Larry Spring Museum of Common Sense Physics – Fort Bragg, California - Atlas Obscura

Larry Spring Museum of Common Sense Physics

Experience Larry Spring's self-taught "common sense" laws of physics. 


It is hard to know what to make of 94-year-old Larry Spring. Born in 1915, as a boy Larry took an interest in radio and airplanes, going on to become a pilot during WWII. Upon returning from the war Larry owned his own television sales and service shop, and took a renewed interest in the science behind radio waves.

In 1954 Larry says he independently verified the speed of light using comparison dipole antennas and a field strength meter. This was to be the beginning of the creation of what Larry Spring calls his “common sense physics.” Put simply Larry believes and teaches a view of physics based on the idea that light is neither particle nor wave but a “magnesphere,” a pure magnetic sphere of alternating polarity that drives electrons. Among his theories are “spring atoms” and that heat is the result of electron activity within the atom not friction from their movement.

Of course, all of this is arrived at without peer review, and 94-year-old Larry would readily verify he is not a physics professor or mathematician. Larry sees this as his strength and why he is able to think “outside the box.” In his own words “I’m just playing around with the basics. It works and it’s not in the books.”

A lifetime of being a science outsider has led Larry to a somewhat cynical sense of humor about mainstream physics. He has made a number of cartoons and one about peer review reads “There are no peers for new discoveries. To judge something a peer would have to know about it. If a peer already knew about it, it would not be a new discovery.” Whatever one feels about his scientific theories, his dedication to self-education, and the ability of one man to attempt to make new discoveries is impressive.

Larry occasionally gives classes from his Fort Bragg studio which features a window display of many of his “Common Sense Physics” models and inventions.

Update: Sadly, Larry passed away in 2009, however, the museum is keeping his work alive.

Know Before You Go

Two blocks East off Highway 1 at 225 E Redwood Ave.

Open Saturdays 12pm -5pm or by appointment during the week.

In partnership with KAYAK

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