An experiment recently performed
by the AET RaDAL group shows that the gravitomagnetic field produced by a rapidly-spinning superconductor can cause a 1.117 times increase over the Earth's gravity.
, a phenomenon predicted by General Relativity, is a poorly understood but promising topic in modern physics. Speculation about harnessing the bizarre, space-warping and gravity-altering effects of gravitomagnetism has already begun. Reactionless space propulsion [PDF]
is the most apparent use (previously discussed
), with the potential applications far-reaching and nearly inconcievable. The earlier experiment by the European Space Agency
involving another rapidly-spinning superconductor earlier this year found a massive increase in strength over the predicted values, but still miniscule by our standards. Things could become very interesting if the results from this latest experiment pan out.
posted by nervestaple
on Aug 15, 2006 -
is a digital physics simulator for Windows that lets the user create semi-elaborate machines with real world physical effects (gravity, velocity, impact, etc). For a lengthier explanation, see here
. Until today, the software was trial/purchase, but as of now, it's switched to freeware
posted by lilbrudder
on Jul 14, 2006 -
The pleasure of finding things out.
If you only watch one documentary on the subject of science this year, let is be this one. The brilliant physicist Richard Feynman is interviewed about a host of issues, such as [more inside].
posted by koenie
on Apr 17, 2006 -
Before the Big Bang
out of my depth, but I thought this comment was intriguing: "The paper as published, along with a longer follow up paper, looks to my untrained eye a nearly complete quantum gravitation theory, which is an exciting prospect in itself. However, as with all physical theories, we will await for experimental support before popping the cork." Here's some more on loop quantum gravity
, spin networks
, the big bang
posted by kliuless
on Apr 16, 2006 -
Vlad gives his views on the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. As the anthem of Phystech
promises, "we will disperse, when the time comes, in all the world, from Dolgoprudny"
posted by tellurian
on Feb 28, 2006 -
Hyperdrive and a possible Unified Theory.
New Scientist article about a paper and proposal to NASA outlining development parameters and possiblities for a faster-than-light anti-gravity propulsion system, based on some rather interesting physics theories originated by a guy named Heim. You mean you've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? (via
posted by zoogleplex
on Jan 9, 2006 -
"[E]ven though you couldn't predict exactly what animals would look like if you started evolution over on earth, or it happened on another planet -- with a given gravity and density of their tissues, the same basic patterns of their design would evolve again."
A new study models all
forms of locomotion -- swimming, walking, flying by muscle or flying by 747 -- in one physics theory, and stultifies Stephen Jay Gould's conjectures about the "contingency" of evolution. [mi]
posted by orthogonality
on Dec 30, 2005 -
Boundless energy or bad math? Randell Mills
thinks he has the solution to our energy problems. In his company's patented process
, "energy is released as the electrons of atomic hydrogen are induced to undergo transitions to lower energy levels producing plasma, light, and novel hydrogen compounds."
It also implies that quantum mechanics is wrong.
posted by Espoo2
on Nov 5, 2005 -
Nova Science Now
recently ran a segment on lightning (quicktime, real, and windows video here
). I figured that subject was over and done with shortly after Franklin flew a kite, but it turns out we don't really know exactly what causes a bolt to start
. The coolest part of the segment was these researchers in Florida
. Scientists know how hard it was to observe, monitor, and even find lightning bolts, so these guys built their own rig. High-powered model rockets attached to a couple thousand feet of wire, which is grounded to larger metal structures on the ground. The result? Shoot a rocket into a storm cloud and you get instant lightning you can count on, measure, and control
posted by mathowie
on Oct 22, 2005 -
Does dark matter exist?
Dark matter has been suggested as a solution to the galaxy rotation problem
where individual stars don't seem to rotate the way Newton's laws would predict. Now, some scientists are saying that observations fit with Einstein's general relativity, without any dark matter needed. I just find it amazing that no one has tried this yet.
posted by delmoi
on Oct 10, 2005 -
Americans, German win nobel prize for physics.
They won for for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique, which among other thing allows them to measure the speed of light to such accuracy that it is now used as the definition for the meter
, see if the laws of physics were the same at the beginning of time, and make gps satellites
work much better.
posted by stilgar
on Oct 4, 2005 -