In February 2019, a team of researchers from Columbia University published the results of an experiment that showed that sound waves can carry gravitational mass. During the experiment, scientists discovered that sound waves can generate a small gravitational field.
“Calculations show that sound waves carry a tiny negative mass, which means that in the presence of a gravitational field, such as that of the Earth, their trajectory will bend upward. Scientists have found that sound waves also generate a small gravitational field,” the study said.
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For years, physicists believed that sound waves could carry energy, but they did not think that waves could carry mass. However, the researchers found evidence that their earlier findings were incorrect, reports Phys.org.
The team of scientists discovered that sound waves traveling through superfluid helium carry a small amount of mass. They proved this mathematically, but did not measure the mass carried by the sound wave.
They found that phonons (quasiparticles) interact with the gravitational field in a way that causes them to transfer mass as they move through the material. In their new work, scientists report evidence showing that the same results are true for most materials.
Researchers have proposed ways to test their discovery in the real world. One possibility would be to use devices that detect gravitational fields to study earthquakes. As the earthquake sends sound across the planet, the devices could detect “billions of kilograms of mass” carried by the sound.
In 2020, scientists created an algorithm to detect earthquake signals that deform gravity, changing the density of rocks for a short time. These changes in gravity send signals at the speed of light, allowing earthquakes to be detected even before destruction begins.
How earthquakes create waves inside the planet / National Geographic
A year before the study, the same group of scientists put forward the theory that phonons have negative mass and, therefore, negative gravity.
Co-founder of string theory Michio Kaku says: “It turns out that under certain conditions, sound waves can actually start to rise rather than fall. And this anomaly seems to be consistent with the laws of physics so that some vibrations, instead of falling down, can actually fall up. ”
Researchers of ancient civilizations believe that this study suggests how ancient people managed to move massive stones. It is possible that they used sound waves and vibrations for this.
According to ancient legends, sound was part of the equation, and people built giant structures, such as the pyramids in Egypt, using sounds of a specific frequency.
Scientists hope that perhaps someday they will unravel the mystery of sound waves and, on their basis, create a technology for moving objects of large mass.