The Real Reason Why Anti-Gravity Hasn't Been Invented Yet | Unveiled
VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio
What's the TRUTH about anti-gravy tech?? Join us... and find out more!
In this video, Unveiled takes a closer look at anti-gravity technology! For decades, it has been one of the most highly anticipated future technologies out there... with scientists AND conspiracy theorists insisting that it's possible. But, if that's true, then why hasn't it been released to the public yet..?
The REAL Reason Anti-Gravity Hasn’t Been Invented Yet
Of all the hypothetical technologies, true antigravity is something of a holy grail in sci-fi. But while it’s a solution to many issues in fiction, scientists haven’t yet been able to make it a reality – at least, not as far as the public knows. So, what’s stopping us from mastering this strange area of technology?
This is Unveiled, and today we’re answering the extraordinary question: what’s the real reason antigravity hasn’t been invented yet?
Antigravity is a hypothetical method of reversing the effects of gravity, or creating an object that’s pushed away by gravity rather than attracted to it. This is in stark contrast to artificial gravity, which absolutely does exist and can be generated in outer space through inertia. The designs for centrifugal space stations dreamed up in the 1960s and 70s could certainly be a functioning reality if anybody wanted to put up the money to build them. Any object with enough mass will create gravity though, because that’s how gravity works - massive objects bend spacetime around them and attract other objects, bringing them into orbit or potentially pulling them towards a doomsday collision. Antigravity, on the other hand, is a method of propulsion or levitation that would enable gravity – one of the four fundamental forces in the standard model of physics – to work in the opposite way.
It's been used in science-fiction since the 19th century, as Newton’s original laws of universal gravitation did seem to allow for such an inverse force to exist. So, finding a way to reverse gravity became something that enchanted many writers, including H.G. Wells, who used a substance that “blocks” gravity in one of his stories. “Blocking” the effects of gravity like this definitely isn’t possible, but the idea of antigravity has persisted in popular culture, all the way through to the modern mythology of UFOs. UFOs move in mysterious ways, hovering in the air, darting around, and sometimes moving in total silence. All of this sounds like our alien visitors are using antigravity technology to propel their spaceships… and it’s true that if aliens DID exist, antigravity propulsion would make it a lot easier for them to get to and from Earth without needing loud, bright rockets. After all, if they had to launch a rocket every time they left Earth to return to space, we’d definitely all know about them by now. This has given rise to conspiracy theories involving the mecca for UFO sightings, the United States, chiefly that UFOs have crashed on American soil and are being reverse-engineered by scientists.
It’s also been claimed that the Nazis developed some kind of antigravity device, in another popular conspiracy theory known as “die Glocke”, or “the Bell”, because of its shape. According to proponents, this was an early experiment into vertical propulsion, though it never actually appeared during warfare. Die Glocke was just one of many supposed Nazi “wonder weapons”, most of which likely don’t exist, though it does have a physical site tied to it. Nicknamed “Hitler’s Stonehenge”, a mysterious facility was built by the Nazis in occupied Poland, and to this day, nobody’s too sure exactly what it was – though it does have underground tunnels running below it. Some have suggested that the structure was a testing ground for die Glocke, but we really don’t know, and the story about the device didn’t actually appear until the year 2000, so it’s highly likely that it was (or is) a hoax.
Despite these tales, scientists around the world are currently in agreement: the reason that we don’t have antigravity technology could be that it’s simply impossible. Newton’s ideas may have allowed for it, but we have a new way to describe gravity now - Einstein’s theory of general relativity. And, according to this model, antigravity isn’t achievable. There’s no way to invert the force of gravity in the way science-fiction writers want us to. Nevertheless, there HAVE still been credible investigations into methods of creating an anti-gravitational force. It’s been theorized for a while that one solution could be through antimatter, for example. Antimatter is notoriously elusive. Normal atoms consist of a nucleus made up of protons and neutrons, and electrons bound to the nucleus. Anti-atoms, on the other hand, have antiprotons instead of protons, and positrons instead of electrons. There are those who argue that potentially, antimatter could be repulsed by gravity in the same way normal matter is attracted, meaning it would fall “up” instead of down. But it’s proven notoriously difficult to study this in a lab… and there remains the clear possibility that antimatter might just as well interact with gravity in the exact same way as ordinary matter does. So, particle physics isn’t an automatic route to antigravity in the standard model.
So… what about when we go beyond the standard model, into the weird realm of string theory? Currently, our two models of the universe, the standard model and quantum physics, don’t operate in harmony. We lack a universal theory of everything - a theory of quantum gravity - that can marry them together. String theory might just be able to do that, though. Within it, proponents have attempted to explain gravity with a hypothetical elementary particle called a “graviton”... which, it’s been speculated, might be able to produce antigravity. But, of course, string theory is still an unproven set of ideas, and it’s so bizarre that it’s not clear how we’d ever prove whether or not it’s true.
For now, there ARE at least pieces of technology that give people the illusion of defying gravity. We can, of course, fly through the air in many different ways. A plane would stay in the sky indefinitely if it had an infinite supply of fuel. Vertical propulsion is already commonplace through helicopters and drones. We also DO have the means to make objects levitate without using engines or propellers, though they don’t use antigravity to accomplish this. They use magnets to create the effect of magnetic levitation, with two magnets facing and repelling each other in such a way that one of them floats. It can be tricky to get a magnetic levitation effect stable, as the magnets are always fighting against each other, but it’s a technology we’ve certainly mastered by now. We have maglev trains, for instance, that work in the same way, and because they’re ever-so-slightly levitating they can travel much faster than other forms of rail transport. They’re also powered electrically, making them potentially very clean. But again, this isn’t actually antigravity.
Scientists have also pulled off strange experiments that similarly LOOK as if antigravity is in effect. By creating a pool full of a dense fluid and constantly vibrating the base of that pool, the liquid never settles on the bottom, creating a void between the liquid and the base. Scientists did this and then added toy boats to the equation, and were able to witness a boat “floating” on the liquid upside down. In another even weirder study back in the 1950s, it was found that by vibrating a swinging pendulum, the pendulum could be made to swing back and forth while pointing upwards. Again, seeming to defy physics.
One more promising method, which was initially mistaken as antigravity by scientists working on it, is ion propulsion. Using an ion drive to generate thrust by creating positively charged ions does work, but with a few huge caveats. For a start, though we do have ion thrusters on Earth, they’re just not powerful enough to generate a meaningful amount of lift… because of Earth’s gravity and atmosphere. Ionocrafts HAVE been successfully tested before now, but even the most promising ones don’t fly particularly far. One ion-powered airplane tested in 2018, for example, only flew a distance of roughly 200 feet and only at a very low altitude. It also weighed just 5.4lbs, so it couldn’t carry a payload. There are, however, patents for what would effectively be a real-life flying saucer, first developed in 2006 and called the Wingless Electromagnetic Air Vehicle. It uses a combination of ionization, plasma, and magnetism to fly, though only small and very early prototypes of it have ever been built. But even though it could be said of this particular machine that it looks like the famous flying saucers beloved by ufologists, it still isn’t true antigravity propulsion. Ion thrusters aren’t useless, however, just because they’re not very powerful on Earth. They’re actually a major part of plans to send humans to other planets in the future, as they DO work as a propulsion method in the vacuum of space.
So, ultimately, we’re at something of a crossroads when it comes to this type of technology. It would be a revolutionary breakthrough, but unfortunately, everything we know about physics tells us that it’s probably impossible - in its truest form. There are various concepts in development that look a lot like it, though, even if we aren’t getting much closer to the genuine thing. And that’s the real reason why antigravity hasn’t been invented yet.