TRIZ and Inventing an Anti-Gravity Machine!
Editor | On 15, Aug 2001
Graham@dagr.demon.co.uk – www.dagr.demon.co.uk
Phone +44 (0) 1252 330121
NSA, 12 St Peters Park, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 3AU, UK
Those who have read my other TRIZ articles, on “TRIZ and How to Stop Tornadoes”, and “TRIZ and decorating”, know that I like to be playful with TRIZ but to tackle at times some serious issues.
I am not quite sure where an anti-gravity machine is in this. It seemed like such a crazy notion that certainly, initially, I think I was simply being playful. No harm in that. At present it has more potential in a science fiction novel, and maybe the idea has been written there already.But as the ideas emerged I began to wonder, if not now, is there something of potential here? For some time in the future? Well, I leave you to judge the feasibility of the concepts.
I have often heard people say that TRIZ is useful for things we know in the Newtonian world of physics, but maybe there could be a new TRIZ which looks at the quantum world with some possible new tools? Certainly some Contradictions seem solvable in new ways (being in two places at once for example!).
As always, the value of the article is in the illustration of using TRIZ for a variety of different kinds of situations. If someone has used TRIZ and arrived at the same anti-gravity machine then I apologise!
Well, you are probably all aware that the quantum world is very strange and complex. It seems there are four different types of force, though when someone eventually discovers the unifying physics of the future all the four may be seen to be part of the same force, operating differently in different circumstances.
To simplify things (which is always dangerous because the simplification may be inaccurate) we could say that even in the quantum world things are either pushed or pulled.
Normally we think of light, or any electromagnetic wave/particle, as pushing. Light hits you and you can measure the push from the hit. But the quantum physicists suggest that when we have a pulling action from electromagnetic bonding there is a pulling from an exchange of particles, and this pulling is with an exchange of photons.
Gravity we normally think of as pulling, though there are occasional suggestions that in certain circumstances it might do some pushing (New Scientist 7th July 2001, page 7). Gravity occurs, it is suggested, when there is an exchange of gravitons. If all forces are part of the same unified force of nature, then we might want to be playful using TRIZ to create an anti-gravity machine, extending what we can do with light to what we might be able to do with gravity?
So, if we have two objects, and passing between them some basic wave /particles, we can ask simple TRIZ questions of how do we change the interaction between the two bodies so that the effects from one to the other are different?
We can use the TRIZ Principle of Mediator, number 24.
With light we know that we can bounce light off a surface, we can bend light through an object or at the edge of a surface, and we can slow it down by passing it through material. So we can alter the parameters of speed, direction and location.
We know many ways of changing direction, and thus location, but we do not have much control over speed, mostly light continues to travel very fast. But there are people playing with very cold materials who have succeeded in slowing light down to just a few metres per second (see Light Years by Brian Clegg, Piatkus, 2001).
Our function map of the relationship between two bodies suggests that the problem we have with gravity is that there is a pull between the two bodies which is too uniform in time. Because it is too uniform I cannot manipulate actions so that the effect is less when I want it to be and more when I want it to be. So the playful TRIZ Principles I could use are not easily available to me simply because I have too uniform an action between the two objects.
Identifying this as the true problem I can now ask myself if I can move laterally from the world of light to the world of gravity. What if I could slow down the gravity waves by placing an intermediate object which slows down the passage of the gravity wave? And if I was to have a segmented system where I continually varied the intervention of materials between the two objects then I might, by spinning many plates underneath a plane, for example, have even more reduction in the action of the gravity wave particle exchange?
Anti gravity machines and flying
So now I am imagining and system underneath an aeroplane. As intervening plates are spun very fast underneath the plane the gravitons (as exchange particles,) are slowed sufficiently as they pass through the material that they emerge outside of the interaction with the plane – they miss the plane!
This might seem very odd, and seem to be breaking some very fundamental laws of physics, and someone may need to do the quantum mathematics to verify what might happen in the interactions if we did manage to slow the graviton speed down to just a few metres per second.
But even if the plane still was going to be hit by the gravitons, maybe it would be possible to use TRIZ Principle for Coordinating the rhythmic action between the lift on the plane and the pull of gravity?
As stated in the beginning of this article, this was an initial attempt at being playful which then turned into a maybe. I suggest it only as a maybe. Lots of unknowns here and some more iterations before moving on or rejecting the idea. But when we occasionally take what seems a crazy notion and then find some way of even vaguely making it possible, it should remind us to be very humble indeed before rejecting any ideas as impossible!
I look forward to any thoughts you have on this. (Respond to Graham Rawlinson Graham@dagr.demon.co.uk -if he gets interesting responses, he will combine them for another article.-editors)