Gravity May Lose Its Pull

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wdlove, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #1
  2. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #2
    Makes one wonder, doesn't it? Our theories about the universe have changed significantly over the course of history (to say the least). Perhaps this is the latest development.

    It's too bad we cannot send out a spacecraft to test the theory more quickly, if indeed the data point to this being a real possibility.
     
  3. tpjunkie macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #3
    what an odd title for this article, as it describes an unexplained acceleration towards the sun. I've actually heard of the "pioneer effect" before but, this is the first time i've seen any major news coverage of it.
     
  4. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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  5. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #5
    "Houston, we have a prob... ah, crap, never mind." :D
     
  6. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #6
    In all seriousness -- and keeping in mind that I'm a scientific illiterate -- I was thinking "dark matter" even before I got to the paragraph that mentioned it. If I'm not mistaken, they've inferred the existence of dark matter from other, similar astronomical anomalies. (Say that three times real fast!)
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Gravity May Lose Its Pull

    That story just brings me down...



    (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
    :)
     
  8. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    #8
    Interesting article, although I fail to see how the title bears any resemblance to the article.
     
  9. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #9
    We are very lucky that we have scientists like Mr. Anderson willing to dedicate this amount of time to research. It seems that they will be spending a lot more time on the systematics and physics of this problem. It would seem that Newton and Einstein still have theories that able to make the test of time.

    I won't be too concerned till I see other than birds lifting off the ground. :D
     
  10. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #10
    And yet he still has time to devote to MacRumors... Oh, wait, different Mr. Anderson.

    To a more serious point - it's easy to make light of this type of discovery, especially since it doesn't really mean that we will all soon begin floating from the face of the Earth. Obviously, this doesn't change anything, just changes our understanding of it.

    But will it somehow help us in our quest to reach other planets more quickly? Will it actually make us rethink future direction in terms of space travel or understanding how galaxies move and interact? Many of these discoveries are so esoteric as to make it difficult to relate this to anything in our own mundane existence. However, somehow, there's got to be something with a little more, um, weight than we're giving to it, right?
     
  11. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    #11
    It's the knowledge we gain from abstract science that eventually finds uses in everyday applications. People like you were saying the same things when Dalton, Bohr, Rutherford, Millican et al were discovering the fundamental basics of subatomic particles but where did all of that knowledge take us?
    1) the ability to predict organic synthesis products with higher accuracy, leading to new plastics, materials, drugs and fabrics as well as carbon nanotubes and other nanotech products in the near future
    2) Nuclear fission/fusion
    3) Semiconductors
    4) TVs
    5) Radiation therapy for cancer patients and many other applications that I haven't listed here

    If this gravity anomaly is actually a true observation of one of gravity's hidden properties, it could lead to finally finishing off the Unified Field Theory and maybe eventually this will lead to new ways to propelling spacecraft or a variety of other possible uses.

    The point is that sometimes you can't be so focused on short term results that you forget the benefits of more long term discoveries
     
  12. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #12
    If you read my post, I am not focused on short term results - instead I am simply posing the question as to where this leads us. Most people reading this article would shrug it off as unimportant because it is too complex for most to understand.

    I am not one of those people - hence my query on where it can lead us, because that is what I don't know. So people like me weren't questioning the validity or the value, simply asking where do we go from here.
     
  13. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #13
    Don't worry! :) We'll just all stick together. That way, we'll come through in one piece. :D
     
  14. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

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    #14
    Haha cmon now guys... Let's try and keep our feet on the ground, eh? :D
     
  15. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #15
    The scary thing is I actually worked at JPL for a summer :D And there are quite a few Mr. Andersons working there....

    What I have to wonder about is that in the article they mentioned that Voyager had since passed the Pioneer probes, but they made no mention of any anomalous readings about acceleration from Voyager....makes me think it might be something about the Pioneer probes.

    But then if its that easy, this guy wouldn't spend all that time trying to figure why its happening. It more an issue of lack of adequate reporting in the article. I'll have to do a search about this and if there are any other bits of info about all the probes that are outward bound from earth.

    D
     
  16. meta-ghost macrumors regular

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    #16
    listen to me...

    there is no gravity.
    the earth sucks.
     
  17. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #17
    But I like my head in the clouds! :(

    edit: But your'e probably a "down to earth" kind of guy, right? :)
     
  18. JLS macrumors 6502

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    #18
    "Prime suspects were gas leaks, along with releases of energy by the an onboard mechanical problem. Prime suspects were gas leaks, along with releases of energy by the plutonium-powered radioisotope thermoelectric generators"

    Darn those plutonium-powered radioisotope thermoelectric generators.

    I bet it was them. :p
     
  19. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

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    #19
    Haha dang... I'm spent... :rolleyes: Gimme a second...

    Edit: Bah, I've got nothing. Found this though! :p
     
  20. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #20
    They did mention something about that:

    That would've been nice if it had worked.
     
  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #21
    Funny that the article appears now, since I read about this 2-3 years ago. Sometimes I wonder about news articles related to science viewable on the internet. This is interesting, yes, but people have wondered this for years and years and years. Nobody has an explanation, but surely we're farther ahead in figuring this out than the article assumes. :confused:
     
  22. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #22
    oops - must have missed that part.....:D

    But even though they've been doing more 'meandering' they're on a straight trajectory right now, so it might be able to observer some of the same things in the years to come....

    D
     
  23. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #23
    How would their "orienting technology" be "so different that the data were useless"? Does that mean that the Voyagers were using inferior technology? That we don't know exactly where they were/are? Because, otherwise, I'd expect that we could track them accurately....
     
  24. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

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    #24
    The differences in the Voyagers' orienting technology means that the two can't be compared and used to rule out the possibility of equipment malfunction, since their systems are different. "Orienting technology" here doesn't mean the means of reporting their locations, but their drive systems.
     
  25. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #25
    So, then, if we could get as accurate a fix on their locations as on the Pioneers, why couldn't we detect whether or not they exhibited the same apparent slowdown?

    If we can, and they don't, then it's due to Pioneer's design (unintentional ion thrust of a sort, for example). If we can and they do, then we know it's not due to Pioneer's design.

    The article suggests that the Voyagers can't be used to prove/disprove the apparent slowdown due to differences in "orienting technology". I don't understand how that would make the Voyager data inapplicable.
     

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