Monday, August 20, 2007

Gravity, Redshifts And Really Odd Explanations

A few months ago, I posted a link to a site promoting the oddball notion that, over time, Earth’s gravity has been getting stronger. (Dinosaurs And Low Gravity ) The supposition, at that particular site, is that the Earth is expanding over time and the new, ‘extra’ mass is causing gravity to increase. The increase in gravity then causes all manner of ripple effects, proponents say, including the extinction of the dinosaurs.

I’d always known there were people who believed such things, but I’d always thought it was so-called tin-foil stuff. Crazy stuff. Not just fringe science, but rather beyond-the-fringe stuff that had entertainment value but little content rewarding to deeper thought.

It seems I was wrong. At least a little.

It turns out some serious thinkers—fringe thinkers, but serious fringe thinkers—have worked on this for decades. There is historical precedent which, for a time, got a lot of attention from leading scientists. There are currently a number of inter-locking theories at issue, and there is observational support [!] (controversial and odd) that has been around for years.

This week I’m going to touch on some of this oddball stuff. By way of introduction, here’s a quote from one of the cool guys working along these lines, and then some links to many of the names involved.

For many years I never questioned the obvious fact that masses attracted each other (inversely as the square of their separation - to complete the mantra). The attraction was so blatant that it required no thought. But then observations of galaxies and quasars forced me to accept the fact that extragalactic redshifts were primarily intrinsic and not the result of recessional velocity in an expanding universe.

How did this lead to my abandoning pulling gravity and investigating pushing gravity? It is interesting how the crumbling of one fundamental assumption can have reverberations throughout the whole underpinning of science. In this case it was the necessity to find a mechanism which would explain intrinsic redshifts that eventually turned out to shake other fundamental assumptions. The search was motivated by a desire to have the discordant observations believed. (Unfortunately, when I asked Feynman about the Hoyle-Narlikar variable mass theory, he told me, We do not need a new theory because our present one explains everything.) Nevertheless the ball had started rolling down hill so to speak and in 1991, with Narlikar's help, I outlined in Apeiron the way in which particle masses growing with time would account for the array of accumulated extragalactic paradoxes. Later Narlikar and Arp (1993) published in the Astrophysical Journal Narlikar's original, 1977 solution of the basic dynamical equations along with the Apeiron applications to the quasar/galaxy observations.

We hoped, of course, to gain validation of the new theory by showing that it was a legitimate product of the accepted, one might even say worshipped, general relativistic field equations. All we gained in fact was an audience which totally ignored this new, more rigorous solution. Nevertheless, seeing it in print started the wheels slowly turning in my head. . . .

Dr. Halton Arp
The Observational Impetus For Le Sage Gravity

Halton Arp’s Website

Halton Arp’s Wiki Page

Fred Hoyle’s Wiki Page

Jayant Narlikar Wiki Page

Le Sage's theory of gravitation Wiki Page

APEIRON Journal - studies in infinite nature

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