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Reflected Gravitational Waves

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the could-prove-useful dept.

Science 329

WSOGMM sends in an arXiv blog post about reflecting gravity waves. The speculation is that reflected gravity could go some ways toward explaining the odd readings being returned by Gravity Probe B. "In the couple of weeks since he introduced the idea that superconducting sheets can reflect gravity waves, Raymond Chiao from the University of California, Merced, has been busy with a couple of buddies working out how big this effect is... Chiao and co. ask how big the effect of a gravitational wave on a thin superconducting sheet is compared to the effect on an ordinary conducting sheet. The answer? 42 orders of magnitude bigger."

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329 comments

We now know the question to the answer... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309315)

Douglas Adams gave us that answer forever ago.

Re:We now know the question to the answer... (-1, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309613)

You're an extremely unsurprising fuck.
This whole "42" meme is annoying and denotes how unimaginative your kind is.
Whenever you feel the need to help mankind get further, please remove yourself from the gene pool after setting whatever you collect on fire. ...and Fuck Douglas Adams.

Re:We now know the question to the answer... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309665)

You're an extremely unsurprising fuck.

Trolls the guy called Adolf Hitroll...

Re:We now know the question to the answer... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309683)

Was you a spaceship B person? Sick of sanitising phones? :)

Re:We now know the question to the answer... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309775)

The answer? 42 orders of magnitude bigger."

        * Read More...
        * 42 comments

Now that's cool :)

And Mr Hitroll, you should go read up on irony. You might then find yourself even more hilarious.

DIE IN A FIRE (0, Offtopic)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310473)

You heard me loud and clear: DIE IN A FIRE.

Re:We now know the question to the answer... (1)

mareviq (1458931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309687)

But now that we know both the question and the answer our universe shall be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable! Or has this already happened?

Re:We now know the question to the answer... (1)

bFusion (1433853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310309)

Or has this already happened?

It's already happened several times, actually.

This first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309319)

Has been brought to you by reflected gravity waves!

Gravity surf (0)

emj (15659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309323)

So when do we get the report of people seeing UFOs that loocks like a surfer dude.

Re:Gravity surf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309565)

You mean like the silver surfer...?

- Peder

This can't be a coincidence (3, Funny)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309325)

The answer? 42 orders of magnitude bigger.

Either that's a scientist's prank or Douglas Adams really was right [wikipedia.org] !

Re:This can't be a coincidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309347)

Oh ya, 42!
It always come back to this number...
42!

Re:This can't be a coincidence (1)

TSchut (1314115) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309369)

Sounds like April fools to me...

Re:This can't be a coincidence (2, Funny)

GreenTech11 (1471589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309729)

Don't forget the superconducter sheet only distorts gravity at this ratio when it is 6 times 9

Cue the Douglas Adams references! (4, Funny)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309333)

Attention wannabe comedians:

There is a 42 reference in this story. This your cue...this is your chance..the spotlight is on you to bring humor to the world and make countless references to Douglas Adams. Because he mentioned the number 42 in a book!

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309385)

Attention slashbots. The following are anti-lulz

42
Chuck Norris
Sharks with lasers

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (4, Funny)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309531)

They are beowulf clusters of anti-lulz.

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309563)

In Soviet Russia, lulz are anti-YOU!

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (1, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309607)

The lulz are a lie!

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27310105)

The lulz are like cars and...

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (0, Offtopic)

RMingin (985478) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310279)

I, for one, welcome our new lulz-killing overlords.

You must be new here.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27310335)

In Soviet Russia, Chuck Norris with 42 Sharks with lasers is lulz.

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (0, Offtopic)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309887)

Likewise:
Forward deflector arrays
Tachyon beams
Crossing the streams.
. /Meh - Chuck Norris could easily beat 42 sharks with frikkin lasers!

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (0, Redundant)

assert(0) (913801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309931)

Sharks with lasers are actually OK, extra bonus if you jump them. 42 is not though. That meme needs to die. Even the great D A himself thought so (RIP).

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309989)

Sup Dawg, we heard you like Douglas Adams, so we Douglased an atom in the gravity so you can super while you conduct.

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (2)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310219)

I started to go and create an account by the name of DouglasAdams just to come on here and tell people to let it die so I can rest in peace.

But... I'm lazy.

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310257)

?????
Profit!

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309467)

Mostly that what's being talked about here really is a ratio of 10^42. Any real number can be n^42 ;-).

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (2, Informative)

chr1sb (642707) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309567)

Unless it's negative...

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (1)

chr1sb (642707) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309583)

Although perhaps i should qualify that ;-)

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (3, Funny)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309647)

Although perhaps i should qualify that ;-)

i imagine you'd want to.

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309693)

What has current got to do with it?

As any electrical engineer will tell you:

i=current
j=square root of minus one

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (4, Insightful)

feitingen (889125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309497)

Attention wannabe comedians:

There is a 42 reference in this story. This your cue...this is your chance..the spotlight is on you to bring humor to the world and make countless references to Douglas Adams. Because he mentioned the number 42 in a book!

I was thrilled, almost panicking when i read that, the amount of jokes i could make would be endless! Then i realized that none of them were actually good jokes.

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (1)

boliboboli (1447659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309757)

Clearly the question: "How big is the effect of a gravitational wave on a thin superconducting sheet compared to the effect on an ordinary conducting sheet" is the wrong question given the answer of 42. Deep Thought could tell them that...

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (1)

amirulbahr (1216502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309761)

+1 Meta-Funny.

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309777)

the spotlight is on you to bring humor to the world and make 42 references to Douglas Adams.

Here, fixed that for ya.

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (3, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309877)

Yes, but we are changing history ... this particular instance of 42 will help us to build a gravity wave detector which will further be used to detect the Galactic superhighway construction, allowing us to register a complaint about government confiscation of space it has no right to. At long last all the training will pay off and Earth's lawyers will then have something useful to do. Ambulance chasers will become the heroes they always thought themselves to be, and history will forever reward them.... except for *AA lawyers who will be scorned by both humans and all other Galactic citizens right up to the end of time... if you're fortunate enough to have reservations to see it.

Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (1)

zicAU (867771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309879)

He mentioned it first in a radio series, which is excellent. If you've read the book(s) and avoided the radio series, you are doing yourself a real disservice. I made the mistake of listening to the radio version first, and it ruined the books for me (so much of the humor from the radio series didn't translate to book form).

So... (1)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309357)

...how many superconducting sheets do I need to make a hoverboard?

Re:So... (5, Informative)

strawberryutopia (1301435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309459)

Nine thousand and one

Re:So... (1)

Inschato (1350323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309615)

Who modded this informative? It's clearly.. OVER NINE THOUSAND!!!

Re:So... (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310411)

NO NO NO!!! That's just _WRONG_...

It's --- OVER EIGHT THOUSAND!!!

Not nine.

Re:So... (4, Informative)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309511)

IANA Physicist but my understanding is that while gravitational waves can be reflected, it does not affect gravity at all. It is akin to having a grid reflect waves on the sea but still letting water flow through it (yes I know, these metaphors suck)

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309557)

So it's more like a surfboard? If you stop, it starts to sink?

That could be problematic over water.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309635)

Surely there must be some sort of force pushing against it?
I can't believe it would be 100% reflection of the "wave".

Re:So... (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309671)

no, in this case gravity waves = gravity. It is like light waves and superconducting sheet being mirror.

Nope, gravity waves != gravity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309875)

Unless the flaming summary is wrong (who RsTFA?).

Though I wonder if anything on the Pioneer spacecraft is now at a temperature that's superconducting?

Re:So... (5, Informative)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309755)

IAAP (ok i used to be), and I commend this distinction - its important to realise that gravitational waves are not the same thing as gravity.

Gravity is (from one point of view) just the curvature of spacetime. Its the large sagging indentation in the rubber sheet of spacetime that a massive body creates. Gravitational waves are fluctuations in this curvature, not gravity itself.

The distinction is somewhat akin to acceleration and velocity - consider a car (hurrah!) travelling with a very high velocity, which accelerates very slightly for a short period. If you could reflect the velocity, it would turn around instantly. Reflecting the acceleration however, causes no immediately obvious change. The car's still travelling bloody fast, in the same direction.

The gravitational waves caused by the earth's motion & rotation are so minute that gravity probe b's measurements, taken over a whole year, still took many months of processing before they could even be detected. Gravity waves are far too weak to have any practical purposes, and certainly not in "anti gravity".

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

locofungus (179280) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310001)

We then have to ask what happens if you vibrate the semiconductor in a non-uniform but static gravitational field.

The ultimate success would be a gravity shield where we could setup standing waves that nulled out the gravitational field. Even if it turned out that the energy required to do this matched the gravitational potential energy of any object that had it's gravity nulled it would make a fantastic addition to a space elevator, the climbers would now only need to carry enough energy to overcome friction on their way up.

Tim.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27310153)

Could this be related to the Allais effect or Pioneer anomaly? In the case of the former, would you think that an event like an eclipse could result in reflections of this type?

"Indentation in rubber sheet" (2, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310079)

I never got that, nor did my physics teacher (who started out as a real physicist.) If we imagine gravity as a deflection in a rubber sheet, why does the object "fall" into it? Because it would only do so if there was an external gravitational field parallel to the deflection. In the absence of that field the object would presumably travel through the space time deflection with unchanged velocity, whereas the analogy requires it to change path so as to lose potential energy and gain kinetic energy as a result of the perpendicular field. So the thought experiment seems to gravity as a deflected rubber sheet into which things fall because of another gravity in an external dimension. To make things worse, the rubber sheet is effectively 2D in a 3D universe. In our 3D universe, what form does the curvature take?

IANAP, I am a simple Java writing hack, and I may be too stupid to understand the explanation, but I find the analogy deeply unhelpful. On the other hand, the effect of gravity waves is easily understood; if I was receiving light from an obect travelling towards me and a gravity wave front passed along the line between us, either the light frequency would rise above nominal, fall below nominal and then return to nominal, or vice versa, as our relative velocity momentarily rose, fell and returned to nominal. There is no reflection involved, merely the normal behaviour of wavefronts, though I imagine the actual phenomenon would be more complicated because, of course, a pure single cycle of a sine wave never happens.

Re:"Indentation in rubber sheet" (4, Insightful)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310151)

This is what's commonly referred to as "overthinking it".

You're given an analogy so you don't have to understand the entire ruleset. If you then attempt to apply the ruleset that the analogy was trying to keep you away from, well...

Re:"Indentation in rubber sheet" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27310227)

"Indentation in rubber sheet" I never got that, nor did my physics teacher (who started out as a real physicist.) If we imagine gravity as a deflection in a rubber sheet, why does the object "fall" into it?

The answer is, it doesn't fall onto it. It's called an analogy.

You are thinking of this rubber sheet as existing in our 3 dimensions, when it would better work as a dimension of its own.

If analogies don't work for you, then the technical answer is the objects mass causes the indentation or the 'falling into it' as you say. This mass causes a warp in spacetime, and the warping itself is what we SEE as gravity, not what gravity is however, since that is a force of nature that results from mass (or so it seems) which we can't directly observe yet, we can only observe its effect on things with mass.

Now, WHY mass causes gravity (or the indentation on the sheet, or for the body to 'fall' into said sheet), to give us an effect we can see, we don't know yet. Hopefully this discovery can help us get closer to that understanding.

But the biggest mistake is to think of the object 'falling into' a sheet, since that description itself uses gravity as both the description of the event, and the event itself. They are not at all the same, so there is no magic 2nd gravity field. That 2nd field you are thinking of results 100% from the poor analogy and of course doesn't exist, it just helps some people wrap their mind around the effect in a visual way.

Basically, the falling on a sheet visual seems more helpful to right-brained people, while the maths itself is more helpful to the left brained people.
Neither representation (visual or the maths in the theory) is complete or correct at this point, so both are bound to cause confusion if you are looking for the end-answer.

Re:"Indentation in rubber sheet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27310247)

Hmmm does this mean matter is "absorbing" gravity radiation and thus absorbing a charge, which results in matter been attracted to each other?

Or maybe I need some sugar :)

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

master_p (608214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310093)

I understand the difference (the wave is simply a fluctuation of the medium), but are we really sure that gravity is only a curvature? the speed of gravity is not infinite, (IANAP, but from what I have read from various articles) it is the speed of light, so could it be that gravity is a sort of a particle, undetected so far, with properties similar to a photon? i.e. no rest mass, with only kinetic energy.

Re:So... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27310329)

I understand the difference (the wave is simply a fluctuation of the medium), but are we really sure that gravity is only a curvature? the speed of gravity is not infinite, (IANAP, but from what I have read from various articles) it is the speed of light, so could it be that gravity is a sort of a particle, undetected so far, with properties similar to a photon? i.e. no rest mass, with only kinetic energy.

That is pretty much what it looks like (humanity still doesn't know for sure yet), and what a lot of scientists assume is the case.

It's also possible however that gravity itself is not bound by the speed of light at all, however the information resulting from the effect of gravity Would be limited to the speed of light.
If that was the case, while gravity wouldn't fit nicely in with our other standard model particles, it would appear to function at the speed of light since that is as fast as gravities effects can reach us.

Re:So... (5, Interesting)

hasdikarlsam (414514) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309791)

While that is definitely true, and an important caveat, the fact that there is a connection at all between electromagnetism and gravity was somewhat unexpected - physicists did expect to eventually unify the theories, but probably not in a way where one affects the other like this. Don't underestimate the importance of this discovery.

Plus, there may be corresponding interactions between, I don't know, petahertz-level magnetic or electric waves (not plain old photons, mind) that have larger, more useful effects on gravity. Maybe. At any rate, the possibility is open now; we're allowed to hope.

Re:So... (1)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310097)

If you're reflecting gravity waves, is there not a change of momentum involved? If so, why wouldn't reflecting it reduce the gravity on the object concerned?

Possible correlation? (5, Insightful)

ma11achy (150206) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309359)

From the article:
"If there were an obvious interaction between a superconducting films and gravitational waves, wouldn't Gravity Probe B have picked them up somehow?.....As it turns out, the experiment has been throwing out anomalous results ever since it was launched......The team has puzzled over them for years now....."

I really do love those moments in science when something you have puzzled over for years may have an elegant answer after all.

Re:Possible correlation? (4, Funny)

mrvan (973822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309405)

[posting to correct misclick on moderation]

Yeah those moments are what you do it for... that and tenure :-)

Re:Possible correlation? (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310187)

Yeah those moments are what you do it for... that and tenure :-)

Tenure is what you get when your experiments go as planned. The Nobel Prize is when they don't.

Re:Possible correlation? (5, Informative)

JamesP (688957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309781)

You know what's too bad? The anomalous effects in GPB have been explained, peer reviewed, etc, in the final report http://einstein.stanford.edu/content/final_report/GPB_Final_NASA_Report-020509-web.pdf [stanford.edu]

And, AFAIK, it was "expected" from build imperfections in the spheres, and has nothing to do with gravity waves. Maybe there's something hidden there, but it's probably a very small signal not the huge (compared to the target) wobbling due to the process described there.

Just a silly question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309371)

is it predicted by ordinary physics? Any references?

Re:Just a silly question (1)

jibster (223164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309525)

I don't have a references besides the article itself but the logic is fairly straightforward.

A gravity wave will cause space speration between the cooper pairs of a superconductor and everything else in that material (other electrons and nucleui). I am not clear on what the mechanism is for this. TFA says cooper pairs have no mass, but that is not true as far as I know. Theory says they shhould have less mass that 2 elections but some experiments say they have more. TFA assums that this separation occurs so lets go with that.

This separation causes a polairisation in the material which then relaxes back at some point afterwards and emmits a gravity wave.

I am sure a lot of us can see the simularities with the standard absorptions and emmision of light by atoms and other changed particles.

Very exciting if true, and also very testable. I suspect there might be one or two groups world wide rushing to modify their rigs to prove or disprove.

Re:Just a silly question (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310313)

> This separation causes a polairisation in the material which then relaxes back at some
> point afterwards and emmits a gravity wave.

Seems as though that polarisation should be detectable in principle. It also seems as though one should be able to get a superconducting sheet to emit a pulse of gravitational radiation by applying an electrical pulse.

gravity boot. (1)

yowlanku (1169499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309449)

Ok! where's my gravity boot!

Re:gravity boot. (1)

strawberryutopia (1301435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309471)

Screw the boot, I want a gun!

Re:gravity boot. (1)

grodzix (1235802) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309487)

Too much Half Life ^^

Re:gravity boot. (1)

strawberryutopia (1301435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309519)

The problem with a gravity gun is that it requires a completely new form of ammo, made from one of Earth's most precious natural resources: gravity itself.

So we have to use gravity guns sparingly, else we'll end up floating off into space! Space I tell you! That's where all the Space Sharks live!

Do you want to be eaten by a Space Shark? Didn't think so.
Kids: Say no to gravity guns.

Superconducting spheres (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309455)

Just like the concentric rotating benzels in Carl Sagans book Contact. Maybe he had a gravitational wave resonance thing happening there.

Gravity Shielding (2, Interesting)

chr1sb (642707) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309551)

Eugene Podkletnov has been claiming for some time to have produced gravity shielding using levitated superconducting disks. The scientific community has mostly rejected his work, although NASA was for a time attempting to reproduce it. There's an article [wired.com] on it from a few years back on wired:

Re:Gravity Shielding (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310143)

This is about gravitational waves, not about gravitational fields.

Truly Amazing (4, Interesting)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309599)

This theory has implications that could revolutionize scientific thought across numerous fields. It may even provide some direction for the unified theory people to look in that isn't horribly complex and require inventing 1700 dimensions to make the math work.

Also if people don't understand how large 42 orders of magnitude really is 10 is one order of magnitude. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 is 42 orders of magnitude... Granted the numbers they are dealing with are very very small to start with and even 42 magnitudes larger is still pretty damn small this change in scale is mind boggling and shows much more we have to learn about the universe in general and the properties of superconductors in particular.

-Lify

Re:Truly Amazing (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309689)

But then this paragraph says:

Chiao and co ask how big is this effect of a gravitational wave on a thin superconducting sheet compared to the effect on an ordinary conducting sheet. The answer? 42 orders of magnitude bigger.

So if the affect of a conducting sheet is next to nothing then the affect of a superconducting sheet is 10^42 times as much but this may still be next to nothing. The article doesn't say that there will be no gravity inside the sphere.

Re:Truly Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309871)

Thus, if a sphere is the perfect antenna for gravity waves with a thin film of superconducting material acting as the gravity wave reflector, then if I put two spheres in close proximity, will the spherical mass be amplified by the gravity waves (attract better) or will the repelling force be greater? Moreover, can I create an amplifier for the gravity waves or a more sensitive instrument by creating an Einstein lense using these spherical gravity reflectors which focuses/amplifies the reflected gravity waves down to the next spherical gravity wave Einstein lense, etc?

Re:Truly Amazing (2, Informative)

dottedlinedesign (754366) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310491)

This theory has implications that could revolutionize scientific thought across numerous fields. It may even provide some direction for the unified theory people to look in that isn't horribly complex and require inventing 1700 dimensions to make the math work.

Nassim Haramein has put forth a unified field theory which doesn't rely on made up science: http://theresonanceproject.org/ [theresonanceproject.org]

Gravity wave detectors. (5, Insightful)

Therefore I am (1284262) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309661)

Doesn't this discovery also lead to the possibility of building super-sensitive gravitational wave detectors that really work....... Remember this - If you can't measure a phenomena, you have little hope of truly understanding it.

Re:Gravity wave detectors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309983)

I think Lord Kelvin said something similar to that...

Re:Gravity wave detectors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27310481)

Quite possibly, he was a real seeing is believing guy. Hence these other quotes:

"It seems as if we may also be forced to conclude that the supposed connection between magnetic storms and sun-spots is unreal, and that the seeming agreement between periods has been a mere coincidence."
      -- Lord Kelvin, 1892

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax."
      -- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895

"Radio has no future."
      -- Lord Kelvin

"Heavier than air flying machines are impossible."
      -- Lord Kelvin

This is a-posteriori explanation of GP-B issue (5, Interesting)

Zdzicho00 (912806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309743)

Martin Tajmar also posits an a-posteriori explanation for the anomalous data from Gravity Probe B based upon Cooper-pair mass in Niobium superconductors in: arxiv.org/abs/0707.3806 [slashdot.org]
Heim Theory [wikipedia.org] predicted such effects in 1950s already. Droscher & Hauser have suggested mechanism based on Heim Theory which was a-priori prediction as commented in the cover story of New Scientist Jan 2006 [newscientist.com] , 3 months before Tajmar's announcement on the ESA homepage [esa.int] .

Here is the latest paper [hpcc-space.de] from Droscher & Hauser which gives explanation for outcome of both Tajmar and GP-B experiments.

Personally I like this part:
Numerous experiments by Tajmar et al. were carried out since 2003, and first published in 2006 report on the generation of gravitomagnetic (spacetime twisting) and gravity-like fields (acceleration) in the laboratory. The gravitational effects measured were about 18-20 orders of magnitude larger than predicted by the Lense-Thirring effect of GR. In other words, the rotating niobium ring, having a mass of some 100 grams as utilized by Tajmar et al., produces a gravitational effect similar to the mass of a a white dwarf.

/Joss

Re:This is a-posteriori explanation of GP-B issue (5, Informative)

Zdzicho00 (912806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309785)

Here is correct link to ariv paper of Dr Martin Tajmar:
http://arxiv.org/abs/0707.3806 [arxiv.org]

/Joss

Re:This is a-posteriori explanation of GP-B issue (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309825)

And yet every gravity wave detector picks up nothing. I don't buy it.

Re:This is a-posteriori explanation of GP-B issue (4, Informative)

Zdzicho00 (912806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309839)

This "gravitational effect" is regarding Lense-Thirring effect of GR due to rotation of mass, not the mas itself. /Joss

Re:This is a-posteriori explanation of GP-B issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27310119)

having a mass of some 100 grams as utilized by Tajmar et al., produces a gravitational effect similar to the mass of a a white dwarf

So the space-time is sticky. Lets engineer a material minimizing this stickyness, then try to generate a field producing "anti-stickyness" and enjoy the time of interstellar tourism! It was the friction which prevented the pleasure, once again. ;)

Hover car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309841)

I want my hover car now. Assuming perfect reflection it shouldn't be a problem right???

Reflected gravitational waves can be useful (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27309883)

If you can reflect it, you can make a curved "mirror" to concentrate it to a single point in space.
If you can concentrate it, you can amplify it.
And if you can amplify it, then maybe you could directly measure its effects (something that has not been done yet)
And once you measure its effect directly, you can compare your results to the various theories (there are plenty)
If you compare results, you can refute some of the current theories, and maybe create others.
Then maybe you can use reflected and concentrated gravitational waves for long-distance communication? or for detecting matter in the farthest reaches of the galaxy...

Re:Reflected gravitational waves can be useful (5, Insightful)

Arimus (198136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310183)

If you can reflect it, you can make a curved "mirror" to concentrate it to a single point in space.
If you can concentrate it, you can amplify it.
And if you can amplify it, then maybe you could weaponise it

Fixed with the more likely path.

Re:Reflected gravitational waves can be useful (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310339)

> If you can concentrate it, you can amplify it.

That doesn't follow.

Re:Reflected gravitational waves can be useful (5, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310359)

And if you can amplify it, then maybe you could weaponise it

So the plan is to make soldiers heavier so they feel fat and too depressed to fight? Fiendish...

wishful science (1)

Pharago (1197161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27309921)

tinfoil(){ they made the gravity probe to look for proof to some theories, the probe returned data, it did not fit with what they wanted, so the probe is wrong, broken and what not... you are doing it wrong folks } now if they can prove that using superconductors you can actually control gravity, that could be some advance in the 'nice' direction, and by control i'm not talking of going out of the earth or flying top speed nose down on one of those planes

Cavorite (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310141)

Something which reflects gravity? That's cavorite [wikipedia.org] !.

What's that smell? (0, Troll)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310171)

Oh yeah, snake oil. Between these "gravity waves" I've never heard about (despite college my level quantum physics classes), the nearly magical (and unexplained) use of superconductivity effect and the obvious HHGTG reference, I smell a rat.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

tuna_wasabi (792557) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310417)

A college level quantum physics class has nothing to do with General Relativity. Gravity waves are a seriously studied (though as yet undetected) phenomenon. We have probes in space and ground-based interferometers miles long to try and detect them.

I think TFA explained the phenomenon pretty well for an article of a few hundred words. If you want some more info, try looking at the paper [arxiv.org] that Ciao submitted.

42 happens. Get used to it.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310443)

Amazing, you didn't learn about something from General Relativity in a quantum physics class!

Next you'll be claiming you didn't learn German in your Spanish class, or didn't hear about lambda calculus in your groups and field class.

Gravitational wave telescope (1)

An dochasac (591582) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310293)

I think this means that it might be possible to build a gravitational wave telescope. I get first dibs on a patent/prior art if the big corporations don't completely emasculate the USPTO's ability to grant patents to the little guys. [slashdot.org]

P.S. I also get first dibs on the 'gravitational wave sterling engine, powering devices on earth from colliding black holes out there!'

Is arxiv actually legit? (3, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310387)

There's a couple of proofs that P=NP, gravity waves, all these holy grails are in there. I wonder if they should rename this site: "Popular Mechanics Research"

unified field theory (0)

dottedlinedesign (754366) | more than 5 years ago | (#27310471)

Nassim Haramein provides a grand unified field theory on gravity, universal spin and the fractal nature of the universe at http://theresonanceproject.org/ [theresonanceproject.org] This is some incredible stuff. Several of his lectures can be found on google video. The 8 hour long one is highly recommended!
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