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Leaking Gravity May Explain Cosmic Puzzle
SPACE.com ^ | February 28, 2005 | Sara Goudarzi

Posted on 02/28/2005 6:29:00 PM PST by AntiGuv

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Scientists may not have to go over to the dark side to explain the fate of the universe.

The theory that the accelerated expansion of the universe is caused by mysterious "dark energy" is being challenged by New York University physicist Georgi Dvali. He thinks there's just a gravity leak.

Scientists have known since the 1920s that the universe is expanding. In the late 1990s, they realized that it is expanding at an ever-increasing pace. At a loss to explain the stunning discovery, cosmologists blamed it on dark energy, a newly coined term to describe the mysterious antigravity force apparently pushing galaxies outward.

This repulsive, unknown force is believed to make up more than 70 percent of the mass-energy budget of the universe.

But the existence of dark energy is far from proven, and some researchers believe they and their colleagues simply don't understand gravity at larger scales. The gravitational pull between any two objects becomes less with distance. But in Dvali's view, it weakens more than standard theory predicts.

Dvali would modify the theory of gravity so that the universe becomes self-accelerating, eliminating the need for dark energy. He presented his work here earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dvali borrows from string theory, which states that there are extra, hidden dimensions beyond the four we are familiar with: three directions and time. String theory suggests that gravitons -- hypothetical elementary particles transmitting gravitational forces -- can escape to other dimensions. Dvali says this would cause "leaks" in gravity over cosmic proportions, reducing gravitational pull at larger distances more than expected.

"The gravitons behave like sound in a metal sheet," says Dvali. "Hitting the sheet with a hammer creates a sound wave that travels along its surface. But the sound propagation is not exactly two-dimensional as part of the energy is lost into the surrounding air. Near the hammer, the loss of energy is small, but further away, it's more significant."

The effect is to alter the space-time continuum, speeding up universal expansion.

"Virtual gravitons exploit every possible route between the objects," Dvali said, "and the leakage opens up a huge number of multi-dimensional detours, which brings about a change in the law of gravity."

The speeding up of the universe suggest that Einstein’s laws of General Relativity, describing the interaction of space and matter, must be modified at large cosmic distances.

"It is this modification, and not dark energy, that is responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe," Dvali concludes.

The idea might be testable.

Gravity leakage should create minor deviations in the motion of planets and moons. Astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission installed mirrors on the lunar surface. By shooting lasers at the mirrors, a reflected beam can be monitored from Earth to measure tiny orbital fluctuations. Dvali said deviations in the Moon's path around Earth might reveal whether gravity is really leaking away.

This article is part of SPACE.com's weekly Mystery Monday series.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: astrophysics; darkenergy; gravity; leaking; physics; relativity; science; spacetime; stringtheory
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The Problem with Gravity


Einstein's Warped View of Space Confirmed


Strings Attached: New Study Puts Limits on Physics of Extra Dimensions


Dark Energy Tied to Human Origins


1 posted on 02/28/2005 6:29:14 PM PST by AntiGuv
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To: PatrickHenry

puzzle ping!


2 posted on 02/28/2005 6:29:33 PM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
Science Ping! An elite subset of the Evolution list.
See list's description in my freeper homepage. Then FReepmail to be added/dropped.

3 posted on 02/28/2005 6:38:27 PM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: AntiGuv

I think the gravity is leaking into my gut.


4 posted on 02/28/2005 6:41:05 PM PST by TC Rider (The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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To: AntiGuv

Yes, this may be testable. There was a different name associated with this idea, but I don't recall who it was, another physicist, a woman, I think.


5 posted on 02/28/2005 6:42:44 PM PST by RightWhale (Please correct if cosmic balance requires.)
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To: AntiGuv

I'm reminded of paleoanthropologists who create a new subspecies every time a bone pops up.


6 posted on 02/28/2005 6:44:52 PM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: RightWhale

Yes this doesn't seem new; the idea of gravity leaking into other dimensions (and the possibility this could be tested experimentally) was mentioned in Brian Greene's superstring book.


7 posted on 02/28/2005 6:57:19 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: AntiGuv
Gravity leakage should create minor deviations in the motion of planets and moons. Astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission installed mirrors on the lunar surface. By shooting lasers at the mirrors, a reflected beam can be monitored from Earth to measure tiny orbital fluctuations. Dvali said deviations in the Moon's path around Earth might reveal whether gravity is really leaking away.

Interesting theory. I would like an experiment of very accurate measurements of the Earth's gravitational field at different points in its solar orbit. Unfortunately, the hypothosis behind the experiment dictates that those measurements cannot be made on Earth or near Earth, making execution just a bit of a challenge.

I bet you would find variations on the order of 10E-13 at different orbital positions.

8 posted on 02/28/2005 7:00:36 PM PST by lafroste (gravity is not a force. See my profile to read my novel absolutely free (I know, beyond shameless))
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To: AntiGuv

I don't understand this. What happened to the big bang they have been telling us was the reason for our creation? Are they going away from that one new?

That one I could at least wrap my mind around because it worked in the same way shooting a shot gun worked. The shot in the shell expands outward as it travels. The further the shot travels the wider the separation of the pellets when they hit their target. That I can see. These new idea's just befuddle me.


9 posted on 02/28/2005 7:07:51 PM PST by GloriaJane ("How Many Babies Are Crying In Heaven Tonight" http://music.download.com/gloriajane)
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To: GloriaJane

This avenue of inquiry is not meant to account for the expansion of the universe (which is what the Big Bang does) but rather to account for why the expansion of the universe is accelerating.


10 posted on 02/28/2005 7:09:43 PM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: AntiGuv

Oh, I got cha. Thanks


11 posted on 02/28/2005 7:12:39 PM PST by GloriaJane ("How Many Babies Are Crying In Heaven Tonight" http://music.download.com/gloriajane)
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To: AntiGuv

This may also be related to why the strength of gravity is so much smaller than the other basic forces. All four should be roughly the same, but gravity is next to nothing by comparison. If most of the gravity is leaking, what we see is the small amount remaining in our universe.


12 posted on 02/28/2005 7:15:17 PM PST by RightWhale (Please correct if cosmic balance requires.)
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To: AntiGuv

Ok, now I'm going to ask a really dumb question then I'm going to go run away and hide LOL!!

Is there such a thing as up or down in space? Like if bird shot were shot up, if there is such a thing as up in space, would it continue up for all time or would it reach a point where it began to fall? And if it did begin to fall how would it react? Would it, being in a vacume, travle at the same speed on it's way down?


13 posted on 02/28/2005 7:24:48 PM PST by GloriaJane ("How Many Babies Are Crying In Heaven Tonight" http://music.download.com/gloriajane)
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To: AntiGuv

This story could have been titled: "When Gravity Take A Leak, Physicists Find It Repuslive." :-)


14 posted on 02/28/2005 7:55:30 PM PST by sourcery (Resistance is futile: We are the Blog)
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To: GloriaJane
up or down would be relative.

An object thrown from space would continue on into forever. Unless it were dragged into a gravity well. Otherwise even if it were to collide with a rock it would still have momentum. Think of billiards on ice. It would not go up and then fall back. That would only happen from the bottom of a gravity well, ie a planet surface, etc
15 posted on 02/28/2005 7:55:39 PM PST by Wisconsin155 (newbie)
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To: AntiGuv; SunkenCiv

Why doesn't the moon crash into the earth?


16 posted on 02/28/2005 7:57:42 PM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: RightWhale
This may also be related to why the strength of gravity is so much smaller than the other basic forces. All four should be roughly the same, but gravity is next to nothing by comparison. If most of the gravity is leaking, what we see is the small amount remaining in our universe.

Does the theory cover why it is only *gravity* that leaks?

Or is it that gravity is the only one of the four forces for which we can observe significant macroscopic effects on other massive bodies (i.e. galaxies) over astronomical distances?

I.e. strong and electroweak I wouldn't expect to notice affecting things however many gazillion light years away...

Full Disclosure: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

17 posted on 02/28/2005 7:58:31 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Wisconsin155

Thank You!! :)


18 posted on 02/28/2005 8:04:42 PM PST by GloriaJane ("How Many Babies Are Crying In Heaven Tonight" http://music.download.com/gloriajane)
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To: PatrickHenry

Thanks for the ping!


19 posted on 02/28/2005 8:26:45 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: AntiGuv

Gravity is leaking? No wonder my gravity bill is so high. I'll call the Gravity company to come out tomorrow and fix it.


20 posted on 02/28/2005 8:31:20 PM PST by redheadtoo
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To: grey_whiskers
Does the theory cover why it is only *gravity* that leaks?

Not true! Depends leak.

21 posted on 02/28/2005 8:35:42 PM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all things that need to be done need to be done by the government.)
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To: GloriaJane

One could think of space as a miniature golf course. Any large object creates gravity, which then makes a "hole" which things could fall into. If you rolled out an object, it might keep going forever, unless it encountered a hole. We're sitting at the bottom of the Earth's hole, which is why it's so hard to launch things into space (we have to fling rockets out first before they can go anywhere).

When we sent out the Voyager probes, they never encountered any holes (they never got trapped by a planet's gravity and fell to the surface), so they're still going, somewhere out there. When we sent out the Apollo capsules, we flung them at the big gravity hole of the Moon, and they successfully went down it. (And came back up, and then returned and went down the Earth's hole.)


22 posted on 02/28/2005 8:54:14 PM PST by SedVictaCatoni (<><)
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To: AntiGuv

First, it was black holes were keeping the universe from flying apart. Lately, it is an invisible dark matter. Now gravity must be leaking. I can’t believe this stupidity to justify a flawed theory of an expanding universe. As our deep space vehicles have shown, there is some unknown phenomenon that is slowing them down. Isn’t obvious that the same degradation happens to light. Older the light, farther it will have slowed and shifted toward the red. The universe is not expanding, light (and other radiate energy) shift to lower frequencies with time until they blend with the background radiation (do photons have a half-life of 12 billion years?). The universe is supposed to be 15 billion years old yet we can see well-defined galaxies 12 billions years old in any direction we look. Then there is nothing for 14 billion years from sources that we cannot even define as proto galaxies. How long does it take for a galaxy to form? Probably longer than 3 billion years for that much matter to gather (unless the gravity constant had changed in those early years). Is Hubble such an icon in the astronomy community that the red shift can never be questioned even when new empirical evidence gives another explanation?


23 posted on 02/28/2005 8:57:50 PM PST by Traction
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To: AntiGuv

leaking gravity?? don't they have...um... pads for that?


24 posted on 02/28/2005 9:15:52 PM PST by GeronL (Condi will not be mistaken for a cleaning lady)
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To: ValerieUSA

Leaking gravity? No wonder. I've been trying to squeegie whatever this stuff is, all day.


25 posted on 02/28/2005 9:51:58 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, February 20, 2005.)
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To: sourcery

Good one.


26 posted on 02/28/2005 9:58:06 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: ValerieUSA
Discover mag for October 2003 cover story was about gravity:
"It's a fudge factor," says Nieto. "And there's a fudge factor in every galaxy." ...[Stacy] Milgrom, a 57-year-old physicist at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, argues that a fudge factor like dark matter isn't necessary if physicists make just one small tweak to Newton's laws of gravity... Milgrom proposed that Newton's laws might change at these paltry accelerations. Below a transition acceleration equal to one 10-billionth of a meter per second per second... the force of gravity might no longer be directly proportional to acceleration, as decreed by Newton. -- Tim Folger, "Nailing Down Gravity", pp 36-38

27 posted on 02/28/2005 10:17:10 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, February 20, 2005.)
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To: SunkenCiv

All I know is that gravity is my enemy these days.


28 posted on 02/28/2005 10:27:14 PM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: ValerieUSA
The moon is falling around the earth because it is moving so fast it always misses by about the same distance. This used to be called "Free Fall". Orbital Velocity is just another way of saying we're going fast enough that we can't hit the ground without losing speed. Wierd, huh?
29 posted on 02/28/2005 10:33:46 PM PST by Right Winged American (No matter how Cynical I get, I just can't keep up!)
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To: RightWhale

My research advisor here at the U. of Tennessee is actually working on a satellite that will test this. It will be able to see if the inverse square law is really an inverse square over a range of a few meters.

Nifty stuff!


30 posted on 02/28/2005 10:44:41 PM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: TC Rider; ValerieUSA
"I think the gravity is leaking into my gut."

Something's wrong with the space-time continuum too. The more time goes by, the more space I take up.

31 posted on 02/28/2005 11:18:40 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: AntiGuv
"Virtual gravitons exploit every possible route between the objects," Dvali said, "and the leakage opens up a huge number of multi-dimensional detours, which brings about a change in the law of gravity."

Hmmm... but then shouldn't some "virtual gravitons" also be leaking back into our dimensions? Perhaps there's a constant equilibrium ratio between the amounts of gravitons going in either direction. But OTOH, what if some local phenomenon can change that ratio? We should then be able to detect small variations at those locations.

32 posted on 02/28/2005 11:49:04 PM PST by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: Debugging Windows Programs by McKay & Woodring)
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To: ValerieUSA
Why doesn't the moon crash into the earth?

No liability insurance.

33 posted on 03/01/2005 8:32:42 AM PST by UCANSEE2
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To: grey_whiskers

The idea, I think, is that gravity actually works over more than the three spatial dimensions. It is different from the other three forces somehow in that it is roughly inverse square. During the Big Bang at high temperature and pressure and very small dimensions, all four forces were one, but as things cooled there was a phase change and these different behaviors began.


34 posted on 03/01/2005 11:27:27 AM PST by RightWhale (Please correct if cosmic balance requires.)
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To: jennyp

These threads always amaze me. I think I understand things and then WHAM!! upside the head.

Just how does gravity leak - could it be evidence for my theory of particulate gravity? (Actually I'm looking for evidence of particulate time, too. It would help with my time machine).

And where is it leaking to? And why aren't they leaking back too.

Hmmmmm. I've seen a lot of leaks on babies and gravity certainly plays a role.


35 posted on 03/01/2005 11:27:36 AM PST by furball4paws (Ho, Ho, Beri, Beri and Balls!)
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To: Constantine XIII

Yes, there are some anomalies in the data. Something is going on with the Voyagers. That needs explaining.


36 posted on 03/01/2005 11:58:30 AM PST by RightWhale (Please correct if cosmic balance requires.)
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To: ValerieUSA
Why doesn't the moon crash into the earth?

Can't find it--it's too far away.

...

I suppose you're entitled to a serious answer after this much kidding around; here's what a first year physics student might tell you: The force pulling toward the earth, due to gravitational acceleration, is more or less exactly matched by the force pulling away from the earth due to angular acceleration (the force that makes a stone on a string fly away from you when twirl it over your head and let go). So, since the forces are matched, the moon isn't inclined to go either up or down.

You're pretty close to what led Einstein toward the unified field theory--the notion that force due to acceleration ultimately comes from the same place as force due to gravity. If Einstein were not right, it would be a pretty remarkable coincidence that when gravity and acceleration were in balance, that happens to be the exact recipe for producing stable orbits.

The more familiar statement of this coincidence is the famous elevator question: why, when you drop an elevator from high in an airless sky, while it is falling, everyone inside experiences exactly 0 gravity?

Personally, I think it has something to do with angel dust.

37 posted on 03/01/2005 12:17:03 PM PST by donh
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To: RightWhale

Which begs the question of the effects of that leaked gravity in the other dimensions. It also makes for interesting thought experiments on the possibilities of increasing or reducing said leakage.


38 posted on 03/01/2005 1:30:09 PM PST by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: GloriaJane
Is there such a thing as up or down in space?

In the Star Trek universe, yes. In the real world, no. Newton's Law (one of them): An object in motion remains in motion; an object at rest remains at rest -- unless acted upon by an outside force. If the bird was in space, travelling without outside interference (like gravity), it would remain moving at its same speed and in the same direction forever.

If, however, you launched your bird from Earth into space, gravity would eventually overcome the forward momentum you applied to the critter, and it would fall back down -- unless you launched it with enough force to escape the effects of gravity. This is called "escape velocity" and on Earth it is on the order of about 11,000 meters (~7 miles) per second.

39 posted on 03/01/2005 1:35:45 PM PST by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: ValerieUSA
Why doesn't the moon crash into the earth?

Technically, because it's falling toward the Earth and missing.

40 posted on 03/01/2005 1:37:03 PM PST by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
Not true! Depends leak.

Speaking from personal experience, I take it? ;^)>

41 posted on 03/01/2005 1:37:53 PM PST by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: Junior

The moon took lessons from Douglas Adams.


42 posted on 03/01/2005 1:46:26 PM PST by js1138
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To: All

I have a simple explanation that, on the surface, explains everytthing without dark matter, leaking gravity, etc.

Consider that the light from the nearest objects being used for red-shift data left their sources long before the first red-shift measurments were made. Now, suppose that the expansion of the universe has already stopped, and the collapse has begun. Therefore, we are accelerating and receding from objects that appear to be spreading outward because, at the time the light left them, they still were receding from one another. The farther away the objects are, the faster they would seem to be moving away from us, since it would take longer for evidence of their slowing down to reach us. The nearer objects seem to be moving away more slowly because we see evidence of their deceleration sooner.

It's simple, it follows the laws, and it doesn't depend on any hidden matter or leaking gravity.

I am not an astronomer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Suites last night, so fire at wiil!!


43 posted on 03/01/2005 1:48:30 PM PST by SlowBoat407 (Bekaa to the future!)
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To: Traction
From the original article:

Scientists have known since the 1920s that the universe is expanding.

Scientists have known no such thing. Scientists know that the universe appears to be expanding, not that it actually is.

As our deep space vehicles have shown, there is some unknown phenomenon that is slowing them down. Isn’t obvious that the same degradation happens to light. Older the light, farther it will have slowed and shifted toward the red.

Excellent point.

The universe is supposed to be 15 billion years old yet we can see well-defined galaxies 12 billions years old in any direction we look.

Excellent point.

How long does it take for a galaxy to form? Probably longer than 3 billion years for that much matter to gather (unless the gravity constant had changed in those early years).

There is no way we can know one way or the other.

Is Hubble such an icon in the astronomy community that the red shift can never be questioned even when new empirical evidence gives another explanation?

Yes, it is dogma. This has happened again and again throughout history. Like the guy a hundred years ago who advised some up and coming physicist to abandon the field because everything that could be known had already been discovered and it merely a matter of wrapping up the details. Then Einstein came along to wrap up the details and blew the whole field apart.

Nobody ever wants to admit to the Mystery. Nice post.

44 posted on 03/01/2005 3:13:17 PM PST by LogicWings
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To: Junior

It's not really leaking into another parallel world. It's just having its effect in more than the three spatial dimensions. Since the extra spatial dimensions are coiled up tight, the gravity effect is more or less lost there in a dimension we cannot interact with.


45 posted on 03/01/2005 4:00:06 PM PST by RightWhale (Please correct if cosmic balance requires.)
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To: AntiGuv
Leaking gravity?

Dr. Venkman may have found a new, corporate direction:

Universal Plumbing

But will the EPA Administrator allow him to turn gravity OFF while he changes valves & pipe connections?

Time will tell...film at eleven.

46 posted on 03/01/2005 4:21:25 PM PST by O Neill (Aye, Katie Scarlett, the ONLY thing that lasts is the land...)
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To: Junior
... the possibilities of increasing or reducing said leakage.

My perpetual motion machine uses duct tape -- lots of it -- to minimize the leakage. Very soon now, I shall astound the world!

47 posted on 03/01/2005 5:27:48 PM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: lafroste

Interesting idea. We once tried after many drinks to try to hit the Apollo mirrors with a laser (yes more powerful than a pointer). The results of the test are in dispute since we passed out before verification. Damn tequila. I still think we hit it and got a return.


48 posted on 03/01/2005 5:34:41 PM PST by mad_as_he$$ (Never corner anything meaner than you. NSDQ)
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To: ValerieUSA

Anti-gravity?


49 posted on 03/01/2005 5:35:14 PM PST by mad_as_he$$ (Never corner anything meaner than you. NSDQ)
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To: AntiGuv

What if the universe were actually like the inside of sphere. Galaxies appear to be flying away from each other, but in reality all converge again on the far side of the sphere?


50 posted on 03/01/2005 5:41:03 PM PST by Doohickey ("This is a hard and dirty war, but when it's over, nothing will ever be too difficult again.)
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