In 1921, Brown discovered what was later called the Biefeld-Brown effect while experimenting with a Coolidge X-ray tube. This is a vacuum tube with two asymmetrical electrodes. Brown noticed that there was a force exerted by the tube when it was connected to a high-voltage source. This force was not caused by the X-rays, but by this new effect.
Later, in 1923, he collaborated with Paul Alfred Biefeld at Denison University, Granville, Ohio. He started a military career afterwards and was involved in a number of science programs.
Though the effect he discovered has been proven to exist by many others, Brown's work was controversial due to the fact that others and even he himself believed that this effect could explain the existence of UFOs.