Research by Austrian scientists has suggested the phenomenon of gravitomagnetism may have more importance than was previously predicted, and it not only calls into question what was previously thought about gravity. Just as a moving electrical charge creates a magnetic field, so a moving mass generates a gravitomagnetic field. According to Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, the effect is virtually negligible. However, Martin Tajmar, ARC Seibersdorf Research GmbH, Austria; Clovis de Matos, ESA-HQ, Paris; and colleagues have measured the effect in a laboratory, and found a higher figure than previously expected. Notes New Scientist:
It might even herald a futuristic technology that could be used to pull, push or levitate any object, regardless of its composition, electrical charge or shape.Other scientists will soon be checking the research by trying to replicate it themselves.
The results could be out in a year or so. If they are positive, it puts the technology of science fiction on the horizon. Levitating cars, zero-g playgrounds, tractor beams to pull objects towards you, glassless windows that use repulsive fields to prevent things passing through. Let your imagination run riot: a gravitomagnetic device that works by changing the acceleration and orientation of a superconductor would be the basis for a general-purpose force field.You can read about the research in the latest issue of New Scientist (subscription needed) or you can take a peek here at this cached forum page (scroll down to see the text).
The suggestion that gravitomagnetism might one day form the basis of some new technology evokes a quick reaction from Everitt: "Absolutely, unquestionably no!" Then, after a pause, he adds, "But I suppose Simon Newcomb was just as certain in 1900 when he said that humans would never build a heavier-than-air flying machine."
LINK: Gravity's secret - New Scientist (subscription needed)
Gravity's secret - Science a Go Go Forum (scroll down to see the text)
Towards a new test of general relativity - PhysOrg.Com
Gravitomagnetism - Wikipedia
Gravitomagnetic induction of gravitational fields - Gravity Control Idealism blog