Scientists create weird substance that accelerates backwards when you push it


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Back in the Golden Age of SF, this would be the basis of a dozen gushy pulp stories within a month.

Now a days, we wonder how it will be used to kill people, and anticipate the idiotic scams, quack diets, and pop philosophy books it will spawn.


[quote]which, according to the researchers, makes it look like it’s hitting an invisible wall.[/quote]On that scale, I reckon what it actually “looks like” is a couple of spikes on a graph. But working in “some of the most mysterious forces in the universe, like black holes and dark energy” is how you get the press and the funding.


Who’s we?


Me and Bob.

It’s been a rough year, you know?





Anybody else?


Flubber, they made Flubber.


On the other hand, this still applies:


Here’s a good explanation of what’s going on here: TL;DR, not much, analogous to air bubbles in water “falling up”.


So, is this anything like “anti-rubber”?
I’ve tried to imagine the apparent properties of this substance and I keep getting stuck on the definitions used.
Here’s the way I try to think of it: imagine the properties of normal rubber. Now apply the exact opposite reaction that “normal” rubber would have.
My brain hurts.


This one? I remember it well. The ball, which converted heat to motion, got away and smashed up a bunch of stuff before shattering.

Here’s the audiobook.

[edited to include better link to complete story]


Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.


Mark my words : This is the birth of warp drive.


Like a helium balloon in a van!


Scientists create weird substance that accelerates backwards when you push it

I have several siblings like that. I think they call it “failure to launch”.


… or wait for the details to be debunked (or caveated and qualifiered) into mundanity.

Anything is possible when you don’t know what you’re talking about. But folks these days really like knowing what they’re talking about, and a good chunk of scientific method is about ruling out the unlikely.


unfortunately​, they’re only going forward cause they can’t find reverse.


Yeah, not negative mass. Good science, bad science reporting, as usual. The production of matter with negative inertial mass would be on par with the splitting of the atom. It would fundamentally change the world. This will not, but it is an interesting result. While I’m glad people cover this sort of result, I am so sick and tired of sloppy science reporting.

Gotta go, New Atlas on the lawn…




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