Burkhard Heim

Burkhard Heim

Infobox Scientist
name = Burkhard Heim
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image_width = 200px
caption = Burkhard Heim (from Heim Theory by Illobrand Von Ludwiger)
birth_date = February 09, 1925
birth_place = Potsdam
death_date = January 14, 2001
death_place = Northeim
residence =
citizenship =
nationality = Germany
ethnicity =
field = Physicist
work_institutions =
alma_mater =
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students =
known_for = Heim theory
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influences =
influenced =
prizes =
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Burkhard Heim (February 9 1925 - January 14 2001) was a German theoretical physicist. He devoted a large portion of his life to the pursuit of his unified field theory, Heim theory. One of his childhood ambitions was to develop a method of space travel, which contributed to his motivation to find such a theory.

During World War II, Heim was recruited as a soldier in the air force. However, a previous essay about explosives led to his working briefly in a chemical laboratory as an explosives technician, instead. An explosion in the laboratory caused by the mishandling of unstable compounds left him with debilitating handicaps. The accident left him without hands and mostly deaf and blind when he was 19, forcing him to use Krukenburg hands. His behaviour subsequently became progressively eccentric and reclusive. Eventually, he retreated into almost total seclusion, concentrating on developing and refining his theory of everything. His disabilities and brilliance have led Illobrand von Ludwiger, the physicist and pioneer in satellite control systems, to dub him "the German Hawking " (see e.g. [http://www.mufon-ces.org/text/deutsch/heimphysik.htm] ).

Early life

A native of Potsdam, Heim was a precocious child. At the age of six, he knew the positions of the major planets and constellations. In school, he taught himself thousands of Chinese characters with which to write secret messages. He was already advanced far beyond his age in chemistry, so that when he devised an explosive booby trap on door knobs as a prank on unpopular teachers, he was not suspected of being the culprit as he seemed too young for such an advanced construction. At the age of 18, he did his 'Abitur' or high school diploma.

Academic and work history

A large proportion of the 76 years of Heim's life was spent on theoretical physics and the formulation of his Heim theory.


In 1943 he met Heisenberg who was involved in German atom bomb research at that time and told him of his plan to use chemical implosion to facilitate an atomic explosion. This design was based on his idea he developed for a 'clean' hydrogen bomb when he was 18. Heisenberg was impressed by Heim's knowledge, but thought the approach would be impractical.

At that point Heim had to do military service in the German air force. He sent a paper on explosives to the Chemical-Technical 'Reichsanstalt' in Berlin, whereupon he was summoned to work there on the development of the proposed new explosives. It was here that he met with the accident that handicapped him for life.

In 1946, Heim registered at the University of Goettingen to study physics. He fulfilled his academic degree requirements with the help of companions. Afterwards, he continued to study a variety of topics including medicine, psychology, electronics, history and theology.


In 1952, during the third congressional session of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) in Stuttgart, Germany, Burkhard Heim presented his theory for interplanetary propulsion under the title of “Die dynamische Kontrabarie als Lösung des astronautischen Problems” (The Dynamic Kontrabarie as solution of the Astronautical Problem). According to Weyl (1959a,b), a brief description of Heim’s lecture was recorded in the proceedings of the Society for Space Research.

In 1954 he began to study under Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker in Göttingen. He wrote his diploma thesis on physical processes in the Crab Nebula Supernova. After this, he began to work at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Göttingen. However, he soon found it extremely difficult to work in a team due to his handicaps. Von Weizsäcker also did not want to burden Heim with the development of a unified field theory. However, this was essentially his primary interest.

Also, his second IAF presentation was given in 1954, Innsbruck, Austria, during its fifth congress. News about his presentations may have been relayed to the United States by the American representatives, Frederick C. Durant III and Andrew G. Haley, who were serving as President and Vice President, respectively, of the IAF during its fifth congress.

During the 1955 holiday week of Thanksgiving Day, the "New York Herald Tribune", and "The Miami Herald" carried announcements about the completion of contractual arrangements between Burkhard Heim and Glenn L. Martin Company. Heim was to assist them with their gravity control propulsion project. The news about Heim's contract was among several revelations that had been published about the United States gravity control propulsion initiative.

In 1956, Heim completed a twenty-seven paged progress report. Copies of it and its English translation were archived at the Gravity Research Foundation. It had summarized his philosophy (syntrometry) and his theory (Principle of Dynamic Contrabarie) for coupling general relativity with quantum dynamics for propulsion applications. Sample calculations for an expedition from the surface of the Earth to the surface of the planet Mars appeared at the end of Heim’s progress report. His six-dimensional meso-field-equations required only 285 kg of fuel to be expended to propel a manned vehicle, with the empty weight of fifty t, on a round trip lasting only 336 hours. Those calculations allowed 111 hours for interplanetary travel, 100 hours to explore Mars, and fourteen hours to perform engine overhaul and launch preparations. His endothermic process required a maximum cooling rate of 1.2 GW.

In November 1957, Heim delivered a lecture about his propulsion theory to the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Raketentechnik und Raumfahrt (German Society for Rocket Technology and Space Travel), Frankfurt. According to von Ludwiger (2001), an audiotape of Heim’s presentation had been prepared for shipment to America.

In 1959, Heim completed his first publication. "Zeitschrift für Flugkörper" ("Magazine for Missiles") carried a series of four articles about his theory (Heim, 1959 a,b,c,d). The series of papers carried claims and sample calculations that were similar to his 1956 progress report at the Gravity Research Foundation. Heim discussed "the principle of the dynamic Kontrabarie" in which he examined how a field drive would be more effective than the best chemical drive for rockets. These papers remained ambiguous on the fundamental concepts underlying his theory of the field drive, likely due to the necessity to complete the calculations on the extra fields of his field theory. These calculations were not performed until a few years later. This series of papers would mark his last work towards gravity control propulsion.

The magazine "le Figaro" remarked (January 15 1969) that he was an "inhuman robot". Heim was very mindful of keeping his work from others and worried about plagiarism. In particular, he saw some colleagues as possible plagiarists. One other reason for his distrust of others was due to a colleague who embezzled donations from a society he founded in 1959. (The "Institut für Kraftfeldphysik e.V." was intended to develop test models of his propulsion concepts.)

Heim stopped work on the propulsion aspect of his theory in 1959. Neither failures nor flaws had made Heim discontinue his propulsion research – it was the unbridled interest of unsavory firms. The preface by Helmut Goeckel to Heim’s (1959a) first paper in the series of four articles published by "Magazine for Missiles" indicated various aerospace and ordnance companies had made several attempts to kidnap him. Subsequently, the remainder of his life was devoted to refining the unified field attributes of his theory.


Heim decided that it was best that he worked from home as a result of the circumstances he had suffered during 1959. By the 1960s, he worked almost exclusively in isolation—obsessively, often unceasingly for days on end.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s there were a number of reports on Heim in magazines and tabloids such as "Le Figaro", "Bunte Illustrierte", "Quick" and "Stern". Also the main German TV station, ARD, ran reports and interviews with Heim. It was speculated that Heim was likely to make a breakthrough, either in fundamental physics or propulsion theory.

The aerospace company Bölkow was prepared to finance Heim's effort to develop a field drive, but was unable to obtain adequate financing. The firm's chief executive Ludwig Bölkow suggested to Heim that he concentrate on deriving as many concrete predictions from his theory as possible.

With this suggestion, Heim decided to turn from an experimentalist back to a theorist. It would be almost 20 years before Heim's predictions materialised into anything concrete—in the end, part of this resulted in what is known today as his mass formula for elementary particles, the values of the fine structure constant, and the force coupling coefficients.


It would not be until the 1970s that Heim would publish his first work, except for the "Zeitschrift für Flugkörper" papers of 1959. He did not submit his work to scientific peer review but used a little known publishing house, resulting in errors in the presentation of his theory. His only peer reviewed paper was in 1977 in "Zeitschrift für Naturforschung".


In 1982 Heim's mass formula was programmed on a computer at DESY with the assistance of some resident scientists.

Up to this point, Heim had not yet confided in other theoretical physicists on the details of the mass formula derivation. Hence, the DESY results were not widely published and disseminated for academic scrutiny. That year Walter Dröscher, a theorist at the Vienna Patent Office, began to work with Heim. The first result of their collaboration cumulated into the second volume of Heim's major work, appearing in 1984.

1990s to 2004

Heim died in Northeim in 2001.

In 2004, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awarded the winning paper in the nuclear and future flight field to a retired Austrian patent officer named Walter Dröscher and Jochem Häuser, a physicist and professor of computer science at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzgitter, Germany. They turned the theoretical framework of Burkhard Heim into a proposal for an experimental test for a propulsion device that is thought to theoretically be able to perhaps travel at rates faster than the speed of light. Hans Theodor Auerbach, a theoretical physicist and someone who has worked alongside Heim has stated that, "As far as I understand it, Heim theory is ingenious," and, "I think that physics will take this direction in the future". [ [http://www.newscientist.com/channel/fundamentals/mg18925331.200-take-a-leap-into-hyperspace.html "Take a leap into hyperspace"] from "New Scientist"] [ [http://www.hpcc-space.de/publications/documents/aiaa2004-3700-a4.pdf "Guidelines For A Space Propulsion Device Based On Heim's Quantum Theory"] from HPCC-Space GmbH]

Life and health

Heim had to undergo a series of operations (at least 50 according to [http://quanthomme.free.fr/energielibre/chercheurs/CHERCHEURS2.htm] ) after the explosion which resulted in the loss of his arms. He found that intense concentration on the study of Einstein's relativity theory helped him control the pain in his arms mentally and physically.

The loss of his hands and serious diminution of his eyesight apparently resulted in Heim acquiring an eidetic, acoustic memory. He was claimed to rarely forget a formula if he heard it recited, and was said to be able to learn a language in a matter of days. He married a former concert singer from Prague in 1950 named Gerda.


There is debate among physicists as to whether the ideas of Heim achieved his goals. Those who have collaborated with Heim generally believe that he may have succeededFact|date=December 2007. Most other physicists have not held the theory in as high a regard, primarily because a significant portion of Heim's work has not been published in rigorously peer reviewed journals. Other factors limiting the acceptance of Heim's theory include its specialized mathematical formalism (such as its use of selector calculus), as well as its lengthy nature. In particular, the theory was initially published in German and had notations which were not in widespread use. For these reasons, Heim's theory has attracted a limited audience and appeal in today's theoretical physics community. As a result, he is not as well known now as most prominent physicists, though in the 1950s and 1960s he was prominent in the media and amongst distinguished physicistsFact|date=December 2007.

A few researchers today continue developing Heim's theory using a form of quantum gravity with the hope that Heim may receive posthumous credit for finding a comprehensive framework for a "Theory of Everything"Fact|date=December 2007.

Heim and Cocteau

Jean Cocteau created a drawing with Einstein, Newton and Copernicus under the mystic "Eye of Heim" (reproduced as Figure 2 in "Das Neue Weltbild des Physikers Burkhard Heim" - Von Ludwiger, 2006 [http://www.komplett-media.de/katalog/H%C3%B6rb%C3%BCcher_Neuheiten_DAS_NEUE_WELTBILD_DES_PHYSIKERS_BURKHARD_HEIM_CD_BUCH_Paket,150,2987,d.html] )

Heim in popular culture

After many years of arduous concentration on the development of his mathematical physics theory, largely in isolation from society, Heim thought it was time to talk to audiences about his more accessible philosophical speculations. As part of this, he began to describe the philosophical interpretation of the character of the extra dimensions in his theory; for example, that the 5th and 6th coordinates exercised an ordering influence on material systems. In popular culture, news of these ideas spread and were unfortunately unaccompanied by descriptions of the underlying rigorous mathematics. Thus for the majority of people, the only aspects of Heim's theories that made sense were the more philosophical or mystical ones. See external links for details.

ee also

*Heim theory


*Auerbach, T.’ & v. Ludwiger, I. (1992, Autumn). Heim’s theory of elementary particle structures. "Journal of Scientific Exploration", 6(3), 217-231.
*Dröscher, W., & Häuser, J. (2002, July). "Physical principles of advanced space propulsion based on Heim's field theory" (AIAA 2002-4094). Paper presented at the meeting of the 38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, Indianapolis, Indiana.
*Heim, B. (1956). "Bericht über die Entwicklung des Prinzips der dynamischen Kontrabarie" [A report on the development of the principle of dynamic contrabarie] . New Boston, New Hampshire: Gravity Research Foundation (original and English translation are available).
*Heim, B. (1959a). "Das Prinzip der dynamischen Kontrabarie." "Zeitschrift für Flugkörper", 1(4), 100-102.
*Heim, B. (1959b). "Das Prinzip der dynamischen Kontrabarie (II)," "Zeitschrift für Flugkörper", 1(6), 164-166.
*Heim, B. (1959c). "Das Prinzip der dynamischen Kontrabarie (III)," "Zeitschrift für Flugkörper", 1(7), 219-221.
*Heim, B. (1959d). "Das Prinzip der dynamischen Kontrabarie (IV)," "Zeitschrift für Flugkörper", 1(8), 244-248.
*v. Ludwiger, I. (2001, January 28). "Zum Tode des Physikers Burkhard Heim." Retrieved September 10, 2004 from the Zum Tode des Physikers Burkhard Heim web site.
*Talbert, A. E. (1955a, November 20). "Conquest of gravity aim of top scientists in U.S.," "New York Herald-Tribune": Sunday, pp. 1 and 36.
*Talbert, A. E. (1955b, November 30). "Scientists taking first steps in assault on gravity barrier," "The Miami Herald: Wednesday", pp. 1, 2-A.
*Watson, J. T. (1961, February). "Gravitational control research" (Master’s thesis). (DTIC No. AD-0253588)
*Weyl, A. R. (1957, October). ‘Anti-gravity’. "Aeronautics", 37(2), 80-86. (British Aviation Publications).
*Weyl, A. R. (1959a, January). "Knowledge and possibilities of gravity research" (DTIC No. AD-0830247). W. R. Eichler (Trans.) "Weltraumfahrt; Zeitschrift für Rakententechnik", 9, 100-106 (original work published December 1958).
*Weyl, A. R. (1959b, February). "Gravity and the prospects for astronautics." "Aeronautics", 59(6), 16-22. (British Aviation Publications).

External links


* [http://www.worlditc.org/f_06_protosimplex_heim_a_biography.htm]
* [http://www.engon.de/protosimplex/px_heimd.htm] in German

Heim's colleagues and acquaintances

*Pascual Jordan
*Werner Heisenberg
*Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker
*Hans-Peter Dürr

Magazine articles

* [http://www.newscientistspace.com/article/mg18925331.200/ New Scientist article]
* [http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18925391.200-testing-heims-theories.html/ One of the subsequent letters to the New Scientist Editor]

Blog Articles

* [http://wordsoffireinkofblood.blogspot.com/2006/01/sci-fi-flame-of-infinite-possibility.html factional account of Heim's life] with a further link to the above New Scientist article

Institutions researching fields in which Heim had an interest


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