1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Free energy and anti-gravity?

  1. Aug 14, 2003 #1
    Somewhere on the web, it was calculated that the attractive force between two plates each having a surface area of 1 square meter and spaced 1 micron apart would, due to the Casmir effect, be attracted to one another with 0.13 grams of force.

    Assume machining such plates with the necessary precision were possible, further assume a spacer in the center held these impossibly rigid plates precisely 1 micron apart. The central spacer would be under compression and would be heated. This increase in temperature would be a net gain in energy. Free energy?

    Assume one of the plates weighed 0.13 grams. Position the other plate and central spacer so as to be horizontal and anchored to the Earths surface. Under this plate, slowly bring the 0.13-gram plate up until it contacts the 1-micron spacer. At this point the force of the Casmir effect is equal to that of the Earth’s gravity and the plate will be suspended. Anti Gravity?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2003 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This effect works EXACTLY like magnetism. There is no free energy in magnetic potential, nor is there free energy in the Casimir effect because when you pull the plates apart, you have to give back all the potential energy you had to begin with.

    And anti-gravity? C'mon. Reasoning like this is how crackpots are made. Don't fall into the trap. By that reasoning, any force that acts opposite to gravity is "anti-gravity" (and I guess by that would be the literal definition). Is a magnet anti-gravity? A rocket? Well, I'll leave it up to you, but if the answer is yes, then there is nothing special about any anti-gravity device. Taken the way scientists would, an anti-gravity device would be something that neutralizes the force of gravity, not merely acts opposite to it. Casimir (and magnetism) is an additional force added to the system, not a neutralization of another force.
  4. Aug 14, 2003 #3
    Yeah Russ, I’d have to agree that force acting in opposition to gravity would not be “anti-Gravity”. What’s your feeling as to heat generated in the spacer?

  5. Aug 15, 2003 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If you release the pressure right away, the heat goes away. But since heat doesn't want to stay in on place, it will dissipate on its own if you don't do something with it right away. Thats entropy and that makes it take MORE energy to pull the plates apart than you got by letting them come together.
  6. Aug 15, 2003 #5
    FYI force is not measured in grams :D
  7. Aug 15, 2003 #6
    Should have used the unit “gram force” = .0098 Newton.

    I’d like to explore the spacer heating a little more. The force on the spacer would tend to compress it however microscopically. The Casimir force increases by the forth power as the separation between the plate’s decreases. The spacer would undergo further compression and heating at an increasing rate. I see this crunch continuing until the spacer melds with the plates. My 2 physics courses were taken about 40 years ago as part of an engineering curriculum and not used since. Without re-educating myself I can’t do the calculations to determine the energy release. I would think it to be considerable, but whether more energy out then in probably not, but perhaps a use might be made of it.

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Free energy and anti-gravity?
  1. Is Anti-Gravity a myth? (Replies: 12)

  2. Anti-Gravity Q (Replies: 21)