Potentially AWESOME

February 25, 2008 at 10:26 pm 2 comments


One of the few things I remember from my highschool physics class is the concept of potential energy. It basically says that if you, or any object, goes up, you’re storing up potential energy, because gravity will inevitably bring you down. So if you throw a ball up in the air, you’re putting energy into sending it upwards, but you’ll also get some energy back as it falls back to the ground. Very basically: what goes up will come down, and it will come down with some force.

A scientist in virginia is putting this basic principle to work with his new invention: a gravity lamp. It’s awesome and I want one. Aside from looking like a prop from the Star Trek set, it’s totally cordless and powered only by you – the user. All you have to do is lift a weight up, and then the light truns on and stays on for 4 hours while the weights slowly fall and release their gravity-induced energy.

I’ve actually seen something like this before, but sadly I can’t find a clip to share with you. If you rent the 1986 classic Harrison Ford movie “The Mosquito Coast,” you’ll come across a scene towards the middle of the film where Mr. Ford has built a really awesome ceiling fan that runs using this falling-weight gadgetry. Basically, he lifts up a lead weight that’s hanging from a rope and lets it go, then the weight slowly falls and the ceiling fan starts spinning away. This is probably my favorite part of the movie, where Ford’s character has established an idyllic little community in the middle of the rain forest – it’s all very Swiss Family Robinson. But it doesn’t last long – soon everything falls apart and the movie ends on a very depressing note (spoiler – sorry).

Anyway, there’s a lot of potential for potential energy, and I look forward to seeing more gravity-inspired gadgets in the near future. Perhaps I will even start tinkering with my ceiling fan to see what I can come up with.


Entry filed under: conservation, energy, housekeeping. Tags: , , , , , , .

Compost in the City A Plea to Matt Damon

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charlie D'Avanzo  |  February 27, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Wow!! A person who payed attention in high school physics class!!! That is much more remarkable than a gravity lamp!!

  • 2. kee  |  February 28, 2008 at 4:58 am

    very cool!


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