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What substance fills the universe?

  1. Jul 4, 2009 #1
    This substance rushing in to the center of the earth creating pressure could be what we call gravity, no?

    Could gravitational lensing be the result of this substance rushing into the center of a mass and changing the direction of photons or other particles?

    Do different types of particles react differently to gravitational lensing?

    If there is a substance that fills the universe does it have measurable properties?
    Conductivity, Density...

    100+ years ago Scientists called it "ether". What terms are they using today?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2009 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    There is no evidence of such a substance.
  4. Jul 4, 2009 #3
    It's not usually considered a "substance" but space does have measureable properties like distance, volume and temperature and curvature. The term "vacuum of outer space" is misleading because it implies "nothing". Space is not fixed and unchanging; it changes relative to speed (special theory of relativity), curves in the presence of gravitational potential( general theory), moving as mass passes through it and it is also subject to quantum jitters.

    In fact it is belived our entire universe may have poppoed out of a random quantum fluctuation which resulted in the big bang. Debate continues whether space is itself an entity, a relationship between entities, or part of a conceptual framework. We do know space is required for intelligent life to develop. Space also morphs into time in some unusual situations as inside black holes.

    There is probably more about it we don't know than we do know.
  5. Jul 4, 2009 #4
    Space moves as mass moves through it?
  6. Jul 5, 2009 #5
    I saw an episode on Science Channel with a British Physicist as narrator discussing Einsteins Relativity Gravity, updating the info with new research and such. Probably from the first 20 minutes of the episode.

    1.In describing Gravity, using Einsteins descriptions, the 2D fabric stretching from a heavier mass with a smaller mass eliptically rotatiing around it.

    2.But also, there was a description of an inrushing of force, from all directions, towards the center of the earth which keeps us on it's surface. They used an Einstein caricature falling from space to the earth.

    I am asking about point #2 and its implications and interactions.

    It is like a fly on a screen and a fan blowing with sufficient velocity to keep the fly on the screen but not fly away.

    Gravity is like the wind from the fan.

    Is it possible there is a substance, like the wind from the fly/fan/screen analogy that we call Gravity?

    This would make sense to me if that mass is passing through a medium or substance.

    If you put a ball in a swimming pool and it moves through the water, water near the ball will move with it.

    In difference there is potential, Hot is less dense and cold is more dense, or high pressure and low pressure, in electricity there is a similar function with charge potential. The greater the difference the greater the potential. Wouldn't this carry over to Gravity if it is a substance?

    Do these curves occur near objects of mass or also in "empty" space?
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  7. Jul 6, 2009 #6


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    You are not seeing the big picture here. Empty space is filled with potentials, potentials are not filled with empty space.
  8. Jul 6, 2009 #7
    And any given volume might be 'filled' with photons passing through that have not as yet reached their destinations (virtual?). Which could easily be the same as potentials, but might be easier to visualize. Photons are really only the leftover 'energy bits' or disruptions of other reactions/interactions (my visualization)
  9. Jul 11, 2009 #8
    My swimming pool is filled with fun potential, though it is empty of people. :)
    Also, I did put "empty" in quotes, though it may be a cauldron of potential.

    If there is this constant inrushing towards the center of the earth, what does it do once it gets to the center? What next?

    As a photon passes near the sun, it's path curves.
    If there is a subtle substance, Could gravitational lensing be used to calculate it's mass?
    Determine the amount of force exerted on the photon by the subtle substance as it rushes in to the center of the sun?
    How much of that curving is a result of electro-magnetism from the sun?

    Sonoluminescence applied to the gaseous bubble of the sun, may point towards a substance that fills the universe.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  10. Jul 11, 2009 #9
    Not sure what you are conceiving as 'inrushing' -- but assuming something does, if can rush right back out again.
    Yes, but it might be better to say that the path near the sun is curved. -- for anything including a photon.
    Not really, no. Photon has no 'mass'.
    No force is exerted on a photon.
  11. Jul 11, 2009 #10


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    There is not. This is a flawed analogy. Period. End of sentence. Full stop.
  12. Jul 11, 2009 #11


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    Rymer is correct. The photon is not "pulled towards the Sun". Spacetime is curved near the Sun. Photons follow this curved spacetime.
  13. Jul 11, 2009 #12


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    To the OP. Go to Amazon, and you can buy "The Philosophy of Vacuum" for about $40. It's a good read.
  14. Jul 12, 2009 #13


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    Space is the distance between matter possessing particles. Nothing more, nothing less. It is irrelevant in the absence of matter.
  15. Jul 12, 2009 #14
    Interesting ... expand on that thought.
  16. Jul 12, 2009 #15
    The inrush theory has been around for a number of years - what is interesting is that the mathematics corresponds to the notion of a substance that is accelerating toward masses - there are several aticles on the net seeking to promote the notion of a something that inrushes - but it may be that space contains energy e.g., in the form of gravitational fields (stess) and this accounts for the fact that the virtual inrush velocity looks like a real substance that corresponds to the same accelEration that one would calculate for the escape velocity etc. In other words, the void mimics a real substance -mathematically - you might look up some of the material on the web by Tom Martin, Cahill and others -that proposed some experiments to verify their theory of a substantive flow - we even see some references to the notion of space flowing into black holes in Harrison's book (as an explanation of the fact that photons cannot swim upstream at a velocity greater than c and therefore do not excape from BlACK hOLES - I guess its no more preposterous than virtual photons - SORT OF DEPENDS UPON THE CREDABILITY OF THE PROPONENT
  17. Jul 13, 2009 #16
    Thanks yogi. I know there are others as well. I'll have to dig a little to be a better advocate for these alternate perspectives, hopefully leaving out the cracked pottery.

    That is one perspective. Although, a large group of people say it is so.

    Why do spinning moving objects weigh less than similar objects at rest?
    Are spinning objects throwing something off? Are they interacting with the quantum medium?

    Maybe pushed or pressured would be a better term.

    The photon is "pushed" towards the Sun.
    The photon is "pressured" towards the Sun.

    @ turbo-1
    Thanks for the book reference. I may check it out.
    I wonder if Borders, B&N or my library has a copy.

    If I throw a tennis ball and a rubber ducky in a river, will they travel down river at the same rate?
    The rubber ducky weighs half that of the tennis ball.

    If I throw a tennis ball and a rubber ducky off the Empire State Building, will they fall at the same rate?

    Gravity's effect, on these objects, may be a river of fluid moving from space towards the center of the earth. Caught in it's current, these objects would "fall" at the same rate from the Empire State Building.

    In billiards, if you have two balls, each a different weight, one half the other, Does it take more force to strike the heavier ball and move it 2 feet than striking the lighter ball and moving it 2 feet? Now throw them off the Empire State building.

    Sir Oliver Lodge must have never seen a fish out of water when he made that statement.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  18. Jul 13, 2009 #17


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    Nice try. It's not about how popular the theory is; it is about how well the theory fits the observations. So far, just haven't been able to find observations that compellingly contradict the current theory of gravity.

    OTOH, you will discover that, fairly quickly, the observed behaviour of the world deviates from this inrush theory's predictions.

    BTW, theories are not built on intuitive models and analogies. Electrons orbiting protons like planets orbiting a sun was an intuitive, analagous model. It looked good to the layperson. But it was not so when you did the math. Don't be fooled by superficial similarities in models.

    Finally, what you want to read is a book called "Gravity is a Push". But don't bring your thoughts about it back here. It too is fanciful hogwash, but it might keep you occupied.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  19. Jul 14, 2009 #18
    When it comes to gravitational theories, some are definitely better than others - but as Richard Feynman put it:

    "No machinery has ever been invented that explains gravity without also predicting some other phenomena that does not exist."
  20. Jul 15, 2009 #19


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    Straws of wisdom, grasp at them if you must yogi. Quoting out of context is not an effective debate strategy.
  21. Jul 15, 2009 #20
    I didn't know we were in a debate, but if we are, it is up to you, having raised the issue, to show that the quote is out of context.
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