The Biefeld–Brown effect is an electrical phenomenon observed by Sir Thomas Townsend Brown in around 1920s while experimenting with X-ray tubes in his high school. When he applied a high voltage electrical charge to an X-ray tube (or Coolidge tube), he observed some mass difference while placing the tube on a scale. The observed difference in the mass of the tubes was entirely dependent on the orientation; implying some kind of net force.

With this discovery, he himself assumed that he had somehow influenced the gravity electronically; which further led him to design a driving system based on the same phenomenon. In around 15 April 1927, he applied for a patent entitling as “Method of Producing Force or Motion”, which described his inventions as an electrical-based method that can successfully control gravity to produce a kind of linear force or motion.


In 1929, Thomas Brown published an article on his detailed work in a popular American magazine ‘Science and Invention’. The article states his unique phenomenon as “Gravitator” which was considered an invention by Brown. It was said to produce motion without using any kind of electromagnetism, gears, propellers, or even wheels. Additionally, he also used a principle called “Electro-gravitation”. Among the most controversial claims, the effect of Asymmetric capacitors was capable of generating some different fields that interacted with the Earth’s gravitational pull.


This was all about Brown, but the effect gained its complete name “Biefeld–Brown effect” by a professor of Physics and Astronomy in the Denison University, Sir Paul Alfred Biefeld. He was his mentor and co-experimenter. Brown worked in Denison for a year before he dropped out of studies.

Brown is known to have filed another patent in the year 1960 in which he detailed the physics behind the Biefeld–Brown effect. In this new patent, he claimed the following points:

a) There is a non-positive correlation between the distance within the plates of a capacitor and the strength of his effect.
Shorter the distance between the plates, greater the effect could be seen.

b) There is a positive relationship between the dielectric strength of the material found between electrodes and the strength of the effect.
Higher the dielectric strength, the greater will be the effect.

c) There is a direct relation between the area of the conductors and the strength of the effect.
Greater the area, greater will be the effect seen.

d) There is a positive relationship between the difference in Voltage of the Capacitor plates and the strength of the effect.
Greater the voltage, the greater will be the effect.

e) There is a direct relation between the mass of dielectric material and the strength of the effect.
Greater the mass, the more will be the effect.


Around 1965, Brown filed another patent which mentioned that a net force on the asymmetric capacitor may exist even in a vacuum. However, there was very little experimental evidence that could say that his claims were actually valid. The Biefeld–Brown effect is projected as an electrical phenomenon that produces an ionic wind that could transfer its momentum to the neutral particles surrounding it. It describes a force that is acted upon an asymmetric capacitor when a high amount of voltage is applied to the electrodes of the capacitor. Once the particles are charged up to high DC voltage, a pressure at the negative terminal arises which starts pushing it away from the positive terminal.


In spite of all the bold claims, Brown also believed that the high voltage and high capacity capacitors might produce an electric field so strong that it could marginally interact with the Earth’s gravitational pull. He named this phenomenon ‘Electro-gravitics’.

Several researchers argued that conventional physics effects and methods cannot successfully explain this phenomenon of Brown. Charles Berlitz devoted an entire chapter of his own book “The Philadelphia Experiment” to repeat Thomas Brown’s early work with his effect. In his book, he said that he had discovered a new effect of Electrogravity and that it was being used by the UFOs. Around ten years later, some of the researchers from the Technical University of Liberec conducted related experiments on the Biefeld–Brown effect and said that an ion drift was most likely the source of all the generated force.


Around the same time in 2003, some researchers from the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) tested the same Biefeld-Brown effect by using four different-sized asymmetric capacitors that were based on simple designs that could be found on the Internet and then they applied a high voltage of around 30 kV to them. In their report, they claimed that the effects of the ion wind were at least three times too small in magnitude to account for the observed force on an asymmetric capacitor in the air. Instead of this, they proposed a new idea to the Biefeld-Brown effect; stating it could be better explained by using ion drift in place of ion wind.

In around 2004, Martin Tajmar published a paper that also failed to prove the repetition of Brown’s work. On the contrary, he implied that Brown may have observed the effects of a different corona wind triggered by the electrode in the vacuum chamber and therefore he might have misinterpreted the corona wind effects as the connection between Gravitation and Electromagnetism.

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