An interesting effect posited by James F. Woodward
, professor of History
at the State University of California Fullerton
. It is based on Mach's Principle
. According to Woodward
, changing the mass
of an object is possible, at least transiently
, by rapidly changing its energy density
Here is a more complete description, from the Quantum Cavorite:
Mach's Principle explains inertia -- the tendency of an object to resist acceleration -- by the sum of the gravitational attractions of all objects in the
universe. Woodward, an expert on Mach's Principle, found a "loop hole" (really, a transient term that most neglect) which predicts that a
time-varying energy density results in a sizeable mass fluctuation, and has demonstrated this in more than one well documented experiments.
He predicts that this is only possible if Mach's Principle is valid, because a certain constant in his equations approaches c2, which cancels out the c2
in Einstein's E = Mc2; if Mach's Principle is invalid, then rapidly changing energy densities (of a magnitude possible in a modern lab) would not
result in large mass fluctuations because the c2 term would be very large.
His experiments used a small array of capacitors whose energy density was varied by an applied 11 kHz signal. The beauty of his experiment was
the following insight -- if you vibrate these capacitors up and down using a piezoelectric crystal, at just the right frequency so that they are going
up when their mass is the least and going down when their mass is the most, then a small, constant, mass change is possible. The largest mass
change he measured was 4.4 milligrams.