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fremen_warrior's avatar

Who's anti-gravity?

Asked by fremen_warrior (5471 points ) January 12th, 2013

So… any ideas why we haven’t invented anti-gravity tech yet? Any ideas on how it might work? When do you think it will happen (it will happen, right?)? What would you be willing to do for a flying car (NSFW link)?

Discuss…

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14 Answers

ETpro's avatar

Yeah, gravity sucks. But I’ve been getting sucked down by it so long now I’d be lost without it. Quite literally lost, as in flying off the planet thanks to the centrifugal force of Earth’s spin. Now if we could modulate it just right, that would make flying cars, flying saucers, even flying Great Pyramids a reality. That would be cooler than global warming is warm. For that, the German Scientists can have his fun. I’m making a YouTube video of him and his sex fiend friends diddling… Always wanted to make a movie that went viral. So I’ll give one up for the team. The right one. Terrible osteoarthritis in the big toe anyway.

Zakat's avatar

The only thing I really want is a hoverboard. Hehe.

This discussion reminds me of one of those “As Seen on TV” products…I don’t remember the product but I remember the packaging had large print on it that said “NOW WITH PATENTED INERTIA TECHNOLOGY!”

Think about it. Someone patented…inertia. Hahaha

Symbeline's avatar

Don’t know nothing bout no gravities or smiences…but I really do wish they’d come up with elevated bridge like sidewalks that pedestrians could use to simply walk over big ass busy trafficy roads.

WE AIN’T ALL GOT CHARIOTS DAG NABBIT!!

ucme's avatar

Not me, keeps my feet on the ground.

flutherother's avatar

We don’t really know how gravity works so we don’t know how to begin counteracting its effects. If we ever do succeed in making an anti gravity device I think we should build a floating city to travel around the world in perpetual summer.

Pachy's avatar

Obviously, something is holding us back…

dabbler's avatar

I like gravity, even if it is making me a little saggy in middle-age.
I agree with @ucme gravity is very useful in fundamental ways.
Without it we’d have no planet (it would not have formed). Or if we somehow lost gravity then our air and water and all of us would spin off into space as @ETpro depicts.

I think @flutherother‘s point that we don’t really know how it works is key to the fact we don’t have gizmos that overcome it yet.
If we ever do manage it, I suspect it will be some form of masking similar to the “invisibility cloth” folks are researching. We might be deflecting gravity waves around us (or around our flying cars) or somehow hiding the mass from other mass.

Bill1939's avatar

If gravity were an actual force then the notion of antigravity would be reasonable. However, as I understand it, what we call gravity is a distortion in space-time caused by the presence of a large mass. The large mass (Earth) is not attracting the small mass (me), it is twisting space and time and I am following this continuum down to where they converge.

To counter this twist, you would need at least as much energy as the distorting mass uses just to levitate. For me, 180 pounds of thrust should accomplish this. As long as the power source functions, I can float free from gravity’s effect, but this is hardly antigravity.

filmfann's avatar

The discussion in the link begins by talking about how the Jetsons promised a flying car.
What they need to understand is that many movies about the future promise a flying car, but those same futuristic movies happen in a time after other futuristic movies in which we have a black president.
Filmmakers have often used the Black President Scenario as an indicator that the events detailed are in the future. You see it, and say “We have a black president? Wow, this must be the future!”
Therefore, the correct sequence of events is (1) Black President, then (2) Flying Car.
So everyone shut up complaining about Obama. You’re getting a flying car!

ETpro's avatar

@Symbeline When I lived in Boston, it was a very short walk to the bank I put my savings account in. When we moved to Everett, that changed. Last Friday, I walked the 1.8 miles to the nearest branch of that bank in neighboring Chelsea. The route took me along 2nd Street where it passes directly under a very busy, elevated section of MA. Route 1 just after that freeway leaves the Tobin Bridge between Chelsea and Boston.

As I passed under the elevated freeway, I was more than a bit unnerved to see all the cans, bottles, bits of automobiles and chunks of pavement that had cleared the guardrails above and fallen the 60 feet or so to the surface of 2nd Street. I couldn’t help but think of the falling coke bottle scene from The Gods Must Be Crazy, and the next thought was, you think the god’s are crazy, how about the highway engineers?

Even though I really like to walk for the exercise, and I can walk it quicker than the two buses required will get me there, I probably will take the bus the next time I have to go over there just so I have some metal between me and all the falling debris thoughtless people toss out their windows as they drive.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

While gravity makes life harder on folks like me whose mass is excessive for their height (i.e. those who are overweight), I shudder to think how I would cope without gravity or even a significantly reduced force of gravity.

wundayatta's avatar

When you say, “who,” do you mean like a character in a cartoon?

gasman's avatar

Just get hold of some Cavorite, an alloy which is “opaque to gravitation” and renders anything it covers weightless. You can sometimes get samples from dealers of unobtainium.

As for hoverboards: Just arranging magnets in a clever pattern doesn’t work because of Earnshaw’s Theorem, but a contributor at Is magnetic levitation possible? notes that…

Earnshaw’s theorem proves that using only static ferromagnetism it is impossible to stably levitate against gravity, but servomechanisms, the use of diamagnetic materials, superconduction, or systems involving eddy currents permit this to occur. Cha

mattbrowne's avatar

Well, some day we might be able to generate dark energy here on Earth and make our cars fly…

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