[Image Source : Brad Smith]
Let the Star Trek celebration marathon begin! For the first time ever, a researcher has proposed a method that would allow humans to control gravity. According to this study, we already have the technology to create and manipulate weak artificial gravitational fields. So yes, we are talking about a tiny field – not even close to being Star Trek worthy – but it should be enough to allow a deeper study of gravitational force and prove the theory of relativity proposed by Einstein.
This would be possible because the famous physicist states that both energy and mass are affected equally by the gravitational fields, based on something called the equivalence principle. The point is that the fields produced on Earth are very weak, and we can not measure them. However, producing even a very weak gravitational field would be enough to allow the detection and study of gravity.
“Somehow, studying gravity is a contemplative activity: physicists restrict themselves to the study of natural, pre-existing, sources of gravitation,” says the mathematician responsible for the discovery, André Füzfa from the University of Namur in the paper. “Generating artificial gravitational fields, that could be switched on or off at will, is a question captured or left to science-fiction.”
Füzfa conceived an experimental device that creates gravitational fields using magnetic fields. Properly controlled, these magnetic fields will have the same effect as gravity in the distortions in the space-time. The device is based on superconducting electromagnets such as the ones used at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider or the ITER reactor. Manufacturing this device would require large resources and probably international cooperation, however, if successfully carried out, it could not only initiate a new industrial era, but also change our understanding of the Universe.