Gravity is the Waterloo of physics. Attempting to work out the basis for this fundamental property of matter and the universe has bedeviled the greatest geniuses of physics. Even Einstein, who was able to describe gravity extremely well through his theory of relativity, couldn’t actually explain where it came from.
Over the years, many physicists, including Einstein, have tried to assign it an electromagnetic nature, to define it as a nuclear force, or even to give it its own set of quantum rules – all without success.
And now this week scientists believe they have the first step toward a solution, which they’ve announced to great fanfare: gravity waves, emanating from black holes.
There is one, more earth-bound theory about gravity that has never been properly explored. In 1968, the noted Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov came up with an interesting theory, which turned the usual assumption on its head. What if gravity weren’t an interaction between objects, but just a residual effect?
In fact, what if gravity were an after-effect of the Zero Point Field, caused by alterations in the field due to the presence of matter?
All matter at the level of quarks and electrons jiggles because of its interaction with the Zero Point Field. One of the rules of electrodynamics is that a fluctuating charged particle will emit an electromagnetic radiation field. This means that besides the primary Zero Point Field itself, a sea of these secondary fields exists. Between two particles, these secondary fields cause an attractive source, which Sakharov believed had something to do with gravity.
Physicist Hal Puthoff, director of the Institute for Advanced Studies, has long pondered this notion. In his mind where physicists have been going wrong was in attempting to establish gravity as an entity in its own right. Instead, it should be seen as a sort of pressure.He has long thought of gravity as a kind of long-range Casimir effect, with two objects which block some of the waves of the Zero Point Field becoming attracted to each other. Or even a long-range van der Waals force, so named after a Dutch physicist called Diderik van der Waals, who discovered that forces of attraction and repulsion operate between atoms and molecules because of the way that electrical charge is distributed, like the attraction of two atoms at certain distances.
A particle in the Zero Point Field begins jiggling due to its interaction with the Zero Point Field; two particles, not only have their own jiggle, but also get influenced by the field generated by other particles, all doing their own jiggling.
The fields generated by these particles – which represents a partial shielding of the all-pervasive ground state Zero Point Field – causes the attraction that we think of as gravity.
Sakharov only developed these ideas as a hypothesis; Puthoff went further and began working them out mathematically. He demonstrated that gravitational effects were entirely consistent with Zero Point particle motion, or what the Germans had dubbed ‘zitterbewegung‘ or ‘trembling motion.’
Tying gravity in with zero-point energy solves a number of conundrums that have confounded physicists for many centuries.
- It answers the question of why gravity is weak and why it can’t be shielded (the Zero Point Field, which is ever-present, itself can’t be shielded).
- It explains why we can have positive mass and not negative mass.
- It brings gravity together with the other forces of physics, such as nuclear energy and electromagnetism, into one cogent unified theory – something physicists had always been eager to do but have always singularly failed at.
Decades ago Hal published his theory of gravity to polite and restrained applause. Although no one rushed duplicate his data, no one ridiculed him, even though what he’d been saying in these papers in essence counters the entire bedrock of twentieth-century physics. In fact, no one said anything about it.
While it is laudable that physicists have detected ‘ripples in space-time’ emanating from the merger of black holes. But instead of looking into outer space for the solution to gravity, it’s time for them to look into empty space – the Zero Point Field – for a theory of everything.
13. Februar 2016