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"Gravity Off" Switch on Ceiling

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When you get around to inventing anti-gravity and/or artificial gravity, you'll probably find that switching the gravity off suddenly can be very startling to your customers. It will likely feel as if the floor has abruptly collapsed, and leave the person who should be floating happily with, instead, a bad case of fear-and-falling.

The solution to the falling problem is fairly simple. For self-operated use, the "Gravity Off" switch should be mounted on the ceiling. The person switching off the gravity will have to jump to reach it, so they will be off the floor, momentarily weightless, in a very natural way to which we are all accustomed, when the gravity stops. Since they are already in mid-air, it will seem as if they are simply never coming down, and they will continue to feel that being off the floor is right and good, and a lot of fun.

Switching the gravity back on won't be as disconcerting, perhaps, but it will be important that the person be prepared to support their own weight. They could lie down on a bed, yes, but if they have a way to float in zero-gravity, they probably won't bother to keep a bed. Lying flat on the floor might serve, but they probably would find it hard to get all their squishy bits lined up before gravity hit them--besides, they won't want to struggle to their feet after floating free. Bracing in a corner might work, but would take time and still be slightly risky. Again, a problem.

Again, a solution through switch placement--the "Gravity On" switch should be on the floor. Well, in the floor, out in the middle. It should be a flat plate with a pressure sensor set to detect a force equal to the user's weight. The person who is tired of floating simply has to push off the ceiling and hit the plate feet-first, bracing or stomping hard enough to push straight down with a force equal to their own weight, which is what they will be supporting as the gravity kicks in.

This idea is based on the assumption that your gravity device will switch on and off nearly instantly. If you invent something with a variable control or a gradual start, the control-switch position won't be as much of an issue.

This is also assuming that only one person is in the room, as in a private sleep chamber. If you are setting up dozens of folks in a zero-gravity orgy, say, you'll have to coordinate things somehow. Which might be fun.

[Later: The switch in the ceiling could be replaced with a sensing program in the floor plate, for those of us who can no longer jump to the ceiling. If the plate senses the force of a jump, it could kill the gravity. That makes for an easier jump and less wiring. So this could be called "Gravity Switch in Jumpplate".}

baconbrain, Mar 02 2007


       Shouldn't this be a "Gravity On" switch?
jutta, Mar 02 2007

       Where would you put the off switch for a perpetual motion machine? (Ha! There ain't one!)
ldischler, Mar 02 2007

       //Shouldn't this be a "Gravity On" switch?//   

       No, the gravity is on already. Or are things different in England?
baconbrain, Mar 02 2007

       I'm in agreement with Jutta's logic - but anyway - if you wrote your name all over the ceilings would this be called gravviti ?
xenzag, Mar 02 2007

       Artificial gravity already exists.
BJS, Mar 02 2007

       "Gravity on" on the ceiling is a crash to the ground. Generally people don't jump too much more than necessary. They estimate the peak of their height and at that point when they will have little or no momentum.   

       My problem is that I am jealous of not thinking of inventing impossible scenarios under which to invent practical solutions to problems I just made up so that I can highlight my inventivness.   

       Maybe I am just ashamed that I just now caught on.   

       Technically I think if you jumped and you were in a room that started to fall as you flipped a switch, you would freak all the same. The scenarios are 100% the same as far as perception goes. I think it is a fine idea to engage the floor with all of your weight before you start the rocket burn on your container.
MercuryNotMars, Mar 02 2007

       I slightly revised the posting from the original after realizing that the floorplate, which I just thought of this morning for switching the gravity back on, can do double duty as the "Gravity Off" switch by sensing the pressure of a jump and killing the gravity.   

       I thought of the "Gravity Off" switch in the ceiling years ago, finally wrote it down, and decided that it wouldn't be best only a few minutes later, after thinking up the floor plate and realizing that it could do more than just switch the gravity on.   

       But I still don't understand why anyone thinks that switching on the gravity while floating up near the ceiling is a good idea, let alone so obviously right that they don't have to elaborate their logic.   

       I don't know if switching off the gravity while in mid leap will keep everyone from freaking out, as compared to just cutting the floor out from under them, but I'm guessing that it will be better for a lot of people.   

       So, the idea still stands as before. Jump into the air to turn the gravity off, and hit the floor to turn the gravity on.
baconbrain, Mar 02 2007

       Oh, now I get it. I thought the situtation was that you'd accidentally turned off gravity, were hovering on the ceiling without quite knowing what to do, and switching gravity back on and falling down would be the easiest way to get back to normal. (The only way you'd *get* to the ceiling to begin with would be because of the gravity being off.)   

       The problem with jumping to turn it off is that the momentum will be tricky to control. If anyone ever actually turns off gravity around you, you really want to be strapped in for that, or you'll bump into things.
jutta, Mar 02 2007

       A couple of questions:
Is "Gravity off" the same as "Antigravity on?"
Is "Gravity off" the same as "Levity on?"
If the latter is true, than I am in favor.
csea, Mar 02 2007

       I never know how much to write in an idea. If I leave out anything, people assume I've not thought of it. If I cover everything, people skip down to the bottom and assume I've missed everything.   

       [jutta] Oh, okay. If there is air in the room, you won't be stuck up near the ceiling for long. You can swim, fly or jet back to a solid surface. If you could reach a switch, you could just push off it to get moving again.   

       As far as momentum goes, I was assuming that a person would be at the top of their leap when they flipped the ceiling switch. With the jump-plate sensor option, it would be possible to measure the force with which you jumped, and kill the gravity just as your vertical leap petered out.   

       And yes, thrashing around in zero-G is a good way to get hurt. But it's also a good way to have fun.   

       [csea] Yes. //anti-gravity and/or artificial gravity// This was intended to include antigravity for your bedroom at home, and artificial gravity for your star destroyer. Thank you.   

       [MNotM] Yes, it's somewhat useless. I was going to use this for a science-fiction story sometime, but I thought posting it here would be easier and more fun.
baconbrain, Mar 02 2007

       //Jump into the air to turn the gravity off, and hit the floor to turn the gravity on.// Baked. Physics.   

       Jumping is alot of work. This discussion reveals an important point, however. If there comes a time where gravity is optional, it may be best to control it on an individual scale, unless everyone is well aware of the gravitational potential in an area. Say, in an airport. For the home, the pressure pad would time the choice gravitational interaction in a really fun way. Putting these pads all over the room would turn you into a veritable Boba Fett.
daseva, Mar 03 2007

       // //Jump into the air to turn the gravity off, and hit the floor to turn the gravity on.// Baked. Physics. //   

       Exactly, [GumBob], thank you. Well, not perfectly exactly, as what is normally turned off is weight, not gravity. The whole idea is that this method of control exactly duplicates a condition with which we are all already familiar.   

       It will be like jumping into the air in a dream. Jump up, and never come down . . ..
baconbrain, Mar 03 2007

       When you push yourself onto the floor with exactly the same force as your own weight, and gavity turns on...   

       Won't your weight effectively double instantly? I'm sensing a few sprained ankles in the future of this idea. How about a "Gravity on" pressure sensitive chair?   

       Also, I understand that as a sweeping generalization, overweight people might be more interested in antigravity, and another sweeping generalization, they are somewhat less inclined to jump.   

       How about a pole, or rope shaped switch?
ye_river_xiv, Mar 03 2007

       Ideas like this are why I love the halfbakery. Rational logic applied to bizarre situations, or the reverse. There's a bun on the ceiling for you. [+]
imaginality, Mar 04 2007

       if you filll the room with lard falling down wont be such a problem
the dog's breakfast, Mar 04 2007

       Strap the Gravity On button to the back of a cat and set things up so any time you flip the switch gravity will pull directly opposite to whichever way the cat's feet are facing. Then you will see if the cat does indeed always land on its feet.   

       <Somebody should tell dog's breakfast we only use custard here in the halfbakery.>
Canuck, Mar 04 2007

       I think [the dog's breakfast] is confusing gravity with gravy..... defs:   

       Gravy is what you pour over your dinner. (you get that AFTER breakfast)   

       Gravity is what makes it go down instead of anywhere it wants.   

       Clunk ! taps [dog] on head with bone to make lesson sink in and even more relevant.
xenzag, Mar 04 2007

       Good points, [ye].   

       // Won't your weight effectively double instantly?//   

       I don't think so. I was thinking of something closer to hovering over the plate and giving it a good shove. The idea being to be sure that your legs were braced. But yes, it may take some practice or some tweaking of the timing.   

       //How about a "Gravity on" pressure sensitive chair?//   

       Probably better and safer, but I'd rather float in zero-G than sit in a chair. So I'm thinking there wouldn't be a chair. Plus, it's going to be a bit like trying to climb out of a swimming pool and finding out how much you really weigh. But a powered chair could boost you to your feet after a bit. However, my way--landing on flabby legs and feet after a nice relaxing float--is probably going to lead to some serious staggering around. Maybe it's best to not even have an off switch, and just stay in the room in zero-G forever.   

       // overweight people might be more interested in antigravity, and less inclined to jump.//   

       Quite true, which explains my interest in this, and why I decided to change from a ceiling-mounted switch to a floor plate.   

       I'm now adding a couple of handgrips on the wall, and putting the floor plate nearby. To turn gravity back on, grab the hand grips and press the little safety switches, then use the grips to push your feet down to the plate. Stomp the plate and the gravity comes back on. Then sway back and forth hanging on to the grips, swearing.
baconbrain, Mar 04 2007

       Oh, that is FAR too sensible. Back to the original idea, please.
normzone, Dec 26 2010

baconbrain, Dec 26 2010

       I have remote memories of falling into bed after a night of overindulging in spirits and wishing for a hand held remote to turn gravity back on.
cudgel, Dec 26 2010

       //Is "Gravity off" the same as "Levity on?"// [marked- for-tagline] as "Gravity off, levity on".
marklar, Dec 27 2010


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