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The Legend Of Bruce DePalma
By Andrew Mount
The study of Physics was originally known as Natural Philosophy. One of its first acknowledged exponents was Sir Francis Bacon. Yet similarly, the likes of Leonardo DaVinci accepted the fact there are certain self-evident truths in nature that the astute observer, without any specific qualifications, can tease from the fabric of reality. All that is required being a robust sense of curiosity and child-like wonder, plus a sincere method of inquiry. Eventually, this Enlightenment led to systematic experimentation, with Michael Faraday having been the first to discover the means of electrical power generation, the force that now motivates all modern industry and global conquest. Later, men like Nikola Tesla went further, developing the study of cosmology and quantum electrodynamics, attempting to delve into first-causes and universal energy-field physics. This became an enduring fascination for many more who would follow.
Empiricism, the core value of experimental science, governs much of the known universe, yet since the advent of Relativity and Quantum Theory, there has been a fierce competition to gain the ultimate revelation of science: a grand unified field equation, the formula to unlock all that has been hidden from us in ages past. While this has been heralded as the Holy Grail of physics, it does not mean we can dispense with the art of experiment itself. For, when theory replaces solid evidence as the basis upon which we lead our lives, a profound disconnection from reality may ensue.
This is precisely why Bruce Eldridge DePalma did not call himself a ‘physicist’, but a basic experimental scientist. He was not averse to theorizing, and indeed had many breakthrough realizations of theoretical import. Yet he was indeed more an engineer, designer, and a man who sought direct evidence of the unseen in the laboratory. He fervently believed that, “If you do a different experiment, you have a right to expect a different result.” Theoreticians often seek to skip this step, instead striving for a homogenous rubric of uniform theorems, as opposed to designing new ways to test their hypotheses empirically. This leads to many blind allies of thought, and ultimately a priesthood of science comprised of what Bruce called, “Armchair physicists.”
The place where science and art overlap is in the creation of new experiments never before conceived. And in this regard, Bruce DePalma distinguished himself in manifold ways. While Bruce has not yet been widely redeemed in the eyes of history as a pioneering figure, it is fair to assume this will be borne out in time. For, he was no dilletante of science, having graduated from the most prestigious technical college in the world (M.I.T.), studying also for a time at Harvard Graduate School of Physics, and working as a lecturer in the Photographic Science department headed by Dr. Harold Edgerton at the former institution. He also directed research at the 3D Photography Department of Polaroid Corporation under Dr. Edwin Land, creating the only true full-color analog 3D photographic process in existence (“Vectorgraph”), subsequently shelved by the company because Land himself did not own the patents.
By the early 1960’s, Bruce having already graduated from M.I.T. (with both Physics & Electrical Engineering degrees) and having also assembled a coterie of students around him, it was their youthful scientific curiosity that led to questions DePalma could not answer from his own considerable training.
During these revolutionary times in Cambridge, Massachusetts across the Charles River from Boston, Bruce experienced the full force of the late-60’s social unrest. He and many of his students were beginning to identify which professors were purely part of the establishment, and which were devoted to the transparency of education as a public service. Yet, it was while consulting for the U.S. Military that his eyes would be opened far-too-wide to again close them to historic issues of scientific injustice. When asked by the Navy to instrument a hydro-phonic array to monitor an undersea atomic torpedo detonation, DePalma’s Quaker roots were shaken as he heard the devastating sounds of this explosion through equipment of his own design. It was a seminal moment for Bruce, one that made him solemnly vow never to work for the Military Industrial Complex and its nefarious aims.
After discovering he would surely be unable to pursue rigorous studies on rotation while remaining within the orthodoxy, DePalma left Cambridge and his work as Chief Engineer at Dynaco (one of the early pioneers of High-Fidelity Audio) to pursue independent researches into the unconventional behavior of rotating objects. He moved to a remote farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where he took up residence in a pre-Revolutionary War cottage that doubled as his laboratory. His most loyal M.I.T. student, Edward Delvers, accompanied him and worked diligently alongside Bruce to design, build, and test novel gyroscopic devices.
The result of this work was his first series of groundbreaking discoveries in the arena of Inertia and Gravitation. Variously, these were as follows:
• The Dropping of Rotating and Non-Rotating Object
Albert Einstein advanced the principle of Equivalence to explain how no experiment had ever detected a fundamental difference between Inertial and Gravitational Mass, an idea that had never been suggested before in Physics. And, until DePalma showed that the behavior of rotating objects varies from the expected norm, this theoretical principle remained undisputed. DePalma is therefore effectively the Galileo of our time for having shown that these two forms of mass cannot result from the curvature of Space-Time alone (i.e., the Gravity Field). While this may be beyond the kith and ken of most lay people, it is no less earthshattering a revelation than those of Galileo himself.
With these forays into Heretical or Dissident Science, DePalma departed from the halls of academe in such a stark fashion that his mentor, Dr. Edgerton, told him flatly, “If I were you, I’d stay away from it.” Of course, what makes this so ironic is that the development of anti-gravity & inertial space-drives becomes a viable possibility by virtue of this research, and Edgerton himself started the company (E. G. & G.) that managed Area 51 where there are purported to be recovered alien spacecraft under rigorous study.
The full scope of Bruce’s research into these novel forms of mechanical design are to be elaborated further herein, yet it is what he did next that dominated most of his future as a figure of uniquely controversial significance.
In the late 70’s, after most of his early works in the field of torsion field mechanics were complete, Bruce concluded that if a gyroscope exhibits unforeseen physical properties, then surely a magnetized gyroscope should display equally unrecognized electrical phenomena. What he did not know at the time, as this had not been taught him at M.I.T., is that Michael Faraday – the Father of Electrical Science – had performed such an experiment at the time he discovered the principle of Electrical Induction. On December 26, 1831, Faraday found two distinct forms of electrical power generation were possible, one of which was developed into the machines of today, the other largely forgotten and discarded in the dustbin of history.
The first of these, practically speaking, is the basis of virtually all electrical motors and generators used today. Voltage in these machines is generated by passing wires near the pole of a magnet in a rotor- stator combination. The second, known as Homopolar Induction, is the little-known and not easily understood counterpart that incorporates ONLY a rotating magnet with its conductor co-rotating (i.e., no relative motion between them). There are two reasons why this confounds electrical science to this day, and why Bruce’s rediscovery of the effect is so momentous.
No one in modern electrodynamics circles can explain why, with no relative motion between magnet & conductor AND no change in magnetic flux-strength in the Homopolar model, such a machine can even generate electrical power at all. Typically, and in Faraday’s own opinion, this is due to relative angular momentum between the center and edge of a co-rotating conductor. Yet this still does not conform to the commonly accepted belief that a change in magnetic flux is the key to electrical induction generally.
What has now become the legend of Free Energy that accompanies DePalma’s (and others’) work for decades is that these machines seem to demonstrate the potential to produce more electricity than is needed to rotate them by external motive power. Of course, this puts people like Bruce in the category of ‘fringe science’ and has earned them the disdain of authorities such as Wikipedia editors who tow-the-line of morbid scientism, having no real appreciation for the value of basic experimental studies into these cutting-edge phenomena.