The Magnetic Monopole Spacecraft

I have exactly one article of faith: Magnetic monopoles exist. I believe it without any evidence, and no amount of argument will sway me from my dedication to that conviction. Not even the spellchecker’s red squiggly line under the word “monopole” can move me.

For the uninitiated, a magnetic monopole is to magnetism what an electron is to electricity. Electricity and magnetism are deeply entwined, so moving electrons can generate magnetic fields and moving magnets can generate electric fields. But whereas we have lots of evidence that electrons exist, we have never managed to find definite evidence that magnetic monopoles exist.

I just really want them to.

And so, apparently, did weird-patent superstar John Quincy St. Clair! Because today we are talking about his magnetic monopole spacecraft:

A picture of a flying saucer with loopy bits coming out of it and a sine wave.
USPP 2006/0168937, FIG. 15

Per the abstract, the system “utilizes a dual method of providing lift on the hull by means of magnetic monopoles and electromagnetic spacetime curvature pressure.” That last bit is some especially enticing nonsense, since spacetime curvature is not (to my knowledge) governed by electromagnetic forces at all. What a visionary!

Unfortunately, the application does not seem to rely on what I would call a “true” magnetic monopole. Instead, it uses wormholes as an approximation of them:

Because the spacecraft is surrounded by a field of wormholes, there is a magnetic flux density field threading each one. That is, each wormhole is actually a magnetic monopole, and therefore the entire field of monopoles constitutes a large magnet with one pole in this dimension and the other pole in the hyperspace dimension.

USPP 2006/0168937, ¶3

Mr. St. Clair’s work with wormholes and hyperspace dimensions is well documented in the Patent Office records, so we won’t delve too much into the details. The core idea is actually well established in real physics–you can approximate a magnetic monopole by making a long magnet. Each end will act as a north or south pole of the magnetic. Due to the distance between them, the field lines close to the ends will look an awful lot like a monopole. In St. Clair’s patent, the other end just happens to be in hyperspace.

To illustrate, here’s a cool picture of a wormhole surface with an electron spiraling through it:

Ostensibly a wormhole, with a two-ended funnel shape that shows a corkscrew shape entering one side.
USPP 2006/0168937, FIG. 10

Unfortunately, the application was never properly examined. The USPTO sent Mr. St. Clair a letter inquiring about whether NASA might have property rights in the invention. Mr. St. Clair never replied, and the application went abandoned as a result. This kind of inquiry is apparently common for patent applications that have been “marked by the USPTO security screeners as being of interest to DOE or NASA.”

Unfortunately, Mr. St. Clair seems to have passed away about in September of 2021. Let’s call this post a slightly tardy memorial then, for a tremendous mind and a pioneer in the field of hyperspace… stuff.

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