A New Look At Gravity

# This section is purely speculation, but plausible!

Ever since Newton "discovered" that wonderful force called gravity, the assumption has been universally made that gravity is a constant property of mass.  That is, the force of gravity is proportional to the mass of an object.  This concept is so ingrained in our upbringing that, to my knowledge, it has never been challenged or doubted!

But what if it were not so!

Numerous experiments over many years have proven that the gravitational potential of ordinary matter is directly related to that matter's mass.  A pound of gold has the same gravitational force as a pound of wood.  Two bricks have twice the gravitational force of one brick.  So what's the problem?

# We've only measured gravitational forces for normal matter!

Matter comes in many forms.  It would be surprising if all of its characteristics were to be retained in all forms.  For example, an ordinary atom is known to consist of a nucleus of neutrons and protons, and a counterbalancing shroud of electrons.  Study a large quantity of identical atoms and you define a set of characteristics for that element.  If we now study a large quantity of this element which has been altered in some way (one or more electrons stripped away, or extra neutrons or protons added) we find changes to many of its characteristics.

Do we know that the gravitational force of this modified element is equivalent to its mass?  No, we don't!   Since any gravitational forces we can create in the laboratory are extremely small, conducting meaningful experiments about gravity is almost impossible.  So our actual knowledge of the gravitational forces of matter is very lacking.  It's easier just to assume the simplest hypothesis -- that gravitational force is directly related to mass.

# Gravitational and Inertial Mass

Scientists normally state that gravitational mass and inertial mass are equivalent.  That is, MassGravity  =  Constant *  MassInertia. This is a very handy concept, since inertial masses are quite easy to measure, while gravitational masses are not (unless the item can be weighed on a scale).  We can't "weigh" the moon or a planet, but by their orbits we can determine their inertial mass, and therefore by inference their gravitational mass.

The trouble with this is that this equivalence has never been proven under all cases (if indeed for any!).  And it is suspect.  A physical object reacts to other objects by the attractive forces of gravity.  But inertial mass is an entirely different phenomenon, and totally unrelated to the idea of "attractive force".  There seems to be no reason to equate the two, except for convenience.  In the following I will try to clarify this.

# Looking inside the atom

We're going to take a little trip inside an atom.  Nothing complex, but just enough to illustrate a point.

Let us assume that the gravitational forces affecting an atom or molecule are caused by the impact of tiny particles called gravitons (this is a well-accepted idea).   The exact nature of gravitons, or of the reaction within an atom, is unknown, but we know that the net effect is to accelerate the atom slightly in the direction that the graviton came from.  (Of course this is greatly simplified!).

We might first ask if it is the nucleus of an atom, or an electron, which experiences the attractive action.  Because electrons are very much smaller than the nucleus, we will assume that only the impact of a graviton on the nucleus is significant.

The following illustrates what might happen within a normal atom when the nucleus is hit by a graviton.  At first the nucleus starts to move in the direction of the graviton (the attractive force).  But the electrostatic forces of the surrounding electron shell force the nucleus back.  The nucleus rebounds, and begins to oscillate within the electron shell.  Eventually the nucleus will come to rest.  Much of the attractive force of gravity has been absorbed by the exchange of forces between the nucleus and electron shell (which undoubtedly causes heat).  The entire atom experiences a small but definite force toward the source of the graviton which, if the atom is imbedded in an object, is transferred to the object.

Now let us consider an ionized atom.  That is, an otherwise normal atom with some of the electrons missing.  When the nucleus is struck by a graviton, the effect is similar to a normal atom.  However, since there are less electrons to inhibit the motion of the nucleus, its oscillations are more extreme, and in the end the atom reacts more to the gravitational attractive action of the graviton, even though it has less mass than the original atom.

In our third scenario, we look at an unattached nucleus -- one without surrounding electrons.  These "free" nuclei are where there is extreme heat (millions of degrees) such at the center of the sun or a star, during nuclear fusion tests, and as high-energy cosmic rays.

In this case, when a graviton strikes the nucleus, there is no electron shell to inhibit the response of the nucleus.  It immediately responds unabated to the graviton.  It is Super Gravitational!

The bottom line is what I call the Thacker Nuclear Binding Theory of Gravity. In simple terms, it means that the gravitational force of an object is inversely proportional to binding force on the nucleus.  This is illustrated in the following drawing:

Figure 1- The Nuclear Binding Theory of Gravity

Doesn't this violate some law?

In a word, NO!  We've always been taught that gravity is constant, but that doesn't make it so.  We know so little about gravity, and have so many unanswered questions in the universe, that we owe it to ourselves to see if this new theory can unlock some of the mysteries of astronomy.  As you will soon see, it is amazing how many of these mysteries disappear when considered in this new light.

So what does this mean?

Just about everything!  A whole new understanding of the universe!  The following summarizes some of the implications.

# The Sun

The way that the Sun creates its energy (nuclear fusion) is thought to be very well understood, and extensive mathematics exist to describe the process.  However, one of the most puzzling problems facing scientists today is that the Sun emits only 1/3 as many neutrinos as predicted.   Scientists have absolutely no explanation for this.

The answer to this mystery is that the gravitational force of the Sun has two components -- one due to the normal mass which comprises the Sun, and a second component caused by super-gravitational free nuclei within its core.  The Sun's mass has been estimated based on the Sun’s gravitational interaction with the various planets.  But if part of the Sun's gravitational attraction is due to the free nuclei at its center, then it actually has less normal matter than currently thought.  Less matter means lower pressures and temperatures at the core, and thus less neutrinos generated within the core.  The Sun may be only 2/3 as massive as currently thought!  The rest of its gravitational power comes from free nuclei within its core.

Figure 2- Illustrating how some of the gravitational force of the sun could be from free nuclei in its core.

# SuperStars

Since if the Sun has greater gravitational forces than represented by just the mass it contains, we can conceive of a class of stars called SuperStars These stars have ordinary masses but their centers are so hot that very large quantities of free nuclei are created.  These SuperStars would then have extremely high gravitational forces -- far out of proportion to the ordinary mass they contain, and far greater than the Sun.

In other words, some otherwise normal stars could have gravitational forces equal to millions, or even billions of times that of our Sun!

It is my contention that what astronomers call "massive black holes" are really SuperStars.

Pulsars and Neutron Stars

Pulsars are thought to be rotating neutron stars which spew energy in the direction of our solar system once a revolution, much like a seaman would see the light from a revolving beacon once a revolution.  But the discovery of millisecond pulsars introduces some problems to that concept.

One problem is that pulsars have been found which pulse energy up to 600 times a second.  Neutron stars are thought to be about 12 miles in diameter, so this object would be spinning at 600 times a second, or 36,000 RPM.  The rotational velocity of the surface of such an object would be almost 50% of the speed of light.  To say the least this is mind-boggling.

A neutron star is thought to be the remnants of an ordinary star which has used all its fuel, cooled  and collapsed until all its atoms are squeezed into close proximity by the forces of gravity.  But according to the Thacker Nuclear Binding Theory of Gravity, once the nuclei are bound very tightly together, their gravitational forces become very low.  Without gravity to hold the neutron star together it would explode due to the repulsive forces present.

Once a neutron star exploded and the nuclei once again became free, the forces of gravity would return and the atoms would then quickly come together to form a new neutron star.  This cycle of explosion and reformation would continue indefinitely.

This pulsation (repeated explosion and reformation) could readily be the cause of the pulsar phenomenon instead of rotating neutron stars!

# Black Holes

The ultimate in density is the Black Hole.  The simplest explanation of a black hole is that it is basically a neutron star with a mass over 3.2 times that of our Sun.  The term "black hole" derives from the concept that its gravitational force would be too large for light or anything to escape.  It becomes a sink-hole in space.

If you read the paragraphs about pulsars and neutron stars, you can readily see that a black hole can exist for only a short time.  Once matter has come together into the compact form of a black hole, virtually all gravitational forces would disappear and the black hole would explode, only to reform.

Perhaps that is why they are so hard to find -- the can only exist momentarily!

# Nuclear Fusion

Scientists have been trying for many years to generate electricity by nuclear fusion.  This is done by heating a plasma to extreme temperatures in a magnetic containment device.  At these extreme temperatures, atomic nuclei are freed from their electron shells and allowed to combine with other free nuclei.  The fusion of nuclei releases tremendous heat and energy, which if captured can generate large amounts of electricity.

The problem is that scientists can only sustain the fusion process for a short time -- a few seconds or minutes!

As we have been discussing, free nuclei such as generated during the fusion process are highly gravitational.  It is possible that they simply exit the containment chamber at high speed, depleting the supply of free nuclei and causing the process to come to a halt.

This premise is subject to test by placing a highly sensitive gravimeter near a fusion reactor during trials, and observing the resulting gravitational field.  If I am right, we may be on the track to finally harness the power of nuclear fusion for the peaceful production of power.

The significance of the preceding paragraph is that the Thacker Nuclear Binding Theory of Gravity can be verified by test!

## Cosmic Rays

Cosmic rays are known to be free atomic nuclei, and thus according to the Thacker Nuclear Binding Theory of Gravity, they should be highly gravitational.  Scientists are at a complete loss to explain the origin and source of energy of some very high-energy cosmic rays.

The source of the observed high-energy can be explained if these free nuclei are drawn to the Earth at high velocity due to their very high gravitational forces.  This concept is supported by cosmic ray research which indicates a "tail chase" phenomenon -- that is, there is a concentration of cosmic rays which appear to arrive at the trailing edge of Earth as it orbits the Sun -- exactly what you would expect if they were reacting to the gravitational force of the Earth.  See the section below on Cosmic Rays for more information.

## Galaxies and Globular Clusters

If we admit to the existence of small objects with very large gravitational forces (either massive black holes or SuperStars), then we must look at the influence of their gravitational field on light from stars and other objects located beyond them.  Since it is known that gravity deflects light, this must be taken into account.

Without going into any real detail at this time, let me state that we will see two images of nearly every object located beyond such an object.  One of the images will be seen near the object, and a second will be seen near its true position.  The result is the appearance of a large number of stars around the massive black hole or SuperStar.  These are not real stars, however, but simply optical illusions -- duplicate images of distant stars located beyond the SuperStar.

Figure 3 - Tucanae Globular Cluster.  This is exactly what you would expect to see as a result of the bending of light around a SuperStar, or even a "massive black hole".  The star images are duplicate images of stars behind the SuperStar, and are not real!

What I am suggesting is that the images of globular clusters we observe in the universe can be explained by the bending of light around super-gravitational SuperStars.  They may not be island clusters of billions of stars, as currently believed, but just optical illusions!

# High-energy Cosmic Rays

The earth is being continually bombarded with cosmic rays from a great many sources within the universe. These cosmic rays have a very broad range of energies. We are fortunate here on the earth’s surface that these rays can seldom reach us because of the shielding effect of our atmosphere. They are extremely energetic, and could readily cause severe damage to our bodies were we not continually being shielded by the atmosphere. Cosmic rays are known to be atomic nuclei—that is, they are the nucleus of atoms without any attached electrons (free nuclei). Therefore, by our analysis of gravity at the atomic level, we would ascribe super-gravity to them. That is, we would expect cosmic rays to be attracted to the earth’s gravitational field by a large degree.

Since cosmic rays have a net positive charge (because they consist solely of protons and neutrons), they are affected by the earth’s magnetic field. Lower energy cosmic rays, in particular, are strongly influenced by the earth’s magnetic field. Higher energy cosmic rays, however, are traveling at such high velocities that they tend to be little influenced by this magnetic field.

Suppose that cosmic rays were attracted to the earth by a gravitational force much larger than normally attributed to particles. If this were true, we would expect the distribution of cosmic ray arrival events to show a peak at the trailing edge of the earth as it moves around the sun, due to the “tail chase” phenomenon, as illustrated below. That is, the combination of the motion of the earth around the sun, and cosmic rays being strongly attracted to the earth by an enhanced gravitational attraction, would cause cosmic ray arrivals to bunch up on the trailing edge of the earth. And since the earth is rotating on its axis once every 24 hours, this means that a detector stationed somewhere near the equator would see a peak in cosmic ray activity once a day when it was pointed nearest the trailing edge of the earth.

Figure 4- Illustration of the ‘tail-chase’ phenomenon. When a cosmic ray is attracted to the earth, and the earth is in motion, the cosmic rays will tend to bunch on the trailing edge of the earth’s trajectory.

And this peaking effect is exactly what is observed! The figure below demonstrates this once-a-day peak No other explanation has ever been put forth for this known phenomenon.

Figure 5 - Fourier analysis of cosmic ray arrival times at the Buckland Park, Australia cosmic ray detector array for the period 1986-89. The dotted lines represent the RMS noise level present in the data. The peak at 1440 minutes shows that there is a large increase on the trailing side of the earth.

This figure illustrates the significant peak in cosmic ray intensity observed as a function of time. This curve represents the analysis of three years’ worth of cosmic ray observations with a large cosmic ray detector array located in Australia, and is exactly what we would expect if cosmic rays were strongly attracted to the earth’s gravitational field. This peak is not related to solar noon, and is not an indication that cosmic rays originate from the sun. And the effect is most strongly evidenced in the high-energy cosmic rays. This phenomenon gives strong support that the gravitational effects of an unshielded ‘free’ atomic nucleus are much greater than nuclei shielded by electrons.

Cosmic rays arrive at the earth with an extensive range of energies. Scientists measure the energy of cosmic rays in electron volts, or eV, the energy of a single electron. But since the energies of cosmic rays are so intense, the measurements are very large. Thus a cosmic ray with energy of a million billion electron volts would be considered to have energy of 1015eV, where the 15 represents how many zeros after 1 to multiply by, or 1,000,000,000,000,000 eV in this case. There is an inverse relationship between the number of cosmic ray impacts on the earth and their energy. There are 1020 times more cosmic rays with energies of 1013eV reaching the earth than at energies of1020eV. The relative number of cosmic ray events is called flux. At relatively low energies (e.g. 1013 eV), the cosmic ray flux is high enough that instruments carried aloft by balloons or rockets will normally detect a number of cosmic ray events, so that their characteristics can be studied. In this manner it has been established that most cosmic rays are atomic nuclei, primarily of hydrogen and helium at these energies, but with a scattering of nuclei of all types.

At higher energies, however, the flux of cosmic rays begins to diminish (that is, they are observed less often), and the probability of encountering one during a brief balloon or rocket flight becomes too low to justify the mission cost. So above the energy levels of about 1013 eV, ground detectors are used.

Ground detectors used for cosmic ray research do not detect cosmic rays directly. Instead, most cosmic rays initially strike the protective covering of our atmosphere, where they break atmospheric atoms into various smaller particles, creating a “shower” of other particles which can be detected by large arrays of detectors. Some arrays are designed to detect only the atmospheric fluorescence caused by these showers, and so are useful only on clear, moonless nights. The results shown above are from the Adelaide University Buckland Park field, located 40 kilometers north of Adelaide, South Australia, and cover cosmic energy ranges from about 3 × 1013 eV to 3 × 1015 eV.

Figure 6 - Typical cosmic ray detector array

Figure 7 - Illustrating the shower of particles from a cosmic ray impact

Scientists are continually searching for not only where cosmic rays come from, but also the mechanism by which they are accelerated to their very high energies. For moderate energy cosmic rays such as observed at Buckland Park, they believe the source could be binary pulsars, neutron stars, or even the shock waves from supernovae. But at the higher end of the energy spectrum—above about 1017 eV, explanations are not very satisfactory, and beyond energies of 1019 eV there are no satisfactory answers at all.

Since 1963 there have been eight recorded instances of cosmic ray encounters with energies in the range of 1020 eV—extremely rare events, although obviously more occurred that were not detected. Recently two cosmic ray events registering energies of 2 × 1022 eV were recorded. To quote physicist James W. Cronin[1],

“These events are extraordinary; there is no credible model for their acceleration. Since they are not degraded in energy by the 2.7K cosmic background radiation, these events must have originated at distances less than 100Mpc from our galaxy. If, as is likely, these cosmic rays are extragalactic protons, they are not much deflected by the magnetic field and should point to their source. No significant astrophysical sources lie close to their hypothesized trajectories. The existence of these high-energy rays is a puzzle, the solution of which will be the discovery of new fundamental physics or astrophysics.”

Now we can readily see what this “new fundamental physics” might be. It might be, as we have hypothesized, that these “free” atomic nuclei, are attracted to the earth’s gravitational field by an amount not previously recognized. That is, they are being accelerated toward earth by super-gravity to reach the improbable energies observed. This is a strong argument in favor of the concept that free nuclei have more gravitational potential than non-free nuclei.

# Nuclear Fusion

For many years, and with the expenditure of Billions of dollars in the United States alone, scientists have sought to generate energy from the fusion of atoms. We know atoms contain tremendous amounts of energy, as proven by the atomic and hydrogen bombs. The atomic bomb obtains its energy from fission, or splitting of atoms. The hydrogen bomb, which is much more powerful, uses nuclear fission as a trigger, but generates its much higher energy output by a fusion process. Fission is the splitting of atoms, while fusion is the combining of atoms. In either case, tremendous energy is released in the process.

Scientists have been trying to create useful energy by fusing together two atoms, creating a new atom of larger mass but releasing large amounts of energy in the process. This is the same process thought to be the source of energy within the core of the sun.

The fusion process requires tremendous heat (millions of degrees) to create a plasma wherein electrons are stripped from the nuclei of atoms. This then allows the free nuclei to interact with other nuclei to create new and more massive atoms, giving off large amounts of energy in the process.

Since no vessel could have walls which could sustain the heat needed for the fusion process, scientists keep the super-heated plasma away from the walls by the use of an intensive magnetic field from a fusion reactor such as illustrated below. The goal of these experiments is to ultimately generate more energy from the fusion process than is consumed in heating the plasma to the needed temperatures and to contain them in the powerful magnetic field of the reactor.

Figure 8 - Illustration of a Tokamak fusion device. The coils contain extremely high-temperature plasma constrained by means of magnetic forces, in hopes that nuclear fusion will occur within the plasma, creating energy. This device is 30 meters high, as illustrated by the figure of a man shown standing by.

The problem is—they can’t make it work! The longest sustained fusion reaction ever recorded is just a few seconds! Years of experiments, and still they can’t get more than a few seconds of power from a fusion reaction! What’s wrong?

I believe the cause of the continued failure of the fusion experiments may be because as nuclei of atoms lose their protective shield of electrons at the extremely high temperatures of these reactors, they become super-gravity objects and simply ‘fall’ out of the magnetic containment area. In other words, the force of gravity on nuclei of atoms without a protective shell of electrons is far greater than the tremendous magnetic fields created to contain them! Since these magnetic fields are very strong, the unattached nuclei must have an extremely strong gravitational field to overcome it.

Fusion reactors present a unique opportunity to test the super-gravity concept. By placing extremely sensitive gravity meters in the vicinity of a fusion reactor during a fusion experiment, it might be possible to observe the momentary increase in gravitational force from the plasma. Of course the effect would likely be very short-lived, since once the unattached nuclei exit the heated plasma they would almost immediately attract some electrons and cease to become super-gravitational.

If our concept is correct, it might be possible to redesign nuclear fusion reactors to work within the constraints super-gravity imposes. This could ultimately lead to cheap, clean power for the future. Let us hope I am correct. In any event, the continued failure to obtain sustained fusion is strong evidence for the super-gravity theory of ‘free’ atomic nuclei.

# Conclusion

We speculate that free atomic nuclei have a much higher gravitational force than ordinary non-ionized  atoms, and this gives rise to some interesting phenomenon. In particular:

·       Part of the gravitational attraction of stars is due to the presence of free atomic nuclei, and some very hot stars may have very high gravitational forces due to the presence of very many free nuclei. I call these SuperStars.

·       Gravitational deflection of light by SuperStars may be the cause of globular clusters, which would then be optical illusions

·       Very high-energy cosmic rays may be free nuclei with high gravitational forces and are attracted to the earth by its gravitational force.

·       Pulsars may be oscillating neutron stars or black holes.

·       The high gravitational forces of free nuclei may be why nuclear fusion is so difficult to sustain.

Bear in mind that these conclusions are speculations only, and are presented solely as mind experiments.