Artificial Gravity

  • Published on: 09 January 2019
  • Artificial gravity is a concept that is ubiquitous in our science fiction yet elusive in our space program. Why is this? And how could we develop artificial gravity soon? In a Cool Worlds special, this video essay goes in depth on the topic discussing why centrifuges are the most plausible solution and early ideas on the topic. Join us a journey from Einstein's equivalence principle, to O'Neill Cylinders and Stanford Tori; from Coriolis forces to near-term experiments. Grab a cup of a tea and enjoy.

    You can now support our research program and the Cool Worlds Lab at Columbia University:

    0:08 Introduction
    5:43 The O’Neill Cylinder
    8:10 The Stanford Torus
    10:16 Down-Sizing
    13:31 Coriolis
    16:52 Vertical Coriolis
    19:32 Tipping Coriolis
    21:34 Canal Sickness
    27:01 Stability
    29:28 Near-Tear Experiments

    Academic articles used:
    ► Nesti et al. (2014), "Human sensitivity to vertical motion", Exp Brain Res., 232, 303:
    ► Harris et al. (2014), "How Much Gravity Is Needed to Establish the Perceptual Upright?", PLoS One, 9, e106207: (0.15g)
    ► Cohen et al. (2000), "Effects of Prolonged Centrifugation on Orthostasis", Aerospace Medical Association 72nd Annual Scientific Meeting 2001:
    ► Graybiel et al. (1960), "Observations on Human Subjects Living in a 'Slow Rotation Room' for Periods of Two Days", Arch Neurol., 3, 55:
    ► Theodore Hall (1993), "The Architecture of Artificial Gravity: Archetypes and Transformations of Terrestrial Design", PhD Thesis, University of Michigan:
    ► Theodore Hall (2002), "Architectural Considerations for a Minimum Mass, Minimum Energy, Artificial Gravity Environment", SAE Technical paper Series,
    ► Online lecture by Theodore Hall in 2015 at SEEDS:
    ► Holderman & Henderson (2011):
    ► Kirk Sorensen (2005), "A Tether-Based Variable-Gravity Research Facility Concept":

    Video materials used:
    ► Numerous NASA videos, in particular of ISS, the Dawn Mission, as well Stanford Torus video:
    ► Nautilus X videos from f r a g o m a t i k: and
    ► High G blackout videos from VIDSTORM:
    ► Inner ear video from Fauquier ENT:
    ► World Record 83 G Deceleration Peak on Rocket Sled 1958-05-16 (1967) USAF:
    ► SpaceX Falcon Heavy test flight:
    ► "ORBIT - A Journey Around Earth in Real Time" by Seán Doran:
    ► MIT Coriolis demonstration:
    ► MPI CyberMotion Simulator:
    ► Not a video but thanks to Don Davis for his amazing images used
    ► Rotating simulators by Tom Lechner and William Hoza: and

    Filmclips, in order of appearance;
    ► Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1967, Paramount)
    ► Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005, Paramount)
    ► Interstellar (2014, Warner Bros)
    ► 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Warner Bros)
    ► The Martian (2015, 20th Century Fox)
    ► Avatar (2009, 20th Century Fox)
    ► Elysium (2013, Sony Pictures)

    Music is by Chris Zabriskie ( and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (, in order of appearance;
    ► Cylinder Five (
    ► Cylinder Nine (
    ► Cylinder Three (
    ► We Were Never Meant to Live Here (
    ► That Hopeful Future Is All I've Ever Known (
    ► The Sun is Scheduled to Come Out Tomorrow (
    ► Cylinder Seven (
    ► Cylinder Four (
    ► Cylinder Eight (

    And also...
    ► Columbia University Department of Astronomy:
    ► Cool Worlds Lab website:

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  • Runtime : 31:48
  • artificial gravity stanford torus o'neill cylinder nautilus x artificial gravity space artificial gravity technology centrifugal gravity nasa gravity nasa artificial gravity artificial gravity experiment artificial gravity physics can we create artificial gravity how can we create gravity is there a way to create gravity is it possible to create gravity astronaut artificial gravity astronaut gravity living in space gravity gravity technology nasa


  • John Michael Godier
    John Michael Godier   2 years ago

    Hands down the best presentation I've ever seen on the subject. Amazing!

  • Oguz Han
    Oguz Han   3 days ago

    Ive watched this when it was released and watched now every second again. You are a treat dr. Kipping. I am absolutly addicted to your videos.

  • Joe Dixon
    Joe Dixon   4 days ago

    What holds you to the edge of the wheel? The wheel won't just spin around you as you float? if you jump what pulls you down inside these habitats?

  • Nehmo Sergheyev
    Nehmo Sergheyev   1 weeks ago

    14:04 "indistinguishable"? I envision 3 experiments that could distinguish the difference. 1. The force of gravity is different at the top of the box compared to the bottom of the box in a gravity field produced by an object, like earth. It's less.2. The lines of force are not parallel to each other on a planet's gravity. They point toward the center of the planet. 3. A box that is accelerating can only do so for so long before it reaches the speed of light. Then it must stop accelerating. So if we measured long enough, eventually, the accelerating box will no longer produce gravity.

  • TGamer Boss
    TGamer Boss   1 weeks ago

    Why not test it in space where there is no gravity ?

  • Skyler Harper
    Skyler Harper   2 weeks ago

    When i was a kid i loved spinning my drink can around without spilling a drop. The fact that thats the general basis of artificial gravity is amazing.

  • Ron Haggett
    Ron Haggett   2 weeks ago

    Holy spit! Excellent presentation. Thank you!

  • Vivek Kedia
    Vivek Kedia   2 weeks ago

    Hi, what do you think of this idea about artificial gravity?

  • Fawad Raza
    Fawad Raza   3 weeks ago

    Binging on old ones while I await new releases. Great video 👍

  • john baran
    john baran   3 weeks ago

    I'm gonna save you some time. At the bottom of the video pick "setting", then "playback speed", pick "1.5" enjoy

  • Heavy From TF2
    Heavy From TF2   3 weeks ago

    I forgot to turn of YouTube on my TV and I woke up to this

  • Theo S
    Theo S   3 weeks ago

    I'm a psychology scholar, and you make astrophysics sound so simple that even I can understand. That's truly remarkable. I've learned so much from your channel. Thank you.

  • ygg drasil
    ygg drasil   3 weeks ago

    $100m for a test rotating torus for the ISS is peanuts. Why did this not go ahead? This is clearly and unequivocally the future for space stations and also for Terra-Mars missions that keep people accustomed to gravity.

  • Miss Madeline
    Miss Madeline   3 weeks ago

    Watching this after watching Stowaway. Great video

  • D Gary Grady
    D Gary Grady   3 weeks ago

    As others have said, this is excellent. I have two minor quibbles: First, the equivalence of gravitation and linear acceleration applies only for volumes too small to experience detectable tidal force in the case of gravity (vertical stretching owing the dependence of force on distance and horizontal squeezing as a consequence of the convergence of the force vectors toward the center of attraction. (That is, the gravity force vectors are not parallel.) But this is incredibly picky.Second and more seriously, the loud background music is annoying to at least some of us, and it interferes with intelligibility for those with hearing problems. I don't understand the current YouTube fad for this. I prefer no background music at all.But again, on the whole this is really excellent and the best thing I've seen on the subject.

  • Dewey Oxberg
    Dewey Oxberg   4 weeks ago

    What a gem of a presentation. Fascinating history lesson, complex concepts presented in easy to understand analogies, with a little bit of humour. The T-handle experiment blew my mind: definitely wouldn't want to be on that ride!10/10 would replay again.

  • CS Laurie
    CS Laurie   4 weeks ago

    No one's asking the question of what would happen if the 1km radius cylinder stops spinning?

  • Charles Lauter
    Charles Lauter   1 months ago

    This program is great. Now I no longer want to go off this little blue planet. ( Sorry Elon )

  • 2660016A
    2660016A   1 months ago

    Excellent audio and visual presentation of the concepts.

  • IcantSignIn
    IcantSignIn   1 months ago

    My theory is that once you actually try spinning something in micro gravity, 0g, is that unless you are ATTACHED to the spinning object it's not going to affect you. If you jump "up" there is nothing to attract you back to the "floor". Somebody floating in the middle of the ISS isn't going to be pulled to a wall simply because it starts spinning around them.

  • MoJo LoLo
    MoJo LoLo   1 months ago

    Long (fascinating) story short? Not gonna happen.Sorry, silly humans.

  • Grandremone
    Grandremone   1 months ago

    "Occupants would be thrown about the habitat, in a clearly unacceptable manner"How is that in any way unacceptable?!?!?!

  • Derman Kaya
    Derman Kaya   1 months ago

    I have been working on a project and this vide helped me a lot. Thanks

  • Red Asylum
    Red Asylum   1 months ago

    Came to watch a video about artificial gravity and got lectured about not having any gravity. Video reported for misleading title.

  • David Phipps
    David Phipps   1 months ago

    18:21 Same happens on Earth. When you walk west, you lose centripetal force and gravity increases. When you walk east, you become lighter.

  • E.M.I.C
    E.M.I.C   2 months ago

    🍻⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🍻 maybe by the year 2070

  • joe mama
    joe mama   2 months ago

    potential biological solution: make people magnetic.i know i know im stupid

  • amro abdulbade
    amro abdulbade   2 months ago

    lol building a rotating space station before the year 2000................we were busy killing each other.

  • Boris Chang
    Boris Chang   2 months ago

    Tidal acceleration probably makes one feel heavy-footed, and light-headed.

  • houdinico
    houdinico   2 months ago

    Deaf people are immune to canal sickness?

  • Larkinchance
    Larkinchance   2 months ago

    Richard Branson and his super model crew put on a theatrical extravaganza that was more hype than scientific advancement. P. T. Barnum would be impressed. Zero gravity was simulated when his plane took a rapid plunge lasting 2 of 3 minutes... We owe a debt to Arthur C. Clarke and my money is on Musk...Thank you Cool Worlds

  • Roli Rivelino
    Roli Rivelino   2 months ago

    I was hoping you were going to talk about that Chinese scientist that claimed to have perfected an anti-grav effect using super conducting spinning magnets.