This chapter defines weightlessness as the condition where the acceleration of an object is independent of its mass. Applying this definition to the clinostat, it argues that the clinostat is very limited as a simulator of microgravity because it (a) generates centrifugal forces, (b) generates particle oscillations with mass-dependent amplitudes of speed and phase shifts relative to the clinorotation, (c) is unable to remove globally the scalar effects of gravity such as hydrostatic pressure, which are independent of the direction of gravity in the first place, and, (d) generates more convective mixing of the gaseous or liquid environment of the test object, rather than eliminating it, as would true weightlessness. It is proposed that attempts to simulate microgravity must accept the simulation of one aspect of microgravity at a time, and urges that the suppression of convective currents be a major feature of experimental methods that simulate microgravity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||ASGSB bulletin : publication of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology|
|State||Published - Oct 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas