E R Laithwaite

Eric Laithwaite was for some years a professor with the Imperial College in London. He was one of the pioneers of the linear electric motor and of portions of the magnetic levitation (MagLev) train concept. An illustrious career headed for greater things (perhaps knighthood, Fellow of the Royal Society, etc.) was abruptly derailed in 1973 after he lectured to the prestigious Royal Institution by invitation and demonstrated that a heavy gyroscope, difficult to lift with one hand while not turning, could be lifted easily with that same hand, once turning at speed. Laithwaite's suggestion that Newton's laws of motion might be in difficulty proved much too controversial. The Royal Institution (apparently for the first time in its 200 year history) did not publish proceedings of that invited discourse.220

One of the remarkable things Laithwaite achieved was a form of "indefinite motion" device that he demonstrated circa 1970 {526}. The Centennial Centre of Science & Technology in Ontario was looking for working models to decorate the entrance hall. Laithwaite showed that if a linear-motor primary was rolled into a cylinder, so that it became simply the stator of a conventional induction motor,221 a steel washer (about 3 cm. in diameter) could be made to roll continuously in a vertical plane around the inside of the stator. A combination of centrifugal force and magnetic

220 With some humor we point out how shocking is our proposal that such a thing as "continuous" propagation of an object or energy through 3-space does not exist. Instead, small differential "pieces" of it continually "recur" at successive positions, much like the projection of the frames of a motion picture frame, where continual observation is the "projection process". Nonetheless, in our proposed solution to the source charge problem, either that is true or every charge in the universe is a perpetual motion machine, freely creating energy out of nothing. In our view, that is the impact of the long-neglected source charge problem in quantal and classical electrodynamics. It has produced the wrong and naive notion of what "propagation through space" actually entails.

221 Something similar to diagrammatic Figure 6-26 in Chapter 6.

attraction kept the washer in contact with the stator at all times. At the same time, a pivoted copper cylinder could be held in the center of the stator and would be seen to rotate on its own axis in the opposite direction.222 Laithwaite completed and delivered a working model to the Centennial Center of Science & Technology. The reader should note the similarity of Laithwaite's proven experimental device to the magnetic Wankel engine.

In addition to his attention to Heaviside's unpublished draft notes and manuscript on a combined theory of electromagnetics and gravity (previously discussed above) {502}, Laithwaite spent the latter years of his life working on sophisticated gyroscopic systems {527a-527h}. Ultimately he felt he had successfully produced a mass transfer effect {528} and the basis for a propulsion system. He and William Dawson applied for a patent in 1993, which was granted in 1995 {529}, with a U.S. patent granted in 1999 {530}. Regretfully, Professor Laithwaite died in 1997.

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