Is there really a “gravity shortage”?

Disturbingly, the answer may be yes, according to physicists at Stanford University. Research by physicists Pisin Chen and Paul Rosen indicates that, in general, the earth is exerting significantly less gravitational force than it was when gravity was first measured and quantified in the 1920s by Kaluza and Klein. While Kaluza and Klein’s methods were primitive by today’s standards, their measurements deviate enough from Chen and Rosen’s recent survey of variance in the earth’s gravitational field that it seems gravity has reduced by somewhere in the neighbourhood of 6% in the last 70 years. Interestingly, gravity does seem to have increased slightly nearer to the earth’s north and south (geologic) poles, but in most other locations, measurements indicate reductions of from 1 to 8%. Similar research is being done by physicists at numerous other institutions worldwide, with many reporting similar results, though no other studies have been completed yet.

Possible causes of the gravity shortage

Chen and Rosen posit that it is possible that friction of the earth against the solar wind could actually be causing the radiation of Higgs-bosons into the earth itself, thus increasing the voltaic potential of “heavy atoms” and causing eddies of weakly-interacting massive particles. Stochastic electrodynamic theory predicts that such particles in these conditions would cause “localised states of displaced mass” thus curving the vectors of gravitation so that the overall gravitational force, viewed macroscopically, is weakened. “We want to emphasize that our speculations on the cause of the so-called ‘gravity shortage’ are just that,” Chen clarified in a statement to the press June 03, 2002. “We don’t really know what could be causing it, but we are fairly certain there is in fact a lessening of gravitational force local to the earth.” Some physicists think that the gravity shortage may be caused by a loss of actual physical material from inside the earth. The earth’s super-heated core, or ‘mantle’, could be in the process of being subsumed into a tiny black hole in the very centre. This matter could then re-emerge in the centre of the sun to contribute to its ongoing thermonuclear reaction, thus increasing its heat, mass, and presence of various gravity-related particles. An increase in the sun’s gravity, while as yet unconfirmed, would tend to “use up” available gravity in the immediate area, decreasing the gravitational force exerted by other nearby planetary bodies and cosmic debris; however, the effect would be likely most noticeable on earth, as combined with the negative-gravitational effect of the overall lost mass.

What would life be like without gravity?

Life on earth without any gravity at all would be impossible, as without gravity, the earth would no longer retain the air and water that are necessary for our survival. While it is unlikely that the earth will ever be entirely without gravity, the less gravity we have the more of our precious air, water, and other natural resources will disappear into the vacuum of outer space. As gravity decreases, people will become taller and more spindly. If the gravity levels become too low, rain may not fall all the way to the ground before evaporating, which would clearly be disastrous for farming. There are any number of ill effects from the loss of gravity, some of which haven’t even been conceived of yet.

What can be done about the gravity shortage?

When possible, it is advisable to stay at ground level. If it is necessary to venture to a building’s higher floors, it is strongly recommended that you not use water or flush toilets. Pumping water above the earth’s surface and then using gravity to return it is one of the most significant wastes of gravity known.

Here are some other ways we can reduce our gravity consumption:

Don’t lift or lower heavy objects, it should be obvious this is a waste of gravity.
Carry helium balloons when possible.
Take elevators up, take stairs down. Walking down stairs uses 12% less gravity than walking up them, and a whopping 71% less than taking the elevator down!
Using roller skates is a great way to eliminate unnecessary foot-lifting due to walking.

Any other ideas to reduce the amount of gravity we consume, and extend the life of gravity on earth, would be welcome. This is clearly one of the most significant crises we face as a planet.

 

A number of imaginative solutions have been proposed to the gravity crisis. Professors Sheringham and Beckham of the Bognor Regis Polytechnic have suggested converting electrical potential energy into gravitational potential energy by building powerful electric motors at the tops of high mountains, and not turning them on.

To be most effective, these gravity accumulators should start out light and gain mass, so that the longer they sit idle the more weight their unused electrical capacity has to leak into. A light machine also saves the gravity wasted hauling components up the mountainside, which outweighs the positive benefit of each workman's effort using up less gravity in the lighter mountain air. One possibility is to build them of light but tough titanium-aluminium alloys, and cause avalanches just above them. Too far above and too much gravity is wasted in the falling, and there is an increased risk that displaced matter would fall on either side of the accumulators instead of resting on them.

A bolder idea is to use an aerosol foam of carbon nanotubes to build the electrical equipment. This would be either an excellent conductor of electricity if the machinery were switched on, or possibly a terrible disappointment, but in either case it wouldn't matter, as it would never be intended for use for its intended purpose. The great advantage of the foam is there is so much room in it to trap Higgs bosons that would otherwise float out into space.

It has been observed that conversion of the Earth's core and possibly inner mantle to a black hole would not affect the Earth's overall gravity because the mass would all still be there. This would be true considering the whole Earth's effect as concentrated at its centre of mass, as we can reasonably do in calculating the orbit of the Moon, the effect on which would be very slight.

But by the general gravitational law, people on the surface of the earth are further away from the mass, so would indeed weigh less. In fact there would be a slight tidal effect as portions of neighbouring crust began to overcome the effects formerly exerted by nearby mantle. Not only would we be taller and spindlier, our legs would stick out at the sides more. This would be unlikely to present any major health risk, since few us walk consistently in one direction. Hitch-hikers across the continental USA, however, would be advised to stop and do pirouettes from time to time in the intervals between watching for cars.

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