By J. David Baxter

Through the whole day of August 12th, and the morning of August 13th, 1997, we had a series of speakers address the whole group of 70 participants. The purpose for these speakers, as well as the 19 posters on display, was to encourage participants to come up with ideas on possible ways to break the light barrier, and ways to gain the energy necessary to exceed light speed. All ideas had to be practical. For example, it would take a hundred thousand supertankers filled with anti-matter to take a fifty-year journey to the nearest star beyond our sun. So the workshop was looking for propellantless propulsion, and acceptable transit speeds.

One of the most impressive speakers was Dr. Hal Puthoff, of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Austin, Texas. He has submitted peer review accepted papers to Physical Review Letters, a major professional physics publication. He is the world's top expert on zero-point-energy vacuum fluctuations. His emphasis was on zero-point-energy as a source for gravity and inertia. He brought two other speakers, Haisch and Rudea, who gave mathematical presentations based on these concepts.

There were two speeches given on the subject of faster-than-light tunneling, in sending light from sources to receivers. One problem mentioned, was the fact that in one experiment, the waveform tended to follow the signal, making faster-than-light two-way communication impossible. However, it was also stated that faster-than-light communications would be possible, if tunneling times could be controlled and predicted. Of interest to me, was the fact that the signals have a 180-degree phase angle, and involve both absorption and transmittance into the future. I noticed similar features in capacitive reactance circuits. I proposed that it might be possible for a capactive reactance circuit to be used to control and predict tunneling times to make faster-than-light communications possible. What's more, this would involve a tabletop experiment involving little financial outlay. One problem I had was determining exactly what the circuit would look like. This would be a good concept for Raymond Chiao, to pursue at the University of California at Berkley.

During several breaks, I got the opportunity to speak with Dr. Hal Puthoff. There is a known effect, called the Casimir Effect, that shows evidence for zero-point-energy vacuum fluctuations, containing between 10 up to 10 to the 98th grams of mass energy density per centimeter, in the vacuum of space. According to the lower estimates, a cubic centimeter of zero-point-energy contains enough energy to vaporize the Earth's Oceans. Einstein recognized this. Dr. Puthoff says the scientific evidence supports the higher figure.

It is all balanced and disorganized, such that it can't collapse upon itself. With this mass-energy-density, a proton size volume amount would be equal to all the mass in the Universe. Matter and Energy is equal to each other according to Einstein's theory of relativity. It has even been suggested that the creation of all matter in the Universe may have involved an engineering of vacuum fluctuations, by an advanced civilization.

The Casimir Effect, involves the use of two closely spaced conducting plates, that press closer together due to more vacuum fluctuations acting on the outside of the plates, than the inside of the plates.

Of course, the big question is how to tap into zero-point-energy, being as it is most active at the nanometer scale and below. The smaller the space the greater the intensity of zero-point-energy. I believe John Hutchison of New West BC, Canada, has tapped into it with his electromagnetism research. He is able to break and bend metals, and even turn metals into liquids at room temperature, using electromagnetism, at forces 10,000 times more powerful than the applied energy. This might involve electromagnetic casimir pinching.

I didn't have enough time to do a lot of viewing of the posters. But I did pick up some of their papers associated with the exhibits.

Dr. Puthoff looked at my exhibit, and stated that my concepts looked doable to him. The concepts I presented included draining mass energy, as a spacecraft approaches the speed of light; Electro-gravity coupling to distant masses for acceleration and propulsion; and the use of zero-point-energy, including the energy shed from acceleration, for propulsion power. Dr. Puthoff pointed out that the connection between zero-point-energy, gravity, and inertia, would make my energy-draining concept possible. The only portion of my presentation that he was skeptical of, was use of the Newman Effect. He is not convinced that the Newman Effect works. The Newman Effect takes advantage of induced differences between amperes and volts through varying resistances, and the use of specially timed circuits to induce increased voltage and amperage in a cycle up to the point resonance is achieved.

The Poster that interested me the most was one by H. David Froning, then of Flagstaff, Arizona, who emphasized electrogravity coupling. His poster was entitled, "Experiments to Explore Space Coupling by Means of Specially Conditioned Electromagnetic Fields". I read his paper, and only disagreed with the need to create negative energy density, to warp space-time. My emphasis at the workshop was that the speed of light could be exceeded through taking advantage of speed of light variations under the right conditions.

In the breakout discussion groups, the participants were divided into six groups. My group, and one other group, emphasized ways to achieve transit speeds faster than light. Most talk centered on two participant's ideas. Dr. Raymond Chiao's superluminal tunneling concepts got a lot of discussion. Another participant emphasized his idea to send an advanced computer system into space near the speed of light, then send it backwards in time to the present, after it was finished with its mission, using relativistic effects of the expanding and contracting Universe.

Another researcher had faster-than-light tachyons as his specialty. The proposed tachyons can go faster than light, but can't slow down to light speed, based on Einstein's theory. A lady researcher, who was a physics professor, stated that if imaginary numbers, representing a fourth spatial dimension, are placed in Einstein's equations, faster-than-light travel starts to become possible.

When I suggested my speed of light variations concept, I proposed that an experiment be performed at the Fermilab Accelerator to test my hypothesis on breaking the light barrier. The tachyon specialist suggested specific details on how the faster-than-light effect might be detected using an accelerator. It basically involved turning off the energy toward the end of the acceleration.

Only that, which was written down or typed up, would be included in the workshop proceedings. In 1999 NASA published Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Workshop Proceedings Book, that contained many of my ideas from the breakout discussion group.

At the third final meeting of the workshop, with all 70 people in attendance, except a few, who left early, representatives, of each discussion group, presented their key findings. My discussion group presented my speed of light variations concept. The physics professor lady gave the presentation. The emphasis was placed on increasing the speed of light in front of an accelerating spacecraft. Other ideas include symmetry breaking, and natural speed of light decrease through an expanding Universe. In papers I used for reference, the National Bureau of Standards had recommended a high-energy speed of light shift, with a frequency of 7 MHz, based on observations of the Crab Nebula that showed evidence of faster-than-light transmittance of energy.