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Electrogravitics is claimed to be an unconventional type of effect or anti-gravity propulsion created by an electric field's effect on a mass. It dates back to the 1920s work of Thomas Townsend Brown (the Biefeld–Brown effect) and was researched for a short while by aerospace companies in the 1950s Electrogravitics is popular with conspiracy theorists with claims that it is powering flying saucers and the B-2 Stealth Bomber.
Byron Preiss considered electrogravitics development to be "much ado about nothing, started by a bunch of engineers who didn't know enough physics". Preiss stated that electrogravitics, like exobiology, is "a science without a single specimen for study".
Electrogravitics had its origins in experiments started in 1921 by Thomas Townsend Brown (USA) (who coined the name) while he was at Denison University under his mentor Dr. Paul Alfred Biefeld. Brown discovered that putting a high voltage through a capacitor would produce a tiny propulsive force causing the capacitor to jump in one direction, later called the Biefeld–Brown effect. In 1929 Brown published "How I Control Gravity," in Science and Invention where he claimed the capacitors were producing a mysterious force that interacted with the pull of gravity. He envisions a future where, if his device could be scaled up, "Multi-impulse gravitators weighing hundreds of tons may propel the ocean liners of the future" or even "fantastic 'space cars'" to Mars. After World War II Brown sought to develop the effect as a means of propulsion for aircraft and spacecraft, demonstrating a working apparatus to an audience of scientists and military officials in 1952. Research in the phenomenon was popular in the mid-1950s, at one point the Glenn L. Martin Company placed advertisements looking for scientists who were "interested in gravity", but rapidly declined in popularity thereafter.
Instead of being an anti-gravity force, the Biefeld–Brown effect has been found to be caused by ionized particles exerting a force between two asymmetrical electrodes that produces an ionic wind that transfers its momentum to surrounding neutral particles, an electrokinetic phenomena or more widely referred to as electrohydrodynamics (EHD).
Electrogravitics has become popular with UFO, anti-gravity, and government conspiracy theorists where it is seen as an example of something much more exotic than electrokinetics, i.e. that electrogravitics is a true anti-gravity technology that can "create a force that depends upon an object’s mass, even as gravity does". There are claims that all major aerospace companies in the 1950s including Martin, Convair, Lear, Sperry, Raytheon were working on it, that the technology became highly classified in the early 1960s, that it is used to power the B-2 bomber, and that it can be used to generate "free energy". Charles Berlitz devoted an entire chapter of his book on The Philadelphia Experiment (The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility) to a retelling of Brown's early work with the effect, implying the electrogravitics effect was being used by UFOs. The researcher and author Paul LaViolette has produced many self-published books on electrogravitics, making many claims over the years including his view that the technology could have helped to avoid another Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.