Stirring times.

Artificial gravity. Popular in SF, but not practically possible, right? Well, according to this paper (found via a /. link) ESA scientists believe they have created a force of one ten-thousandth of 1G using a spinning superconducting ring.

It'll be interesting to see if this is confirmed. Obviously it's odd to find that something I'd believed impossible, or implausible for my lifetime, has happened. I should try to get used to it, though. It seems to be happening more frequently.

And there's a Gigantor tomorrow, too, but that needn't suprise you as much.
  • Current Mood: awed
  • Current Music: Howe Gelb - Love knows (no boundaries)
There was a series a while ago on the beeb about scientists who had become pariahs in the scientific community. One of them, eminent in his own field, got strangely captivated by the fact that a large, metal wheel, usually too heavy to move, is easy to lift with one hand when spinning.

It's the gyroscope, of course, but this guy beleieved it to be the route to anti gravity devices. He gave a talk to the Royal Society which was such an embarrassment they quietly refused to publish it.

I suppose superconductors are another area but the spinning bit is curious.
I think I saw the rebuttal of that guy's ideas. Someone else was claiming recently to have done something to gravity with moving magnets, but that apparently came to nothing. This could easily tdo the same.
Eric Laithwaite - classic victim of engineer syndrome, as major_clanger calls it: an expert in electrical engineering, he knew only the "lies to children" in mechanical engineering, and when he found an area the simplified models he'd learned didn't cover, instead of realising the models were just that, he decided that Conventional Science was Wrong.

(For a sadder and funnier example, see James P Hogan on just about anything)
Could be some truth in it if you look at it from the Photon/Graviton perspective. It remains to be seen I guess.

I shall hopefully be at Gigantor tomorrow.
This would be really cool if it's a real effect, but I suspect it might turn out like cold fusion did with no-one able to re-create the effect anbd it all becoming a bit of an embarrasement.

I wonder if this would allow the creation of reactionless drives, anti-gravity powered spaceships or decks with artificial gravity like in Star Trek? Probably not, but I know bugger all relativity or quantum mechanics, so who am I to say?
Both good points. Obviously I'd like it to be real even if it's never practically useful just because it makes the world a weirder place (and may improve theories of gravity), but we'll just have to wait and see.
Well it may allow them to build a Theory of Everything which reconciles gravity with electromagnetism.
ah yes bu t i shall be attending gigantor
which is a surprise or at least unusuall
the log-rhythmic nature of life strikes again.

However, this reminds me of something I saw on TV a long time ago now. It was a doco or TVnews item I think about this guy in UK who had given up his job to concentrate on this 'strange machine' he'd been building in his garage. [In the tradition of British/English ecentrics and engineers probably]
He seemed to think he was generating/outputting more energy than he was putting in. It seemed to involve gyro's if I remember correctly.

He was looking for some university to take the research on (ie. pay him I guess) and to continue the research. The last I heard he was off to some Uni in Australia.

I've heard no more. Anyone recognise this or find a ref/link?
Most excellent. Thankyou for helping me tie up another one of those annoying dangling memories that float around ones brain.

Indeed, what better way to spend a dull rainy cyclone affected day than lying in a warm bed plugged into ones online world. Oh there was some sex involved somewhere. Even the cat came indoors, curled up and just went to sleep. Today is *not* an outdoors day. The first in many months.
It sounds like the same guy. The documentary (BBC series some years back) was sad to watch - he demostrated his anti-gravity gyroscope to experts in the field, to embarrased silence in the lecture theatre. Seems he didn't know that the physics of gyroscopes is well understood.