Artificial Gravity in Ships - How does it work?

Forgive me for asking such newbie question. I still haven’t read EVE Source or the new Frigates of EVE book (hoping to get them as soon as I can, but they are out of reach for me for now), but I am curious about artificial gravity in our ships and how does it work.

From what I have seen so far, it looks like there is gravity even in frigates. I wonder if there is gravity in shuttles for example.

Can you please share some info about this? :slight_smile:

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Space magic!

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Artificial black hole created by powerful lasers focusing beams on a point. Takes a lot of energy though but due to the ships warp core interaction with the vacuum there is plenty of energy to spare.

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Official Chronicle, so it’s Canon.

It’s not discussed how it works though. Probably graviton generators (Which the caldari use extensively. But it’s not just their tech)

In Empyrean Age (also prime fiction), a nightclub is described, which is almost spherical, but with AG generators to keep it level underfoot, all the way round

(It’s a TonyG book. It’s a touch overblown in places. Like the mention of ZeroG ‘recreation’ pods and how that’s sacred to the Minmatar. ugh. He has a lot to answer for.)


Thanks! The chronicle gives some answers. Will look into The Empyrean Age when I get the chance.

Personally I think there should be more info on that matter. It is interesting.

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I was of the opinion that there are collider tubes under the floor panels, generating large amounts of gravitons to keep us rooted to the ground.

I stole that idea from Dead Space 3, btw. Particular that optional mission prior to landing on the planet where after turning on the ship generator, the severely decayed flooring blew right up and slams anything that gets on it into the ceiling with enough force to dismember it.

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Come on guys, lighten up.

A hundred years ago nobody could explain the basic operating principles of the gas turbine engine. Today, almost every airline airplane in the world, pure jet or turboprop, gets its pax where they’re going with principles that were a complete mystery that recently, but are more common than commonplace now.

A lot of technological evolution will occur between today and when Eve happens. There’s no way we can guess in complete, accurate detail what all those technological developments might be.

Instead, give 'em credit for getting the details of those ship designs as complete as they have using the primitive technological base they’re stuck working with – today’s.

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with gravity I accepted that we currently have one layer of formula with einstein we found a new layer a deeper one yet i start to think there are two more theoretical layers. it sort of might arrive at the graviton being something that is connected to density or which is the reason we only see matter and no antimatter.

one thing that made me think this way is following:

as this text visible on screen rotates around the center of the earth, and this planet which rotates around the sun and this sun rotates around the center of the galaxy all mass we can now touch has impulses. with space time bending by mass and speed influencing this it may be that impulses have an attraction similar to gravity on each other.

easy to show lets formulate a attraction of impulses similar to the one of mass or electrical charges.

The ships have no need for artificial gravity as they are piloted by a single capsuleer and have no crew…

I believe that in the lore that’s only true for frigates. Even most capsuleer vessels are crewed.


Yes. Ships do have crews, like mentioned in the lore. Present time they are not presented or highlighted ingame, there are no mechanics that utilize them, but in the future, who knows, maybe we will be able to command an NPC crew or save them from destroyed ships.

Here is some more detailed info.

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I wonder what uses crew would have as for example star conflict represents them in very distant yet nicely pictured number. and in eve they could as well be representing drones that work in a belly of a beast or red blood cells.

Maintenance work, mostly. Due to how the space anchor works, ships in Eve Online suffers from mechanical stress just by moving. Not to mention all the moving parts that are liable to slip a couple screws or gears or whatever.

Due to the usage of A.I. operated drones being very regulated and the abundance of humans needing jobs, human workmen are employed to tighten them screws and bolts.

Note the “floating” girls on the show floor in the background. Note the localised area where gravity is not applied. This is some artwork from the old EVE card game. Also featured in one of the EON Magazines.

After studying enthalpy and entropy for a year in a propulsion class… I reckon the basic operating principles are still a mystery! :stuck_out_tongue:


These days we can levitate water drops with vibrations. so far we haven’t yet caught the graviton.

Found an interesting lecture on YouTube by Dr. Erik Verlinde on a new idea of gravitation that connects it with quantum etangelment, thermodynamics and quantum Information and interprets it as emergent behaviour:

A New View on Gravity and the Dark Side of the Cosmos

Well a bit too early to say in eve they push around q-bits for the anitgravity effect.

The Gallente have sports called Zero-G games “a marriage of ancient ball and water sports”. And in the Empyrean Age two characters perform…um…mutually beneficial docking maneuvers with one another in zero-g conditions. It was just regular station quarters so apparently gravity can be turned on and off with ease.

Whatever the technology is it is so commonplace most people probably hardly notice it and it would seem to be neither particularly difficult or expensive. More like a basic utility.


OMG, that’s an interesting discussion, how I’ve missed it so far? :yum:

Well, lets speculate for a moment. I’ll try to be as clear in my thoughts as possible, trying to explain everything instead of making it “magic, antigravity blabla, q-bits, super effect”.

We know from the general theory of relativity that the gist of gravity is acceleration. And to make a “Standard” gravity of 1G you just need to pull your station/ship constantly with the acceleration of about 10 meters per second squared. In the age of antimatter reactors, it doesn’t seem like impossible energy consumption per second. The main question comes how to pump that energy into the gravity/acceleration without pushing the whole ship and make zones of anomal controllable gravity.

As it was mentioned in the discussion already, developers gave us a hint: gravitons. So, lets make some weird graviton physics! It is a hypothetical particle with Compton’s wavelength of about 10^13 km. If it flies with speed of light (about 3x10^8 m/s), it gives us the frequency of about 3x10^(-8)Hz. Which relates to one vibration in a year. Not really something we can work with.

Lets then make an assumption of graviton field (as opposed to gravity field) and assume that it is a standing wave. Its frequency can be found out from well known equation E=hv. What is an energy of a graviton field though? The first idea that came to me was that it is an spherical intergral of potential energy. Of course, we can’t take potential energy as simple E=mgh, as it doesn’t show the dependency of g from h and clearly will not converge. We then can take potential energy as integral from r=infinity to r=x from gravitational force (lets take Newtonian physics for a start), F=GmM/r^2, where G is gravity constant, M and m are masses of attracting bodies. That gives us simple integral from infinity to X of (1/r^2) multiplied by constant GmM. And integral of 1/r^2 is just -1/r. Then we get potential energy E=-GmM/r.
Unfortunately, spherical integral from 1/r does not converge (it gives ln( r ) that is not 0 on infinity).

Quite lucrative it seems to take as energy simple E=mc^2, as it directly binds energy to the mass, but, unfortunately, that gives too large overestimate for graviton field, because gravitational force is quite weak compared to energy that we can get if we “turn” mass into “pure energy” in form of photons and kinetic energy of fragments.

Lets return back to classical potential energy, but slightly modify the way we obtained it. We can take from the start that full energy of graviton field is a spherical integral of gravitational force. We already got that integral of (1/r^2) is just -(1/r), so we have only add the spherical part of it, which will be integrals on angles from 0 to Pi and 0 to 2Pi, which will give us as a result -2Pi^2/R, and the energy of a graviton field can be estimated thus as E=-2GmMPi^2/R. The main issue here is m/R, which doesn’t let us define energy of such field without defining and object it interacts with. And we can’t integrate from 0 just because of 1/R^2 or 1/R function, that has limit with R->0 at infinity.

And still we need to find the energy of the gravity well. Unfortunately, arising 1/R turns energy into infinity for infinite amount of space. There is, however, one more trick we can pull out: since we need to create gravity inside our ship or station, we simply don’t need gravity outside of it, and now we can integrate the function on the limited volume. There is one more thing we shall mention. The gravity formula was giving us attraction of two points, but if we are inside the body - we need to integrate over the whole volume.

To approach this we need to get rid of the second mass from our gravity equation, and the best way to do this is to use gravity potential, which is defined as potential energy divided by mass. If we call energy E, lets call potential U = E/m = -GmM/mr = -GM/r, or more precisely U( r ) - it will be a function of r. In fact, lets call this vector x, because ( r ) gives symbol ® (thank you, forum software!). U(x) = -GM/x. (And please, don’t divide our game masters! It’s just mass multiplied by gravity constant, okay?)
But we can’t use M anymore, because we don’t consider our ship as a point. So, instead of that we will introduce function of mass density p(x), (I don’t want to use ‘d’, because it will be a differential), and r now will be a vector (not just distance). But I am really not going to integrate over a volume of random ship with random mass distribution. So, lets make another assumption: our ship is a sphere. And then mass can be shown as M=4Pi S(x^2)p(x)dx|(0-R). where S is symbol for integrating and |(O-R) means from 0 to radius. And this p(x) mass distribution can be used both for finding the potential, and then for finding the energy! (As we have defined potential as E/m).

I won’t be torturing you with math and will just say that it will give us E=-3GM^2/5R, where R is radius of our sphere and M its mass (assuming mass is distributed evenly). Finally, we can make some estimations! Lets make them for the marvel on New Eden engineering, the best industrial freighter in our cluster - the mighty Charon (also, Glory to the State!). It has a mass of 960 000 000 kg, approximately 10^9 kg. Its signature radius is 10.66km, approximately 10^4m. And we can take G as 9.7x10^-11 m^3/kgs^2. That will give us energy of 4x10^3 kgm^2/s^2 (or J).

That’s not a lot! But it’s just because our freighter is tiiinyyyy compared to a planet that gives us 10m/s^2. We needed that energy for that frequency that we have started from. And now we can estimate that by formula v=E/h. h is Plank’s constant, approx. 1x10^-34 J/s. And we now have frequency of our so-called “graviton field”, 4x10^37 Hz. And that’s something we can work with!

I think most of us already heard about the gravity waves. But what the real science deals with is a perturbation of gravity field by fast moving/changing systems. Our hypothetical graviton field wave is something completely different, it is an intrinsic property of graviton field, that characterizes its strength, just like frequency of a photon characterizes its energy.

And here comes the most fun part - actually creating gravity (antigravity). We know already that fast changing systems create gravity waves, it means we can create gravity waves as well. Also we know that a graviton is a quadrupole. The solution is simple and elegant: QUADRUPOLE MECHANICAL MASS RESONATOR!

So, how does this animal look like? First we need to imagine quadrupole. Monopole is a single charge, imagine it as a charged sphere, or electron, or something like that. Dipole - is a system of two charge. But you can imagine a magnet, that exists only as dipole (there are no magnet monopoles possible). And quadrupole is a system of four charges, where equal charges sit on diagonals (otherwise it would be just a dipole).

But like magnets, gravity doesn’t have charges. It has only mass. But there can be more or less mass. What we need to do, is a system of four lead beams, arranged together in form of letter X (imagine it as a cross section of all 4 beams, one in top, one on bottom, and two more left and right, each of them shaped as |>). Now we make it vibrate, pulling at the same time horizontal beams apart and vertical - together. Then we do counterwise, pull vertical apart and horizontal together. Ta-daam! We have a quadrupole mechanical vibrator!

But for it to do actual work (and not just BRRRRRrRRRRrrRRRRrrRR sound), we need to make it vibrate fast… extremely fast. Faster than pistons of any known car. 10^37 vibrations per second is an astronomical value, but in the future, with all that high-temperature superconductivity technologies they might find a way to achieve it. It will vibrate so fast, that it won’t even produce sound. But it will produce gravity.

Well, not exactly gravity, but quadropole gravity wave. We still need to make that vibration into gravity. For this we will use another physical effect: resonance! (That’s why I called the device “resonator” in the first place). By matching gravity wave frequency with frequency of the graviton fields you can start actually “pumping” your energy into gravity. You can interfere waves and nullify gravity (for antigrav engines), you can shape them, direct them, or make gravity field as strong as your energy source will allow (and you need to keep pumping into your resonator as much energy as you will need to keep accelerating to 10m/s^2 to keep earth level of gravity stable).

All hail Graviton Physics!


Gets more and more interesting, thanks folks!

Let’s summon @Max_Singularity to the topic! :slight_smile: What can you say about this thing we are discussing here, good sir?

I am impressed DK, well done! :slight_smile: Your Kung Fu is good. :rocket: