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How much do we know about gravity?

  1. Jul 2, 2008 #1
    This could be a question of particle physics, but I just want to see how much we know about this force yet? Any prospects of neutralizing it in the future or is it impossible to defy it? I think if we could figure this force out we would then be able to make manned interstellar travel a reality. Then by travelling to other planets orbiting other stars, we could have most likely found some form of life like our own(this is what astrobiologists believe), I mean life in the form of animals and humans probably, I don't mean going searching for life hidden deep beneath frozen oceans on other planets. So is this "interstellar travel" just a fantasy and dream or could it become a reality? Does it have anything to to do with gravity at all?

    We have all seen how magicians (like Chris Angel the mind freak) levitate objects, but that's just a trick. From a physics point of view, are we going to be able to someday completely neutralize gravity so that object could break free(like in free fall) from any sources of gravitational force? If we could attain that stage in our knowledge of our surroundings and nature, then I believe we could figure out where we came from by visiting other planets and see if there are other living humans/animals living there who could communicate with us? That's the question every human being I suppose should ask: Where did we come from???
     
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  3. Jul 2, 2008 #2

    chroot

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    Current physical models preclude such things as "neutralizing" or "shielding" gravity. That doesn't mean such feats will never be possible, but our current understanding of physics includes no mechanisms to accomplish them.

    - Warren
     
  4. Jul 3, 2008 #3
    simple answer is NOT MUCH
    while our current understanding is very limited
    we know gravity exists but very little of how or why
    the DARK SIDE [ matter and energy ] hints that somethings many be possible
    but much work needs to be done before any use can be made from the DARK stuff
    and even if we can ever control any usefull effects of the DARK SIDE
     
  5. Jul 15, 2008 #4
    The theory of general relativity explains gravity incredibly well and experiments back this up. There is a small amount of observational data that disagrees with our current understanding (such as the rate of deceleration of space probes in the outer solar system), but there are many other explanations that questioning gravity is usually only the domain of conspiracy freaks.

    The theories in place leave no room for antigravity (despite what some say), neutralizing gravity or escaping its effects in any way. This is the current scientific understanding.

    There are efforts in the particle physics community to understand gravity by finding the particles that transmits the force, known as the Higgs Boson. If we could discover it (if it exists) there could be potential for manipulating it. But it would be almost impossible to do this for anything more than a single particle considering the likely energies, precisions and precautions that could be involved in the process.

    Its similar to the star trek device for creating meals out of energy. It is technically possible using precise lasers, a lot of energy and a complicated program (to our current knowledge), but to recreate for example an entire sandwich would require more energy than the human race has ever used, not to mention the precision and detail also required.

    Many people will argue that holes or gaps in our understanding of gravity leave room for solutions of new interpretations and this is always possible. However as an active astrophysics researcher, I can tell you that solutions like this don't appear out of nowhere and are usually incredibly complicated.

    Also, there are many easier ways to discover extraterrestrial life, discover our origins and answer these deep questions!
     
  6. Jul 16, 2008 #5
    Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    It's my understanding that the Higgs boson does not mediate the gravitational force. The proposed particle for that is the graviton which has significantly different properties.

    The Higgs boson is part of a proposed method to explain electroweak symmetry breaking, which arises from the the W and Z bosons having mass, while the photon lacks it.
     
  7. Jul 18, 2008 #6
    That is true, I didn't know how much detail to go into on these forums!
     
  8. Jul 18, 2008 #7
    the idea of neutralize gravity is also to control or unneutralize gravity. Such an exist thing will almost automatically defy the law of conservation of energy which introduce to a new era of science. We do not need to go that deep. All we need is a better way to manipulate energy. It's more probable to violate the 3rd law of thermo (reversibility) than to violate the 1st law. There's a new article around saying conservation of charge is violated. It's a generator in vaccume medium that have more output power than input. You can google it.
     
  9. Jul 19, 2008 #8
    What have just said makes hardly any sense at all. I won't trust everything you read on Google anyway. Can you send a reference to a published article?
     
  10. Jul 19, 2008 #9

    George Jones

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    Has this article been published in a reputable journal? If so, give a link or a reference.

    From the Physics Forum Posting Guidelines:
     
  11. Jul 19, 2008 #10
  12. Jul 19, 2008 #11
  13. Jul 21, 2008 #12
    I'd take a look at all the things covered under the "science" header on the left before taking that site seriously.

    I have to find it amusing that after reading sub-sections titled things like "flying saucers", "free energy", "government ufo coverups" and the like, they have a section titled "fringe science". lol

    Upon further review, it looks like if you can sift through the junk there is some interesting information on that site.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  14. Jul 22, 2008 #13

    haha that's how you do a preview? It's like judging the book from its cover, but who knows, you might be right. ;)
     
  15. Jul 22, 2008 #14
    Also, note that 3 of 4 of the cited references by the author are other articles written by himself...:rolleyes:
     
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