Quantum Gravity

Does antigravity technology exist?
Answered by HowStuffWorks
  • HowStuffWorks

    HowStuffWorks

  1. As advantageous as antigravity would be (and as cool as it sounds), it doesn't exist yet. Scientists still have not developed a proven technology that actually counters the effects of gravity on an object, although there is much mystery and myth associated with gravity and zero gravity research.

    If such a technology were to exist in the future, it would force us to alter our understanding of physics and our experience of life. After all, gravity -- the most powerful force in the universe -- is what attracts objects to other objects. Gravity holds us to Earth's surface and keeps Earth in orbit around the sun. But ever since the dawn of science fiction, authors have filled sci-fi books and movie screens with objects or creatures that could fly free of the force of gravity. If their fantasy worlds were to become reality, the possibilities could be endless. Transportation would accommodate pretty much anyone's needs. Suddenly, the world would get a whole lot smaller, metaphorically speaking. Want to go somewhere? Just go! And who needs roads? Just hover away in your antigravity "car" (however that might look!), defying Einstein and Isaac Newton. Need to ship something across a room or across a continent? Do it with ease -- you could ship a literal ton of stuff as easily as you could a proverbial 5-pound sack: Mass is no longer an issue in an antigravity future!

    Alas, though, back here in our present tense, science hasn't been able to produce a technology that can accomplish anything like antigravity. So it will, for now, have to remain in the realm of science fiction. Still, the idea will continue to fire the imagination of ordinary people. No doubt, the prospect appeals to NASA as well. In fact, NASA's Zero Gravity Research Facility is reportedly the largest antigravity facility in the world [source: NASA]. If nothing else, the agency's antigravity treadmill, designed to help astronauts aboard the International Space Station stay in shape, has been adopted for use in physical rehabilitation. Antigravity technology would hasten any thoughts we have of deep-space exploration by human wayfarers. Conquering gravity would allow us to travel and to transport into space all kinds of goods using far less energy than we need in our gravity-laden world. Who knows? Perhaps one day what goes up might not have to come down.

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