It was once believed that there are two primary causes of levitation: thermal inertia, due to the body exerting heat on itself from external forces, as in the case of a ball bouncing off the bottom of a swimming pool or a spring being compressed and drawn to a point, and the ability of the earth’s crust to support the body, due to the earth’s surface being flat, elastic, and relatively free from compression. According to this theory, a body needs to have an internal gravitational pull and that gravitational pull is required for the ball to be able to fall. However, a further problem with this theory is that it does not explain why objects of similar mass, such as a basketball, levitate; in fact, it seems that the weight of a body increases as its mass increases, which could make the gravity pull much more strong.
Furthermore, most of the time the earth’s crust has had a thin layer of relatively solid rock above it, preventing the earth from being stretched, compressed (as is the case of a baseball), or pulled out of its shape by external forces. This, again, has led to the existence of other known sources of gravity: gravity from the sky through the air and gravity from the sun and the moon.
A good analogy for this would be that of an apple falling. An apple falling in a vacuum would not be possible because of the distance between the apple and the vacuum, but on the other hand, a basketball shot would be much more difficult in a vacuum than on earth because of the greater mass and the much thinner air in which the ball falls.
As mentioned above, there are a variety of theories to explain where an object may be levitating, and what causes it to do so. The majority suggest that it is due to the gravitational pull of the atmosphere surrounding the object, either internal gravitation from within, or as a result of the surface tension and compressibility of the earth surface.
Examples of levitation
There have been a wide variety of levitation tests performed, although most experiments seem to involve the body of an animal. There is a wide variety of animals that are known to be capable of levitation.
In a study conducted by the British team of scientists, the fish, anemones and scorpions could be caught on a line and then pushed in the air. Then the fish would be put in a vacuum chamber and released back to the surface, where it continued to fly up towards the ceiling in circles.
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