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An Experiment to Measure Gravity Blockade in Superfluids

  1. May 2, 2003 #1
    Imagine, if you will, a thin spherical shell filled with a substance that can be made a superfluid with the flip of a switch. We fill the volume of the inner shell with lead. We place this system on a spring scale.

    Now, according to recent theory, superfluids may in fact block gravitational waves. So, if we flip the switch on, so that the superfluid is on, we should immediately notice a drop in the measured weight of our system.

    In fact, this ability to turn off gravity may actually help us measure the characteristics of gravitional waves.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2003 #2
    wow, interesting.
    but if turning lead into a superfluid was as easy as flipping a switch, we would know more than just theories
  4. May 3, 2003 #3


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    Greetings !

    I still do not understand it, despite the
    difficulties of cooling superconductors
    and all and the pathetic and changing force
    of gravity on Earth's surface - why can't
    they just conduct a series of experiments
    with them to see once and for all if
    gravity is affected ? I mean if it's such a
    hot subject and all and the potential
    is high in usefullness terms - just get the
    money and do it thoroughly. What's the problem ?

    Live long and prosper.
  5. May 3, 2003 #4


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    I don't think Ent was talking about "turning lead into a superfluid", but rather sarounding a lump of lead with a superfluid.

    This is indeed an interesting idea. And one which seems so simple and obvious, I have to wonder if it hasn't already been done.

    Also; if superfluids turn out to be of great importance and practical application, will we have to come up with a different word for "superfluous"?
  6. May 3, 2003 #5
    Thank you for understanding me, LURCH.

  7. May 7, 2003 #6


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    Gold Member

    The above may be stretching things a bit. There have been numerous attempts to formulate quantum gravity. Each of these ideas usually involves some predicted difference with General Relativity. At any point in time, there are probably dozens of work-in-process ideas being floated.

    However, repeated tests of every aspect of gravity yields results consistent with the predictions of GR. Needless to say, if a superfluid blocked the earth's gravity in any way, that would not be expected by GR.

    I am certainly not saying that such an experiment shouldn't be performed; I just want to set the record straight about the current state of theory. At this point, GR rules safely and soundly, and continues to take on all comers.
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