, he says, the consequences are not significant: “It doesn’t cause any problems because the patent is useless.”

But Park argues that patenting devices that so blatantly go against scientific understanding could give them undeserved respectability, and undermine the patent office’s reputation. “When a patent is awarded for an idea that doesn’t work, the door is opened for sham.”

Patent 6,960,975 was granted on 1 November to Boris Volfson of Huntington, Indiana. It describes a space vehicle propelled by a superconducting shield, which alters the curvature of space-time outside the craft in a way that counteracts gravity. The device builds on a claim by the Russian physicist Eugene Podkletnov that superconductors can shield the effects of gravity. NASA was at one stage investigating the idea, but it has become almost as notorious as cold fusion as an example of fringe science.

On his own site, the inventor notes:

This proposal is for the patented inflationary vacuum spaceship. The implementation of this proposal would take years and billions of dollars. All new spaceships cost billions to develop. However, it would be cheap, quick and easy to build an orange-sized, electrically-powered “breadboard” device of my patent. The device could be gently placed, with the shuttle’s mechanical arm, on the shadow side of the next space shuttle, fired up, and observed whether it moves comparatively to the shuttle.

More details about the Inflationary Vacuum Spaceship are available.

6 Responses to “Indiana Inventor Granted US Patent for Anti-Gravity-Powered Spaceship”

  1. Brad Says:

    One would think that a name like Boris Volfson must be contrived…..that perhaps some wit in Huntington has been indulging in a bit too much of B.C.’s finest export.

    A quick look at his (her? it’s?) website ( doesn’t convince me otherwise……

  2. James Says:

    In response to Brad, the U.S. Patent Office does not grant inventors patents, with fictitious names.

  3. Tim Says:

    In response to James, the U.S. patent office does not grant patents for devices, that do not work.

    Oh, wait a minute… Incoming… YES! Yes they do! They DO grant patents for things that don’t work.

    And, how would they know it’s a fictitious name anyway?

  4. james Says:

    Before we jump to conclusions and make judgements let us consider a few points. first-apparently this patent series is the result of an accumulation of research and efforts over an extended period of time—not something dreamed up in a drunken stupor a few weeks ago.
    Secondly–i dont know about you but i am not exactly an expert in theoretical physics–
    some working in consultation with the patent office are—mabye they are slightly more qualified to judge the efficacy of this material than you and I–lol. after all those patent geeks cant know too much– one of the “dumbest” men who ever lived was once a patent clerk—his name was Einstein. Lastly, the man is not asking for your life savings in a ponzi con. He is offering his patents for legitimate research and developement. we live in a society that will spend millions to study the mating habits of owls, etc. surely we can spare some change to help this man research his ideas–we have little to lose and a universe to gain. one more thing for those of you who worship at the altar of cynicism—-I thought science was all about research and trial and error! Unless we fear success we have nothing to lose.

  5. randy Says:

    james: fair enough, good points. Certainly I did not criticize the inventor or the invention in the above post, but rather mentioned that the science in the patent currently defies all known laws of physics. If investors came forward, I’d be as interested as the next person. But if there is technology to be created to make this patent functional, then it will require engineers, scientists, technologists, who believe it can be created. I don’t think cynicism has anything to do with it not being created, but rather, can it be created in the current scientific and engineering environment?

  6. Trevour Says:

    Looking at the recent development of superconductors, not only by Boris Volfson, but by many other researchers. There has always been a glitch that they could not over come… I mean, if this glitch has been overcome? Just think of it. I mean they also said it’d be impossible to leave earths atmosphere at one point. There have been many things that humans have accomplished that were deemed impossible before. I for one, hope that it works. Because if it does, well you know how many doors will be opened.. Don’t tell me the sky is the limit, when there are foot prints on the moon.

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