What is gravity?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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seeds
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by seeds » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:01 am

uwot wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:21 pm
Dunno seeds. The defining feature of entanglement is that it's 'superlumimal' ie faster than light. By my reckoning, that would imply that gravity shouldn't disminish with distance; which it demonstrably does.
That’s a good point, uwot.

However, as a thought experiment...

...imagine being able to immerse yourself (your mind sans body) within the context of the quantum (“non-local” reality) wherein the only thing you experience is something akin to this...

Image

You would not only be encountering the ever-changing patterns of information (un-collapsed quantum waves) that correspond with the dynamic processes taking place between the stars and planets (“local” reality),...

...but you would also witness the information describing the space between the stars and planets.

And that’s because from the quantum perspective, literally everything (including empty space itself) is written in code, so to speak, a coding that (theoretically) is superpositionally intertwined into one unbroken whole (the “universal wavefunction”).

Now with that in mind, there is no denying the fact that up at the “local” level of reality there are distinct and separate appearing objects (galaxies, stars, planets, etc.) that interact with each other...

Image

...which means that there is something in the “coding” at the informational level that represents and defines the unique form and structure of each individual object.

Therefore (and to your point), what I am suggesting is that even though the whole shebang is instantaneously (superluminally) interconnected via the standard definition of entanglement,..

...nevertheless, the strength of the informational bond that maintains the integrity and sovereignty of each object itself is stronger than the overall bond of the universal wavefunction.

In which case, one can imagine that the underlying quantum processes could allow for an “entangling” and “detangling” (coherence/decoherence?) of the patterns of information in such a way that corresponds with the strengthening and waning of gravitational effects based on distance (as was suggested in the OP).

Again, what I am proposing is that when we lift a bowling ball, we encounter a vastly more complex array of quantum algorithms to cycle-through than what we encounter when lifting a feather, which, in turn, translates as resistance (gravity) up at the “local” level of reality.

And because a bowling ball - floating in the open vacuum of space - is no longer “acutely” entangled with a planet as described earlier...

...it is therefore weightless.

(Note: Again, it should be taken as a given that this is all just fun speculation.)

(Continued in next post)
_______

seeds
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by seeds » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:04 am

_______

(Continued from prior post)

To be totally honest, and to introduce another metaphor into the mix, I personally believe that the phenomenon of gravity, along with every other phenomenon encountered up at the “local” level of reality, is a “software” issue.

In other words, we experience the phenomenon of what we call gravity because it is a part of the underlying “coding” of reality itself – a coding that is metaphorically similar to the coding that underlies the virtual phenomena of a video game, or a DVD movie, or a laser hologram, or even that of our thoughts and dreams.
_______

uwot
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by uwot » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:47 am

seeds wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:04 am
To be totally honest, and to introduce another metaphor into the mix, I personally believe that the phenomenon of gravity, along with every other phenomenon encountered up at the “local” level of reality, is a “software” issue.
You could be right, seeds. For me it comes down to the philosophical question 'What is the universe made of?' It is characteristic of philosophical questions that the answer is 'I don't know.' Is there a god? I don't know. Are there objective moral values? I don't know. Is there such a thing as objective beauty? I don't know. How do you know that you know? I don't know.
As I keep saying, what most people do is take a particular stance on a subject they care about, and use philosophical tools; logic and whatnot, to construct a more or less coherent story. What some people then do is assume that because a story makes sense, it is true. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but the problem is that there isn't any limit to the number of stories that can be made up which are both coherent and consistent with the evidence. The only condition being that evidence can sometimes prove a theory wrong, which is why some scientists get so excited about Popper's falsificationism.
I think that the possibility that the universe is made of some actual stuff hasn't been exhausted. In my defence, I cite Einstein and Robert Laughlin below. If, as Einstein insisted, "space is endowed with physical properties", then you can invent a story according to which gravity is the result of refraction. I've sifted the relevant pages from my blog so that you can cut to the chase, without trudging through all the other gubbins. https://willijbouwman.blogspot.co.uk

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories
Einstein sometimes used the word aether for the gravitational field within general relativity, but this terminology never gained widespread support.

"We may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an aether. According to the general theory of relativity space without aether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. But this aether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it."

Quantum vacuum
Quantum mechanics can be used to describe spacetime as being non-empty at extremely small scales, fluctuating and generating particle pairs that appear and disappear incredibly quickly. It has been suggested by some such as Paul Dirac that this quantum vacuum may be the equivalent in modern physics of a particulate aether. However, Dirac's aether hypothesis was motivated by his dissatisfaction with quantum electrodynamics, and it never gained support from the mainstream scientific community.

Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel Laureate in Physics, endowed chair in physics, Stanford University, had this to say about ether in contemporary theoretical physics:

"It is ironic that Einstein's most creative work, the general theory of relativity, should boil down to conceptualizing space as a medium when his original premise [in special relativity] was that no such medium existed [..] The word 'ether' has extremely negative connotations in theoretical physics because of its past association with opposition to relativity. This is unfortunate because, stripped of these connotations, it rather nicely captures the way most physicists actually think about the vacuum. . . . Relativity actually says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of matter pervading the universe, only that any such matter must have relativistic symmetry. [..] It turns out that such matter exists. About the time relativity was becoming accepted, studies of radioactivity began showing that the empty vacuum of space had spectroscopic structure similar to that of ordinary quantum solids and fluids. Subsequent studies with large particle accelerators have now led us to understand that space is more like a piece of window glass than ideal Newtonian emptiness. It is filled with 'stuff' that is normally transparent but can be made visible by hitting it sufficiently hard to knock out a part. The modern concept of the vacuum of space, confirmed every day by experiment, is a relativistic ether. But we do not call it this because it is taboo."

thedoc
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by thedoc » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:28 pm

uwot wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:47 am
As I keep saying, what most people do is take a particular stance on a subject they care about, and use philosophical tools; logic and whatnot, to construct a more or less coherent story. What some people then do is assume that because a story makes sense, it is true. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but the problem is that there isn't any limit to the number of stories that can be made up which are both coherent and consistent with the evidence. The only condition being that evidence can sometimes prove a theory wrong, which is why some scientists get so excited about Popper's falsificationism.
It needs to be remembered that the Universe is not required to conform to human expectations of what it should be. The Universe is, and humans can only approximately describe what they observe.

thedoc
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by thedoc » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:33 pm

seeds wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:04 am
_______

(Continued from prior post)

To be totally honest, and to introduce another metaphor into the mix, I personally believe that the phenomenon of gravity, along with every other phenomenon encountered up at the “local” level of reality, is a “software” issue.

In other words, we experience the phenomenon of what we call gravity because it is a part of the underlying “coding” of reality itself – a coding that is metaphorically similar to the coding that underlies the virtual phenomena of a video game, or a DVD movie, or a laser hologram, or even that of our thoughts and dreams.
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Relating to both posts, you must be very careful when using the term "code" and clearly define it as the specifications that arise in response to the conditions that exist. Too many people will argue that if there is a code, then there must be a code-writer, and that does not always follow.

thedoc
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by thedoc » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:38 pm

seeds wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:00 am
thedoc wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:49 am
Which is heavier, a ton of lead or a ton of feathers?
Doc, you have presented a non sequitur that completely ignores the premise of the theory.
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That is not a "non-sequitur", it addresses the question of how some peoples conception of objects affects their perception of that object. Too many people will not see that a ton is a ton no matter what the material. BTW it does follow that the proper answer is that they both weigh the same, in the same frame of reference.

uwot
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by uwot » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:04 pm

thedoc wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:28 pm
It needs to be remembered that the Universe is not required to conform to human expectations of what it should be.
Absolutely. The history of science is a wasteland of false theories. As Serendipper put it, knowledge proceeds one funeral at a time (or something like that).
thedoc wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:28 pm
The Universe is, and humans can only approximately describe what they observe.
I dunno. For example, Richard Feynman described the accuracy of quantum electro-dynamics as equivalent to the difference of a hair's breadth in the distance between LA and New York. That's a pretty good approximation.

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QuantumT
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by QuantumT » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:47 pm

I recently wrote, that I had a theory that neutrons might attract eachother, and create gravity. That does not collaborate with most stars, since they consist of mostly pure hydrogen, who has no neutrons.

I hereby declare the idea/theory a stillborn. I was wrong. One thing that made me finally dismiss it, was the newly detected gravitational waves. And the math.
I just really liked the idea of quantum gravity. Wanted it. But general relativity prevails.

I bow humbly to science and pledge obedience to facts.
I shall never let you rest, but challenge you anyway I can.
Cause only when you survive deep scrutiny, we can know you are real.

seeds
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by seeds » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:59 pm

thedoc wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:38 pm
seeds wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:00 am
thedoc wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:49 am
Which is heavier, a ton of lead or a ton of feathers?
Doc, you have presented a non sequitur that completely ignores the premise of the theory.
_______
That is not a "non-sequitur", it addresses the question of how some peoples conception of objects affects their perception of that object. Too many people will not see that a ton is a ton no matter what the material. BTW it does follow that the proper answer is that they both weigh the same, in the same frame of reference.
I was comparing the difference between the quantum constituents of a “single” bowling ball to that of a “single” feather...

...(and make that the feather of a sparrow, lest you suggest a giant feather from some kind of extinct behemoth).

In which case (as it applies to the premise of the thread), your comparison of a ton of bowling balls to a ton of feathers is at best a non sequitur, and at worst a strawman.

(Just let it go, doc.)
_______

seeds
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by seeds » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:00 pm

seeds wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:04 am
To be totally honest, and to introduce another metaphor into the mix, I personally believe that the phenomenon of gravity, along with every other phenomenon encountered up at the “local” level of reality, is a “software” issue.
uwot wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:47 am
You could be right, seeds. For me it comes down to the philosophical question 'What is the universe made of?'
Clearly, uwot (clearly to me, anyway), the universe is made of a substance that is capable of becoming anything imaginable.

So what do you think is the philosophical implication of that particular fact?
uwot wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:47 am
I think that the possibility that the universe is made of some actual stuff hasn't been exhausted.
Of course it is made of “actual stuff.” I mean, why question the obvious?

In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that anything that exists on the opposite side of absolute nothingness can be considered as being “actual stuff” in some context or another (what else would it be?).
uwot wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:47 am
In my defence, I cite Einstein and Robert Laughlin below. If, as Einstein insisted, "space is endowed with physical properties", then you can invent a story according to which gravity is the result of refraction.
Agreed.

And speaking of refraction, in this YouTube video titled, “Why is light slower in glass” (here - https://youtu.be/CiHN0ZWE5bk), a British professor of astronomy (Michael Merrifield) speaks of how quantum superposition could be responsible for the slowing down of light.

In which case, doesn’t it seem logical that the effects of superposition would also apply to the processes that determine the strengthening or waning of gravity?
uwot wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:47 am
I've sifted the relevant pages from my blog so that you can cut to the chase, without trudging through all the other gubbins. https://willijbouwman.blogspot.co.uk
In going over your blog illustrations I cannot help but get the feeling that we are both saying the same thing, in that the denser the medium, the slower the algorithmic processes become, thus translating as resistance (gravity) up at the “local” level of reality.
uwot wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:47 am
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories
Einstein sometimes used the word aether for the gravitational field within general relativity, but this terminology never gained widespread support.
As an aside, I have often wondered if all the talk about “dark matter” and “dark energy” could actually be an indirect reference to something that, in essence, is the invisible workings of an ether.
uwot wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:47 am
Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel Laureate in Physics, endowed chair in physics, Stanford University, had this to say about ether in contemporary theoretical physics:

"...The word 'ether' has extremely negative connotations in theoretical physics because of its past association with opposition to relativity. This is unfortunate because, stripped of these connotations, it rather nicely captures the way most physicists actually think about the vacuum. . . . Subsequent studies with large particle accelerators have now led us to understand that space is more like a piece of window glass than ideal Newtonian emptiness..."
Thanks, uwot, that’s all good information.

And again, from the purely quantum perspective as depicted in the image I uploaded earlier,...

Image

...just as I have been suggesting regarding the nature and workings of gravity, likewise, the glass-like transparency of the so-called “ether” (which, among other things, presents itself as the empty space between the stars and planets) is just another informationally-based aspect of the coding in the seamless and interpenetrating “software” of reality.

Again, uwot, what do you suppose the “philosophical” implication is of the universe being composed of a substance that is capable of becoming anything imaginable?
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Impenitent
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by Impenitent » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:53 pm

monads...

then again

-Imp

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QuantumT
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by QuantumT » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:04 am

Gravity is like the speed of light. There is no obvious reason. No logical mathematical cause.
We might be able to calculate them in equations, but that does not make them logic.

They are rules. Rules that make the universe the way it is. Makes the Earth possisble. Makes us possible.

I'd love a better answer, than "the fabric of space pushing me down", but we have no better.

For me, gravity has become yet another small piece of evidence, that our universe might be virtual.

uwot
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by uwot » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:10 am

seeds wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:00 pm
...I would go so far as to suggest that anything that exists on the opposite side of absolute nothingness can be considered as being “actual stuff” in some context or another (what else would it be?).
Fair enough. I was simply trying to distinguish between materialism and idealism, or any idea that the universe is a simulation or illusory.
seeds wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:00 pm
And speaking of refraction, in this YouTube video titled, “Why is light slower in glass” (here - https://youtu.be/CiHN0ZWE5bk), a British professor of astronomy (Michael Merrifield) speaks of how quantum superposition could be responsible for the slowing down of light.
As he says, at 13.33 "That's the problem with physics. We're modelling reality....There's one reality, but you can have multiple models." Some of these models we know are not 'true', but that doesn't stop them getting results. Newton's law of gravitation, for instance, is 'wrong', but it is still perfectly adequate for sending men to the moon.
seeds wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:00 pm
In which case, doesn’t it seem logical that the effects of superposition would also apply to the processes that determine the strengthening or waning of gravity?
Well, for anyone who finds my model to be helpful, that's page 36 of the blog. I didn't want to put any maths in the blog so I didn't point out that density diminishes according to an inverse square law, which is what Newton's law of universal gravitation is. And it's basically a compressible material, hence it is relativistic.
seeds wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:00 pm
In going over your blog illustrations I cannot help but get the feeling that we are both saying the same thing, in that the denser the medium, the slower the algorithmic processes become, thus translating as resistance (gravity) up at the “local” level of reality.
I suspect we are, but the way you put it sounds like things slow down because the maths takes longer to do. It comes to the same thing, I suppose.
seeds wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:00 pm
As an aside, I have often wondered if all the talk about “dark matter” and “dark energy” could actually be an indirect reference to something that, in essence, is the invisible workings of an ether.
Page 31 for dark energy. https://willijbouwman.blogspot.co.uk Dark matter is invoked to explain why the rotation of galaxies doesn't tear them apart. Long story short-aether drag.
seeds wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:00 pm
...just as I have been suggesting regarding the nature and workings of gravity, likewise, the glass-like transparency of the so-called “ether” (which, among other things, presents itself as the empty space between the stars and planets) is just another informationally-based aspect of the coding in the seamless and interpenetrating “software” of reality.
Depends what you mean by "software". In the model I am suggesting, 'big bang stuff' is more like the hardware, in that it is a medium that has a lot of turbulence in it. You could describe the 'rules' that create the patterns in this turbulence and the different configurations that result in 'particles' as software.
seeds wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:00 pm
Again, uwot, what do you suppose the “philosophical” implication is of the universe being composed of a substance that is capable of becoming anything imaginable?
The whole blog/book is really just an exploration of the philosophical idea that the universe is made of some material that behaves exactly like experiments tell us it behaves. In the earlier versions I brought up some philosophical possibilities, that this stuff might have been made by some mad scientist or a 'god' of some sort, or even that it is god. But those being philosophical suggestions, I don't know. As it stands, the book finishes with:
If that’s not weird enough; if everything in the universe is made of Big Bang stuff, then so are you. And from the moment you were born, every atom of your being, every arrangement of atoms that gave rise to every thought you have ever had, has been generating waves and patterns in Big Bang stuff that will spread out across the universe forever.
Who knows what that might mean?

thedoc
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Re: What is gravity?

Post by thedoc » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:18 pm

Gravity is a name that humans give to a particular phenomenon, to argue that the name or word is wrong is incorrect and pointless. Argue about the phenomenon of objects falling towards larger objects and why it happens. Saying there is no such thing as gravity is stupid in the extreme, explain why one object is attracted to another.

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Re: What is gravity?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:47 pm

In the science community, gravity is recognized as one of the four fundamental forces in the universe, plain and simple.

PhilX 🇺🇸

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