Massmetric relativity, MMR.
This book introduces a new theory of gravity, a theory which easily explains and corrects the classical failures of Newtonian gravity for which general relativity (GR) alone has previously provided answers. These include the Shapiro time delay, the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, and the bending of starlight during a solar eclipse. As with GR, there are no adjustable parameters. Instead of the mathematical complexity of GR, Riemannian geometry and tensor calculus, MMR uses only calculus. Scalar changes of Newtonian gravity provide the necessary corrections.
The essence of this new massmetric relativity (MMR) is that speed and gravity cause an increase of mass, and this increase of mass leads to changes of standards of distance and time. It finds that a meter stick shrinks when placed in a gravity environment and also according to its speed relative to an observer. This is the reason for "rubber rulers" and "lackadaisical clocks" in the title of this book .
This book considers that the standards of distance and time (in consequence of any change of mass) are not absolute. This need not be too surprising. We recognize that temperature imposes changes on our standards. A hot meter stick is bigger than a cold meter stick, in general. A good experimenter accounts for this change by noting the temperature, and adjusts the measurements accordingly. The MMR theory recognizes the scalar changes of distance and time resulting from gravity and speed. When these corrections are applied, Newtonian gravity works!
A 1960 Mossbauer experiment confirmed the GR prediction of a gravitational red shift of photons, in a paper entitled "the apparent weight of photons". This experiment is here reinterpreted and finds that rest mass increases under gravity. According to quantum mechanics, any increase of the rest mass of an electron must lead to a shrinkage of atoms. This means that a meter stick must shrink when put into a gravity environment. Likewise, the splitting of atomic energy levels increases under gravity and this makes atomic clocks tick faster.
These changes of length and time and mass are very small in earth gravity, and have not been thought important, until now. Upon making these corrections, Newtonian gravity competes with GR and each gets the right answers, without adjustable parameters, to the several problems mentioned above. To the extent that MMR continues to prove viable, it becomes possible for even undergraduate physics students to rigorously deal with gravity.
MMR or GR? The gpb experiment.
Although both MMR and GR give equally correct explanations for the classical problems of Newtonian gravity, there are subtle differences. An experiment is planned to fly in April of 2003, which should decide between these two theories. The experiment was posed some 50 years ago by L. Schiff of Stanford. It envisions a perfect gyroscope, inserted into a low polar earth orbit and with the axis of the gyroscope initially pointed towards a guide star. With the passage of time, Newtonian physics (uncorrected) predicts that the gyroscope will continue to point towards the guide star. Relativistic effects predict both an inplane geodetic precession and an outofplane LenseThirring precession. The precision expected of this experiment will be adequate to confirm or deny these predictions.
MMR also predicts inplane and outofplane precessions, but differs from the GR predictions. Despite the huge cost, $600,000,000.00 and counting, the experiment is critically important. The most important prediction is the outofplane precession, which GR expects from spinorbit coupling of empty "curved space" associated with the spinning earth. MMR denies this concept of "curved space", and expects a much smaller precession caused by the sun's perturbation.
These matters are discussed in detail in chapter 8. The precise MMR predictions are stated there, and this book stands by them. Einstein once said, "no number of experiments will prove the validity of GR, but one adverse experiment will disprove it." Those who favor GR are almost arrogant in their belief that the GR predictions will be found by gpb. They are even on record as saying that, if the GR predictions do not obtain, it would be revolutionary and would justify the cost of a second experiment to rule out experimental error.
So, what is this book all about?
This book has its origins in the physics I learned at the University of Tulsa (194548), the University of Oklahoma (194853), the physics I applied to problems at Phillips Petroleum Co. (195362), and the physics I taught at the University of Texas at Austin (196284) before taking early retirement. Physics includes many enigmas, which means we don't know what we are talking about. In retirement, and after recharging my batteries, I decided in 1990 to reexamine some of these enigmas. The most important of these, and the one thought least likely of success, is the nature of light. This led to thoughts about the origins of the de Broglie pilot waves of quantum mechanics, to the ways in which nature ties knots in electromagnetic fields to form particles having rest mass and charge, and eventually to thoughts about gravity. I admit to being pleasantly surprised when my reinterpretation of the 1960 Mossbauer experiment led to an increase of rest mass with gravity, which modified the Newtonian formula by just enough to explain certain anomalies. Some of these thoughts are highly speculative, but are included because they are provocative and may lead to solutions to some of the enigmas of physics. Some of the physics discussed herein may prove difficult for the nonphysics reader. Sorry about that. Like all disciplines, physics has its own language and this language is largely mathematical. Where it is possible, I have tried to explain things so that the nonphysics reader can get the drift of what I'm talking about. But, the core audience at which this book is aimed is professional physicists and physics students. I hope that the readers will set aside their reverence for physics "past" and examine with me possible solutions to some of the remaining enigmas of physics.
