A maths researcher claims to have produced the formula to not only create gravitational fields, but also control them. He claims that current technology can be used to watch magnetic fields bend space-time.
The researcher, André Füzfa from Namur University, Belgium, suggests a device using superconducting electromagnets could prove the theory correct. He writes that we currently have the technology available to us to generate gravitational fields due to the equivalence principle (the theory that gravitational and inertial mass exert an equivalent and indistinguishable force).
"Although very weak, we have shown that this effect could be detectable by a twofold experimental setup," said Füzfa in the report, published in Physical Review. "Such a detection of the space-time curvature generated by a magnetic field in laboratory would constitute a major step in physics: the ability to produce, detect, and ultimately control artificial gravitational fields."
Currently, scientists study gravitational fields by watching large masses – including stars or the Earth. They have to base their research around the existing fields without being able to change them to test their theories.
Füzfa was tired of not being able to trial his research against a changing gravitational field, and so set out to create these fields himself, using well-controlled magnetic fields. The theory uses stacked large superconducting electromagnets to create the artificial gravitational field – albeit very weak. Next, the fields are detected using interferometry – a technique which superimposes the gravitational fields so that the information can be used by scientists.
"On one hand, it includes stacked large superconducting Helmholtz coils for the generation of the artificial gravitational field," writes Füzfa. This type of technology can be found at CERN currently, in a reactor. "On the other hand, the detection would be achieved by highly sensitive Michelson interferometers whose arms contain Fabry-Perot cavities to store light into the generated gravitational field."
Füzfa claims that this discovery would open the door to a new era in physics, as scientists could carry out their research of general relativity far quicker, and to a whole new level of understanding.
"Would this technology be developed, it could lead to amazing applications like the controlled emission of gravitational waves with large alternative electric currents. Gravity would then cease to be the last of the four fundamental forces not under control by human beings."