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Gravity and the scale of matter.

  1. Apr 24, 2005 #1
    After a spectacularly unsuccessful first post--the silence of the replies was deafening--I would like to again beg the simplest of answers.

    I am aware that most forums of this kind do not allow unqualified pontificating, yet I'm seeing quite a few ‘ideas' being put forward, and they often receive courteous and patient replies. If I am failing to follow the rules, please let me know.

    I'm acutely aware how off the wall this idea sounds, and I likened it to the first time that an expanding universe was suggested. It is every bit as radical a change of concept.

    Quite simply, I wondered if anyone had knowledge of a model that involves matter changing scale? By this I mean each particle, not just the space between them. The idea relies on the acceptance of some kind of aether, and the flow of such a fabric into matter–to pay for the increasing size. Obviously this would only be observable from an Olympian view point.

    In its simplest form that's it, in a nutshell.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2005 #2


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    I've heard the idea before, but I'm not quite sure exactly where it's from. I seem to recall Garth made comments about a similar idea (?).
  4. Apr 24, 2005 #3
    If you mean physically changing size - there is a preposterous theory that gravity is caused by the rapidly accelerating surface of every particle which is not noticed because everything is uniformly blowing up. There is another theory which is much more respectable that postulates that ether flows into matter and that the rate of inflow explains gravity - for example in the case of a black hole the rate of flow at the event horizon would be equal to the velocity of light and therefore photons are unable to move at a speed sufficient for them to escape - at all other chunks of mass the rate of inflow is hypotheisized to have acquired a velocity that corresonds to what a particle would acquire if it fell from infinity - so the flow rate is equal to the escape velocity at the radius at which it is measured - just what happens to all the ether that is devoured is not explained.
  5. Apr 24, 2005 #4


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    Observationally, there isn't any difference between the universe expanding, and matter (all matter, including our meter-sticks) shrinking.

    I really can't quite recall who it was that pointed this out though. This has nothing to do with ether theories, which failed the test of experiment a long time ago.
  6. Apr 24, 2005 #5


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    Fred Hoyle developed conformal gravity theories and a mass field theory in which fundamental particle masses were not constant.

    If the inertial mass of a fundamental particle increases then other things being equal its size would shrink as its radius is inversely proportional to its mass.

    Thus an expanding universe with fixed rulers is seen to be equivalent to a static universe with shrinking, i.e. increasing mass, rulers.

    This is a property of the Jordan conformal frame of Self Creation Cosmology.

    Whereas Hoyle and others dealt with invariant conformal theories SCC is a non-invariant conformal theory. This may be its undoing, or just possibly its making, we shall see!

    I hope this helps.

  7. Apr 24, 2005 #6


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    I wouldn't read anything into the "silence" you heard... some topics are more interesting to people at various points in time. And a lot of folks look at the most recent topics/posts primarily.

    There have been plenty of speculation that scale might change over the years. But most of the theories have no observable consequences, which takes you into the situation where the hypothesis is ad hoc. Ad hoc meaning there is no utility to the theory, and it fails the Popper concept of falsifiability. I don't know of any "serious" theory currently being floated which incorporates this as an essential element.
  8. Apr 25, 2005 #7
    Thanks for the replies.

    I have to confess that some 40 years ago, I wondered if the accelerating surface of any physical body would be the answer to gravity. It was late at night when I bounced this idea to a maths student pal that I was lodging with. I was studying terrestrial navigation, but soaking up all his enthusiasm for relativity theory.

    I suggested, after all of 30 seconds thought, that the Earth was decelerating in all directions simultaneously--compared to the fixed stars--so would it be expanding in all directions? Some sort of reverse contraction

    I soon realised that there would have to be another major dynamic in such a model. The concept of there being a price to pay for the expansion, seemed at first to be rather exciting. If I wanted to get immediate attention, I would mention a photon trying to leave a black hole, swimming against an inflowing tide of ‘spacetime'. The idea needed a very real aether.

    Over the years I have sporadically dusted the idea off, written to most of the major sci-mags, and then retreated, disheartened with the instant dismissal of the concept.

    Reading at the heavy end of pop science, in particular C E Will, I was very aware of the amount of work that goes into the testing of S and GR, but always, there seems to be a major piece of the puzzle missing...every bit as huge as the now accepted expansion of the universe. Something totally fundamental.

    In this idea, (it would be pretentious to call it a model) I see a photon taking the same absolute time ( not Newtonian absolute, but from the viewpoint of an observer outside the universe) to traverse one graticule of some sort of spacetime matrix, even though the size has been modified by a local mass. A photon takes the same time to traverse one graticule, after any period of expansion. ( The time taken to complete the journey across one ‘unit' is very important.) A particle, caused to be in a curved path, would do so in discreet steps.

    Measuring a gravity wave would be impossible.

    The problem lies in the continued need for inertia. Quite clearly, a body falling to Earth would not simply be, being fed by–and swept along with–some sort of inflowing tide. This would indeed be truly preposterous. But in this mechanism I see just the hint of the kernel of an idea

    But then, gravitation theory is easy for us amateurs not bound by tedious mathematics.
  9. Apr 25, 2005 #8
    Pervect: "Observationally, there isn't any difference between the universe expanding, and matter (all matter, including our meter-sticks) shrinking."

    First Pointed out by Eddington "The theory of the expanding universe is also the theory of the shrinking atom"
  10. Apr 25, 2005 #9
    The universe is not expanding because the big bang never happened!
    When hubble saw the red shift of galaxies he assumed they were all going away from us! it was a false assumtion.
    Red shift is caused by other Effects ie the shapiro effect whereby light is slowed down when it paases through a gravity field.
  11. Apr 25, 2005 #10


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    And what empirical evidence do you have for these wild claims?
  12. Apr 26, 2005 #11
    Yogi posted. "There is another theory which is much more respectable that postulates that ether flows into matter and that the rate of inflow explains gravity."

    Thanks again...in particular for Yogi's post. I would be fascinated to know more about this, as I have been unable to find any serious work based on this idea...I'm more than a little curious to know if my thinking was original.
  13. Apr 26, 2005 #12


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    Arp talks about changing masses over time, but it hasn't been well received.
  14. May 8, 2005 #13
    In the post "Einstein's theory of gravity"

    Yogi again mentioned something akin to my question.

    "Inflow theory contemplates a dynamic of some sort - usually an aether."

    I Googled 'gravity inflow' -- and hey presto, i got just what i was looking for.


    there was however, no mention of change of scale to answer where the aether goes...a fundamental part of my 'model'.
    Last edited: May 8, 2005
  15. May 8, 2005 #14


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    If the scale of matter, space and the forces of nature all change at the same rate, how would you know? That is a cowpie.
  16. May 8, 2005 #15
    This is precisely my point, when I say that detecting gravity waves would be impossible.
    I would guess however, that there would be substantial differences in the local forces. But despite years of thinking about it, I have not the slightest idea how one could construct an experiment to test the idea.

    There are many aspects of this model that do not readily fit in with GR. For instance, the minute amount that light bends near to a small mass like the Earth, would not display any similarity to the imagined geodesics of a flow feeding every particle in the planet. I had assumed that they would have to be virtually perpendicular on arrival at the surface. It seems that there might have to be a specific time allowed, for a photon or particle to be accelerated off course.

    It is obvious that placing a second (initially stationary) mass beside an object that was already free-falling, would leave it bound by its own set of rules; it would not simply be adopted by the local flow. It seems that there is still a requirement for inertia to be a separate issue.

    Having said this, at first I had assumed a very simple mechanism where the inflow on our planet, was equal to the escape velocity. Now I wonder if there is not a very high speed flow, where at each minute step of the imagined aether graticule, a given amount of energy is imparted--despite the falling object also being supplied with its supply of aether. It really starts to get fuzzy now.

    I was surprised by a statement that, in one of the items that I read last night, seemed to be saying words to the effect, that it was either ‘flow or GR' or indeed neither. What it did not say was that, with suitable modification, it could be merged seamlessly with GR

    This is the link that I meant to post, though the paper only looks at the aspect of flow.

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