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I have a metallic alloy called "Attrahite" in my world that conducts gravity the way that copper conducts electricity. Currently in the world, passing an electric charge through Attrahite "activates" it, conducting gravity, and leaving it without a charge "blocks" gravity from passing through. Thus, you can create all kinds of toys like anti-gravity plates, "telekinesis" gloves, or an infinite sources of electricity (by spinning a turbine).

It's a fun idea, but I have a few problems with it (aside from the fact that it would blatantly violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics). Can anyone think of a way that gravity could be manipulated by a material like this? Is it at all plausible, or should I find myself a new gimmick?

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you looking at this as magic or as something to make magic? What I really mean is will this be used to do weird stuff in war and other things, or just to make weapons? $\endgroup$ – CHEESE Dec 1 '16 at 0:14
  • $\begingroup$ What you describe sounds less like a copper wire conducting electricity and more like a semiconductor switching it. Also, note that you can solve the whole perpetual-motion issue by making the act of switching it on or off require an amount of electrical power sufficient to make up for any potential energy changes that occur from blocking gravity. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Dec 1 '16 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "conducting" gravity? Gravity, either represented as flow of gravitons or curvature of space, goes through everything so "conducting" is pretty much what every material, as well as lack of material aka vaccum does. Blocking is what's unusual. Also, you can't really compare gravity to electricity in hard-science way, because there's no magnetic counterpart to gravity. Electrostatic and Magnetic interactions are unified to Electro-Magnetism, but there's no "Gravi-Magnetism", also, there's only one type of gravitational charge, since anti matter doesn't have anti-mass. $\endgroup$ – M i ech Dec 1 '16 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Miech actually, there is gravito-magnetism. And a negative mass would not have opposite gravity charge, as can be inferred that zero mass particles still work the normal way. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Dec 1 '16 at 5:47
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    $\begingroup$ Attrahite is basically HG Wells' Cavorite with an extra wrinkle, Namely, gravity passes through while an electrical current flows through it. This probably won't upset the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but is a problem for the Conservation of Energy. It is normally a gravity insulator and conductor when electricity pass through it. This might work better the other way around, at least, that could conform to the Conservation of Energy. $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 1 '16 at 8:39
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Make up some rules

It’s not remotely scientifically realistic. Why would that keep you from using it? Just declare that gravity on your world works like EM radiation and is transmitted by graviton particles. Most materials interact with gravitons by expressing a force of attraction, but attrahite does something else.

Here is one scenario consider. Lets say that gravitons are like neutrons. Neutrons will penetrate many objects to a decent distance, and even when they do not pass through without a collision, they are scattered. But some specific elements (Boron, Halfnium) absorb those neutrons instead. Attrahite could absorb gravitons in a certain way, completely removing gravitic energy and transferring it to some sort of atomic energy, much like the energy of neutrons absorbed is partially transfered to strong force bonds in the new nucleus.

Another thing to consider if you go with the above model, is that some energy that is absorbed can be re-released by certain processes. Certain energy gamma rays can be abosrbed in a crystal lattice. If that lattice is heated, the energy is re-released. This is the principle by which thermoluminescent dosimiters work. Atttrahite could absorb gravitons, then be induced to release them by heating, exposure to sunlight, chemical reaction, or something.

There are of course infinite other scenarios dending on what you determine the gravitons to act like. Are they like electrons in that they have a 'gravitic charge' that attracts or repels them, and attrahite is the only other compound with a 'gravitic charge'? Is attrahite the only material that interacts with gravitons by repulsion? There are so many options.

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Such a universe would be very different from ours. What you call gravity there, as you describe it, would not be like gravity in the real universe.

You’d need to ask the geeks whether it is even possible to formulate a force that works this way. It’s not like the electric force because you have like charges attract. It may have one charge only, or maybe there’s just nothing with other charges around.

The carrier bosons interact with “other things” so they can be generated or stopped. You postulate interaction with electromagnetism, but that affects everything as matter is made of protons and electrons.

I worry that you would not have stable orbits. Besides the way (real) gravity points to the actual center rather than a time-delayed position, your world’s gravity would be altered by the composition of objects and things in the way.

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  • $\begingroup$ just nothing with other charges around - wouldn't work. The only reason it seems to work with static electricity is because the "neutral" object has equal amount of both, and opposite ones are attracted, end up nearer the charged object, their attraction is thus stronger than repel of same sign charges that ends up farther from each other. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Dec 1 '16 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Mołot dipoles are not what I was getting at. Given that like charges attract and everything has that same charge, it works similarly to gravity. This is unlike electric charge where likes repel. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Dec 1 '16 at 6:27
  • $\begingroup$ Do you recall any force that would work that way irl? Because opposite charges repelling would cause an interesting effects. But I belive I never heard of it. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Dec 1 '16 at 6:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot the interneucleon force comes to mind. All baryons have the same “charge” and you can see that antimatter works the same, since the pion is the same if you reverse the matter/anti assignments. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Dec 1 '16 at 8:30

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