Media outlets claim researchers have created negative mass, but what they really created is negative ‘effective’ mass, which is a little different.
Cosmologists Prove Negative Mass Can Exist In Our Universe
“Today, Saoussen Mbarek and Manu Paranjape at the Université de Montréal in Canada say they’ve found a solution to Einstein’s theory of general relativity that allows negative mass without breaking any essential assumptions. Their approach means that negative mass can exist in our universe provided there is a reasonable mechanism for producing it, perhaps in pairs of positive and negative mass particles in the early universe.”
‘Negative mass’ created at Washington State University
“A negative effective mass can be realized in quantum systems by engineering the dispersion relation. A powerful method is provided by spin-orbit coupling, which is currently at the center of intense research efforts. Here we measure an expanding spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensate whose dispersion features a region of negative effective mass. We observe a range of dynamical phenomena, including the breaking of parity and of Galilean covariance, dynamical instabilities, and self-trapping.”
Anti-Gravity and Anti-Mass
“But perhaps there is a loophole in the equations of Newton and Einstein. This AV column concerns the idea of negative mass, one such potential loophole. This idea too has been anticipated in science fiction. In Gene Wolfe’s The Citadel of the Autarch, the fourth volume of the “Book of the New Sun” trilogy, the Autarch transports the wounded Severian in a “flier”. He explains that it obtains its lift from a boulder-size chunk of antimatter iron which is repelled by gravity rather than attracted. The question which we will consider here is whether antimatter, or more generally negative mass, could provide negative gravity and gravitational repulsion in this way.”
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This episode of Seeker was written and hosted by Trace Dominguez.