Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ridiculous Patent: Antigravity device

The USPTO issued a patent on an antigravity vehicle on November 1st, 2005.

Now, if this were a real device, even I'd admit that it would be quite the breakthrough.

Problem is, it contradicts the laws of nature. The patent office declares:
The patent law specifies that the subject matter must be “useful.” The term “useful” in this connection refers to the condition that the subject matter has a useful purpose and also includes operativeness, that is, a machine which will not operate to perform the intended purpose would not be called useful, and therefore would not be granted a patent.
Physicists argue that, theoretically, anti-gravity devices imply the availability of unlimited energy, which is not a tenable position. According to Robert Park of the American Physical Society, "If you design an anti-gravity machine, you've got a perpetual-motion machine."

So, accordingly, this patent shouldn't have been granted. But it was, 8 days ago. Luckily, since it can't be built, there isn't much chance that you'll ever infringe it.

The patent also claims that said vehicle can travel at close to the speed of light. I wonder then, if it might infringe the Hyper Light Speed Antenna? Maybe these guys can cross-license.


Anonymous Peter Jay Salzman said...

Anti-gravity is not pure science fiction. You can cook up a spacetime metric that, in effect, provides "anti-gravity" in the sense that it can shield a region of spacetime from external gravitational effects.

For a reference, see "The Warp Drive and Antigravity" by Homer G. Ellis.

The main problem with the proposal isn't that it requires an infinite amount of energy, although it does require "a lot" (by some estimates more energy than is available in the universe). The main problem is the type of energy. Negative mass-energy is required, and we currently don't know what that is or where to obtain it from.

However, it is suspected that negative energy density does exist. See "A Revised Proof of Negative Energy Density in Quantum Field Theory" by Chung-I Kuo (gr-qc/9611064)

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

All things are possible to those who believe!

1:12 AM  

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