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CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: Can Gravity Be Quantized? by Vesselin Petkov [refresh]

Author Vesselin Petkov wrote on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 13:00 GMT
Essay Abstract

What if it turns out that we have been stubbornly ignoring a crucial message coming from the unsuccessful attempts to create a theory of quantum gravity - that gravity is not an interaction? This option does not look so shocking when gravity is consistently and rigorously regarded as a manifestation of the non-Euclidean geometry of spacetime. Then it becomes evident that general relativity does imply that gravitational phenomena are not caused by gravitational interaction. The geodesic hypothesis in general relativity and particularly the experimental evidence that confirmed it indicate that gravity is not a physical interaction since particles which appear to interact gravitationally are actually free particles whose motion is inertial (i.e. interaction-free). This situation has implications for two research programs - quantum gravity and detection of gravitational waves. First, the real open question in gravitational physics appears to be how matter curves spacetime, not how to quantize the apparent gravitational interaction. Second, the search for gravitational waves should explicitly take into account the geodesic hypothesis according to which orbiting astrophysical bodies (modelled by point masses) do not radiate gravitational energy since their worldlines are geodesics representing inertial (energy-loss-free) motion.

Author Bio

Vesselin Petkov is one of the founding members of the Institute for Foundational Studies "Hermann Minkowski" (http://minkowskiinstitute.org/) whose most distinct feature is the employment of a research strategy based on the successful methods behind the greatest discoveries in physics. In this sense the Minkowski Institute is without a counterpart in the world. This essay is intended to provide an idea of how such a strategy can identify and examine rigorously even (at first sight) heretical research directions. Also, he is responsible for the Minkowski Institute Press (http://minkowskiinstitute.org/mip/).

Cristinel Stoica wrote on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 19:10 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

I loved reading your essay, and not only because I fully agree with what you wrote, but because you expressed very clearly and logical, and also with originality, some of the reasons why semi-classical gravity may be enough. The essay reduced the arguments to their essence, which can be understood from basic general relativity. Indeed, the geodesic hypothesis implies that there is no gravitational interaction, at least not of the same type as for the other forces. Also, I think your emphasis on the non-existence of gravitational energy is also important. I agree that this is true locally, which from my viewpoint means that it is true. Probably the appearance of gravitational interaction and energy loss may be due to the unavoidable of use non-inertial charts.

I expressed in a previous FQXi essay the viewpoint that QFT and the Standard Model on (classical) curved spacetime may be enough. Part of this position is because I think that quantum fields are more classical than they may appear, and this may arise from a unitary interpretation of QM. While I think that the quantum fields are more like classical fields than we expect, I do not deny that perturbative expansions and path integrals are powerful tools, if not for bringing understanding, at least for calculations. So, why not, maybe perturbative methods may work for gravity too. We don't know for sure what is quantization, but GR seems to me on a very good position.

Recently I found that by trying to understand singularities in GR we see that they are not harmful, and even they may help in making gravity renormalizable (see my essay).

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 06:00 GMT
Thank you Cristi. You touched on several interesting issues, but I will have to first read your essays.

Azzam AlMosallami wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 02:00 GMT
Dear

Your paper is very interesting. What you are discussing is same in my paper http://gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/Research%20Papers-Rela

My paper is entitled "THE RELATIVISTIC QUANTIZED FORCE: NEWTON'S SECOND LAW,

INERTIAL AND GRAVITATIONAL"

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 06:01 GMT
I will see your paper but its title seems to show that your impression of the similarity of the two papers might be too optimistic.

Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 05:58 GMT
Dear Azzam AlMosallami,

As I suspected the only similarity between your paper and my essay is that we discuss gravitation. You regard gravity as a force, whereas I stressed in my essay that not only general relativity but most importantly the experimental evidence (discussed in the essay) demonstrate that no gravitational force is involved in the gravitational phenomena.

Azzam AlMosallami replied on Aug. 13, 2012 @ 01:29 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

I'm really appreciate your comment. I named it as a gravitational force according to the classical concept of the force. But actually it is a field, and this field strength is not constant, it is changing according to the distance from the center of mass. In my theory http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1272 the meaning of force is different from the classical meaning, it produced when the particle is transformed from a state to another state with different vacuum energy. The concept of vacuum energy in my theory is same as interpreted in quantum field theory, and thus what I proposed in the gravitational field is agreed with what is resulted in quantum field theory, which leading to unifying between GR and quantum gravity. according to my My MGRT I could solve the Pioneer anomaly exactly http://vixra.org/abs/1109.0058 According to my MGRT I could solve the faster than light in cosmology (wormholes) with violation to the Lorentz transformation or causality http://vixra.org/abs/1208.0018 and thus unifying quantum theory with relativity

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 02:01 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

Quite a fascinating essay! I want to believe some of your conclusions and I resist others. Like so many other essays here, this one calls for some careful re-thinking.

You write clearly and well and, for the most part, convincingly, and I will have to re-read your essay and give it more thought.

In one place you remark that "there is no tensorial measure of the gravitational field in general relativity, since it can always be transformed away in the local inertial frame." If, as several other authors suggest, there *is* a 'preferred frame of reference', would this still be true?

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 06:07 GMT
Dear Edwin Eugene Klingman,

Thank you for your comments. I agree - from time to time we all need to re-think a lot of things even our own views.

If there is a 'preferred frame of reference' a lot of things (including the one you asked) would be impossible. And my essay would not make any sense either. But I do think that "science never goes backwards" and this is of course not just a belief.

Pentcho Valev wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 04:27 GMT
Vesselin Petkov,

You used to claim that "the wavelength of a photon in the gravitational redshift experiment cannot change along with its frequency" and that "both frequency and velocity change in this experiment":

http://arxiv.org/pdf/gr-qc/9810030v12.pdf

Vesselin Petkov: "It has been overlooked that the wavelength of a photon in the gravitational redshift experiment cannot change along with its frequency (...) As both frequency and velocity change in this experiment the measurement of a change in a photon frequency is in fact an indirect measurement of a change in the photon local velocity. (...) The very existence of the gravitational redshift, however, shows that it is the local velocity of a photon that changes along with the change of its frequency. (...) In such a way the gravitational redshift essentially shows that two photons emitted at points of different gravitational potential have different local velocities at the same observation point..."

Did you know then that the invariability of the wavelength and the variability of the speed of light put an end to Einstein's relativity? Do you know it now?

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 06:10 GMT
Pentcho Valev,

Your question is not about the essay presented here. But since you asked here is the answer: Your quote is from a paper exploring the possibility to interpret spacetime curvature as spacetime anisotropy. Such an interpretation was ruled out since it leads to contradictions with the experimental evidence. The gravitational redshift is discussed in Sect 7.7 of my book Relativity and the Nature of Spacetime, 2ed 2009.

I have been unaware that there was "an end to Einstein's relativity". In special relativity the velocity of light is constant only in inertial reference frames; it is not constant in accelerating frames (one of the many means of detecting accelerated motion is through the non-constant velocity of light in non-inertial frames). In general relativity the velocity of light is constant only in the local inertial frame.

Pentcho Valev replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 06:26 GMT
If, as you used to claim, "the wavelength of a photon in the gravitational redshift experiment cannot change along with its frequency", that marks the end of Einstein's relativity. Let me ask you a concrete question (I have already asked it to James Putnam and Israel Perez):

The top of a tower of height h emits light with frequency f, speed c and wavelength L (as measured by the emitter):

f = c/L

An observer on the ground measures the frequency to be f'=f(1+gh/c^2), the speed of light to be c' and the wavelength to be L':

f' = c'/L'

The questions: c' = ? ; L' = ?

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

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Pentcho Valev replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 13:17 GMT
Don't forget that, as judged from a local inertial (free-falling) system, the observer on the ground is racing upwards toward the falling light. If, at the moment of reception of the light, his speed is v (as judged from the free-falling system), then the speed of light this observer measures is:

c' = c(1 + gh/c^2) = c + v

This puts an end to Einstein's relativity doesn't it? Perhaps my initial question was not so irrelevant.

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

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Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 05:11 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

As gravity is not a physical interaction between point-like particles, I think, quantization of gravity is possible only with string theory predictions in that restructuring of atomic analogy is inevitable and emergence of new physics in accordance with the existing physics is expectative.

With best wishes,

Jayaker

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 16:29 GMT
Dear Jayakar Johnson Joseph,

I think physics is of ultimate importance - if there exists experimental evidence to rule out a hypothesis, any new theory must take that into account.

We have unambiguous experimental evidence that gravity is not a force - falling bodies DO NOT RESIST their (apparent) acceleration, which proves that no gravitational force is accelerating them downwards; a force would exist only if the bodies resisted their fall (the force would be needed to overcome that resistance).

So any theory that explicitly or implicitly treats gravity as a force contradicts the existing experimental evidence. This explanation applies to Robert L. Oldershaw's question as well.

All the best.

Jayakar Johnson Joseph replied on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 11:56 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

If we assume that gravitation emerges from the tensor product of eigen-rotational strings of matters in continuum, I think gravity can be quantized.

With best regards,

Jayakar

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Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 14:10 GMT
If the masses of fundamental objects, comprising 99.99...% of mass in the universe, were reasonably discrete and quantized, would not gravitational interactions between them automatically be quantized?

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 19:42 GMT
Hello Mr. Petkov,

I believe that I found humbly. Of course I must test and expermiment.But my equations can help.The gravitational waves have several answer. The quantum gravitation can be linked with my spheres and their rotations more their volumes. The quantum theory of fields and the GR converge when we insert two different main senses of rotations differenciating the bosons and fermions.

Good luck in this contest

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Steve Dufourny replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 18:31 GMT
it was me the spherical belgian, crazzy and parano.

ps hope there is not a competition between the Institute of Advanced Studied and the Minkowski institute.After all, the most important is the universal optimization.

Regards

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Israel Perez wrote on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 06:06 GMT
Dear Petkov

Wonderful and well written essay. I enjoyed it a lot and I would not hesitate to put it in the list of the top scores. I agree with your view in the physical foundations of gravity. In this respect, my essay, essentially points out the physical source of the puzzle in contemporary physics.

You said: relativists who are more accustomed to solving technical problems than to...

view entire post

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 16:32 GMT
Thank you for your comments, Israel. And also for the nice summary of Descartes' and Newton's views of gravity. I guess you did not want to make your post too long and did not include another famous quote from Newton; I will give it here since I find it quite relevant:

"That gravity should be innate, inherent, and essential to matter, so that one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum without the mediation of anything else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an absurdity, that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking can ever fall into it." [Newton's fourth letter to Richard Bentley of 25 February 1692]

I will read your essay but it may take some time. In the coming days the Minkowski Institute Press (MIP) will be officially announced and it takes a lot of time and effort. All who would like to receive the MIP Newsletter can contact me at vpetkov@minkowskiinstitute.org.

Good luck in the contest too.

Israel Perez replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 22:42 GMT
Hi Vesselin

Thanks for your reply. Actually, I was aware of Newton's letter to Bentley, that's why I mentioned that Newton was in the philosophical matters of gravity Cartesian.

I would be expecting any comments you may have on my essay.

Best Regards

Israel

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 18:14 GMT
Vesselin,

There is something very pure and beautiful in the concept of inertia when one hears it expressed with such expert familiarity. Reading your essay, I think I almost understand now why Einstein said that he had experienced his theory "kinesthetically."

Great essay! Best wishes in the contest. (And I do hope you get a chance to visit my site, too -- thanks.)

Tom

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 06:09 GMT
Thank you, Tom. If we all try, at least to some extent, to do and "feel" physics like Einstein, we will pave the way for the future generation to go much further.

I will, of course, visit your site.

Good luck in the contest.

T H Ray replied on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 00:35 GMT
Vesselin, I agree. It's been difficult for me to get that "feeling," yet I do grasp intellectually that it is an essential component of understanding inertia.

Best,

Tom

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Avtar Singh wrote on Aug. 13, 2012 @ 21:17 GMT
Hi Vesselin:

I enjoyed reading your paper and agree with your conclusion: “…quantum gravity as quantization of gravitational interaction is Impossible..”

However, I do not completely agree with your reason that gravity is not an interactive force just because general relativity says so. Since general relativity has failed to predict 96% (dark energy and dark matter) of the universe and has been paralyzed with the Big Bang singularity, it can hardly be acclaimed as a universal theory and it would be not only be premature but also incorrect to declare the Newtonian interaction as non-existent. Also, I have demonstrated in my posted paper - “ From Absurd to Elegant Universe”, that integrating the missing physics of spontaneous decay of particles with Newtonian gravitational energy plus specific relativity, the ills of general relativity can be cured and observed expansion of the universe and galaxies as well as quantum/classical behaviors can be predicted without any singularities. This approach also resolves quantum mysteries and explains inner workings of quantum mechanics eliminating the need for quantum gravity.

I would greatly appreciate your comments on my posted paper -“ From Absurd to Elegant Universe”.

Best Regards

Avtar Singh

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 00:54 GMT
Hello Avtar,

Thank you for your comments. It seems it is now my turn to disagree with what you wrote:

"I do not completely agree with your reason that gravity is not an interactive force just because general relativity says so."

My argument is not at all that "general relativity says so." It is the ultimate judge (the experimental evidence) that says so and I tried to stress it as strongly as possible in the essay and also on this page (above):

"We have unambiguous experimental evidence that gravity is not a force - falling bodies DO NOT RESIST their (apparent) acceleration, which proves that no gravitational force is accelerating them downwards; a force would exist only if the bodies resisted their fall (the force would be needed to overcome that resistance).

So any theory that explicitly or implicitly treats gravity as a force contradicts the existing experimental evidence."

So Newton's view of gravity as a force is directly contradicted by the experimental evidence and I think Newton would understand and accept that fact since it is based on the very essence of the concept of force introduced by Newton himself in his second law - by the second law a force is only necessary to OVERCOME the resistance a body offers to its acceleration (by overcoming the resistance the force accelerates the body); the experimental fact that a falling body does not resist its fall (acceleration) proves that no force is accelerating it, because a force would be present only if the body resisted its acceleration (the force would be solely needed to overcome that resistance; briefly: no resistance => no gravitational force).

Now your essay is also on my "to read" list, but as I explained in my answer to Israel's post above it would take some time.

Best wishes and good luck.

Avtar Singh replied on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 17:37 GMT
Hi Vesselin:

If you read my paper, you will know that my model has been vindicated by several sets of data from quantum to galactic to cosmic scale observations. Hence, you cannot prejudge it to be wrong just based on the isolated example of falling bodies. Then again, you are discounting all the numerous well-known data that supports Newtonian gravity model including the solar system motion.

Moreover, if there was no resistance to motion provided by mass inertia, the experienced acceleration of falling bodies would be infinite (due to zero mass inertia) and not limited to a constant gravitational acceleration.

Regards and best of Luck

Avtar

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 01:08 GMT
Hello Avtar,

I can't believe you questioned an experimental fact - that falling bodies do not resist their acceleration. In my essay I even gave a concrete example - a falling accelerometer reads zero acceleration, i.e. zero resistance. This experimental evidence proves that gravity is not a force (whose anticipation led Einstein to general relativity) and no other experiment could prove the opposite (that gravity is a force). Nature does not contradict herself. Indeed, none of what you called "the numerous well-known data that supports Newtonian gravity model" proves that gravity is a force.

All the best.

James Putnam wrote on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 20:02 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

I am just now reading your essay. I feel certain that I need to re-read it to be certain that I understand your arguments. However, with regard to this quote:

"What is crucial for testing both the geodesic hypothesis and the generalized definition of a free particle in spacetime and for determining the true nature of gravitational phenomena is the experimental fact that particles falling towards the Earth's surface offer no resistance to their fall. This essential experimental evidence has been virtually neglected so far, which is rather inexplicable especially given that Einstein regarded the realization of this fact - that "if a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight" - as the "happiest thought" of his life which put him on the path towards general relativity [8].

This experimental fact unambiguously confirms the geodesic hypothesis be-cause free falling particles, whose worldtubes are geodesics, do not resist their fall (i.e. their apparent acceleration) which means that they move by inertia and therefore no gravitational force is causing their fall. It should be particu-larly stressed that a gravitational force would be required to accelerate particles downwards only if the particles resisted their acceleration, because only then a gravitational force would be needed to overcome that resistance."

Selecting out just this portion: "the experimental fact that particles falling towards the Earth's surface offer no resistance to their fall. This essential experimental evidence has been virtually neglected so far, which is rather inexplicable especially given that Einstein regarded the realization of this fact -that "if a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight" - as the "happiest thought" of his life which put him on the path towards general relativity [8]."

Concentrating on:

"if a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight"

We do not feel acceleration if it is applied evenly to a body. Any object would show no significant indication of the force of gravity so long as it is applied very close to evenly. The force of gravity does closely approximate the condition of applying a force evenly. Therefore, in my opinion, your reference does not support your argument that gravity is not a force. We do feel the effects of a force that is un-equally applied. The effects are un-equal compression causing bodily distortion.

Your rebuttel is of course welcome. Thank you.

James

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 01:14 GMT
Dear James Putnam,

Unfortunately, what you wrote - "We do not feel acceleration if it is applied evenly to a body" - is simply not so, if by "We do not feel acceleration" you mean "We do not feel resistance" (what you wrote after this sentence indicates to me that you meant precisely that).

Not only does this statement contradict all existing experimental evidence, but it contradicts even everyday experience. For instance, the acceleration of a car is evenly applied to the body of a person in the car, but the person tangibly feels the acceleration, i.e. the resistance his/her body offers (sometimes in cases of sudden deceleration that feeling is tragically tangible).

A piece of all existing experimental evidence (mentioned above) is the resistance individual particles (e.g. electrons) offer when accelerated in particle accelerators.

Good luck in the contest.

James Putnam replied on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 01:38 GMT
Vesselin Petkov,

"Unfortunately, what you wrote - "We do not feel acceleration if it is applied evenly to a body" - is simply not so, if by "We do not feel acceleration" you mean "We do not feel resistance" (what you wrote after this sentence indicates to me that you meant precisely that). ..."

Yes I did mean that.

"... Not only does this statement contradict all existing experimental evidence, but it contradicts even everyday experience. For instance, the acceleration of a car is evenly applied to the body of a person in the car, but the person tangibly feels the acceleration, i.e. the resistance his/her body offers (sometimes in cases of sudden deceleration that feeling is tragically tangible). "

We feel a push in the back or front because it causes uneven acceleration resulting in deformation of our shapes. The example given is not an example of evenly applied force or acceleration. It is an example of unevenly applied force and acceleration.

"... A piece of all existing experimental evidence (mentioned above) is the resistance individual particles (e.g. electrons) offer when accelerated in particle accelerators."

This resistance demonstrates that particles have mass. We also have mass. My point is that objects with mass will not feel force or acceleration if it is applied equally over the entire body. The experience of undergoing evenly applied force or acceleration will not cause a feeling by which to know it.

I can let this go. It is your blog. I made my point and I stick by it. Good luck to you also.

James

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Author Vesselin Petkov wrote on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 02:49 GMT
Dear James Putnam,

Exactly because this is my blog I have to reply.

If every single atom of the body of a person in an accelerating car accelerates with the car's acceleration (in your terminology acceleration is evenly applied) the person will still feel the resistance due to the acceleration.

Evenly or unevenly applied accelerations have nothing to do with the resistance bodies offer to their acceleration. And you yourself state that: "This resistance demonstrates that particles have mass." This is so because since Newton mass has been defined as the measure of the resistance a body offers to its acceleration (naturally, there is no mentioning of how acceleration is applied).

The experimental fact that falling particles do not resist their fall confirmed the geodesic hypothesis in general relativity, which in turn explained why the particles do not resist their fall - the particles' acceleration in the curved spacetime surrounding the Earth is zero, which means that no force is acting on them and they move by inertia. The observed apparent acceleration of falling particles is relative, which is caused by the fact that the particles worldlines and the Earth's worldline converge toward one another (this is called geodesic deviation). Therefore the observed apparent (relative) acceleration of falling particles is caused by the non-Euclidean geometry of spacetime in the Earth's vicinity and is not caused by a force.

When a falling particle hits the ground it is prevented from moving by inertia and it resists its curved-spacetime acceleration (that is why the force of weight is inertial in general relativity in full agreement that there is no gravitational force). The measure of that resistance is the particle's (passive gravitational) mass. So general relativity also nicely explains why inertial and passive gravitational masses are equal.

Best regards.

James Putnam replied on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 03:40 GMT
Vesselin Petkov,

"If every single atom of the body of a person in an accelerating car accelerates with the car's acceleration (in your terminology acceleration is evenly applied) the person will still feel the resistance due to the acceleration."

No they are not accelerating evenly. The car pushes against the back. The body transfers the force forward to the other parts of the body. That transfer is not instantaneous. Right from the beginning the acceleration was not evenly applied. If it was evenly applied there would be no distortion of the body. If there is no distortion, then, there is no feeling. Gravity makes this point clear.

James

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T H Ray replied on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 01:30 GMT
James, I think that all one needs to understand Vesselin's reply is that " ... the particles' acceleration in the curved spacetime surrounding the Earth is zero ..." which is simple Galilean physics. That is, there is no other source of particle acceleration than gravity. How do we know? -- because we can test it.

An observer in an airplane that drops an unpowered bomb and travels without accelerating for a certain distance while the bomb falls will find that the bomb remains directly beneath the plane for the total time of its fall. In other words, there is no horizontal acceleration component acting on the bomb; the plane and the bomb are both experiencing zero acceleration in the curved spacetime. Another way to test this hypothesis is to fire a cannonball in a flat trajectory, and drop another cannonball from the same height simultaneously. One will find that the fired projectile and the dropped projectile impact the ground at the same moment, even though the fired projectile follows a curved trajectory in its descent, and the dropped projectile a straight trajectory -- again illustrating that there is no horizontal acceleration to the common plane, only the acceleration of gravity acting on each cannonball.

Now when this Galilean theory is extended to Newtonian mechanics and finally to relativity, one gets not only the beautiful mathematics by which we understand relative motion, one can also physically *feel* what it means to have no resistance to motion. I know this from long years of studying Einstein, and have known that one cannot truly grasp relativity without having this sensation. Vesselin brings the subject to life by reminding us that unquantized motion is one continuous quantum, that every particle is as free of resistance as every other.

Tom

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James Putnam replied on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 02:21 GMT
Tom, I understand those things. They do not address the question of why does the freely falling person not feel the force of gravity. It is not because gravity is no force. The persons feeling is not evidence for that conclusion. I gave the reason why there is no feeling. The reason is because there is almost equal application of force to all parts of the body and almost equal acceleration for all the parts of the body. There is no reason to feel pulled or pushed whatever.

The orbiting example does involve acceleration in the vertical direction. The reason it accelerates toward the Earth is because is is being acted upon by the force of gravity. That force is acting in the vertical direction.

The Relativity arguments do not apply to solving this matter because of the level at which you are using them. It is the assumptions and choices that led to the development of the theory of relativity that apply. It is at that level, I can diffuse concepts such as space-time. When you use space-time as the crux of your argument, you are relying upon a theoretical concept as if it is real.

My point in addressing what Vesselin said regarding Einstin's elation about no feeling of force of gravity is that that recognition is not an example of some great discovery. The lack of the feeling of being pulled or pushed down is exactly what anyone sould expect to be the case.

James

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Author Vesselin Petkov wrote on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 05:46 GMT
Thank you Tom for trying to help to clarify this issue. I should stress two things - (i) I have no intention to argue with James that gravity is not a force since that is an established fact of modern physics (not just my personal opinion), and (ii) my true motivation for trying to respond promptly to the messages on this page (despite the extremely time consuming launching of a new academic...

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James Putnam replied on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 05:54 GMT
Vesselin,

Thank you for the advice. I already know what causes length contraction. The cause does not require relativity theory. Relativity effects are quite easy to replicate theoretically without relativity theory. I moved the conversation to my own blog in order to not cause any more disruption here. I appreciate your dedication and Tom's dedication to relativity theory. It is quite clear to me that it is based upon misconceptions and wrong decisions. The support for my statements exists in my own work available publicly. Whatever it is that I think, your blog is freed up. I think you for your conversation with me and wish you good luck in the contest. Your essay is ranked quite highly by the community votes.

James

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T H Ray replied on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 12:22 GMT
Vesselin, I don't blame you for declining debate with relativity deniers. We both know that relativity is controversial nowhere else where science is discussed, and there's no basis for debate.

I've been fascinated by the apparently unlimited capacity in these forums to gin up alternative explanations for known physics in the name of "thinking outside the box," while ignoring that the box is part of the physics, too. Unless one has, like Einstein, built up a complete program of logically closed and experimentally validated judgments, from the earliest ancient knowledge of mechanics and geometry to Minkowski space and Riemannian geometry, I think one is unlikely to get the full import of what "the box" contains.

That said, I know James to be honest in his efforts to deny every mechanical explanation of reality. I don't buy it, and I agree that such denial deprives one of the beautiful experience of comprehending a physically real spacetime.

Best,

Tom

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James Putnam replied on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 13:01 GMT
Tom and Vesselin,

"...That said, I know James to be honest in his efforts to deny every mechanical explanation of reality. I don't buy it, and I agree that such denial deprives one of the beautiful experience of comprehending a physically real spacetime."

There is no empirical evidence for the existence of space-time. There has never been an experiment or effect observed that involved only space or only time or space and time together. Your belief in the 'real' spacetie is based upon effects observed to occur to objects that are neither space nor time.

The discussion about the reason for not feeling the force of gravity when falling freely has no need for disdain or denial. The fact is that there never was a reason to predict or expect or think that a freely falling person would feel uncrutched or undistorted or undisturbed.

James

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 10:45 GMT
Vesselin Petkov,

"Divine Einstein" is enough - no need for "Divine Minkowski". The difference between the two deities is that the former, being a physicist, tries to give some phisical justification to relativistic absurdities from time to time while the latter is just a mathematical juggler. Look at this:

http://minkowskiinstitute.org/mip/MinkowskiFreemium,%20
MIP%202012.pdf

Hermann Minkowski: "I want to make it quite clear what the value of c will be with which we will be finally dealing. c is the velocity of the propagation of light in empty space. To speak neither of space nor of emptiness, we can identify this magnitude with the ratio of the electromagnetic to the electrostatic unit of the quantity of electricity. (...) According to Lorentz every body moving at a velocity v must experience a reduction in the direction of its motion... (...) This hypothesis sounds extremely fantastical. Because the contraction is not to be thought of as a consequence of resistances in the ether, but merely as a gift from above, as an accompanying circumstance of the fact of motion. I now want to show on our figure that the Lorentzian hypothesis is completely equivalent to the new concept of space and time, which makes it much easier to understand."

Now compare Minkowski's text with Banesh Hoffmann's text below. You may find that one of the texts is honest and the other extremely dishonest:

http://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its-Roots-Banesh-
Hoffmann/dp/0486406768

Relativity and Its Roots, Banesh Hoffmann: "Moreover, if light consists of particles, as Einstein had suggested in his paper submitted just thirteen weeks before this one, the second principle seems absurd: A stone thrown from a speeding train can do far more damage than one thrown from a train at rest; the speed of the particle is not independent of the motion of the object emitting it. And if we take light to consist of particles and assume that these particles obey Newton's laws, they will conform to Newtonian relativity and thus automatically account for the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations. Yet, as we have seen, Einstein resisted the temptation to account for the null result in terms of particles of light and simple, familiar Newtonian ideas, and introduced as his second postulate something that was more or less obvious when thought of in terms of waves in an ether."

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Aug. 19, 2012 @ 02:01 GMT
Hi Vesselin. Instanteaneity quantizes gravity insofar as gravity cannot be shielded and there is balanced attraction and repulsion in conjunction with balanced and equivalent inertia and gravity.

Real/fundamental quantum gravity requires fundamentally balanced and equivalent gravity and inertia AND attraction and repulsion as well. This fundamentally stabilizes and balances distance in/of space.

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james r. akerlund wrote on Aug. 19, 2012 @ 05:17 GMT
Hi Vesselin,

I finally found and read your essay. I was sort of expecting some contradicting ideas in your essay compared to mine, but I didn't find any and if yours had been written before mine and I had seen it, I would have used it as a reference. You drive at points that my essay says so in two sentences. Clearly faltering on my part on those points. Anyway, I thank you for your essay if only to clear up in my mind that I am not the only one thinking these crazy thoughts.

Jim Akerlund

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Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 20, 2012 @ 21:57 GMT
Vesselin

"Speed of light only c in local inertial frame" (in GR). I certainly agree, and have shown how it is also possible in SR. I think I agree with much else but must now re-read your well written piece more slowly and absorb more.

I'm writing 3 papers including re-analysis and interpretation of Hermann Minkowski's work with John Minkowski and including Jan Minkowski's quantum optics work. A very consistent ontological construction has emerged overcoming some paradoxical matters and seemingly quite consistent with much of your work. I must look into the Minkowski Institute.

I hope you will be able to read my essay and grasp the complex conceptual dynamics densely packed beneath some metaphysical theatre. I hope you may find important consistencies and derivations, but mine too must be read slowly.

Best of luck in the competition. I hope you do very well.

Peter

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Anonymous replied on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 11:25 GMT
Dear Mr. Petkov,

I began reading your essay today and I find your point is well put and depends primarily on the fact that falling bodies offer no resistance to their "apparent" accelerations. I am not aware of such a fact so I must ask you to route me to it, please. If you have it in your essay by reference to something else, would you plese let me know where? Thank you.

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 06:51 GMT

Good luck in the contest.

Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 06:57 GMT
To Anonymous:

Since Einstein's happiest thought in his life (that a falling person does not feel any gravitational force) and the incorporation of this everyday fact in general relativity free fall has been considered inertial which means non-resistant. In our everyday experience we all directly test that our bodies do not resist ordinary inertial motion (with uniform velocity). The situation with inertial motion in general relativity (free fall) is exactly the same - we directly test that our bodies do not resist their inertial motion - free fall - when, for example, we jump from a hight in water (such examples led Einstein to his happiest thought). If the apparent acceleration of our bodies during their fall towards the water were caused by a force, we would feel it exactly as we feel the resistance when our body is accelerated in a car.

I believe I have seen (or perhaps even kept) papers describing specific experiments with accelerometers in free fall, which read zero acceleration (i.e. zero resistance). After a quick search I found two articles which gave the accelerometer example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalence_principle

ht
tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerometer

Best regards.

Avtar Singh wrote on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 20:19 GMT
Hi Vesselin:

You may have missed my reply post above, hence I am reposting here.

Thanks for your GR based interpretations of gravitation. I really appreciate your clear expression and patient response.

Let me reiterate that I am in complete agreement with the two fundamental conclusions in your paper.

1. Quantum Gravity theory cannot be developed because gravity cannot...

view entire post

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 06:59 GMT
Thank you Avtar. As I have indicated your essay is among those that I plan to read in the coming days (when as already mentioned on this page the launching of MIP is completed).

It is not only I who will disagree with your statement that it is "a matter of whether a GR or Newtonian coordinate system or description is used." Nature (in this case gravity) is either a force or not a force; it is not a matter of description. The correct theory is GR, whereas the Newtonian gravitational theory is only an approximation that can be used when the spacetime curvature and the velocities are small. Using the Newtonian approximation does not mean that it is gravitational force that breaks the bond of the apple. I hope you see the nonsense - when the correct theory (GR) is used, what breaks the bond is the inertial force arising in the apple, but when we decide to use the Newtonian approximation Nature obeys our description and magically makes that force gravitational.

All the best.

Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 11:57 GMT
Vesselin,

I have to make a point of congratulating you and co-founders on launching the Minkowski Institute. I dropped by the site -- and you are exactly right, it has no counterpart in the world. I think the need has long been established for such a focus on fundamentals. I am gratified to see it being met, particularly with the endorsement of such illustrious scientists!

My best wishes for continued success.

Tom

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 16:57 GMT
Thank you, Tom. It is an ambitious project and we do not hide it, which puts the stakes very high from the beginning. One of the sources of steady funding is the Minkowski Institute Press (MIP) whose official announcement was a bit delayed due to several technical issues (mostly MIP's online store) and which has kept me from properly reading this year's FQXi essays. But I expect things will start moving shortly.

Good luck in the contest and your work.

John A. Macken wrote on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 03:32 GMT
Vesselin,

It is wonderful that your essay so completely conflicts with my essay. This makes for a healthy debate about an important foundational question. In your essay you say, "Gravity is not a physical interaction since particles which appear to interact gravitationally are actually free particles whose motion is inertial." My essay (Insights into the Unification of Forces) specifically states the exact opposite - that gravity is a true force that is closely related to the other forces. This point is illustrated using two electrically charged fundamental particles and comparing the gravitational force to the electrostatic force.

Before consulting my essay, I want to ask a question. Would you concede that gravity is a true force (a true interaction) if new information becomes available that supports the contention that gravity is closely related to the electromagnetic force? Even though the gravitational force between charged particles is vastly weaker that the electrostatic force, my short essay shows that there is actually a simple mathematical relationship between these two forces that implies a fundamental relationship. Furthermore, this relationship first emerged as a prediction of a new model of the universe based on the premise that all particles, fields and forces are made from the single building block of 4 dimensional spacetime. My short essay is backed up by a book available here which gives all the details of this analysis. However, I am willing to continue this debate based just on the information contained in my essay. I would like to ask that your response be posted on both my blog and your blog. Since our essays are on the same subject, readers should be able to follow the debate on either blog.

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 17:00 GMT
Thank you, John. I have already had a chance to mention on this page that Nature does not contradict herself. The experimental evidence that falling bodies do not resist their (apparent) acceleration proves that gravity is not a force. So no other experiment can prove the opposite; experiments do not contradict one another. That is why general relativity is an accepted theory (not just because of the confirmation of several specific effects).

Good luck in the contest.

John Alan Macken replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 18:42 GMT
Vesselin,

I agree with the mathematics of general relativity. The disagreement is with the physical interpolation that you propose. It is not proper to cut off debate by saying "... gravity is not a force. So no other experiment can prove the opposite". You have not offered any experimental proof that gives a conclusive yes or no answer to whether gravity is a force. You have made forceful arguments, but these are based on a physical interpretation of limited experiments.

My essay brings new information to the debate. It shows that the gravitational force between two of the same fundamental particles separated by their reduced Compton wavelength is equal to the square of the electrostatic force between these particles if they each have Planck charge and if force is expressed in dimensionless Planck units. This is just one of several new equations presented in my essay that show a square relationship between the gravitational force and the electromagnetic force. This leads to a physical interpretation that supports my contention that gravity is a true force closely related to the electromagnetic force.

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 05:39 GMT
I am sorry; I posted it below, but it should be here.

"You have not offered any experimental proof that gives a conclusive yes or no answer to whether gravity is a force"

John, please analyze (or see the explanation in the essay) the single experimental fact - falling particles move non-resistantly. That is the proof that no gravitational force is bringing them down.

And this is only the most spectacular piece of experimental evidence that gravity is not a force. All experiments that confirmed different predictions of general relativity also proved its core - that there is no gravitational force. That is why this is an established scientific fact and science never goes backwards.

All the best.

Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 15:16 GMT
Dear Dr. Petkov,

I found your essay extremely well-written and very thought provoking. While I agree with your general point that our description of gravity need not be quantized (and give my own reasons for this in my essay), allow me to play the devil's advocate and challenge your idea:

Suppose our universe was one in which there existed only type of particle with a fixed charge to mass ratio. It would seem to me that in such a universe, the gravitational force would be a small correction to the electric interaction, since both obey inverse square laws. Could one then not use your argument to argue that in such a universe, the electric force should also not be considered an interaction? If so, then it would seem very strange that whether we define a force as an interaction or not should depend on the kinds of charges present in the universe.

The catch I see with this is that there are also magnetic forces which are velocity-dependent, but it seems to that perhaps through modifications like Einstein-Cartan theory specifically for that kind of a universe it might be possible to account for these, especially in light of the fact that there exists the phenomenon of gravitomagnetism. If we assume this problem can be overcome, is there any other grounds for holding on to the electric force as an interaction in such a universe?

All the best,

Armin

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John A. Macken wrote on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 17:03 GMT
Vesselin,

I want to extend Armin's thought. You say, "the real open question in gravitational physics appears to be how matter curves spacetime ..." It is absolutely true that there must be some unknown interaction between a particle and the surrounding spacetime that produces a result that we call curved spacetime. My position is that there is also an interaction between a charged particle and the surrounding spacetime that results in what we call an electric field. This is subject to debate depending on whether an electric field is visualized as affecting spacetime or merely being the exchange of virtual photon "bullets" that pass through spacetime. However, the point is that if an electric field affects spacetime, then there should be a similarity between a gravitational force and an electrostatic force on some level. If such a connection can be found, then it allows the argument to be made that gravity is a real force because it is closely related to the electromagnetic force.

So far you have apparently not read my essay and instead responded to my blog that "gravity is not a force and no other experiment can prove the opposite". I am proposing that my essay offers proof that gravity is closely related to the electromagnetic force and therefore gravity is also a true force.

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 05:28 GMT
"You have not offered any experimental proof that gives a conclusive yes or no answer to whether gravity is a force"

John, please analyze (or see the explanation in the essay) the single experimental fact - falling particles move non-resistantly. That is the proof that no gravitational force is bringing them down.

And this is only the most spectacular piece of experimental evidence that gravity is not a force. All experiments that confirmed different predictions of general relativity also proved its core - that there is no gravitational force. That is why this is an established scientific fact and science never goes backwards.

All the best.

Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 05:49 GMT
The above post was posted incorrectly here; now it is posted after:

John Alan Macken replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 18:42 GMT

James Putnam replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 06:46 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

I understand that this was addressed to John Macken. But you keep repeating this kind of argument:

"John, please analyze (or see the explanation in the essay) the single experimental fact - falling particles move non-resistantly. That is the proof that no gravitational force is bringing them down.

And this is only the most spectacular piece of experimental evidence that gravity is not a force. All experiments that confirmed different predictions of general relativity also proved its core - that there is no gravitational force. That is why this is an established scientific fact and science never goes backwards."

You have not made your case. I understand also that you consider your case so obvious that you feel no obligation to discuss this with me. However, you cannot take an error that leads to a theory and then use that theory to prove the error.

General relativity predictions follow from that theory, just as any professional theory would do, by mimicing mathematically the patterns observed in empirical evidence. The properties interpreted to be responsible for those patterns can be false and yet the equations, even with false names and artificial units, will fit the patterns for which they were designed to fit.

The reason why there is no deformation of an object in free-fall is because there is evenly applied acceleration to all parts of it simultaneously. Those parts do not move their positions relative to one another. There is no cause for feeling or observing what you refer to as resisting accleration.

James Putnam

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Dr. Elliot McGucken wrote on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 17:07 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

I agree! A couple years ago I posted an addendum to Moving Dimensions Theory here at fqxi which stated, "Gravity is not quantized as there is nothing to quantize."

http://www.fqxi.org/data/essay-contest-files/McGuc
ken_Dr._Elliot_McGucke_7.pdf

3. Why Electromagnetism is Quantized (Digital) in Nature, while Gravity is Continuous (Analog)

Fig. 2...

view entire post

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THOMAS GARCIA wrote on Aug. 26, 2012 @ 19:54 GMT
From Thomas Garcia

Dear Mr. Petkov,

You have been very patient with my inquiries, and I thank you for that. Without your responses, I would not have been able to provide a critical analysis of your essay in order to give credit where due as well as to provide you with my opinions and comments. We seem to have a lot in common in the way we think, although we may disagree in our...

view entire post

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Michael Silberstein wrote on Aug. 27, 2012 @ 04:39 GMT
Hi Vesselin,

Great essay! You won't be surprised to hear that Mark and I are with you. Read our essay as well, as it is in keeping with yours. See especially the stuff on dark energy http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1393.

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 05:34 GMT
Thank you, Michael. Now I will be able (finally) to start reading the essays I have downloaded so far, including yours.

Good luck in the contest.

Author Vesselin Petkov wrote on Aug. 28, 2012 @ 17:33 GMT
Dear All:

Thank you very much for your comments. It turned out that the launching of the new academic publisher - Minkowski Institute Press (MIP) - has been taking significantly more time than anticipated. At the moment the most urgent issues have been addressed I will be able to spend time for responding to your comments here and for reading first the essays I have already downloaded.

MIP's first book is: Hermann Minkowski, Space and Time: Minkowski's papers on relativity (Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2012).

A free version is available at http://www.minkowskiinstitute.org/mip/books/minkowski.html and at Apple's iBookstore.

Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Aug. 31, 2012 @ 17:09 GMT
Dear Dr. Petkov,

Congratulations on launching MIP. I read your publisher's policy and it appears to indeed embody the ideals of an academic publishing house much more closely than others. I wish you the best of success in this endeavor.

Sincerely,

Armin

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 05:42 GMT
Thank you, Armin. Good luck in your studies and in the contest,

Vesselin

Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Aug. 29, 2012 @ 16:34 GMT
Real/true quantum gravity means nothing apart from electromagnetism and gravity being unified and balanced (in conjunction with balanced and equivalent attraction and repulsion) and balanced and equivalent inertia and gravity.

Do you not agree Vesselin?

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Member George F. R. Ellis wrote on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 05:58 GMT
Hi Vesselin

I really enjoyed your essay and its emphasis on geometry, and that there is no gravitational force. However following the lead of Pirani and others, I believe there is a gravitational field: namely the Weyl tensor. Its field equations are the Bianchi identities, with string analogies to Maxwell's equations, and the Einstein equations can be regarded as algebraic constraints inserted in these equations, as shown by Trumper many years ago. So maybe the route to go is quantising the Weyl tensor?

bets wishes

george ellis

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Member George F. R. Ellis replied on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 05:59 GMT
typo: string analogies

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 05:46 GMT
Thank you, George. I think even if the Weyl tensor were regarded as representing gravity the situation in gravitational physics would remain the same since the Weyl tensor also represents spacetime curvature (like the Riemann tensor).

In the essay I have tried to employ explicitly and with a strong emphasis the Galileo-Einstein research approach - physics comes first (before deciding which formalism suits the proposed physical picture). This approach directly leads to the core of general relativity (GR) - gravitational phenomena are manifestations of the spacetime curvature, but the curvature is not a physical field. In this sense, as the Weyl tensor represents the curvature of spacetime it does not represent a gravitational field. At best the Weyl tensor describes a geometrical field. But such a field does not possess energy.

I believe all who maintain that there is gravitational energy in GR should address the two contradictory assumptions which have been coexisting peacefully in GR for about twenty years:

1. The geodesic hypothesis (confirmed by the experimental fact that falling particles move non-resistantly, i.e. by inertia) - a particle, whose worldline is a timelike geodesic, is a free particle moving by inertia.

2. The neutron stars in a binary pulsar system, say the famous system PSR 1913+16 discovered by Hulse and Taylor in 1974, emit gravitational energy despite that they move by inertia (that is, without any loss of energy!) since their worldlines are geodesic (the neutron stars were "modelled dynamically as a pair of orbiting point masses" by Hulse and Taylor).

Best wishes and good luck in the contest,

Vesselin

Paul O'Hara wrote on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 17:11 GMT
Vesselin,

This is a great essay and I enjoyed reading it. I fully agree with your central thesis that the gravitational field cannot be quantized because there is no field as such but rather a global curvature effect related to the mass distribution on geodesics. However, I do have one question regarding the non existence of gravitational energy. I understand that there is no energy associated with a gravitational field because there is no such field. However, there is an energy (given by mc^2) associated with geodesic motion and the rest mass which could be seen as a consequence of Mach's principle stemming from the gravitational (curvature)effects of the universe. Might one not call this gravitational energy?

Paul O'Hara

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 05:51 GMT
Thank you, Paul. The mass of a particle whose worldline is geodesic is inertial - for example, a falling particle (its worldline is geodesic) moves by inertia and when prevented from doing so (say when it hits the ground) it resists the change in its inertial motion; the measure of that resistance is precisely its inertial mass. Traditionally (before GR), that mass had been called passive...

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John A. Macken replied on Sep. 3, 2012 @ 16:40 GMT
Vesselin,

I have read your essay again and I still do not find the conclusive proof that you claim. You state numerous different ways that a falling particle moves without resistance. Another variation is that a falling accelerometer reads zero acceleration. The alternative explanation that you never address is that a falling particle experiences no net force because it achieves...

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 06:35 GMT
John,

"The alternative explanation that you never address is that a falling particle experiences no net force because it achieves equilibrium between two opposing forces."

This is incorrect for two reasons:

1. Unfortunately, this is a common misconception. Take as an example a particle at rest on a table (explained by Newton's gravitational theory). There is no net...

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Anonymous wrote on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 20:32 GMT
A superb essay. Extremely simple to follow, and full of information. High rating.

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Yuri Rylov wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 12:37 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

I agree with your conclusion that the gravitation should not be quantized. However, your arguments are insufficiently fundamental. You deal with apical consideration, although the contest is devoted to fundamental problems.

Actually your conclusion follows from fundamental changes in approach to geometry and to the relativity principles. There is a conceptual...

view entire post

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John A. Macken replied on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 21:34 GMT
Vesselin,

In the above post to me you talk about a particle at rest on a table having no net force. The table's electric field gradient extends only a few Angstroms above the surface. An accelerometer on a table registers acceleration because only a few electrons at the bottom of the accelerometer are interacting with the table. If there was some way of exerting an opposing force on every particle that makes up the accelerometer, then the accelerometer would register zero acceleration even though it is in the earth's gravity. The analogy is that a free falling body can register zero acceleration and still have two opposing forces exerted on every particle.

Your argument is essentially the following: Curved spacetime is absolutely equivalent to acceleration. If a person agrees with this statement, then your essay eloquently makes the point that gravity is not an interaction and searching for quantum gravity is a waste of time. However, you admit that the mechanism for producing curved spacetime is not understood. I claim that there is a long list of points relating to the gravitational force that are not understood. For example, the properties of spacetime itself are not understood. My quantum mechanical model of spacetime incorporates impedance (Zs = c3/G), a frequency dependent bulk modulus, elasticity, a large energy density of vacuum energy, an unusual type of pressure, etc. The point is that a more nuanced understanding of spacetime and particles has resulted in the derivation of gravity without making any analogy to acceleration. In fact, one conclusion is that curved spacetime is not equivalent to acceleration. My essay contains previously unknown equations that support this conclusion.

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Janko Kokosar wrote on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 00:18 GMT
Gravity is much different than other forces. It is also claimed by You that

gravity is not a force. I agree that when comparing it with other forces, it is

necessary to be constantly aware that it is different. It is necessary

to analyze this distinction and to publish it, what is done by You

[1, 2].

''Gravity as not a force'' is an unexplained phenomenon,...

view entire post

attachments: QG_resume.pdf

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Janko Kokosar wrote on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 01:49 GMT
Appendix:

It is known that there are problems of interaction between of classical and quantum fields, for instance Sabine Hossenfelder:

"All quantum fields carry energy so they all need to couple to the gravitational field, but we do not know a consistent way to couple a quantum field to a classical field. As Hannah and Eppley have argued [2], the attempt to do such a coupling leads either to a violation of the uncertainty principle and thus would necessitate a change of the quantum theory) or to the possibility of superluminal signaling, which brings more problems than it solves. While Mattingly has argued [3] that Hannah and Eppley's thought experiment can not be carried out in our universe, that does not address the problem of consistency"

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1477

Do You have any comment for this problem?

My suggestion, as I wrote, is that quantum interactions (virtual gravitons) are not necessary, but the principle of uncertainty (UP) is necessary. I claims that UP is more basic than wave functions and virtual photons. (This problem of interactions between classical and quantum fields is an example, how UP is important.)

Best regards,

Janko Kokosar

p.s. Can You suggest any essays in this forum, which are connected with your ideas or that You esspecialy agree with them?

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 03:00 GMT
Thank you for your comments, Janko. I was able to start reading properly the essays here hardly this week (as indicated above); so I can't recommend any essays.

Thomas Garcia wrote on Sep. 9, 2012 @ 18:46 GMT
Dear Mr. Petkov,

I may have missed your response to this, or yu may have mssed this post. I am reposting it in hopes you will review it and respond as you wish.

THOMAS GARCIA wrote on Aug. 26, 2012 @ 19:54 GMT From Thomas Garcia

Dear Mr. Petkov,

You have been very patient with my inquiries, and I thank you for that. Without your responses, I would not have been able...

view entire post

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 10, 2012 @ 01:48 GMT
Dear Mr Garcia,

I have tried to respond to this post twice, but I gave up since I am afraid I do not understand most of what you wrote. For example, you wrote:

>

I have never written such a thing - (i) spacetime is not proof of..., (ii) that falling bodies do not resist their acceleration is an experimental fact, not Einsten's claim, (iii) it is Minkowski (and Poincare), not Einstein, who introduced spacetime in physics.

I am afraid I do not understand either what you wrote about spacetime. On the one hand you wrote "My essay shows that both time and space are not in reality interdependent", whereas, on the other hand you stated "The real world is of course one of 4 dimensions". I guess you put meaning (different from the accepted one) in the concepts you used. Keep in mind that the statement "spacetime is real" means "spacetime represents a real 4D world".

Also, when you use the concepts of inertial and gravitational mass, you seem to mean something different, not the accepted definitions.

All the best,

Vesselin Petkov

Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 10, 2012 @ 01:51 GMT
As the quote from your post was not displayed properly, here it is again:

Dear Mr Garcia,

I have tried to respond to this post twice, but I gave up since I am afraid I do not understand most of what you wrote. For example, you wrote:

"you give A.E. credit for the overthrow of gravitation-as-a-force due to his invention of the “mathematical model” we call the “space-time continuum” (s-t). You see it as “proof” of A.E.’s claim that “falling bodies do not resist acceleration.” "

I have never written such a thing - (i) spacetime is not proof of..., (ii) that falling bodies do not resist their acceleration is an experimental fact, not Einsten's claim, (iii) it is Minkowski (and Poincare), not Einstein, who introduced spacetime in physics.

I am afraid I do not understand either what you wrote about spacetime. On the one hand you wrote "My essay shows that both time and space are not in reality interdependent", whereas, on the other hand you stated "The real world is of course one of 4 dimensions". I guess you put meaning (different from the accepted one) in the concepts you used. Keep in mind that the statement "spacetime is real" means "spacetime represents a real 4D world".

Also, when you use the concepts of inertial and gravitational mass, you seem to mean something different, not the accepted definitions.

All the best,

Vesselin Petkov

Eugeniu Alexandrescu wrote on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 14:53 GMT
Dear Dr. Petkov,

Chapeau! While your discovery stems from Minkowski's four-dimensional physics, you developed his work in a spectacular way. Your essay obtained the outstanding achievement to successfully explain gravity by extending Minkowski's relativity and integrating it within the single spacetime framework of general relativity.

I firmly believe that, if Minkowski were alive...

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 16, 2012 @ 05:15 GMT
Dear Dr. Alexandrescu,

Thank you for your comments. It is so unfortunate that Minkowski departed from this world so young. Had he lived longer I think physics would be completely different now.

This weekend I hope to complete reading the essays that have accumulated during the last two weeks and will start with the new ones.

Good luck in the competition.

Vesselin Petkov

Eugeniu Alexandrescu replied on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 16:32 GMT
Dear Dr. Petkov,

Thank you for keeping me informed.

My Web site was hacked two weeks ago, the hacker succeeding to disable the links from the Home page to all other pages. For this reason, I didn't mention it in my first post. Now, it is functional again and, if you are interested, its address is http://convergetics.com.

Good luck in the competition to you, too.

Eugeniu Alexandrescu

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 02:11 GMT
Dear Dr. Alexandrescu,

Best wishes,

Vesselin Petkov

Richard William Kingsley-Nixey wrote on Sep. 15, 2012 @ 11:29 GMT
Vesellin,

Excellent work. And I think I may have found something you are looking for.

I also support the concept of the Minkowski Institute. Do you have many students yet? or run correspondence courses?

I hope you will read my essay, though I'm not primarily a physicist I don't agree science should have strict subdivisions imposed if we are to find a hilistic solution to hoistic nature.

Very best of luck in the competition.

Rich

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 16, 2012 @ 05:16 GMT
Thank you for your comments, Rich. The Minkowski Institute will start offering courses (including correspondence ones) when we obtain permission from the Quebec Ministry of Education here (we hoped that we would start this fall, but it will be delayed due to the long student strike here that led to the resignation of the Education Minister and to elections on Sept. 4).

As indicated in the above post this weekend I hope to complete reading the essays that have accumulated during the last two weeks and will start with the new ones.

Good luck in the competition.

Vesselin

Inger Stjernqvist replied on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 20:52 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

In my own essay I ask: What can be learnt from the differences between the basic forces? For example, might the refusal of gravity to join in with the other ones be a sign that it is not a force at all, but the form of the curved and dynamical space-time itself?

Thank you for having answered my question in your most interesting essay!

Best Regards,

Inger Stjernqvist

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 19:11 GMT
Vesselin,

Your discussion of gravity and the many concepts regarding its study is quite interesting. I plan to reread more slowly. I also deal with gravity's mysteries, suggesting properties that most might tend to ridicule.

Jim

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 21, 2012 @ 11:47 GMT
Dear Vesselin

I think it be interesting for you.

Concerning graviton and quantum gravitation.

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 21, 2012 @ 20:01 GMT
Freeman Dyson interesting point of view.

The New York Review of Books Volume 51, Number 8, 2004

"The question that I am asking is whether there is any conceivable way in which we could detect the existence of individual gravitons. It is easy to detect individual photons, as Einstein showed, by observing the behavior of electrons kicked out of metal surfaces by light incident on the...

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 21, 2012 @ 20:04 GMT
Why is Quantum Gravity so hard?

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/07/

14/why-is-quantum-gravity-so-hard-and-why-did-stalin-execute

-the-man-who-pioneered-the-subject/

" The reason is that, when it comes to gravity, mass is the gravitational analog of electric charge. You do not have freedom to choose mass and (gravitational) charge separately, as you do in electromagnetism." (Gennady Gorelik blog)

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 21, 2012 @ 21:48 GMT
Dear Yuri,

Thank you for the very interesting links. I did not know that Freeman Dyson had the right (in my view) view on gravity. I am especially grateful for these two nice pieces and I will use them in the book "Inertia and Gravitation" I am now completing and will, of course, acknowledge that you drew my attention to them.

Best wishes,

Vesselin

Thomas Wagner wrote on Sep. 21, 2012 @ 21:10 GMT
Vesselin

Very fine essay. I have added this post to several essay pages but this is the page where it truly belongs. This is something that has bothered me for years and it is great to know that similar thinking does indeed exist.

Einstein, who, more than anyone else gave us our current view of the nature of gravity, said that gravity is not a force and yet in most of contemporary...

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 22, 2012 @ 05:18 GMT
Thank you, Thomas. As you indicated you wrote your comments before reading my essay; so I guess you noticed that most of the points raised in the comments are essentially addressed in the essay. I will only give a very brief summary:

According to general relativity (GR) a falling particle is a timelike geodesic, which in the ordinary3D language means that the particle moves by inertia while falling (that is, no gravitational force is bringing it down).

When the particle is prevented from falling (i.e. prevented from moving by inertia) it resists the change in its inertial motion. That is why that resistance (inertial) force is the weight of the particle.

Physicists do talk about four fundamental interactions since gravitational phenomena resemble gravitational interaction. I tried to show that taken at face value GR demonstrates that there is no gravitational interaction - gravitational phenomena are not caused by gravitational interaction since particles that appear to interact gravitationally in reality move by inertia (or more correctly - are geodesics in curved spacetime). The real open question in gravitational physics is how matter curves spacetime, not how to quantize the apparent gravitational interaction.

I am unaware of any indication that elementary particles should not curve spacetime at the quantum level.

Juan Ramón González Álvarez wrote on Sep. 22, 2012 @ 18:48 GMT
Dear Vesselin Petkov,

the response to your Essay question is "yes". Gravity can be quantized in a similar form as electromagnetism is. What is then the problem with quantum gravity? As explained in my essay "A detailed analysis [9] shows that the five-decades-long failure to obtain a consistent theory of quantum gravity is closely related to the attempt to quantize general relativity...

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 02:17 GMT
Dear Juan González-Álvarez,

Thank you for your comments. As you know this whole issue requires a lot of time - it is a long discussion. If we can meet at a conference it will be perhaps the best option.

Best wishes,

Vesselin Petkov

Juan Ramón González Álvarez replied on Sep. 28, 2012 @ 16:09 GMT
Dear Vesselin,

Yes those topics require a lot of time and a board with mathematical capabilities beyond the technology of those forums. Your option is interesting.

With my best regards.

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 24, 2012 @ 17:25 GMT
Dear Vesselin,

I am sure that at the level of particles is Strong gravitation, which is predicted by the Theory of Infinite Nesting of Matter (subject of my essay). Instead of general relativity may be used Lorentz-invariant theory of gravitation (LITG). LITG is similar to electromagnetism which already has quantum form.

Sergey Fedosin

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 02:51 GMT
Dear Sergey,

Again (as I indicated in the above post), this whole issue requires a lot of time - it is a long discussion.

Best wishes,

Vesselin Petkov

Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 25, 2012 @ 06:47 GMT
Dear Sir Vesselin Petkov.

Really impressed when to know the purpose of the Institute for Foundational Studies "Hermann Minkowski" and your essay.

The ABSOLUTE THEORY of me and an explanation of the nature of the Mass

The nature of each thing or each matter always only one!

That's the truth. And the Truth is certainly is the Absolute .

Can not have and does not require two principles for any one result.

Although there are many things and facts are identical, but can not be two the same things to co-exist in the same location on the space and in the same time of the time.

That mean is in space and in time the everything are always worth Absolutely.

For example: The Nature of the Mass

Be identified due to the change by the purely feel and rely on

the determination by our measurement equipment.

Must be the impact to get this changes,and the absolutely is only

one the mainly reason,that of course is the impact of a type of

the force.

So: the absolutely nature or the definition of mass would be:

Expression due the impact of force on to the material.

Very happy to get assessment of Sir.

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 02:48 GMT
Dear Hoang Cao Hai,

Thank you for your comments. In order to be able to respond to what you ask, try first to formulate a single question, but do your best to make it as clear as possible.

Best wishes,

Vesselin Petkov

Member Benjamin F. Dribus wrote on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 19:09 GMT
Dear Vesselin,

I think you're absolutely right, and that your arguments are clear and convincing. However, I thought that most serious relativists already took this view. I come from the mathematical side, and don't know any serious relativists personally. I always had the impression that "quantum gravity" was more about the fundamental structure of what we call "spacetime" than questioning the knowledge that gravity is an aspect of this structure. I would be interested to know your views on a few related questions:

1. What do you think about "unification?" Your essay clearly rules out treating gravity like the "other forces," but doesn't rule out treating the "other forces" like gravity in some sense. I know there have been many efforts to "geometrize" electromagnetism, for instance.

2. What do you think about the fundamental structure of spacetime? Treating gravity as a structural aspect does not a priori demand that the structure involved be a manifold. Could matter-energy and "forces" be structural aspects as well?

Thanks, and take care,

Ben Dribus

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Sep. 28, 2012 @ 00:34 GMT
Dear Ben,

I think it would have been very helpful for the advancement of fundamental physics if "most serious relativists already took this view" as you wrote. Unfortunately that is not the case for at least two reasons as indicated in the essay - according to the widely accepted view (i) quantum gravity is a legitimate goal, and (ii) gravitational waves carry gravitational energy (and therefore such energy does exist).

Regarding your two questions, right now there does not exist any reliable experimental or theoretical evidence that can provide us with some insight on those issues. And I do not want to offer baseless speculations. However, I do hope that learning how matter curves spacetime may shed light on such questions.

Best wishes,

Vesselin Petkov

Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 14:27 GMT
After studying about 250 essays in this contest, I realize now, how can I assess the level of each submitted work. Accordingly, I rated some essays, including yours.

Cood luck.

Sergey Fedosin

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 07:20 GMT
If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings in the contest are calculated in the next way. Suppose your rating is
$R_1$
and
$N_1$
was the quantity of people which gave you ratings. Then you have
$S_1=R_1 N_1$
of points. After it anyone give you
$dS$
of points so you have
$S_2=S_1+ dS$
of points and
$N_2=N_1+1$
is the common quantity of the people which gave you ratings. At the same time you will have
$S_2=R_2 N_2$
of points. From here, if you want to be R2 > R1 there must be:
$S_2/ N_2>S_1/ N_1$
or
$(S_1+ dS) / (N_1+1) >S_1/ N_1$
or
$dS >S_1/ N_1 =R_1$
In other words if you want to increase rating of anyone you must give him more points
$dS$
then the participant`s rating
$R_1$
was at the moment you rated him. From here it is seen that in the contest are special rules for ratings. And from here there are misunderstanding of some participants what is happened with their ratings. Moreover since community ratings are hided some participants do not sure how increase ratings of others and gives them maximum 10 points. But in the case the scale from 1 to 10 of points do not work, and some essays are overestimated and some essays are drop down. In my opinion it is a bad problem with this Contest rating process. I hope the FQXI community will change the rating process.

Sergey Fedosin

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Chris Kennedy wrote on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 00:15 GMT
Vesselin,

Fantastic Work! It has something for everyone. Whether one endorses all of GR or not - it points out some of the inconsistencies concerning the various interpretations and conclusions.

By the way - many are looking for Gravity Waves. If they are actually discovered directly someday, would this be an argument for actually abandoning part of GR and moving gravity more toward the other forces (but not necessarily in the spirit of String Theory or LQG)?

Good luck to you.

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Author Vesselin Petkov replied on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 02:31 GMT
Thank you, Chris. General relativity (GR) perfectly explains gravitational waves - these are waves of the spacetime curvature (that is, periodic changes of the non-Euclidean geometry of spacetime). But these waves do not carry gravitational energy since changes in the spacetime geometry are not changes of a field (it seems this part of GR is most counter-intuitive, but it does follow from a rigorous analysis of the existing theoretical and most importantly experimental evidence).

The energy involved in detecting gravitational waves is not gravitational, but inertial (exactly like the force of weight is not gravitational but inertial - when one weighs a body it is prevented from falling, i.e. moving by inertia according to GR, and the body resists the change in its inertial motion).

Good luck to you too.

Matthew Peter Jackson wrote on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 19:52 GMT
Vesselin

Very good work, and typical. Good luck also with the institute.

We hope you will read and comment on our logical resolution of the Copenhagen interpretation and the measurement problem.

Matt

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