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Can Superconductors Block Gravitational Fields?

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the lose-weight-fast-with-no-dieting dept.

Science 481

jswitte writes "Raymond Chiao, of the University of California at Berkel, believes that superconductors can convert electromagnetic radiation into gravitational radiation. His full paper can be found here. His theory is based on the idea that superconductors might be able to block the so-called 'gravitomagnetic' field just as they block the electomagnetic field in the famous Meissner effect allowing superconductors to levitate in magnetic fields. He claims that when he 'adds the gravitomagnetic field to the standard quantum equations for superconductivity, he confirms not only the gravitational Meissner-like effect but also a coupling between the two breeds of magnetic field. An ordinary magnetic field sets electrons in motion near the surface of a superconductor. Those electrons carry mass, and so their motion generates a gravitomagnetic field.'"

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Uhhh... (-1, Offtopic)

hatter3bdev (533135) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677048)

My cat's breath smells like cat food.

Re:Uhhh... (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677071)

I find it smells more like your cock

Re:Uhhh... (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677322)

Coincidentally your cock smells like dog shit.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

gibler (445031) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677049)

Finally, a first post.

First ON TOPIC Troll!!!! (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677052)

Can Slashdot Stop the Robotroll quantum trolling field???

Re:First ON TOPIC Troll!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677081)

As a part-time fellow troll, let me congratulate you on your fine on topic troll. Let's all do our part to make the score:-1 posts more entertaining.

First post! w00t w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677054)

This first post was brought to you today by the letter K and the number 7.

Re:First post! w00t w00t (-1)

k0osh.CEOofCLIT (582286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677158)

Fag!

* timothy- homosekulle slashdot nerd
* Teen- a straight teenager

[Background music #1. View of a house. View of timothy's shoes exiting house. The shoes have curved-upward tips. He's wearing floral print pants, a 'yellow' long-sleeved shirt tucked in, a vest with a design on it and he's carrying a bag. A teen rides by on a bike just as timothy steps on the sidewalk.]

Teen: [to timothy] Fag!

[Music stops to the screech of a needle on a record. timothy stops in his way, looks at the teen, looks at his own clothes then starts walking back to the house. New scene. Background music #2. View of Scott's shoes exiting the house. The shoes are brown moccasins. He's wearing 'gray' pants, a brown belt and a tucked-in 'ivory' shirt with a pattern on it. timothy steps on the sidewalk as the teen rider drives by on his bike.]

Teen: [to timothy] Fag!

[Music stops. timothy stops. He looks at his clothes and turns back to the house. New scene. Background music #3. View of timothy's shoes exiting the house. The shoes are black and have chains and buckles on them. timothy's wearing a black 'leather' jacket, black 'leather' pants and black 'leather' gloves. He's also wearing a black 'T-shirt' and sunglasses. He starts walking towards the sidewalk as the teen rides along on his bike.]

Teen: [to timothy] *Fag*.

[Background music #1 starts and timothy walks back to the house...]

Does this mean?.... (-1, Offtopic)

MadLep (61542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677057)

REPULSORLIFTS!!

Finally, I can bullseye womp rats in beggar's canyon.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

unclelib (552196) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677060)

first post bleh!!!!

Ginger 2....now this is IT ;) (0, Redundant)

teambpsi (307527) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677068)

if true, THIS would revolutionalize transportation as we know it

kind of makes fuel cells seem like 8th grade chemistry ;)

Re:Ginger 2....now this is IT ;) (3, Funny)

Yorrike (322502) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677261)

Time to start getting my skills up so I can enter the F-Zero or Wipeout leagues. This innovation will bring about nothing but high speed, heavily armed hover craft racing.

if im reading this right... (0, Redundant)

epiphani (254981) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677073)

basically hes saying that once he figures all this stuff out.. we'll be able to use the earths gravitomagnetic field to float, use as transportation, and even use to catapult ourselves into space?

If I do follow, the applications are absolutely revolutionary...

star trek (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677076)

so is this basically saying that we can create artifical gravity aka... star trek...

if so that would be cool

The Jetsons (0, Redundant)

Smelly Jeffrey (583520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677080)

We ought to research this more, in hopes of using this to develop Jetson-like vehicles. I'd love to putt around in one of those things, and drop my boy Elroy off at school. Then I'd be off to my job at Spacely Sprockets. *begins to sing the Jetson's Theme Song*

Re:The Jetsons (0, Offtopic)

SWTP (550956) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677277)

I know its off the path but looking for some hobby stuff at Toys R us I saw somthing I had wish for when I saw the Jetson in the 60. A snap together modle kit of the saucer car with family figures! Goes for about 10 dollars.

Dident the guy for DS9 that did the IBM ads have one about flying cars they promest us fly cars?

What? (0, Redundant)

Cave Dweller (470644) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677083)

Am I reading correctly? Did this guy just prove that anti-gravitational fields (or maybe, lack of gravitation would be more correct) are a reality?

Based on previous work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677089)

Obviously, Dr. Raymond Chiao's work is based on his boyhood idol Erich von Däniken [daniken.com]

Uh, no? (0, Redundant)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677095)

Can't this be answered with a google search??

I remember (-1)

xdfgf (460453) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677105)

the glory days at UC of Berkel...

Note that it can't generate antigravity fields (2)

asavage (548758) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677106)

If this works you won't be able to create antigravity fields. Antigravity would require canceling out the very powerful static gravitoelctric field and superconductors have no effect on these fields.

What about that report of antigravity a while ago? (1)

jswitte (216975) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677246)

There was the report in 1996 about the crating of antigravity using spinning superconducting disks, also reported in SciAm (a followup report can be found here [sciam.com] . It basically debunks the original claim, saying that the original paper has been withdrawn by it's authors, and oter physicists are very skeptical. But I wonder if this might have something to do with it (probably not).

Military applications (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677287)

If this works you won't be able to create antigravity fields.

Not that this wouldn't prevent the usual research into military applications. I wonder how much force is generated, how much enhancement of force is created per megawatt?

Insert visions of UFOs with terrawat gravity generators, using this as a weapon to nuetralize gravity at an area of the surface below them. Enemy troops go drifting off into vaccuum or fall from a substantial height back to the ground.

NB the weather effects as well, of all of that atmosphere going up an anti gravity shaft, creating a storm.

Va software stock jokes (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677107)


How many shares of VA software does it take to change a lightbulb?

All of them, VA stock is worth less than a lightbulb.

Whats the difference between buying a lottery ticket and buying a share of VA software?

With the lottery, they is still a chance you might profit.

Whats the difference between VA software stock and a box of anvils thrown off an airplane?

VA software stock falls faster.

Why did Santa Claus buy 5000 shares of VA software stock?

He wanted to leave naughty children something worth less then coal

What would you have to sell to buy all the shares of LNUX?

One share of microsoft.

Thats one camp (1)

NETHED (258016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677110)

Then there are the people who don't consider gravity as a 'wave'. If true, it would mean he wasted someone's money.

But best of luck to the guy/gal, we also must remember that anything heavier than air WILL NOT fly, and men who go into space won't be able to swallow.

Man, i wish i were smarter

Re:Thats one camp (1)

NETHED (258016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677140)

and at only 22 pages...he MUST be a scientist! :)

I'm sorry.

Re:Thats one camp (1)

Rubyflame (159891) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677169)

anything heavier than air WILL NOT fly

Nobody ever believed that. We've always known that birds can fly, and they're heavier than air.

Re:Thats one camp (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677188)

Birds don't fly. They glide. There's a huge difference.

Re:Thats one camp (1)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677210)

Stationary wings as seen on gliders, for soaring, do in fact glide. BUT, a bird creates its own lift, ergo, it flies. Birds don't rely on thermals to gain altitude like a soaring pilot must, after the initial tow.

Re:Thats one camp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677230)

therefore you are a witch

Re:Thats one camp (1)

FCAdcock (531678) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677221)

No, if they only glided, then they would not be able to fly UP without first going down. Such the case, no bird could take off from the ground, they would have to fall, gain mommentum, then glide up. Birds FLY. But if flys fly also, would that mean that birds bird? or that humans human?

Re:Thats one camp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677245)

okay, time to build a bridge out of you

Re:Thats one camp (1)

FCAdcock (531678) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677257)

to build a bridge out of me??? Huh? Shoot lower sherrif, I seem to be ridin a shetland.

Re:Thats one camp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677212)

The only things that weight the same as a duck are witches.

Re:Thats one camp (2, Funny)

lucifuge31337 (529072) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677244)

What else weighs that same as a duck?

Re:Thats one camp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677271)

wood and teeny tiney rocks?

Re:Thats one camp (3, Funny)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677296)

Bread!
Apples!
Very small rocks
Cider
Mud
Churches!
Lead Lead!

A Duck!

Re:Thats one camp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677356)

How heavy is an airplane genius? I bet heavier then air.

I'll believe it when I see it. (4, Insightful)

Cyberdeck (15901) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677111)

Extrordinary claims need extrordinary proof. Build the device and demonstrate that it works. Publish the specs. Have other people who are not associated at all with you build these devices. If they confirm the results then the claim can be made relatively authoritatively.

If it doesn't happen then that's also fine, it means that a hypothesis was shown to be not an accurate model of how the universe works.

The method described is science in action, the way it is supposed to work.


Of course if this does work then they are going to have some surprises when they enable those underground superconductive power cables in, IIRC, downtown Chicago. (Detroit? Somebody help me out here, please?)

-C

Are you mad man? 2X the Proof! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677193)

Ahem...

And I submit Atlantis and the Bermuda Triangle as proof courtasy of Dr. Erich von Däniken [daniken.com]

Re:I'll believe it when I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677218)

You skeptics need to quit quoting Mr. Randi. Not only is he a dickwad, but his truism is not so true.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677280)

Uri Gellar will attest to this! Lookup the court records!

Re:I'll believe it when I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677328)

Enlighten us, when doesn't an extraordinary claim need extraordinary proof for me to believe it?

Detroit was one of the first for a fairly long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677358)

production run.

Mmm... Time machine (2, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677112)

Maybe they'll go back and rename the school correctly. Berkel. It is to laugh!

As for the theory, it doesn't seem plausible, but physics is full of implausible concepts that work out in real life. Since gravity is a manifestation of a warpage of space-time, does this also mean that he is claiming superconductors are equivalent to gravity wells?

No doubt that the symmetry between Maxwell's equations and Einstein's equations is stark, but does this also mean that they are equivalent in meaning and applicability? Though the article puts a dig into superstring theory at the end, isn't it exactly this type of theory that is needed to unify such disparate theories as gravity and electromagnetism? If there is a symmetry there, wouldn't it make sense that the two equations would derive from a common principle?

My elementary physics is no match for the mathematics in the paper.

Re:Mmm... Time machine (5, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677223)

No doubt that the symmetry between Maxwell's equations and Einstein's equations is stark, but does this also mean that they are equivalent in meaning and applicability?

If superstring theory is correct, then they've been known to be equivalent since the 1920s. The Kaluza-Klein equations show that in a 5-dimensional space-time (4xspace + 1xtime) or higher, Einstein's equations and Maxwell's equations both come out. See Kaku's Hyperspace [amazon.com] for more info.

Re:Mmm... Time machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677289)

Wow. I'm impressed enough to mod you up as informative, yet sadly I don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Maybe some moderators with their doctorates will know you're not talking out your ass and do you right.

-Chaz

warps and forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677283)

Interestingly enough, light, or anything in the electromagnetic realm, is considered to be as much of a space-time warp as gravity is. If I remember my physics classes correctly, we have a strong force, a weak force, an electromagnetic force, and a gravitational force.... or is it that the weak force was the gravitational force? hmm... don't recall. In any case, these forces are all warps in the fabric of space-time, so the concept of harnessing one type of warp and deforming it into another is not necessarily unlikely.

In fact, I've read some interesting articles which claim that particle physics smaller than the atom is largely a hoax and that neutrons don't even exist (which they don't outside of atom's nuclei even according to those who believe in them b/c they supposedly "break down" into one proton and one electron to make hydrogen), but are merely tightly packed electrons and protons which cancel out one another's charge. One of the major physicists who designed the charts used today to calculate electron shells, position, and spin happens to agree with that idea, as well.

Strong force was supposed to be nearly exactly 100 times stronger than electro-magnetic, I believe b/c atoms' nuclei would tend to allow up to 100 protons before becoming unstable (extremely radioactive and breaking down to other, less radioactive elements). The idea was that eventually, the repulsive positive charges of 100 protons would be more than enough to shatter the atom by overcoming the strong force that holds them together. This new theory states that really, all those neutrons are protons w/ electrons seperating them, which allows them to stay together as long as they are seperated by a specific crystaline-like structure that keeps like charges seperate. Imagine a crystal with protons and electrons... with more protons than electrons and those protons face outward towards the orbiting free electrons. This new theory eliminates the need for a "strong" force by replacing it with known electromagnetic forces. It may be that the only forces in the universe are electromagnetic forces and gravity & even these two forces may be just two sides of the same coin, because matter creates gravity & matter is composed of electrically charged particles.

Re:warps and forces (1)

JoeRobe (207552) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677360)

I'm still learning some of this stuff, but as far as I know, neutrons do exist on their own, just not very long. That is, a "free" neutron has a lifetime of something like 15 minutes, which is MORE than enough time to perform measurements on it. After 15 minutes, they break down into a proton and an electron. Experiments like neutron scattering, which have been verified and validated, rely on this lifetime. If these were actually protons or electrons, we could see them bend with the application of an electric field. On top of that, there is an overwhelming amount of data supporting the fact that neutrons are made up of three charged particles with integer-1/3rd values of charge (quarks). Can you give us a link to this theory anywahere, I'm really curious about it.

JoeRobe

Re:Mmm... Time machine (2)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677329)

Since gravity is a manifestation of a warpage of space-time, does this also mean that he is claiming superconductors are equivalent to gravity wells?

Cause or effect?

Does mass produce gravity that produces a distortion in space-time..

or is it a distortion in space-time that produces the illusion of the gravity associated with a mass?

Can we exceed the speed of light? Of course we can -- just combine the theories of Einstein with the observations of Gallileo...

Einstein tells us that the mass of an object increases infinitely as we approach the speed of light. This has been taken by most to mean that accelerating a mass beyond the speed of light would therefore require infinite energy.

But hang on -- Gallileo correctly determined that the acceleration of an object when acted on by a gravitational field is independent of its mass (air resistance not withstanding).

So -- if we use an external gravitational field to accelerate an object, the fact that it will gain infinite mass is irrelevant -- because it will maintain the same acceleration regardless.

Hence -- black holes and their immense gravitational pull are our secret to faster-than-light travel.

Now if I could just hitch one up to my mountain bike I'd be away :-)

Sorry, no anti-grav (3, Informative)

sequence_man (97765) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677115)

All he is exccluding are gravity-waves. These are different then the basic curvature of space that generates gravity itself. Basically they are little ripples that float on top of the curvature. So blocking them won't levitate us.

Re:Sorry, no anti-grav (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677217)

Would it not be possible to generate a region of "zero total force" by generating gravity-waves that oppose the "basic curvature of space"?

[disclaimer: I'm not familiar with the difference between the two forms of gravity, I could have the wrong end of the stick here...]

I want my zero-G sauna, dammit! :o)

Re:Sorry, no anti-grav (4, Informative)

beanyk (230597) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677312)

All he is exccluding are gravity-waves. These are different then the basic curvature of space that generates gravity itself.


If you mean "gravitational waves", then no, they are *not* different from the curvature of space. It's exactly the same stuff, though gravitational waves passing close to the Earth are probably very weak.So yes, they look like ripples on our pretty flat curvature, but they're just smaller-scale, generally weak curvature perturbations on a much more uniform background curvature.

As an aside, the term "gravity wave" is usually taken to mean "wave formed by a process where gravity is significant", like some types of water wave. Not actually what's been talked about here.

Berkel? (1)

pseudofrog (570061) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677116)

University of California at Berkel

Methinks the author means Berkeley.

-Matt

Re:Berkel? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677190)

-Matt

Methinks you mean Matthew.

Magnetic fields & Electrons (not news) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677120)

Its always been true and its pretty simple: An ordinary magnetic field sets electrons in motion near the surface of a superconductor.

Those electrons carry mass, and so their motion generates a gravitomagnetic field.

This has been around. (3, Informative)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677122)

Isn't this just a new take on the Podkletnov effect [inetarena.com] ?

Re:This has been around. (4, Informative)

Vireo (190514) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677319)

Isn't this just a new take on the Podkletnov effect?

Excerpt of the article in the paper version of SciAm:

(...) Even if Chiao's contraption works, it wouldn't allow the generation of antigravity fields, as Russian materials scientist Eugene Podkletnov, then at Tampere University of Technology in Finland, controversially claimed to have observed in 1992. (...)


Temperature is a hurdle (1)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677123)

Superconductors have to be extremely cold to work. I have seen them demonstrated with liquid nitrogen. Until they can work at more reasonable temperatures, their practical use will be limited. They are still really neat, though.

Re:Temperature is a hurdle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677362)

IIRC, They have them working at just under liquid N2.

Hasn't this been on Star Trek before? (1)

thedanceman (582570) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677127)

It sounds just like something I saw on the show last week! Now when can we get the teleporters?

has to be said (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677134)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

Sigh...cynicism kills! (3, Insightful)

DaBjork (575727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677150)

Firstly, Fuel cells ARE 8th grade chem, they are just 2H + O = H2O. Secondly, astrophysicists have been theorizing antigravitation as a solution to the "dark matter" problem for quite sometime. Don't get me wrong, I am all for a healthy dose of cynicism, but in order to progress we need to take an open mind. This is not that far out of the realm of possibility. Point to the error in the theory if you feel this person is wrong. Then your point will stand on it's own.

Electricity? (1)

RAzaRazor (562318) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677151)

Now, I'm no scientist so this could be way off, but this last part sounds interesting:
An ordinary magnetic field sets electrons in motion near the surface of a superconductor. Those electrons carry mass, and so their motion generates a gravitomagnetic field.

Moving Electrons?
Electricity is simply electrons moving along a path. While I'm sure the quantity of electricty that this creates is insignificant, it does spark an idea.
What if a superconductor could be built large enough that gravity alone could be used to generate electricity? That seems like the cleanest, limitless energy you could have.
(I know, I am ignoring the huge energy required to make todays superconductors work.)

It seems to me that if this were refined properly, the devices that defy gravity could even be used to power themselves.

Re:Electricity? (1)

ahaning (108463) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677194)

gravity alone could be used to generate electricity

That's what we do now.

- Fern from 1M years ago dies and washes down a sandy stream.
- It's covered in layers and layers of dirt and sand.
- It gets pressed and pressed by the material on top of it.
- We dig it up as oil and put it in our cars and power plants.

Tada! Gravity as a power source.

Or, you could wear these [byte.com] !

Re:Electricity? (1)

WetCat (558132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677376)

Hey! Much easier! :)
Heard about Hoover Dam?

Not very probable (1)

Horizon_99 (58767) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677155)

At least according to the article:
"It is fair to say that if Ray observes something with this experiment, he will win the Nobel Prize," says superconductivity expert John M. Goodkind of the University of California at San Diego. "It is probably also fair to say that the chances of his observing something may be close to zero."

This is progress, not revolution (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677156)

This paper is certainly good stuff, but it's not a revolution. This is related to an idea that has been floating around for a while, he just generalized it a little bit more, so now it's not a huge pain in the ass to experimentally try and measure this, just a regular sized pain in the ass.

As far as antigravity goes, if gravity fits in with particle physics, then if there is a way to block gravitons or gravity waves, whatever you want to call them, then you block the force (easier said than done).

If it sounds too good to be true... (4, Insightful)

PurpleFloyd (149812) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677157)

Note that the Scientific American article is very cautious: they state the implications if it's true. While, if true, this is a breakthrough on the level of relativity or quantum mechanics, one should take this with a large grain of salt. Plenty of other "revolutionary" theories haven't managed to pan out.

This was in wired a while back (2)

miahrogers (34176) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677162)

This was also in wired about 5 years ago, you can find it here [wired.com] .

Re:This was in wired a while back (1)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677225)

An article about supercooling and levitation was also in the Smithsonian Mag, can't remember when though

Why don't superconductors weigh less? (2)

khym (117618) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677165)

If a superconductor will float in a static magnetic field, why won't it weigh less in a static gravitational field? If it did, they wouldn't have to go throug elaborate tests to verify the theory.

Re:Why don't superconductors weigh less? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677227)

AFAIK Gravity and Magnetism are not the same thing, I'm not a phisicist but perhaps someone else who is could explain this?

Podkletnov (2)

g4dget (579145) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677167)

I'm surprised he doesn't have any references to the Podkletnov and Woodward [inetarena.com] effects.

In any case, I'm not sure I believe any of this, but I think it's good that there are people thinking outside the mainstream.

Sad news - Stephen King - dead at 54 (-1, Troll)

perthstyle (567666) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677172)

he OG (over golded) on his rope chains

superconducters (2, Informative)

DaBjork (575727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677180)

I might add after perusing the comments a little about superconductors. First off, liquid nitrogen is not a magic and impossible to find substance. it is cheap and easy to acquire as far as gasses go. Secondly, the city of Chicago has been using superconductors in their power grid for around 2 years. Supposedly the main line carries something on the order of 10s of thousands of amps (I belive 16,000 but I am not sure). Just for scale, you be hard pressed to find a house with any plugs rated above 20 amps, the nuclear structure lab I work at has some lines with 50 amps, but none higher.

Re:superconducters (1)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677240)

They are getting close to stringing High tension lines across california with liquid N flowing through the middle.

Anyone have any info? I wanna confirm this

Re:superconducters (1)

smokin_juan (469699) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677273)

heard of underground liquid N cooled lines to be installed in the north east (new york, detroit, somewhere up there).

Re:superconducters (1)

roju (193642) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677268)

liquid nitrogen is an easy to acquire gas? ;)

Re:superconducters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677281)

Any good welding shop will sell it to you. Bring a stainless-steel thermos bottle and they'll fill it for a few bucks.

Excellent stuff for removing warts.

I was just thinking the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677189)

about superconductors as I was sitting on the toilet.
Luckily gravity was not suspended or it would have not been pretty.

Not the first time... (2)

Archie Steel (539670) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677192)

...somebody claims this. IIRC, someone in the early 80s had claimed to have done this (with "Radio Shack" parts) - I wish I remember where I read this - and of course there's Podkletnov [inetarena.com] , though the jury's still out on whether it was a hoax or not [parascope.com] . Mind you, NASA has its own programme researching this...I'd be curious to hear their take on the issue.

Health Issues. (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677196)

What if any, potential would anti-gravity have on human life. I know that constant lack of gravity is seriously harsh on a human body but what about people that have serious illness like respiratory problems where breathing is very difficult, or where broken bones need time to mend. Would exposing them to treatments in an anti-gravity field have any positive benefits? I'd like to see.

NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677202)

move along, nothing here to see

IF this pans out ... :) (2)

ProfMoriarty (518631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677204)

Where do we donate to erect a statute of him in Montana [imdb.com] ?

BTW, I've noticed a disturbing trend of really smart people != me ...

Back to the Future (1)

Eros (6631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677229)

He claims that when he 'adds the gravitomagnetic field to the standard quantum equations for superconductivity, he confirms not only the gravitational Meissner-like effect but also a coupling between the two breeds of magnetic field. An ordinary magnetic field sets electrons in motion near the surface of a superconductor. Those electrons carry mass, and so their motion generates a gravitomagnetic field.'

Ugh?, Yeah sure. That does that mean I can have my hoverboard now?

Mc Fly

Wait for the experimental test (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677234)

The key point here is that the theory predicts that the conversion of microwaves to gravity waves will be reasonably efficient. So this is testable, and is being tested. There should be a definitive result this year.

Nobel prize material if it works. Footnote in Physical Review Letters if it doesn't.

Re:Wait for the experimental test (2)

nihilogos (87025) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677366)

The key point here is that the theory predicts that the conversion of microwaves to gravity waves will be reasonably efficient. So this is testable, and is being tested.

How? Are they actually *detecting* gravity waves?

podkletnov (2, Informative)

prell (584580) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677237)

this observation was made years back by a scientist named podkletnov in Europe (hey, I said it was a while ago ;-). He used a super-cooled YBCO (yttrium boron carbon oxygen I believe) superconductor and was able to "reduce the mass of" (ie affect the gravitational effect on) objects. They actually ran an article in wired on him way back when (96-98 sometime). The "gravity society" had a website at www.gravity.org, but currently I cant reach it.

not yet antigravity (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677247)

First of all, he's talking about blocking "gravitomagnetic" fields, which if I understand correctly you get from moving masses. So the static gravitational effect from e.g. the Earth isn't blocked.


If what he claims is true then first of all he has invented a great new way to emit and detect gravitational waves. It would be awesome for astronomy, useful for submarine communication (and maybe detection), and probably many other things. However, it's not immediately obvious that we're talking "antigravity" here, so don't get too excited.

Also keep in mind that 99+ times out of 100 these sorts of claims are completely bogus and a waste of time. Just sit tight and wait for rebuttals or confirmation to appear on the LLNL server.

MY PENIS SMELLS OF PRAWNS (-1, Troll)

jackyl_meoff (565118) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677252)

Subject Line Troll = ownage.

ObSimpsons (1, Funny)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677260)

Chiao: And who do you love now?
Geeks: Hoverbikes!

It's obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677269)

This guy must be a front man for the government's area 51 research.

Garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677272)

I recevied my Ph.D. in physics some years bacl from the University of Wisconsin. My doctoral thesis was on superconductivity, and I have worked in the field for years. There have been numerous papers on this topic, NONE of which have been verified. This is complete garbage, I do not believe it, and was quite dissapointed to see this junk on the slashdot home page. To me, it read like a headline in the National Enquirer.

This is not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3677286)

http://www.whidbey.com/forward/TechPubs.html

Dr Forward is a reference on this stuff.

Free Advice for Fringe Physicists (2, Insightful)

Corvus9 (300802) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677323)

A few posters, and Scientific American itself, are skeptical of these claims. This is reasonable, because they are so dramatic.

If Dr. Chiao is worried about his reputation, or getting published, or arguing with critics, I have some free advice: discover first, publicise second.

The article claims "By the time the theory is vetted, though, Chiao will probably have conducted his experiment and settled the question." Wonderful! Wait a few months to actually do the experiment, then publicise it. His reputation will be safe, everyone will want to publish it, and critics can try the experiment themselves. He will probably be able to complete it faster because he won't have all these clueless reporters asking him questions.

But you have to discover it first.

I had a friend once . . . (3, Interesting)

Ezubaric (464724) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677355)


I had a friend who was working on this for a while. He kept building larger and larger metal units, cooling them down more and more, trying to get a rotating disk to speed up in a very, very, strong (par. magnetic field). If it sped up, then this was a reduction in the moment of inertia, and a decreased effective mass.

After two years of working on it, he gave up. He did get a measurable increase, but it was too little to be more than measurement error.

This begs the question (1)

Joao (155665) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677365)

Que? ;)

Joao "my hovercraft is full of eels" de souza

The reverse..? (2)

PRickard (16563) | more than 12 years ago | (#3677374)

Can this work in reverse to create a gravity field? Artificial gravity on the space station, for example. Or doubled/tripled/quad gravity in a lab on earth to test equipment intended for planetary exploration. I'm sure somebody could use that, if it's possible.

That said, I think somebody needs a girlfriend... Or the "The Simpsons" Season 1 Box Set and a DVD player.

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