Sep 5, 2012

Questioning the Foundations of Physics to Achieve Interstellar Travel: Part 3

Posted by in categories: business, defense, engineering, physics, space

Part 2 Here

Need For New Experiments To Test Quantum Mechanics & Relativity
We now have a new physics, without adding additional dimensions, that challenge the foundations of contemporary theories. Note very carefully, this is not about the ability of quantum mechanics or relativity to provide exact answers. That they do extremely well. With Ni fields, can we test for which is better or best?

A better nomenclature is a ‘single-structure test’, a test to validate the structure proposed by a hypothesis or theory. For example, Mercury’s precession is an excellent single-structure test for relativity, but it does not say how this compares to say, quantum gravity. On the other hand, a ‘dual-structure’ test would compare any two different competing theories. The recent three photon observation would be an example of a dual-structure test. Relativity requires that spacetime is smooth and continuous but quantum gravity requires spacetime to be “comprised of discrete, invisibly small building blocks”. This three photon observation showed that spacetime was smooth and continuous down to distances smaller than predicted by quantum gravity. Therefore, suggesting that both quantum foam and quantum gravity maybe in part or whole invalidated, while upholding relativity.

Therefore, the new tests would authenticate or invalidate Ni fields as opposed to quantum mechanics or relativity. That is, it is about testing for structure or principles not for exactness. Of course both competing theories must first pass the single-structure test for exactness, before they can be considered for a dual-structure test.

Is it possible to design a single-structure test that will either prove or disprove that virtual particles are the carrier of force? Up to today that I know of, this test has not been done. Maybe this is not possible. Things are different now. We have an alternate hypothesis, Ni fields, that force is expressed by the spatial gradient of time dilation. These are two very different principles. A dual-structure test could be developed that considers these differences.

Except for the three photon observation, it does not make sense to conduct a dual-structure test on relativity versus quantum mechanics as alternate hypotheses, because they operate in different domains, galactic versus Planck distances. Inserting a third alternative, Ni fields, could provide a means of developing more dual-structure tests for relativity and quantum mechanics with the Ni field as an alternate hypothesis.

Could we conduct a single-structure test on Ni fields? On a problem where all other physicist-engineers (i.e. quantum mechanics, relativity or classical) have failed to solve? Prof. Eric Laithwaite’s Big Wheel experiment would be such a problem. Until now no one has solved it. Not with classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, relativity or string theories. The Big Wheel experiment is basically this. Pivot a wheel to the end of a 3-ft (1 m) rod. Spin this wheel to 3,000 rpm or more. Then rotate this rod with the spinning wheel at the other end. The technical description is, rotate the spin vector.

It turns out that the solution to the Big Wheel experiment is that acceleration a=ωrωs√h is governed by the rotation ωr, spin ωs, and the physical structure √h, and produces weight loss and gain. This is the second big win for Ni fields. The first is the unification of gravitational, electromagnetic and mechanical forces.

How interesting. We have a mechanical construction that does not change its mass, but is able to produce force. If the spin and rotation are of like sense to the observer, the force is toward the observer. If unlike then the force is away from the observer. Going back to the Ω function, we note that in the Ω function, mass has been replaced by spin and rotation, and more importantly the change in the rotation and spin appears to be equivalent to a change in mass. Further work is required to develop an Ω function into a theoretical model.

The next step in challenging the foundations of physics is to replace the mass based Ω function with an electromagnetic function. The contemporary work to unify electromagnetism with gravity is focused on the tensor side. This essay, however, suggests that this may not be the case. If we can do this – which we should be able to do, as Ni fields explain electron motion in a magnetic field — the new physics will enable us to use electrical circuits to create force, and will one day replace all combustion engines.

Imagine getting to Mars in 2 hours.

The How Of Interstellar Travel
But gravity modification is not the means for interstellar travel because mass cannot be accelerated past the velocity of light. To develop interstellar propulsion technology requires thinking outside the box. One possibility is, how do we ‘arrive’ without ‘travelling’. Surprisingly, Nature shows us that this is possible. Both photons and particles with mass (electrons, protons & neutrons) have probabilistic natures. If these particles pass through a slit they ‘arrive’ at either sides of the slit, not just straight ahead! This ‘arrival’ is governed by probabilities. Therefore, interstellar travel technology requires an understanding of how probability is implemented in Nature, and we need to figure out how to control the ‘arrival’ event, somewhat like the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s ‘infinite improbability drive’.

Neither relativity nor quantum mechanics can or has attempted to explain probabilities. So what is probability? And, in the single slit experiment why does it decrease as one moves orthogonally away from the slit? I proposed that probabilities are a property of subspace and the way to interstellar travel. Subspace co-exists with spacetime but does not have the time dimension. So how do we test for subspace? If it is associated with probability, then can we determine tests that can confirm subspace? I have suggested one in my book. More interestingly, for starters, can we alter the probability of arrivals in the single slit experiments?

To challenge the foundations of pshyics, there are other questions we can ask. Why is the Doppler Effect not a special case of Gravitational Red/Blue shift? Why is the Hubble parameter not a constant? Can we find the answers? Will seeking these answers keep us awake at night at the possibility of new unthinkable inventions that will take man where no man has gone before?

R.L. Amoroso, G. Hunter, M. Kafatos, and Vigier, Gravitation and Cosmology: From the Hubble Radius to the Plank Scale, Proceedings of a Symposium in Honour of the 80th Birthday of Jean-Pierre Vigier, Edited by Amoroso, R.L., Hunter, G., Kafatos, M., and Vigier, J-P., (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, USA, 2002).

H. Bondi, Reviews of Modern Physics, 29–3, 423 (1957). G. Hooft, Found Phys 38, 733 (2008).

B.T. Solomon, “An Approach to Gravity Modification as a Propulsion Technology”, Space, Propulsion and Energy Sciences International Forum (SPESIF 2009), edited by Glen Robertson, AIP Conference Proceedings, 1103, 317 (2009).

B.T. Solomon, Phys. Essays 24, 327 (2011)

R. V. Wagoner, 26th SLAC Summer Institute on Particle Physics, SSI 98, 1 (1998).


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.


Comments — comments are now closed.

  1. Peter McKenna says:

    How could three gamma photons from the same source travel 7 billion miles & collide with a target so close together? What is the probability?

  2. Peter McKenna says:

    There have been recorded bursts of high energy gamma photons with electron volt levels that imply they may have originated from the big bang. How does the proximity of the photons prove flat spacetime? Couldn’t this behavior just as easily be explained by warped spacetime?

  3. Marc van Lohuizen says:

    I’ve enjoyed this series of articles. Might this approach have any bearing on explaining the larger than expected gravitomagnetic effect observed in experiments?

    A greater understanding of gravity is a good idea. But one thing I fail to understand is the perceived importance (or desirability) of somehow “breaking the light speed limit” in interstellar travel.

    We know it’s already technically feasible at subluminal speeds already via:
    (1) World Arcs or other means of bringing some future generation(s) to various stars. It won’t be anyone alive at the time of initiating travel (including any in the actual ship(s)) but it would get the job done if spreading humanity is the goal. Personally, I think that’s a shallow goal and the individual is more important, so this one is rather boring to me, but there’s also;
    (2) Development of biostasis / cold sleep to send living humans to a remote star such that they’ll be alive to see their destination. There is a lot of existing science in this direction. Pursuing it further would be a boon to medicine (keeping people stable long enough to perform medical interventions is already increasingly done with cooling), and to the actual survival of *individuals* which is *really* important via cryopreservation and resuscitation advances. On top of this there are more radical ideas regarding replacing much or all of our biology, making us far better at making any space travel.
    (3) Engineering advanced propulsion for rapid acceleration to near-light speeds, when time dilation becomes hugely significant to the traveler(s). At velocities close enough to light, a living human crew might experience a subluminal trip across the galaxy in mere weeks. This honestly seems most desirable to me but it’s functionally not all too different (and can be combined synergistically with ideas in (2)).

    So what is the significance of getting their *fast* from the point of view of Earth years? Why does it matter if the people on the ships experience a short trip in their temporal frame of reference and years or even centuries pass on Earth?

    It seems like the equivalent of “superluminal” / FTL methods of interstellar travel could have darker consequences than subluminal methods. Isn’t one of the nice things about the universe how spatious it is? It seems like making it smaller (by going faster) would invite the possibility of horrific things like multi-system civilizations, and rapid communication and travel between disparate stars. Meaningful separation seems not only better for the individual, but also for promoting biological / technological / cultural “speciation”, doesn’t it?

  4. My apologies, to all my readers, I had a long day today.

    Peter McKenna, the probability is almost zero, therefore this interest and the publication in Physical Review Letters, probably the most prestigious physics journal in the world, today.

    No, not from the big bang but from a gamma-ray burst that occured when the Universe was about half it age.

    I think the logic is that the 3 photons were so close that at most 1 millisecond or 300 km (or 186 miles) apart, that nothing but quantum foam could have dispersed them.

    The reason warped space is an unlikely cause, is that natural gravitational fields are symmetrical, and therefore any ‘disturbance’ a gravitational field introduced on photon arrival would be reversed on photon exit.

    What Robert Nemiroff’s paper is suggesting is that quantum foam is a mathematical concept that does not exists in Nature, and therefore, quantum gravity is not real. Giovanni Amelino-Camelia who proposed the test 15 years ago on the other hand is saying ‘not so fast buddy’.

  5. Thanks Marc van Lohuizen.

    If my memory serves me correctly, Tajmar’s work was not reproduceable.

    In my opinion (1), (2) & (3) are not realistic options because, would you or anyone else, like to live in a prison like container for several years, may be decades? No.

    Regarding (3), it won’t be weeks, because costs accelerates exponentially as the target cruising velocity increases linearly. It is financially impossible.

    Remember some years ago NASA scrapped a $5 billion spaceship project (to Mars I believe) because it was too expensive. Try doing something that is unthinkably larger like *at least* by 1,000x.

    The second problem with velocity is that the closer you get to the velocity of light the slower your clock ticks relative to the rest of the Universe. Imagine your 4 week return trip gets you back to Earth 400 years later.

    It matters because somebody else paid for it and they would want results — that is how the business world works, and if governments try this on the scale required they won’t be re-elected the next time around.

    If it is too small it becomes a living prison, and nobody wants that, either.

  6. Marc van Lohuizen says:

    Benjamin T. Solomon — thanks for your reply.

    As far as I can find from my research, there don’t seem to have been any attempts to reproduce Tajmar’s work. I’ve looked far and wide. No articles anywhere suggesting anything was done afterwards to even *try* to reproduce the work. You’d think even *failed* attempts at reproducing such a potentially important result would be there for the finding if one looked. If you know of studies done afterwards, please send links!

    Onto the next thing, we have no idea what energies (and thus financial investment) are necessary for achieving “travel” times that are functionally superluminal… if even such a feat might ever be physically possible, even in theory. If it is theoretically possible, it’d have to be demonstrably cheaper than accelerating to relativistic speeds… we just don’t know if that might ever be true.

    I understand the financial downsides to investors for subluminal interstellar travel. But then again, do you honestly foresee a time when anyone will actually invest in space even if they think it’d only take a year to get from here to the next star? It’s more likely that we won’t go out to the stars except without investment from either forward thinking private individuals willing to take extensive losses, or else despotic nations in the model of ancient Egypt forcing everyone to make the investment whether they like it or not.

    As far as the small prison goes, being “asleep” (via stasis methods) for most of it makes it a lot better… even better, potentially, than contemporary space travel.

    All of this ignores the social problems that may come from rapid interstellar travel (or even communication). If it is possible, what kind of future do we have? There is such a thing as a future where it’s not even worth living.

  7. There was an New Zealand group that could not reproduce the effect. And in 2008 Tajmar & his colleagues did another round of very thorough tests (google “Anomalous Fiber Optic Gyroscope Signals Observed above Spinning Rings at Low Temperature”), and their conclusion was:

    “Anomalous signals from two different fiber-optic gyroscopes (KVH DSP-3000 and Optolink SRS-1000) were observed above spinning rings at temperatures below 30 K. Results from different configurations suggest that the origin is probably connected to the rotating helium and not the angular momentum of the spinning samples as it was suspected from earlier measurements. Our observed signal strengths are not ruled out by any other experiment up to our knowledge [17–18] and systematic effects appear to be at least two orders of magnitude below all reported measurements for the various setups. The gyro signal seems to follow the rotating ring velocity with high correlation. Compared to classical frame-dragging spin-coupling predictions, our signals are up to 18 orders of magnitude larger. This suggests that the observed phenomenon is new and without explanation so far. ”

  8. Peter McKenna says:

    Thanks for the reply. The coincident arrival of the three photons suggests a lensing or focusing effect. Using your schema does open some interesting ideas. Could a Calabi-yau manifold (although this is a mathematical concept), account for this?

  9. Peter McKenna says:

    If quantum foam does not exist, the bevsvior of the photons should not be exclusive to photons. If we could only observe other particles known to have originated from similar extensive distances.

  10. Peter McKenna says:

    Oops, I just realized I used miles instead of light years in my earlier post. Sorry. Should always verify units.

  11. Re, a lensing or focusing effect, the experimental physicist Robert Nemiroff did not think so, neither did Giovanni Amelino-Camelia who proposed the experiment.

    Re, Calabi-yau manifold, my apologies, I have no interest in that. I’m about to start Phase 2, prototype development. So others who would be more informed on such matters are more appropriate to answer questions such as yours on the Calabi-yau manifold.

  12. Marc van Lohuizen, problem with stasis that has not been discussed in public, is how do you prove that statis is safe and does not have long term effects.

    You definitely need FDA approval, and that will take at least 7 years *after* the discovery of statis drugs. Then there is human testing. Can you find a small sample of a hundred people to volunteer being in test-statis for 40 years?

    Would they wake up? What would the side effects be? How do you overcome these side effects? Then second round. Then third round, then …

    Several cycles later, may be 200+ years, you’d have something safe. So statis is a nice idea but realistically not anytime soon.

  13. Marc van Lohuizen says:

    Fair enough, but stasis drugs and technologies have medical value as well, so there is non-interstellar motivation for R&D, which is already ongoing with some more primitive applications in trial stages or even in active medical use.

    Also, what time frames are realistic for the development of interstellar travel (once it could be demonstrated to be not only theoretically possible *and* financially feasible based on that theory)? And would there be any safety concerns? When will we have the tech to *find* interesting places to send these multi-billion (trillion?) dollar each interstellar missions?

    Of course those are silly questions… mainly because they depend on answers to questions we just don’t have yet, answers that may yet preclude the possibility of “fast” interstellar travel.

    I’d bet that stasis drugs and / or other tech might be a lot closer to being available, if only because there’s already active research (for medical purposes, as well as a little bit from cryonics enthusiasts), and existing understanding of the theory behind what’s necessary, as well as some promising leads.

    We can’t say any of that about “fast” / effectively superluminal travel. No well-formulated theoretical framework, no general acceptance of any ideas towards that goal, no experimental verification, not to mention how costly doing the R&D for engineering the practical application (like an advanced interstellar drive) will be once we have such a theory, and how expensive it might end up to build and operate, how safe, time constraints, etc; even theoretical possibility is in question.

    Not that it isn’t a valid line of questioning / science, and it deserves much attention… the potential rewards we could reap might extend to far more than “superluminal” travel. Just that, realistically, it seems to me some stasis-based travel seems more likely in the medium term (and for reasons I’ved mentioned I think you might be too pessimistic about it… although time will tell and you might end up proven right!).

  14. Marc van Lohuizen you are probably correct in that stasis drug will probably originate out of sleep deprivation & insomnia research and the drugs to deal with these types of problems. But it may be sooner by accidental discovery, such as balding remedies.

    Re “… what time frames are realistic for the development of interstellar travel . . ” If I have my way it won’t be a 100 years that is for sure. CERN reportedly spent $10,000,000,000 and employed somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 highly skilled physicists, to discover a Higgs-type boson.

    Imagine what I could do with a fraction of those resources. This is what I accomplished so far, with my own private funds:
    1. Discovered the massless formula for gravitational acceleration g=(tau)c^2.
    2. Discovered Ni Fields and the unification gravitational, electromagnetic and mechanical forces.
    3. Solved Laithwaite’s Big Wheel phenomenon, previously considered impossible by experimental & classical physicists & engineers.
    4. Discovered the photon’s Spatial Probability Field and the new Var-Gamma probability distribution.
    5. Unified resolution, transmission, shielding, invisibility into a single phenomenon.
    6. Discovered spectrum independent photon analytics.
    7. Proposed subspace and how probability is implemented in Nature.

    If you notice these are not things theoretical physicists are working on — Thank God — otherwise I would not have had the opportunity to make these discoveries. The other thing to notice is that these discoveries are much easier to engineer, test and therefore closer to real future technologies.

    No they are not silly questions. If we don’t ask we won’t start investigating and we won’t get the answers or even more questions to ask.

    Re “We can’t say any of that about fast …” It will happen and will probably be like the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s Infinite Improbability Drive, but without the experimental research we cannot say much more than that.

    Re “ … I think you might be too pessimistic …” I’d rather be too pessimistic than waste some investor’s money.

  15. Peter McKenna, nice. Re “If quantum foam does not exist … “, the problem may be more fundamental that physicists suspect.

    They said it will set quantum mechanics back several decades. 30? 50? 70? If the problem pointed out by Robert Nemiroff is more fundamental that it is closer to 70 years, if not may be 30 years.

    Actually, the fact that quantum foam may not exists is a major fundamental breakthrough. The more I think about it the more I have to say ‘wow’. Some physicists have proposed that they can achieve 1,000+ the velocity of light with theoretical work based on quantum foam. Wow! It is gone! Robert Nemiroff just disproved them.

    The reason why I say the problems maybe more fundamental than physicists suspect is that (see point 4, 5 & 6 of my previous comment) I showed that the photon probability is not Gaussian. It is a new probability distribution I discovered and named Var-Gamma. FYI there are only 32 known probability distributions, and therefore this is a big deal.

    Coming back to your question, “ … the bevsvior of the photons should not be exclusive to photons … ”.

    Narrow your scope, because a generic term like ‘behavior’ opens up the discussion to subject matters I have no interested in. If we look at double slit experiments, there is no difference between the behavior of photons and mass particles like electrons and neutrons. So the answer would be ‘yes’.

    But … mass based particles have charge and mass and are therefore open to ‘disturbances’ that would not affect photons. So the answer is ‘no’.

  16. Peter McKenna says:

    Time dilation for a photon — which according to Lorentz must be massless, since v = c, resulting in division by zero — seems also to be relativistically nonlinear (infinite?). How would you expect local spatial field effects (eg gravity, quantum field effects) to alter a photon’s force relative to your schema, since it would seem the photon would have no (relative) calculable time dilation?

  17. Peter McKenna, interesting. First the photon has no mass, and there is an error in your statement. Read the book.

    Summary: Wave function is the effect of the photon on spacetime, but not the photon itself.

  18. Peter McKenna says:

    I imagine though that the time dilation can be determined through backfitting measured gravitational effects, however this would be the photon’s relative mass

  19. Don’t understand your second comment.

  20. Peter McKenna says:

    Sorry, damn smartphone is buggy. All I have is physics textbook. Can you recommend book?

  21. Too many, don’t bother. Go make some money and give me some to complete the research into the prototype development.

  22. Peter McKenna says:

    Sorry, but I do not believe photons experience time dilation. The premise appears flawed.

  23. dhimo kritis says:

    Nobody know the structure of electron and photon.The ‘unique particle’ and the spherical trajectories is the answer for both. Will this help for interstellar trip, i am sure —not.

  24. Peter McKenna, there are 5 steps in science, (1) belief, (2) conceptualization, (3) hypothesis, (4) experimental validation & (5) theory. Usually, but not always in that order.

    You are at (1). How would you get to (2)?

    This is an important exercise, not just for you but for our readership, too.