Thirty-three-year-old N. C. Central University physics senior Philmore Russell had a vision of taking his research to new heights of discovery and professional development.
But that dream was almost killed recently when his work was refuted by NCCU faculty.
A March 27 letter from the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs stated that there was “insufficient data to seek copyright or patent protection” on his Invention Disclosure Form regarding his theory of “The Photogravity Effect.”
His work explores the development of possible new relationships between electromagnetism and gravitation.
It also stated that Russell was to refrain from using the University’s name in correspondence or in reference to any other discoveries made in his work without the permission of the University.
“I was just distraught once I saw that.
“All my time and effort was placed into this research. How does it, that the very University I go to not support me in my hard efforts?”
Tyrone Eaton, director of the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs, declined to comment on the specifics of the case. However, Eaton did state one reason for the refutation was Russell’s low grades.
Eaton said that he and Branislav Vlahovic, chair of the department of physics, spoke and agreed that Russell’s work was not at a level appropriate for a copyright.
According to Eaton, the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs only sponsors faculty, not student research.
But Russell says his endorsement by an expert in the field proves that his work is valid. In 2001, Russell joined an on-line forum that derived solutions to problems in physics. One problem that Russell analyzed in this forum was found in publications from NASA scientists. It related to why spacecraft drift off-course while in orbit.
Russell’s justification for and precise delivery of his solution caught the eyes of geophysicist Jerry Montgomery. Montgomery is co-founder and senior geophysicist at Willowstick Technologies and has more than 33 years of professional experience.
He also is the inventor of the AquaTrack technology, which efficiently maps, tracks and monitors groundwater resources.
“Even though I’m not receiving any type of monetary assistance, it feels good to know that I have respectable partners in my corner,” said Russell.