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Mass not intrinsic, but emergent.

  1. Jul 31, 2005 #1


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    I have for the past year (longer, actually) been working on the idea that neither gravitational nor inertial mass are intrinsic, but are instead emergent, arising from the interaction of matter with the all-pervasive field of the quantum vacuum. There are tantalizing leads of this concept in Sakharov's work, but today (beginning to re-read "Genius" by James Gleick) I found this little gem (in the signature area at the bottom of the post). Dr. Feynman must have thought it important, since he wrote it in his "little black book" and kept it with him.

    I do not understand where Feynman was going with the first part of the notation, since statements about equivalence and substructure are common in physics, but "All mass is interaction." hits home. I believe that the Machian concept of inertial mass relative to a fixed reference frame is correct, but that the reference frame is not that of the sum of all the matter in the universe (which implies superluminal action at a distance) but that of the quantum vacuum - evanescent, constantly frothing, capable of densification and polarization (due to the presence of matter) but AT REST, since the virtual particle pairs pop in and out of existence in the time allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and cannot exist long enough to exhibit measurable movement (Planck time). In this respect, loop quantum gravity (although not as popular as "string" or M theory, if the numbers of papers are any guide) may be the most promising place to expect an explanation of gravitation relative to the truly fundamental forces.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2005 #2
    Feynman said a lot of great things, I have never came across that ditty though, pretty cool.

    He also said words to this effect:Feynman made the remark that an Electron can be thought of having a Two parimiter consequence with respect to 'Time', it can be thought of actually existing only in a 'Past-tense' or a 'Future-tense', it travels in only these domains.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2005
  4. Aug 2, 2005 #3
    I'm not an expert on this turbo, but I believe the standard model of particle
    physics (i.e. quarks) holds this view. The interaction you mention is being
    actively persued as the "search for the Higgs boson." The Higgs field is what
    you are contemplating.

    Someone who knows more about this than me should elaborate.
  5. Aug 2, 2005 #4


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    Yes, of course. The concordance view is that the interaction of matter with Higgs bosons of the Higgs field conveys mass to matter, and the interaction of this massive matter with the gravitons of the gravitational field mediates the force of gravitational attraction.

    There is a problem with this model. For the Universe to act as it does, the Higgs field and the gravitational field would have to be exquisitely congruent over all space and all time. This is a compelling argument for the concept that mass and gravitation arise from the interaction of matter with ONE field only. I believe that this field is the field of the quantum vacuum that pervades the entire universe. If high-energy particle physicists ever discover a graviton or a Higgs boson, I will be forced to recant, but given the remarkable congruity of these fields required to make the standard model work, I'm not holding my breath.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2005
  6. Aug 4, 2005 #5


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    I have not understood this theory, as i understand energy gravitates, so the
    Higgs would convey mass ,and in return the graviton coveys gravity to the
    higgs, it would seem to be impossible for either of these to exist separately.

    But has energy been shown to gravitate in the lab or other experiment?

    If the graviton and the higgs are separate entities not allowing them to
    inter act would be interesting.
  7. Aug 4, 2005 #6


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    You are not alone. In the ultimate bootstrap-type process, the Bosons of the Higgs field not only convey mass to every other particle of matter, they also convey mass to themselves. This field is indistinguishable from the vacuum and supposedly is the source of all mass and presumably all inertia. How can the Higgs Bosons convey mass upon themselves, and how can they manage to be massive enough to be undetectable by even the highest-energy collidors? We need to ask this question, and I do not hear it asked often enough.

    As for gravitation, isolated massive bodies have no weight. To convey weight to massive bodies, the standard model requires that the gravitons (more theoretical bosons that convey the force of the gravitational field) interact with matter to provide the force that attracts one massive body to another. How does this square with Einstein's model that massive bodies curve space-time and that other massive bodies naturally follow the geodesics intrinsic in this curvature? Not that well, I fear. GR space-time curvature is a nice mathematical model that claims to explain Newtonian gravitation, but it falls apart when we observe galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Also, given the complexities of calculating quantum physics on a dynamical curved reference frame, is it any wonder that reconciling gravitation with quantum physics and the three fundamental forces is tough?

    We should expect that like any fields, the Higgs field and the gravitational field can evolve, and can exhibit densification, polarization, etc. These are characteristics of fields. The universe does not exhibit any obvious signs, though, that these two fields have not been perfectly congruent across all visible space and time. This is a compelling (probably strictly rigid) argument that mass, inertia, and gravitation all arise from the interaction of matter with ONE field. In this way, it can be demonstrated that the most logical candidate for the emergence of mass, inertia, and gravitation should be the most elusive and pervasive field in the universe - the field of the quantum vacuum. This is the canvas upon which the universe is displayed, and it is NOT nothingness despite the assumptions of classical physics.

    You may wonder why the energy of the vacuum field (theoretically able to explode the universe) and the gravitational equivalence of that energy (theoretically able to crush the universe to a size slightly larger than the size of the Earth) are so precisely balanced. Each of the calculated values of these forces are just about 120 OOM larger than observed. This is a fairly large number (understatement police are torturing my family trying to locate me as I write this!), since the total number of particles in our universe is estimated at ONLY 1088. What balances these forces? The most obvious answer is that the Fermi exclusion principle prevents the virtual particle pairs of the quantum vacuum from occupying the same quantum states, while the gravitational attraction wants to compact them. This is the only logical means by which these forces can be so exquisitely, dynamically balanced (again, across all visible space and time). In the presence of matter, the virtual particle pairs of the quantum vacuum will be densified and polarized, and in the absence of mass, these virtual pairs will be less polarized, more randomly oriented, and less densified. The implication is that in domains dominated by matter, matter will be more massive, more gravitationally attractive, and have more inertia (resistance to change in direction and speed of motion). The excessive lensing and binding of clusters and the flat rotational curves of spiral galaxies may well be explainable by this relationship.

    The Higgs Boson/Graviton dichotomy is untenable unless the fields of these particles are inexplicably, precisely congruent for the entire lifetime and visual extent of the universe. The gravitational equivalence of the "infinite" energy of the vacuum and the "infinite" expansive force of that same vacuum field cannot be so perfectly balanced without a real dynamical interplay between the Fermi exclusion principle and the gravitational attraction everywhere and everytime. The universe could not logically exist otherwise.

    I welcome comments. Not personal attacks, or group-think condemnations ("most people wouldn't agree with you") but well-reasoned explanations of how the 120 OOM too large vacuum gravitational equivalence has not yet managed to crush the universe and how the 120 OOM vacuum pressure has not been able to explode it to smithereens. I would also welcome well-reasoned explanations of how two separate fields (the Higgs field and the gravitational field) could have remained so remarkably congruent across all the time and space that we can survey, that the early galaxies and clusters do not seem to behave differently than the galaxies and clusters around us today.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2005
  8. Aug 4, 2005 #7
    Turbo1, Can you envisage a Self-Generating Expanding Vacuum?
  9. Aug 5, 2005 #8


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    Shouldn't this thread be moved to the 'Philosophy of Science' forum?
  10. Aug 5, 2005 #9


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    I can, but in an infinite universe (a cosmological concept I favor), the vacuum must be in equilibrium, else the universe would either explode or collapse due to the practically infinite energy of the vacuum.
  11. Aug 5, 2005 #10


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    Should every attempt at logic and epistemology be banished so you can be comfortable and content with your cosmology? The questions regarding the 120 OOM larger-than-observed expansive force of the vacuum energy and the 120 OOM larger-than-observed gravitational equivalence of the vacuum energy are serious questions and they lie on the path to the unification of gravity with the three fundamental forces. Many people throw up their hands and say "the quantum vacuum is a mystery", but I can't do that. I believe I have found the answer to that exquisite balance in the forces expected of the vacuum. If you think I am mistaken, you should show me why, because I am quite willing to learn.

    Dirac was quite upset about having to resort to renormalization. His thinking was that you can safely ignore a value if it is tiny and does not effect the outcome of your calculations, but you should not be allowed to ignore a value because it is infinite and you don't want it in your equations. We have been ignoring infinities in the quantum vacuum for too long and that is a logjam preventing progress toward the TOE.
  12. Aug 5, 2005 #11


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    Well if you have a private theory you should follow the PF procedures for those.
  13. Aug 5, 2005 #12


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    I will try to exercise restraint. A couple of arguments for why the pressure of the vacuum appears to be zero is made by Steven Weinberg here. He cites the possibility of a rolling potential, decreasing vacuum pressure with cosmological age, and he cites the anthropic principle, which is unsatisfying in that it begs the question and tells us "the universe is what it is because we are here to see it as it is". Cause and effect can take a bit of a beating in this scenario.

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0005/0005265.pdf [Broken]

    We have another 120 OOM fine-tuning problem relating to the vacuum. Its energy contains enough gravitational equivalence to crush the universe to a diameter of a few thousand kilometers. If both these vacuum forces are dynamically self-cancelling and arise from the very same vacuum field, then the fine-tuning problem goes away. One logical way this can happen is if the gravitational force trying to compress the vacuum (the very fabric of space-time) is balanced by the Pauli exclusion principle, by which the fermions of the virtual particle/antiparticle pairs of the vacuum resist being forced to occupy the same quantum states. Self-gravitation of the vacuum field keeps the universe from flying apart and the fermionic behavior of the virtual particles comprising the field keep the self-gravitation from squeezing the universe to the diameter of the Earth.

    None of these ideas are new or radical. Both the gravitational compression fine-tuning problem and the vacuum pressure expansion fine tuning problem have been known and studied for decades. The Pauli exclusion principle has been known for a very long time, and is the basis for our understanding of the degenerate matter in white dwarf stars and neutron stars. Is there nobody else on this forum that believes that the Pauli exclusion principle might have consequences in the quantum vacuum? I do not believe that it is a radical notion or a crackpot idea (I hate that term, BTW). It is a very logical solution to a couple of the most intractable fine-tuning problems in quantum cosmology.
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  14. Aug 5, 2005 #13

    You should check the paper titled:
    "On the General Solution to Einstein's Vacuum
    Field for the Point-Mass when lambda λ≠0 and
    Its Consequences for Relativistic Cosmology"

    at this site: http://www.geocities.com/ptep_online/2005.html

    As you beleive, it purports to show that GR is consistent only with an infinite flat
    cosmological space, not the globally curved ones we have been used to.
  15. Aug 5, 2005 #14
    I have been known to be way out on a avangarde-viewpoint, at one of these extremes, some years (4) ago I got banned for putting the words "Photon-Pressure" into a thread that I had deemed it plausable. What the f++k is photon pressure was the canning I recieved, by moderators who are still here.

    Well here:http://www.physlink.com/News/080505LightClock.cfm

    is some breaking news about "photon-pressure"!

    Back to the "self-generating-E-M-V" and its ability to be an expanding or contracting quantity?

    Without light the E-M-V naturally expands, and when there is plenty of light, say for instance at the Galactic Core, it contracts.

    Atoms vibrate when bathed in photons, the Vacuum vibrates (Equilibrium instability) when there is NO light, such as when all the Photons were 'locked' inside Atoms in the early Universe, pressure is built up internally, and the Electron Density Plays an important part of Zeeman Effects, Pauli Exclusion Principle, around the first three PRE-SECONDS of Inflationary Expansion.
  16. Aug 5, 2005 #15


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    Janus and I agree. Please submit your abstract to the Independent Research forum. I'll lock this thread instead of deleting it so you don't lose the posts you've already made. Thanks.
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