Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"‘Negative mass’ created at Washington State University"

Via RedditWashington State University physicists have created a fluid with negative mass, which is exactly what it sounds like. Push it, and unlike every physical object in the world we know, it doesn’t accelerate in the direction it was pushed. It accelerates backwards.

The phenomenon is rarely created in laboratory conditions and can be used to explore some of the more challenging concepts of the cosmos, said Michael Forbes, a WSU assistant professor of physics and astronomy and an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington. The research appears today in the journal Physical Review Letters, where it is featured as an “Editor’s Suggestion.”

Hypothetically, matter can have negative mass in the same sense that an electric charge can be either negative or positive. People rarely think in these terms, and our everyday world sees only the positive aspects of Isaac Newton’s Second Law of Motion, in which a force is equal to the mass of an object times its acceleration, or F=ma.

In other words, if you push an object, it will accelerate in the direction you’re pushing it. Mass will accelerate in the direction of the force.

“That’s what most things that we’re used to do,” said Forbes, hinting at the bizarreness to come. “With negative mass, if you push something, it accelerates toward you.”

(Link to the whole article)

9 comments:

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Does this experiment involve Cougar Gold cheese or ice cream (Washington State University has a cheese and milk program).

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Is this a way to achieve long range space propulsion?

edutcher said...

I take it we need a guy with a bad Scots burr warning us we'll blow the anti-matter pods if we keep going at this rate.

ricpic said...

You push it away and it accelerates toward you?

Isn't the golden rule of womanizers threat 'em like dirt and they fall all over you?

Rabel said...

I was told that Michael Moore was providing financing for the project.

Lem's post led me too do a little reading on negative mass and now I don't know anything new and my head hurts.

rhhardin said...

If you push and it moves towards you then that increases the force and the acceleration. You can use it for a perpetual motion machine.

Which is to say it can't happen.

If they mean an opposite sign on gravity, that's okay.

chickelit said...

This was predicted in 1964 by Hanna-Barbera. just like ship mounted laser cannons.

rhhardin said...

If you drive home with a loose helium balloon in your car, the balloon goes to the back when you brake and to the front when you accelerate.

Sixty Grit said...

Rh, we have reviewed that phenomenon on this site before - the helium balloon is floating in an enclosed bubble of air and is responding according to the laws of physics.

Your ideas about the perpetual motion machine, however, intrigue me - do you have any brochures?

Did someone mention Scottie?