Does Antigravity Really Exist? - The Comprehensive Minds

Does Antigravity Really Exist?-Fact or Fiction

One of the most obvious observations about gravity is the simple aphorism “What goes up, must come down.” It’s just how gravity works – it pulls things downwards. But then there’s this thing some people talk about called antigravity. Is it real? 

Well, no. Or at least probably not. But respected scientists are looking into it, which means that we need to know more. It seems that a word like antigravity would be easy to define. It should be the opposite of gravity – something that would push you away from Earth, for example. 

But the term antigravity is used in many ways, including dodgy things, like explaining how UFOs fly, which is, kind of silly. However, researchers at CERN are investigating the possibility of real antigravity using antimatter. And you gotta admit, that sounds totally cool. I’ll talk about this very real science in a moment. But first, I think it would be fun to spend a little more time on the silly stuff. 

So, let’s talk about some of the ideas you can easily find if you surf the internet. The most common is when people imagine that some sort of electrical current will overcome gravity. They go by names like gravito electrics or sometimes electrogravitics, just to change it up. Then there is another term you'll find, called gravitomagnetic. 

Now, first, all of these are just made-up terms. They sound all science-y and all, but they're not. And furthermore, different people will use the same term for different phenomena. So that should tell you something about how seriously you should take them. But here are some specific ideas. 

Does Antigravity Really Exist

In the 1990s, a researcher claimed that rotating superconducting disks would shield 2% of gravity. Another person has claimed that parallel plate capacitors can shield gravity. Then there is the claim that flowing dense fluids in pipes wrapped around a torus will create a repulsive gravitational field. While you’ll even find people who claim to have made machines using these principles, none of these ideas have ever been replicated by other researchers. 

Scientific claims that haven’t been replicated should make you go “Hmmmmm.” And, of course, no discussion of antigravity would be complete without touching on the UFO-enthusiast community. Some members claim that the U.S. government is in possession of a crashed UFO or two. 

UFO-enthusiast community

The most famous is the supposed crash of a flying saucer at Roswell, which the story says was transferred to Hangar 18 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. And who can forget the claims that at a facility called S4, not far from the famed Area 51, that the US has not one, but seven captured flying saucers, which the government has reversed engineered? Those would all be amazing if they were true. But they’re not. 

Also Read: What If There Was a Hotel in Space?

Now, I know that some of you will disagree with me on topics of UFOs and captured flying saucers and antigravity technology. And others will claim that I’m lying to hide the truth. But, to quote Carl Sagan, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So, I say, “prove it.” And to make it worth your while, if you have evidence of a true antigravity device, there’s a prize waiting for you worth a million Euros, which is over a million bucks. It’s called the Gode award and here is the link to the site if you believe you have developed an antigravity device. 

We live in a world in which it is possible to make outlandish claims that then spread like wildfire across the internet. But that doesn’t make them true, no more than the one I heard the other day, which was that Fermilab’s famous Dr. Donknew too much, so he was neutralized and replace with a high-tech android using advanced alien technology from Zeta Reticuli. And there’s no truth to that one. None at all. 

I’m not saying that antigravity is absolutely impossible. Admittedly, it’s not something that currently accepted physics theories allow, but I’m in the business of searching for phenomena that aren’t described by currently accepted physics theories. So, I’d be thrilled if one of these ideas worked out. It’s just none of them have so far. On the other hand, there are a few groups of serious and respected researchers who are looking into what one might call antigravity. 

Basically, they ask “If the matter falls down, does antimatter fall up?” These experiments are done at CERN, Fermilab’s sister laboratory in Europe. Now both laboratories know how to make antimatter. Making antiprotons or antielectrons is pretty easy with the equipment we have. And Fermilab once had the world’s premier antiproton production facility. But neither antiprotons nor antielectrons are suitable because they have an electric charge. And the electric force is enormously stronger than gravity. 

The exact strength difference depends on whether we're talking about electrons or protons, but, ballpark- the electric force is like ten to forty times stronger than gravity. Ten to the forty is a big number. That means if you want to study the gravitational behavior of antimatter that you need to shield your equipment incredibly well from stray electromagnetic fields, or it will screw up your experiment. 

gravitational behavior of antimatter

So, researchers at CERN get around that by combining an antiproton with an antielectron, making an antihydrogen atom, which is electrically neutral. It’s a clever solution that sounds easy but is pretty tricky. And the various different experimental groups at CERN do it in different ways. Then the different experiments either launch their antihydrogen upward or sideward or just release it from rest and look to see what happens. Does antimatter fall down? Or up? 

There are several experiments at CERN vying to be the first to make this measurement with names like Alpha-G, GBAR, and AEgIS. The competition is certainly intense. So, what’s the answer? The short answer is that we don’t know just yet. But we should know soon.  

So, what do most scientists think will happen? Pretty universally, we all think that antimatter will fall down, just like matter does. The reason is that for both Newtonian gravity and General Relativity, gravitational force depends on the mass of an object, and we've measured the mass of antimatter subatomic particles and it’s exactly the same as their corresponding matter particles. 

The mass of an antiproton is the same as the mass of a proton. We’ve measured that. But- and this is a big but- we’ve measured the inertial mass of antimatter particles, not their gravitational mass. Inertial mass is a measure of how particles resist change in motion, while gravitational mass is a measure of how they are affected by gravity. 

For matter, inertial and gravitational mass are the same. In fact, that’s a key assumption of Einstein’stheory of general relativity. It even has a name. It’s called the equivalence principle. But the simple fact is that we’ve not measured the gravitational mass of antimatter. Maybe the equivalence principle doesn’t apply to antimatter. 

Maybe, for antimatter, gravitational mass is the negative of inertial mass. If so, that would be a very big deal. And it is, indeed, possible that antimatter falls up. We’re going to have to wait for the experimental results to be announced. Don’t expect anything for many months – probably a year. But it’s coming and the measurement is going to be super epic. This is real science. 

On the other hand, bringing this back to the scientifically irresponsible sides of the antigravity conversation, even if the CERN experiments find that antimatter falls up, that doesn’t help us with making gravity shields in our house, nor does it really explain the claims of the UFO community

Also Read: Alien Radio Signal From Outer Space Discovered

Antimatter is exceedingly dangerous and outrageously hard to make, and that would still be true even with very advanced technology. And it’s also still true that magnets, superconductors, capacitors, and spinning toroids don’t cancel gravity. Sorry guys. But keep an eye out for the CERN results. It’s going to be awesome. 

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