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Theory of general relativity- Falsifiable?

  1. Apr 14, 2014 #1
    Theory of general relativity-- Falsifiable?

    "... Supposing that the bodies act upon the surrounding space causing curving of the same, it appears to my simple mind that the curved spaces must react on the bodies, and producing the opposite effects, straightening out the curves. Since action and reaction are coexistent, it follows that the supposed curvature of space is entirely impossible - But even if it existed it would not explain the motions of the bodies as observed. Only the existence of a field of force can account for the motions of the bodies as observed, and its assumption dispenses with space curvature. All literature on this subject is futile and destined to oblivion. So are all attempts to explain the workings of the universe without recognizing the existence of the ether and the indispensable function it plays in the phenomena."
    -- Nikola Tesla
    I completely agree that this is a bold statement by Tesla but, nevertheless, a reasonable one. And I think that it seems more plausible that tesla's dynamic theory, having a field of force connects to the natural world rather than a presumed curved spacetime. That a medium where all fundamental forces such as gravity is much more coherent in our universe. So with respect to these statements what are your opinions of tesla's theory, in contrary, to Einstrein's?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2014 #2


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    Utterly naive and utterly mistaken. According to Wikipedia, Tesla didn't believe in electrons either. He should have stuck to Electrical Engineering.
  4. Apr 14, 2014 #3


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    Slightly shorter answer: it isn't a theory, it is just an idea.
  5. Apr 14, 2014 #4
    Tesla was obviously clinging to a Newtonian worldview. Special relativity already gave a severe blow to the absoluteness of space and time and it was completely given up in general relativity. As for it's falsifiability: It's absolutely falsifiable and has withstood all tests up to now:

    http://relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2006-3/download/lrr-2006-3Color.pdf [Broken]

    It isn't unusual for people not to be willing to give up their old worldview. We see it with evolution-deniers, religious fundamentalists and people believing the war on drugs is a good idea. It's an entirely human response.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  6. Apr 14, 2014 #5
    I humbly submit to your opinion, but I do not think it is fair to contradict someone with an unfair prejudice just because it does not agree with our belief. Perhaps he is wrong, but what if his idea of gravity is right?
  7. Apr 14, 2014 #6
    Right. See this, especially towards the end:


    Feynman discusses how criticizing a theory and offering an idea in the place is easy and useless. The hard part is to actually work out a theory that will be better.
  8. Apr 14, 2014 #7
    It contradicts experiment, so it isn't right.
  9. Apr 14, 2014 #8
    I agree with that completely, and I do recognize Tesla can be wrong.
  10. Apr 14, 2014 #9
    I did not see any prejudice and beliefs in Bill_K's answer.

    Well, an idea by itself is useless. What we want is the math. We want to be able to make quantitative predictions. The theory of General Relativity does that and it is accurate to a very high degree. Remind yourself that GR has been tested several times and is probably one of the most succesful physical theories ever!

    So what we need from Tesla is a theory that is either conceptually and computationally simpler than GR but still explains the correct phenomena and makes the same quantitative predictions. Or we need a theory that actually goes beyond GR and explains more phenomena. I read from wikipedia (yes, incomplete resource blablabla) that his theory was never found in his writings. In that case, the entire idea becomes useless since there is no theory that accompagnies it and thus there are no mathematical predictions that we can check.

    Also, if the wikipedia page is accurate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla#Views_on_experimental_and_theoretical_physics
    Then you should probably know that everything he mentions about theoretical physics has been debunked.
  11. Apr 14, 2014 #10


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    Why isn't this thread locked yet? This is pure nonsensical speculation and Tesla is the least qualified source of authority on general relativity or anything in physics for that matter.
  12. Apr 14, 2014 #11


    Staff: Mentor

    Because I was travelling and in meetings. My apologies.
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