Those interested in reading the controversial paper by Franklin Felber recently presented at the STAIF meeting in Albuquerque can find it here. The summary is concise: “The Schwarzschild solution is used to find the exact relativistic motion of a payload in the gravitational field of a mass moving with constant velocity. At radial approach or recession speeds faster than 3-1/2 times the speed of light, even a small mass gravitationally repels a payload. At relativistic speeds, a suitable mass can quickly propel a heavy payload from rest nearly to the speed of light with negligible stresses on the payload.”

A first reading of the paper reveals an intriguing implication: Felber’s solutions of Einstein’s field equation imply that any mass produces what Felber calls an ‘antigravity field’ above a certain critical velocity. And although this field is at least twice as strong in the direction of motion, the field also repels particles in the opposite direction. It follows, quoting Felber again, that “…a stationary mass will repel masses that are radially receding from it at speeds greater than 3-1/2 c, with obvious cosmological implications.”

Is Felber suggesting a way of explaining Einstein’s cosmological constant, and thus accounting for the apparent acceleration in the universe’s expansion? An intriguing thought, though the equations that express it will demand long and patient scrutiny. Audacious papers make fascinating reading, but the road to experimental verification is unforgiving, as all too many researchers have learned.