Suppressed Science and Scientists

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Re: Suppressed Science and Scientists

Post by makesyouthink on Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:16 am

Who Built the Moon? Christopher Knight!cogDERwb!wpgTF2sFbsgXx7h3fRMroBsJScGV-wYAHYKvQzNKXnM

Problems with Foucault’s pendulum

We became more and more fascinated by everything to do with pendulums. During one particular telephone conversation, which had gone on for over an hour, we had, yet again, discussed at length the idea that there might be some unknown law of astrophysics – that was revealed by pendulums – at work here. We considered some highly speculative thoughts that ranged from standing electromagnetic sine waves due to a gyroscopic effect of the Earth’s spin through to gravitons containing packets of information about ‘geometrical shape’. But we agreed that we just did not know enough to even start to investigate such ideas. Chris wrote the following paragraph into a draft of this chapter as a summary of our mutual frustration and finished work for the day.

‘We have to admit that we still do not understand why it is so, but the use of pendulums in association with these ancient values appears to be elemental to the planet Earth – some physical reality seems to be at work here. Every pendulum reacts to the mass of the Earth but there seems to be some kind of ‘harmonic’ response at certain rhythms: points where the mass and the spin of the planet resonate in some way.’
But at that very point in time everything changed.

At five o’ clock the following morning Chris was unable to sleep and decided to get up and make a cup of tea. It was then that a ‘library angel’ turned up.7 Looking for something to read he pulled the delivery sleeve of a magazine that had arrived in the post the previous day and flicked it open. The main feature article in this edition of New Scientist was entitled: ‘Shadow over gravity’. It sounded interesting even early on a dark November morning.

But he quickly realized it was far more important than merely ‘interesting’. The opening paragraph was incredibly similar to that which opens this book, carrying a description of how it feels to witness a total eclipse – and then it transpired that the thrust of the article was that solar eclipses have a profound effect on pendulums! A debate is presently raging as to why this should be the case, because the suggestion has been made that pendulums may well be the key to a significant hole in Einstein’s theory of relativity.

The starting point concerns the work of Jean Bernard Leon Foucault who demonstrated a special quality of pendulums at the Great Exhibition, held in London in 1851. His pendulum, now always referred to as ‘Foucault’s pendulum’, is simply a very heavy weight fastened to a very long wire attached to a ceiling inside a very tall building, with a universal joint allowing it to rotate freely around a fixed point so that it will swing in a slow arc in any direction. Giant pendulums of this kind are now routine exhibits at some of the major museums around the world including the Smithsonian in Washington and the Science Museum in London.

Once set in motion its direction of swing will appear to rotate at a rate of about twelve degrees an hour. But this is actually an illusion because it is the observer and the rest of the world that is moving whilst the pendulum is maintaining a fixed swing back and forth in relation to the Universe. This happens because the pendulum is independent of the movement of the Earth, which is rotating underneath the pendulum, making it appear that the pendulum is changing direction. The reason a pendulum swings is because the Earth’s gravity continually tugs down on it. According to Einstein’s general theory of relativity this relentless tugging is due to the fact that every mass bends the fabric of space-time around it causing other masses to slide down into the dimple it creates in space-time.

The amount of rotation of a Foucault pendulum is dependent on latitude. At the North or South Pole the pendulum appears to rotate through an entire 360 degrees once every turn of the Earth (each sidereal day) because the planet rotates all the way round underneath it. In the northern hemisphere at the latitude of the British Isles the rate of rotation is reduced to around 280 degrees per day and the rate of rotation continues to fall the closer one gets to the equator, where a Foucault pendulum does not rotate at all.

For over a hundred years everyone knew that a Foucault’s pendulum would swing in an entirely predictable manner at any specific location. Then in 1954 a French engineer, economist and would-be physicist by the name of Maurice Allais found that this was not always the case. He was conducting an experiment at the School of Mining in Paris to investigate a possible link between magnetism and gravitation, in which he released a Foucault pendulum every fourteen minutes for thirty days and nights, recording the direction of rotation in degrees. By chance, a total solar eclipse occurred on one of those days.

Each day the pendulum moved with mechanical precision but on June 30th 1954, when a partial eclipse occurred, one of Allais’ assistants realized that the pendulum had gone haywire. As the eclipse began, the swing plane of the pendulum suddenly started to rotate backwards. It veered furthest off course twenty minutes before maximum eclipse, when the Moon covered a large portion of the Sun’s surface before returning to its normal swing once the eclipse was over. It seemed that the pendulum had somehow been influenced by the alignment of the Earth, the Moon and the Sun.

This was totally unexpected and utterly startling. Allais’ experiment was being conducted indoors, out of the sunlight so there was no apparent way the eclipse could have affected it. Allais was at a loss to explain what had taken place but when he conducted an improved version of his experiment in June and July 1958 with two pendulums six kilometres apart he found the same effect. Then during the partial solar eclipse of October 22nd 1959, Allais once again witnessed the same erratic rotation – but this time similar effects were reported by three Romanian scientists who knew nothing of Allais’ work.

Many people have questioned his results, mainly because science does not like that which it cannot explain. Many others have now repeated the experiment with mixed results: some found no measurable effect, but most have confirmed the result at different locations – including one conducted in an underground laboratory! 8

It is interesting to note that in 1988 Allais was awarded a Nobel Prize for economics. Like Alexander Thom (and many other paradigm busters) a major discovery had come from someone working outside their own field. These are bright people who are driven by curiosity and who are not the products of conventional training.

Allais despairs at the standards of those that oppose without logic or reasoning: ‘In the history of science, every revolutionary result meets with very strong opposition… Relativists say I’m wrong without providing any demonstration. Most of them haven’t even read what I wrote.’

In 1970 Erwin Saxl and Mildred Allen of Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, studied the behaviour of a pendulum before, during and after a total eclipse. The pair took a slightly different approach to Allais as they used a torsion pendulum, which is a massive disc suspended from a wire attached to its centre. Rotating the disc slightly causes the wire to twist. When it is released, the disc continues to twirl first clockwise, then anticlockwise, with a fixed period. But during an eclipse, their pendulum sped up significantly. They concluded that gravitational theory needs to be modified.

In India in 1995, D C Mishra and M B S Rao of the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad observed a small but sudden drop in the strength of gravity when using an extremely accurate gravimeter during a solar eclipse. But results have been mixed. When the eclipsed Sun rose above Helsinki on July 22nd 1990, Finnish geophysicists found no disturbance to the usual swing, yet in March 1997 scientists observed gravimeter anomalies during an eclipse in a very remote area of north-east China.

The mystery continues and yet no academic institution appears willing to invest time and money to study this phenomenon in depth. However, Thomas Goodey, a self-funding independent researcher from Brentford in England, has decided that he will investigate the Allais effect by using several pendulums during an eclipse. Because modern equipment is much more accurate and sensitive than that available in 1954 – giving twenty to one hundred times better resolution, he is confident of a clear result.

Goodey plans to travel the world over the next few years with twelve specially constructed pendulums. In May 2004, he presented his strategy at a meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration in Las Vegas and invited physicists to join him. As New Scientist reported, several leapt at the chance.

Goodey suspects that the anomalies occur when an observer is near the line that connects the centres of masses of the Sun and the Moon. During a total solar eclipse, the Sun–Moon line intersects the surface of the Earth at two points on roughly opposite sides of the globe. This theory would explain why the sunrise eclipse in Helsinki did not produce a result. Goodey is quoted as saying that observations at this ‘anti-eclipse’ point where no eclipse is visible might carry much greater weight.

We wait with interest to hear the final results of Thomas Goodey’s experiments. At this point it seems as though we might well have been right to suspect that pendulums reveal a great deal about the nature of our planet’s gravity and its gravitational relationship with the Moon and the Sun. Could it be that because the Moon blocks out the disc of the Sun so perfectly it is acting as a shield to an ongoing interaction between the Earth and the Sun? Or perhaps it is because all three centres of mass are lined up and something physical occurs at this time?

We also wonder whether the unknown individuals who devised the Megalithic Yard and its inherent geometry understood much more about this pendulum effect than we do. Our previous findings strongly suggest that they knew a great deal more about the Earth –Moon–Sun relationship.


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