Home / Culture and Society / Science and Technology / Indiana Inventor Granted US Patent for Anti-Gravity-Powered Spaceship – Junk Science?

Indiana Inventor Granted US Patent for Anti-Gravity-Powered Spaceship – Junk Science?

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.: 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, and is the author of Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud. Excerpt from an article in 10 November 2005 Nature, as 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.

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About Randy Reichardt

  • Igor

    I think Orlowski has come up with a brand new law of Conservation Of Imbecility!

    I’m sold.

  • StPete

    Nothing personal of course, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if some morning Robt Park is found dangling by his feet from an anti-grav platform floating about a half mile over the Patent office in Washington DC.

  • Something new METOZ machine about.

    P.S. The conception of an energy is discreate one to the same as a imbecility. No one has seen the energy and no one has seen the imbecility. We are able to observe results of the energy and imbecility. At present we have got to few energy because we have got to much imbecility.

    Thank you for your time and interest.

  • It is something METOZ about.
    Thanks for understanding.

  • Orlowski

    Perpetual motion machines* (the latin term perpetuum mobile is not uncommon) are a class of hypothetical machines which would produce useful energy “from nowhere.” The existence of a perpetual motion machine is generally accepted as being impossible according to current known laws of physics. In particular, perpetual motion machines would violate either the first or second laws of thermodynamics. Perpetual motion machines are divided into two
    subcategories, referred to as perpetual motion of the first kind and perpetual motion of the second kind. There is a chance that the accepted laws of physics are wrong, but a lot of evidence is needed to regeneralize these.

    Physicists may try to test their knowledge of physics by proving, without using thermodynamics, that a proposed perpetual motion machine cannot work. Also, sometimes physicists will discover “apparent” perpetual motion in thought experiments. Such “paradoxes” expose

  • Orlowski

    So you think we have an energy problem? No, we have a political problem.
    I am inventor and owner of Metoz machine invention. Everyone can take absolutely and legitimate the METOZ invention and build the Metoz machine. I can help only. I can not build METOZ. I am moneyless.

  • Orlowski Zygmunt

    My idea is very difficult for understanding. It is not difficult for engineer – mechanic, who knows very good the Pascal’s law and even-arm lever.

    Clean energy

    The entire world is looking for a source of clean energy. I have discovered a certain paradox basing on which a machine called METOZ can be built which by harnessing the gravitation of our EARTH can produce clean energy.

    The energy producing processis demonstrated and can be very easily confirmed by an experiment.

    I am also in possession of a set of calculations which prove that the METOZ machine:

    1/ does not consume water / 39 A5-pictures /;
    2/ does not consume compressed air / 39 A5-pictures /;
    3/ produces energy to the outside = 4839 kGm during a “swing cycle” /39 A5-pictures; this is a “weight cycle” = the centre of gravity of the water in the METOZ machine sinks ( downward movement )
    4/ energy is produced / released to the outside = 44,600kGm during the “straightening cycle” / 39 A5-pictures. This is a “pressure cycle” = the water mass centre of gravity inside the METOZ machine travels upwards (upward movement)

    Features: 1/; 2/; 3/; 4/, of the machine owing to appropriate dimensions of individual elements of the lever mechanism.

    The METOZ has an even-arm lever of a 1.72 m length. The centre of gravity of the lever lies beneath the lever suspension point. The METOZ is equipped with two cylinders of a 1.6 m diameter each. Piston sidewalls do not contact directly with cylinder walls. The lever swing changes between and.

    Figures (3 x 13 x 4 = 156) present temporary, consecutive action situations at intervals of.
    The middle figure presents the machine and the side figures the position of the left and right cylinder and the mathematical description of these situations.

    In the past I have made two models, which confirmed the legitimacy of my theoretical assumptions concerning the METOZ machine. I have got photographs.

    I am looking for a person who would be interested in my invention. I can offer ample information. I look forward to hearing from you.


    13 – 03 -2005 Gdynia, Polska Zygmunt Orłowski

    P.S. The term “gravitational paradox” use in this description relates to the mathematical and physical description of the action of the METOZ-machine.


    Comments concerning machine “METOZ”

    “METOZ” is able to realize the cycle “deflection” and the cycle “straighening.” Both cycles are in accordance with current physic’s laws. “METOZ” as machine can not work and hand over the energy because it would be inconsonant to the law of conservation of energy.

    I propose to execute the following intelectual process: we have found ourselves in the Europe of XVII century. We know the trigonometry in the scope of being occured for “METOZ.” We know what is the even-arm lever and moment of force too. Just appeears Mr. Baise Pascal / 1623–1662/ and he publishes his hydraulics law with adequated experiment. All thinkers are sure that this law is correct and quite real. This time someone invents machine “METOZ”. Now turn up the following questions:

    1/ why the implementation of the cycle “deflection” is impossible?
    2/ why the implementation of the cycle “straightening” is impossible?Both groups: opponents and followers of bulding “METOZ” live in XVII–th century and they not know that:
    a/ the idea of an “energy” will be introduced into science scarlerly in mid. of XIX century,
    b/ the law of conservation of the energy will be exist scarlerly after 1847 y.

  • Bennett

    Great comment!

    The Light Of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke (and a co-author) eloquently describes one aspect of the relationship between distance and time. A highly entertaining book that, as all his books do, looks into the near future and suggests technical innovations that actually have a chance of happening.

    I stand by my comment #2.

  • Before dismissing Boris Volfson’s seminal work in space flight I admonish critics with the following:

    They laughed at the Wright brothers. They laughed at Fulton. Of course as Carl Sagan reminded us, “They also laughed at Bozo the Clown”.

    As an aside, do any of you more knowledgeable and possibly more forward-thinking readers see, in his machine, a potential for time travel as well?

  • Tyler Newton

    “The implementation of this proposal would take years and billions of dollars.”

    How many years? More than 20?

    If so, this “patent” will be public domain. If he even concedes this has no value now, why patent it?

    It’s not like anyone is going to pay him for a license to “use” the “invention.”

    Must be a moron I say.

  • When I was 10 I designed a spaceship with a ciricular rail-gun engine that would accelerate reaction mass to near light speed to propel the spaceship. Did I miss my chance to patent it? I didn’t realize at the time that I could patent a device which violated several laws of physics. Would it be faster or slower than the Anti-Gravity ship?


  • Bennett

    RJ – Yeah, that’s already been done.


  • Good stuff Randy! This guy has an interesting web site… I say send his “orange sized breadboard model” up to the ISS and flip the switch.

    Could be interesting!


  • RJ


    Do you think the patent office will accept my own invention?

    Here’s what it is: I will encourage people to send me large sums on money thru the mail. Then I will spend this money on CDs and DVDs and 13-year old Thai hookers. In exchange for their bountiful monetary gifts, I shall deeply concentrate all my mental energies (in my own patented way!) so that those people who sent me the donations will come to believe that they have accrued some sort of amorphous benefit by sending me the money. And then they will hopefully send me some more.

    It’s a great idea! I want a patent too!

    Or has this already been done? By, like, every TV evangelist ever?

    Junk science is crap; I got me some junk faith!