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Cosmic System Dynamics: A Cyberneticist's Perspective on Gravitation
[Blackwell, G., Kybernetes Vol. 40 Issue 9/10, pp 1319-1330, Nov. 2011] [link]
Extended Abstract, Introduction and Conclusion
[See introductory notes on this paper]
[See also earlier paper on Special Relativity]
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This paper presents a novel perspective on the interplay of forces that govern the dynamics of the massively complex multi-body system that is our physical universe. It offers a consistent, coherent and complete rationale for the phenomenon referred to as 'gravitation'. This includes notably, for the first time, an explanation for the mechanism by which "matter tells space how to curve and curved space tells matter how to move", also possible causal explanations for the various outcomes of Einstein's equivalence principle.
Starting from the well-supported premise that elementary particles are formed from closed-loop electromagnetic energy flows, the likely impact of such constructs on the behaviour of large-scale dynamic systems is analysed from first principles.
Gravitation is shown to be a natural consequence of such a construct. The warping of space in the presence of gravitating mass, consistent with the view presented by general relativity, is shown to relate to a clearly comprehensible physical structure with a well-defined causation. Possible explanations are offered for: gravitational time dilation; gravitational red shift; gravitational potential energy; slowing and bending of light in a gravitational field.
This novel perspective opens a wide range of potential avenues of innovative research, both pure and applied.
A variety of new technologies may prove to be open to development, notably in the aerospace field. Antigravity technologies, whilst amenable to investigation and possible development, may prove highly energy-intensive.
Totally original and of very significant potential value in various respects.
Aerospace industry, Cybernetics, General relativity, Gravitation, Quantum gravity, System dynamics.
This paper is dedicated to the memory of that Grand Master of cybernetics, Gordon Pask. His understanding of the wave-nature of particles placed him well ahead of his time.
The dynamics of the highly complex system that is our universe are determined by the effect referred to as 'gravitation'. Opinions are divided as to whether the celestial engineering governing that complexity is the result of random processes or some form of higher intention. Either way, from a cybernetic viewpoint explanation is still very much needed for the precise mechanism by which countless clusters of galaxies, and the innumerable star systems in each of them, are each maintained in a state of self-regulating dynamic equilibrium.
General relativity defines gravitation in terms of curvature of spacetime, however what this means in material terms is not defined. Rather it is explained either purely mathematically or by analogy, e.g. as a 'dent' in spacetime caused by a massive body such as a star, around which a satellite body such as a planet follows a regular path.
Likewise the means by which material objects create that curvature has yet to be explained. The present level of understanding of this phenomenon is well expressed by cosmologist John Wheeler's paraphrasing of this fundamental tenet of general relativity: "Matter tells space how to curve and curved space tells matter how to move." Whilst this provides a useful mathematical model, the reciprocal roles of 'gravitating mass' and 'gravitation' are generally circularly defined in terms of each other.
Difficulties also exist in respect of the hypothetical elementary particle generally regarded as mediating gravitational effects. Whilst the concept of the graviton offers an element of consistency with quantum field theory, gravitation is itself nonrenormalizable in this form (Feynman et al., 1995). This means that at high energy states infinities that arise due to quantum effects cannot be eliminated, leading to meaningless results.
Furthermore, gravitons have not yet been detected, nor is detection of individual gravitons a realistic possibility (Dyson, 2004; Rothman and Boughn, 2006). Projects currently underway to detect gravitational waves – coherent multi-graviton states – depend on prior assumption of the existence of such waves (Ando et al., 2002; Sigg, 2002; Wilke et al., 2004; La Penna et al., 2007). It's possible that results deemed to relate to such waves may in fact relate to some other aspect of reality, notably to the true nature of gravitational effects, if the current view is incorrect or incomplete.
Conventional general relativity, then, is recognized as being deficient to some degree in its inability to effectively handle situations such as black holes or the original big bang event, leaving a need for a more comprehensive theory (Hawking and Israel, 1979). Given also the lack of experimental evidence of the existence of gravitons, the question then arises as to whether an alternative perspective on the whole issue of gravitation may be worthy of serious consideration.
Following the principle of Occam's razor – "Do not multiply entities unnecessarily" – it's also worth considering whether gravitons are needed at all, or indeed even gravitation itself as an effect in its own right distinct from all others. It may be, rather, that observed phenomena currently attributed to gravitation are fully explainable in terms of other, more thoroughly characterised, effects.
Clearly any alternative explanation of gravitational effects would need, in addition to fully addressing every detail of gravitational attraction, to provide clear answers to three long-standing questions relating to this phenomenon:
(1) Why is gravitation always attractive, never giving rise to repulsion?
(2) Why is gravitation many orders of magnitude weaker in its effect than any of the other fundamental forces?
(3) Why is gravitation infinite in the extent of its effects?
Proposals offered to date in respect of these issues would appear to be somewhat speculative.
It is in fact fully possible to offer a complete rationale for gravitational phenomena without reference to any gravitational particles or waves. This rationale is fully compatible with the concept of 'curved spacetime' and indeed provides a cogent explanation for the basis of that 'curvature' as embodied in the principles and equations of general relativity. It further provides clear answers to the three questions posed above. Last, but by no means least, it offers a way forward in addressing key fundamental issues in respect of the nature of space and time.
That rationale is the subject of the remaining sections of this paper.
[Body of paper]
Research from a wide variety of sources lends strong support to the hypothesis that elementary particles of matter are formed from those time-varying electromagnetic field phenomena generally referred to as photons, configured into closed-loop form. The electromagnetic potential from such fields is shown by the Aharonov-Bohm effect to be unimpeded by material boundaries and hence effectively unlimited in its extent.
It has been demonstrated here that the electromagnetic potential resulting from the totality of matter across the universe, aggregated according to the strength of every contributory element at each point in space, provides a complete and coherent explanation for the effect known as gravitation. This explanation offers a rationale for the concept of curved spacetime as well as defining the mechanisms underlying effects intuited by Einstein in his equivalence principle and found to agree closely with experiment.
This rationale supports all principles of special and general relativity, with the exception of the unproven hypothesis of frame equivalence. The existence of a preferred reference frame, as identified here, leads to an asymmetry in the Lorentz transformation, conventionally regarded as a symmetric rotation in spacetime. That asymmetry relaxes the requirement for a scalar field to remain invariant under the Lorentz transformation.
It is hoped that this new perspective may provide a way forward in resolving formerly intractable issues relating to nonrenormalizable infinities in high energy quantum states, such as at the centre of a black hole, as well as opening up new avenues for investigation in various areas of fundamental research.
Cosmic System Dynamics: A Cyberneticist's Perspective on Gravitation
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Don't miss also these non-technical books on the cyclic-photon view of matter.