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Einstein’s Theory ‘Improved’?

A Chinese astronomer from the University of St Andrews has fine-tuned Einstein’s groundbreaking theory of gravity, creating a ‘simple’ theory which could solve a dark mystery that has baffled astrophysicists for three-quarters of a century.

A new law for gravity, developed by Dr Hong Sheng Zhao and his Belgian collaborator Dr Benoit Famaey of the Free University of Brussels (ULB), aims to prove whether Einstein’s theory was in fact correct and whether the astronomical mystery of Dark Matter actually exists. Their research was published on February 10th in the US-based Astrophysical Journal Letters. Their formula suggests that gravity drops less sharply with distance as in Einstein, and changes subtly from solar systems to galaxies and to the universe.

Theories of the physics of gravity were first developed by Isaac Newton in 1687 and refined by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity in 1905 to allow light bending. While it is the earliest-known force, gravity is still very much a mystery with theories still unconfirmed by astronomical observations in space.

The ‘problem’ with the golden laws of Newton and Einstein is whilst they work very well on earth, they do not explain the motion of stars in galaxies and the bending of light accurately. In galaxies, stars rotate rapidly about a central point, held in orbit by the gravitational attraction of the matter in the galaxy. However astronomers found that they were moving too quickly to be held by their mutual gravity – so not enough gravity to hold the galaxies together instead stars should be thrown off in all directions!

The solution to this, proposed by Fritz Zwicky in 1933, was that there was unseen material in the galaxies, making up enough gravity to hold the galaxies together. As this material emits no light astronomers call it ‘Dark Matter’. It is thought to account for up to 90% of matter in the Universe. Not all scientists accept the Dark Matter theory however. A rival solution was proposed by Moti Milgrom in 1983 and backed up by Jacob Bekenstein in 2004. Instead of the existence of unseen material, Milgrom proposed that astronomers understanding of gravity was incorrect. He proposed that a boost in the gravity of ordinary matter is the cause of this acceleration.

Milgrom’s theory has been worked on by a number of astronomers since and Dr Zhao and Dr Famaey have proposed a new formulation of his work that overcomes many of the problems previous versions have faced.

They have created a formula that allows gravity to change continuously over various distance scales and, most importantly, fits the data for observations of galaxies. To fit galaxy data equally well in the rival Dark Matter paradigm would be as challenging as balancing a ball on a needle, which motivated the two astronomers to look at an alternative gravity idea.

Legend has it that Newton began thinking about gravity when an apple fell on his head, but according to Dr Zhao, “It is not obvious how an apple would fall in a galaxy. Mr Newton’s theory would be off by a large margin – his apple would fly out of the Milky Way. Efforts to restore the apple on a nice orbit around the galaxy have over the years led to two schools of thoughts: Dark Matter versus non-Newtonian gravity. Dark Matter particles come naturally from physics, with beautiful symmetries and explain cosmology beautifully; they tend to be everywhere. The real mystery is how to keep them away from some corners of the universe. Also Dark Matter comes hand- in-hand with Dark Energy. It would be more beautiful if there were one simple answer to all these mysteries”.

Dr Zhao, a PPARC Advanced Fellow at University of St Andrews, School of Physics and Astronomy, and member of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA), continued “There has always been a fair chance that astronomers might rewrite the law of gravity. We have created a new formula for gravity which we call ‘the simple formula’, and which is actually a refinement of Milgrom’s and Bekenstein’s. It is consistent with galaxy data so far, and if its predictions are further verified for solar system and cosmology, it could solve the Dark Matter mystery. We may be able to answer common questions such as whether Einstein’s theory of gravity is right and whether the so-called Dark Matter actually exists”.

“A non-Newtonian gravity theory is now fully specified on all scales by a smooth continuous function. It is ready for fellow scientists to falsify. It is time to keep an open mind for new fields predicted in our formula while we continue our search for Dark Matter particles.”

The new formula will be presented to an international workshop at Edinburgh’s Royal Observatory in April, which will be given the opportunity to test and debate the reworked theory. Dr Zhao and Dr Famaey will demonstrate their new formula to an audience of Dark Matter and gravity experts from ten different countries.

Dr Famaey commented “It is possible that neither the modified gravity theory, nor the Dark Matter theory, as they are formulated today, will solve all the problems of galactic dynamics or cosmology. The truth could in principle lie in between, but it is very plausible that we are missing something fundamental about gravity, and that a radically new theoretical approach will be needed to solve all these problems. Nevertheless, our formula is so attractively simple that it is tempting to see it as part of a yet unknown fundamental theory. All galaxy data seem to be explained effortlessly”.

From PPARC




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17 thoughts on “Einstein’s Theory ‘Improved’?”

  1. My former post was addressed to the one who said Einstein’s theory is correct. I think you are one of those people who don’t know much about relativity and just jump the bandwagon because they feel like doing it. It isnot because it is a popular theory made by a physicist called “Einstein” we need to blindly believe in it. People really should start thinking for themselves and don’t be sheeps following the herd.

    Anyway Einstein himself knew there was a possibility his theory was wrong:

    “I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept,i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics.”

    Figure this one out and you got the key that unlocks all the doors.

    @Pencho: Uhmm the velocity of light is independent of the source. Maxwell was right about this. The issue resolves around the speed of light if the velocity of the receiver varies.

    I think it is good advice when I say, you might want to look into electrodynamics. It is really tied up with relativity. You will appreciate it. Keep up the work!

  2. Actually you are being so naieve.

    What your telling was nothing new for the scientific community even before Einstein was born. Of course light speed will stay the same in vacuum. That is why Michelson and Morley didnot measure a decent ether drift. They should have used a medium with a higher density. The null result isnot justified to claim that all frames are equal. But hey we already know that our earth is moving with a certain velocity. Anyway Einstein didnot give much attention to the Michelson experiment. It is mostly the magnet and conductor experiment that fascinated him. This brings us to electrodynamics. The basis of relativity.

    The point is that Einstein’s special relativity is built heavily upon Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics. And let just say that THAT particular theory got his flaws as well. How electrodynamics passed from Ampere, Gauss, Weber to Maxwell is no surprise when you consider the British ruled the world back then. But that is a different story.

    Maxwell theory makes use of Eulerian coördinats instead of the Langragian coördinats in mechanics. It is always been Einstein’s dream to put everything into some new kind of geometry. (like eliminating gravity as action at a distance and creating a new kind of curved space) Of course big problems arise when you want to create a geometry with Eulerian field coordinats and certainly if you want to give a mechanical interpretation to it. That is something Lorentz didnot dare. Lorentz created the lorentz transformations but he didn’t give any physical meaning to it.

    Of course clocks will tick slower in a gravity potential. But that doesnot mean anything will hapen to time itself. I find it hilarious that some people think that time is effected. Of course not. The only thing that is effected are our physical aiding tools to measure length and time. Space is still Lagrangian, still 3D. Big bang are the mathematical fruits you get if you use eulerian coordinats. Doesn’t mean they are PHYSICAL.

    Lorentz was a good physicist but it was a shame to introduce an electromagnetic mass to account for Kaufman’s experiment which would later be incorrectly used in special relativity. After SR we got the mass instead of the force that increased, if the velocity increased.

    In the years that Special Relativity was introduced, it received tons of criticism. Even after WW1 right-wing german physicists just simply hated the theory. I can’t blame them. Back then it already was a theory full of contradiction. And it still is today.

  3. http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0406/0406104.pdf :

    “The constancy, or otherwise, of the speed of light” Daniel J. Farrell & J. Dunning-Davies, Department of Physics,University of Hull,Hull HU6 7RX, England. “Since the Special Theory of Relativity was expounded and accepted, it has seemed almost tantamount to sacrilege to even suggest that the speed of light be anything other than a constant. This is somewhat surprising since even Einstein himself suggested in a paper of 1911 [1] that the speed of light might vary with the gravitational potential…..Moreover, photons of low energy travel at ‘c’ while photons above a threshhold energy can have varying values, faster than ‘c’, which are proportional to their energy…..For accepted cosmological theories to be valid, it is required that the universe is composed of 5% ordinary matter, 25% dark matter and 70% dark energy. It seems more realistic to believe in a varying speed of light via the mechanisms discussed above, rather than invent abstract conceptions simply because they happen to balance familiar cosmological equations.”

    One day conscience in Einstein’s cult will be fully restored and Einsteinians will draw all the consequences of Einstein’s 1911 discovery that the speed of light varies with the gravitational potential. They may even discover that this is equivalent to c’=c+v, where c’ is the speed of light as measured by an observer, c is the initial speed of light relative to the light source and v is the relative speed of the light source and the observer in the absence of a gravitational field. For the moment bursts of conscience die down as soon as Einsteinians realise what money-spinner they are going to lose. There is nothing clearer than Einstein’s prediction: “If the speed of light is the least bit affected by the speed of the light source, then my whole theory of relativity and theory of gravity is false.”

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  4. http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0406/0406104.pdf :

    “The constancy, or otherwise, of the speed of light” Daniel J. Farrell & J. Dunning-Davies, Department of Physics,University of Hull,Hull HU6 7RX, England. “Since the Special Theory of Relativity was expounded and accepted, it has seemed almost tantamount to sacrilege to even suggest that the speed of light be anything other than a constant. This is somewhat surprising since even Einstein himself suggested in a paper of 1911 [1] that the speed of light might vary with the gravitational potential…..Moreover, photons of low energy travel at ‘c’ while photons above a threshhold energy can have varying values, faster than ‘c’, which are proportional to their energy…..For accepted cosmological theories to be valid, it is required that the universe is composed of 5% ordinary matter, 25% dark matter and 70% dark energy. It seems more realistic to believe in a varying speed of light via the mechanisms discussed above, rather than invent abstract conceptions simply because they happen to balance familiar cosmological equations.”

    One day conscience in Einstein’s criminal cult will be fully restored and Einsteinians will draw all the consequences of Einstein’s 1911 discovery that the speed of light varies with the gravitational potential. They may even find that this is equivalent to c’=c+v, where v is the relative speed of the light source and the observer in the absence of a gravitational field. For the moment bursts of conscience die down as soon as Einsteinians imagine what money-spinner they are going to lose.

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  5. In Big Brother’s world truth is replaced by falsity but the identification and rejection of false statements remain essential: if 2+2=5 is declared true, 2+2=4 automatically becomes false and is rejected.

    In Einstein’s world true and false statements coexist in “theories”. So in Einstein’s theory the speed of light is both invariable and variable. “Invariable” is false, “variable” is true but this distinction does not matter. What matters is the fact that Einstein’s theory “works” in the sense that millions of people make their living by teaching it, developing it, confirming it experimentally etc. It is unthinkable to disturb the integrity of the theory and threaten all those people by identifying, let alone rejecting, false statements.

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  6. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1868661388454830893
    “The importance of this [negative]result [of Michelson-Morley experiment] was that it proved that you can never add to or subtract from the speed of light.”

    Einsteinians should have said:

    “The importance of the negative result of Michelson-Morley experiment was that it proved that THE RELATIVE SPEED OF THE LIGHT SOURCE AND THE OBSERVER should always be added to or subtracted from the speed of light relative to the light source.”

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  7. Photons move in a gravitational field and either undergo acceleration (e.g. their speed becomes c’>c=300000km/s) or do not undergo acceleration (that is, their speed remains c=300000km/s). If they undergo acceleration the frequency shift detected by the receiver is due to the variable speed of light, in accordance with the formula c’=Lf’, where L is wavelength and f is frequency. If the photons do not undergo acceleration the frequency shift detected by the receiver is due to gravitational time dilation and variable wavelength, in accordance with the formula c=L’f’. It is easy to see that c’=Lf’ and c=L’f’ are the only possibilities. Roughly speaking, either variable speed of light and no gravitational time dilation, or gravitational time dilation and constant speed of light.

    Initially Einstein chose c’=Lf’:
    http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae13.cfm :
    “So, it is absolutely true that the speed of light is _not_ constant in a gravitational field [which, by the equivalence principle, applies as well to accelerating (non-inertial) frames of reference]. If this were not so, there would be no bending of light by the gravitational field of stars. One can do a simple Huyghens reconstruction of a wave front, taking into account the different speed of advance of the wavefront at different distances from the star (variation of speed of light), to derive the deflection of the light by the star.
    Indeed, this is exactly how Einstein did the calculation in:
    “On the Influence of Gravitation on the Propagation of Light,” Annalen der Physik, 35, 1911.
    which predated the full formal development of general relativity by about four years. This paper is widely available in English. You can find a copy beginning on page 99 of the Dover book “The Principle of Relativity.” You will find in section 3 of that paper, Einstein’s derivation of the (variable) speed of light in a gravitational potential, eqn (3). The result is,
    c’ = c0 ( 1 + V / c2 )
    where V is the gravitational potential relative to the point where the speed of light c0 is measured.”

    However later Einstein had to camouflage the fact that the frequency shift is due to variable speed of light and introduced gravitational time dilation – a concept extremely dangerous for human rationality. Two identical clocks in identical conditions (identical gravitational fields) allegedly have different rates. Rationality is immediately destroyed and the victim starts worshipping both the miracle and its creator.

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  8. Einstein’s cult has spent billions of dollars for the destruction of human rationality and the success is remarkable. In 1960 Pound and Rebka measured the gravitational redshift: their result confirmed Einstein’s formula c’=c+V/c, where c’ is the VARIABLE speed of light in a gravitational field, c is the initial speed of light relative to the light source and V is the gravitational potential. By applying the equivalence principle one can easily deduce c’=c+v, where c’ is the VARIABLE speed of light in the absence of a gravitational field and v is the relative speed of the light source and the observer. Clearly, the gravitational redshift is fatal for Einstein’s theory and modern physics in general. Yet the destroyed human rationality has been misled into believing that the redshift is a glorious confirmation of Einstein’s divinity.

    However happiness cannot be eternal and after 100 years of uncontrolled outrages Einstein’s cult will have to disappear. Its last convulsion can be seen in

    http://www.physorg.com/news77373279.html

    where the gravitational redshift is shown to confirm, for the last time, the divine theory.

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  9. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/genius/
    “Genius Among Geniuses” by Thomas Levenson
    “And then, in June, Einstein completes special relativity, which adds a twist to the story: Einstein’s March paper treated light as particles, but special relativity sees light as a continuous field of waves. Alice’s Red Queen can accept many impossible things before breakfast, but it takes a supremely confident mind to do so. Einstein, age 26, sees light as wave and particle, picking the attribute he needs to confront each problem in turn. Now that’s tough.”

    The genius among geniuses at the end of his career:
    “I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept,i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics.”

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  10. Uhhh… Einstein’s theory is correct. There is no conspiracy you morons.
    The speed of light in a vacuum is the same in every frame of reference. If you actually believe it isn’t, why don’t you perform an experiment to show it? Idiots.

  11. In 1911 Albert Einstein showed that in a gravitational field the speed of light is variable:

    c’ = c + V/c /1/

    where V is the gravitational potential. By applying the equivalence principle one could easily convert /1/ into

    c’ = c + v /2/

    where v is the relative speed of the light source and the observer in the absence of a gravitational field. Then one could remember Einstein’s words: “If the speed of light is the least bit affected by the speed of the light source, then my whole theory of relativity and theory of gravity is false”, and the catastrophe would be irreversible.

    Only a criminal cult can replace an imminent tragedy with an eternal happiness where money flows vigorously and trouble-makers are nipped in the bud.

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  12. http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/ :
    ON THE ELECTRODYNAMICS OF MOVING BODIES
    By A. Einstein June 30, 1905
    “It is known that Maxwell’s electrodynamics–as usually understood at the present time–when applied to moving bodies, leads to asymmetries which do not appear to be inherent in the phenomena. Take, for example, the reciprocal electrodynamic action of a magnet and a conductor. The observable phenomenon here depends only on the relative motion of the conductor and the magnet, whereas the customary view draws a sharp distinction between the two cases in which either the one or the other of these bodies is in motion. For if the magnet is in motion and the conductor at rest, there arises in the neighbourhood of the magnet an electric field with a certain definite energy, producing a current at the places where parts of the conductor are situated. But if the magnet is stationary and the conductor in motion, no electric field arises in the neighbourhood of the magnet. In the conductor, however, we find an electromotive force, to which in itself there is no corresponding energy, but which gives rise–assuming equality of relative motion in the two cases discussed–to electric currents of the same path and intensity as those produced by the electric forces in the former case. Examples of this sort, together with the unsuccessful attempts to discover any motion of the earth relatively to the “light medium,” suggest that the phenomena of electrodynamics as well as of mechanics possess no properties corresponding to the idea of absolute rest. They suggest rather that, as has already been shown to the first order of small quantities, the same laws of electrodynamics and optics will be valid for all frames of reference for which the equations of mechanics hold good.”

    Examples of this sort also suggest that the speed of light cannot be determined by the elastic properties of the ether, that is, independently of the speed of the light source, and therefore the only reasonable conclusion is: In so far as the speed of light is concerned, Newton’s particle model of light (rediscovered by Einstein himself) is correct. The speed of light is c’=c+v, where c is the relative speed of the photons and their source and v is the relative speed of the source and the observer.

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  13. Einstein’s hypnotists don’t camouflage anymore the fact that the speed of light is variable, not constant:

    http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae13.cfm
    “So, it is absolutely true that the speed of light is _not_ constant in a gravitational field [which, by the equivalence principle, applies as well to accelerating (non-inertial) frames of reference]. If this were not so, there would be no bending of light by the gravitational field of stars. One can do a simple Huyghens reconstruction of a wave front, taking into account the different speed of advance of the wavefront at different distances from the star (variation of speed of light), to derive the deflection of the light by the star.
    Indeed, this is exactly how Einstein did the calculation in:
    “On the Influence of Gravitation on the Propagation of Light,” Annalen der Physik, 35, 1911.
    which predated the full formal development of general relativity by about four years. This paper is widely available in English. You can find a copy beginning on page 99 of the Dover book “The Principle of Relativity.” You will find in section 3 of that paper, Einstein’s derivation of the (variable) speed of light in a gravitational potential, eqn (3). The result is,
    c’ = c0 ( 1 + V / c2 )
    where V is the gravitational potential relative to the point where the speed of light c0 is measured.”

    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SpeedOfLight/speed_of_light.html
    “Einstein went on to discover a more general theory of relativity which explained gravity in terms of curved spacetime, and he talked about the speed of light changing in this new theory. In the 1920 book “Relativity: the special and general theory” he wrote: . . . according to the general theory of relativity, the law of the constancy of the velocity of light in vacuo, which constitutes one of the two fundamental assumptions in the special theory of relativity [. . .] cannot claim any unlimited validity. A curvature of rays of light can only take place when the velocity of propagation of light varies with position. Since Einstein talks of velocity (a vector quantity: speed with direction) rather than speed alone, it is not clear that he meant the speed will change, but the reference to special relativity suggests that he did mean so.”

    Why is hypnotists’ honesty increasing? Because hypnotists feel much more comfortable now: the voice of Einstein’s zombies has been reduced to a simple echo. For instance:

    The hypnotist: CONSTANT! Zombies’ echo: CONSTANT, CONStant, constant…..

    The hypnotist: VARIABLE! Zombies’ echo: VARIABLE, VARIable, variable……

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  14. Einstein’s theory cannot be improved. In a sense, Einstein’s theory is Newton’s theory where a true premise – the speed of light does depend on the speed of the light source – has been temporarily replaced with its negation – the speed of light is independent of the speed of the source – which is false. It is as if I had appropriated someone else’s mathematical system where my only contribution was to replace 2+2=4 with 2+2=5, thereby extracting profit from miracles that follow (for instance, my premise 2+2=5 would allow me to “prove” that, in some cases, a(b+b )>(ab+ab)). As far as the ideological situation is concerned, George Orwell’s description is perfect:

    “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable what then?”

    See more in NATURE’s newsblog “Testing times for Einstein’s theory”:

    http://blogs.nature.com/news/blog/2006/02/testing_times_for_einsteins_th.html

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

  15. I’m not a physics student, but am curious.

    I assume that gravity has some effect on the speed of light. We can simply point to black holes to see that this is the case.

    So I was curious, what would be the speed of light in the absence of gravity?

    Not referring to the vacuum of space, as we still deal with the gravitational effects of the Sun, etc.

    In the absence of gravity, I would assume the speed of light increases, thus making it variable?

    Ray
    rdepena at yahoo.com

  16. Some time ago the Royal Society conducted a poll that gave a conclusion more or less like “Newton is greater than Einstein”:

    http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/news.asp?id=3880

    This conclusion is misleading. In terms of initial principles the only difference between Newton and Einstein is that Newton regarded light as DISCONTINUOUS particles whose speed, like the speed of other particles, could only be VARIABLE (varies with the speed of the light source), whereas Einstein based his theory on the concept of light as a CONTINUOUS field and postulated that the speed of light was CONSTANT (independent of the speed of the light source). The importance of this initial difference was given by Einstein himself:

    Einstein: “If the speed of light is the least bit affected by the speed of the light source, then my whole theory of relativity and theory of gravity is false.”

    Einstein again: “I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics.”

    So Newton cannot be just greater than Einstein. Either the speed of light is independent of the speed of the light source and then Einstein has improved Newton’s theory, or the speed of light does depend on the speed of the light source and then Einstein has destroyed modern physics. A new poll is necessary where the question should be: “Who was right about the speed of light?”. In a normal world such problems would not be resolved in polls but in Einstein’s world that is the only choice.

    Pentcho Valev
    [email protected]

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