From Crumb To Cosmos: Part 4 — The Phenomenon of Gravity: The facts behind the fictional force that brings everything together.
In this 4-part series, we have been exploring some of the most universal yet misunderstood concepts in physics. These articles are not intended to create new science, but to clarify well-established scientific truths that are often misunderstood.
If there is anything in these articles that is inaccurate or unclear, please comment or write us at Questions@WhetScience.com!
Gravity is the most ubiquitous force in the universe, however there seems to be little agreement on exactly what it is. After centuries of speculation and theory, the most accurate description is still the one posed by Albert Einstein that gravity is a “fictional force”. In other words, gravity does not exist on its own but is a collateral effect of something else.
Although relativity strongly supports this conclusion, this fact does not appear to be a widely understood.
We will correct that here. 😊
But for this Gedankenexperiment, there are a few prerequisites. If you are not already familiar with the following scientific truths, be sure to check out the linked articles first.
- Fundamental Particles — Understanding the universe starts with its smallest parts.
- Hadrons: Taking Up Space — Full of nothing yet nearly impenetrable.
- Time Dilation — The cornerstone of relativity. The brake pedal of quantum mechanics.
We will start with our conclusion: Gravitational effect is caused by the uneven distribution of time dilation across a hadron or the direction of movement of a fundamental particle.
When describing gravity using 4-dimensional spacetime, particles tend to move towards larger objects because of the curvature of space. As Einstein described, even though a particle is always moving in a straight line, a straight line through the curve of spacetime is steered towards the largest source of time dilation.
Geodesic mathematics show this relationship to be accurate. This geometric manifold description of gravity is the most common one and particles can be still be treated as dimensionless.
However, spacetime relies heavily on a strict speed of light limit with difficult to resolve exceptions. Our preference is to treat time dilation as a radiated field due to it being a simpler (and equally accurate) model. Additionally, a field-based model is more compatible with quantum mechanics, entanglement, and observations of gravitational propagation delay.
Whether you prefer warped spacetime or a particle/field in “flat” space, the geodesic calculations and results are the same. Simply interchange field strength for space curvature in your preferred model
Why is a single particle in linear motion “attracted” to a larger object?
For a spacetime model we had already mentioned the solution. Geodesic math shows that a straight line mapped on a gravity well steers into it. Basically, a straight line into a curved space.
The quantum mechanical description using flat space and a time dilation field density, we consider wave–particle duality. Since all particles in motion have wavelike properties, at that time they possess dimension. As such, an uneven slope of time dilation will cause an uneven rate of speed for the particle wave front.
As the diagram here shows, at a sufficient distance from a source of time dilation, a particle will move in a straight line. As the particle traverses an area of uneven time dilation, the speed of the wave front is also skewed. This dilation drag is what steers the particle towards the mass which is the effect we call gravity.
Of course describing the “steering” of a single particle in linear motion may not paint a clear picture of why an object “falls”. Most oft he objects we see every day appear to be “at rest until acted upon”.
Per this article, all massive objects are comprised of hadrons (protons, neutrons) which are essentially a group of fundamental particles bonded together. But those fundamental particles are all moving at the speed of light (or as close as relativity permits). Because of this high speed and indeterminate flurry of activity, the assumption can be made that all vectors are being expressed equally and simultaneously. This is what causes the intrinsic net velocity of any hadron by itself to be zero. In short, they can appear to be sitting still.
Although hadrons are believed to contain a finite number of particles, the rapid and indeterminate motion of those particles is such that we can look at it as averages. For example, we can state that at any given moment if 1/2 of the hadron’s particles are in the top hadronic hemisphere, then 1/2 are in the lower hemisphere. Or if 1/2 of the internal momentum is moving up, then 1/2 is moving down.
If there is a differential time dilation field (slope of a gravity well), this results in the individual particles within the hadron being at a different level of time dilation at any given time. Therefore, the particles in the top half of the hadron are moving faster relative to the bottom half.
One might argue that this still is a balanced state since the average momentum of the hadron could still be geometrically centered.
This might be the case if the faster half of the particle could accelerate the slower half equally, but they don’t.
For fundamental particles, time dilation doesn’t just slow them down. It sets a firm speed limit that cannot be exceeded “anchoring” them in space. And since the particles in the faster half of the hadron are being deflected down faster than those on the bottom can be deflected up, there is a persistent imbalance to the hadron’s net momentum.
Therefore, we are not pulled to earth by a yet unknown backwards-working force. There is no “graviton” or “direct force of gravity”. There is no gravitational force or force carrier at all! Only fundamental particles forever driven to achieve the speed of light, and time dilation which is impeding that goal.
What we experience as gravity is in fact the fundamental particles within our own hadrons steering towards the strongest source of time dilation.