Jeremiah Hansen on Artificial Gravity

Artificial Gravity? Researcher Jeremiah Hansen describes how to use diamagnetism to create an artificial gravity field to keep your feet planted firmly on the deck of a spacecraft in a zero-g environment.

Ever wonder how the crew in Star Trek sticks to the floor despite the ship floating in space? Hansen argues that they could be using some kind of advanced diamagnetic system to literally push the crew down towards the deck, and he’s come up with a scientific model to predict exactly how to implement it. Only one drawback — it uses lots of power!

Hansen’s inspiration came after seeing a short internet-video clip of a frog suspended in the air by a large magnetic field. Despite his realization that the enormous 14-tesla field used in the frog experiment isn’t practical for space-applications given contemporary technology, he pushed ahead with a STAIF 2006 submission describing how diamagnetism may someday find very real artificial gravity uses in future space technology. The biggest benefit is simple: despite diamagnetism being many times weaker than it’s common ferromagnetic counter-part, given a high-enough field strength, many substances exhibit diamagnetic properties, including the water composing over 70% of our bodies.