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The Speed Of Gravity - Why Einstein Was Wrong

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posted on May, 14 2010 @ 10:16 AM
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The Speed of Gravity What the Experiments Say
Van Flandern T. ,Physics Letters A, Vol. 250:1-11 (1998)

www.metaresearch.org...
Abstract.

Standard experimental techniques exist to determine the propagation speed of forces. When we apply these techniques to gravity, they all yield propagation speeds too great to measure, substantially faster than lightspeed. This is because gravity, in contrast to light, has no detectable aberration or propagation delay for its action, even for cases (such as binary pulsars) where sources of gravity accelerate significantly during the light time from source to target. By contrast, the finite propagation speed of light causes radiation pressure forces to have a non-radial component causing orbits to decay (the “Poynting-Robertson effect”); but gravity has no counterpart force proportional to to first order. General relativity (GR) explains these features by suggesting that gravitation (unlike electromagnetic forces) is a pure geometric effect of curved space-time, not a force of nature that propagates. Gravitational radiation, which surely does propagate at lightspeed but is a fifth order effect in , is too small to play a role in explaining this difference in behavior between gravity and ordinary forces of nature. Problems with the causality principle also exist for GR in this connection, such as explaining how the external fields between binary black holes manage to continually update without benefit of communication with the masses hidden behind event horizons. These causality problems would be solved without any change to the mathematical formalism of GR, but only to its interpretation, if gravity is once again taken to be a propagating force of nature in flat space-time with the propagation speed indicated by observational evidence and experiments: not less than 2x1010 c. Such a change of perspective requires no change in the assumed character of gravitational radiation or its lightspeed propagation. Although faster-than-light force propagation speeds do violate Einstein special relativity (SR), they are in accord with Lorentzian relativity, which has never been experimentally distinguished from SR—at least, not in favor of SR. Indeed, far from upsetting much of current physics, the main changes induced by this new perspective are beneficial to areas where physics has been struggling, such as explaining experimental evidence for non-locality in quantum physics, the dark matter issue in cosmology, and the possible unification of forces. Recognition of a faster-than-lightspeed propagation of gravity, as indicated by all existing experimental evidence, may be the key to taking conventional physics to the next plateau.



Numerous experiments have shown that the force of gravity MUST propagate faster than the speed of light. Such speeds violate the theory of special relativity, which explicitly states that nothing may travel faster than the speed of light.

If SR is wrong, so too must GR be wrong.

Einstein was wrong.

Newton's gravity propagates at INFINITE speed, this is universally accepted as the basis for his theory, and it's also the gravitational theory we used to calculate orbits and trajectories for the Apollo moon missions.

Van Flandern raises some questions:

Why do photons from the Sun travel in directions that are not parallel to the direction of Earth’s gravitational acceleration toward the Sun?

Why do total eclipses of the Sun by the Moon reach maximum eclipse about 40 seconds before the Sun and Moon’s gravitational forces align?

How do binary pulsars anticipate each other’s future position, velocity, and acceleration faster than the light time between them would allow?

How can black holes have gravity when nothing can get out because escape speed is greater than the speed of light?


For example, take the simple observation of the Earth in orbit around the Sun. If gravity was delayed to the speed of light, the Earth would fly off its orbit after a mere 1200 years.


As viewed from the Earth’s frame, light from the Sun has aberration. Light requires about 8.3 minutes to arrive from the Sun, during which time the Sun seems to move through an angle of 20 arc seconds. The arriving sunlight shows us where the Sun was 8.3 minutes ago. The true, instantaneous position of the Sun is about 20 arc seconds east of its visible position, and we will see the Sun in its true present position about 8.3 minutes into the future. In the same way, star positions are displaced from their yearly average position by up to 20 arc seconds, depending on the relative direction of the Earth’s motion around the Sun. This well-known phenomenon is classical aberration, and was discovered by the astronomer Bradley in 1728.
...
If gravity were a simple force that propagated outward from the Sun at the speed of light, as radiation pressure does, its mostly radial effect would also have a small transverse component because of the motion of the target. ... the net effect of such a force would be to double the Earth’s distance from the Sun in 1200 years. There can be no doubt from astronomical observations that no such force is acting. The computation using the instantaneous positions of Sun and Earth is the correct one. The computation using retarded positions is in conflict with observations.


There can be no doubt that gravity does indeed propagate at a speed faster than that of light.

This blatant violation of Einstein's theories is so clear even a 10 year old can grasp it.

Einstein's theories must be rejected.

It's time for new cosmologies that can actually explain what we see in space without the need for black holes, dark matter, dark energy, wimps, machos, multiple dimensions, worm holes, pulsars that spin around 67 thousand times per second, and all other make believe fairy dust concocted by physicists.

Plasma (electric) cosmology is one such cosmology.

Read more about it here.




[edit on 14-5-2010 by mnemeth1]




posted on May, 14 2010 @ 11:57 AM
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No comments yet?

I figured we would have some deniers in here claiming that the Earth doesn't really accelerate toward a point 8.3 minutes into the future of where we presently see the Sun.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 02:51 PM
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I know I've seen some papers that state the speed of Gravity is basically nearly equivalent with light speed....but I'm kind of with you on this...it doesn't seem to match the practice of it, where you basically have to assume an infinite speed in order to predict orbits, etc.

Of course, I haven't really delved all that deep into it yet either...so that could be the problem for me, personally, for my own understanding of it...but still, it would seem that gravity is still very reluctant to give up her mysteries...



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 03:20 PM
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Steve Carlip basically gutted van Flandern and hung him out to dry on this years ago.

The rationale has to do with the effect of gravity in GR. Here's a non-technical clip of a summary of the drubbing Carlip dosed out:



"In the simple newtonian model, gravity propagates instantaneously: the force exerted by a massive object points directly toward that object's present position. For example, even though the Sun is 500 light seconds from the Earth, newtonian gravity describes a force on Earth directed towards the Sun's position "now," not its position 500 seconds ago. Putting a "light travel delay" (technically called "retardation") into newtonian gravity would make orbits unstable, leading to predictions that clearly contradict Solar System observations.

In general relativity, on the other hand, gravity propagates at the speed of light; that is, the motion of a massive object creates a distortion in the curvature of spacetime that moves outward at light speed. This might seem to contradict the Solar System observations described above, but remember that general relativity is conceptually very different from newtonian gravity, so a direct comparison is not so simple. Strictly speaking, gravity is not a "force" in general relativity, and a description in terms of speed and direction can be tricky. For weak fields, though, one can describe the theory in a sort of newtonian language. In that case, one finds that the "force" in GR is not quite central--it does not point directly towards the source of the gravitational field--and that it depends on velocity as well as position. The net result is that the effect of propagation delay is almost exactly cancelled, and general relativity very nearly reproduces the newtonian result."


There's a nice published paper by Carlip where he whips out the tensors to slice vanFlandern into sushi, but it's rough reading and I suspect it's past most ATSers, while I can sort of grind through the high points, GR math is not my focus. Carlip is a cool dude, though, a SR/GR specialist and has emailed me a number of times with stuff I've put up here.

edit: FWIW, here's one response from Carlip to van Flandern, one which he was unable or unwilling to refute.

[edit on 14-5-2010 by Bedlam]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by Bedlam
 


I wouldn't call that a trouncing, more like flailing about in the deep end of the pool trying to come up with an explanation for something that can't be explained.

I love Carlip's explanation of gravity for starters:


remember that general relativity is conceptually very different from newtonian gravity, so a direct comparison is not so simple. Strictly speaking, gravity is not a "force" in general relativity, and a description in terms of speed and direction can be tricky. For weak fields, though, one can describe the theory in a sort of newtonian language. In that case, one finds that the "force" in GR is not quite central--it does not point directly towards the source of the gravitational field--and that it depends on velocity as well as position.


"gravity is not a "force" in general relativity"

LOL

I guess its all make believe then.

Van Flandern destroys Carlip's paper here:

Foundations of Physics 32:1031-1068 (2002)
www.metaresearch.org...

and here

www.metaresearch.org...


The mathematical equations of general relativity are unique, but their physical interpretation is not. Confusion reigns over the difference between the field and geometric interpretations of GR, the meaning of gravitational force in a GR context, the distinction between gravitational waves and force variations, and the applicability of aberration to gravity. The geometric interpretation of GR, argued by Carlip, blurs these concepts.


Understatement.


[edit on 14-5-2010 by mnemeth1]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1
"gravity is not a "force" in general relativity"

LOL

I guess its all make believe then.


Well, you actually have to have some understanding of GR. He didn't say it doesn't exist, it's just not a force the way it is in Newtonian physics - at low speeds and weak gravity it's a geometry distortion sort of thing. Can you do tensor calculus? You have to deal with the energy-momentum tensor in the field equation to get a feel for what's happening. But then, if you can, you've likely seen it, because they always use the damned thing as an example.



Van Flandern destroys Carlip's paper here.


You'll note he doesn't try it in a refereed publication - likely he can't get published anymore. "metaresearch" isn't exactly what you'd call the most scientifically rigorous physics reference, either. Baez, Carlip, Hillman and a number of other GR physicists have given your boy the smackdown. Over. And over. And over. You do know that van Flandern was run off from the Naval Observatory, don't you? Is he still arguing that the speed of light is infinite? Or trying to say he invented GPS and it doesn't compensate for time dilation? (both lies, btw...)


I contacted Van Flandern for clarification about the quote he had given to the Spectator regarding Einstein's alleged tampering. "Basically," he answered, "the choice of coefficients of potential phi in the space-time metric is arbitrary. Einstein knew the unmodeled perihelion motion of Mercury, and therefore confined his attention to metrics that predicted this quantity correctly."

I asked Carlip whether this made any sense.

"No, it makes no sense at all. Van Flandern seems to have invented a free parameter where none exists. There is one free parameter, but it's just Newton's gravitational constant, G, and is fixed completely by the requirement that the theory reduce to Newtonian gravity in the weak-field, low-velocity limit. Once you've fixed that, everything else is completely determined." According to Carlip, "Van Flandern seems to be under the impression that there are a bunch of adjustable parameters in general relativity that can be fiddled with. This is certainly not true."

"As far as I can tell," he added, "Van Flandern simply doesn't understand the Einstein field equations."


More...



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by Bedlam
You'll note he doesn't try it in a refereed publication


bzzzzzzz wrong.

I posted the references, I guess you don't know how to read.

Physics Letters A. and Foundations of Physics

Both are refereed journals.

As for the Naval Observatory and GPS comments, I love this paper by the USNO on GPS calculations:
tycho.usno.navy.mil...


The Operational Control System (OCS) of the Global Positioning System (GPS) does not include the rigorous transformations between coordinate systems that Einstein's general theory of relativity would seem to require...


*snicker*

It turns out there is no difference between the effects predicted by GR and those of classical mechanics when calculating GPS orbits.

Van Flandern lays out why Lorentz's version can better account for the time dilation here:

Apeiron, Montreal (1998)
www.metaresearch.org...



[edit on 14-5-2010 by mnemeth1]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 04:55 PM
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This is analogous to the following statement as well:

I have a string.

It is a long string.

My friend is holding the other end of the string.

I pulled the string, and my friend instantly felt the tug of the string on the other end.

OMG its faster than the speed of light!


This by no means invalidates Einstein's theories. It only invalidates the argument that is being used.






posted on May, 14 2010 @ 04:56 PM
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reply to post by xmaddness
 


Actually it does.

SR forbids faster than light propagation of gravity.



[edit on 14-5-2010 by mnemeth1]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:01 PM
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According to Einstein mass bends the space time continuum, the bend is gravity. Any changes in the mass DOES NOT TRAVEL. Einstein states that nothing can TRAVEL faster than light. Mass creates the bend any change in the mass will instantaneously change gravity.

Think of it like darkness. What is the speed of darkness? If you answered an actual number you are wrong. Darkness doesn't travel it is the absence of light.

So gravity is the change in space time which is instantaneous.


(on a side note) Density is the compactness of mass in the space time continuum. The more compact things are the more gravitational pull they have. Why? Because space time bends into the object creating a very significant warp.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by Gentill Abdulla
 


I'm well aware of what Einstein's theories say.

I'm also well aware that they can't explain why gravity propagates at a speed faster than light.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1
reply to post by Gentill Abdulla
 


I'm well aware of what Einstein's theories say.

I'm also well aware that they can't explain why gravity propagates at a speed faster than light.



Spacetime is the fabric of our universe. The fabric is not restricted to our laws.The fabric can be warped by mass. The warp is gravity. Changes in the fabric are able to be faster than changes in speed because of the same reason of why an alcubierre warp drive works. it's warping spacetime not actually moving. Which is why the speed of gravity is instantaneous.

WHICH IS IN COMPLETE ACCORDANCE WITH EINSTEIN'S THEORIES!



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:14 PM
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Originally posted by Gentill Abdulla
Spacetime is the fabric of our universe. The fabric is not restricted to our laws.

WHICH IS IN COMPLETE ACCORDANCE WITH EINSTEIN'S THEORIES!


You got that much right.

Einstein's wacky version of relativity certainly doesn't comply with the known laws of physics.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:21 PM
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reply to post by mnemeth1
 
You're a bright guy, but I suspect you've misidentified ATS as a means to dismiss Einstein's theories in the wider academic world. I can only weigh the evidence and go with the consensus of established scientific evidence.

Perhaps you'd enjoy more critical and informed debate on a site dedicated to physics? Let's be honest, only a handful of ATSers are able to offer a cogent rebuttal to your 'Einstein nonsense' attacks.

Science is adversarial (loosely), dominant and emergent ideologies are a crucible from where new theories gain recognition. You're certainty in Einstein's flaws would gain a more critical audience elsewhere.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by mnemeth1
 
You're a bright guy, but I suspect you've misidentified ATS as a means to dismiss Einstein's theories in the wider academic world. I can only weigh the evidence and go with the consensus of established scientific evidence.

Perhaps you'd enjoy more critical and informed debate on a site dedicated to physics? Let's be honest, only a handful of ATSers are able to offer a cogent rebuttal to your 'Einstein nonsense' attacks.

Science is adversarial (loosely), dominant and emergent ideologies are a crucible from where new theories gain recognition. You're certainty in Einstein's flaws would gain a more critical audience elsewhere.




It is impossible to debate elsewhere.

ATS is one of the better boards to discuss such topics.

Simply posting a paper written by Van Flandern, Peratt, Alfven, Thornhill, or Scott is enough to get you perma-banned immediately from the major physics boards.

I'm not joking, try it out yourself.

Let me know how far you get.

I posted this article:
knol.google.com...

On:
www.physicsforums.com...

And was banned within 2 hours.

I didn't flame anyone, I didn't try to pick a fight, I think I only responded twice providing some background papers on the dinosaurs.

In my ban message I received this reason: "crackpot"

Clearly I'm not a crackpot and my arguments are all backed up by refereed journal articles and mainstream science publications. They just can't deal with such an overwhelming load of evidence.

ATS is a good forum for this because the moderators are neutral to the topic. They don't automatically ban people for making sound arguments just because they conflict with the standing theory of the month.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:46 PM
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Usually, these kinds of disputes are solved via experimentation. Has there been an experiment that definitely proves one or the other?



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by masterp
Usually, these kinds of disputes are solved via experimentation. Has there been an experiment that definitely proves one or the other?


Van Flandern actually lays out several that demonstrate he is correct.


As viewed from the Earth’s frame, light from the Sun has aberration. Light requires about 8.3 minutes to arrive from the Sun, during which time the Sun seems to move through an angle of 20 arc seconds. The arriving sunlight shows us where the Sun was 8.3 minutes ago. The true, instantaneous position of the Sun is about 20 arc seconds east of its visible position, and we will see the Sun in its true present position about 8.3 minutes into the future. In the same way, star positions are displaced from their yearly average position by up to 20 arc seconds, depending on the relative direction of the Earth’s motion around the Sun. This well-known phenomenon is classical aberration, and was discovered by the astronomer Bradley in 1728.

and

Yet another manifestation of the difference between the propagation speeds of gravity and light can be seen in the case of solar eclipses (Van Flandern, 1993, pp. 49-50). The Moon, being relatively nearby and sharing the Earth’s 30 km/s orbital motion around the Sun, has relatively little aberration (0.7 arc seconds, due to the Moon’s 1 km/s orbital speed around Earth). The Sun, as mentioned earlier, has an aberration of just over 20 arc seconds. It takes the Moon about 38 seconds of time to move 20 arc seconds on the sky relative to the Sun. Since the observed times of eclipses of the Sun by the Moon agree with predicted times to within a couple of seconds, we can use the orbits of the Sun and the Moon near times of maximum solar eclipse to compare the time of predicted gravitational maximum with the time of visible maximum eclipse.

In practice, the maximum gravitational perturbation by the Sun on the orbit of the Moon near eclipses may be taken as the time when the lunar and solar longitudes are equal. Details of the procedure are provided in the reference cited. We find that maximum eclipse occurs roughly 38±1.9 seconds of time, on average, before the time of gravity maximum. If gravity is a propagating force, this 3-body (Sun-Moon-Earth) test implies that gravity propagates at least 20 times faster than light.

and

First, we will calculate the acceleration predicted for any two stars if each star responds to the linearly extrapolated retarded position and velocity, but not acceleration, of its companion over one light time between the stars.....
Now we are ready to compare this prediction for binary pulsars PSR1913+16 and PSR1534+12 with the measured values of in the two best-observed cases. Orbital quantities are taken from (Taylor et al., 1992) – see Table I. The period change rate for PSR1534+12 is not yet seen, so the table shows the observational error of the measurement. At a glance, we see there is no possible match. The predicted period changes that would result if gravity propagated at the speed of light in a manner analogous to electromagnetic forces are orders of magnitude larger than the observed period changes. For PSR1913+16, they have the opposite sign as well. From PSR1534+12, we can set a lower limit to the speed of gravity as an electromagnetic-type propagating force: 2800.


Flandern didn't live long enough to see that the LIGO findings refute gravitational waves.

They don't exist.

LIGO has not found any and never will find any.

and

Lastly, we note experimental evidence from neutron interferometers that purports to demonstrate a failure of the geometric weak equivalence principle, that gravity is due to a curvature of space-time. (Greenberger & Overhauser, 1980) This experiment confirmed the strong equivalence principle (local equivalence of a uniform acceleration and a gravitational field), but its results are incompatible with the geometrical weak equivalence principle because interference effects in quantum mechanics depend on the mass. This is because the wave nature of the neutron depends on the momentum of the neutron, which is mass times velocity. So all phase-dependent phenomena depend on the mass through the wavelength, a feature intrinsic to quantum mechanics.

Since the experiment confirms the applicability of quantum mechanics even in the presence of gravity, including this non-geometrical mass dependence, the experiment seems to be a step in the undermining of the purely geometrical point of view, and “tends to bother theorists who prefer to think of gravity as being intrinsically related to geometry”, according to the authors.




[edit on 14-5-2010 by mnemeth1]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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gravity and light cant be the same as it has been pointed out this would cause all kinds of problems.
so ovesly we still have a long way to go befor we understand gravity well enough to say for sure its a wave that travels at such and such speed . as unlikely as that is.
probably tyed into quantum physics wich would explance all the contradictory facts



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1


As for the Naval Observatory and GPS comments, I love this paper by the USNO on GPS calculations:

*snicker*

It turns out there is no difference between the effects predicted by GR and those of classical mechanics when calculating GPS orbits.


Wow, is that what you got out of that paper? You read the first few lines and concluded that they said it was the same? From the same paper, a few more quotes:

"..a new class of users, who employ satellites that obtain time and position in space from GPS, cannot be satisfied with the approximations in the current OCS."

"(1) they are moving with respect to each other, (2) one is higher or lower than another in a gravitational field, (3) one is accelerating with respect to the other. Users of GPS encounter all three effects, and should correct their measurements accordingly"

"Here is the summary. In general, to correct the frequency measured by a receiver for all relativistic effects, to obtain the frequency at the transmitter, we perform the following steps..."

"...the absence of any explicit acknowledgement of special relativistic effects due to the speed of light being the same whenever measured by an observer, leading to the relativity of simultaneity and the associated Lorentz transformation physics - there's nothing of that at all modeled in the current system, and I think it should be."

Somewhat different than your read, I guess.

Here's you one a bit more recent.

*snicker*



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1
Simply posting a paper written by Van Flandern, Peratt, Alfven, Thornhill, or Scott is enough to get you perma-banned immediately from the major physics boards.

I'm not joking, try it out yourself.

Let me know how far you get.

I posted this article:
knol.google.com...

In my ban message I received this reason: "crackpot"



Well, it's either because these guys' theories have been picked apart ad nauseum and no-one there's interested in doing it again, or your boy van Flandern was a visionary ahead of his time.

I know which view I pick. I suspect you adhere to the other one.



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