Examination of Apparent Transient Weight Changes
In Accelerated Chiral Crystals

by Nicholas A. Reiter

13 October 2002

ABSTRACT: Previous experiments with optically active enantiomeric substances such as granular sucrose, corn syrup, and L-tartaric acid occasionally produced evidence for a surprising and unknown phenomenon. In samples weighing up to several tens of grams, milligram level temporary or transient alterations in the value of apparent weight were noted. These transient weight changes occurred following either mechanical agitation or directed electrical stressing of said substances. In this document, we continue characterizing this effect by careful examination of alpha quartz crystals and other chiral crystals following known mechanical translations and stresses. Relationships are found which include handedness of the crystal, crystal axes, direction of mechanical stressing, amplitude, and orientation with respect to the earth's surface. We conclude with a discussion of our characterization and possible useful candidate models invoking molecular level vorticity of physical space / aether, or interactions with the quantum vacuum.


Repeated observations of unexplained transient weight alterations in sucrose crystals in early 2002 led to the consideration of whether such effects could be observed to a greater degree with materials with even higher values of molecular chirality. Sucrose is generally considered a dextro-rotatory optically active material. Typical values for sodium lines lie close to +65° per dm (concentrated aqueous solution).

When sealed bottles of table sugar sucrose were shaken or agitated for periods of up to 1 minute, and then weighed, we often, although not always, would observe a transient deviation from the pre-agitation weight by up to 2 to 3 milligrams. These weight deviations would generally diminish to zero (original pre-agitation weight) within five to ten minutes. The observed deviation with table sugar was always in the direction of a weight gain. This effect was observed using both manual and mechanical agitation, as well as digital and mechanical laboratory balances in a climate-controlled environment.

Single crystals of sucrose weighing between .5 and 4 grams were procured and tested as well. Crystals were vibrated, centrifuged, and linearly shaken over long trajectories. Frequent observations were made of transient weight changes from .2 to 1.5 milligrams. However, we found sucrose to be problematic for several reasons:

  1. It was quite fragile, and generally required an inert binding or coating of a low out-gassing Kapton tape to be applied.
  2. Naked crystals of sucrose, not in a sealed sheath of some sort, seemed likely to readily absorb atmospheric moisture and finger oils.
  3. Good single monoclinic crystals of sucrose were hard to come by - we ended up having to extract and trim crystals from large aggregates of "rock candy"!

For sucrose, the transient weight alteration of single large dry crystals was generally an increase, although occasional weight losses were seen. Because of the above three problems, conclusions were hard to pin down.

By summer of 2002, we had ascertained that other candidates of higher optical activity values were certainly available. Several on-line resources were most helpful. Prominent among these was the incredibly detailed discussion of chiral crystals for Eotvos experiments, posted by theorist and writer Alan M. Schwartz:

All of the identified crystals may be considered chiral in nature, and generally seemed to have values higher than sucrose for rotatory power at typical sodium wavelengths of light. Among these candidates are:

  • Alpha quartz (found in nature as nearly equal populations of left and right hand crystals)
  • Lithium Iodate (expensive, though well studied)
  • Single crystal tellurium (being readily available in bulk, but expensive in single crystal form)
  • Gamma selenium (grown from solution)
  • Cinnabar (Mercuric Sulphide - highly toxic)
  • Tourmaline
  • Rochelle Salt

The clear winner from this list, for our purposes, was alpha quartz! Good quality natural quartz points are readily available, and large cultured specimens are available as well for modest prices. The SiO4 ion is well studied and the alpha quartz lattice has long been characterized for dimensions and properties. Alpha quartz has been cited as having a sodium line optical activity of between 23 and 25 degrees per mm.

Several natural quartz points displaying recognizable handedness (by evaluation of minor facets), weighing between 13 and 30 grams, were procured locally. Three left-handed points, and two right-handed points were identified.

By oscillating or vibrating these crystals in similar fashion to the sucrose crystals, we indeed found our predicted transient weight alterations. However, it soon became apparent that the effect - still manifesting at the level of a milligram or two for the size of crystals involved- was highly erratic in its appearance and reproducibility. Overall, we observed that more occurrences of transient weight alteration were noted with the right-handed crystals.

In July of 2002, we additionally found evidence for a weight alteration effect that appeared to manifest when a high voltage gradient was imposed on either left or right handed quartz, parallel to the optical axis. By applying potentials of up to 3kVDC to a pair of foil electrodes, one at the crystal point, the other at the base, we observed steady, voltage dependent weight changes of up to 5 milligrams. For right-handed crystals with point upwards, this typically manifested as a weight loss. Interestingly, the effect appeared to be independent of voltage polarity - orientation of the crystal axis, the electrical stress, and orientation of the electrical stress seemed to be the dominant factors.

Another experiment may have shown evidence of an inertial anomaly occurring when a quartz point was vibrated with an electromagnetic vibrator, and the load current of said vibrator was examined. A Teflon "dummy load" mass of comparable weight was seen to cause a lower average current draw by the vibrator solenoid than when a right-handed quartz point was substituted. The overall effect was small, constituting about a 5% increase in solenoid current. However the implication appeared to be that an anomalous drag-like force was present with the quartz; or that the quartz appeared to have a higher moment of inertia in a vibrating state than a non-quartz mass of comparable shape and weight.

By August of 2002, we had settled into a series of long term repeating tests of both right and left handed quartz points, accelerated in different manners under different conditions. We also ordered a set of twelve high optical quality right-handed quartz crystal segments from Almaz Optics in New Jersey.

Experimental Results:

Manual Shaking: Right and Left Handed Natural Quartz:

For our experiments, we selected two quartz crystals, a left handed natural point weighing 13.785 grams, hereafter designated as the LH crystal, and a right handed point weighing 23.746 grams, hereafter designated as the RH crystal. See Photo A. (click pic to enlarge)

Photo A Photo B
Photo A Photo B

For weighing purposes, we used our Stanton Unimatic milligram lab balance - a purely mechanical balance with a grounded stainless steel weighing pan. (Calibrated - 1 milligram scale with useful resolution to .5 milligram). See Photo B. (click pic to enlarge)

A small aluminum foil cradle, allowing the crystals to be positioned either point up or base up on the balance pan was fabricated, and added to the balance pan.

It had previously been observed that consistent weight alterations would occur following a vigorous manual shaking, with the crystal placed in one hand, then jerked up and down rapidly to as great a distance as the arm could sweep, keeping a linear path. There also appeared some hints of a dependence on the direction of the primary accelerative motion of the arm. That is to say whipping the crystal by hand either rapidly up or down, but keeping the accompanying return stroke linear and slow.

Therefore, we arrived at another variable for study - the character and direction of the manual acceleration of the crystal. This was reduced to a quasi-standardized set of shake protocols, upward fast, downward fast, upward slow, downward slow, and equal or reciprocating. All manual shaking is performed in an air-conditioned lab environment, with anti-static latex gloves used. Manual shake distance was found to be very close to 1 meter, though certainly varying to about 10 cm.

Over the course of three days, we performed an extended matrix of shaking and weighing trials on our two crystals. Crystals were shaken in up, down, fast, slow, reciprocating, sideways directional shaking, and random jerking motions. Crystals were shaken either point up, point down, or sideways. Finally, crystals were measured on the balance pan in an either point up or point down orientation. A minimum of 10 minutes was allowed between sequential shaking operations. At random points in the three-day series, a Teflon dummy mass was shaken, with pre and post weights being noted. Results are shown in the table featured below:

Crystal Number of Shakes Mode Speed Point Orient. Measure. Orient. of Point Post Wt. (g) Dev. (mg) Notes
RH 10 Up F Up Up 23.745 -1  
RH 10 Down F Down Up 23.746 (-) -0  
RH 10 Down F Up Up 23.7455 -.5  
RH 10 Up F Down Up 23.746 0  
RH 10 Up F Up Down 23.746 0  
RH 10 Up F Down Down 23.746 (+) +0  
RH 10 Down F Down Down 23.746 0  
RH 10 Down F Up Down 23.7455 -.5  
LH 10 Up F Up Up 13.785 0  
LH 10 Down F Down Up 13.7845 -.5  
LH 10 Up F Down Up 13.785 0  
LH 10 Down F Up Up 13.785 (-) -0  
LH 10 Up F Up Down 13.785 (-) -0  
LH 10 Down F Down Down 13.785 0  
LH 10 Up F Down Down 13.785 (-) -0  
LH 10 Down F Up Down 13.785 0  
RH 10 Up Slow Up Up 23.746 0  
RH 10 Up F On Side Up 23.747 +1  
RH 10 Up F On Side On Side 23.747 +1  
LH 10 Up F On Side U 13.7845 -.5  
RH 10 Up F Up Up 23.745 -1  
RH 10 Up F Up Up 23.745 -1 Crystal wrapped in Al foil and tared
RH 10 Recip-rocating F Up Up 23.7445 -1.5  
RH 10 North F N Up 23.746 (-) -0  
RH 10 West F W Up 23.746 0  
RH 10 East F E Up 23.745 -1  
RH 10 South F S Up 23.746 (-) -0  
RH Hold in hand only =30 sec.     Up Up 23.746 0  
Teflon Cube 10 Up F - - 34.443 0 No deviation

Repeated x 6 times Between crystal trials
RH 30 seconds on 60Hz vibrator 3mm amplitude   Up Up 23.744 -2  
RH 10 random F random Up 23.746 (-) -0  

The designation of "+/-0" indicates an observable but not significant deviation with the corresponding sign (less than .5 milligrams).

The results of this test appear to be somewhat difficult to interpret, however in general we may say:

  1. The right-handed quartz crystal appears to be more active than the left-handed piece.
  2. For right-handed crystals, shaking in a vertical orientation with point up (c-axis perpendicular to the earth's surface) appears to elicit a weight loss effect.
  3. Orientation during measurement may influence the effect - measured point up after point up shaking seems to be optimum.
  4. Reciprocating motion seems to be comparable to one way shaking, in the vertical direction.
  5. For shaking in the cardinal directions, we find that an easterly direction gave a weight loss effect. This result may be key, but must be scrutinized further. It may, however, invoke a mechanism involving the earth's rotation.
  6. Left-handed quartz seems to give hints of transient weight loss when shaken with the natural point downward.
  7. Vigorous electro-mechanical vibrating of right-handed quartz appeared to give the best results.
  8. Wrapping the right-handed quartz crystal in aluminum foil did not appear to remove or reduce the transient weight loss effect.
  9. A shaken Teflon cube dummy mass did not show any visible indication of a transient weight change, over the course of six trials spaced out among the crystal trials.

Manual Centrifuging of Natural Quartz Crystals:

A sling was constructed of about 1 meter of braided stainless steel strap 1/8 inch wide, with a small plastic cup attached at one end. Both right and left handed crystals were placed into the sling cup, either point "out" or "in" relative to the operator. 30 second centrifuging periods of about 40 turns, at about .75 meter radius were used, in both vertical and horizontal planes.

This operation was found also to produce transient weight changes in the right-handed test crystal, as well as lesser changes in the left-handed crystal.

For the right-handed quartz, we find that 1.0 to 1.5 milligram transient losses in weight occurred when the crystal was centrifuged with the point in-ward (toward the operator's hand), but mostly null results were obtained with the point outward. We also find that swinging the sling horizontally (parallel to the earth's surface) gave primarily null results, however swinging in the vertical plane (perpendicular to the earth's surface) gave the transient weight losses.

We find also that the left-handed crystal exhibited .5 to 1.0 milligram transient weight losses when centrifuged in the vertical plane with the crystal point outward.

There did not seem to be an active relationship with the direction of swinging (CW or CCW) with respect to the operator, however this has yet to be fully explored.

Photo C Testing of Cultured Quartz Crystal Tiles:

As stated previously, we procured a set of twelve rectangular cross section square "slugs" or tiles cut from high optical quality right-handed cultured quartz. These tiles were obtained from Almaz Optics in New Jersey, and were received during the first week of October, 2002. (click pic to enlarge).

The tiles were cut to dimensions of 40mm x 40mm x 20mm thick. Minor faces were ground, with major faces (perpendicular to the optical axis) polished. Typical weight for each tile is approximately 85.5 grams.

Selected tiles are currently being put through directional shaking and centrifuging routines identical to those used for the natural quartz points. Thus far, we have observed transient weight change effects that appear to be of at least twice the magnitude of the natural points.

Another recent observation that will require much rigor in confirmation involves transient weight changes induced by heating or cooling quartz crystal tiles with a Peltier junction module.

During the initial testing of the cultured tiles, a vexing phenomenon appeared that had been observed previously since the very beginning of transient weight change experiments with granular media. While no mechanism or model can yet be ascribed to it, evidence suggests that the transient weight change effects in chiral materials are strongly influenced by outdoor prevailing weather conditions, even though our experiments are carried out in an air conditioned lab environment. While one must beware of pseudo-relationships, it has become apparent that on days when heat and humidity are high outdoors, the transient weight change effects become very minor or may vanish. This is difficult to explain in terms of artifact at the measurement source, as the temperature in the lab is typically controlled to within 1 to 2 degrees C and perhaps no more than 3 % change in relative humidity. On 7th October, the prevailing weather had changed radically to a very dry and cool condition. Likewise, on that particular morning, it was found that the transient weight changes for a particular crystal tile had improved, with weight loss magnitudes of 2 to 3 milligrams being seen easily.


With repeated observations over many weeks of time, we have seen evidence for an anomalous condition that appears when single crystals of a chiral or optically active nature are accelerated mechanically. Non-chiral or amorphous masses do not appear to exhibit the same property, at least not within the resolution of our measurements.

The anomalous condition appears to be a temporary or transient alteration of the apparent weight (given the abbreviation TAW) of the chiral mass, following a specific period of mechanical excitation. We can say:

  1. TAW has been observed in single crystals of sucrose, L-tartaric acid, alpha quartz of both natural and cultured forms, and tourmaline.
  2. In no case has the absolute magnitude of TAW exceeded about 5 milligrams, for masses between a few grams and 85 grams.
  3. The period of time needed for the decay of the TAW appears to be on the order of five to ten minutes, and is still being studied.
  4. The TAW can appear as either a loss or a gain of apparent weight.
  5. The effect is influenced by unknown factors that appear to be related to prevailing weather conditions and specific times of the day or night.
  6. The most powerful stimulation of the TAW has occurred when the crystal is subjected to either reciprocating acceleration (shaking) or oscillation by an electromechanical vibrator.
  7. In these cases, the magnitude of the TAW seems proportional to, or at least dependent on, the power applied to the crystal as a function of the amplitude and frequency of oscillation.
  8. There appears to be a complex relationship between the axis of excitation / acceleration, the optical axis of the crystal, the handedness or chirality of the crystal and the orientation of said factors with respect to the earth's surface.
  9. TAW appears to be stimulated by centrifuging of crystals.
  10. Cursory evidence suggests that more powerful or dramatic changes in inertial properties of chiral crystals may be occurring under dynamic conditions.
  11. Application of high voltage potentials parallel to the optical axis of some chiral crystals may also induce a TAW condition, however on-going work is needed to eliminate Coulombic and ionic artifacts.

As we have disclosed in several previous white papers on the topic, transient alterations of apparent weight have been previously observed, however they have not been widely reported. By far the most notable of these observations were those of N.A. Kozyrev and Thomas Townsend Brown. In the case of Brown, TAW was noted in fine granular media under the influence of friction or mechanical agitation. We have observed this phenomenon as well, and have reported on it previously. Brown remained entirely empirical in his approach and was never able to derive a viable theoretical model for his observations.

Kozyrev placed his observations of TAW into his already existing theoretical model of Causal Mechanics. One of the key features of Causal Mechanics was the existence of a physical time medium, analogous in some respects to the more widely modeled aether. N.A. Kozyrev and his assistants observed TAW in achiral media, and defined a surprising number of parameters and influences for the effect. Some of these we have confirmed, others may have been observed by Kozyrev but were not reported. Still others reported by Kozyrev remain to be tested by us! Most notable of the mutually observed factors were the definite influences of weather, season, and time on TAW magnitudes.

More recently, we have considered the TAW in light of two general concepts: vorticity and aether.

In the McMaster model and other physical space in-flow models, nucleons are considered analogous to aether / space sinks - miniature black holes. However the truly strong influence on local flowing space is limited to intra-atomic distances, or at most intra-molecular distances. Only when atoms are taken as an aggregate does the composite inflow of space into mass become measurable, as an acceleration that we refer to as gravity. In a chiral system, such as a quartz lattice or sucrose molecule, we may find that the helical arrangement of atoms could be capable of producing and sustaining a secondary or higher order vorticity in the intra-molecular spaces.

We have used the analog of a pinwheel. When a child’s pinwheel is swirled through the air, the chiral and asymmetrical rotor is brought to a rotating state due to the force of air upon the blades. The rotation of the pinwheel continues for a time, after the initial excitation is stopped. By oscillating chiral crystals through space, could we be inducing temporary pinwheel vorticity in the regions of space bounded by the component atoms of the helices? And we speculate further that perhaps these temporary larger or higher order vortices could alter the natural converging flow of aether / space into the earth, or even into the chiral mass itself. This in turn could conceivably manifest as slight alterations in apparent weight. It may be that the decay time of the TAW equates to the decay time of the intra-molecular aether vorticity.

Our observation of the importance of crystal orientation during excitation tends to support the aether pinwheel model. On the other hand, we admit that such factors as weather and time of day are hard to reconcile with that model, as well as the unexplained enhancement of TAW effects arising in right-handed materials over left-handed. Kozyrev did, however, feel that such factors fit into the framework of Causal Mechanics. Only further experimentation will tell more.

We have also found some limited theoretical work describing the possibility of circular polarization in the quantum vacuum. If this is so, we speculate that perhaps chiral structures might experience drag forces in their translation through the vacuum that achiral masses would not. Our cursory evidence for inertial anomalies exhibited by vibrating crystals would certainly fit with this. However, it seems more difficult to reconcile the post excitation TAW effect. We would be lacking an adequate explanation for the continued weight deviation noted through the five to ten minute decay period.

For the present time, our experimental objectives are focused on achieving greater magnitudes of TAW, our goal being 100 milligrams of reproducible weight change. To achieve this, we have considered schemes for applying more mechanical power to crystals, performing experiments at elevated or lowered temperatures, and juxtaposing multiple crystals to form lens arrays. We also plan to try to take advantage of a phenomenon noted by Kozyrev involving greater weight changes at specific frequencies of oscillation.

We would like to acknowledge the help, inspiration, and support of the following people and parties: Dr. Harold McMaster, Lisa Hutchins, Dr. S.P. Faile, Alan M. Schwartz, Lori L. Schillig, and the technical staff at Almaz Optics. This work has been conducted on behalf of The McMaster Gravity Research Foundation and The Avalon Foundation.


  1. "The Possibility of Experimental Study of the Properties of Time" Nikolai A. Kozyrev, unpublished document, September 1967
  2. "Method for Producing Gravitationally Anomalous Materials" Thomas Townsend Brown, unpublished document, April 1973, reproduced on the TT Brown Family website
  3. "The Pixies of Avalon: Some Surprising and Anomalous Properties of Highly Agitated Titania Nano-particles" N.A. Reiter and L.L. Schillig, January 2002, published online here
  4. "The Chiral Vacuum" R.M. Kiehn, Emeritus, Physics Department, University of Houston, November 1997, updated February 2002, published online here
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