A Dyson's shell is often depicted in fiction, sometimes with inhabitants dwelling on the inside of the shell. Has anyone ever proposed how gravity would work inside of a Dyson's shell? Centrifugal force seems to me to be the obvious answer, and I'm sure someone has done the math about how fast a 1AU Dyson sphere would have to rotate in order to create 1G, but if a Dyson sphere's gravity is created by centrifugal force, then that would mean that only the equator plus or minus a few degrees of latitude would have normal gravity, then it'd lessen as you moved away from the equator, and eventually everyone would be walking at an angle to the ground the further north or south you went. I'm trying to fathom how gravity would work inside of an empty shell with the mass of dozens of planets, yet keep people with their feet planted on the underside of the shell.

  • $\begingroup$ Just for clarification, the fictional depictions of such an object often envisage a completely enclosed shell, but Dyson has said that this is mechanically impossible, and he was thinking more of a swarm of independent subunits. Which version have you in mind? $\endgroup$
    – user81619
    May 22, 2015 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ @AcidJazz - The shell, just like the one depicted in Star Trek SG1. $\endgroup$
    – ShemSeger
    May 22, 2015 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


As you point out, there is no way to make artificial gravity work everywhere in a spherical shell by use of the centrifugal force.

The obvious fix is to use a cylinder instead, and use the "endcaps" (top and bottom of the cylinder) purely for energy generation.

Or, drop the endcaps entirely and make do with an open cylinder. If it's also very short it will essentially be a Dyson ring.


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