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Careful observations, conducted over a period of years, have revealed the existence of a "steady state" electrical self-potential spontaneously developed by certain semi-conductors. Exploratory work with various semi-conducting material has revealed massive high-K dielectrics, being heavy semi-conducting materials with high dielectric constant, produce the greatest self-potential. Solid dieliectrics such as barium titanate, lead zirconate titanate and certain natural rocks (granite, basalt, etc.) are found to produce this electrical self-potential. The origin of the self-potential referred to in this application is believed to be not hitherto known or identified. It is not piezoelectric, pyroelectric or electrochemialc in origin.
Whereas, it appears to be a fact of nature that rocks and similar dielectric and semi-conducting materials spontaneously produce electricity, it is the purpose of this invention to apply the means to extract that electricity so that it may be utilized. This application specificially excludes piezoelectric (pressure related) and pyroelectric (heat related) effects commonly observed in materials of this type and well known in the art. This application relates exlusively to the phenomenon of "petroelectricity" (a new terminology) which is relatively "steady state" and not dependent upon temperature, pressure or chemical action. The origin of petroelectric energy is not presently known. It is obvious that this energy does not reside in the material itself but must, it appears, have an external, perhaps even extraterrestrial origin. Incident radiation from space (neutrino flux or optical-frequency gravitational radiation has been proposed) but, at present, no adequate explanation exists.
The earmarks of the incoming radiant energy which appear to cause the petrovoltaic effect are the clearly-evident diurnal cycles and occasional strong pulses of short duration. A research program is presently underway to study the possibility that a new energy source (perhaps cosmic in nature) may have been discovered.
This invention relates to the method of tapping the self-potential generated by such dielectric or semi-conducting material. It relates to the placing upon, or attaching thereto, of electrodes upon such material so as to conduct away and utilize the electrical potential developed therein. It relates to the preparation of the dieleectric surface so as to effectively receive said electrodes. The invention further relates to the use of conductors or circuitry to convey said electrical energy from said electrodes to the ultimate (end-use) of said electrical energy.