Can gravity be suppressed

Circular motion

Long stays in weightlessness cause health problems. For example, bone density decreases sharply, muscle mass dwindles and cardiovascular problems can occur if training measures are not carried out constantly.

One suggestion to create gravitation artificially is to rotate a space station. Due to the centrifugal force, the astronauts are pressed against the outer wall of the space station.

From the formula \ ({a _ {{\ rm {ZF}}}} = {\ omega ^ 2} \ cdot r \) for the centrifugal acceleration one can see that this with the rotational frequency \ (\ omega \) and the radius \ (r \) grows. In order to generate the acceleration due to gravity \ (g \) at the edge of the torus of the space station shown on the right, one only has to choose a suitable combination of \ (\ omega \) and \ (r \). To save material, \ (r \) should not be chosen too large. However, this then requires a higher frequency of rotation. However, as explained below, rotating frequencies that are too high may have undesirable side effects.

In addition to the centrifugal force, the so-called Coriolis force also occurs in rotating systems. The Coriolis force will not be discussed in detail here. You should only know that in a counterclockwise rotating system this force leads to a right deflection of a moving body and that the amount of the Coriolis force depends, among other things, on the angular velocity \ (\ omega \), but not on the radius. At a high rotation frequency of the space station, the Coriolis force increases and it is believed that this could lead to a disorientation of the astronauts. More recent experiments with mice suggest, however, that fears about the negative effects of the Coriolis force are probably unfounded.