Science Fiction Artificial Gravity

Has there ever been a science fiction movie, tv show, or even a novel that has tried to offer an explanation for the artificial gravity on their space ships? The centrifugal force from spinning as in 2001 doesn’t count.

Well, there was a Deep Space 9 episode that had characters briefly discussing the installation of “gravity plating”, but the details of its functioning were left unsaid.
So… no. Not that I’m aware of.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_gravity_(fiction)

That took 2 hours and 6 minutes to answer definitively.

That was sloppy, Dopers.
I know it’s Saturday, but we HAVE to get our response times down.
OK, you all know the drill.

Laps, everyone. Laps!

Plenty of them have tried, but aside from centrifugal force (or occasionally constant-thrust engines), the answers must necessarily be inaccurate, hand-wavy, or both. Often, you’ll have someone posit that in the future, we can control gravity “the same way we control electromagnetism”, but this is a non-starter: The way we control electromagnetism is, fundamentally, by moving sufficiently-large charges around, so the analogous method for gravity would be to move planet-sized objects around.

What do you mean by “explain?” Star Trek starships had “gravity plating” which is just stuff in the floor that emits gravitons. But the precise method by which one builds a graviton emitter was never revealed. Probably because nobody actually knows how to do that.

Nitpicky, but wouldn’t it be to move objects around with the same MASS as planets - not size?

Or, find some cheerleaders and have a stripping game.

Yes, and technically, if the objects were smaller in spatial dimension than planets, you could get away with them being less massive, too. I was speaking loosely, there. It’s still not practical, though.

Yeah, I’m not exactly sure how exact an “explanation” the OP is looking for.

In some of the old Doctor Who stories, they used hyperdense “dwarf star alloy,” I think.
:looks it up:
Maybe that wasn’t for gravitational effects.

Does the space centrifuge create g forces if you aren’t touching it?

As soon as you step on to the turny thing, on your spaceship, from a floaty position, you’ll have to catch up to it. What’s gonna make you stick to it? Velcro shoes? :dubious:

Your still in space with no gravity. Even after you get in time with the turney thing. Can’t you just jump up off of it, ‘towards the opposite direction’, and be all floaty again? :confused:

Usually it’s assumed that there is a non-rotating section where your ship docks. You then transfer to the rotating part at the center, where the pseudo-gravity from rotation is near zero. You then take an elevator or ladder outward. As you move outward from the center, you gain velocity simply due to the fact that you are resting your weight on the floor or ladder, the rotating platform pushing you along.

In theory, yes, but in practice the rotational speeds are usually high enough that you can’t generate enough speed by jumping to cancel out your sideways velocity.

I always assumed in Star Trek that they kept a small black hole in the basement. Because even when there wasn’t enough power to keep the blinking lights on the computers blinking, they still had gravity (yeah, except for that one movie later on where they could afford the special effects).

Hate to be a killjoy but…

Gravity is *still *the rub in defining a real-world unified field theory. ‘Gravitons’ are still only hypothetical and physicists are still arguing over the exact way gravity ‘waves/particles’ propagate thru space. Until a definitive real-world breakthrough is achieved the validity of fictional systems is kind of moot. They’re always going to be similar to how the Star Trek writers refer to various propulsion system’s anomalies as “Plot Drive”! :smiley:

More or less, yeah. Spinning part of the ship to create pseudo-gravity is simple physics, almost an elaborate parlor trick! It does not ‘generate’ an ‘artificial gravity field’ in any way what-so-ever. To use the Discovery ship from 2001, yes, if you started running in the opposite direction it was rotating you would start to feel lighter & lighter and eventually you’d be floating across the floor while watching the spinning part of the ship move around past you. This would be a real concern in regards to colliding with other astronauts and/or fixed parts of the ship so it would be an inadvisable thing to ever do!

[Fanboy]
Actually TNG established that Romulan ships use a tiny black hole to power their warp drive *propulsion *system. But like I said, more Plot Drive…
[/Fanboy]

You want weird gravity shenanigans, check out the new Total Recall. In the movie, “The Fall” is a mass-transit system that carries passengers from Australia to Britain via tunnel through the Earth’s core. Midway through the trip, there’s a “gravity change”, dramatized by a minute or so of weightlessness and all the passenger seats rotating to orient on the new “down”.
It is determinedly, indeed insultingly, nonscientific.

I’d like some one to explain to me why in the fuck do they have gravity plating inside the Jefferies tubes?!

Remember that episode where capt Picard had to climb out of that turbo lift with the kids? I couldn’t help thinking to myself… WHY?!

James Blish’s “Cities in Flight” stories relied upon an antigravity device called a spindizzy field. The idea was apparently based upon a real physical theory, P.M.S. Blackett’s ideas about how gravity played a role in generating the magnetic fields of stars and planets. (I am not sure whether Blackett’s theory is now considered to be refuted. Very likely it has been, but it was serious, respectable physics at the time.)

Many of Blish’s stories, IIRC, also involved a faster than light communications device called the Dirac Communicator, which worked by what is now called quantum entanglement. People talk about the ‘possibility’ of communication via entanglement these days as though it is a new idea, but Blish was writing about it decades ago.

In Farscape there was mention of Moya having a gravity bladder(the ships are biomechanical and were created to ferry humanoids around).

Babylon 5 had the station rotating to produce gravity.