Fundamental source of gravity?

1. Jun 20, 2011

TCorp

The gravitational force between planets and stars is often depicted as curvatures in space-time but the reason why matter causes space to warp usually isn't explained. About 2 months ago I set out to visualize and write down why matter -the accumulation of particles- bends space to the extent that "large" chunks of particles (stars, planets, people,...) attract each other. I'm not sure if my way of visualizing gravity is completely correct, so I thought I'd put it to the physics forum.

I start by visualizing particles, ever so minutely pinching space towards them, simply by occupying space. The accumulation of particles in large objects (people, planets, stars) constitute an accumulation of spaces being pinched, causing these objects to attract through each other's accumulated pinches (warped space). The effect of this collective pinching is visualized on a larger scale as "gravity", the bending of space around stars, planets and galaxies.

So,...am I close?

2. Jun 20, 2011

Pengwuino

What in the world do you mean by "pinching" space?

3. Jun 20, 2011

TCorp

I visualize a pinch very much how gravity is visualized on a larger scale. Spacing being pulled on all sides by a particle to an extent that is equivalent to its mass.

4. Jun 20, 2011

ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
You complained that physics doesn't "explain" why matter causes space to warp (which actually is wrong because matter causes spacetime to 'warp'). Yet, we can apply the same complain to your "visualization". Why would space get pinched by such particles? What causes such pinching?

I see no advantage gained by your visualization. How does this help in understanding GR? Furthermore, the description given in GR is not just "visualization", but rather contains very clear and unambiguous mathematical description. It means that GR give not just qualitative description, but also quantitative description that can be checked against measurement. Because of that, the GR's description and visualization are clearer than yours and offers more advantageous.

Zz.

5. Jun 20, 2011

TCorp

I'm not arguing against GR here. GR is great for describing interactions at certain scales and speeds. I'm just trying to get an intuitive understanding of gravity that is valid from the particle scale of interactions all the way to larger objects.

6. Jun 20, 2011

ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
Still, you didn't answer on why your visualization is any better, considering that you made a mistake on what is actually getting warped. You will note that you didn't offer any better "explanation" on why such-and-such happens, which was your original complain about GR.

Zz.

7. Jun 20, 2011

TCorp

In the original post I wrote "pinching space towards them, simply by occupying space". I should have elaborated. What I mean isn't that different from GR's description for space-time curvatures around larger objects (planets and stars). It just attempts to describe the constituent interactions at the Planck scale that give rise to what gravity is at our scale. In this description gravitation exists only above a certain scale as a result of an accumulation of particles that occupy a volume of space. Below that scale theories like quantum gravity would be a more suitable tool for describing the interactions of objects (particles).

8. Jun 20, 2011

DaveC426913

Despite it being no better at answering the question (particles pinch/warp space: true. How do they do this?), you are essentially correct in that gravity is caused by the mass of individual particles.

Every atom warps spacetime minutely. Accumulate 10^50 atoms and you get an Earth-scale warp in spacetime.

9. Jun 20, 2011

DaveC426913

No. gravity works at any scale. Electrons create gravity. Just not a lot.

The gravity of a large body is nothing more than the cumulative gravity of its component particles.

10. Jun 20, 2011

ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
Aren't you making a rather wild speculation here? Where are the quantitative aspect of your "theory"? Can you show how you could derive the same macroscopic scale results that we know and love using your scenario?

Please note, before you go any further, of the https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=414380" and our policy on speculative posts.

Zz.

Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
11. Jun 20, 2011

TCorp

Uhuh...

@ZapperZ, I just read that non-mainstream posts will be deleted. Feynman would be swiftly banned.

Anyway, the question as to why matter warps space remains open and I guess won't be resolved here.

12. Jun 20, 2011

DaveC426913

Frankly, I don't see how his ideas are not very much mirroring how it actually works.

Earth's dent in spacetime is the sum total of the dents caused by Earth's inidividual particles.
Correct.

I figure as long as he's open to corrections, he's not really making a theory so much as he is getting his head around how gravity works. He's got a model in his head of how it works; we're helping him make corrections to it till it's right. Me, I'd allow it until he starts forming convictions that are patently false.

Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
13. Jun 20, 2011

DaveC426913

Yeah yeah. You're the next Feynman/Einstein/Newton... :uhh:

It is one of the big questions in physics.

The key is to build our understanding based on what we know already, not based on throwing away what we know and starting again.

14. Jun 20, 2011

ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
Please don't start that! It is a very tired argument that we've debunked so many times already (read the Feedback forum). It is a common argument that crackpot uses, so don't fall into it.

True, but why is your scenario any better? That's my question. Spacetime warping (not just space, thankyouverymuch!) is well-known. I don't see the advantage of your "pinching", because you don't offer an explanation on why such pinching would occur as well.

Zz.

15. Jun 20, 2011

Ryan_m_b

Staff Emeritus
As far as I can see you are simply taking the artistic impressions of how mass warps spacetime and replacing the word "curve" with "pinch". I fail to see the advantage.

Current scientific understanding posits that mass warps spacetime, each individual component (atoms, subatomic particles etc) all warp spacetime a little with the cumulative effect of generating larger gravity wells. Though as I understand it even massless particles such as light also warp spacetime.

I don't think you have presented anything new here or any way to better understand, you have simply used a different word to explain an artistic representation.

16. Jun 20, 2011

WannabeNewton

I agree 169% with ryan_m_b; in the end it doesn't matter what your wording for space - time curvature is because you are going to quantify it with the Riemann curvature tensor anyways which depends only on the metric - a quantitative representation of how mass 'warps' space - time. Your description of 'pinching' concludes with some 'warping' as you yourself stated.

17. Jun 20, 2011

Born2bwire

How would Feynman be banned? Take his groundbreaking path integrals for example. Schroedinger quantum mechanics is based upon the Hamiltonian approach from classical mechanics. The path integral is just a logical extension of this by looking to produce quantum mechanics from the Lagrangian approach. Feynman's big break in his work on this was when Jehle alerted him to Dirac's earlier attempts at producing a quantum mechanical Lagrangian.

The point here being is you can't just come out with an idea. You have to build it off of a fundamental framework.

18. Jun 20, 2011

TCorp

I'll have to start by saying I don't know how matter bends/curves/pinches/dents space time. I have some ideas on how it might be doing it related to the effects of matter occupying space, but I couldn't find any materials online describing gravity in this way. That's why I posted here to begin with.

19. Jun 20, 2011

Ryan_m_b

Staff Emeritus
If you have some idea about the mechanism by which mass bends/warps/curves/pinches spacetime and you want to discuss it you should first do background research into what contemporary understanding is as well as looking for papers that support your hypothesis.

20. Jun 20, 2011

TurtleMeister

Highlighting by me.

How do you know that Dave? Isn't that just a postulate? As far as I know, there is no experimental evidence to suggest that leptons contribute to the active gravitational mass of a macro object.

21. Jun 20, 2011

Drakkith

Staff Emeritus
Is there any for a proton or a neutron? Any measurements of the amount of gravity from individual atoms? I don't think so, someone correct me if I'm wrong. But because all 3 particles have mass it is acceptable to say that they do.

22. Jun 20, 2011

TurtleMeister

Since it is experimentally known that leptons and baryons have inertial mass, it is postulated by the equivalence principle that they also have active gravitational mass. But the experimental evidence for this is very weak.

Laboratory experiments envolving active gravitational mass are almost non existant. The most recent, and the only one that I know of, was the Kreuzer experiment of 1966. I've posted about this many times at PF. I would love to see more experiments in this area.

23. Jun 20, 2011

ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
You must have missed the neutron drop experiment where they detected the quantized effect of gravity. See this:

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/3525

Zz.

24. Jun 20, 2011

ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2981

Zz.

25. Jun 20, 2011

Drakkith

Staff Emeritus
Zapper, do either of those deal with gravity acting FROM those particles and not ON them? I didn't see anything for that.