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## Informazioni sul libro

# Gravity & Beyond

Di Nigel Benham

## Azioni libro

Inizia a leggere- Editore:
- Brown Dog
- Pubblicato:
- Dec 16, 2016
- ISBN:
- 9781785451379
- Formato:
- Libro

## Descrizione

## Informazioni sul libro

# Gravity & Beyond

Di Nigel Benham

## Descrizione

- Editore:
- Brown Dog
- Pubblicato:
- Dec 16, 2016
- ISBN:
- 9781785451379
- Formato:
- Libro

## Informazioni sull'autore

## Correlati a Gravity & Beyond

## Anteprima del libro

### Gravity & Beyond - Nigel Benham

sources.

### INTRODUCTION

This book proposes a new approach to understanding gravity. Gravity is the key to understanding the macro structure of our universe: solve the enigma of gravity and you begin to unlock the mysteries of physical existence itself.

Practically everything that is known about gravity originates from just two individuals – Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. They formulated theories which showed that an object with mass induced gravity, and the more massive the object, the greater the strength of its gravitational field. However, neither Newton nor Einstein understood why mass induced gravity. Newton’s universal law of gravity showed gravity to be a force, whereas Einstein’s theory of general relativity showed it to be a distortion within the fabric of space-time. Two very distinct mathematical theories that describe the effect but not the cause, which brings us to the crux of the problem – they are both mathematically constrained theories. Mathematical theories can only quantify a particular effect of a phenomenon based upon mathematical rules; the effect itself has to be interpreted in order to ascertain the perceived cause. So, is gravity a force or a distortion within the fabric of space-time? Is one caused by the other, or are they both consequences of something else? Despite their respective insights, neither Newton nor Einstein knew the true cause of gravity, realising that their respective theories only quantified a consequence of something else. It is now over one hundred years since Einstein published his Theory of General Relativity, and despite the apparent progress in physics, it would appear that physics cannot add any significant insight into the enigma of gravity beyond what has already been established by Newton and Einstein.

### Constrained by mathematics

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

Albert Einstein

I could not write this book without making the reader aware of some of the inconsistencies that are inherent in the way mathematics is defined and interpreted through physics. Mathematics has been given the accolade of *language of the universe *yet the vast majority of scientific publications that are targeted at the general public contain very little mathematics. Why? Because mathematics is not sexy at selling science and thus is either stripped out in favour of the written word or sanitised to the point of mathematical irrelevance.

I can appreciate that not everyone wants to perceive our universe through mathematics and would rather trust the word of the scientist regarding the credibility of any theory; however, mathematics is the very thing I believe we should be challenging, yet it has effectively been locked away in the back room. Mathematics has become the de facto truth within physics, but is the belief in its correctness actually constraining our perception of our universe?

Not all mathematics is self-evident and it is only when it is confronted at its rule and axiomatic level that it becomes apparent that its correctness in many cases is underpinned more by a belief than a proof that can be tested. Belief systems form an integral part of the human psyche. People often continue to believe that something may be truthful despite proof to the contrary – scientists are no exception. In mathematics a geometric point is defined as an object that has zero volume (i.e. having no width, length or depth); generally described as zero-dimensional. The concept of a point is arguably only relevant for marking positions in space i.e. pinpointing a location on a map; however, the concept has been adopted across physics. According to quantum field theory (QFT), a field such as the earth’s gravitational field is considered to have a value at every point in space, which immediately raises several mathematical inconsistencies. First, by definition, a point exists at every conceivable position throughout space, and because it is deemed to be dimensionless it would follow that there would be an infinite number of points within any given volume of space. In QFT a field is assumed to have a value at each point in space, which would imply that for a given volume of space, a field would have an infinite number of values – making it infinite. This would suggest that the earth’s gravitational field should be exerting an infinite force on everything on its surface, and if this were true we should all be crushed by our own weight. Second, if a point is considered to have zero volume, the sum volume of all points within any given volume of physical space would equal zero, which contradicts volumetric measurements within physical reality.

Despite these inconsistencies, the adoption of a zero-dimensional point doesn’t stop with QFT; an object called a ‘singularity’ plays an important role in both physics and cosmology. For instance, our universe is believed to have originated from a primordial singularity around 13.8 billion years ago. A gravitational singularity is believed to exist at the centre of every black hole. Despite the conundrum that a singularity is deemed to be a container of zero volume which contains stuff, there is no proof that singularities actually exist. It is evident that the concept of a zero-dimensional object cannot be reconciled with physical reality, which raises doubts over how far we should trust the scientific world view of physical reality based purely upon a mathematical interpretation.

At school we are taught that zero represents nothing and that negative numbers are less than zero. These are basic arithmetical concepts which sit at the foundation of mathematics; however, dig beneath the veneer of these concepts and you enter a world full of ambiguity and subtle contradictions. What does zero represent? Does it represent the value associated with something or the complete absence of that something? The ancient Greeks pondered over the use of zero and wondered how it was possible to assign *nothing *to *something*. They had a point: can a state of total nothingness actually exist within our physical reality, and even if it did, what would constitute its proof of nonexistence other than assigning zero to it? The use of zero as applied to the idea of nothingness is perhaps a concept that exists only in the mind.

The concept of negative numbers is equally enigmatic. Negative numbers are considered to be numerically less than zero, i.e. less than nothing, which is proof that zero is actually greater than something – which I assume must be a contradiction. Negative numbers are perceived as being less than their positive counterparts; however, when negative one (-1) is added to positive one (+1) we end up with zero, that is, nothing, implying that they must be equal but opposite. In particle physics, particles can have positive and negative counterparts in terms of charge: for example, an electron carries a negative charge, whereas a positron carries a positive charge; however, they are both perceived as being equal and opposite in terms of charge, in other words there is symmetry. Two equal forces pulling in opposite directions will cancel each other. Mathematically one force is deemed to be positive, the other negative, yet again they have symmetry in terms of being equal and opposite. In contrast our system of numbers decrees that negative numbers are less than their positive counterparts, in other words, they lack the same real world symmetry.

It is debatable to what extent and in what form concepts like zero and negative numbers can be mathematically reconciled with physical reality, since their application is entirely subjective. Zero and negative numbers appear to be more in tune with commerce and the concept of profit and loss on a spreadsheet; for example, a bank statement. It would appear that if mathematics is the language of our universe, then it was most likely devised by an accountant.

### Who made up all the rules?

"Who made up all the rules

we follow them like fools

believe them to be true

don’t care to think them through

And it’s ironic too

coz what we tend to do

is act on what they say

and then it is that way

Who are they

where are they

how can they possibly

know all this

Do you see what I see

why do we live like this

is it because it’s true

that ignorance is bliss"

Verses from the song ‘They’ by Jem (Jemma Griffiths); released in 2005

It is not the intention of this book to challenge mathematics per se, but instead challenge the way in which the rules of mathematics are used to interpret our physical reality. This will be achieved through a holistic approach.

### The Holistic Approach

This book embraces the concept of holism to describe our universe. The word holism

or holistic

is a theory that treats a complex construct such as our universe as a single interconnected whole. As a concept holism emphasises the idea of ‘connection’ as opposed to fragmentation that can lead to separation, and ‘symmetry’ as opposed to asymmetry which also leads to separation. Physics has evolved into a collection of fragmented discoveries, ideas and stand-alone mathematical theories. The holistic test of a stand-alone theory is the consistency of the mathematics with other aspects of physical reality. For example, the concept of a zero-dimensional point described above fails when we try and reconcile it with a physical volume of space. If we focus on real-world relationships we can derive an entirely different interpretation for a geometric point. A geometric point within three-dimensional space is the position where three imaginary lines, each representing a separate dimension of space, intersect at right angles. Because physical space along a line is assumed to be continuous without any gaps/breaks, it becomes apparent that the position of intersection is not the absence of spatial dimensions, but instead a state where all three spatial dimensions coexist as one. In the language of quantum mechanics, a point would be regarded as a *superposition state *of *three-dimensional space*; in fact every position throughout space is a superposition of three-dimensional space.

This perspective of a point would suggest that our universe at the point level is composed of ‘something’ as opposed to ‘nothing’.

*Three mutually perpendicular lines intersect at a point. The lines represent three separate dimensions of three-dimensional space. They are assumed to be continuous without gaps or breaks, meaning at the point of intersection they coexist as one. The point is representative of every position in space. *

If space is composed of points – how small are they? Geometry is the mathematical construct that is used to define properties of space, such as volume and shape. It is a construct that doesn’t represent space per se, but instead something we impose on space in order to quantify it in terms of a unit of measurement called the ‘metre’. Science may never be able to rationalise space beyond that of geometry, and, although space may have a lower limit to its resolution defined as the Planck length, for the reasons given above, this limit cannot be construed as zero-dimensional. Whatever space is composed of at the Planck scale, it must have a construct that is reconcilable with physical reality, but how can this be verified? Science currently does not have the technology to probe space at the resolution of the Planck scale; however, space can be geometrically modelled, which hopefully will provide some insight into what we may be dealing with.

Our universe is believed to be expanding, that is, distant galaxies appear to be moving away from each other through the addition of new space in between. This book presents a time-lapse model that emulates the way in which our universe is believed to be expanding. The model is consistent with the idea that our universe could have originated from a single ‘seed’ point and expanded (like a self-replicating fractal) into the universe we observe today – implying that space may have a tiny substructure.

The holistic aim of this book is to demonstrate an intrinsic oneness between mass, energy, space and time, and although this is arguably the ultimate goal of physics through a *Theory of Everything *(ToE), the philosophy of holism is yet to be fully adopted across the whole of physics. Throughout this book I will highlight some of the key moments in history where decisions were made which not only affected the path of scientific investigation but also the general philosophy of the science that followed. It is by understanding those key moments in history we can appreciate why science is the way it is today and why there is often an underlying reluctance to acknowledge an alternative explanation for the mathematics, or the phenomenon to which it is applied.

I have divided this book into two parts. Part I provides an overview of the theories and discoveries that have shaped our current understanding of our physical universe, focusing on their strengths, weaknesses and implications. Part II develops a framework that integrates gravitational phenomena into a consistent and coherent interpretation of Newton’s universal law of gravity and Einstein’s theory of general relativity, a framework that explains why gravity is experienced as a force and observed as a distortion within the fabric of space-time. The framework also offers an explanation for dark energy, the mysterious force believed to be responsible for the expansion of our universe. This book may challenge your world view – it may even offend it. All I ask is: *keep an open mind*.

***

*PART I *

**PHYSICS: A COLLECTION OF FRAGMENTED THEORIES **

The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful is the cause of half their errors.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873, British philosopher)

### -1-

### GRAVITY

**Isaac Newton **

Why does a stone fall back to the ground after being thrown into the air? Isaac Newton asked a similar question over 300 years ago when he apparently watched an apple fall

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