The Origins of Force
My obsession with gravity began when I was 8 years old. Like most young boys at the time, I was fascinated by outer space. The Apollo missions had recently landed people on the moon, but even more influential was the release of Star Wars. Even though I was far too young to understand the theory of gravity or any of its equations, I learned that it was the singular reason we couldn’t travel easily into space.
I was told that Gravity was an enormous force which always pulls everything back down towards the Earth. I also learned that nobody understood why, and suddenly I realized that understanding gravity was mankind’s single most important unsolved mystery. In that moment, I felt it to be my destiny, my calling, and my quest to discover the answer. I just didn’t expect to take more than 30 years to figure out. I hadn’t gotten anywhere until I realized I was looking at the problem the wrong way.
The theories presented in the pages that follow are about perspective. Complicated technical jargon has been intentionally omitted to help readers easily understand the principles explained. In other words, you don’t need to hold a doctorate degree in physics to proceed. In fact, the simplicity and intuitiveness of these ideas may be somewhat surprising.
There will also be little or no math involved. All of the currently known formulae involving forces of gravity and magnetism have been time-tested and are firmly established. They have served humanity very well in describing how the mechanics of these forces operate, but have failed to reveal why these forces exist and behave as they do.
Although extremely complicated models of the universe have been devised to grasp the nature of these forces, the ideas presented here are simple. My goal therefore is to explain these theories in simple terms, as I hope to help almost anyone understand exactly how and why gravity and magnetism work. I’ve done my best to present these theories in terms almost anyone could comprehend.
With this informal approach of authoring style, I run the risk of seeming simplistic by often using words as they are commonly used in the language, instead of their strict technical definitions according to the esoteric jargon of physicists.
For example, energy exists in a great number of forms. There are many types of energy waves and/or particles currently known, many that are theoretical, and many are completely yet to be detected. For the sake of simplicity in this presentation, I’ll refer to them all collectively as energy which travels in waves. It will be up to any experimental physicists that may be inspired by these theories to determine the types and nature of the specific forms of energy involved.
In other words, I request any physicists and mathematicians in the audience to please forgive my casual use of your field’s vocabulary.
On a warm summer evening in 1666, young Isaac Newton sat in the shade of an apple tree. When an apple spontaneously fell from the tree, a seed was planted in his mind to ultimately formulate the renowned theory of gravity. That moment began an age of tremendous technological achievement, despite the fundamental flaw in his understanding of the forces involved.
Newton believed that the Earth produced a force which pulled the apple towards the ground. Over time, the scientific community accepted his theory as general fact, especially because the equations he developed prove accurate time and time again.
When Newton witnessed the apple falling, he surmised that the acceleration of the apple towards the ground must be produced by an external force, and there were only two possible answers:
(a) The apple was pulled towards the ground by forces produced by the Earth, or
(b) The apple was pushed towards the ground by forces external to Earth.
There’s a right answer and there’s a wrong answer. Newton had a 50/50 chance of getting the problem right, but incorrectly chose (a) when in fact (b) is the correct answer. Even so, the reason the apple falls isn’t as important as the equations he devised to quantify the motion of the apple. The equations were practical, the reason was not. His equations worked so well that they gave erroneous credence to his reason, and posing a challenge to his theory was almost inconceivable.
Given the age in which Newton lived, it’s easy to understand that a bias still prevailed toward the Earth being the center of all things. Those who did not believe in a geocentric model of the universe were severely punished and sometimes executed in his days.
All paths lead farther from a destination when the journey begins in the wrong direction. Mislead entirely down the wrong path, physicists around the world have been looking closer and closer at the problem for the answer, drilling down to sub-atomic quantum levels, when in fact the problem itself was based on a large-scale false assumption.
The Figure below depicts two scenarios: the left image represents the forces of gravity originating from the Earth and pulling all objects towards the planet’s center. The right image represents the forces of gravity originating from outer space and pushing all objects towards the planet’s center.
Note that the two images of the Figure are identical. Only the caption has changed. The widespread belief that the left image is correct was the arbitrary and false assumption that dominated our thinking. With such firmness this false assumption had gripped our comprehension, the great mystery of why gravity exists remained unsolved for centuries.
And then hundreds of years later, on a warm summer evening in the early years of the 21st Century, a basketball floating in a swimming pool unlocked a simple, beautiful, universal secret I had been hunting for my entire life.
Foreword and Introduction
Foreword and Introduction