Antigravity = Antimass… or does it?
Today, I had one of those weird flashes of intuition that proves to me, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am a geek. I was thinking about anti-gravity. Specifically, how could I make it and become richer than God. I’ll try to help out the non-science types as much as I can.
Einstein (the fuzzy, white haired genius himself) described gravity as the result of a mass sitting in space-time. The mass bends space time like a bowling ball does sitting on a mattress. The more mass, the more the bend.
Now, the concept is simple. You fall toward the mass, just like a golf ball that is rolling along the mattress falls toward the bowling ball. If you have enough speed, then you can escape the grip of the mass and get to a flat part of space (relatively flat as gravity affects everything, everywhere at a square of the distance between the two objects).
I know, I said that pretty fast, if you need more explanation, the website that I ‘borrowed’ the image from (link below) can help you out.
Now, to my stuff. To create anti-gravity, you want the opposite effect from spacetime. Instead of falling toward the object as in gravity, you want the object to ‘push’ you away. The effect of spacetime must curve upward.
My original thought was that this would require a negative mass. OK, now I have a problem with that. I don’t want to get into quantum chromodynamics here, so I have an issue with negative mass.
However, theoretically, gravity also acts as a wave phenomenon. The other three primary forces of the universe (electromagnetism, Strong Nuclear and Weak Nuclear forces) can be described as both particles and waves. In fact, the ‘graviton’ has never been discovered and probably won’t be for quite a while. The problem with gravity as a wave is two fold.
1) Waves transfer energy – does gravity actually do that or is the change in motion of objects affected by gravity merely a byproduct of mass… in other words ‘Is gravity really a force or is it just a property of matter?’
2) We can’t find gravity waves. Gravity waves are probably bad. Imagine areas that move where the acceleration due to gravity suddenly changes from 10 m/s^2 to 100 m/s^2. You suddenly weigh ten times as much as you do now. Ick… human jelly. The other problem with gravity as a wave is that gravity doesn’t really change, so we can’t create a gravity wave. Now if Jupiter suddenly disappeared, we’d get some great information about the effects of gravity waves as the rest of the solar system reacted to the second largest mass in it vanishing.
Now for the solution. Even with all those problems, I think we can still consider gravity a wave. If you have two waves traveling toward each other you can have both constructive interference and destructive interference. That is where the effects of the two waves amplify each other and where the effects of the two waves cancel each other out. See this article on wiki for more.
With a wave, you have a baseline and movement of the wave both higher than the baseline and lower than the base line. If gravity is a wave and we could create two point sources of mass, then we ought to be able to create a standing gravitational wave that produces enough of an effect to act as an anti-gravity field.
Think of it this way, a toy ducky is floating in a pool. That’s the baseline, the level of the water in the pool. When one guy cannonballs the pool, he will create waves. Those waves (effectively) raise and lower the height of the ducky. The ducky will go higher than the baseline and lower than the baseline. That distance high and low is what we call amplitude.
Our ducky is at rest again, this time two guys cannonball into the pool. They jump in just such a way that the crests (the high points) of their waves both hit the ducky at the same time. What happens? The ducky goes twice as high as he did with one guy. A second later (or less) the low points (the trough) of both waves hit the ducky, the poor ducky goes twice as far down as he did below. In the ocean, this effect is called a rogue wave.
But how do we create mass you ask. Einstein handled that one with E=mc^2. E is energy and m is mass. So with enough energy, we can create mass. Scientists do it now… on a very very small scale.
If we could create several point masses in a circle, then the center of the circle could have an anti-gravity effect because of wave theory.
Please note: this material (except for the gravity image) is copyrighted 2007 by Kevin R. McCarthy. Any science done on this concept needs to have me involved… please!