A Theory of Everything: Origins of Gravity, Mach's Principle, Advanced Potentials, Time Dilation
Why are theoretical physicists making strenuous efforts to achieve a Theory of Everything? They are aiming to unite gravitational and quantum theories. The very different mathematics of each of these theories is well understood and enables accurate predictions to be made of both:
Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity are mathematically flawless. However, the physical interpretation of the mathematics has been faulty for over a century.
When analysing light signals passing between moving observers Einstein had to make three assumptions. Two of these assumptions restrict special relativity to the analysis of steady-state electromagnetic wave signals, and forbid any analysis of photons.
Whenever a pulsed signal arrives at a detector the initial precursor transient will consist of a few photons. Quantum theory tells us that there will be an indeterminate time delay before the detector can produce any output, and then a further time delay will occur before the near-steady-state is reached, and it is only then that the arrival velocity of the following electromagnetic wave is predicted to be equal to c. How does this result affect relativity theory?
A revised form of special relativity requires that the observed free-space velocity of any electromagnetic wave must always be equal to c relative to the observer’s material detector. The frequently misunderstood “advanced potential” solution of Maxwell’s equations establishes the two critical assumptions of special relativity, and dictates that it is the material of the detector itself which ensures that the approach velocity of any electromagnetic wave must be equal to c. But how can the material of the detector slow down, or speed up, the initial arrival velocity of an incoming pulse of electromagnetic energy?
Quantum theory predicts that the act of observation changes the arrival velocity of the pulse at a material detector. The first few photons to arrive correspond to a precursor transient which provides the energy to establish the new steady-state electromagnetic “near fields” surrounding the detector. The arrival velocities of the first few photons are not restricted to c but these velocities are not directly observable. When the near fields of the detector have been established the advanced potential solution predicts that the observed free-space arrival velocity of the electromagnetic wave, that follows the precursor transient, must have a constant value equal to c relative to the detector.
There is no need for the imprecise statement that the velocity of light is always equal to c in empty space. Special relativity and quantum theory are directly linked and they provide the two parts of a complete solution. The concept of velocity retains its classical interpretation within special relativity. Any change in the observed arrival velocity of a signal, to make it equal to c, is accounted for by the obstruction provided by the material of the detector and a change in the radiation pressure force exerted on the detector.
A further deduction from Maxwell’s equations demonstrates that time dilation must occur for motion relative to the material background frame of our Universe. A detailed analysis of these ideas follows in separate sections, and as a PDF of my recent book.
Summary of new ideas on the Origin of Gravity
The origin of gravity is a mystery. Gravity is an unusual force that cannot be shielded or absorbed. The value of the gravitational constant G remains unexplained and is unrelated to any of the other constants of physics. Also, there is no satisfactory explanation for the experimental observation that the gravitational mass of any given body is identical to its inertial mass. Why are these masses identical? Einstein thought it was to do with Mach’s Principle.
When clarifying Mach's Principle in 1916, Einstein stated that the most distant masses in the universe, and their motions relative to local masses, must affect either the local laws of motion, or the local law of gravitation. But he was unable to fully embrace this concept within general relativity.
Physicists have usually ignored one part of Einstein's statement concerning Mach's Principle and they have assumed that the law of gravitation is fixed. To incorporate Mach's Principle, unconvincing attempts have been made to show how our local laws of motion might be affected by the relative motion of distant matter. It is suggested that the local inertial reaction force produced when a body is pushed might arise from a gravitational interaction between the body being pushed and all of the distant matter in the Universe.
Why has Einstein's other option for developing Mach's Principle been ignored? Instead, one may propose that local gravitational forces might be generated by the inertial motion of local matter relative to distant matter. This new approach suggests that the rotation of our Universe, relative to a background of distant universes, may be the direct cause of the value of the gravitational constant G that we observe.
While leaving general relativity and the free space value of G unchanged, the new approach indicates that the rotational motion of the Earth, relative to the distant masses in our Universe, might give rise to an increase in the value of G equal to about 0.4% when it is measured well below the surface of the Earth. There is already some evidence for this increase. Some recent measurements, obtained at many different laboratories across the world, show unexpected variations of G of up to 0.6% when the anticipated error was 0.05%.
The new approach also predicts gravitational stability for all atomic particles having spin. Furthermore, a single equation explains the magnitudes and origins of the four fundamental forces of nature. Gravitational forces appear to be involved at the atomic level.
But we start off an examination of a “Theory of Everything“ by pointing out a rather obvious shortcoming of classical theory that seems to have been neglected....
Theory of Everything - gravitational / inertial mass