Quantum gravity physics based on facts, giving checkable predictions

Sunday, March 26, 2006

George Louis LeSage, 'Newtonian Lucretius', New Memoirs of the Royal Academy, 1782 (Berlin: Decker, 1784), pp. 404-32.

'When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.' - Jonathan Swift

'Henceforth, let no man care to learn, or care to be more than worldly-wise; for certainly in higher matters to be ignorant and slothful, to be a common steadfast dunce, will be the only pleasant life ...' - John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644.

Milton was responding to a British Parliament enacted law, the Licensing Order of June 16th, 1643, designed to protect knowledge from new innovations, 'to regulate printing: that no book, pamphlet, or paper shall be henceforth printed, unless the same be first approved and licensed by such [a Committee of Censors], or at least one of such, as shall be thereto appointed.'

Picture credit: http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath131/kmath131.htm

If you don't have an equal and opposite reaction in a pressure wave, it isn't a sound wave.

The force you get against your eardrum isn't just a push, but a push followed by equal pull.

This mechanism explains the gauge boson inward push in the big bang, predicting gravity.

The outward force in any explosion always has an equal and opposite reaction (Newton's 3rd empirical law). If you just push air, the energy disperses without propagating as a 340 m/s oscillatory sound wave. Air must be oscillated to create sound. It delivers an oscillatory force, outward and then inward. Merely using wave equations does not explain the physical process, even where the maths happens to give a good fit to data. Sound waves are particulate molecules deep down, carrying an oscillatory force.

This makes various predictions and contains no speculation whatsoever, it is a fact based mechanism, employing Feynman's mechanism as exhibited in the Feynman diagrams - virtual photon exchange causing forces in QFT. He noted that path integrals has a deeper underlying simplicity:

"It always bothers me that, according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time. How can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space/time is going to do? So I have often made the hypothesis that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the machinery will be revealed, and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the chequer board with all its apparent complexities." - Richard P. Feynman, Character of Physical Law, Penguin, 1992, pp 57-8.

(In the same book he discusses the problems with the LeSage gravity mechanism as per 1964.)

The Force of sound: The sound wave is longitudinal and has pressure variations. Half a cycle is compression (overpressure) and the other half cycle of a sound wave is underpressure (below ambient pressure). When a spherical sound wave goes outward, it exerts outward pressure which pushes on you eardrum to make the noises you hear. Therefore the sound wave has outward force F = PA where P is the sound wave pressure and A is the area it acts on. When you read Raleigh’s textbook on ‘sound physics’ (or whatever dubious title it has), you see the fool fits a wave equation from transverse water waves to longitudinal waves, without noting that he is creating particle-wave duality by using a wave equation to describe the gross behaviour of air molecules (particles). Classical physics thus has even more wrong with it becauss of mathematical fudges than modern physics, but the point I’m making here is that sound has an outward force and an equal and opposite inward force following this. It is this oscillation which allows the sound wave to propagate instead of just dispersing like air blown out of your mouth.

Note the outward force and equal and opposite inward force. This is Newton’s 3rd law. The same happens in explosions, except the outward force is then a short tall spike (due to air piling up against the discontinuity and going supersonic), while the inward force is a longer but lower pressure. A nuclear implosion bomb relies upon Newton’s 3rd law for TNT surrounding a plutonium core to compress the plutonium. The same effect in the Higgs field surrounding outward going quarks produces an inward force which gives gravity, including the compression of the earth's radius (1/3)MG/c^2 = 1.5 mm (the contraction term effect in general relativity).

Why not fit a wave equation to the group behaviour of particles (molecules in air) and talk sound wave equations? This is far easier than dealing with the physical, dynamical fact that the sound wave has an outward pressure phase followed by an equal under-pressure phase, giving an outward force and equal-and-opposite inward reaction which allows music to propagate: 'Nobody hears any music, so why should they worry about the physics? Certainly they can't hear any explosions where the outward force has an equal and opposite reaction, too, which in the case of the big bang tells us gravity.' Now for the fact '>99% of innovations are nonsense':

'While it's true that at least 99% of revolutionary announcements from the fringes of science are just as bogus as they seem, we cannot dismiss every one of them without any investigation. If we do, then we'll certainly take our place among the ranks of scoffers who dismissed (or even helped suppress) a large number of major scientific discoveries throughout history. Beware! Today many discoveries such as powered flight and drifting continents only appear sane and acceptable to us because we have such powerful hindsight. These same advancements were seen as obviously a bunch of disgusting lunatic garbage during the times they were first discovered. ... Sometimes the "obvious craziness" turns out to be a genuine cutting edge discovery. As with the little child questioning the emperor's clothing, sometimes the entire scientific community is misguided and incompetent, and only the lone voice of the "fringe" scientist is telling the truth. Below is a list of scientists who were reviled for their crackpottery, only to be proved correct (includes Ohm for his electric current law, Newlands for his pre-Mendeleev periodic table, Pasteur for the germ theory of disease, Wegner for continental drift, Zweig for quark theory, etc.) Normal science texts are dishonest to the extent that they hide the huge mistakes made by the scientific community, and the acts of intellectual suppression directed at the following researchers by colleagues.' - William Beaty

'Concepts which have proved useful for ordering things easily assume so great an authority over us, that we forget their terrestrial origin and accept them as unalterable facts. They then become labeled as 'conceptual necessities,' etc. The road of scientific progress is frequently blocked for long periods by such errors.' - Albert Einstein

I've been reading this master work of the Swiss Monseur LeSage (June 13, 1724- November 9, 1803). LeSage invented a 26-conductor electric telegraph system, and became a member of the Royal Society of London and of the Academy of Sciences of Paris in 1761. There is no English version, so I'm tackling the original fascimile scanned in version on the internet here. I haven't seriously attempted to read it before, and have relied on second-hand information.

In reading the original French, it is helpful to note that (as with all old books of the period) the letter ‘f’ is used in most words where now we use the letter ‘s’ instead. For example, LeSage used the word ‘rallentiffement’ which is today written ralentissement (deceleration), and he used Old French spellings such as ‘tems’ for temps (time), ‘loix’ for lois (laws), etc.

First thing you notice is that Monseur Pierre Prevost of the Academic Assembly communicated LeSage's paper to the journal, Nouveaux Mémoires de l'Académie Royale des Sciences et Belles-Lettres. Prevost was the protege of LeSage and used the idea of radiation to propose that any steady temperature is not an absence of heat radiation (as was commonly believed) but in fact is an equilibrium between heating and cooling, between reception and emission of energy! In addition to reading LeSage's 1782 paper before the scientists of Paris and getting it published, Prevost also in 1818 published LeSage's Taite' de Physique Mechanique. The kinetic theory of gases in modern thermodynamics has grown from seeds accidently sown by LeSage's gravity mechanism. Prevost also wrote Notice de la Vie et des Ecritsde George-Louis Le Sage, Geneva: J. J. Paschoud, 1805, which contains some biographical details on LeSage.

LeSage begins his 1782 article with a quotation that gives the flavour well:

‘In any matter, the first systems make people excessively conclusive, closed, cautious of others. And does it not seem that this truth is the price of some hardening of reason?’ – Fontenelle, in the eulogy of Cassini.

You can see from this that LeSage has had problems with censorship on his gravity mechanism. Deja vu!

LeSage writes in long-winded sentences, often punctuated with several colons and semi-colons. Doubtless it was poetry in eighteenth century France, and the word 'Lucretius' in the title is not a reference to atoms only, so much as to the poetry of the Roman. Lucretius (c. 99-55 BC) was the Roman author of On the Nature of the Universe (De Rerum Natura), a poem on Epicurean science and outlook which ran to six books and attempted to explain the cause, nature, and future of the universe, based upon radical ideas like atoms and evolution!

After praising the law of universal gravitation, Lesage comments on pp 404-5: 'Law, the invention and the demonstrations of which make the greatest glory for the most powerful magic which has never existed: and Causes, which, after being made during long terms, are the ambition of the greatest Physicists; fact is present, to despair their successors.'

His attack on mathematical models as lacking physical, mechanical cause-and-effect explanatory substance, is severe. He takes as examples the empirical planetary rules of Kepler, which he says are founded 'partly on free conjectures, and partly after immense searches'. Fair enough, they are empirical relationships based on data, after all. LeSage later on [p416] says that he can get the Newtonian and Kepler laws from his gravity mechanism! On the same page, he also derives Galileo's approximation from his gravity mechanism: 'Blows of corpuscles [gravitons] fall on a body' causing continuous acceleration. (He falsely assumes that they travel 'faster than light'. In fact, they go at light speed.)

LeSage seems to base his arguments on logic. Applying an 'atomic gravity' or rather quantum qravity argument to the vacuum ether - that magnetism and gravity are due to a spacetime fabric of some kind - LeSage simply asks what happens when matter blocks these particles of the vacuum [p407]. Gravity is the answer he finds, by the geometry.

On page 412, LeSage writes that his assumption is that: '... the gravity atoms are not aimed solely towards the centers of large the bodies; but, they have no bias of direction, and go towards all the small parts of space; and effectively, towards these only which interccept their antagonists; namely, towards all the small parts of matter: they push the other bodies which they transverse on their passage; not, towards each wholesale star; but towards each one of its parts in detail.'

Hence, he sees that the mediator of gravity force, 'gravity atoms' or 'gravitons' in today's quantum gravity terminology, are stopped not by the visible surface of the earth, but by the atoms within the earth. For this to be so, he deduces that atoms are mainly void, an anticipation of what we know now in the nuclear age! LeSage saw atoms as hollow 'cages'.

On page 418, LeSage considers the objection to the theory that if gravity were a pushing force, it could be stopped by holding a sheet of paper over your head. LeSage sarcastically points out that you similarly could say that the earth's atmosphere would screen out the gravity radiation push! LeSage explains that although rain is stopped easily, the gravity causing radiation is extremely penetrating and can transverse the whole planet. So an umbrella does not stop gravity causing radiation! The gravitons are far, far more penetrating than gamma rays or x-rays (both unknown in LeSage's time).

LeSage could have merely pointed out that if you are going to assume that a piece of paper or the roof of a house 'must' stop a gravity radiation push, then the same argument would also rule out the idea of a pull gravity mechanism, because a man standing on a piece of paper or on the roof of a house would - in this pathetically ignorant sneering 'objection' - be shielded from the earth's gravity pull by the roof. Hence the argument is self-contradictory, since we know that gravity acceleration (1) does exist and (2) is determined not by our own mass (if small compared to the mass of the earth), but is determined by the mass of the earth.

Hence, some information on the earth's mass determines the 9.8 ms^-2 gravity acceleration. If gravitation was an elastic pulling effect, like Hooke's law, gravity would get stronger as you went further away from a mass, but would be weakest when you were closest to a mass (slack elastic). There is no workable mechanism for an elastic or pulling-type gravity.

On the other hand, since quantum field theory already tells us that the vacuum is full of exchange-radiation which causes the fundamental forces, and that even light velocity radiation exerts pressure, we can see that pushing-type forces due to shielding occur naturally.

LeSage, from the required great penetrating power (i.e., the weak shielding effect of matter), deduces that gravitational radiation is extremely abundant in order to still cause the observed force of gravity despite such weak interactions. The gravitons must be penetrating enough to be capable of going straight through the mass of the earth with only a slight attenuation, and yet must be abundant enough to cause things to fall at the earth's surface at the observed acceleration by the slightly unequal exposure on the upward-facing and downward-facing sides.
The only way to do this is to have an immense number of forceful gravitons, so that even a very slight asymmetry introduced by the earth's creates a large net pressure on the atoms of an apple (or any other object) near the earth's surface. On page 422 LeSage raises another difficulty with his theory, namely that the gravity causing radiation would cause spinning objects to slow down by carrying away rotational energy in collisions. However, this objection is entirely bogus. Fundamental particles as described by the Standard Model, have mass, spin, etc., but they don't have any mass.

Mass is entirely due to an external (vacuum) quantum field (Higgs particles). Therefore, when gravity causing radiation collides with the particles in a moving body to cause gravity (and inertia, by the equivalence principle) it is an indirect reaction. First gravity couples to the Higg's field particles around the charged particles, and then the gravity effect is communicated to the fundamental particle core. In this two-stage mechanism there is no net rotational energy loss, because everything remains in equilibrium.

On page 425, LeSage ridicules those who scoff at this gravity mechanism:

'How can a confused repugnance, suffices to condemn a theory, which affronts nothing of taste nor of feeling! And always like the devout one, to humbly follows the beaten roads; and does the same in researches, and like all those which acted the strong one, did not obtain any successes!'

But then on pages 426 and 427, LeSage in parenthesis in his conclusion admits candidly that it is initially discerning, an 'alarming complication', to picture the vacuum so chaotic, full of gravity causing radiation:

'[page 426 ] Undoubtedly, the majority of the undecided people, not having any clear sight of this [vacuum radiation exchange] chaos (of which I acknowledge that the first blow-with eye is of an alarming complication) will … [page 427] pretend detriments in advance, any conceivable explanation of revolutions: or that they will have had the sensible one, decided by the authority of certain great names, that pronounces, either on this impossibility, or on the non-utility of these results: or that they will not have had enough love of facts of nature, nor enough courage ... in order to accommodate it and deliver fully research into all it has to offer and ensure; that there will not be known to be a presentation of the solidity and the security of this beautiful system, rather distinctly, to be filled with enthusiasm at some point, because of people's faith in their other sights and projects.'

The last sentence is the conclusion of LeSage's paper (pages 428-32 are just an appendix speculating on the mechanical details of the 'fluid gravity' pushing-shield mechanism). Did LeSage succumb because his attacks on Newtonian orthodoxy were too obscure, or because his writing style was too long-winded and poetic? Or was his problem not having a mathematical model for the mechanism which correctly predicts everything (particle masses and forces)? Or, as he suggested, was it suppressed by bigotry and inertia of the masses of fashion-followers?

The paper was peer-reviewed and approved by Prevost, who initiated thermodynamics in 1792. (‘Caloric’, fluid heat theory, eventually gave way to two separate mechanisms, kinetic theory and radiation. This was after Prevost in 1792 suggested constant temperature is a dynamic system, with emission in equilibrium with the reception of energy.)

LeSage formulated the idea that some inward pressure causes gravity by virtual of shielding properties of matter. He was well aware of the difficulty that gravitation depends on the mass, not the macroscopic (apparent) surface area of the planet. He consequently predicts in 1782 that atoms are not hard impenetrable solids of the kind Newton thought, but are instead almost entirely void. This prediction was confirmed by X-rays, radioactivity, and the nuclear atom of Rutherford in the period of 1896-1912. A brilliant prediction, made without mathematics. However, LeSage implied various other predictions, too. First, whatever pressure was causing gravity would also tend to compress planets radially, and would also compress the length of a moving body. We know from general relativity that the gravitational contraction is indeed real, for example the earth’s radius is contracted by about (1/3)MG/c^2 or 1.5 mm.

We also know that the Michelson-Morley experiment was explained by George FitzGerald in a letter to Science in 1889 as being due, not to the non-existence of ether, but to the compression of length of the measuring instrument in the direction of absolute motion, caused by the pressure of the gravity-causing ether. It is obvious that this stuff is suppressed because it is not highly mathematical. LeSage snubs Newton’s mathematical physics, never mind Einstein’s special relativity (although it is perfectly consistent with the proved facts of Einstein-Hilbert general relativity). When Einstein and Hilbert were formulating general relativity in November 1915, LeSage’s gravity mechanism was still ignored on the basis that it (1) failed to make any quantitative predictions, and (2) conflicted with a number of observations. The claims that it conflicts with observations are all, however, based on ridiculously false assumptions which contradict those now accepted in the context of normal radiation-exchange (mainstream) quantum field theory, 1929-49.

For example, one popular ‘disproof’ of LeSage, hyped up by the 'gear cog aether' crazed James Clerk Maxwell and the 3-postulate (anti-special relativity) nutter (according to Einstein's friend and biographer Abraham Pais) Henri Poincare, was that the amount of radiation exchange needed to account merely for LeSage gravity (never mind stronger forces like electromagnetism) would be ‘sufficient to vaporise the earth’. This is bogus because electromagnetism, a quantum field theory radiation-exchange force, holds all the atoms of the earth together without the earth vaporising, and electromagnetism is about 10^40 times stronger than gravity! However, Poincare's extension of Maxwell's bigotry killed LeSage's mechanism:

'Poincare seems to have put an end to at least public discussion of the theory in his writings on the history and philosophy of science in the first decade of the twentieth century.'

'Poincare even saw fit to investigate the incompatibility of Le Sage's theory with the Special Theory of Relativity.'

Poincare conveniently died years before general relativity in 1915 brought back the spacetime fabric! The gravitational radiation doesn't act directly in charges, but only via massive vacuum Higgs field particles, which smooth out the impacts of radiation from different directions. So there is no heat gain from gravitational radiation (although the jiggling causes the chaotic electron orbitals and to trigger the random emission of radioactivity in nuclear reactions).

Unfortunately, LeSage was far before his time. Other bogus ‘problems’ used to ‘dismiss’ the LeSage gravity mechanism included the false claim that radiation does not create shadow zones but would diffuse into shadows, which would equalise pressures and prevent the geometric inverse-square law of gravity. This is false because the diffraction of radiation by matter is wavelength dependent, and it is not scattered by the vacuum. If transverse light waves were scattered by the quantum foam vacuum like longitudinal pressure waves diffusing in a fluid, we would not see clear images of stars at great distances.

The fact that we do see distinct and not a diffuse image suggests that light, and other forms of radiation, do not behave like fluid pressure waves. The pressure exerted by light and other radiation in the vacuum does not diffuse in all directions into shadow zones. Further, since quantum field theory does work quantitatively at least for the electromagnetic and nuclear forces, some kind of vacuum radiation pressure does cause fundamental forces with inverse-square law properties. Those who dispute this should be exposed as real crackpots, to bring back some discipline. (At the same time, the entire 10/11 dimensional ‘string theory’ fraternity and their colleagues in the next-door UFO/alien abduction investigation lab., should be honestly labelled cranks. This is a scientific necessity, to stop these motor-mouthed abusive charlatans preaching nonsense.)

Lord Kelvin: "[Simple modifications are] all that is necessary to complete Le Sage's theory of gravity in accordance with modern science.... This supposition is neither more nor less questionable than . . . for gases, which is now admitted to be one of the generally recognized truths of science" - William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), On the Ultramundane Corpuscles of Le Sage, The London Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Taylor and Francis, London, May 1873, Vol XLV; Fourth series, p. 331.

S. Tolver Preston: ". . . the theory of Le Sage can scarcely be regarded as mere hypothesis, but rather as an irresistible deduction which is forced upon us in the absence of any other conceivable inference. Certainly, if simplicity be a recommendation, the theory needs no recommendation on that ground." - S. T. Preston, On Some Dynamical Conditions Applicable to Le Sage's Theory of Gravitation, No. 1, The London Edinburgh and Dublin PhilosophicalMagazine and Journal of Science, Taylor and Francis, London, September 1877, Vol. IV, Fifth series, p. 213.

James Clerk Maxwell: "Here, then, seems to be a path leading towards an explanation of the law of gravitation, which, if it can be shown to be in other respects consistent with the facts, may turn out to be a royal road into the very arcana of science." - J. C. Maxwell, Atom, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Henry G. Allen, New York, 1890, Ninth Edition, Vol. 3, p. 46.

[Maxwell was allegedly being sarcastic or tongue in cheek. He had earlier stated in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, 'A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field' by Prof. J Clerk Maxwell FRS, October 1864: '….. if we look for the explanation of the force of gravitation in the action of a surrounding medium, the constitution of the medium must be such that, when far from the presence of gross matter, it has immense intrinsic energy, part of which is removed from it wherever we find the signs of gravitating force. ... This result does not encourage us to look in this direction for the explanation of the force of gravity.']

"It is of interest to examine some other "schools" of criticism, which today would be considered incorrect. J. Croll, writing in 1878, and C. C. Farr, a full twenty years later, chose to disregard the objection which Maxwell had pressed and to attack Le Sage's theory on the grounds that the basic premisethat mundane matter is mostly empty space is evidently false."

(Croll, J., Le Sage's Theory of Gravitation, The London Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Taylor and Francis, London, January, 1878, Vol. V, Fifth series, p. 45. Farr, C. C., On an Objection to Le Sage's Theory of Gravitation, Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute, Government Printing Office, Wellington, 1898, Vol. XXX, p. 118.)

It is ironic that in 1878 and 1898 Croll and Farr ignorantly ridiculed LeSage's prediction that the atom is mainly void, but that when LeSage was confirmed by radioactivity and X-rays in 1895-6, people like Poincare managed to continue ridiculing LeSage instead of praising his remarkably correct prediction. Rutherford in 1912 failed, conveniently (why should he sacrifice orthodoxy any more than necessary, and risk his career for 'mere science'?), to credit LeSage with predicting the almost totally void nature of the atom which Geiger and Marsden's results on the scattering of alpha particles by gold foil implied. So LeSage was falsely ridiculed for making experimentally confirmed predictions, but nobody even then praised the theory.

Everytime the 'critics' (bigots, really) were proved wrong in their criticism, and LeSage proved right, the abusive 'critics' (bigots) just crawled back into the woodwork, were put away again in their padded cells, or slunk back into their cages, without ever admitting they were wrong and LeSage was right. Instead, new ad hoc 'criticisms' would be invented, until they became so absurdly vacuous that the subject was merely ignored as a heresy or unfashionable.

There are 3 expanding spacetime dimensions in the big bang universe which describe the universe on a large scale, and 3 contractable dimensions of matter which we see on a small scale. General relativity has to somehow allow the universe's spacetime to expanding 3 dimensions around us (big bang) while also allowing gravitation to contract the 3 dimensions of spacetime in the earth, causing the earth's radius to shrink by 1.5 millimetres, and (because of spacetime) causing time on the Earth to slow down by 1.5 parts in 6,400,000,000 (i.e., 1.5 mm in theEarth's radius of 6,400 km). This is the contraction effect of general relativity, which contracts distances and slows time.

The errors of general relativity being force-fitted to the universe as a whole are obvious: the outward expansion of spacetime in the big bang causes the inward reaction on the spacetime fabric which causes the contraction as well as gravity and other forces. Hence, general relativity is a local-scale resultant of the big bang, not the cause or the controlling model of the big bang. The conventional paradigm confuses cause for effect; general relativity is an effect of the universe, not the cause of it. To me this is obvious, to others it is heresy. What is weird is that crackpots cling on to total nonsense which is debunked here: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/tiredlit.htm.

Another way to debunk anti-expansion stuff is to point out that the cosmic background radiation measured for example by the COBE satellite in 1992, is both (a) the most red-shifted radiation (it is red-shifted by a factor of 1000, from a temperature of 3000 K infra-red to 2.7 K microwaves), and (b) the most perfect blackbody (Planck) radiation spectrum ever observed. The only mechanism for a uniform red-shift by the same factor at all frequenciesis recession, for the known distribution of masses in the universe. The claims that the perfectly sharp and uniformly shifted light from distant stars has been magically scattered by clouds of dust without diffusing the spectrum or image is utterly vacuous, like claiming the moon-landings are a hoax. The real issue is that the recession speeds are observations which apply to fixed times past, as a certain fact, not to fixed distances. Hence the recession is a kind of acceleration (velocity/time) for the observable spacetime which we experience. This fact leads to outward force F=ma =10^43 N, and by Newton's 3rd law equal inward force which predicts gravity via an improved, Quantum Field Theory-consistent LeSage mechanism.

So I'm glad that the Wikipedia page on LeSage has been updated to include the quotes about LeSage from Feynman which I included on my internet page:

When Sir Isaac Newton published his Theory of Universal Gravitation, he noted that he could not propose a mechanism by which it worked. In 1784 Georges-Louis LeSage (1724-1803) of Geneva proposed a simple kinetic theory of gravitation. LeSage extended the speculations of Newton's friend and contemporary Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, who first suggested a similar explanation for gravity in 1690.

The idea was not well received in LeSage’s time but subsequently resurfaced in the nineteenth century. It influenced John Herapath's thinking in developing the kinetic theory of gases and this kinetic theory was then used by Lord Kelvin to develop an updated version of LeSage’s theory. Kelvin’s work however was criticized by James Clerk Maxwell, for reasons discussed below. In the twentieth century, it was still studied by a few researchers, such as the Russian astrophysicist V. V. Radzievskii. Today the theory continues to be developed and is a continuing avenue of research and interest for a number of researchers who find themselves unsatisfied with current mainstream theory. However, it is not mainstream because it makes few if any scientific predictions.

Feynman examined LeSage gravity in his November 1964 Cornell Lectures Character of Physical Law. They were recorded by the BBC and broadcast on TV in 1965, as well as being published in Feynman's book of similar title.

Character of Physical Law, pp. 171-3:

"The inexperienced [string theorists who have no contact with the real world of physical fact], and crackpots [the media and those who are obsessed with failed orthodoxy], and people like that, make guesses that are simple, but [with extensive knowledge of the actual facts rather than speculative theories of physics] you can immediately see that they are wrong, so that does not count. ... There will be a degeneration of ideas, just like the degeneration that great explorers feel is occurring when tourists begin moving in on a territory."

On page 38 of this book, Feynman has a diagram which looks basically like this: >E S<, where E is earth and S is sun. The arrows show the push that causes gravity. This is the LeSage gravity scheme, which Feynman also discusses (without the diagram) in his full Lectures on Physics. He concludes that the mechanism in its form as of 1964 contradicted the no-ether relativity model and could not make any valid predictions, but finishes off by saying (p. 39):

"'Well,' you say, 'it was a good one, and I got rid of the mathematics for a while. Maybe I could invent a better one.' Maybe you can, because nobody knows the ultimate. But up to today [1964], from the time of Newton, no one has invented another theoretical description of the mathematical machinery behind this law which does not either say the same thing over again, or make the mathematics harder, or predict some wrong phenomena. So there is no model of the theory of gravitation today, other the mathematical form."

But he adds a criticism of renormalised quantum gravity speculations on pages 57-8:

"It always bothers me that, according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time. How can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space/time is going to do? So I have often made the hypothesis that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the machinery will be revealed, and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the chequer board with all its apparent complexities."

Feynman's only stated problem with LeSage was drag or rather inertia! But surely Feynman knew that the vacuum radiation would contract objects in the direction of their motion regardless of whether the radiation also caused gravity, or not.

So Feynman's objection would discredit the empirically defended modern physics of the Dirac sea and of Feynman's own quantum foam vacuum!

It smacks of hypocrisy for Feynman to use an argument against LeSage which also discredits Feynman's quantum field theory of the vacuum containing force-mediating radiation, without saying the same argument also can be used against himself!

In fact, the fluid analogy shows that the 'drag' problem Feynman had is actually manifested in the causality of general relativity's contraction term, and by the equivalence principle, the contraction of FitzGerald and Lorentz for moving objects. The 'fluid' of force-causing vacuum radiation is a perfect fluid, so it resists only accelerations. This is observed and called 'inertia' (for 'stationary' objects) and 'momentum' (for moving objects). The energy of the resisted acceleration goes into doing the work of physically contracting the object! Hence, contraction is an equilibrium state in which the vacuum radiation distorts the physical dimensions of matter according to its self-shielding (gravitation) and its motion.

Rcecent abusive motor mouthed crackpot sneers at LeSage mechanism, see http://www.lns.cornell.edu/spr/2000-08/msg0027106.html:

'In general relativity, gravity propagates at light speed, but the theoryescapes this problem because, in Newtonian language, the effectiveforce is not central, but has velocity-dependent terms that do notpoint radially from the source. See Carlip, Phys. Lett. A267 (2000) 81.You might try to add such terms in a LeSage-type theory, but only atthe expense of losing any simple ``push'' picture.)... As Feynman noted in Vol. I, section 7-7 of the Feynman Lectures, the same interaction that leads to an attractive force will also lead to a drag.

'this doesn't apply to a flux whose spectrum IS Lorentz> covariant. That's true, but it requires that there be no high-energy cutoff, since a cutoff would break the invariance.


'There's also a problem with existing observational evidence for the equivalence principle. We know to a very good accuracy that gravity interacts with all forms of energy, and not just with mass. For example, the electrostatic binding energy of the nucleus contributes an amount E/c^2 to gravitational mass, as does the energy of weak interactions inthe nucleus, as does even the kinetic energy of electrons in atoms. Foryour mechanism to work, your right-handed neutrinos (or whatever) would have to couple to the full stress-energy tensor. But a spin-1/2particle doesn't have such a coupling; you need a spin 2 particle. And once you take into account the coupling to *gravitational* energy (also observed!), you necessarily end up with a theory that's at least locally equivalent to general relativity, up to possible terms that are important only at high energies.You might want to look at chapters 2 and 3 of the _Feynman Lectureson Gravitation_ for a nice derivation of the fact that a spin 2 particleis required.'

These mainstream crackpots get brownie points for being abusive and not constructive, which is precisely why they behave this way instead of being objective, scientific. They prefer to sneer at LeSage or any other piece of solid physics with more correct predictions than Witten's stringy M-theory (mainstream string theory), which is 'not even wrong'.

At http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/cnfGrHg.html, Tony Smith quotes
Richard Feynman’s book Lectures on Gravitation (1962-63 lectures at Caltech), Addison-Wesley 1995 (section on Quantum Gravity by Brian Hatfield):

‘... Feynman ... felt ... that ... the fact that a massless spin-2 field can be interpreted as a metric was simply a ‘coincidence’ ... In order to produce a static force and not just scattering, the emission or absorption of a single graviton by either particle [of a pair of particles] must leave both particles in the same internal state ... Therefore the graviton must have integer spin. ... when the exchange particle carries odd integer spin, like charges repel and opposite charges attract ... when the exchanged particle carries even integer spin, the potential is universally attractive ... If we assume that the exchanged particle is spin 0, then we lose the coupling of gravity to the spin-1 photon ... the graviton is massless because gravity is a long ranged force and it is spin 2 in order to be able to couple the energy content of matter with universal attraction ...’.

The only thing anyone can do is to point out that they are just abusive nutty politicians, who don't think abuse makes them into a kind of Hitler character, to be adored by sycophantic nutters. They have nothing positive to say of anything or anyone except for 'not even wrong' stringy stuff and fellow dictatorial politicians who preside over the teaching and 'research' of science. I quite like the response Tony Smith gave on the subject of censorship today:

'It is sad enough that there has been very little advance in elementary particle theory since the 1970s (when the Standard Model was developed), but it is far sadder still that back in 1980, in his book Cosmos, Carl Sagan could say “… The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion and politics, but it is not the path to knowledge; it has no place in the endeavor of science. …”, while now in 2005/2006, Machiavelli is considered to be the teacher who must be followed in order to succeed in elementary particle physics.

'Maybe the leaders of today’s theoretical particle physics establishment should be asked the McCarthy question:


Lubos Motley's Stringy Climate... said...


Newton also had several papers also on stringy theory, alchemy, M-theory, religion, extra-dimensions, and creationism. Sadly, all were rejected for publication because he couldn't get an endorser on the international arXiv, which was controlled by the terribly vindictive Lubos Leibniz, plagarist of Newton's calculus. Newton's inverse square law of gravity was independently discovered by Hooke, although Newton did the important work of proving that it applies to elliptical orbits, not just circles. Newton never expressed it with the constant G because he didn't know what the constant was.

Newton did have empirical evidence, however, for the inverse square law. He knew the earth has a radius of 4,000 miles and the moon is a quarter of a million miles away, hence by inverse-square law, gravity should be (4,000/250,000)^2 = 3900 times weaker at the moon than the 32 ft/s/s at earth's surface. Hence the gravity acceleration due to the earth's mass at the moon is 32/3,900 = 0.008 ft/s/s.

Newton's formula for the centripetal acceleration of the moon is: a = (v^2)/(distance to moon), where v is the moon's orbital velocity, v = 2Pi.[250,000 miles]/[27 days] ~ 0.67 mile/second), hence a = 0.0096 ft/s/s.

So Newton had evidence that the gravity from the earth at moon's radius is the same as the centripetal force for the moon. The great mathematician Edmond Witten told Newton gravity is stringy, but Newton ignored him and missed on being a genius.


At 4:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Radzievskii,V.V. and Kagalnikova, I.I. Bull. Vsesoyuz. Astronomo. Geol. Obshchestva, Moscow, 26, 3 (1960)

Translation in U.S. Govt. tech. report FTD-TT-64-323/1+2+4 (AD-601762)


V. V. Radziyevskiy and I. I. Kagal'nikova


The discovery of the law of universal gravitation did not immediately attract the attention of researchers to the question of the physical nature of gravitation. Not until the middle of the 18th century did M. V. Lomonosov (1) and several years later, Lesage [2, 3], make the first attempts to interpret the phenomenon of gravitation on the basis of the hypothesis of "attraction" of one body to another by means of "ultracosmic" corpuscles.

The hypothesis of Lomonosov and Lesage, thanks to its great simplicity and physical clarity quickly attracted the general attention of naturalists and during the next 150 years served as a theme for violent polemics. It gave rise to an enormous number of publications, among which the most interesting are the works of Laplace [4], Secchi (5), Leray (6), V. Thomson (7), Schramm (8), Tait (9), lsenkrahe (10), Preston (11, 12), Jarolimek (13), Waachy (14), Rysanek (15), Lorentz (16), D. Thomson (cited in (17), Darwin (18), H. Poincare {19, 20), Majorana (21-25), and Sulaiman (26, 27).

In the course of these polemics, numerous authors proposed various modificatlons to the theory of Lomonosov and Lesage. However, careful examination of each of these invariably led to conclusions which were incompatible with one or another concept of classical physics. For this reason, and also as a result of the successful elaboration of the general theory of relativity. ...

In acquainting ourselves with the whole complex of pre-relativity ideas about the nature of gravitation, we were compelled to think of the possibility of a synthesis of the numerous classical hypothesis, such that each of the inherent, isolated, internal contradictions or disagreements with experimental data might be successfully explained. The exposition of this "synthesis." i.e., unified and modernized classical hypothesis of gravitation created primarily from the work of the authors cited above and supplemented only to a minimum degree by our own deliberations, is the main problem of this work. ...

1. Discussion of the Lomonosov-Lesage hypothesis

According to the Lomonosov-Lesage hypothesis, outer space is filled with "ultracosmic" particles which move with tremendous speed and can almost freely penetrate matter. The latter only slightly impedes the momentum of the particles In proportion to the magnitude of the penetrating momentum, the density of the matter, and the path length of the particle within the body.

Thanks to spatial isotropy in the distribution and motion of ultracosmic particles, the cumulative momentum which is absorbed by an isolated body is equal to zero and the body experiences only a state of compression. In the presence of two bodies (A and B) the stream of particles from body B, impinging on body A, is attenuated by absorption within body B. Therefore, the surplus of the flux striking body A from the outer side drives the latter toward body B.

In connection with the Lomonosov-Lesage hypothesis, the question of the mechanism of momentum absorption immediately arises. Generally speaking the following variants are possible:

1. The overwhelming majority of particles pass through matter without loss of momentum, and an insignificant part are either completely absorbed by the matter or undergo elastic reflection (Schramm (8)). Evidently, in the first case constant "scooping" of ultracosmic particles by matter must take place, leading to secular decrease in the gravitation constant. In addition, as it is easy to show, in this case an inadmissable
rapid increment of the body's mass must occur. If the speed of the ultracosmic particles is close to that of light. In the second case as Waschy (14) showed, the reflected particles must compensate for the anisotropy in the motion of the particles, which was created by the interacting bodies. In other words, the driving of the bodies in this caae would be completely compensated for by the repulsion of the reflected particles and no gravitation would result.

2. All particles passing through matter experience something like friction, as a result of which they lose part of their momentum owing to a decrease in speed (Lesage (2, 3), Leray (6), Darwin [18], and others). Evidently in this case there would also be a gradual weakening of the gravitational interaction of the bodies (lsenkrahe (10)).

A way out from the described difficulty was made possible by the proposal of Thomasin (cited in (19, 17)), D. Thomson (cited in(17)), Lorentz (15), Brush (30), Klutz (31), Poincare (19, 20), and others, for a new modification of the Lomonosov-Lesage hypothesis, according to which the ultracosmic particles are replaced by extremely hard and penetrating electromagnetic wave radiation.

If in this case we assume that matter is capable of absorbing only primary radiation and radiates secondary radiation, which still posesses great penetrating power, then the Waschy effect (repulsion of secondary radiation) may be eliminated.*


* However, in order that a secular decrease in the gravitation constant does not occur It is necessary to suppose that the quanta of secondary radiation, after being radiated, decompose to primary radiation and, as a consequence, at some distance, depending on the duration of their lives, the gravitational interaction between bodies approaches zero.

The next question which arises in connection with the Lomonosv-
Lesage hypothesis concerns the fate of the energy which is absorbed by the body along with the momentum of the gravitational field. As Maxwell (32) and Poincare (19, 20) have shown, if we attribute to gravity a speed not less than the speed of light, then in order to ensure the gravitational force observed in nature it is necessary to accept that momentum is absorbed which is equal to an amount of energy that can transform all material into vapor in one second.

However, these ideas lose their force when the ideas of Thomasin, G. Thomson, and Lorentz are considered, according to which the absorbed energy is not transformed into heat, but is reradiated as secondary radiation according to laws which are distinct from the laws of thermal radiation. ...

Poincare (20) directed attention to the fact that the motion of even an isolated body must experience very significant braking as a result first of the Doppler effect (head-on gravitons become harder and consequently have more momentum than ones which are being overtaken) and second, the mass being absorbed sets the body in motion and a part of the body's own motion is communicated to the mass. ... this braking [is] not ... detected by observation... this ... is considered to be one of the strongest arguments against the Lomonosov-Lesage hypothesis.

Not too long ago a modification to the Lomonosov-Lesage hypothesis was suggested by the Indian academician Sulaiman.

According to this hypothesis, an isolated body A radiates gravitons in all possible directions isotropically, experiencing a resultant force equal to zero. The presence of a second body B slows the process of graviton radiation by body A more strongly, the smaller the distance between the bodies. Therefore the quantity of gravitons being radiated from the side of body A facing body B will be less than from the opposite side. This gives rise to a resultant force which is different from zero and tends to bring body A and body B together.

Further, Sulaiman postulated invariability of the graviton momentum with respect to a certain absolute frame of reference.

Here the moving body must experience not braking, but rather acceleration coinciding with the direction of speed and being compensated by the braking influence of the medium.

Sulaiman's hypothesis is very interesting. Unfortunately, it does not examine the question of decreasing mass of the radiating bodies or the question of the fate of the radiated gravitons.

As can easily be shown by elementary calculation, so that the impulse being radiated by the body can secure the observed force of interaction between them, it is necessary that they lose their mass with an unacceptably great speed. It is completely clear that no combination of longitudinal and transverse masses can save the thesis. There is a well-defined relationship between the relativistic expressions of the momentum and the energy (33), and it is impossible to imagine that a body radiating energy E (i.e., mass E/c2) could with this momentum radiate more than E/c.

If we suppose that the radiation of the mass is compensated by the corresponding reverse process of graviton absorption, then we return to a more natural elementary variant of the Lomonosov-Lesage hypothesis. Graviton absorption and the screening effect which is inescapably linked with it guarantee a gravitational attraction force without the additional concept of anisotropic graviton radiation by one body in the presence of another. ...

The "Synthetic" Hypothesis

Let us suppose that outer space is filled with an isotropic uniform gravitational field which we can liken to an electromagnetic field of extremely high frequency. Let us designate ρ as the material density of the field, keeping in mind with this concept the value of the inert mass contained in a unit volume of space. Evidently the density of that part of the field which is moving in a chosen direction within the solid angle dω is ρdω/4π Under these conditions a mass of dμ = dScρdω/4π carrying a momentum dp = dSc2ρdω/4π will pass through any area element dS in its normal direction within the solid angle dω in unit time.

The mass flux will fill an elementary cone, one cross section of which serves as the area element dS. At any distance from this area element, let us draw two planes parallel to it which cut off an elementary frustrum of height dl, and let us imagine that the frustrum is filled with material of density d.

It is evident that the portion of the flux absorbed by this material will br d(dμ) = dμ hd dl
or d(dμ) = hρc (dω/4π)dm where dm = d dSdl is the mass of the elementary frustrum.

Let us imagine a "material point" of mass m in the form of a
spherical body of density d and of sufficiently small dimensions
so that it is possible to neglect the progressive character of
the absorption within it and to consider that the absorption
proceeds in conformity with the formula. Let us divide the section of this spherical body into a number of area elements and
construct on each of them an elementary cone with an apex angle dω. Applying the formula to these cones, and integrating with respect to the whole mass of the material point, we obtain
Δ(dμ) = hρc (dω/4π) dm.

This formula determines the value of the absorbed portion of
the field mass which has passed in unit time through a cone with
an apex angle dω, which Is circumscribed around a sufficiently small spherical body of mass m.

To obtain the total rate of increment in the mass of the point, it is necessary to take into consideration absorption of the field impinging on it from all possible directions, which is equivalent to integration over the whole solid angle ω. This gives dm/dt = hρcm.
Imagine that the field flux inside the cone circumscribed around material point m, penetrates the material throughout the finite section of the path AB = L.

Integrating from B to A, we obtain an expression which determines the total absorption within the cone AB when δ = const (dμ)1 = dμe-hδL

Let dμ be the mass of the field striking cone AB from side B, and (d μ)i be the mass of the field exiting this cone and impinging
on body m. The decrease in the mass of the flux because of absorption in AB is equivalent to the decrease in its density up to the value ρ1 = ρe-hδL. Thus from the left flux of density ρ (its absorbed portion is expressed by the formula) strikes material point m and from the right, a flux of density ρ1. The portion which is absorbed will be Δ(dμ)1 = hρe-hδL (dω/4π) m.

Calculating and multiplying the result by c we obtain a vector sum of the momentum absorbed by point m in unit time equal to the value of force dF, from which point m is "attracted" to cone
dF = hρc2(dω/4π) ( 1 - e-hδL)

It would not be hard to show that with such a force, cone AB is "attracted" to point m.

Setting L = dL we obtain the attraction force of point m to a cone of elementary length d(dF) = h2ρc2(dω/4π)mddL

As can be seen, the force at the assigned values of d, dω, and dL depends neither on the distance between point m and the attracting
elementary frustrum, nor on the mass of the latter. This result
corresponds completely to the data of Newton’s theory of gravity
and is explained by the fact that the mass of the frustrum being
examined is directly proportional to the square of its distance
from point m.

Differentiating with respect to L, we obtain the value of the attraction force of point m to element C of cone AB, which also does not depend on the position of this element d(dF) = h2ρc2(dω/4π)me-hδL ddL

Comparison shows, however, that element C attracts point m with a weakened force and the degree of its weakening depends on the general thickness L of the screening material, regardless of whether point m and element C are on different or on the same side of the screen. The latter result is mathematical evidence of the groundlessness (within the frame of the Lomonosov-Lesage hypothesis) of the critical ideas in the second part of Russel's article.

Let us now determine the total attraction force of material point m to a spherical homogeneous body of mass M. Multiplying the right side of by cos φ for this purpose and taking into account that L = 2 (R2 –r2 sin2 φ)1/2 and dω = 2 π sinφ dφ , we easily find that arcsin R/r 1/2

F = hρc2m/2 = ∫0 (1 – e –2hδ(R2 –r2 sin2 φ) )cos φ sin φ dφ =

(h2ρc2/4π) (LmψM/r2),

ψ = ¾(1/u – 1/2u3 + e-2u(1/u2 + 1/2u3))

In which u = hdR.

As has already been noted above, Ψ ≈ 1 whence follows that

the value G=h2ρc2/4π
plays the role of a gravitational constant. The value ψ which depends on progressive gravitation absorption within the body M must be considered to be the weight decrease coefficient of the latter.

... Actually an isolated body such as the sun is a sink for the gravitational field being absorbed and a source for one not being absorbed. Since we are interested only in the form, we may say that In the presence of a body, something analogous to distortion of the gravitational field occurs: at each point of the field there arises a non-zero resulting momentum directed towards the center of the sink. Evidently such a momentum may collide with any other body only in a direction towards this center. The very fact of motion, as follows from the aforementioned considerations, cannot cause the appearance of a transversal force component.

Thus it is possible to see that the modernized Lomonosov-Lesage hypothesis presented here is not in conflict with a single one of the empirical facts which up to now have been discussed In
connection with this hypothesis. At the same time, of course, it
is impossible to guarantee that a more detailed analysis of the
problem will not subsequently lead to discovery of such conflicts. ...


1. M. V. Lomonoaov. Poinoye sobraniye sochineniy. Vol. 1. lzd. AN SSSR.

2. C. L. Lesage. Nouv. Mem. de l'Acad. de Berlin, 1749; 1758; 1782.

3. Deux traites de physique mecanique, publies par Pierre Prevost. Geneve-Paris, 1818.

4. Laplace. Oeuvres, v. IV.

5. A. Secchi. L'unita delle forze fisiche, 1864,

6. Leray. Comptes rendus, 69, 615, 1869.

7. W. Thomson. Proc. Roy. Soc. Edingburgh, 7, 577, 1872.

8. H. Schramm. Die allgemeine Bewegung der Materie als Grundur-

sache der Eracheinungen. Wien, 1872.

9. P. G Tait, Vorlesungen uber einige neuere Fortschritte der physik. Braunschweig, 1877.

10. G. lsenkrahe. Das Ratsel der Schwerkraft. Kritik der bisherigen Losungen des Gravitations problems. Braunschweig, 1879.

11. T. Preston. Philosophical Magazine, 4, 200, 364, 1877; 15, 391, 1881

12. T. Preston. Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss., Wien, 87, 795, 1883.

13. A. Jarolimek. Wien. Ber., 83, 897, 1883.

14. M. Waschy. Journ. de phys., (2), 5, 165, 1886.

15. Rysanek. Rep. de phys., 24, 90, 1887.

16. H. A. Lorentz. Mem. de l'Acad. des Sci. d'Amsterdam, 25, 1900.

17. Z. A. Tseytlin, Fiziko-khimicheskaya mekhanika kosmicheskikhtel 1 sistem. M. - L., 1937.

18. G. H. Darwin. Proc. Roy. Soc. London, 76, 1905.

19. H. Poincare. Sci. et methode. Paris, 1918.

20. H. Poincare. Bull. Astronomique, 17, 121, 181, 1953.

21. Q. Majorana. Atti Reale Accad. Lincei, 28, 2 sem., 165, 221, 313, 416, 480, 1919.

22. Q. Majorana. Atti Reale Accad. Lincei, 29, 1 sem., 23, 90,

163, 235, 1920; Philos. Mag., 39, 488, 1920.

23. Q. Majorana. Atti Reale Accad. Lincei, 30, 75, 289, 350, 442, 1921.

24. Q. Majorana. Atti Reale Accad. Lincei, 31, 41, 81, 141, 221, 343, 1922.

25. Q. Majorana. Journ. phys. et radium, 1, 314, 1930.

26. S. M. Sulaiman. Proc. Acad. Sci. India, 4, 1, 1934; 4, 217, 1935.

27. S. M. Sulaiman. Proc. Acad. Sci. Unit. Prov., 5, 123, p. 2, 1935.

28. A. A. Michelson. Atti della Soc. per iI progresso della sclenze, congresso di Trieste, Settembre, 1921.

29. H. N. Russel. Astrophys. Journ., 54, 334, 1921.

30. C. F. Brush, Proc. Amer. Phyl. Soc., 68, 1, 55, 1929.

31. H. Klutz. Techn. Engng. News, 35, No. 1, 1953.

32. J. C. Maxwell. Encyclopedia Britanica, 9 ed., v. 3, 46,1875.

33. I.O. Yarkovskiy. Vsemirnoye tyagoteniye, kak sledstviye obrazovaniya vesomoy materil. Moskva, 1889.

34. H. Robertson. Monthly Notices of Roy. Astron. Soc., 97, 423, 1937.

35. I.O. Yarkovskiy Vsemirnoye tyagoteniye, kak sledstviye obrazovaniya vesomoy materil. Moskva, 1889

At 5:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samuel Aronson, "The Gravitational Theory of Georges-Louis Le Sage", The Natural Philosopher Volume 3 January 1964

In the history of theoretical physics, theories of gravitation occupy an important and unique place; for, although many theories have been proposed to explain the nature of gravitational attraction, none has ever gained general approval. In the second half of the eighteenth century the Swiss physicist George-Louis Le Sage 1 took up the cause of a mechanical theory of gravitation which was by no means original with him, but which he put into the form that waslater to come under close scrutiny in the nineteenth century. One of Le Sage's most important predecessors was a close friend of Newton's, Nicolas Fatio de Duilliers, whose theory remained quite undeveloped.2 That we know anything of the work of men such as Fatio is largely due to Le Sage's scrupulous and commendable habit of giving full recognition to the accomplishments of his precursors.3

Although Le Sage's theory enjoyed a large measure of support at thetime of its overthrow in the nineteenth century, the state in which Le Sage himself left it was scientifically crude. ...


1. Mathematician and physicist George-Louis Le Sage was born in Geneva, Switzerland on June 13, 1724, the son of philosopher and physicist George-Louis Le Sage. He studied and practiced medicine at first, but subsequently gave this up for a professorship in mathematics. He became a memberof the Royal Society of London and of L'Acadcmie des Sciences de Paris in 1761. The greatest part of his life, and the majority of his theoretical effortswere directed towards the development of his mechanical theory of gravitation. He died on November 9, 1803. Cf. Prevost Pierre, Notice de la Vie et des Ecritsde George-Louis Le Sage. (Geneva: J. J. Paschoud, 1805.)

2. Enriques, Federigo, Problems of Science. (Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Co. , 1914), p. 311.

3. Thomson, William (Lord Kelvin), "On the Ultramundane Corpuscles of Le Sage."The London Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science. (London: Taylor and Francis, May 1873, Vol XLV; Fourth series ), p. 328. ...

At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


March 17th, 2006 at 5:25 am

This is hyped up to get media attention: the CBR from 300,000 years after BB says nothing of the first few seconds, unless you believe their vague claims that the polarisation tells something about the way the early inflation occurred. That might be true, but it is very indirect.

I do agree with Sean on CV that n = 0.95 may be an important result from this analysis. I’d say it’s the only useful result. But the interpretation of the universe as 4% baryons, 22% dark matter and 74% dark energy is a nice fit to the existing LambdaCDM epicycle theory from 1998. The new results on this are not too different from previous empirical data, but this ‘nice consistency’ is a euphemism for ‘useless’.

WMAP has produced more accurate spectral data of the fluctuations, but that doesn’t prove the ad hoc cosmological interpretation which was force-fitted to the data in 1998. Of course the new data fits the same ad hoc model. Unless there was a significant error in the earlier data, it would do. Ptolemy’s universe, once fiddled, continued to model things, with only occasional ‘tweaks’, for centuries. This doesn’t mean you should rejoice.

Dark matter, dark energy, and the tiny cosmological constant describing the dark energy, remain massive epicycles in current cosmology. The Standard Model has not been extended to include dark matter and energy. It is not hard science, it’s a very indirect interpretion of the data. I’ve got a correct prediction made without a cosmological constant made and published in ‘96, years before the ad hoc Lambda CDM model. Lunsford's unification of EM and GR also dismisses the CC.

[There is also a copy of this comment on the Cosmic Variance blog which was not deleted accidentally! ;-)]

At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recent argument over distinction between maths and physics at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Ivor_Catt/archive13

Kevin, ... You defended the fatally flawed lumped capacitance model as being a helpful simplification for calculations. Now you say "You cannot separate the physics from the maths." This is wrong, because maths is fundamentally an approximate quantitative representation of reality: Newton's laws are only approximate (general relativity is more accurate, but still has problems with cosmology, and quantum gravity officially doesn't exist). Hence, the physics of reality is something which is not achieved in today's mathematical models. I'm not going over the errors in Maxwell's classical electrodynamics again as we've been there already in detail. The point is, you're just plain wrong: the physics is today distinct from the maths we have. This remains until there is a mathematical unification of classical and quantum theories.
Kevin, you've ignored what I said: the maths changes, for example, GR is different from Newton's law of gravity. GR says the Earth's radius is contracted by 1.5 mm, that light passing the sun is deflected by twice the amount given by Newton's law (which applies to slow moving objects), etc. The physics is real, but the maths alters as discoveries occur. By using bold type to link physics to maths, or by shouting, you may convince those with weak minds to obey your decree. But the fact remains: mathematical models are not physically correct just because they have been fiddled/created to approximate some measured data. Introducing Heisenberg's uncertainty principle doesn't alter this, it just means that you measure statistics. You don't need absolute precision to do science. Einstein didn't need to measure anything precisely to introduce GR, just a logical argument.

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CC (=cosmological constant) is used to cancel out gravitational retardation of supernovae at long distances. You can get rid of the CC by taking the Hubble expansion as primitive, and gravity as a consequence of expansion in spacetime. Outward force f=ma=mc/(age of universe) => inward force (3rd law). So causal shielding (Lesage) gravity is a result of the expansion. Thus, quantum gravity and the CC problem dumped in one go.

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Nigel,

LeSage is not the discoverer of this mechanism! Nor is the Russian guy Lomonosov mentioned in the first comment above.

The second commentator above quotes from a report which cites Lord Kelvin as implying that Fatio, a friend of Newton, came up with the idea first, although:

'That we know anything of the work of men such as Fatio is largely due to Le Sage's scrupulous and commendable habit of giving full recognition to the accomplishments of his precursors.'

Another page on the internet, however, points out that the 1782 paper of LeSage doesn't mention Fatio. Presumably Kelvin was referring to the 1818 Prevost-LeSage paper, which was published long after LeSage's death?

See http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath041/kmath041.htm

"We know almost nothing about Lucretius himself, except that he supposedly went mad as a result of drinking a love potion, and killed himself at the age of forty-four. By adopting the atomistic view, it was possible to rehabilitate Descartes’ mechanical model of gravity, and make it at least nominally consistent with the quantitative dynamical aspects of Newton’s universal gravitation.

"The first to explicitly describe this model was a young Swiss mathematician named Nicolas Fatio de Duillier (1664-1753). Fatio had made a reputation for himself at an early age. When just seventeen he wrote an account of the rings of Saturn and sent it to the famous French astronomer Jean Dominique Cassini, who was favorably impressed and responded with encouragement. Fatio moved to Paris and worked closely with Cassini for a time. Cassini and others tried to get Fatio admitted to the French Academy in the early 1680s, but were unsuccessful because of Fatio’s Protestant religion. These were the years leading up to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, at which time Fatio moved to Holland, and made the acquaintance of Christiaan Huygens and Jacques Bernoulli. In 1686 (two years after Leibniz published his first – admittedly cryptic – exposition of the calculus), Fatio wrote a paper on the “problem of inverse tangents” (which we would call the solution of first-order differential equations). This paper was sent by Huygens to Leibniz, who replied with some polite words, but who also rejected Fatio’s claim to have discovered his own version of calculus. This and other slights (such as Leibniz’s later omission of Fatio’s name from a list of mathematicians he considered capable of solving certain challenge problems) may have contributed to Fatio’s anti-Leibniz fervor in the calculus priority dispute. Indeed it was Fatio who, in 1699, first publicly charged Leibniz with having plagiarized the calculus from Newton.

"In early 1687 Fatio somehow learned of a plot to assassinate the Prince of Orange, and passed along this information to Gilbert Burnet, who informed the authorities in time to foil the plot. Perhaps fearing that he had made dangerous enemies, Fatio then moved to England in May of that year, where he immediately began attending meetings of the Royal Society. At this time the secretary of the Society, Edmund Halley, was just completing the printing of Newton’s Principia (which was officially published in July of that year). In June, Fatio wrote to Huygens

"I already was three times at the Society Royale, where I saw proposed rather good things sometimes, and sometimes rather poor. Some of these gentlemen who make it up are extremely pronounced in favour of a book of Monsr. Newton, which is being printed at present and which will be out in three weeks time. They reproached me that I am too Cartesien, and made me hear that, since the meditations of their author, all will be changed for Physics. He treats in general the Mechanique of the Skies; the way in which circular movements which are done in a liquid medium are communicated in all the medium; gravity and of a force by which he supposes in all planets to attract one another... This treatise, that I have seen partly, assuredly is very beautiful, and is filled with a great number of beautiful propositions…”

"Already he was falling under the Newtonian spell. He made a study of the Principia as soon as it was published, and immediately embraced its conclusions, declaring that the Cartesian system was finished. At the same time he began to conceive of a mechanism by which Newton’s universal gravity might operate. He took as his starting point the bombardment of “second nature” particles from all directions that Descartes had proposed, but applied it in the Lucretian universe of atoms in a void. In this context he pointed out that, not only is the resulting force between two bodies inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them, but it can also be made essentially proportional to the masses of ordinary macroscopic bodies by postulating that those bodies are almost entirely transparent to the shower of “second nature” particles. This was possible because Fatio, unlike Descartes, was not committed to the identity of space and substance, so he could imagine that material bodies consist mostly of empty space.

"In an unpublished treatise called “On the Cause of Gravity”, which Fatio composed around 1690, he wrote that, despite the apparent heaviness of gold, it is entirely possible that a quantity of gold contains a trillion (1012) times more void than substance. In support of this, he notes that water and glass are dense materials, and yet they are almost totally transparent to the passage of light. By the same token, he argued, it is conceivable that all solid objects, even those that are opaque to light, could allow almost free passage to sufficiently small particles.

"The most solid Bodies are only one extremely rare Fabric, which can exclude rays of Light, while it lets cross the ethereal matter with an extreme facility… If the Earth, instead of having a perfect Solidity, has many Pores, and gives through all our terrestrial Bodies, and even through the whole Earth and Planets, an extremely free Passage to the aforesaid ethereal matter moving in all directions, and which causes Gravity, the preceding Reasoning will take place for the ethereal Particles which are reflected on Parts external of the Earth…. but in addition to these Particles, there will be an Infinity of others… some, which will make the greatest number incomparably, will have crossed it directly, without anything to meet. Others will have run up, in their Way, against interior Parts…

"Thus the total number of collisions on the body is essentially proportional to the quantity of matter, regardless of the shape or density of the body. This aspect of Fatio’s theory was not novel. Indeed it is an obvious necessity for any such theory. For example, Huygens’ wrote with regard to his own theory on the cause of gravity (published as an appendix to his famous treatise on light in 1691)

"The extreme smallness of the parts of our fluid matter is again absolutely necessary to explain an observed property of weight, namely, that massive bodies, enclosed on all sides in a vessel of glass, metal, or whatever other material it may be, are found to always have the same weight. Thus the matter, which we have said to be the cause of weight, passes very freely through all the bodies deemed the most solid, and with the same facility as it goes through the air.

"The difference between the theories of Huygens and Fatio is that Huygens was still strongly under the influence of Descartes, and persisted in thinking of vortices circling the earth at orbital speeds, tending to compell ordinary static bodies downward due to a gradient in their density, similar to a fluid pressure. In contrast, Fatio had seen the Newtonian light, and rejected Cartesian vortices as “an empty fiction”. His model assumed a purely isotropic omni-directional flux of particles. To account for the net force of attraction between two “coarse bodies” immersed in this of ethereal particles, Fatio assumed that the flux particles are entirely reflected, but with some diminished speed. In other words, the incident particles strike the body at a very high speed, but rebound with a slightly lower speed.

"Gravity is produced, in my view, by Exceedence of the Speed of the Particles of this [ethereal] Matter which impinges on the Earth (for example, or some coarse Atom of which it is composed) over their Speed when they are reflected...

"This is actually a more sophisticated model than simply assuming total absorption, because it recognizes that perfect reflection would result in no anisotropy at all in the surrounding flux, and therefore no net force of gravity, but it allows for a combination of reflection and absorption of momentum (which is the most efficient possible model), and it avoids mass accumulation. Fatio also stresses the fact that, to produce a given amount of gravity, we can suppose the bombarding particles are arbitrarily small by assuming the speeds of those particles is arbitrarily great, which automatically diminishes the drag induced by the movement of coarse bodies to a negligible amount. He also argued that by supposing the speed of the ethereal particles to be extremely great, the amount by which the reflected particles are slowed can be made as small as we wish, so there need be no appreciable dimunition of the agitation of those particles over time.

"For the elementary constituents of coarse material bodies, Fatio imagined a fabric or lattice structure.

"One reproached some modern Philosophers [Kepler?] for imagining the small Particles of Matter to be geometrical and extremely regular Figures, such as those of a Sphere, a Cube etc… Nevertheless if we reflect on how much Nature is an excellent Geometrician in his regular Productions, for example in the Spherical Figures of Water droplets, and Water Bubbles, and in the Figures so geometrical and so made up of Salts of several kinds, Crystals, Snow etc, it will appear extremely probable that they are geometrical Figures in the smallest Particles of the Bodies, and in the largest Particles that they compose… And this Reflexion, with the extreme Porosity of the terrestrial Bodies, and the Proportionality which is observed between their Mass and their Weight, can be used to gain insight into the structure of these Particles.

"In the margin of the sheet that contains these words, Fatio sketched an icosahedral frame, with an indication of how the triangular faces of this framework might be further triangularized (in the pattern of the so-called “geodesic dome” framework popularized by Buckminster Fuller in the 20th century). ...

"Fatio valued very highly his theory of the true cause of gravity, and managed to get Halley, Huygens, and Newton to affix their signatures to a copy of his treatise in 1690 and 1691, attesting that they had examined it on those dates. He also corresponded with these and other prominent scientists about his theory, and carefully preserved their replies as proof that these great men took his idea seriously. He was especially proud of what he regarded as an endorsement from Newton himself:

"Sir Isaac Newton's Testimony is of the greatest weight of any. It is contained in some Additions written by himself at the End of his own printed Copy of the first Edition of his Principles, while he was preparing it for a second Edition, And he gave me leave to transcribe that Testimony. There he did not scruple to say That there is but one possible Mechanical cause of Gravity, to wit that which I had found out: Tho he would often seem to incline to think that Gravity had its Foundation only in the arbitrary Will of God ...

"Of course, it’s unclear how much “weight” should be given to an unpublished note written in the margin of some proof sheets. It may actually be that Newton and the others were just being kind to Fatio, or humoring him, especially judging from David Gregory’s statement that “Mr. Halley and Mr. Newton laugh at Mr. Fatio’s manner of explaining gravity”. (Interestingly, on another occasion Gregory remarked that “Mr. C. Wren smiles at Mr. Newton’s belief that gravity does not occur by mechanical means, but was introduced originally by the Creator”. Apparently Gregory was an acute judge of what amused people.)

"During the years from 1689 to 1693 Fatio enjoyed an extremely close personal relationship with Isaac Newton, and for some time they planned to produce a second edition of the Principia together. Fatio evidently first met Newton on the occasion of Huygens’s visit to the Royal Society, when Huygens read his treatise on light along with an appendix on “the cause of gravity”. This was another mechanistic model for universal gravitation, based on fluidic action, quite distinct from Fatio’s model. In private correspondence Huygens critiqued Fatio’s model on the grounds that the rebounding flux particles, being slower, would necessarily be closer together, so (Huygens suggested) the density of the flux would increase in the vicinity of a massive body, and hence produce a repulsive rather than an attractive force. Fatio says he himself was “detained” by this objection for three years, but eventually convinced himself that the momentum flux of the rebounding particles would be lower than of the incident flux, because of the lower speed, despite the increased spatial density. Huygens conceded the point. (More than once in Fatio’s treatise he reports that “I had fully satisfied him of that objection”, and “I answered all objections that were made to me”, and so on.)

"The relationships that Fatio had with both Newton and Huygens – more or less simultaneously – are fascinating. During the years 1691 and 1692 Fatio shuttled back and forth between lodgings in London and in the Hague, dividing his time between Newton and Huygens. Upon his return to England in February of 1692 he wrote to Huygens in a state of alarm:

"Since coming back to England I can not find the Theory of Gravity which You saw while I was in the Hague, and that I had already communicated to Messrs Newton and Halley. If there is still some hope to find it, Sir, it is necessary that I left it on your premise or with the Academy; which I ask You very humbly to investigate.

"Huygens replied a few days later, saying it would be a great misfortune if Fatio’s Theory of Gravity had been lost, and telling him that he well remembered returning it to Fatio, and that he had inquired of others (Monsr Dierquens and Monsr Fabre) but none could find it. Also, he had not kept a copy or extract. Fatio answered

"I send you a thousand graces for the trouble you were given to find my Treatise on Gravity. I hope any more to never re-examine it nor to even compose new because of a dislike and of an invincible loathing that I feel for seeking a second time the same things as I already have.

"Oddly enough, the document turned out to be still in Fatio’s possession, and indeed the copy in question, bearing the signatures of Halley, Newton, and Huygens, was later sent to Jacques Bernoulli in 1701 and George Cheyne in 1735. The document was found among Fatio’s possessions after his death, and still survives.

"Having alarmed Huygens over the possible loss of his paper in February, Fatio sent an even more alarming letter to Newton in November of the same year. He wrote (from London, to Newton, who was in Cambridge)

"I have Sir almost no hopes of ever seeing you again. With coming from Cambridge I got a grevious cold, which is fallen upon my lungs… I thank God my soul has been extremely quiet, in which you have had the chief hand… Were I in a lesser feaver I should tell you Sir many things. If I am to depart this life I could wish my eldest brother, a man of extraordinary integrity, could succeed me in your friendship…

"Newton was understandably distraught when he received this letter, writing back

"I last night received your letter, with which how much I was affected I cannot express. Pray procure ye advice and assistance of Physicians before it be too late, and if you want any money I will supply you. I rely upon the character ye give of your elder brother, and if I find that my acquaintance may be to his advantage I intend he shall have it… Sir, with my prayers for your recovery, I rest, Your most affectionate and faithful friend, to serve you, Is Newton

"As it happens, Fatio recovered from the cold and lived for another 61 years, but not long after this incident the close relationship between Newton and Fatio came to an abrupt end. At the same time Newton evidently suffered a severe nervous breakdown.

"The Edict of Nantes had been revoked in 1685, and the Protestants in France were again denied many rights they had previously held, and were subject to a greater degree of persecution. In response to this, and prompted by a wave of prophetic visions, a group of radical Protestants known as the Camisards began a violent insurrection in the French countryside. During the first phase of the revolt, many of the visionaries were children, and at one time over 300 children were imprisoned for inciting sedition. After the movement was put down in France, some of the leaders, including Elie (Elias) Marion, immigrated to England in 1706, and tried to arouse support and win converts to their apocalyptic visions. These men, who became known as the French Prophets, went into animated visionary trances during their public sermons, claimed to perform miracles (including raising the dead), and made extravagant prophesies of the imminent end of the world. Fatio had been an ardent supporter of the Camisards, and became a disciple of Elie Marion when he arrived in England. (At this time Fatio was 42 and Marion was 28.)

"Late in 1707 Marion, Fatio, and another of Marion’s followers were convicted of blasphemy and sedition, and in December the three of them were sentenced to be pilloried for two days. A sign was placed over Fatio’s head, reading

"Nicolas Fatio convicted for abbeting and favouring Elias Marion, in the Wicked and counterfeit prophecies, and causing them to Be printed and published, to terrify the Queen’s people.

"In 1710 the French Prophets (along with Fatio) left England for Holland, where Fatio was twice more sentenced to the pillory for publishing Marion’s blasphemous prophesies. Subsequently in the Hague Fatio was imprisoned for 6 weeks, reportedly at the request of some of his old friends, who wished to separate him from the influence of Marion and the other “Brothers of Christ”. However, these efforts failed, and Fatio then accompanied Marion on travels through Germany and other Eastern European countries, attempting to make converts. In Turkey Marion fell ill, and died in 1712 at the age of 35.

"After this, Fatio returned to England, settling in Worcester, where he remained for the rest of his life, dividing his time between meditations on the prophesies and pursuing various scientific ideas. Interestingly, one of his projects was to cast his theory on the cause of gravity in the form of a long poem, apparently modeled after De Rerum Natura of Lucretius. In 1729 he entered this poem in a contest held by the Paris Academy of Science, but did not win a prize. He continued to elaborate on the theory over the years, and even seems to have entertained doubts, perhaps influenced by the views of Newton. In a late revision of his paper on the cause of gravitation, Fatio wrote

"I am persuaded that what I have descrbed is the only possible Mechanical cause of universal gravity… one can find nothing simpler nor easier than my assumptions, as to matter and movement, that are necessary besides to return reason to the phenomena of nature… But I acknowledge that I am not held too assured that gravity is not an immediate effect of the will of God, and one of the first rules by which he controls the universe…it is not impossible nor even out of probability, that God, by a law, established that matter attracts itself mutually, with a force proportional to its mass and reciprocal with the square of the distance.

"It’s interesting to compare these sentiments with those expressed by Albert Einstein regarding the “unified field theory”, which he felt was “necessary to return reason to the phenomena of nature”, and on which he had meditated in isolation for the last half of his life:

"In my opinion the theory presented here is the logically simplest relativistic field theory which is at all possible. But this does not mean that nature might not obey a more complex field theory… [furthermore] one can give good reasons why reality cannot be represented by a continuous field theory at all…

"To the end of his life, Fatio remained proud of his membership in the Royal Society, and often submitted his thoughts on various subjects to that body. For example, in 1736 he wrote

"Sir, I think I ought to inform the Royal Society that it has pleased God Almighty to permit that I should find the true and accurate Method of determining a priori in Feet, the distance of the Sun from the Earth…

"He died on April 24, 1753, and was buried near the Church of St. Nicolas in Worcester.

"About ten years after Fatio’s death, another young scientist from Geneva, named Georges Louis Lesage, was preparing to write a history of theories of gravity, and began trying to acquire Fatio’s papers. He contacted the landlord of Fatio’s last residence, and through him was able to track down and acquire some boxes containing Fatio’s papers. He was surprised to find that the great majority of the writings were on prophetic and religious issues (just as Lord Keynes found when he examined Newton’s papers), but among these papers he also found writings on Fatio’s gravitational theory. Oddly enough, Lesage never did write a history of gravitational theories, but many years later (1782) he published his “own” theory of the cause of gravity… which was nothing but a slightly less sophisticated version of Fatio’s theory. (See the note on Lesage’s Shadows.) Ironically, the most complete exposition of this theory that Lesage ever wrote was entitled “Newtonian Lucretius”, in which Lesage presented the theory as a natural extension of the ideas of Lucretius, supposing the latter had had the benefit of knowing Newton’s laws. Lesage also mentions that he conceived the idea for his theory of gravity when he was just a boy, conceeding that the idea is fairly obvious.

"Indeed, the extremely simple idea of trying to explain the principal natural phenomena by the aid of a sub­tle fluid vigorously agitated in every direction has come to many writers who have before presented it in a vague and ill-assured fashion, not to mention that there has been without doubt a still greater number who have not even deigned to communicate at all. I am well convinced that since the law governing the intensity of universal gravitation is similar to that for light, the thought will have occurred to many physicists that an ethereal substance moving in rectilinear paths may be the cause of gravitation, and that they may have applied to it whatever of skill in the mathematics they have possessed.

"It’s odd that Lesage should write in this manner, as if he can only presume that this model of gravitation has been thought of previously by others, considering that he had been in possession of Fatio’s papers for almost twenty years. It’s possible that Lesage did not have access to all the material that has since been uncovered regarding Fatio’s work, but he surely had enough to understand Fatio’s theory. At yet Lesage does not once mention Fatio’s name in this paper, which is especially surprising because – considering the poem submitted to the Paris Academy, and Fatio’s close association with Newton – one would have to say that Nicolas Fatio was literally the Newtonian Lucretius incarnate.

"Today the model of gravity proposed by Fatio is known almost exclusively as “Lesage’s theory”, with Fatio relegated to a footnote, so Fatio was ultimately denied even his rightful recognition as the originator of this idea, which in any case has long since been discredited on thermodynamic grounds. He never gained the status of an equal among the men whose approval he most coveted. In retrospect, his life seems almost like a series of love affairs, as he was inexorably drawn to a sequence of famous individuals - and they to him – beginning with Cassini, then Huygens, then Newton, and finally the messianic prophet Marion. Considering how different were the personalities of these men, it’s not easy to account for the mutual attractions that drew each of them to Fatio.

"By proposing my Thoughts, I do not fear the objections that will be raised by little Persons. I address only the Savants, in time, those who are both excellent Mathematicians and good Philosophers, such as, for example, Monsr. Hugens, Monsr. Newton, and a small number of others. Those who are only Mathematicians, but have never applied their reason to natural Philosophy, and especially those Philosophers who have no understanding of Mathematics, I do not regard them as my Judges."

At 9:52 AM, Blogger nige said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for that reference to http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath041/kmath041.htm and your lengthy quotation from it.

Fatio was a friend and defender of Newton, and LeSage was attacking Newton's arrogance. Perhaps this is why in the 1782 paper LeSage is in a difficult situation, and near the end of his 1782 paper he does say that 'many people' have come up with such ideas, without making definite predictions or overcoming objections.

I take issue with the website material on http://www.mathpages.com/home/ for the page http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath131/kmath131.htm states:

"Any suggestion that we can restore inertial and gravitation equivalence to Lesage’s model by regarding protons, neutrons, and electrons as composite bodies formed from a single species of identical opaque particles merely introduces another layer of structure, requiring still more unexplained elementary attractive forces to maintain it – the very thing Lesagean theory is intended to obviate."

This is complete nonsense. The Higgs field is already there to account for mass in SU(2)xU(1) in the Standard Model of particle physics, quantum field theory, so this is nonsense. See how LeSage mechanism particle masses are generated simply at http://feynman137.tripod.com/

The page http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath131/kmath131.htm also falsely states:

" In fact, almost every inherent attribute of this model is inconsistent with the facts of gravity, and therefore must be minimized or nullified by setting some parameter of the model to near infinity or near zero. The positing of these unseen particles has taught us nothing new about gravity. Instead, we are using our pre-existing knowledge of gravity to infer things about the posited unseen particles as well as about the constitution of ordinary matter. Even if we overlook the fact that many of the implications are incompatible with our current best models of elementary particles (not to mention the fact that even if the model was correct it would not eliminate the need for an elementary force of attraction), we still would have to question the value of hypothesizing an occult entity (ultra-mundane particles) and then inferring the occult attributes of this occult entity necessary to yield the observed phenomena."

This is entirely false: in October 1996 letters column of Electronics World, my model (getting general relativity from a big bang, not vice versa) correctly predicts - two years in advance of Saul Perlmutter's discovery of the fact - the error in existing cosmological theory due to the assumed gravitational slowing down of the most distant receding galaxies and supernovae.

This was empirically confirmed in 1998 by observations of supernovae using computer automated telescopes with CCD detectors and software to automatically detect type II (constant energy) supernovae flash signatures.

In addition, the mechanism predicts the strengths of all forces and the masses of all observable elementary particles.

Hence, it is real hard science.

If the author of http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath131/kmath131.htm wants to attack crackpots, let him or her attack "string theorists", who postulate undetectable spin-2 gravitons and supersymmetric partners which are incompatible with the proved facts on my page (unification is achieved because at unification energy, the energy of all gauge bosons is shared).

The following words are more suited to "string theory" and all abject untestable speculation on exytra-dimensions, than to hard science:

"The positing of these unseen particles has taught us nothing new about gravity. Instead, we are using our pre-existing knowledge of gravity to infer things about the posited unseen particles as well as about the constitution of ordinary matter. Even if we overlook the fact that many of the implications are incompatible with our current best models of elementary particles (not to mention the fact that even if the model was correct it would not eliminate the need for an elementary force of attraction), we still would have to question the value of hypothesizing an occult entity (ultra-mundane particles) and then inferring the occult attributes of this occult entity necessary to yield the observed phenomena." - http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath131/kmath131.htm

10/11-dimensions are occult, not physically confirmed fact, no matter how much the publicity and hype brigade are mixed-up.

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


March 27th, 2006 at 4:06 pm

Well done! I’m glad you changed your mind and opened this one thread for discussions while you are away on your vacation. Nobody will take undue advantage of this decency, be sure.

On the subject of crackpotism, let me make a few facts about the conflict between classical and quantum physics. I hope this isn’t off topic?

consider: George Louis LeSage, ‘Newtonian Lucretius’, New Memoirs of the Royal Academy, 1782 (Berlin: Decker, 1784), pp. 404-32, available free on line here http://bibliothek.bbaw.de/bibliothek-digital/digitalequellen/schriften/anzeige/index_html?band=03-nouv/1782&seite:int=495

Monseur LeSage (June 13, 1724- November 9, 1803) invented a 26-conductor electric telegraph system, and became a member of the Royal Society of London and of the Academy of Sciences of Paris in 1761.

First thing you notice is that Monseur Pierre Prevost of the Academic Assembly communicated LeSage’s paper to the journal, Nouveaux Mémoires de l’Académie Royale des Sciences et Belles-Lettres. Prevost was the protege of LeSage and used the idea of radiation to propose that any steady temperature is not an absence of heat radiation (as was commonly believed) but in fact is an equilibrium between heating and cooling, between reception and emission of energy! In addition to reading LeSage’s 1782 paper before the scientists of Paris and getting it published, Prevost also in 1818 published LeSage’s Taite’ de Physique Mechanique. The kinetic theory of gases in modern thermodynamics has grown from seeds accidently sown by LeSage’s gravity mechanism. Prevost also wrote Notice de la Vie et des Ecritsde George-Louis Le Sage, Geneva: J. J. Paschoud, 1805, which contains some biographical details on LeSage.

LeSage begins his 1782 article with a quotation that gives the flavour well:

‘In any matter, the first systems make people excessively conclusive, closed, cautions of others. And does it not seem that this truth is the price of some hardening of reason?’ – Fontenelle, in the eulogy of Cassini.

You can see from this that LeSage has had problems with censorship on his gravity mechanism. Deja vu!

To see the mathematical geometry of this gravity mechanism, click here: http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath131/kmath131_files/image003.gif

The Standard Model is the best tested physical theory ever. Forces result from radiation exchange in spacetime:

‘The views of space and time which I wish to lay before you have sprung from the soil of experimental physics, and therein lies their strength. They are radical. Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.’ – Hermann Minkowski, 1908

The big bang speed is 0-c in spacetime of 0-15 billion years, thus outward force F = ma = mc/t ~ 10^43 N. Newton’s 3rd law implies equal inward force, which in the Standard Model will be carried by vector bosons (vacuum radiation), which in LeSage’s general idea accurately predicts the gravity and the contraction of general relativity, other forces, particle masses, and a ‘dark energy’ epicycle. (See my blog.)

The key thing to grasp first of all is this: take the big bang as observational fact, then you get local general relativity (gravitation with contraction) as an effect.

Penrose explains that the general relativity field equation can be built in stages. First he represented Newton’s law of gravity as a potential, then by the Ricci tensor, R_ab and mass-energy tensor T_ab:

R_ab = T_ab

But this is wrong, because conservation of the field energy means that a trace term, 0.5g_ab T, must be subtracted from the right hand side:

R_ab = T_ab - 0.5g_ab T

which is exactly equivalent to the Einstein-Hilbert field equation

R_ab - 0.5g_ab R = T_ab

The new term thus introduced has the property of causing the contraction in general relativity, whereby for example the earth’s radius is shrunk by MG/(3c^2) = 1.5 mm, time is gravitationally dilated correspondingly.

The existing cosmology tries to do things the other way around: instead of empirically deducing gravitation and the contraction as local effects of the quantum field theory force exchange-radiation (vector bosons), it tries to take the Einstein-Hilbert field equation as the primitive and use it for modelling cosmology, the big bang.

The error introduced is most readily seen in dark energy, which in the mainstream LambdaCDM model of cosmology constitutes 74% of the universe.

If we take the observed Hubble law as a primitive, we can deduce gravity and the contraction - i.e., the basic field equation of general relativity - from the observed big bang to within a few percent error, depending on the consistency of the data of density and Hubble parameter which are used.

If you think of great distances, with light receding from us at light speed, it isn’t slowed down by gravity at all. Because gravity is due to an asymmetry in inward directed radiation, it won’t can’t slow down distant supernovae. This was predicted via the letters page of the Oct 96 Electronics World magazine, two years before Perlmutter got the experimental data which confirmed that the ‘expected’ gravitational retardation of supernovae wasn’t there!

Instead of listening to me, they added the epicycle of ‘dark energy’ via the cosmological constant, to general relativity, resulting in the LambdaCDM model. See http://cosmicvariance.com/2006/03/16/wmap-results-cosmology-makes-sense/#comment-15239 for more on this absurdity.

Back to LeSage’s 1792 paper. On page 425, LeSage ridicules those who scoff at this gravity mechanism:

‘How can a confused repugnance, suffices to condemn a theory, which affronts nothing of taste nor of feeling! And always like the devout one, to humbly follows the beaten roads; and does the same in researches, and like all those which acted the strong one, did not obtain any successes!’

At 2:39 AM, Blogger nige said...

Crossing swords on Peter's blog while he is watching the solar eclipse:


Alejandro Rivero Says:

March 28th, 2006 at 2:50 pm
It is worth to try not to confuse epicycles with ellipses. Adding circles as epicycles was not a good idea, but deforming circles to ellipses (thus adding a new parameter such as excentricity) works.

Invoking epicycles should be somewhere in Baez scoring table. Hitjacking threads when the owner is travelling should too.

(It is fortunate that at least you point to an interesting resource, the online Akademieschriften)


Nigel Says:

March 29th, 2006 at 5:31 am
Dear Alejandro,

Thanks for this analogy of the cosmological constant to elliptical orbits rather than to epicycles.

Have you seen Lunsford’s paper on the CC? He discredits the cosmological constant.

Lunsford’s major paper, published in Int. J. Theor. Phys., v 43 (2004), No. 1, pp.161-177, was submitted to arXiv.org but was removed from arXiv.org by censorship apparently since it investigated a 6-dimensional spacetime which is not exactly worshipping Witten’s 10/11 dimensional M-theory orthodoxy.

It is however on the CERN document server at http://doc.cern.ch//archive/electronic/other/ext/ext-2003-090.pdf, and it shows the errors in the historical attempts by Kaluza, Pauli, Klein, Einstein, Mayer, Eddington and Weyl. It proceeds to the correct unification of general relativity and Maxwell’s equations, finding 4-d spacetime inadequate:

‘… We see now that we are in trouble in 4-d. The first three [dimensions] will lead to 4th order differential equations in the metric. Even if these may be differentially reduced to match up with gravitation as we know it, we cannot be satisfied with such a process, and in all likelihood there is a large excess of unphysical solutions at hand. … Only first in six dimensions can we form simple rational invariants that lead to a sensible variational principle. The volume factor now has weight 3, so the possible scalars are weight -3, and we have the possibilities [equations]. In contrast to the situation in 4-d, all of these will lead to second order equations for the g, and all are irreducible - no arbitrary factors will appear in the variation principle. We pick the first one. The others are unsuitable … It is remarkable that without ever introducing electrons, we have recovered the essential elements of electrodynamics, justifying Einstein’s famous statement …’

D.R. Lunsford shows that 6 dimensions in SO(3,3) should replace the Kaluza-Klein 5-dimensional spacetime, unifying GR and electromagnetism: ‘One striking feature of these equations … is the absent gravitational constant - in fact the ratio of scalars in front of the energy tensor plays that role.’

So the cosmological constant is not merely a deformation of the Einstein equation, but is a corruption of science which can be disproved at the abstract level.

It is obvious that there are 3 expanding spacetime dimensions describing the evolution of the big bang, and 3 contractable dimensions describing matter. Total: 6 distinguishable dimensions for general covariance to deal with.

Kepler had empirical evidence to back up the fact that elliptical orbits were real, because it was the simplest hypothesis which explained his facts.

The cosmological constant is false because it isn’t the simplest hypothesis which fits the fact, and it’s ad hoc. See http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=273#comment-5322 for some perspective on the problem.

At 2:46 AM, Blogger nige said...


Nigel Says:

March 29th, 2006 at 5:43 am
Sorry, Lunsford on reason why there is no CC:

D.R. Lunsford has a paper on ‘Gravitation and Electrodynamics over SO(3,3)’ on CERN document server, EXT-2003-090: ‘an approach to field theory is developed in which matter appears by interpreting source-free (homogeneous) fields over a 6-dimensional space of signature (3,3), as interacting (inhomogeneous) fields in spacetime. The extra dimensions are given a physical meaning as ‘coordinatized matter’. The inhomogeneous energy-momentum relations for the interacting fields in spacetime are automatically generated by the simple homogeneous relations in 6-D. We then develop a Weyl geometry over SO(3,3) as base, under which gravity and electromagnetism are essentially unified via an irreducible 6-calibration invariant Lagrange density and corresponding variation principle. The Einstein-Maxwell equations are shown to represent a low-order approximation, and the cosmological constant must vanish in order that this limit exist.’ Lunsford begins with an enlightening overview of attempts to unify electromagnetism and gravitation:

‘The old goal of understanding the long-range forces on a common basis remains a compelling one. The classical attacks on this problem fell into four classes:

‘1. Projective theories (Kaluza, Pauli, Klein)

‘2. Theories with asymmetric metric (Einstein-Mayer)

‘3. Theories with asymmetric connection (Eddington)

‘4. Alternative geometries (Weyl)

‘All these attempts failed. In one way or another, each is reducible and thus any unification achieved is purely formal. The Kaluza theory requires an ad hoc hypothesis about the metric in 5-D, and the unification is non-dynamical. As Pauli showed, any generally covariant theory may be cast in Kaluza’s form. The Einstein-Mayer theory is based on an asymmetric metric, and as with the theories based on asymmetric connection, is essentially algebraically reducible without additional, purely formal hypotheses.

‘Weyl’s theory, however, is based upon the simplest generalization of Riemannian geometry, in which both length and direction are non-transferable. It fails in its original form due to the non-existence of a simple, irreducible calibration invariant Lagrange density in 4-D. One might say that the theory is dynamically reducible. Moreover, the possible scalar densities lead to 4th order equations for the metric, which, even supposing physical solutions could be found, would be differentially reducible. Nevertheless the basic geometric conception is sound, and given a suitable Lagrangian and variational principle, leads almost uniquely to an essential unification of gravitation and electrodynamics with the required source fields and conservation laws.’ Again, the general concepts involved are very interesting: ‘from the current perspective, the Einstein-Maxwell equations are to be regarded as a first-order approximation to the full calibration-invariant system.

‘One striking feature of these equations that distinguishes them from Einstein’s equations is the absent gravitational constant – in fact the ratio of scalars in front of the energy tensor plays that role. This explains the odd role of G in general relativity and its scaling behaviour. The ratio has conformal weight 1 and so G has a natural dimensionfulness that prevents it from being a proper coupling constant – so the theory explains why general relativity, even in the linear approximation and the quantum theory built on it, cannot be regularised.’

At 8:17 AM, Blogger nige said...

copy of my comment to


nigel said...
'Applications are mostly conceptual, ranging from possible resolutions of classical singularities and explanations of the uniqueness of the universe to the origin of seeds for a classical world and its initial conditions.' - Martin Bojowald, http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0603110

This is a very candid discussion. In quantum cosmology, what are you trying to achieve? As anonymous linked to a paper on quantum mechanics, there is still today some mainstream debate over how to resolve the discontinuities between classical and quantum physics:

'The transition from the quantum to the classical is governed by randomizing devices (RD), i.e., dynamical systems that are very sensitive to the environment. We show that, in the presence of RDs, the usual arguments based on the linearity of quantum mechanics that lead to the measurement problem do not apply. RDs are the source of probabilities in quantum mechanics. Hence, the reason for probabilities in quantum mechanics is the same as the reason for probabilities in other parts of physics, namely our ignorance of the state of the environment.' - Olaf Dreyer, http://www.arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0603202

Dr Thomas Love of California State University sent me a paper, 'Towards an Einsteinian Quantum Theory', which argues that the superposition argument is a fallacy. He knocks it down by showing that in effect you go from using one version of the Schroedinger equation to another when you take a measurement: a system described by the time-dependent Schroedinger equation isn’t in an eigenstate between interactions.

“The quantum collapse occurs when we model the wave moving according to Schroedinger (time-dependent) and then, suddenly at the time of interaction we require it to be in an eigenstate and hence to also be a solution of Schroedinger (time-independent). The collapse of the wave function is due to a discontinuity in the equations used to model the physics, it is not inherent in the physics.”

3/30/2006 01:13:49 PM

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

comment to http://cosmicvariance.com/2006/01/03/danger-phil-anderson/#comment-16222

Science on Mar 30th, 2006 at 12:55 pm
‘the flat universe is just not decelerating, it isn’t really accelerating’ - Phil Anderson

‘As far as explaining what the dark energy is, I certainly won’t kid you, I have no idea! (Likewise inflation.) I’m extremely interested in alternatives, including modified gravity and back-reaction of perturbations, and open-minded about different candidates for dark energy itself.’ - Sean

Look, Phil Anderson’s comment is EXACTLY the correct prediction made via the October 1996 issue of Electronics World, which was confirmed experimentally two years later by Perlmutter’s observations.

The lack of deceleration is because the expansion causes general relativity: http://feynman137.tripod.com/#h

This existing paradigm tries to take general relativity (as based on local observations, including Newtonian gravity as a limit) to the universe, and force it to fit.

The reality is that gravity and contraction (general relativity) are predicted accurately from the big bang dynamics in a quantum field theory and spacetime context. There is nothing innovative here, it’s old ideas which have been ignored.

As Anderson says, the universe is ‘just not decelerating, it isn’t really accelerating’, and that’s due to the fact that the gravity is a proved effect surrounding expansion:


This isn’t wrong, it’s been carefully checked by peer-reviewers and published over 10 years. This brings up Sean’s point about being interested in this stuff. It’s suppressed, despite correct predictions of force strengths, because it doesn’t push string theory. Hence it was even removed from arXiv after a few seconds (without being read). There is no ‘new principle’, just the existing well-known physical facts applied properly.


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