Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 100, Issue 1–2, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Gravitational interaction of bodies immersed in fluids

  • Z. Horák


It is shown that Archimedes' principle can be generalized for external gravitational fields due to stationary macroscopic bodies. For instance, a particle immersed in a homogeneous fluid at the centre of spherical symmetry of the fluid, or anywhere in an unbounded homogenous fluid, experiences — in an external field — a force that it would experience in a vacuum if it had an apparent mass less than the actual one by the mass of displaced fluid. Inversely, if one immerses a particle into a symmetrically arranged homogeneous fluid apart from its centre of symmetry, the particle and the fluid produce, at the centre of symmetry of the fluid, a gravitational field that would be produced in vacuo by a particle of the same size and shape but having apparent mass. Simple laboratory experiments, suitable to verify this ‘inverse’ theorem, are described. On the other hand, the gravitational force between two particles in an infinite homogeneous fluid is reduced by a factor proportional to the product of their apparent masses which can be positive or negative. Two particles with opposite apparent masses repel each other. The results obtained imply corrections to vacuum of the order of (10−5–10−4) G of the gravitational constant,G, measured by the common laboratory methods.


Laboratory Experiment External Field Gravitational Field Gravitational Force Laboratory Method 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Z. Horák
    • 1
  1. 1.Technical UniversityPragueCzechoslovakia

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