Neoetherics: Visualizing Gravity
|Title||Neoetherics: Visualizing Gravity|
Gravity just bugs the hell out of me. It is not the equations; they are easy enough to work with. The problem is trying to visualize what is going on. What process is at work here? What is the mechanism? I have never been able to see it. And as far as I can tell, no one else can either.
Therefore, with innocence and arrogance, I set out to develop some way of looking at gravity that would be more intuitively satisfying.
The outcome has been very curious. I found that I could, indeed, work out a hypothetical underlying mechanism that is fairly easy to visualize and which seems consistent with observed gravitational phenomena. But then one day something unexpected happened. While puzzling over the implications of the model, I suddenly saw, completely and with transparent clarity, the identity between gravity and acceleration. Understand: I am not saying that I saw why gravity and acceleration have equivalent equations. I saw that they are a single phenomenon.
That experience was both exhilarating and unsettling. I had not planned on this. Up until that moment I had regarded these speculations as a form of intellectual game. Now I was not sure what to think. I had gone all the way through engineering school, which included many semesters of physics, and had never really grasped this point. Of course, it was clear enough that the equations relating to gravity and acceleration worked the same. But any feel for why this should be so eluded me. Now, this "game" of mine had provided me with an utterly compelling mental image. Click. Now I saw it. I was shaken. What was going on? Had I stumbled upon something that had some true inner validity? Damned unlikely. I have had only a rather routine education in physics - this is not my area of expertise. Any idea that I might be able to make an original contribution in physics was immediately followed by the suspicion that I might be losing my marbles.
But it got worse. Much worse...