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Gravity as a Residual Effect of the Strong Nuclear Force?

  1. Aug 8, 2010 #1
    Couldn't gravity just be a residual effect of the strong nuclear force?

    We know that the manner in which a proton's quarks share a gluon is imperfect on a quantum level - i.e., the gluon exhibits its effect beyond just a single proton - and this is why nuclear fusion can occur.

    Isn't it possible that gravity is a result of the same phenomenon?

    When energy exerted via the Strong Nuclear Force is over a great enough distance such that it isn't being challenged by Electromagnetism, wouldn't the observed work be an attraction between matter?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2010 #2
    I agree, that is a very interesting idea.

    What I mean by that is: say you continued studying physics intensively, until the level where you are competent at correctly solving the problems in graduate text books on quantum field theory, general relativity and particle physics. Then (and only then, not before) you would be qualified to explore whether or not it is possible that the equations for residual nuclear forces are equivalent (to a degree sufficient in accordance with current experimental limits) to the equations for gravitation. In that context it could become an interesting line of enquiry. In fact I suspect others already have investigated this, so it would be worth scouring the existing literature, and it is conceivable that someone may have already demonstrated the idea to be unworkable and not interesting after all.

    But until you're ready to discuss it at that level, it's just cheap hand-wavy vague prose, not a scientific theory.

    Just to suggest something more technical: it is difficult to imagine how residual forces might possibly explain time being slower on earth than on the moon; not obvious that curved geometry can be obtained from a more classical background of forces. I'm not disputing long range residual nuclear effects could be detected in principle, just doubting that (at least without major modification to our theory of nuclear forces) they are consistent with gravity.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  4. Aug 8, 2010 #3
    That's what I came here for, technical discussion; so someone can simply dismiss the idea as being incorrect and give reasons why it couldn't be correct, or give supporting ideas as to why it could be accurate.

    If this isn't really the site/forum for that, can you point me towards a forum that is more technical?

    Why would existing scientific theories have to be modified?
    Are you talking about relativity? Why wouldn't the idea be consistent with relativity?

    What do you mean you agree? Agree with what? I never said it was interesting. I don't know what it is. Right? Wrong? I came here to find that out, hence the question marks in my original post.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  5. Aug 9, 2010 #4
    I think we can immediately rule the possibility of gravity as a residual (or combinational) effect of any of the nuclear forces (strong or weak) by simply applying some known physics.

    Having taken a class in nuclear physics, the first thing that pops out about this speculation as being implausible (probably wrong) is the participants of those interactions.

    Quarks and gluons are the only fundamental particles which carry non-vanishing color charge, and hence participate in strong interactions. The strong force itself acts directly only upon elementary quark and gluon particles. Fermions, on the other hand, are the only particles that participate in weak interactions. So immediately this rules out either force being somehow responsible for gravity (since all massive particles participate in gravitational interactions).

    What about some synthesis of the two? Well, I still think you are out of luck here. Considering that the strong force is not a 1/r^2 force and that the weak force violates the necessary symmetries that gravitational interaction conserves, I'm at a loss to even imagine how any mathematical combination of the two could yield a symmetric, 1/r^2 force.
  6. Aug 9, 2010 #5


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    Wouldn't be more realistic and "elegant" to consider gravitation as being the result of an electromagnetic pressure from the surrounding medium? You know the good old theories of push type gravitation... That kind of homogeneous radiation should have a very short or a very long wavelength, so the heating effect could be ignored (at least for small penetration, and not in the case of a large planet or a star)....
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