21 December 2005

What if...

A few degrees off from my usual posts...

The way a massive body ‘creates’ gravity has often been compared to a bowling ball set on a taught membrane like a trampoline.

Imagine one of those 3 foot wide exercise trampolines with a marble near one edge – this marble is Earth. The marble doesn’t have enough weight to distort the trampoline at all, so it doesn’t move – it just sits there on the flat surface. Now add a bowling ball to the center of the trampoline. This is the Sun. The bowling ball sinks into the trampoline which causes the entire surface to curve around it, in order to support its weight. As a result, the little marble, our Earth, will now find itself on a slope and roll toward the bowling ball/Sun.

Everybody still with me?

So assuming this metaphor is reasonably true to life – what if we could find a way to alternately tighten or relax the springs that keep the trampoline taught? In other words, what if there was a way to increase or decrease the ‘surface tension’ in local space thereby either increasing or decreasing the gravity in that area.

If I find myself falling toward the Sun because it’s distorted the trampoline we share, tightening a few springs would make the Sun ‘rise’, decreasing the slope, decreasing my rate of falling...decreasing gravity.

And if space and time are really one thing I’m sure time is involved here somewhere, but I haven’t really thought about that at all.

Anyway – just thinking out loud...

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