Gravity guns are impossible says scientists

Just in case you had any doubts, the elite JASON scientists have reported that gravity weapons are impossible.

 Features 20060329 Grav Gun
A “gravity gun” from a computer game.

New Scientist reports:

When the JASON team did the maths, however, results were not good for the plan’s supporters.

The technique is so inefficient that it would take longer than the lifetime of the universe for every power station on Earth to produce a gravitational wave with the energy of one ten millionth of a Joule. Accelerating a spacecraft at 10 metres per second squared, a rate that just exceeds the pull of Earth’s gravity, would require 10^25 times (a 1 followed by 25 zeroes) the electricity output of the world.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • SwissFreek

    To put the acceleration of gravity into perspective, imagine a decently sporty sedan, or maybe an entry-level sports car (VW GTi, Subaru Impreza, that sort of thing). You will get a 0-60mph acceleration time of maybe 6 seconds. Not bad right? 60 miles per hour is 26 meters per second (and change), meaning that if you get to that speed in 6 seconds, you are hitting about 4.4 meters per second squared, a little less than half the acceleration of gravity. Now take a rip-roaring supercar (Ferarri, Lamborghini, what have you). You make 0-60 in just under 3 seconds. That’s just shy of 9 meters per second squared, still a little bit below the acceleration of gravity (on Earth), and that car will most definitely snap your neck back into the headrest with a quickness.

    My point is that when I read this post about accelerating a space ship at the rate of gravity, my first thought was “that’s it?” but in fact by our standards gravity isn’t that pokey. Of course when you talk about space travel the acceleration of gravity is an important number, since gravity is the force you have to escape to get out of orbit (of Earth).

    And as an aside, 1×10^25 the electrical output of the globe is also a crapload of power.

  • Ed

    Damn. 🙁

  • DBaker

    They obviously haven’t read their Weber. Crystalline electron crystals, such as those formed by a degenerate harmonic trap, increase in gravitational wave generation efficiency with the square of the number of particles. You still need a couple of hundred pounds of trapped degenerate electrons to generate a watt of gravitational radiation, but it is not ‘impossible’ by any means. Their calculations are naive and simplistic.

  • Sean Nack

    negative nancies! once upon a time, computers were supposed to be out of the reach of the average american…

  • jdun1911

    And in ten years we will have one.

  • Gehraz

    The game in that screenshot is Half Life 2.

  • Mikee

    I am reminded that 20 some years ago as a post doc working on UHV mass spectrometry techniques, I was impressed when some of the grad students in our group came up with a miniature MS design that required only a smidgeon of neutron star matter to act as a gravitational dispersant for ionized particles.

    As I recall, this idea arose just after we learned in a seminar about X-ray lenses.

    Good times at the old North Ave Trade School….

  • Ken

    The device in the game is nicknamed “Gravity Gun,” but is techniclly called the “Zero-Point Energy Field Manipulator,” and therefore may not even involve gravity to do any lifting.

  • Anton

    I think HL2 was the first game to incorporate a well working gravity gun.