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[BBC] Physicists observe 'negative mass'

post #1 of 47
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Quote:
Physicists have created a fluid with "negative mass", which accelerates backwards when pushed.

In the everyday world, when an object is pushed, it accelerates in the same direction as the force applied to it; this relationship is described by Isaac Newton's Second Law of Motion.

But in theory, matter can have negative mass in the same sense that an electric charge can be positive or negative.

Source


I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept of negative mass, and failing miserably. Also the concept of pushing on something and having it react by accelerating towards you is just weird.

For those that have a subscription, here is the journal
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post #2 of 47
This is done in a Bose-Einstein condensate, which is a state of matter where quantum mechanical effects end up doing some truly bizarre things to what we think of as the normal laws of physics.

The details in this paper are examining the "trapped" states of the condensate, spatially, where they end up sticking in a specific location. Previously, this has been achieved through optical lattices, where interference between two laser beams results in low-potential spots where the atoms then stay. These are the systems that have been used for the extremely close to absolute zero experiments, as an example.

The authors have found another way of implementing this self-trapping, and the mathematics of how that is achieved results in something that can be expressed as negative mass. But under no circumstances is it worth thinking about in terms of anything else you could possibly think it would be related to. This can't happen outside of very specific quantum mechanical constructs, where you're playing with momentum in ways that are completely impossible to do otherwise.
post #3 of 47
While these scientist are doing their sciency stuff in their large halcyon colliseums, there are children dying of cancer in Africa.
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by girugamesh View Post

While these scientist are doing their sciency stuff in their large halcyon colliseums, there are children dying of cancer in Africa.

And what are you doing about it and why nothing?
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post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by girugamesh View Post

While these scientist are doing their sciency stuff in their large halcyon colliseums, there are children dying of cancer in Africa.
Actually its hunger and mosquito borne disease they are dying of. Africa is not renowned for cancer.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerJohn View Post

Also the concept of pushing on something and having it react by accelerating towards you is just weird.
Go into a bar, find a big burly biker dude, and push him. Now his fist is accelerating toward your face. Makes sense to me wink.gif
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by starliner View Post

Go into a bar, find a big burly biker dude, and push him. Now his fist is accelerating toward your face. Makes sense to me wink.gif

Best way to explain it lol.
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post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by starliner View Post

Go into a bar, find a big burly biker dude, and push him. Now his fist is accelerating toward your face. Makes sense to me wink.gif

LOL.....

Very well done. Thanks for the laugh. thumb.gif
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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerJohn View Post

I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept of negative mass, and failing miserably. Also the concept of pushing on something and having it react by accelerating towards you is just weird.

I'm bad enough with math and physics as it is. This 'simple explanation' makes me want to jump off a bridge:
Quote:
Quasimomentum is defined up to translation by an arbitrary vector of reciprocal lattice. Thus, as k crosses the boundary of Brillouin zone, we could subtract 2πa from it, and see that it appears at the opposite side of Brillouin zone, and the group velocity changes sign.

*foaming at the mouth intensifies*
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by starliner View Post

Go into a bar, find a big burly biker dude, and push him. Now his fist is accelerating toward your face. Makes sense to me wink.gif

Now when I do that experiment the burly biker goes flying away, go figure that, sort of a macro quantum mass multiplying effect working in my mass... Yes an entirely different set of physical principles being exploited, 😂
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