Theory for Gravitic Propulsion
Revised and updated July 16, 2002
Universe Today - Space news from around the Internet, updated every weekday.
PhysLINK.com - The Ultimate Physics & Astronomy Reference & Education Online Source
I would like to
begin by informing the reader that I am not a physicist, I am an
electronics design technologist. I have been researching
electroluminescence since 1993, which resulted in my curiosity
regarding the nature of photons (electromagnetic energy) and
their interactions with electronic devices (matter).
I would also like to qualify the title of this article. I did not entitle it "The Theory of Gravitic Propulsion" because it is not yet a complete theory, it is a new way of understanding our universe of matter and energy, based somewhat loosely upon some of the concepts outlined by Albert Einstein.
The main focus of this article is the result of many years of thought and readings on the nature of energy, matter and gravity (which I refer to as matter's "gravitic effect" in space-time). It is my intent in this article to contrive a description of physical reality that binds and accounts for these "components" of our universe, while attempting to maintain compatibility with existing theories and knowns.
In 1996, Dr. Miguel Alcubierre
Moya, a physicist currently working (2001) at the Max Planck
Institute in Germany, published a paper which demonstrates
mathematically that the type of propulsion system I propose here
is possible with certain limitations and apparent energy supply
problems, which I believe will be solved as the true nature of
physical reality becomes more fully understood. Unfortunately, I
did not hear about or read his paper until 2001, 2 years after I
first published this article and 5 years after his paper became
available. I was surprised to discover that we both came to some
of the same conclusions regarding the implementation of this as
yet undeveloped technology. I respectfully acknowledge Dr.
Alcubierre's work and thank him for his contribution to this new
branch of physics I refer to as "Gravitics".
Dr. Alcubierre's paper can be downloaded from here as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file that can be viewed with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
"The warp drive: hyper-fast travel within general relativity." (PDF file) by Dr. Miguel Alcubierre.
Another person that has made a
significant contribution to this new science is Dr. Eugeny
Podkletnov, who conducted an experiment in 1992 that demonstrated
a small but measurable weight loss in objects suspended above a
superconducting ceramic disc rotating at about 20,000 rpm. I
believe NASA is attempting to reproduce his experiment to confirm
the effect. I understand Dr. Podkletnov recently toured North
America giving lectures about his experiment. I sincerely hope
that he returns to Canada someday and I look forward to his
report regarding any more work in that area.
Link to more about Dr. Podkletnov here.
Read latest paper by E. Podkletnov and G. Modanese (2001) (PDF file)
My use of the term "gravitic effect" is not to distinguish it from the effect we refer to simply as "gravity" (they are one and the same), but to emphasize the idea that although the effect is normally attributed to the presence of matter, gravity might be produced by some "artificial" means. I use the word "effect" rather than the word "force", because I do not believe that gravity is "emanated" by mass. I therefore find it difficult to accept proposals of "gravity particles" (gravitons), although I of course will not completely discount the possibility. I found terms like "electrogravitics", "gravitronics" and "anti-gravity" unsatisfactory. Gravitics seemed like a simple, self-explanatory way of referring to the effect itself, rather than what might be causing it.
address readers who support "Creationist" theories
(descriptions of our reality based on the idea that God created
and set into motion our universe). I believe that it is entirely
possible and very likely that our universe was created and that
our studies of physical reality are in no way a threat to that
belief, we merely marvel at its awesome and stupendous beauty and
complexity. If there was a big bang, as the evidence so far seems
to indicate, it is not unthinkable that this was by design.
We were apparently designed to be very curious creatures, wanting to know the smallest details of seemingly insignificant phenomenon. We may never, as human beings, understand our universe fully, but then, what would life be without a little mystery and the exhilaration and surprise of discovery!
There are, admittedly, new theories and ideas about what might cause the wavelength of photons arriving from distant galaxies to be shifted toward the red end of the electromagnetic spectrum. One of these include possible interactions with "dark matter". In any case, this description of the gravitic effect does not depend on the manner in which space-time, energy and matter came into being.
My use of terms such as "space-time" and any other terms which may or may not be familiar to the reader, are in keeping with generally accepted contemporary theories and I make reference to Albert Einstein's photo-electric effect. However, much of what is contained in this writing is my own and marked similarities to other experiments (real or imaginary), publications or theories is, for the most part, coincidental. For instance, my "thought experiments", both the "Elastic Sheet experiment" and the "Cheerios experiment" were realized by me independently, but, as it turns out, the Elastic Sheet experiment already existed, called the "Rubber Sheet experiment" and has been discussed in many classrooms over the years. I thought about copyrighting the "Cheerios experiment", but, "Cheerios™" is a Trademark of General Mills Canada Ltd., and I didn't want to infringe on the rights of the company whose cereal product played a significant part in inspiring this article.
Although this article is copyrighted, all concepts contained herein are open to further development and I encourage anyone who wishes to do so.
I leave discussing the possibilities of
interstellar travel using currently available technologies to
those who already cover these topics extensively. For excellent
and very comprehensive articles on such technologies, please read
the pages by Greg
Goebel at the following link:
The concepts outlined in this writing are not a variation on the idea of using or creating wormholes to traverse space. Wormholes are theoretical superluminal (faster than light) passageways that may or may not exist between two (or more) black holes, but, entering a black hole seems to be physically impossible, for the same reason that Shoemaker-Levy 09 was torn apart by Jupiter's "gravity well". My theory is a primitive analysis of spatial structure that I hope will inspire debate and research that could lead to experimentation and prototyping, i.e., actual technology which could manipulate and alter the structure of space-time in the immediate vicinity of an object (such as a spacecraft), as opposed to creating and using "passageways". The technology which might be inspired by this article would be useful and important even if faster-than-light performance could not be achieved.
Please email ideas, suggestions, corrections, polite debates and criticisms, using the link at the end of this page.
Methods of propulsion used for interstellar travel that do not allow us to accelerate quickly to and travel at near light speeds are worth considering only to illustrate the difficulties involved in such undertakings. At a fraction of the speed of light, traveling to another star, even a relatively close one, is impractical when we consider the time and energy required. At very near the speed of light it would take more than four years to reach the vicinity of the nearest star - not including the time for acceleration and deceleration (or, more properly, positive and negative acceleration).
The first thing to consider about accelerating
very quickly to a fraction of light speed is that the ship and
everything in it would be crushed by Newtonian action-reaction
propulsion methods. Any engine which employs the expulsion of
matter to achieve acceleration would destroy possibly the ship
and definitely its occupants if the acceleration were only 100
G's. Examples of engines which will work in space are liquid and
solid fuel chemical rockets, internal-source ion accelerators,
Bussard ion collector/accelerators, and matter-antimatter
reactors (as far as I know, prototypes of the latter two have not
yet been built). All of these devices cause forward acceleration
by expelling matter rearward and none of them will accelerate a
spacecraft without its occupants feeling the effects of that
acceleration. An action-reaction engine pushes on the atoms of a
bulkhead, which in turn push the vehicle framework, your seat and
you, the outer electron shell of each and every atom being
deformed by the acceleration.
The second thing to consider is that the energy expended during the first half of the trip accelerating to some fraction of the speed of light would be equal to the energy necessary for deceleration.
If a "starship" accelerates at a rate of 1 G (approx. 10 m/sec2), its speed is increasing by 10 m/sec each second. If we divide the speed of light, 300,000,000 m/sec, by 10 m/sec2, we find that the time to reach the speed of light is 347 days (3.5 days at 100 G's). However, Einstein's relativity theory states that the force necessary to maintain this rate of acceleration increases as velocity increases because the mass of the ship increases with velocity, so the calculated time for acceleration to light-speed assumes the force applied can be continuously increased at a rate which compensates for the continuous increase in mass.
To have astronauts experience a constant 1G environment would mean increasing thrust continuously throughout the acceleration part of the journey to make up for the relativistic increase in mass due to increasing velocity. You cannot simply start the rocket motor and leave it at the same thrust level, if acceleration started at 1G, as the journey progressed, acceleration would decrease because the same Newtonian force would be applied to an ever-increasing mass. Therefore, a very large engine which consumed inconceivable amounts of fuel would finally be necessary as one approached light speed.
When we consider the amount of fuel burned while an astronaut spends about 20 minutes at 6 G's attaining an orbital velocity of about 28,000 km per hour (7,800 m/sec), it is difficult to imagine the size of a ship which could carry enough fuel to accelerate at 1 G for 347 days plus enough to decelerate for another 347 days (and that's just the time for acceleration and deceleration during a 6 year one-way trip).
special theory of relativity states that the mass of an object
increases with velocity, and that its mass increase factor (a) in
the direction of motion and (b) at 90 degrees to the direction of
motion is given by the following equations:
(many thanks to physicist Bob LaMontagne for the corrected equations)
(a) 1 / ( 1 - (v/c)2 )3/2 ( Longitudinal mass )
(b) 1 / SQRT ( 1 - (v/c)2 ) ( Transverse mass )
where "v" is the starship's velocity and "c" is the velocity of light.
these equations, we find that an object moving at 99% of the
speed of light has a transverse mass approximately 7.089 times
its mass at rest (motionless with respect to space-time) and a
longitudinal mass 356.22 times its rest mass.
At 99.9999% of c, the object's transverse mass factor is 707.11 and its longitudinal mass factor is approximately 353,553,390 !
Notice that if an object attained the speed of light, its mass would become "infinite" (in theory), the point here being that by the time your vehicle gets anywhere near the speed of light, the force required to maintain a constant rate of acceleration exceeds the thrust and fuel-carrying capabilities currently available to us. (Also there is what is referred to as a "snowball" effect - the fact that the more fuel you carry, the greater your initial mass and therefore the greater the thrust necessary for a given acceleration, requiring a larger engine, which uses more fuel, etc...)
Many of us intuitively regard space as "nothing". Einsteins theories suggest that this is simply not true. Basically, his explanation of gravity is that it is a "curvature" of space-time. He called it "space-time" instead of simply "space" because he found that it was impossible to describe his ideas without including time, the motion-related "component" of space-time. His concepts suggest that the "space" of our universe, previously conceived to be a total absence of anything at all and without substance, actually has a structure, which is yet to be completely understood or defined.
General Philosophical Assumptions
"If at first the idea is
not absurd, then there is no hope for it."
... Albert Einstein
My first general assumption is that it is possible to achieve near-light speed in a practical way and let's just say that I am optimistic regarding faster-than-light travel.
My second assumption is that whoever first successfully alters the structure of space-time in a controlled and predictable fashion will, with that success, usher in a new technological age.
What are Energy and Matter made of ?
The fact that there are no accurate visual descriptions for the structures of nucleons, subatomic particles or for photons, was a situation that was always in the back of my mind during my school years and later on as I began researching atomic structure, which I perceived as a deficiency in the science of physics. For instance, what is an electron? Of course, it is not a circle with a "minus sign" on it, as it is usually symbolically represented in 2 dimensions. But, in a real 3-dimensional description, is it a solid sphere? I doubt it. But, if it was a solid sphere, I would then ask, "Why is it spherical?", and "Of what is its solidity composed?" and "What are the mechanics of its "negative" property", that is, what do we mean when we say that a "particle" is electrically negative? We cannot simply study the behavior of these particles, build rules to account for their behavior and then say that we "understand the atom".
So, to try and answer questions like these, we first need to look at the simplest forms of electromagnetic energy propagation (the photonic structure and simple waves) and then look at how a photon can "encounter" an atom and be "transformed" from a massless quantum of energy moving at light speed to a massive particle (free electron) moving at sub-light speed (or perhaps photon absorption "triggers" the production of an electron indirectly). For instance, again, we need to ask questions like "What is the actual structure and composition of a _______? (Fill in the blank with any particle name you know of, or with the word "photon".)
Energy and matter are the only
two "things" we can physically perceive either directly
(with our senses) or indirectly (with devices) and it turns out
that they are interchangeable. Matter can be converted to energy
and, although we have not yet achieved it on a grand scale,
energy can theoretically be converted to matter (although we have
achieved it in the sense that photons are "converted"
to electrons, as in the Photo-Electric Effect experiment). In
spite of having the proof of this for more than half a century
now, we still make the mistake of using phrases like "the
building blocks of matter", as though nucleons are made of
infinitesimally smaller "particles", or some sort of
It is difficult for most of us (including myself) to accept that matter is energy which, instead of propagating freely through space as photons do, "propagates" about and around its own center. In this sense, an atom is a system of oscillating or vibrating energy patterns that is highly stable and efficient, a cohesive system that tends to remain centered upon itself and bound to itself. There are energies and motions characteristic to an atom's internal structure apart from any locational translation (linear motion), i.e., the vibrations or "orbits" of its electrons and other motions specific to the structure of nucleons, such as the transmission of light (photons) or heat (phonons) through an object.
However, we do not have a
"freeze frame picture" of an atom
that shows us what it looks like at one moment in time, clearly
showing individual nucleons.
Using electron microscopes, we have images of what physicists now
refer to as the "electron probability cloud" (so called
because we can never know the exact position of an electron at a
specific moment in time, we can only calculate the probability of
its being at a given location). It is like taking a picture with
a cheap camera while someone shoots a bullet from a gun past you,
and you're trying to get a clear image of the bullet. The best
you'll get, if you're lucky enough to open the shutter at just
the right moment, is a faint blur. If you had never seen a bullet
before, your photograph would not help you determine what the
bullet looks like, or what it is "made of", or even how
fast it was moving. The best we can do so far is produce an image
of the "cloud" or "blur" that represents
billions of orbits (or vibrations) the electron made while the
image was being produced. Additionally, an electron microscope
bombards the substance being analyzed with electrons, which
alters and in some cases destroys that which we are attempting to
get an image of.
The main point we must accept is that both energy and matter are the same thing - energy. So, the real question is "What is energy made of?".
As I mentioned above, all electromagnetic energy, in the form of photons, propagates through space. But, when we speak of waves propagating across water's surface, what is it that is propagating? The water is, for the most part, not moving with the wave laterally, across the water's surface, but up and down. The only thing that is truly moving laterally are pressure differentials in the water itself. In other words, the water is simply the medium through which energy, in the form of pressure differentials, propagates. In a very real sense, a water wave is not the water itself. A bucket of water does not a wave make. A wave in water is "made of" water, but, we don't just simply call a wave "water", because it has characteristics that go beyond a description of just the water itself.
Photons are "created" or ejected from matter, so there is something about atomic structure that makes it possible for atoms to release energy in photonic form (whatever that form and structure might actually be). To me, this says something about some of the structural aspects of atoms, in that energy can apparently be absorbed and stored in an atom and released either immediately or 10 million years from now. The storage time depends on the state and characteristics of the element or compound and on the type of excitation (electromagnetic or nuclear) to which we subject it, subsequently causing it to release a photon . So, matter can absorb and re-emit "new" photons (usually at a longer wavelength than the one which was absorbed), we can transform energy to matter and back again, and I believe that the "stuff" of which they are both made is what we now refer to as "space-time".
From that point of view, a
photon would be a system of space-time tension or torsion
differentials. There are specific mechanics
of a photon's propagation through space-time that go beyond a
simple description of what space-time is and yet, a photon's
behavior is completely dependent on the nature of space-time,
just as the behavior of a water wave is completely dependent on
the nature of water.
The main behavioral difference between a photon and a wave moving through water is that a wave moving through water is a surface phenomenon, spreading out as it moves and becoming reduced in amplitude (height or intensity) as it travels. A photon is a volumetric phenomenon, a specific tiny "quantum" of energy that does not weaken or dissipate as it travels, remaining in photonic form across billions of light years. The reason a star's light seems weaker at greater distances is that the distance between photons is increasing with the distance from the source, so fewer photons per second are reaching your eye or detector, since they are spread out over a larger area at the detector location.
I believe the answer is that energy is "made of" space-time, therefore, both matter and energy, which form everything we can perceive, are composed of space-time.
So, the real question finally becomes, "What is space-time made of?".
Although I cannot answer that
question directly, I will attempt in this writing to describe the
behavior of space-time and how its nature makes possible the
existence of energy and matter. I believe that the direct answer
to that question is best left for theologians and philosophers.
I would like the reader to keep what I believe is a very important point in mind - the universe and the matter and energy of which it is comprised, is not a mathematical concept or formula. It is possible to describe and define its behavior mathematically and to "quantify" aspects of it, but, I do not believe that mathematics alone will yield all the answers we are looking for. Mathematics is an extremely useful tool that we have contrived, like a language, to help us describe our universe, but, the universe did not require mathematics to come into being, nor is it required to maintain its existence.
Energy, matter and gravity are real and interact with each other in accordance with their natures. Mathematics did not create the universe. Rather, the universe created humans and we created mathematics. The fact that mathematics is used to describe the nature of space-time simply means that we have found an expression for it in the language of mathematics, which is in turn used to describe that nature to other humans. I believe that when Einstein postulated the idea of space-time, if he merely thought of it as something that could be described by a mathematical expression, then he perhaps "unwittingly" postulated what turns out to be a very real 3-dimensional field structure, not which matter and energy inhabit, but of which they are composed.
What is Time?
I feel that it is important for
me to report what my answer to this question would be, as my
analysis of space-time and the gravitic effect of matter depends
on it. I would be tempted to respond with amusement, "Bring
a cup of time down to my lab for analysis and I will do my best
to answer your question."
My real answer to this question would be: "Time is a measuring tool contrived by humans to compare the perceived relative motions of two or more objects or to record or predict the perceived intervals between events of significance".
My point is that time is an
integral part of our perception, that is, the "rate" at
which time seems to pass for us is a part of our human
"design" and certainly contemporary human life has
become extremely dependent on the measuring of intervals of
motion. For instance, we design and build our clocks to measure
an "earth day" by synchronizing the clock's motion (by
design) to the motion of our planet's rate of rotation about its
own axis. Even an electronic digital clock has "moving
parts", those parts being electrons and the regular
oscillations produced by the circuits are counted and displayed
as a "procession of time", so, when we use a clock to
"measure time", we are simply comparing the motions of
two objects, the motion of the clock and the motion of whatever
it is we are observing.
Nothing in our universe is ever truly "fixed" or "at rest" with respect to its location in space-time, everything is always in motion, and the motions of all objects are directly related to and the result of the nature of space-time itself.
The term "space-time" is obviously a joining of the two separate words "space" and "time", in absence of a word for something that has previously been perceived and described as a "void". In our realm of perception, space and matter have very real 3-dimensionality (and movement, measured by the tool we call "time"), however, time is not a dimension, but merely a description of the movements of matter and energy.
The existence of the universe does not depend on time being a "real" physical component. Our measurement of time allows us to use mathematics to develop models of the physical universe to help us better understand how it operates. The measurement of time is also very useful for those of us who have trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
Physical Assumptions for a Computer Model
I make certain assumptions about the nature of space-time in order to make it possible for me to theorize about manipulating it and to facilitate the creation of computer models. Firstly, the 3 physical linear dimensions represented by the variables x, y and z plus 't', the "dimension" of time, form the generally accepted mathematical 4-dimensional structure known as "space-time". However, my analysis is concerned only with the physical mechanics of gravity and its effects in the 3-dimensional geometry of spatial tension. I assume that time is a part of that geometry.
1) Space-time is a
continuous, 3-dimensional elastic field structure which can be
"modeled" as a lattice or matrix of interconnected
"space-time moments". Tension in this structure
increases in the vicinity of matter.
I will refer to these "space-time moments" as STM's, not to be confused with Scanning Tunneling Microscopes. (Notice that by dividing the space-time continuum into "space-time moments", I have integrated time, the 4th dimensional component of space-time, into its 3-dimensional geometry. In this sense time has simply become a descriptor for the movements of space-time.)
Physicists have recently postulated a "time quantum", a minimum time interval, similar to my concept of an STM. Energy and matter would move in discrete steps if this were true. So, at the speed of light, a time quantum would yield a "distance quantum" for a photon. If, for instance, the time quantum was 10^-54 seconds, then the distance between steps, or distance quantum, would be about 3 x 10^-45 meters at the speed of light. (A very small distance indeed, far smaller than any known or theoretical "particle".)
2) An STM consists of
one filament which connects two nodes. For a viable 3-dimensional
structural model of space-time, each node must be connected to at
least four filaments, but, to more easily facilitate a computer
model and to simplify the mathematics involved, each node will
connect six filaments, forming a reference structure based on
(I assume this structure only for the purposes of modeling and analysis and I acknowledge that it in reality differs from this model. I believe that space-time is a pure and continuous elastic field structure. The idea of nodes and filaments is for convenience of analysis. A "node" is simply a point in space-time, the location at which adjacent filaments meet and serves as a reference point from which we can take theoretical "measurements". The filaments merely serve to illustrate the elasticity of space-time, the distance between nodes (filament endpoints) being proportional to the tension in space-time between those two points. Computer models are based on the contractile nature of a lattice of elastic filaments and the resultant force vectors at each node as one or more nodes are displaced from their equilibrium positions and then released. This allows various types of torsion systems to be interactively created and their motions observed.)
Note : An interesting 2-dimensional model of space-time would consist of interconnected nodes with four filaments, forming a "plane-time continuum".
2-D "Plane-Time Continuum" (x, y, and t)
3) Each STM has at least three properties :
a) STM Property #1 -
Connectivity - A
node retains its connections to adjacent nodes.
(In the computer models, the "fabric of space-time" is not allowed to be torn or separated from itself.)
b) STM Property #2 -
Elasticity - STM's
are in a state of elastic tension. Filaments can stretch or
contract by many times their current reference lengths. Filament
length is proportional to filament tension in accordance with
standard elasticity functions, with the exception that the
"material" of space-time has "perfect"
elasticity, illustrated by the motion of photons, which exhibit
minimal or undetectable losses of energy in their motions across
many light years.
(By "current reference lengths", I mean that the "space-time moment" can be distorted with respect to 3-dimensional linear space, but that no matter how severe the distortion, energy will always propagate through STM's at the same rate, which explains (as Einstein predicted) how light "bends" (is accelerated) around a star (a change in direction is an acceleration). So, "current reference lengths" is a way of talking about the particular distortion that exists in the volume of space you are studying, such as space-time near a star, or space-time near a single atom.)
Equations relating filament length, elasticity and tension in physical materials follows, however, these are for illustration purposes only - I have not actually used these equations in the computer model. I will publish the math used in the models in a future update of this article when the models are complete.
Force / Cross-section Area = Elasticity * Change In Length / Original Length
E is a material-specific constant called Young's modulus, the constant of elasticity for the material in question. A lower E value indicates greater elasticity. For example, an elastic rubber band has a very low E constant as compared with steel.
Solving for E :
Elasticity = ( Force * Original Length ) / ( Cross-section Area * Change in Length )
For this equation to make sense as it relates to the elasticity of space-time, I would assume that both the original length and the cross-section area to be "1" (one unit long by one square unit cross section). This reduces the equation to:
Notice that if delta-L, the change in filament length for a given force "F", is large, this would indicate that E, the constant of elasticity for space-time, would be very low.
This means that a computer
model of space-time should be capable of simulating
"perfect" elasticity. Filament length will be able to
shrink to zero and to be stretched as far as the bounds of the
model will allow. A displaced node which is then released will
tend to move back toward its point of equilibrium and continue on
through this point in the same direction to a distance past this
point equal to the original displacement. In other words, in a
computer model of a single "cell" of
"plane-time" (one central node connected to 4 adjacent
locked nodes) this central node would oscillate
"forever" when released. (The energy imparted to this
"cell" by displacing the node and altering the tensions
in the 4 filaments, would never be lost).
Equilibrium tension and maximum tension could then be represented by arbitrarily selected values relating to the overall dimensions of the outer bounds of the model. Since the contractile force of a filament is proportional to its length, if the model is in equilibrium, the forces acting on all nodes would be due to filaments of equal length. The only time the model would be in this state of zero distortion would be when it is first initialized, as soon as one or more nodes are displaced and released, the energy imparted to the model would continue to propagate in the system, reflecting off the locked nodes which form the outer boundary of the model.
In an elastic material, some energy is converted to heat or electricity as the material is caused to vibrate. This energy loss causes rapid attenuation of torsion systems in the material. In our model of space-time, there can be no such losses, because we know that a photon traverses space-time over vast distances with little or virtually no attenuation of its energy. Hence the node-to-node delay is strictly a time delay as tension propagates from a filament to adjacent filaments.
The diagrams below show a
2-dimensional "single cell" of "plane-time"
(space-time minus one linear dimension) consisting of 4 locked
outer nodes (blue) and one moveable central node (white) that is
connected to the locked nodes by elastic filaments.
In Figure A the cell is in equilibrium. In Fig. B the central node has been moved from its "rest" position and the tension and length of all 4 filaments has changed. (If you were to calculate the sum of the tensions in the filaments at this point, you would find it to be greater than the sum of the tensions in equilibrium. This difference represents the energy imparted to the cell by displacing the node.) Fig. C shows the position the central node will move to when it is released from its position in Fig. B. Fig. D shows the two positions between which the central node will oscillate.
Single "cell" of "plane-time" (x, y and t)
c) STM Property #3 - Transmissivity
Energy - Energy propagates through STM's as tension waves or as torsion systems, at a rate which is constant from filament to filament regardless of the degree to which each filament has been stretched.
Matter - All atoms in an object of cohesive matter move through STM's in parallel, the relative distance between particles remaining virtually constant, regardless of the tension of STM's in the vicinity (The noticeable exception being that of matter moving through severely distorted space-time, such as the region surrounding a very massive star, in which the object, depending on the strength of cohesion between particles, may be stretched or pulled apart by the gravitational gradient differentials. Also, the distance between particles is never truly constant due to the constant motion of nucleons).
(Energy changes direction when propagating through space-time that has been curved inward by a planet or star. A "wave" of energy moving through "curved" space-time refracts because different parts of the wave are moving through volumes of space-time containing STM's whose lengths in 3-D space are not equal.
Matter moving through curved space-time follows a path that is an instantaneous velocity average of the paths each molecule would normally take through space-time without cohesion.)
An atom can absorb and re-emit
photonic energy, a microsecond later or a million years
later. If energy can be transformed into altered motions or
"energy states" of nucleons, and re-emitted again, then
matter and energy must have similar or compatible structures
(i.e., at the most basic level - space-time).
Since free energy (photons and simple waves) and the nucleons of bound energy (matter) move from filament to filament at the speed of light for energy and a significant fraction thereof for matter, this represents a specific per filament delay for energy and specific per filament delay values for various particles, which is the time for a node to change position as its filaments change length.
When an atom translates through linear space along a path, while it is moving at very low velocities relative to the speed of light, its nucleons are orbiting or vibrating at rates which are a significant fraction of "c". The fact that nucleons do not move at the speed of light, while being able to absorb energy systems that do move at the speed of light, seems to me to be a very large clue to their respective structures.
Let us speculate for a moment. We could, for the purpose of debate, assume that an electron is a system that consists of 4 photons "entangled" with 2 leptons, 2 gluons and 2 bosons (for instance), as it has been recently shown that photons can, in fact, become entangled or connected in some way. It would then be reasonable in our debate to conclude that although the "particles" of which the electron is composed are moving at the speed of light, they are doing so in a circular or elliptical path about the center of the "electron" system and their net motions are zero. It would then be possible for this electron system to move at any speed less than that of light. It might also be reasonable to conclude that when an atom "absorbs" a photon, the photon is simply becoming entangled in the electron system, thereby altering the energy state of the electron and moving it to a "higher" orbit. The particular material involved would "store" the photon, for a very short time if the new orbit is unstable or for a very long time if the orbit is stable, since photons exist at many different energies and wavelengths, while different atomic elements have differing numbers of electrons at varying energy levels in their outer shell, where the majority of these energy exchanges take place.
The following paragraphs are a "thinking out loud" process showing some of the various ideas I considered on the way to my final idea, which is that nucleons themselves are composed of many linked torsion systems, therefore space-time is "compressed" within the atom simply by virtue of the fact that these torsion systems are composed of space-time itself. In the computer model so far, a wave consists of a compression and a rarefaction of plane-time right next to each other. In this sense, a "particle" is the compression, and "gravity" (or the gravitic effect) is the rarefaction. In the atom, the nucleons are the compressions, and the surrounding rarefied (stretched) space-time is its gravity. This bears out the idea that the gravity associated with one atom is extremely small, but, when many atoms come together, as in a planet or star, their tiny influences combine to form a very significant influence on the surrounding space-time.
There are five main questions
that I have yet to address.
1) How does moving matter react to spatial tension differentials across its path? The path of moving object (A) is altered as its gravitational sphere of influence intersects with the gravitational sphere of influence of object (B) such that (A) will tend to move toward areas of greater spatial tension due to (B). Generally, the degree to which the path of (A) is altered is inversely proportional to its own mass and relative velocity and proportional to the mass of (B). (Important note : (A) and (B) are interchangeable, regardless of size differential. In other words, a small body also causes motion in a larger body, this motion being virtually immeasurable if the size differential is large, such as the effect a spacecraft would have on the motion of planet Earth.) This is, of course, a familiar description of the effects of gravity.
2) What is the size of an STM
relative to the size of an atom?
Actually, it would be more relevant for us to know the size of an STM relative to the sizes of an atom's components, since neutrons, protons and electrons (and the subatomic particles of which they are composed) occupy a very small percentage of an atom's total volume. But, we must first consider the fact that the STM is elastic and therefore has no fixed reference size.
Space-time surrounding a planet is curved inward, therefore there are more STM's within the boundaries of the mass of the planet than there are in an equal volume outside those boundaries. Space-time is somehow compressed within the atom's volume, is subsequently stretched outside the atom and spatial tension decreases with increasing distance. If space-time and therefore filament lengths have been expanding since the "big bang", it would be reasonable to assume that filaments would contract to lengths much shorter than the "diameter" of the smallest particle. It would in that case be reasonable to assume that space-time can contract such that many STM's will fit within the "volume" of an electron. What we do not yet know are the actual mechanics of the compression of space-time (or filament contraction) within the atom. Nor do we know the "resolution" of space-time necessary to make some of the interactions between energy and atoms possible, i.e., how long (or rather, how short) is a "space-time moment"?
3) What are the mechanics of
the gravitational property of matter that cause space-time to be
pulled in on itself toward the center of an atom, thereby
increasing the tension in STM's surrounding it?
(It is important to remind ourselves here that the intensity of the gravitic effect surrounding an atom is proportional to the atomic mass of the given element, which is the sum of the masses of its components - neutrons, protons and electrons (collectively referred to as "nucleons", which also include lesser known theoretical sub-atomic particles that are believed to be involved in atomic structure and may account for slight discrepancies between the total experimentally measured mass of an atom and the sum of the experimentally measured masses of its known components). Most of the mass of an atom resides in the protons and neutrons, electrons accounting for only a small percentage of the atom's mass. Regardless of electrical charge (negative, positive or neutral), each of these atomic components adds to the atom's total gravity. If electrons are removed from an atom, a positively charged atom of slightly less mass and gravity is the result. Any model contrived to describe the gravitic effect must be based on the fact that all the components of an atom, regardless of electrical charge, contribute to the effect.)
If we think of the earth's mass as
being composed of an equal number of neutrons, protons and
electrons, this would roughly equate to the earth's mass being
composed of neutron pairs. The mass of two neutrons is
approximately 3.35 x 10-27 kg and the earth's mass is 5.97 x 1024
kg, so it takes about 3.564 x 1051 neutrons to generate earth's 1 G gravitic field
at the earth's surface!
Obviously, but importantly, the spatial distortion caused by one neutron is very small. Much smaller masses than Earth (such as an artificial satellite) will not cause noticeable changes in Earth's path around the sun, but our Moon causes Earth to move with a noticeable cycloid path.
However, before we can attempt
to deduce a gravitic "mechanism", we need to study
several specific interactions of atoms with energy.
Atomic Emission, Propagation, Absorption and Re-emission of Photons
(Einstein's photo-electric effect briefly re-visited)
If matter and energy are truly interchangeable, then we cannot for a moment think of them as being anything but 2 versions of the same thing. If so, then it should come as no surprise to discover that a photon can be "converted" to an electron, or a "new" photon.
We must keep in mind that what
we perceive as "light" are photons, tiny
"packets" of electromagnetic energy which propagate
through STM's at a constant rate but with different wavelengths
and energies. Most of these wavelengths are not visible to the
human eye, the visible light portion of the entire
electromagnetic spectrum is a very narrow band. When a photon
encounters an atom it can be converted to a "new"
photon, usually of longer wavelength (lower energy). For any
given element or compound, a photon with a short enough
wavelength and therefore of sufficient energy will effect the
conversion to a new photon.
However, in some cases, the photon will be converted to an electron. For instance, if we cause photons to be incident on one of two parallel metal plates separated in a vacuum, a flow of electrical current in a conductor connecting the two plates can be measured if a certain voltage is applied to the plates. Photons are absorbed by one metal plate and free electrons are emitted. These free electrons are then absorbed by the other plate and converted to bound electrons moving through the circuit as an electric current.
Obviously, we need to know the mechanics of photon and electron propagation in order to understand how these "conversions" take place. We know that a photon behaves like a particle in the sense that a specific "quantum" of energy moves from point A to point B. There must be a unique "system" of space-time tension differentials that is able to propagate without spreading out while it moves. What we normally think of as a wave reduces in amplitude the further it travels since waves would be a series of spherical compressions and rarefactions in space-time. A photon retains a specific quantity of energy as it moves, it therefore must move in a different way. I suspect this movement is a toroidal tension system propagating through space-time, although it is of course possible that there are other system types.
Let's consider several possible
explanations of the mechanics of space-time compression inside an
atom, some less and some more plausible than others (some which
assume that matter, energy and space-time are separate and
distinct "substances", and one that does not) :
a) Something causes space-time to contract. I find it difficult to imagine a mechanical process or force within an atom that could cause space-time to contract or be compressed.
b) Something within the atom causes space-time to twist or wrap around itself. This would make the motion of matter through space-time difficult if not impossible, since the atom must unravel its system of spatial tension in order to move and then wrap it up again in order to maintain a "gravitic field".
c) Components of the atom attract or repel STM's by electric forces. This possibility is more plausible but would require that space-time be negatively charged and does not account for the neutron's contribution to the overall gravitic effect.
d) Matter is compressed space-time. To assume this might be contradictory. If matter is compressed space-time, the original question remains regarding the cause of that compression, unless...
Photons, electrons and the many sub-atomic particles so far observed using various devices such as cloud chambers and particle accelerators, are spinning tension structures in space-time itself. Protons, neutrons and electrons are composed of varying numbers of these structures linked together. There may be two types of spin motions associated with a photonic structure and one linear motion. The linear motion would be at 90° to the circumference of the torus. The first spin motion type starts from the inner diameter of the torus to the outer diameter, either in the direction of linear motion or opposite to it, similar to the motion of a "smoke-ring". The axis of rotation for the second spin motion type is the axis of linear motion, about the circumference. Both spin types are systems of tension in space-time, space-time itself is not spinning, but the patterns of the tension system moving through space time might appear so. The gravitic effect around matter is the result of these tension systems. The energy quantum associated with a photon "particle" is the sum of filament tensions in the system, imparted to the "particle" at the time of its emission from an atom. The direction of circumferential spin relative to its forward linear motion might determine the electrical polarity of the particle and the rate of this spin type (or possibly the diameter of the torus) might determine the wavelength (i.e. - its "color" as identified in a spectrograph). If photons and electrons have the same or compatible spin orientations, one might easily be converted to the other. Personally, I find this the most plausible explanation as it does not require electrical interactions, but could account for both electric charges and gravity.
A mathematical proof for this hypothesis will be obtained through successful computer modeling. There are a series of experiments that need to be conducted in progressively more complex steps before we will be able to model a basic photon that exhibits all its known characteristics and accounts for them all adequately. Modeling actual matter will come after that, when we start using the established photon model and have 2 or more photons interact in various ways to see if matter can be synthesized from energy through a process such as entanglement.
The fact that a photon tends to move in a "straight line" indicates that a photon is symmetrical in its behavior and possibly its torsion structure, as opposed to some short-lived particles produced by atomic collisions which move in curves or spirals, indicating they are asymmetrical in their behavior and possibly their torsion structures.
At this point I highly
recommend that the reader follow the link below to a web page
written by Rick Andersen regarding toroidal "Aether"
structures. Mr. Andersen is a writer/researcher who's ideas, in
my opinion, are very relevant to this article and will give the
reader an excellent view of the type of structures I envision.
AETHER CONTROL via an understanding of ORTHOGONAL FIELDS
4) How does matter react to
moving through space-time at different velocities? ( Does the
structure of space-time offer varying resistance to the varying
speed of matter?)
We know the answers to questions about inertia from a mathematical perspective, the idea of a force being applied to an object and the amount of kinetic energy imparted to the object being proportional to the difference in velocity before and after the force has been applied. Also, according to Einstein, an object's mass increases with velocity. To me this strongly indicates that the atoms of an object store kinetic energy by increasing one or more of their components spin rates, like gyroscopes storing increasing energy with an increasing rate of rotation.
An object resists changes in speed, i.e., acceleration and deceleration. Accelerating or decelerating an object changes its atom's component spin rates but, once an object is no longer subject to any force, it will continue its motion relative to space-time at the velocity attained.
5) How is space-time affected
by the gravitational property of matter moving through it?
If an object is moved into the gravitic field of another object, it accelerates toward the object because this distortion reaches into the nucleons themselves, since atoms are themselves systems of space-time tension fields. As the atoms attempt to realign themselves within this distortion, their spins and paths are altered and energy is stored during acceleration or released during deceleration to the structure of space time.
The answer to this question is related to the speed of light. As an object accelerates, its gravitic field moves with it. Space-time is not traveling with the object, just the "shape" of the system of spatial tension surrounding it (this is equally valid for the tiniest "particles"). Since the time necessary for a filament to change length is directly related to the speed of propagation of light or any other form of electromagnetic energy, as the object approaches this speed, the filaments of space-time have less time to change tension (length) relative to the object's motion. Also the atom's component spin rates are increasing. This is why it requires increasing amounts of energy to maintain the same rate of acceleration as the object's speed increases.
This is also why an object would, theoretically, catastrophically convert to energy as the speed of light is reached. Since the object is moving through STM's in the same time it takes a filament to change length, both the object and filaments in its path would become shortened to a theoretical zero length along the axis of motion. This means the object would become 2-dimensional and therefore no longer a viable 3-dimensional torsion structure. The stored kinetic energy in the form of tension would be released as pure energy, exploding in a flash consisting of a mixture of photons at many different wavelengths and simple non-photonic waves (EMP) moving away and dissipating in amplitude with distance.
Understanding the preceding paragraph is essential to understanding the operating principles for my Gravitic Engine which I am pleased to announce I have finally added to this article, as it has been eagerly anticipated by readers for several years now. Drawings and a basic description appear in the next chapter.
first phase of my computer model is complete, an unbounded single
"cell" of plane-time consisting of a central node
connected by elastic filaments to four other nodes. This model
was created to determine the mathematics necessary to allow the
central node to react correctly as the locations of the outer
nodes are changed.
The second phase is now nearly complete, a 2-dimensional array of interconnected nodes forming a section of plane-time. The model is functional and works correctly so far, except for some adjustments to the mathematics which are not yet complete. I have just begun to achieve propagation of torsion systems but the non-simultaneity of iterating calculations for node positions in the array is causing aliasing and "ghost waves" to propagate toward the origin of the array. (I'm working on the problem). Drawing functions are a bit slow and require some fine-tuning, so I recommend small arrays for now (100 x 100 or less). The program is completely free of bugs or memory leaks and runs perfectly on Windows 95 and 98. I have not yet tested it on later Windows versions, but it will likely run without problems. Simply extract the lattice.exe file using WinZip and store it in the directory from which you will run it. Click on the Model menu and choose "Plane-Time Continuum". Then enter two numbers for the height and width of the model. Click and drag the nodes (filament intersections) to new locations. Each node will lock into place when the mouse button is released. Then click the right mouse button to release the locked nodes. This will produce waves across the model.
Click here to Download a free copy of Lattice for Windows 95
(approx. 307 Kbytes) (revised: May 30, 2000)
above shows a "reference cube" of space-time on the
right. On the left this same cube is now
under the influence of a massive object. The cube can be considered at any resolution,
from the smallest quantization "identity" of 1 STM cubed up to cubes of any number of STM's per side.
The diagram is not a true representation, each edge of the stretched cube would actually be curved inward slightly
due to being bounded on all sides by other cubes of space-time that have been similarly stretched toward a common point.
2D cross-sectional graphic
representation of the distortion of space-time surrounding an
atom or a star.
Compare the shape of "cells" near the center of mass with those further away - a photon propagating past this mass
will tend to move toward it simply because energy is transmitted through filaments at a constant rate,
therefore its speed, direction and size with respect to our measurement of 3D space will appear to change.
Now I will analyze the gravitic effect itself, that is, the nearly spherical "system" of spatial tension surrounding an atom which decreases geometrically with increasing distance from its center.
Let's consider a single atom
(A) far from any other atom, in a "laboratory"
consisting of a region of space which has reasonably constant
tension between nodes. Let us assume that the atom affects the
tension of STM's measurably to a distance of 5 meters from its
center so that the atom's effective "sphere of
influence" (SOI) has a diameter of 10 meters. Theoretically,
this sphere extends to infinity but we will define any influence
the atom might have beyond 5 meters as being insignificant for
the purpose of analysis. Now, if we were to create a gradient
chart of volumes of equal tension within the SOI, we would find
that they are spherical layers around the atom like the skins of
an onion, and tension would be decreasing geometrically with
increasing distance from the atom continuously from one filament
to the next. In this model, the last outer layer would end at the
nodes because we have defined the filament tension beyond the
last layer as being insignificant.
If we now introduce an identical atom (B) just slightly more distant than 10 meters from (A), in accordance with our assumptions, their SOI's will not interact and our "experiment" is stable - the two atoms will remain motionless (assuming (A) and (B) have zero net electrical charge differential). If we now move the two SOI's to tangency, they share one node but the experiment is still stable because they are not attempting to influence a shared filament. This makes sense because there is zero volume of intersection. However, the moment they intersect, both SOI's attempt to influence the length and tension of filaments in the volume of intersection. The tension in (and therefore the length of) these filaments will attempt to increase, but, because adjacent filaments are of lower tension, the excess tension in the shared filaments spreads, lowering their own tensions and increasing tensions in adjacent filaments.
Because of elasticity, the
increasing tension in shared STM's spreads to surrounding STM's
in an attempt to equalize the tension 3-dimensionally. This
extends tension to areas not occupied by either SOI, effectively
changing the total "volume of influence" (since the two
SOI's now form one system that is no longer spherical) and
changes the tension in all the filaments throughout both atomic
This raises an interesting point. Since the atom moves as its SOI is distorted, there seems to be a direct relationship between the structure of space-time surrounding an atom and the motion of the atom due to a given distorting influence on that structure. I believe this is because the tension changes in the filaments of the nucleons of which the two atoms are comprised. The changing tension in the nucleons is what is causing the atoms to move toward one another, since this changes the shape of space-time and the nucleon in question and the way it will move within the overall atomic structure. STM's achieve a 3-dimensional equilibrium when the two atoms finally touch and are prevented by each other's outer electron shells from moving any further.
We should bear in mind, as stated above, that the gravity between two atoms is extremely small, so small that if two atoms were to be placed 10 meters apart as in the "laboratory" of our experiment, it would take a very long time for them to come together.
Thanks to Bryan Whitehead, an adventurous student of physics, who came up with the time it would take two hydrogen atoms to come together if nothing but gravity was at work.
"The time it would take for two hydrogen atoms 10 meters apart to collide due to their own gravimetric attraction and nothing else is about 2.13 Trillion years. Now at the very last micro second before collision occurs, there are some relativistic effects which I neglected. So in my model the two hydrogen atoms are allowed to approach infinite velocity before colliding. But, what's a microsecond compared to trillions of years?"
Since atoms (A) and (B) take up virtually no space in the new SOI, we now have two virtually congruent SOI's, meaning the tension in our gradient layers has also increased. This would have the effect of increasing the diameter of the new single SOI surrounding the two "attached" atoms, since the original outermost layer would now be at a tension which is higher than what we previously defined as insignificant. This explains why more massive objects have more intense gravitational "fields" that influence other bodies at greater distances than smaller objects. It also explains why very massive bodies tend to collapse in on themselves as tension in STM's becomes so great that matter is forced to move toward the center of the body and overcomes electron shell repulsion, causing atomic compression.
Using the Gravitic Effect for Propulsion - the Gravitic Engine
We must first determine how to get a spacecraft to accelerate to high velocities in a manageable and non-destructive way. I offer and encourage the beginnings of a theoretical solution for just such an achievement, not necessarily in the very near future, but perhaps sooner than we might hope.
We have "clues" which point the way
to an understanding of the nature of gravity.
In 1999, the speed of light was slowed in an experiment to about 17 meters per second through a super-cooled substance. In 2001 light was "stopped" and trapped in another experiment. We also know that light "bends" around heavy objects like stars, as predicted by Einstein's theorems (actually, it bends around all objects to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the object's mass). This is not a "force acting at a distance" on the photons. It is due to the space around the object having been distorted by the object's presence. Photons follow their natural course through this distorted space, just as a ball rolling down a hill follows the bumps and curves of the terrain. Light would travel in a "straight" line only through undistorted space, the closest to this might be relatively matter-free regions of space between galactic clusters, where the tension in space-time could be relatively consistent over large distances. In other words, light never travels in a straight line, it only seems to do so over the relatively short distances involved within the range of human perception. The change in direction of photons over a few meters or even kilometers is so small, it is extremely difficult to measure the curvature of their paths.
Consider light moving toward a star's gravitational center. Does it's speed change? Well, yes and no, depending on the observational frame of reference. We must now distinguish between the propagation of energy through distorted space-time and our linear measurement of space (the 3-dimensional "void" in which matter, energy and space-time are located). As I have postulated, light is transmitted through STM's at a constant rate irrespective of their lengths, so, as far as the space-time continuum is concerned, energy always moves at the same speed. Changes in "the speed of light" (relative to a "fixed" or known reference point in 3-dimensional space) depend on the degree to which the space-time it is traversing has been distorted. In compressed (or condensed or contracted) space-time, light seems to travel more slowly (as it does through a super-cooled substance), in stretched (or expanded) space-time light seems to accelerate as it moves toward masses and to decelerate as it moves away from them. In fact, the light is propagating through space-time moments at a constant rate but space-time is distorted with respect to linear measurement. (For instance, a ruler made of a strong material such as steel will measure one meter at the earth's surface, but it will not measure one-twelfth of this length in Jupiter's 12-G gravity, it will measure very close to one meter.)
The main problem in attempting to confirm this hypothesis is that a photon can only be detected once. Any type of detection system we can employ to detect a photon "destroys" or absorbs the photon, so, it would be impossible to measure the time it took one particular photon to travel between two detectors because the photon would be absorbed by the first detector. Even if it was possible to detect the photon twice, the two detectors used would likely communicate using electromagnetic energy (modulated RF waves) which have precisely the same propagation speed that photons have.
Space seems to be compressed inside matter (more significantly within larger bodies such as moons, planets and stars) and consequently "stretched" in surrounding regions. This "stretch" diminishes with increasing distance from the body. Departing and moving away from a planetary or stellar body, space is stretched near the body and gradually becomes less stretched, or more relaxed. A point will be reached at which the effect of gravitation (the tension in space-time) caused by the next "most gravitationally influential" body equals that of the body from which you are departing. At this point, moving toward the second body, spatial tension will again increase. This changing tension of space is what accounts for the effect we call "gravity" and the curved paths of objects moving through these "fields".
Imagine that we were able to hold an object at
a fixed location 1000 kilometers above the surface of our planet,
so that it had no orbital momentum. If we then release the object
it accelerates toward the gravitational center of the planet. We
say "accelerate" because the speed of the object is
never constant over any measurable interval of time, but the
speed is increasing with each passing moment, as though a
continuous force was being applied. Einstein explained this
phenomenon as a curvature of space-time in the vicinity of the
mass of the planet. However, the phrase "space-time
curvature" does not explain why the object begins
to move (i.e., what the mechanics of that motion are), even
though no initial velocity has been imparted to it.
It is not only the modification of the structure of space caused by the planet that somehow causes an object to begin to move and accelerate, it is the interaction of both the planet's spatial curvature and the curvatures of space-time which form the object itself.
If the same object is released at a much greater distance from the planet, 1 million kilometers for instance, the initial rate of acceleration is much smaller. However, in either case, at any given moment while the object is in "free fall" toward the planet, each molecule in the object and the subatomic particles, which make up their structure, are being accelerated toward the planet at very nearly the same rate. The rate of acceleration is not exactly the same for all particles because the particles in the object that are closer to the planet are experiencing a slightly greater rate of acceleration. But, the object will hold together if this differential does not exceed the natural forces of cohesion between the particles that make up the object. As the object moves toward the planet, space-time curvature (spatial tension) due to the planet is increasing (gravity is increasing) and therefore the rate of acceleration is increasing also.
Assume that just enough force
is being applied to a spacecraft with rocket engines so that it
maintains an altitude of 1000 km above sea level. Let's also
assume that the spacecraft has no orbital momentum. The
passengers will feel the full effect of gravity at that altitude
(for discussion, I will assume 0.8 G), as though they were
standing on a mountain 1000 km above sea level. If we could now look at the structure of
the spherical volume of space which surrounds and permeates the
spacecraft, this is precisely the spatial structure we would have
to generate to produce an acceleration of 0.8 G.
The proof can be had by simply turning the rocket engines off. The spacecraft and everything it contains will accelerate toward earth at an initial acceleration of about 8 m/sec 2 (0.8 G). However, the spacecraft and its passengers will be in a weightless condition, since they are in a "free fall". The spacecraft accelerates because of the interaction of the spatial structure surrounding the earth with the spatial structure of which the spacecraft and its contents are comprised. The rate of acceleration increases as the distance between the spacecraft and Earth decreases because the spacecraft is interacting with the increasing spatial distortion caused by the planet.
( I think it's important here to remind the reader that the size of the spacecraft makes no difference. If it's one metric ton, or a hundred thousand metric tons, the acceleration will still be 0.8 G, as Galileo surmised. It is also important to realize that the same weightless condition would be experienced by passengers during a free fall through Jupiter's 12 G gravity (although there would be increased internal stresses due to gravitational differentials). In other words, while using gravitics for propulsion, the term "100 G's of acceleration", would be a measure of velocity increase only, not a measure of any force the passengers would feel, since no force would, or should, be felt.)
This gives us a starting point from which we can begin to theorize about how to change the shape of space-time in the immediate vicinity of an object to accelerate it to near-light speed, or perhaps even to meet and exceed it. You may be chuckling here, but remember, Einstein's equations regarding the acceleration of bodies through space (i.e., their tendency to gain mass and shorten along the axis of motion, finally converting to pure energy as the speed of light is reached) are based on bodies accelerated by Newtonian forces through unmodified space-time to these incredible velocities.
Perhaps it's time to tap Sir Isaac on the shoulder and ask him to move over and let Albert do the driving.
There is a phenomenon associated with black holes which was theorized in the early 20th century and is now believed to have been first observed by astronomers in 1997. The phenomenon is called "frame-dragging". It is thought that parts of a black hole rotate so rapidly that space-time is "dragged" along somewhat in the direction of rotation, causing a "twist" in space-time.
When mass is accelerated to a significant fraction of the speed of light, space-time in front of the object contracts in the direction of motion and is expanded behind the object. Therefore, if the mass is a rotating disc or ring (as in a gyroscope or flywheel), or a contained and accelerated stream of molecular, atomic or subatomic particles (as in a particle accelerator, but without the need for collisions or observations), space-time does not have an opportunity to return to its original shape as successive particles continuously transit at high speed through a given location. This has a cumulative effect of "twisting" space-time in the direction of rotation within and around the disc, ring or stream.
Using a single device to produce this effect is not very useful by itself, but, if we align many discs as illustrated in the pictures below, we will have a device that has polarity, that is, we can "drag" space-time through the center of the device, causing a compression on one side and a stretch on the other side. The reason this will work is that the gravitic effect decreases geometrically with the distance from the source of the effect, so the combined effect is much greater near the axis of symmetry at the center of the array where the elements are closer together than at the outer sections where they are further apart.
It may be possible to further intensify the effect if the particle stream is a condensed super-conducting Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) gas, or possibly super-cooled electrons forming "Cooper Pairs", although I do not know if such particles can be contained and accelerated electro-magnetically.
Please keep in mind that these renderings are conceptual only and are very simplified as compared with a real device. A working device would no doubt differ greatly from what is shown here, but I believe that the basic concept illustrated here could eventually lead to a functional prototype similar in construction but much smaller than the particle accelerators used in high-energy particle physics research.
A great many thanks to artist and friend Greg Best, who produced these fine 3-D photo-quality renderings, based on my bad sketches on napkins. Greg's patience and desire to understand during the many talks we have had on this topic is appreciated more than I can express with a simple "thank you", but I'll say it anyway. Thanks a lot, Greg!
Detail of static field particle accelerator
plates and EM containment field rods (insulated from plates).
One gravitic element. The casing (shown
transparent) could be
Bismuth Iodide or some other high-energy photon shield.
Animation showing circulation of particles.
A complete "Gravitic Engine" array of
Animation of the complete "Gravitic Engine" showing direction of space-time "dragging".
Using at least 4 of these gravitic arrays positioned at the corners of an imaginary tetrahedron, or perhaps 8 elements in a cube configuration, we can manipulate space-time inside the defined volume by adjusting the speed of the particles. Each array could be contained in a movable "pod" and adjusting the orientation of the pods will allow us to alter the shape of space-time in a predictable way. When the arrays are oriented and adjusted such that matter within the system is accelerated in a given direction, we will find that space-time outside the confines of the system will be altered in accordance with Dr. Miguel Alcubierre's prediction: i.e., space-time ahead of the object will be compressed and expanded behind.
Gravitics Challenge - A Warning
Before comet Shoemaker-Levy 09 impacted Jupiter in more than twenty pieces, it was pulled apart by what have been described as tidal "forces". (Again, gravity is not a "force", it is a distortion of space-time.) The part of the comet that was closest to Jupiter was in an area of space-time that was more "stretched" than the space-time in which the furthest part of the comet was situated. This effect was accentuated by Jupiter's relatively intense effect on its surrounding space, due to its immense mass. In other words, it was the interaction of the comet with the increased spatial density gradient closer to the planet as opposed to the decreased gradient further away, which pulled it apart. The part of the comet closer to Jupiter experienced greater acceleration than the side further away, and this differential exceeded the natural forces of cohesion that existed between various sections of the comet.
From this we can deduce that it would be disastrous to simulate this type of "space-stretching" in and around a spacecraft, i.e., to simulate an exponential-gradient stretch, rather than a linearly increasing spatial gradient. If space-time was sufficiently stretched in and around a spacecraft to accelerate it quickly to near-light velocities with an exponential gradient (the type of spatial distortion induced by mass), it would pull the spacecraft and its occupants apart much more violently than Shoemaker-Levy 09 was pulled apart by Jupiter's gravity well, since we are considering accelerations greatly exceeding 12 G's.
In order to achieve practical interstellar flight, gravitic technology must be capable of accelerating every particle of matter, the ship and everything in it, at the same rate at the same time. The device must be capable of generating a spatial distortion that has a gradient differential per unit distance that is linear. This differs with spatial tension in the vicinity of a planet, which increases geometrically over 2 adjacent and equal units of distance inward along a gravitational radial. If the differential is linear over 2 adjacent and equal units of distance, there will be no internal stresses, and every particle will be accelerated at precisely the same rate. The movement of the object in such a modified spatial structure will be in the direction of increasing gradient as though it were in a free fall toward a planet or other massive body (with the exception that acceleration would be constant for a given differential and there would be none of the structural stresses normally associated with Newtonian propulsion).
If this "gravitic engine" could modify the structure of space-time in and around a spacecraft and its occupants as described, there would theoretically be no limit as to how severely that structure could be modified and therefore no acceleration or deceleration limits. Of course, real conditions and the limitations of our technology will define the actual rates that can be achieved. The technology must be accurate and reliable. Changes in the linearity of the gravitic "field" could easily tear the spacecraft or its contents to pieces when generating severely biased spatial structures.
Spatial Distortion "Mind Experiment"
Imagine a sheet of very elastic material
stretched on a large circular frame so that it is flat, yet still
very flexible, upon which an x-y grid pattern of equally spaced
lines has been drawn. The constant distance between gridlines in
our model represents relatively unaffected areas of space-time
mapped to 2 dimensions.
Then we place a heavy object, such as a bowling ball, at the center. There will be more sheet material in the depression bounded vertically by the diameter of the bowling ball than there will be in an area of equal diameter near the edge. You can prove this by drawing a circle on the sheet, whose center is located at the center of the depression, the same diameter as the bowling ball (mapping the diameter of the ball to the sheet at 90º to the frame). After removing the bowling ball and measuring the circle, you will find it has a larger diameter than the bowling ball. An equivalent circle drawn near the edge of the sheet will have a smaller diameter and have less material in it after the bowling ball is removed (in fact, this circle will now be an ellipse). In other words, if an area of the sheet is compressed (with respect to a 2-dimensional mapping), the surrounding areas are stretched. This effect decreases geometrically with increasing distance from the bowling ball.
In our model, an increase in distance between gridlines represents an area of space-time with increased tension (greater gravity). If you observed the distorted sheet from directly above at 90° to the frame, the distance between gridlines near the edges of the sheet would be slightly increased. The distance between gridlines about halfway between the edge of the sheet and the location of the bowling ball will appear to have increased significantly. The distance between gridlines very near the bowling ball will appear to have decreased, because the sheet is being distorted downward more in this region so that the angle of observation of the distorted surface is less than 90°. If we could "see through" the bowling ball (or if we had thought to draw similar lines on the bottom of the sheet), the distance between gridlines close to its center would appear almost unaffected. Looking at the sheet this way (at 90° to the frame) is analogous to measuring your weight at various fixed locations relative to a planets center.
However, maintaining a line of observation at 90° to the sheet's distorted surface, the distances between gridlines reveals that there is near zero stretch at the edge of the sheet and maximum stretch between the surface of the bowling ball and the center of the depression. Looking at the sheet this way has the "free-fall" as its 3-D analogy.
The main thing to note about this "mind-model" is that we are looking at a 2-dimensional planar system being distorted such that it actually protrudes into 3-dimensional space. The 3-dimensional analogy to this would be that the compression and resulting surrounding rarefaction (stretching) of space due to mass would force 3-dimensional space to "protrude" into a 4th dimension. Time has been identified as this 4th dimension. The area of space surrounding a large body of matter is stretched such that another body moving through it will accelerate or decelerate depending on its direction of motion relative to the center of mass (if the speed of such a mass was constant, it would be in a circular orbit). It is actually the interaction of the curvatures or pressure gradients of the space-time structures of both bodies which "pulls" the two toward each other. In other words, if it were possible to observe a "massless" object moving near a large body, it's motion would be completely unaffected by the larger body, since this smaller body would have no "gravity well" of its own and would not interact with the gravity well of the larger body. (Neutrinos might be an example of this, although it has not yet been proven that neutrinos have no mass).
Proof ? -
The "Cheerios Experiment"
This "experiment" also works with many other floating breakfast cereals.
The only physical phenomenon I have observed which visually illustrates this spatial distortion is that of the meniscus which forms at the surface of a liquid at the edges of its container or around objects floating in the liquid. The most notable of these observations I have made is what I refer to as the Cheerios experiment. If you place a Cheerio in a bowl of milk (whole milk works better than skim), a very noticeable meniscus forms around the Cheerio (a bright light source reflecting off the milk reveals the surface distortion around the Cheerio). If a second Cheerio is placed in the milk and maneuvered into a position within a couple of centimeters of the first, they will begin to "attract" and move toward each other. As the distance between them decreases, their speed increases. This speed increase is most noticeable just before they touch. This is apparently due to the increasing pressure gradients in the milk and the surface curvature surrounding each Cheerio encountering each other as the Cheerios approach. There is an apparent "force of attraction" similar in its effect to that of gravitation, magnetism and electrostatics. This "force" increases as the distance between them decreases. If, after the 2 Cheerios touch, you now try to pull one Cheerio away from the other, it will "drag" the other along with it. Of course, the mechanics of this phenomenon are totally different than the mechanics of the gravitic effect, but serve to illustrate that apparent attractive "forces" are not limited to electricity or magnetism.
However, like gravity, this is not a "force" of attraction. If only one of the Cheerios had a meniscus, they would not "attract" and move toward each other. In the elastic sheet experiment, if we place two bowling balls on the sheet, they will roll toward each other. They are not "attracted" to each other; the sheet is pushing them toward each other because there is more of the sheet pressing against the side of either ball that is furthest away from the other. The elastic sheet seeks equilibrium by contracting its previously stretched areas toward their original shape and structure. In the Cheerios experiment, the stretched surface of the milk seeks and achieves equilibrium by reducing the total stretch on the milk's surface by bringing the two Cheerios together and thereby reducing the total surface tension. While it is true that the Cheerio causes its meniscus in the first place, it is the surface tension and curvature resulting in unusual pressure differentials in the liquid pulling the two Cheerios together, not the Cheerios "attracting" each other. With atoms, instead of surface tension it is the "volumetric tension" in the space surrounding the two atoms that "pulls" them together.
Distorted space-time causes masses to move together and mass is compressed space-time.
The greatest challenge in using gravitic technology will be in dealing with objects or even relatively thin clouds of gas or dust in our path, or we may suddenly run into an uncharted "brick wall" out there. At near-light velocities, a cloud of gas or dust could vaporize your spacecraft in a few milliseconds. Free molecules and objects in space ahead of the spacecraft would normally be a huge problem at the high speeds attained. If the generated gravitic propulsive field extends outside the spacecraft, as the molecules continue to approach the spacecraft, they might be accelerated in the same direction the spacecraft is headed. The same effect that is accelerating the spacecraft forward might also begin to accelerate mass in its path. This may reduce drag, hull temperatures, stresses and possibly form a plasma "bow wave" ahead of the craft, although this alone might not be enough. Electromagnetic fields might be used to help protect the ship in the same way that Earth's magnetic field protects us from high-velocity plasma (solar wind) or to use Bussard-style electromagnetic collectors to "funnel" matter through or around the ship.
If spatial structure is modified by the presence of matter, and further, if the motions of energy and matter are determined by the nature and "shape" of space-time, then it must have substance and it might be possible to manipulate its structure "artificially". If we are to truly progress with space exploration, it is imperative that we learn all about the nature of space-time and how to manipulate it in order to propel ourselves through it. I believe that the study of space-time will yield developments at least as important as those yielded by the studies of matter and energy. These questions and ideas must be considered, if we are to achieve one of humanity's greatest goals - reaching for the stars.
Responses are welcome by email!
Michael Henry Anderton
Copyright December 23, 1999
Revised and updated July 16, 2002