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Ok so I was thinking about a way to hypothetically have undiscovered elements with bizarre properties (for unobtainium purposes). And an idea hit me: replace nucleons with heavier but stable counterparts to replace the strong nuclear force with gravity. Let’s consider the makeup of an atom of what I’m gonna call Heavy Matter:

Heavy Protons, which have the same charge and properties of ordinary matter, but are about ten orders of magnitude heavier (the needed mass to make gravity as powerful as the strong nuclear force).

Heavy neutrons, ditto.

Heavy electrons - not muons for reasons that will become clear in a moment.

What this would mean is the strong nuclear force would be matched and equaled by gravity in overpowering the Coulombic repulsion between the nuclei. This would have a strange effect; in the inverse to ordinary matter, heavier nuclei are more stable. For a light nucleus (like the elements we encounter in everyday life), the strong nuclear force is more than enough to overcome Coulombic repulsion - so all that ‘excess’ gravity would just crush the nuclei together, turning it into a miniature black hole that would vanish into Hawking radiation so quickly that it would barely have even existed. For a heavy nucleus (like the elements that are extremely unstable or non existent in real life) the remaining slack of the Coulombic repulsion that the range-limited strong nuclear force can’t meet is matched and equalled by gravity. This means you could have a stable element with an atomic number of say, 500.

Everything I’ve written so far is kinda in the realm of plausibility, I think (that’s why I’m verifying it here). And now the ubontanium part comes in. The heavy particles also have the ability to nullify or weaken gravity, but only under very specific circumstances. This ability is related to charge; charge is directly proportional to nullification ability. What this means is the heavy electrons strengthen gravity and the heavy protons weaken it, so in a normal atom they just cancel out. However, ionise it and interesting stuff happens.

Negative ions of material greatly increase gravity in a given area, although you can’t have that effect be too strong because the nucleus collapses in on itself and becomes a black hole, which makes that kind less useful.

Positive ions of material reduce gravity in a given area. Since gravity is the attractive force in these nuclei, reducing it puts more bulk on the strong nuclear force and means you can’t really do that with the bigger Heavy elements because they just radioactively decay very rapidly. The lighter ones, however, can reduce, remove, and even reverse gravity. And that means you effectively have negative mass if you pick just the right Heavy element and heat it to an incredibly high temperature to ionise it. Which is the condition for the Alcubierre Drive, i.e one of the main feasible forms of FTL travel.

How feasible is all this, ignoring the gravity alteration, which is what TvTropes would call my One Big Lie? Are there any affects of the heavier atomic particles, gravity stabilised nuclei, and ionisation = gravity alteration phenomenon that I haven’t anticipated?

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok something’s occurred to me from further research. There’s no real feasible way to ionise a substance so perfectly that there aren’t electrons near all the ions, and so in my conception, the antigravity effect would be cancelled out anyway cos you just can’t remove the electrons like that. But I still want the change to be thermally induced. Maybe those properties only appear under heat? I’m unsure, and am gonna add this as an addenum question. $\endgroup$ – Locaq May 14 at 20:08
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Skeptical about antigravity.

I already bought muons and heavy counterparts of nucleons. I am ok with other ones.

I buy the heavy matter. I like the stable superheavys because everyone likes that. The unstable light ones is a cool ramification; OK with that.

As Dutch points out you need some other route than supernovas to get this stuff. Possibly it is from another dimension or created artificially?

But I am not with you on the jump to antigravity and that is your question. How do more massive particles counter gravity? Mass and space team up to make gravity. Gravity does not care about electrical charge as far as I know.

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  • $\begingroup$ The antigravity is a whole different characteristic from the greater mass. The greater mass is solely so that these hypothetical elements occupy a different part of the periodic table than the normal elements and can have differing properties - the ability to have huge atomic numbers means my madeup elements don’t have to share properties with any real ones. The antigravity is the soft part, like I said. $\endgroup$ – Locaq May 14 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ You are going to need fancy footwork to make an antigrav engine out of this. I would start with a particle just heavy enough that it is not collapsing into a singularity - not quite over the end. Some weird stuff goes down with singularities and space and gravity and you could premise your antigrav engine around that. $\endgroup$ – Willk May 14 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ Explain, please? $\endgroup$ – Locaq May 14 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Locaq: light reading - cds.cern.ch/record/1005569/files/0612088.pdf $\endgroup$ – Willk May 14 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for that $\endgroup$ – Locaq May 15 at 7:08
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For a light nucleus [...] the strong nuclear force is more than enough to overcome Coulombic repulsion - so all that ‘excess’ gravity would just crush the nuclei together, turning it into a miniature black hole that would vanish into Hawking radiation so quickly that it would barely have even existed. For a heavy nucleus [...] the remaining slack of the Coulombic repulsion that the range-limited strong nuclear force can’t meet is matched and equalled by gravity.

In our universe light nuclei are formed or immediately after the big bang, or within the stars (up until Fe). Nuclei heavier than Fe are formed with supernova explosions.

In your world light nuclei do not exist for long time, thus star do not exists, thus heavy nuclei cannot form: any nucleon will be turned into Hawking radiation way before it can form an heavy nucleus.

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    $\begingroup$ To clarify, I’m not putting this in place of ordinary matter. It would exist alongside ordinary matter in much smaller quantities. You are correct I’d need a way to explain how the Heavy nuclei actually form since the light nuclei vanish before they can get there through Hawking radiation. Maybe supernovae can produce them from ordinary matter under very rare circumstances? $\endgroup$ – Locaq May 14 at 18:05

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