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    Equipotentials, seamounts, and antigravity
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2003 Dec 11, 21:26 EST
    I had a look at the discussion on dips and bumps in the ocean from the August archive and it looks like George Huxtable understood the issue right from the beginning: the surface is an equipotential. Apart from saying that the water surface was pulled down over a seamount, which he corrected right away, his discussion was right on the mark.

    Something I didn't see mentioned in that thread:
    A seamount doesn't have to make a bump in the ocean's surface at all. There are seamounts in the Pacific of equal size and height (and therefore roughly the same mass) with completely different effects. One may make a large bump in the ocean's surface while the other has a flat sea above it. If the seamount has roots and is "floating" in the crust, it is in isostatic equilibrium and the equipotentials remain smooth.

    And finally here's a scam you can use to convince people you have conquered gravity. You build a large building and put a sign out front that says "AntiGravity Development Inc" or something. Inside you construct a large physicsy looking contraption --old sci-fi movie props would be useful here and make sure there is something producing large electrical spark discharges. Also place a big red button on a console and label it "Activate AntiGravity Field". Now we get to the tricky (and expensive) part. Underneath your laboratory, you dig an enormous hollow cave half a mile in diameter. You fill it full of Mercury (costs are going through the roof at this point). Next you dig another equally large cave several miles away to serve as a reservoir and you connect the caves by pipelines and fast, powerful pumps (you're a billionaire --what do you care?). Can you guess what the big red button does yet? When you press it, it pumps the Mercury out of the cavern beneath your laboratory. Measured weights in the lab will decrease slightly, and plumb bobs will hang at odd small angles in opposite corners of the building. You have in fact created a hole in the gravity well, and only you and your mining team know how it works. Start signing up the investors...

    Frank E. Reed
    [ ] Mystic, Connecticut
    [X] Chicago, Illinois
       
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