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Gravity Essay Contest Results in; amateur recognized

  1. May 19, 2009 #1


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    This year's gravity essay contest results are in:

    http://www.gravityresearchfoundation.org/announcements.html [Broken]

    The five winning papers are published in the International Journal of Modern Physics D:
    along with selected papers (after peer review) among those with honorable mentions. Of last year's 27 honorable mention's, 21 were published in the December 2008 edition.

    Two years ago I used Physics Forums to compute the relativistic force of gravity in Newtonian form for Schwarzschild and Gullstrand-Painleve coordinates. Eventually ZapperZ locked the thread, but not before I completed the calculations for Schwarzschild and most of Gullstrand-Painleve:
    This gives an exact solution to a problem that is usually approximated with the "Post Newtonian Expansion" technique.

    I became aware of the gravity essay contest only a few days before it closed and quickly typed up a paper that included the results of these calculations:

    The paper includes a calculation showing that gravity might be thought of as resulting from a flux of particles emitted by massive objects. As is well known, Newton's gravitation law follows from assuming that the force is proportional to the flux density, and that the velocity of the flux is infinite. In the paper, I showed that for the static case, to first order Einstein's gravity for a black hole is obtained by making the assumption that the force is proportional to a flux with the additional provision that the flux interacts with itself so as to increase its flux density proportional to the square of the flux density. This is what one would obtain for a Feynman diagram where two flux particles interacted to produce one (or two I suppose) more.

    The paper picked up an honorable mention. Apparently, I'm the only amateur to get one of these recently; I looked back as far as 2004. Abstracts for winning and honorable mention papers are listed here:
    http://www.gravityresearchfoundation.org/abstracts.html [Broken]

    I haven't been very active around here for a while, at least partly because having the thread I was using to calculate with locked for no valid reason left me with a bad taste in my mouth. But since the heart of this paper was created on physics forums, and since physics forums is oriented towards amateurs interested in physics, and since the subject of the paper is a "beyond the standard model" sort of thing, I thought it was appropriate for me to announce it here. It's not every day that the pros pay attention to the amateurs.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2009 #2


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    Wow! Congratulations!
  4. May 20, 2009 #3


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    CarlB, I thought you are a professional. Anyway, you are certainly a better physicist than some of the professionals.
  5. May 20, 2009 #4
    Interesting, congratulations!

    The dividing line between professionals and amateurs is often of a conventional and/or contextual nature. One can be a very good physicist without making a living out of it.
  6. May 20, 2009 #5


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    With email exchange, pirate passwords and proxies for journals, preprints, online forums, wikis, blogs, recorded seminars, books from torrents and emule, it has became much easier to get updated or a complete scientific knoledge. I only miss the use of instant messangers with latex, or some kind of virtual blackboard. That would make scientific colaboration at a distance a lot more easier.
  7. May 20, 2009 #6


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    Congratulations, Carl! While it is not unheard of for the work of an "amateur" in a field to be published and/or recognized, one should expect an extra measure of critical examination and vetting before acceptance. I hope you come around here more regularly (and Christine, too!).
  8. May 20, 2009 #7
    Lets pop a bottle of bud.Well done mate.
  9. May 20, 2009 #8


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    Ditto Carl. I've missed you.
  10. May 21, 2009 #9


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    Thanks all,

    Let's see how it gets through peer review...

    It's kind of ironic, I only took one class in general relativity and nothing else from the astronomy related classes, and that one class was taught by the somewhat infamous Joe Weber.
  11. May 22, 2009 #10


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    Okay, I've updated the paper to conform to IJMPD standards, I think. I'll type up some notes on how this fits into the other stuff I've been working on.

    I should mention that the basic idea of the paper is that gravitation is a force that results from gravitons that move on a flat background space at superluminal speeds. That means that over cosmological time, the density of gravitons becomes larger and larger. This is the graviton background; the point is that it steadily increases.

    In Gullstrand Painleve (GP) coordinates for a black hole, the speed of light going away from the black hole is always at least a little different from the speed of light going towards the black hole. With G=M=c=1, the two speeds are:
    [tex]v_{\pm} = \pm 1 - \sqrt{1/r}[/tex]
    This is well discussed in Hamilton and Lisle's paper on the GP generalization of the Kerr (rotating black hole) metric:
    The River Model of Black Holes

    So what happens when you try to generalize this sort of idea for cosmological matter in all directions? What's going on is that, matter M at a distance r, decreases the average speed of light in an amount proportional to [tex]M/\sqrt{r}[/tex].

    Suppose that the universe began with a uniform distribution of matter but with no graviton background. As time goes on, matter at some point (say earth) is effected by more and more other matter, and consequently the speed of light keeps slowing down. To an earth observer, unaware of the background graviton flux, this appears as distant galaxies moving farther and farther away, i.e. the big bang.

    At first, the graviton background is proportional to T. But in this theory, gravitons interact with gravitons to make more gravitons (see essay for why this modifies Newton's theory into Einstein's, at least in the static case). Therefore, over very long cosmological time, the graviton background, and therefore the apparent distances to distant galaxies, will increase faster than linearly. This produces the effect known as dark energy.

    The matter we're made of travels at most at the speed of light, but the idea here is that it is built from preons that travel at the (much faster) graviton speed. When the universe cooled down enough for these preons to combine into quarks and leptons, it vastly reduced the maximum speed of matter. Places that could interact at graviton
    speeds suddenly became unable to communicate at light speed. This effect is called inflation. It is related to the fact that the CMB angular correlation drops to zero beyond a certain angle. I've discussed this from a slightly different point of view here:

    As usual, I like to start with simple equations of motion and simple objects, rather than a simple Lagrangian or Hamiltonian formalism. Because of this, the paper is very simple and can be understood fairly easily by most physics students.
  12. May 22, 2009 #11


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    Wow, congratulations!
  13. Jun 7, 2009 #12


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    Interesting. Congrats on the honorable mention BTW.

    Just as an aside, you mention "cool down" but establish a uniform distribution of matter in the original universe. Would such an initial universe actually have ever been "hot"?

    Couple of questions: In the initial universe are you implying that gravitons were of infinite or close to infinite speed? And after some time, would you expect that light would have slowed down more locally (within a galactic cluster for example) due to the higher graviton density than it would have between galactic clusters. In other words would you expect todays universe to have a different value for c at various points within the universe as a whole?
  14. Jun 7, 2009 #13
    Is the speed of the gravitons infinite or just some constant > c?

    If it is infinite, you seem to be suggesting that the fundemental laws of physics have gallilean symmetry which is spontaneously broken to lorentz symmetry. Or if you are saying the gravitons still have finite speed, that the "effective" laws of physics have an effective lorentz symmetry that is different from the true underlying lorentz symmetry. I find this very strange.

    How do these fit together, and can it be done without needing some preferred frame?
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