# Exploring Negative Mass: What Would Happen?

• Just_enough
In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of negative mass and how it would behave in various scenarios. It also considers the use of Newton's second law and law of gravitation in determining the acceleration and force of a negative mass object. The conclusion is that for a negative mass object, the force and acceleration would be in the opposite direction compared to a positive mass object.
Just_enough
I'm in Physics 1 and this is an extra credit I need
1. Homework Statement

From time to time, it is amusing to consider extending physics to unusual circumstances or values of parameters. Consider an object with a negative mass. How would it behave? How would we be able to detect it if it exists?
Let’s start with Newton’s second law. If a force F is applied to an object with mass –m, what would be the acceleration, including direction?
a =
So, in order to accelerate the negative mass object forward, you should apply a force in what direction? How would the object behave if released in a gravity field, such as that near the Earth’s surface? Keep 2 things in mind:
1) For objects with positive mass, how does the gravitational acceleration depend on the mass?
2) Using Newton’s law of gravitation, determine the gravitational force the negative mass object.
3) Now determine the acceleration of the negative mass caused by the force in 2.

f=ma

## The Attempt at a Solution

if mass is -m, then acceleration would still be positive, right? or does force always have to be a positive?
1. wouldn't it be the same as normal mass, but the force would be in the opposite direction?
2.It'll be the same as normal, but the force would be negative since the mass in negative, right?
3. since the force is going to be negative, the acceleration would be positive, so it's normal acceleration

Think about F=ma with respect to gravity, for a positive mass the object accelerates downward in the same direction as the force of gravity.

So what would happen if the mass were negative?

(1) is about positive masses only.

(2) Where did you use Newton's law of gravity? I don't see it written down.

jedishrfu said:
Think about F=ma with respect to gravity, for a positive mass the object accelerates downward in the same direction as the force of gravity.

So what would happen if the mass were negative?
oh, so it would be pushed up since gravity accel is negative, right?

mfb said:
(1) is about positive masses only.

(2) Where did you use Newton's law of gravity? I don't see it written down.
2. I just think about it, since all the variable in the equation is positive, and the negative mass is the only negative, so the force would end up being negative, right?

Just_enough said:
oh, so it would be pushed up since gravity accel is negative, right?
Start with (2) before going to (3). Jumping to conclusions before looking at the equations doesn't work.

Just_enough said:
2. I just think about it, since all the variable in the equation is positive, and the negative mass is the only negative, so the force would end up being negative, right?
Correct.

Going to (3), what does F=ma predict if mass and force are both negative?

## 1. What exactly is negative mass?

Negative mass is a hypothetical concept in physics where mass has a value that is opposite to the mass we are familiar with. Instead of being attracted to other masses, negative mass would repel them.

## 2. How can negative mass exist if it goes against the laws of physics?

While negative mass may seem to violate the laws of physics, it is still a theoretical concept that has not been proven or observed. It is currently being explored and studied by physicists to better understand its potential properties and implications.

## 3. What would happen if negative mass were to interact with positive mass?

If negative mass were to exist and interact with positive mass, it could potentially result in strange and unpredictable effects. Some theories suggest that it could lead to the creation of wormholes or even cause objects to move backwards in time.

## 4. Can negative mass be created or harnessed by humans?

At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that negative mass can be created or harnessed by humans. It is purely a theoretical concept and much more research and experimentation would be needed to determine its potential practical applications, if any.

## 5. Could negative mass be the key to faster-than-light travel?

Some scientists have proposed the idea of using negative mass to create a "warp drive" that could potentially allow for faster-than-light travel. However, this is a highly speculative concept and there is currently no evidence to suggest that negative mass could be used in this way.

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