Humans are still trying their hardest to figure out how gravity works, with good reason. Gravity is one of the most fundamental forces in the universe and once we understand it, we can use it to our advantage. For example, in creative inventions like this anti-gravity solar panel that both absorbs and purifies water and also in grasping concepts such as black holes and the expansion of the universe.
Scientists have used many methods to try and crack this force. But the latest attempt is from a research facility at The China University of Mining and Technology, where a team has built an artificial moon.
Through using powerful magnetic fields inside a two-foot-diameter vacuum chamber, gravity can “disappear”. Their inspiration actually came from a previous experiment from 2000 at The University of Manchester, where magnets were used to levitate a frog! The plan is to set the experiment off this year, with the chamber full of dust and rocks to imitate the lunar surface.
The facility is the first to be able to use prolonged low-gravity experiments, which is perfect for test runs for lunar expeditions here on Earth. Researchers plan to play out China’s lunar expedition program Chang’e, named after the Chinese goddess of the moon, increasing the success and safety of future endeavors.