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Newton's optical theory of gravity

  1. Mar 13, 2015 #1
    Isaac Newton had an optical theory of gravity which you could make work with the light like corpuscles Newton never knew of, namely neutrinos

    So said my physics Professor once ... I wish there was a forum for discussing Newton's optical gravity theory, I think it could help explain ( the Newtonian half of ) MOND too... Which I could only know with discussion

    Is it permissible to discuss Newton's optical theory of gravity?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I have never heard of this supposed theory by Newton. If you can provide the reference, then we can discuss it.

    Your description of it sounds similar to LeSage's long-discredited theory of gravity.
  4. Mar 13, 2015 #3


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    Newton had a theory of optics, which was corpuscular. He also had a theory of gravity. I don't believe they were ever combined.
  5. Mar 14, 2015 #4
    Could you elaborate briefly please?
  6. Mar 14, 2015 #5
    Yes, that is the theory I was trying to remember

    I understand that the theory has not been disproven in the sense of making predictions which failed
  7. Mar 14, 2015 #6


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    It has some pretty severe downfalls. To quote John Playfair:

    An immense multitude of atoms, thus destined to pursue their never ending journey through the infinity of space, without changing their direction, or returning to the place from which they came, is a supposition very little countenanced by the usual economy of nature. Whence is the supply of these innumerable torrents; must it not involve a perpetual exertion of creative power, infinite both in extent and in duration?
  8. Mar 14, 2015 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    If you looked it up on Wikipedia, you would see pages of places where it fails.
  9. Mar 14, 2015 #8


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    As with all questions of this sort, you will get better answers if you research the topic yourself first, then come back with more specific questions. If you google for "le sage gravity" you will find many good references - read these, and we can help you through any parts that aren't clear.
  10. Mar 15, 2015 #9


    Staff: Mentor

    It predicts spontaneous and continual heating, which has failed. It predicts graviational drag which has failed. It predicts a violation of the equivalence principle which has failed.

    It also would require tachyons which, while not exactly a failed prediction is certainly a prediction with no experimental support. All of this is covered on the Wikipedia page.
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