Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Physics News: Gravity Game-Changer

Gravity has been viewed as a primary force by physicists for over a century. As the theory of binary mechanics (BM) [1] developed, the author assumed that gravitation would take its place among the primary forces which generally corresponded to four discrete bit operations -- unconditional, electromagnetic (scalar and vector) and strong, determining the time-development of a physical system. Hence, the initial assumption was that gravity would have its own bit operation to bring the total to five operators on BM states. However, simulation experiments produced gravity-like effects without postulation of any additional gravity-related bit operation, a result that strongly suggested that gravity was not a primary force at all.

Gravitation looses primary force status
In these experiments [2], the initial state consisted of two bodies (volumes with higher 1-state bit densities than surrounding space). Then the four postulated BM bit operations were applied repeatedly, while observing changes in the system. Acceleration of the two bodies toward each other was found and appeared to depend on a higher bit density between the two bodies than in other directions around the bodies. This conclusion was readily observed. Each body radiated 1-state bits to its lower density surroundings. Obviously, the space between the objects would develop a higher 1-state bit density than any other direction.

These results may have important implications.

1. Grand unification should not explicitly include gravitation as a "primary force". In agreement with BM, Einstein reportedly rejected gravity as a fundamental force. Since gravity now appears to be a derivative, not primary, force, it has thus already lost much of its allure for theorists.

Indeed, efforts to "unify" gravitation with the primary electromagnetic and strong forces may be viewed as misallocation of intellectual resources. Nobody attempts to "unify" mechanical stress or friction with electromagnetic forces, since these phenomena are recognized to be secondary effects of electromagnetism. Therefore, attempts to include gravitation in a grand unification as a primary force might by definition be a dead-end street, doomed to failure and a waste of valuable resources.

Finally, if gravity is not a fundamental or primary force, then the laws of BM may be in place as a valid grand unification in theoretical physics. That is, as a secondary force, gravity appears to be a consequence of the four fundamental bit operations which exactly define time development of BM states.

2. Diminished status of General Theory of Relativity. The results suggest that space-time curvature, such as postulated in the General Theory of Relativity by Einstein, is not required to explain gravity. Nonetheless, he favored curvature of space-time, which probably is not necessary to explain any of the phenomena that it is purported to predict.

In summary, BM suggests that gravity joins the neutral weak force as non-primary derivative forces such as friction, mechanical stress and the like. Would Einstein have postulated space-time curvature if it had been clear that gravity is not a primary force? After all, analysts of secondary forces such as mechanical stress and surface tension may use tensor expressions to describe experimental results without any space-time curvature interpretation.

3. Singularities in physical theories mark their flaws. Gravitational singularities have been defined as space-time points where matter may have an infinite density and zero volume due to gravitational forces. According to BM, this is science fiction. First, BM postulates an absolute maximum energy density. Second, BM predicts an absolute minimum volume, namely a bit locus cube of dimension d -- the BM fundamental length constant.

In sum, these BM postulates suggest a potentially useful heuristic rule. If a physical theory contains singularities, it is probably seriously flawed.

A law of motion
BM suggests a "law of motion" [3], in which objects tend to move in the direction of higher 1-state bit density. Regarding gravitation, all else equal, bit density between two objects will obviously be greater than in any other direction and hence, each object will tend to move toward the other. Further, these results suggest the BM prediction that gravity-like effects depend on object surface temperature which must be greater than absolute zero to supply the radiated energy (1-state bits) required to establish a greater bit density between two objects compared to any other direction from their centers of mass (or bits).

Gravity increased by lunar surface temperature differential
To the extent that Casimir attraction may be a mini-model of a gravity-like effect, Obrecht et al. have provided support for this BM prediction by observation of increased Casimir effect attraction with increased temperature [4]. This temperature-dependent Casimir attraction is consistent with the BM hypothesis that gravity depends on surface temperature. A perhaps milestone experiment successfully tested this hypothesis on the much larger scale of earth-moon gravitational attraction [5].

The reported quantitatively large effects of a lunar surface temperature differential on apparent gravitational force measured by lunar laser ranging (LLR) and lunar perigee may challenge widely accepted theories of gravity. LLR data grouped by days from full moon showed the moon was about 5 percent closer to earth at full moon compared to 8 days before or after full moon. In a second, related result, moon perigees were least distant in days closer to full moon. Moon phase was used as proxy independent variable for lunar surface temperature facing earth. These results support the prediction by BM that gravitational force increases with object surface temperature [6].

The research question -- will increased temperature on the lunar surface facing earth increase gravitational force? -- clearly has enormous scientific merit. The observations, which widely-accepted current theory cannot explain, point to the real possibility that these observations indicate "new physics", which, if true, would be most exciting demanding attention by physicists and astronomers alike and making the research report a "classic".

Lunar phases reflect changes in the sun-moon-earth angle. Generally, about half of the lunar surface is illuminated and warmed by the sun while the other side of the moon is dark and becomes cooler. Hence, the volume-averaged temperature of the moon may be essentially constant over days before or after full moon. Therefore, the effect discovered in this report may depend on a surface temperature differential comparing near and far sides of the moon as lunar phase changes. Namely, when this temperature difference increases on days closer to full moon, earth-moon distance decreases. The vector from the coolest to the warmest surface area appears to approximate the direction of this motion component.

It should be obvious that the reported apparent temperature dependence of gravitation is not predicted by popular theories, else others would have done many years ago the data analysis that the author did. Here, the potential importance might be quantified in the number of gravity researchers caught completely by surprise "with their pants down" with a disoriented "deer in the headlights" look.

Fig. 1: Spot the General Relativity Reseachers

Legend: Believers in space-time curvature face their worst nightmare, caught in the headlights of binary mechanics.

The reported observations of a previously unknown effect suggest the possible presence of "new physics". This discovery, therefore, represents an important contribution to the scientific community. These results may be among the most important payoffs for the billions invested to set up lunar laser ranging.

The LLR observatory data used is clearly bona fide. The methods incorporate the classic experimental design of independent and dependent variables, using simple statistics to verify the existence of the reported effects. This is what scientific research is. Indeed, the simplicity of the research design suggests the elegance of the experiment and potential difficulty in pinpointing any flaw in the design and analysis used, requiring serious consideration of the hypothesis tested.

Remarkably, the independent variable (lunar surface temperature facing earth) produced major effects on two related dependent variables (LLR distance and calculated perigee distance), each dependent variable confirming the dramatic effect observed in the other. Research reports don't get much more solid than that in any field of science.

In short, the academic, scientific credentials of this research effort would appear to be clearly established, beyond any significant question.

As the scientific community reviews and replicates this report, assuming no flaws in the simple design (Research Methods 101) and analysis (Statistics 101) are found, then the race is on to explain the new discovery reported. May the best man or woman win.

[1] Keene, J. J. "Binary mechanics" J. Bin. Mech. July, 2010.
[2] Keene, J. J. "Gravity looses primary force status" J. Bin. Mech. April, 2011.
[3] Keene, J. J. "A law of motion" J. Bin. Mech. September, 2011.
[4] Obrecht, J. M., R. J. Wild, M. Antezza, L. P. Pitaevskii, S. Stringari, and E. A. Cornell "Measurement of the temperature dependence of the Casimir-Polder force" Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 063201 February, 2007.
[5] Keene, J. J. "Gravity increased by lunar surface temperature differential" J. Bin. Mech. August, 2011.
[6] Keene, J. J. "Physics glossary" J. Bin. Mech. May, 2011.
© 2014 James J Keene