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