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Gravitation, force and energy

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1 There may be an appearance of force if the gradient of a gravitational field is extreme enough relative to a body's extension in the direction of the field to produce tidal stresses on the body's molecular binding energies. (The earth's ocean tides are a dramatic instance.) But this too is entirely geometric in its origin, and only manifests local variations in the intensity of the distortion of spacetime.

2 The most prominent case of hypothetical gravitational energy and its radiation is the inspiraling binary star system, where there is evidently a loss of net relative (kinetic/potential) energy between the companions due to their deteriorating orbital dynamics. In terms of gravitation as a geometric principle, the idea of a transformation of relative accelerations to force-like radiation is incongrous; the extrinsic energy corresponding to the decrease within the binary system would be interpreted instead as a purely relative increase of (kinetic/potential) energy between a binary system and the rest of the universe.

3 Like energy-bearing gravitational waves, other hypotheticals -- gravitomagnetism, dark matter, and dark energy -- can be expected to continue eluding detection, as all are based on the presumed association of gravitation with force.


Born M 1909 Die Theorie des starren Elektrons in der Kinematik des Relativitäts-Prinzipes, Ann. Phys. (Leipzig) 30, 1.

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Dicke R 1970 Gravitation and the Universe, Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society.

Ehrenfest P 1909 Physikalische Zeitschrift.

Einstein A 1907 "ueber das Relativitatsprinzip und die aus demselben gezogenen Folgerungen", Jahrb. Radioakt. Elektr. 4:411-462, trans, pp134-5, Relativity and Geometry, Torretti, R., New York: Pergamon Press, 1983

Misner C, Thorne K, and Wheeler J 1973, section 20.4, Gravitation, W. H. Freeman .

Taylor J, Fowler L, & McCulloch P 1979 Nature, 277, 437-40.

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A former visitant of UC Santa Cruz, former union boilermaker, ex-Marine, Vietnam vet, anti-war activist, dilettante in science with an earth-shaking theory on the nature of light (which no one will consider), philosopher in the tradition of Schelling, Hegel, Merleau-Ponty, Marx, and Fromm (sigh, no one listens to me on that either), author of a book on wine clubs (ahem), and cast-off programmer of ancient computer languages. I've recently had two physics articles published in an obscure but earnest Central European journal (European Scientific Journal but my main interests remain politics and philosophy.

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Your article is thought provoking and I will need ... by John Reed on Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 9:35:57 AM
John, thank you for your book suggestion. There is... by Jim Arnold on Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 12:47:48 PM
Has there been no empirical measurement of gravita... by AAA AAA on Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 12:00:42 PM
Jeff, no, gravitational waves have not been detect... by Jim Arnold on Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 1:11:46 PM
"Do the effects of gravity travel through space at... by Samuel Bryan on Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 1:35:41 AM
"Do the effects of gravity travel through space at... by Samuel Bryan on Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 8:29:45 AM