Andrew Johnson has just published a new book, this time about Earth and the possibility that it might be hollow. It’s a good read, freely available as a PDF on his site. I get a mention in it due to my work on gravity and its possible relationship with capacitance. For reasons that I explain in Universe of Particles, I suspect that charged matter has stronger gravity than neutral matter.
This suspicion can be partially validated, or roundly refuted, with a simple experiment. There’s no need for a huge, fully charged capacitor. All that’s needed is an aircraft capable of smooth flight, a sensitive scale for gravity measures and a good altitude meter. Gravity readings can then be made at different altitudes.
If gravity is a mono-pole as Newton suggested, we should see no deviation from Newton’s predictions. However, if gravity is even a tiny bit dipole, we will get deviations because Newton’s theory is predicated on a mono-pole model of gravity. Importantly, any deviation would be especially noticeable near the surface of our planet. At great distances, there are little to no expected difference between mono-pole and dipole gravity. We are therefore primarily interested in aircraft readings.
If we get a deviation from Newton’s predictions, we can conclude that gravity has a dipole component. This would give support to the capacitance model of gravity because charged capacitors have dipole properties. However, there are other dipole theories out there, such as Peter Woodhead’s suggested solution, and the dipole model promoted by Wal Thornhill.
Either way, the experiment proposed here should be of interest as it will clarify unresolved issues related to gravity. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no airborne gravity readings with the express purpose of verifying Newton’s predictions. We are still assuming that Newton was right about near surface gravity because he was right about orbits.