James Woodward, Ph.D.

woodward, j..pngJames Woodward, Ph.D. 
(Physicist/Author, Making Starships & Stargates)



6.4 – Aliens & Stargates (1.24.14)



James F. Woodward (born 1941) is a professor emeritus of history and an adjunct professor of physics at California State University, Fullerton. He is best known for a physics hypothesis proposed in 1990, later expanded, that predicts a series of physical effects that he refers to as Mach effects but others refer to as the Woodward effect. Woodward claims the effect could be used as a reactionless drive for space travel.

Education and professorships

  • A.B., Middlebury College, 1964, Physics
  • M.S., New York University, 1969, Physics
  • Ph.D., University of Denver, 1972, History of science

Woodward is a professor emeritus of history and an adjunct professor of physics at California State University, Fullerton.

Woodward effect

Woodward claims that his hypothesis predicts physical forces that he calls Mach effects but are usually referred to as the Woodward effect. He says that his hypothesis is based on Mach’s principle that posits inertia, the resistance of mass to acceleration, is a result of the mutual gravitational attraction of all matter in the universe. Thus, if the mass of a given object can be varied while being oscillated either in a linear or orbital path, such that the mass is high while the mass is moving in one direction and low while moving back, then the net effect should be acceleration in one direction as the inertial drag of the universe upon the object varies as its mass varies. If a spacecraft engine could be designed to exploit it then acceleration could be produced without using rocket engine propellants. He claims that this hypothesis is testable so he and others have performed and continue to perform experiments attempting to detect and utilize this effect. His claim of a reactionless drive for possible breakthrough applications to space travel has generated a fair amount of popular interest.

Woodward was granted a patent on a proposed device utilizing this effect in 1994. Woodward and an associate were granted another patent in 2002 for a proposed thruster design also using this effect.

Speculation on space travel

He frequently contributes to articles on speculative space travel subjects, especially wormholes. In 2012 he published a book on the application of the physical effects predicted by his hypothesis to space travel. [1] 


1 - Making Starships & Stargates

Making Starships and Stargates: The Science of Interstellar Transport and Absurdly Benign Wormholes

To create the exotic materials and technologies needed to make stargates and warp drives is the holy grail of advanced propulsion. A less ambitious, but nonetheless revolutionary, goal is finding a way to accelerate a spaceship without having to lug along a gargantuan reservoir of fuel that you blow out a tailpipe. Tethers and solar sails are conventional realizations of the basic idea.

There may now be a way to achieve these lofty objectives. “Making Starships and Stargates” will have three parts. The first will deal with information about the theories of relativity needed to understand the predictions of the effects that make possible the “propulsion” techniques, and an explanation of those techniques. The second will deal with experimental investigations into the feasibility of the predicted effects; that is, do the effects exist and can they be applied to propulsion? The third part of the book – the most speculative – will examine the question: what physics is needed if we are to make wormholes and warp drives? Is such physics plausible?  And how might we go about actually building such devices? This book pulls all of that material together from various sources, updates and revises it, and presents it in a coherent form so that those interested will be able to find everything of relevance all in one place.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_F._Woodward


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