It must be understood that, during this time period, small X-Ray bulbs were not considered as dangerous as they are. One could order and obtain both Geissler tubes from hardware stores and small X-Ray tubes from local pharmacies. Tom was fortunate, using a small capacity induction coil to activate the tube. This was bad enough, but at higher voltages, the effects would have been deadly.
His first experiment would be to try the wire-jump effect for himself … at home. He duplicated the arrangement, which he first saw in his school. Applying the high voltage suddenly, the wires jumped. He was amazed, but not satisfied. He had already thought through much of the possible reasons why this might not be what he wanted it to be. Now he wanted to see whether the whole tube moved, wires and all. If it did, just the slightest amount, a new world would be born. A new technology, a new science, and a new transportation potential for humanity.
He allowed the tube a certain degree of friction-free movement on the shop table. The impulse was applied. Wires jumped … and the tube jiggled. In an absolutely incredible manner, the phenomenon seemed to be gaining strength. He was in a sweat now. He knew the next step already. Preparing for this, his mind reeled. It was going to happen. He knew it! The next experiment would clarify both the phenomenon and his future. He expected to see propulsive motion.
The tube had to be suspended in a free-swinging manner. Hung in a small pendulum arrangement, the electrically impulsed tube clearly moved in a single direction. He was fascinated, thrilled, awestruck. Unable to contain himself, he yelled, laughed aloud. Dancing around the garage bench, he was the lone dancer in a victory, which signaled the birth of an age.
When he finally composed himself, he began thinking with much greater relief than he had during the last several weeks. For here, here was a real mystery indeed. The tube was demonstrating real translation through a fixed distance, without ANY visible reactants. He counted X-Rays out of the puzzle; they had no mass at all. There was no mistake, no “unknown combination of known forces” here. No. His intuitive skills were sharp. What he was seeing was some kind of new field reaction. It involved the longitudinal extension of electricity through a space. Somehow this was the key to releasing the propulsive effects of electricity. Here was propulsion with no mass at all!
The tube was now mounted on the end of a thin wooden rod, counterbalanced, and suspended from a strong ceiling position. Once again, as before, he electrically impulsed the tube. The wonderstruck teenager saw a dream before his very eyes, as the tube began to rotate the entire suspension rod! Each time he impulsed the tube with a sudden jolt, the tube gained speed. The power was cumulative. Each successive jolt drove the rig around with increasing speed.
The tube always moved in a specific direction, always with the electropositive side forward. The new phenomenon inherently contradicted all existing electrical theory in too many ways. He focused his thoughts on the dielectric nature of the vacuum. After all, the vacuum was a special kind of dielectric. It provided an expansion space for the force lines along the charge flow … a longitudinal expansion. Perhaps the appearance of X-Rays was exactly what Nikola Tesla suggested so many years before. Perhaps X-Rays were the particulate release of pure electricity, even more fundamental than electrons.
The vacuum tube was acting as a “release valve” for some forgotten feature of the electric force, without which no propulsive effect would result. If the instantaneous charging of the plates inside the tube produced expansive force lines to the environment, the effect should have preferential directions with respect to geography. He examined this possibility by noting the strength of each impulse and its propulsive result with respect to compass directions. No difference in the motional effect could be seen despite direction. The whole tube always moved, electropositive plate forward, regardless of compass direction.
The phenomenon circumvented Newton’s third law in some mysterious manner. Perhaps the release of high voltage electrical impulses in hard vacuum tubes broke the laws, which bind objects together. Did electrical impulses somehow disrupt the natural order in some way? Could electrical impulses in vacuum tube “expanders” be modifying gravity itself? In the mind of Thomas Brown, an entirely different way to propel a spaceship through the deep was now being designed.
The phenomenon, which he had just demonstrated to his own satisfaction, had no conventional equal. It was far from the engine with which he had begun. Nevertheless, he was by no means disappointed. On the contrary, what he discovered greatly outstripped each of his initial proposals for a compact rocket engine. The phenomenon brought him into a truly alien realm of technology.
There were simply no previous examples or analogies on which to base his theoretics. The closest to these effects were those fleeting recollections made by an elusive Nikola Tesla. When discussing electrical impulse, Tesla spoke of “special reactive forces”. At the time in which Tesla made these remarks he was not at liberty to discuss the phenomenon or the technologies, which he had developed.
Certain facts now presented themselves to young Thomas Brown. First, his engine needed no reactant nozzles at all. There was no mass in this thrust. All he needed to supply was a steady barrage of high voltage direct current impulses. Current was not even required here. This made the requirements even more simple and elegant. A manifold of high vacuum tubes could be coupled together to form multiple reactions and far greater thrust. Perhaps he could redesign the tubes to better focus and release the longitudinal thrust. There were new thoughts and new technologies to develop – original technologies. The dream space rocket engine was his now.
The young and pensive high school physics student had pushed back an insurmountable wall of conventional objections and academic restrictions, imagination providing the final thrust. His thrilling observations became the heart of a revolution in electrical science; one which seized the world of physics in its day. We have not heard of the phenomena associated or the conditions of initial observation only because theoreticians now consider it “impossible”.
- ENDLESS LIGHT: Dr. Thomas Henry Moray
- DEADLY SOUND: Vladimir Gavreau