Posts Tagged ‘gravity’

The consumption of time

September 7, 2016

No change without the passage of time.

No passage of time without change.

That is almost trivial. It does not help to tell us what or why time is.

Or perhaps it does.

Perhaps time is a consumable. It is the fuel that is needed for and is consumed by change. Quantum of change per unit of time taken as miles traversed per gallon of fuel. It follows that we can stop the passage of time if we can stop change – down to the motion of the elementary particles. Time does not just pass – perhaps it has to be consumed.

Perhaps the single great mystery is gravitation. Then gravitation (or gravitational energy) is manifested as the passage of time. The speed of the passage of time then varies with the gravitational field. One real second per perceived second now, but perhaps zero at the Big Bang.

The magical speed of an inconstant time

speed of time

No time without gravity.

And no change without time being consumed.

So, no change without gravity and time is just the medium of change.


 

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Gravitational “constant” is not constant but varies periodically

February 1, 2016

Newton’s gravitational constant, G, is surprisingly variable and varies periodically. The period is 5.899 +/- 0.062 years which is the same period by which the length of day varies and is also about half the 11 year solar cycle.

The reasons for this are unknown and speculations about currents in the earth’s core and magnetic effects abound.

The simplest explanation is that it is the same magic which causes gravity (and calling it space-time does not reduce its magical qualities) which also causes the solar cycle and is also the same magic which governs the movement of the earth around the sun and the corresponding length of day.

John D. Anderson, Gerald Schubert, Virginia Trimble, Michael R. Feldman, Measurements of Newton’s gravitational constant and the length of day, EPL 110 (2015) 10002, doi:10.1209/0295-5075/110/10002

Abstract:About a dozen measurements of Newton’s gravitational constant, G, since 1962 have yielded values that differ by far more than their reported random plus systematic errors. We find that these values for G are oscillatory in nature, with a period of P = 5.899 +/- 0.062 yr, an amplitude of (1.619 +/- 0.103) x 10^{-14} m^3 kg^{-1} s^{-2}, and mean-value crossings in 1994 and 1997. However, we do not suggest that G is actually varying by this much, this quickly, but instead that something in the measurement process varies. Of other recently reported results, to the best of our knowledge, the only measurement with the same period and phase is the Length of Day (LOD – defined as a frequency measurement such that a positive increase in LOD values means slower Earth rotation rates and therefore longer days). The aforementioned period is also about half of a solar activity cycle, but the correlation is far less convincing. The 5.9 year periodic signal in LOD has previously been interpreted as due to fluid core motions and inner-core coupling. We report the G/LOD correlation, whose statistical significance is 0.99764 assuming no difference in phase, without claiming to have any satisfactory explanation for it. Least unlikely, perhaps, are currents in the Earth’s fluid core that change both its moment of inertia (affecting LOD) and the circumstances in which the Earth-based experiments measure G. In this case, there might be correlations with terrestrial magnetic field measurements.

A set of 13 measurements of G exhibit a 5.9-year periodic oscillation (solid curve) that closely matches the 5.9-year oscillation in LOD measurements (dashed curve). The two outliers are a 2014 quantum measurement and a 1996 measurement known to suffer from drift. The green dot is an estimate of the mean value of G after the 5.9-year periodicity is removed. Credit: J. D. Anderson, et al. ©2015 EPLA

A set of 13 measurements of G exhibit a 5.9-year periodic oscillation (solid curve) that closely matches the 5.9-year oscillation in LOD measurements (dashed curve). The two outliers are a 2014 quantum measurement and a 1996 measurement known to suffer from drift. The green dot is an estimate of the mean value of G after the 5.9-year periodicity is removed. Credit: J. D. Anderson, et al. ©2015 EPLA

Physics is impossible without final recourse to various magics; Big Bang Magic, gravitational magic, weak force magic, strong force magic and electromagical magnetics. There is something very inelegant – bordering on ugly – when modern physics needs over 50 different “fundamental” particles and unknown, unseen, undetectable forms of dark matter and dark energy to make their models feasible.

If there is a fundamental particle then there can be only one and it is called the Ultimion.


The fundamentals of physics are just magic

September 1, 2015

Physicists would like to think that they deal in reality and are cold, rational, objective observers of the physical universe we live in. But deep, deep down, they just rely on magic. The Universe is nothing but a place of pervasive magic. Gravity is just a magical attraction. Spacetime is just an attractiferous aether. Physicists are thus practitioners of magic and may even be able to use the forces of magic, but they have no inkling as to why the magical forces exist.

Replace

  1. “gravity” or “gravitation” by “magical attraction”
  2. “spacetime” by “the attractiferous aether”
  3. “electromagnetic” by “electromagical”
  4. the “strong force” by the “strong magic force”
  5. the “weak force” by the “weak magic force”

and the Wikipedia entry for Gravity then reads as follows:

Magical attraction is a natural phenomenon by which all things are brought towards one another – irrespective of size, i.e. stars, planets, galaxies and even light and sub-atomic particles. Magical attraction has an infinite range, and it cannot be absorbed, transformed, or shielded against. Magical attraction is responsible for the formation of structures within the universe (namely by creating spheres of hydrogen, igniting them with enough pressure to form stars and then grouping them together into galaxies), as without magical attraction, the universe would be composed only of equally spaced particles. On Earth, magical attraction is commonly recognized in the form of weight where physical objects are harder to pick-up and carry the ‘heavier’ they are.

Magical attraction is most accurately described by the general theory of relativity (proposed by Albert Einstein in 1915) which describes the force of magical attraction, not as a force, but as a consequence of the curvature of the attractiferous aether caused by the uneven distribution of mass/energy; and resulting in time dilation, where time lapses more slowly under strong magical attraction. However, for most applications, magical attraction is well approximated by Newton’s law of Universal Magical Attraction, which postulates that magical attraction is a force where two bodies of mass are directly drawn to each other according to a mathematical relationship, where the attractive magical force is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. This is considered to occur over an infinite range, such that all bodies (with mass) in the universe are drawn to each other no matter how far they are apart.

Magical attraction is the weakest of the four fundamental magical interactions of nature. The force of magical attraction is approximately 10−38 times the strength of the strong magic force (i.e. gravity is 38 orders of magnitude weaker), 10−36 times the strength of the electromagical force, and 10−29 times the strength of the weak magic force. As a consequence, magical attraction has a negligible influence on the behavior of sub-atomic particles, and plays no role in determining the internal properties of everyday matter (but see quantum magical attraction). On the other hand, magical attraction is the dominant force at the macroscopic scale, that is the cause of the formation, shape, and trajectory (orbit) of astronomical bodies, including those of asteroids,comets, planets, stars, and galaxies. It is responsible for causing the Earth and the other planets to orbit the Sun; for causing the Moon to orbit the Earth; for the formation of tides; for natural convection, by which fluid flow occurs under the influence of a density gradient and magical attraction; for heating the interiors of forming stars and planets to very high temperatures; for solar system, galaxy, stellar formation and evolution; and for various other phenomena observed on Earth and throughout the universe.

In pursuit of a theory of everything magical, the merging of general relativity and quantum mechanics (or quantum field theory) into a more general theory of quantum magical attraction has become an area of research.

Of course it is still not clear if magic is a continuous thing or composed of discrete magical quanta. One theory has it that all things are connected by invisible, undetectable magical strings and it is the elastic nature of these strings which gives rise to the forces of magical attraction.

The reality is that the Universe came into being by magic and the fundamental forces which have governed, and still govern, are all magical. If there ever was a Big Bang it was a magical event. And every sunrise and sunset which occurs is just due to the magical forces of attraction which apply. We live in a world of magic. Magic is normal.

Gravitation could just as well be called “magical attraction”

October 1, 2014

We don’t know how the four fundamental forces of nature are communicated. We explain the actions at a distance they give rise to by defining new words. We might as well just use the word “magic”.

We may like to think of ourselves as being very modern, very scientific, very rational without having – or needing – any recourse to mystical powers. Yet there is much where we don’t know what we don’t know. We use the forces  of gravitation and magnetism and can even calculate their magnitude but are no closer to knowing why they exist and how they are communicated. We have theories as to why they exist and how they work but these theories require that we define new, abstract/imaginary concepts of space-time and curvature of space. Gravitation fields and electromagnetic fields cause motion at a distance but where we don’t know how the forces bringing about such motion are communicated. We have no idea why gravity fields apparently propagate at (or, some say, greater than) the speed of light. We invent particles with magical properties but without any real understanding why such magical properties may exist. But our invocation of curvature  in space or virtual photons or up-quarks or down-quarks is no different to the ancients invoking magic and communicated through the aether. The rubber sheet analogy for curved spacetime is flawed in that it only works because gravity magic already exists and keeps the bodies attached to the top of the stretched rubber sheet.

Wherever we have forces acting at a distance we can just as well use the word “magic” instead of any of the other words we imagine. Inventing a massless graviton is merely invoking magic. We could just as well refer to gravitation as attraction magic and electromagnetic interaction as electromagic. And all the various magics are just natural.

For example, here is the Wikipedia entry for Gravitation where the words gravitation, gravity and other fundamental forces have been replaced by “magic” or “magical forces”.

Attraction magic is a natural phenomenon by which all physical bodies attract each other. Magical attraction gives weight to physical objects and causes them to fall toward the ground when dropped.

In modern physics, attraction magic is most accurately described by the general theory of relativity (proposed by Einstein) which describes attraction magic as a consequence of the curvature of spacetime. For most situations magical attraction is well approximated by Newton’s law of universal attraction magic, which postulates that the magical attraction force of two bodies of mass is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

In pursuit of a theory of everything, the merging of general relativity and quantum mechanics (or quantum field theory) into a more general theory of quantum magical attraction has become an area of active research. It is hypothesised that the magical attraction force is mediated by a massless spin-2 particle called the graviton, and that magical attraction would have separated from the electromagic force during the grand unification epoch.

Magical attraction is the weakest of the four fundamental magic forces of nature. The attraction magical force is approximately 10−38  times the strength of the strong magic force (i.e., magical attraction is 38 orders of magnitude weaker), 10−36  times the strength of the electromagical force, and 10−29  times the strength of the weak magic force. As a consequence, magical attraction has a negligible influence on the behavior of sub-atomic particles, and plays no role in determining the internal properties of everyday matter. On the other hand, magical attraction is the dominant force at the macroscopic scale, that is the cause of the formation, shape, and trajectory (orbit) of astronomical bodies, including those of asteroids, comets, planets, stars, and galaxies. It is responsible for causing the Earth and the other planets to orbit the Sun; for causing the Moon to orbit the Earth; for the formation of tides; for natural convection, by which fluid flow occurs under the influence of a density gradient and magical attraction; for heating the interiors of forming stars and planets to very high temperatures; for solar system, galaxy, stellar formation and evolution; and for various other phenomena observed on Earth and throughout the universe. This is the case for several reasons: magical attraction is the only force acting on all particles with mass; it has an infinite range; it is always attractive and never repulsive; and it cannot be absorbed, transformed, or shielded against. Even though electromagic is far stronger than magical attraction, electromagic is not relevant to astronomical objects, since such bodies have an equal number of protons and electrons that cancel out (i.e., a net electromagic charge of zero).

Sounds fine and sufficiently unintelligible/magical to me.

Physics still contains a lot of magic.

Let down by the Oscars

March 13, 2014

Our local cinema tried to cash in after the Oscars were awarded. They offered a package ticket for four Oscar winning movies to be screened this week and next. On Monday night we saw “12 Years a Slave” and on Tuesday we saw “Gravity”. We see two more next week.

But so far it has been an immense disappointment. I feel let down by the Oscars. Being awarded an Oscar clearly has very little to do with quality – of any kind. Our little 300 seat cinema (fully digital and with Dolby sound) was not particularly stretched. We had 10 viewers for “Slave” and 8 for “Gravity”!!!!

After the first I was just disappointed. Wooden acting, pedestrian directing by Steve McQueen, long camera shots of motionless faces evoking nothing. Cotton picking scenes which carried no credibility (and I have seen it done in real life in India). The cane cutting scenes were even less convincing (and I have seen real sugar cane plantations in Asia and in S. America). The scenes of gratuitous violence (slaves being whipped) were artificial – at best. The book would no doubt have been a lot better. If this got the best movie award it does not say much for the rest. Lupita Nyong’o got the award for best female supporting actress but I thought there was more make-up than acting involved in her role. I am not sure what the critics saw, but it couldn’t have been the same movie I saw. The critics were probably paid out of the promotion budgets. Oh Dear!

After the second, “Gravity”, disappointment turned to irritation. I can’t criticise the acting because there wasn’t any. I can’t criticise the script because it clearly didn’t have one. It had two big stars who had almost nothing to do. Alfonso Cuarón won the best director award – for what I wonder? The much vaunted special effects were tame and entirely forgettable. No plot. Anyway Sandra Bullock managed to destroy the Shuttle, the International Space Station and a Chinese Space Station all in one go and survived to tell the tale. Why George Clooney was there was a mystery. He does more acting in the Nespresso commercials than he was required to do here. (I could add that the Nespresso commercials are far better directed than this Oscar winner). Oh double Dear!!

We have “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Blue Jasmine” left to see next week.

But my expectations of Oscar winners have been drastically lowered – so perhaps they won’t do too badly.

The “luminiferous aether” has morphed to “dark matter” but we still don’t know why an apple falls…

August 12, 2012

A new paper claims to have found evidence of dark matter near the sun.

“We are 99% confident that there is dark matter near the Sun,” says the lead author Silvia Garbari. In fact, if anything, the authors’ favoured dark matter density is a little high: they find more dark matter than expected at 90% confidence. There is a 10% chance that this is merely a statistical fluke, but if future data confirms this high value the implications are exciting as Silvia explains: “This could be the first evidence for a “disc” of dark matter in our Galaxy, as recently predicted by theory and numerical simulations of galaxy formation, or it could mean that the dark matter halo of our galaxy is squashed, boosting the local dark matter density.”

But I cannot help thinking that “dark matter” and “dark energy” are no different  conceptually to the theories of phlogiston and luminiferous aether . They are plausible artefacts created to explain observations but are not themselves observable. I am not particularly convinced when

(more…)

“You left spacedock without a tractor beam?”: Mysterious force holds back NASA probes

September 19, 2010

Star Trek Generations

Star Trek Generations:

Kirk: You left spacedock without a tractor beam?
Harriman: It doesn’t arrive until Tuesday.

The Telegraph:

A space probe launched 30 years ago has come under the influence of a mysterious force that has baffled scientists and could rewrite the laws of physics. Researchers say Pioneer 10, which took the first close-up pictures of Jupiter before leaving our solar system in 1983, is being pulled back to the sun by an unknown force. The effect shows no sign of getting weaker as the spacecraft travels deeper into space, and scientists are considering the possibility that the probe has revealed a new force of nature.

Tractorbeam arriving on Tuesday

“If the effect is real, it will have a big impact on cosmology and spacecraft navigation,” said Dr Laing, of the Aerospace Corporation of California. Pioneer 10 was launched by Nasa on March 2 1972, and with Pioneer 11, its twin, revolutionised astronomy with detailed images of Jupiter and Saturn. In June 1983, Pioneer 10 passed Pluto, the most distant planet in our solar system.

pt:Trajectória da sonda Pioneer 10 em Jupiter

Pioneer 10 trajectory

Research to be published shortly in The Physical Review, a leading physics journal, will show that the speed of the two probes is being changed by about 6 mph per century – a barely-perceptible effect about 10 billion times weaker than gravity.

Assertions by some scientists that the force is due to a quirk in the Pioneer probes have also been discounted by the discovery that the effect seems to be affecting Galileo and Ulysses, two other space probes still in the solar system. Data from these two probes suggests the force is of the same strength as that found for the Pioneers.

Dr Duncan Steel, a space scientist at Salford University, says even such a weak force could have huge effects on a cosmic scale. “It might alter the number of comets that come towards us over millions of years, which would have consequences for life on Earth. It also raises the question of whether we know enough about the law of gravity.”


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