The Plucked String Theory of Gravitation

In a Skype conversation with GaryK yesterday (one of the first in my planned series of conversations with smokers), I was trying to explain to him my new theory of gravitation. I’m not sure I succeeded.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve been slowly constructing a computer simulation model that uses Newton’s laws of gravitation and motion to model the orbits of the Sun and planets. Newton’s law of gravitation gives the force of attraction F acting between two bodies (like the Sun and the Earth) as a function of their masses, m1 and m2, and the inverse square of the distance between them, r.

But why should there be a force acting between two bodies? “Hypothesis non fingo,” Newton said: “I don’t know.”

And I don’t know either. I’ve never had the slightest clue.

Waves of light emanate from the Sun, and this light exerts a slight pressure, radially outwards from the Sun, on everything it strikes. It’s so small that it exerts a minuscule force on the Earth, but it is sufficient to expel tiny particles of dust from the Solar System – that’s why planets like Jupiter and Mars are visible in the night sky, and not obscured by clouds of dust. But this solar radiation pressure acts in the opposite direction to the force of gravity, pushing bodies away from the Sun, rather than pulling them towards it. So it can’t be used to explain gravity (although attempts have been made to do so).

But the light coming from the Sun arrives in waves. Different coloured light has different wavelengths. I think of it as being like ocean waves that start off somewhere where the water has been disturbed, and propagate slowly as ripples on the surface of the ocean, slowly spreading in circles, until they meet some shoreline somewhere, on which they break as waves. It takes many hours for these waves to cross oceans. And it takes about 10 minutes for the waves of light emitted by the Sun to reach the Earth (actually, 8 minutes and 20 seconds). Do these waves exert any force on the shorelines they impact? I suppose that every time a waves breaks on a shoreline it must exert force as it strikes, but it also exerts force as recoils away from the shore (which is why tsunamis suck stuff out to sea). So waves breaking on a seashore are pushing against them. and then pulling back. And the combination of pushing and pulling probably adds up to zero net force.

But then I started thinking, a month or so ago, that these waves propagate in a medium – water. And they propagate in the same way as vibrations in plucked string – e.g. a guitar string. When you pluck a string on a guitar, you displace it sideways. And as you displace the string sideways, you stretch it slightly. And when you release it the string vibrates back and forth.  In the image at right, a string is stretched between two points, A and B. When the string is plucked (1), it is displaced at the centre, and it is also stretched. As it vibrates the string contracts to its original length (2) and then stretches out again to its mirror image (3) of its plucked state. Then returns back to state 2, and then 1 again. So it goes 1 → 2 → 3 → 2 → 1 → 2 → 3 → 2 → 1… and so on. And the frequency of the sound it makes is however long it takes to complete a cycle of going from state 1 back to state 1 again.

But here’s the important thing: while the string is vibrating, it’s always in higher tension than it is when it’s not vibrating. So when a guitar string is plucked, it must be pulling on each end more strongly than when it’s not being plucked.

Guitar strings are always in tension, even when they’re not being plucked. But if one may imagine a guitar whose strings are not in tension, then as soon as it is plucked, and its strings are stretched, the strings will be in tension, pulling at the two ends of the string.

And the same must be true of any other medium – like water. If you ‘pluck’ the water in a placid pond by dropping a stone into it, raising ripples that spread out across it, it must create a slight tension in the surface of the water, that pulls on the banks around the pond.  The same must be true in a cup of coffee into which a sugar lump is dropped.

And assuming that the Sun and planets are immersed in a vibrating aethereal medium through which light waves propagate, then this aether must be in tension, pulling everything together. But to do so, it must be vibrating. If it stopped vibrating, the tensile forces would vanish.

And that’s my new theory of gravitation. It’s the only one I’ve ever had. It requires restoring the aether that modern physics has banished, of course. And it raises all sorts of other questions that I can’t begin to answer. And there may be some terrible contradiction inherent in it that nullifies it completely.

About Frank Davis

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18 Responses to The Plucked String Theory of Gravitation

  1. C.F. Apollyon says:

    >>>>And there may be some terrible contradiction inherent in it that nullifies it completely.

    I didn’t read all of the article yet, but had some ideas/thoughts that are prolly not real original within the communities that work on this shit. However, while thinking on your first coupla paragraphs, I had a thought similar to yours above, as to how what you are thinking about with respect to your model(s), and how that relates to things that I have been thinking about with respect to my model(s)…and at some point…my entire model collapsed in my head based on something that I read of your thinking.

    I’m not a scientist. I’ve just thought about many of the same things that scientists think about. Sex, football, music, beer, art, beer, unified models, laws prohibiting models from not having an appropriate BMI/are too skinny, beer, and so on. So I guess what I am getting at…is proof. (The higher the better) ;-)

    Building models to verify what we are thinking is great…it’s what we do when we choose to do that. But when only the able-bodied and able-minded are acceptable in building a model or models, it occurs to me that something might be inherently wrong. That’s not to say that something IS inherently wrong, but it should prolly give us pause as to our intent(s).

    I never thought that I would dare attempt to write about some of the thoughts that I have about The Universe and it’s workings, let alone attempt it with honest-to-God-scientists who have better things to do than listen to snot-nosed little brats like myself who have no classical training outside of watching a shitload of PBS and Discovery Channel and maybe reading a book or two here and there. But when I DID start to write about some of my thoughts on this shit, it was under the premise of “augment.” Meaning: a shitload of work has gone into a shitload of thinking about a fuckton of stuff…don’t destroy that just because I can, which means I am trying to find a voice that I do not have. I base this on others around me who also have no voice, and I wonder about the voice that they may never have the opportunity to have should they feel the need to voice it. Yep…we all have a voice.

    So back to your model, I doubt very seriously that your model can be destroyed in its totality. BUT!…
    Q: What if it could?
    A: …
    What’s left after you destroy that model? Pieces? A void? A reversal of the model that you did not see while putting those pieces together in the order in which you originally assembled them?

    I picture God sitting at a desk, writing out the perfect plan for the perfect universe, and yet…the model works in his/her head, but it does NOT work once put into motion. So…in a moment of frustration, God wads up the paper angrily, and throws it into the trashcan next to the desk. After a moment of reflection and guilt for being so frustrated that they wadded up the entire plan/plans and threw them away, they reach down into the trashcan to fish the paper ball out…and a gleam comes into The Creator’s eye…”The Perfect Imperfection.” Nested within The Perfect Perfection, lay The Perfect Imperfection, and upon joining these two perfect principles…suddenly…everything worked. Motion and time, were bound and separated by friction and friction via “Frictive Action(s)”…which allows both choice AND discretion. Suddenly…time is and is not a constant constant, which allows it to be understood by life that is not THE Creator, but is OF The Creator. God is God…I am me. Confusion…but less so, and the capacity to be less traumatic when and if it occurs. Choice and choices, just as I choose to write this particular idea that I have had regarding creation and creating. I don’t want to write down these thoughts that I have had, I am afraid to write down these thoughts that I have had, but I am compelled to do so, because I see a need that may go unmet otherwise.

    That’s just a thought that I have had, as I have tried to think about the concept of Creation within the scope of “Good and Evil”…which…to me anyway…is choice. You cannot know one without the other, but ultimately, the judgement on that is ours. Beyond that…we know when we know, if we know…ya know?

    “Frictive Actions” as I am thinking about them may occur in close proximity or at great distance. To me anyway, this is what allows for relativity as well as non-relativity. Keep time and times in those thoughts as they progress together over time, and maybe that explains why “A Unified Model” will never work as it is currently being suggested to exist. Yeah…maybe for a time it will work, but there will be a change and changes within that model. We have loads of examples of how this is/can be fucking EVERYWHERE. Trees and rocks and water and yadda yadda yadda and on and on and on. And what I mean by that, is that I think that Science has reached the point in its mature life, that it needs to do some re-evaluating as to just how immature it has become and is becoming. We seem to be stumbling into some VERY unknown realms under the assumption that we know every-fucking-thing in The Universe, but by that action alone? Yeah. We don’t know SHIT! Every new thing that we find is going to kick our asses back to kindergarten. And if it doesn’t? We’re prolly fucking up. That’s not always a bad thing…but yeah…maybe. /me shrugs

    Ref: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
    We can learn all of the mysteries of The Universe, but if we don’t share them, what’s the point? If we DO share them…what’s the point? Lots to think about there. But if you’ve never read the book, basically…the story is of an outcast who doesn’t fit in because he is told what he can and cannot do, the “cannot do” is of significant importance to Jonathan. So…he goes out and attempts to do what cannot be done.

    Sorry for the wall of text, but you have some cool ideas that kinda mesh with some of the things I’ve been thinking about, and it’s very inspiring to me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rhys says:

      I really love some of the ancient and medieval conceptions of the universe that came out of the astrology of the time, and in places you’re not sounding too far off. I especially love the idea of the sublunary sphere (where we all live) with the light imperfectly reflected by the moon, so that’s why things all translate a bit wrongly here. Hey, it explains it as well as anything else.

      I’m also of the belief that the models we have tend to represent the beliefs we have now, not necessarily the facts. I think the biggest thing that’s changed is that once upon a time, the earth was the centre of the cosmos – the place where our lives, much of the important stuff, plays out. These days we’re not living at the centre of anything. It kinda shows.

  2. Marvin says:

    “It requires restoring the aether that modern physics has banished”

    And therein lies the problem with modern cosmology and its “gravity only” model of the universe…
    However, the Electric Universe theorists include the aether and it makes understanding the mechanisms of gravity and planetary motions much easier to comprehend.
    These are practical people (electrical engineers) just like Nikola Tesla was and their theory of gravitational attraction is that the two bodies (eg. Sun and Earth) are electrically polarised, with the Sun as the positive pole and the planets the negative poles, as the aether is electrified plasma, that too gets polarised, forming tiny (atomic) dipoles, which all line-up similar to the North-South poles of bar magnets and attract the two bodies together. The electric force is trillions of times more powerful than gravity and extends over galactic distances.

    Nikola Tesla had the brilliant idea of creating a rotating magnetic field in order to generate AC electrical current and the AC induction motor.
    The Sun also has a huge magnetic field which is rotating, each planet has its own magnetic field and these two magnetic fields combine to push the planets along in their orbits around the Sun, in exactly the same way as an AC induction motor works.

    The inclusion of the aether in a model of the universe has profound and devastating consequences for the conventional “gravity only” model.
    For example, galactic, electrical plasma currents spiralling into the Sun, powering it, making it spin and producing its rotating magnetic field.
    The EU model may not be the truth and nothing but the truth, but IMO it comes pretty close.

  3. Joe L. says:

    And assuming that the Sun and planets are immersed in a vibrating aethereal medium through which light waves propagate, then this aether must be in tension, pulling everything together. But to do so, it must be vibrating. If it stopped vibrating, the tensile forces would vanish.

    And that’s my new theory of gravitation. It’s the only one I’ve ever had. It requires restoring the aether that modern physics has banished, of course.

    What about Einstein’s concept of ‘spacetime?’ Isn’t it nothing more a modern theorization of the “aether?” Spacetime could very well be the vibrating medium you speak of. In fact, your theory seems to coincide very well with General Relativity. Einstein, who is regarded as one of the most influential and progressive minds in modern physics believed that there must exist some aetheric medium. Take this quote, for example:

    We may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an aether. According to the general theory of relativity space without aether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. But this aether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it.

    However, I think the concept of an aether is viewed in the same way as tobacco in modern science. Both subjects have become “settled” science, and thus are taboo. Any researcher who attempts to develop a new aetheric theory or attempts to study the benefits of smoking tobacco would be regarded as a crackpot and discredited by multiple “experts.” We have truly entered into the Dark Ages of Modern Science over the past few decades.

  4. Vlad says:

    Cigarette shortage in Britain, 1948. Some people like reverend Cuthbertson who grows his own and smokes a pipe, are unaffected. :)

    • Rose says:

      My Grandfather used to grow tobacco.

      Tobacco Duty Relief for old age pensioners.
      HC Debate 05 June 1956

      “Members on bath sides indicating that the increase in Tobacco Duty would be an additional hardship in the lives of old-age pensioners. That is why we have put down this Amendment.”

      “The question whether smoking is or is not a bad habit is not under discussion. The main question before us now is whether we can help those who have reached the eventide of life to enjoy that eventide by making it easier for them to have their pipe of tobacco, their cigarette and their pinch of snuff. We must remember that the people for whom we are pleading are those who, during their activities in various vocations through the years which now lie behind them, played their part well by a manifestation of loyalty, devotion and courage and helped in no small way to enable this nation to attain its position as one of the greatest nations of its size in the world.

      For what they have done in the past, for the country, for industry and for commerce, they are entitled to any help that the Government can afford to give.

      Surely, this Committee will not deny them some solace in their solitude. Let it be remembered that many of the old-age pensioners and people in the lower income groups live in loneliness, and loneliness is a terrible thing. If, by enabling them to have a pipe of tobacco or a cigarette, we can alleviate that loneliness, let us do so.”

  5. garyk30 says:

    “I’m not sure I succeeded.”

    I am always willing to listen.
    That is what family do,after all, we are both Bassetts on our Mother’s side.

    I guess that sort of makes us cousins, sort of anyway.

  6. waltc says:

    Watching the Kentucky Derby a while ago, I of course thought of Harley but also of my friend Anne Fennel (RIP) –she of the famous “Toxic Toxicology” report that we all still use. Anne and I had a mutual friend in Kentucky who used to place our bets for us on the Derby–a really good guy who once tried to teach me –with no success–how to hand roll my own. He’s now gone too. So this is just a way of saying “but not forgotten” and raising a glass “to absent friends.”

    As for the race, if anybody cares, I did have Always Dreaming to win but basically blew it with a no-place Place bet and an under-horse bet on Patch to Show. Pretty much a wash. And now I am being summoned to supper…

  7. Pingback: Missive From ‘Merica: Quality Time Spent Smoking With Child – Library of Libraries

  8. junican says:

    Somewhat belatedly, Frank ( I have been very busy), I do not think that it will be possible to really understand gravity until someone adequately describes SPACE. Space EXISTS, and therefore it is a ‘thing’. I don’t understand why that idea seems to have no traction among cosmologists. It is a perfectly obvious FACT. The fact that we cannot adequately describe what Space IS, does not mean that it is NOTHING. It cannot be nothing, for it would not exist if it were nothing.
    Einstein hypothesised that the reason that light is bent as it passes massive objects like the Sun, is that the light is passing through bent space. Light has no mass, and so it cannot be affected by gravity as such, But it can change direction if the space that it is travelling through is curved.
    That leads me to the idea that light is the vibration of space (which is a THING).
    Feynman said that light is not actually reflected by objects, It is absorbed by the objects and itself causes the emission of light from those objects. Thus, something that we see as coloured ‘red’, has absorbed all the light spectrum and re-emitted the red light. It is true, is it not, that objects absorb infrared light and re-emit heat?
    It makes perfect sense to me think of gravity as ‘elasticated’ space. If I let a ball fall out of my hand, it will fall to the ground. The reason is that Space PUSHES the ball to the ground.
    And yet I have no way to test that hypothesis, and perhaps that is the problem.

    No one can adequately describe what SPACE actually is.

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