## The End Of Gravity As a Fundamental Force 650

Posted
by
kdawson

from the mccavity's-not-there dept.

from the mccavity's-not-there dept.

An anonymous reader writes

*"At a symposium at the Dutch Spinoza-instituut on 8 December, 2009, string theorist Erik Verlinde introduced a theory that derives Newton's classical mechanics. In his theory, gravity exists because of a difference in concentration of information in the empty space between two masses and its surroundings. He does not consider gravity as fundamental, but as an emergent phenomenon that arises from a deeper microscopic reality. A relativistic extension of his argument leads directly to Einstein's equations."*Here are two blog entries discussing Verlinde's proposal in somewhat more accessible terms.**Update: 01/12 04:48 GMT**by**KD**: Dr. Verlinde has put up a blog post explaining in simpler terms the logic of the gravity from entropy paper. He introduces it with: "Because the logic of the paper is being misrepresented in some reports, I add here some clarifications."
## Just because the math works doesn't mean it's true (Score:5, Insightful)

But it sure sounds promising.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:4, Insightful)

And even if it's not true, if the math works, it still might be useful. Newton's and Einstein's theories aren't strictly "true" but they are incredibly useful despite that.

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

That's one funny thing about math, "close doesn't count",

until you get to a certain advanced point. Then we say "this works for all but a few special cases... close enough."## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Insightful)

The one funny thing about the way the majority of people use math, "close

doescount",until you get to a certain advanced point. Then we say "this works for all but a few special cases... close enough"Obviously Newtonian gravity is much more understandable to your average person than say general relativity and also offers a good aproximation of expected behaviors of the physical world.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Funny)

The one funny thing about the way the majority of people use math, "close

doescount",until you get to a certain advanced point. Then we say "this works for all but a few special cases... close enough"Obviously Newtonian gravity is much more understandable to your average person than say general relativity and also offers a good aproximation of expected behaviors of the physical world.

I'd say there is a good chance it is all one Unified Field. When including torque in Einstein's equations (and not assuming you are locked on the spinning object), this guy's solution works from the micro to the macro. Check it out.

http://www.theresonanceproject.org/ [theresonanceproject.org]

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

Instead of seeing ourselves as separate from everything around us, this view allows us to recognize that we are embedded in a fractal feedback dynamic that intrinsically connects all things via the medium of a vacuum structure of infinite potential. This research has far reaching implications in a variety of fields including theoretical and applied physics, cosmology, quantum mechanics, biology, chemistry, sociology, psychology, archaeology, anthropology,

My bullshit detector just asplode.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Interesting)

That's one funny thing about math, "close doesn't count", until you get to a certain advanced point.

I didn't realize irrational numbers, a huge portion of the rational numbers, and trigonometry, were considered advanced.

But this really isn't about the *math* being close, but not exact, it's about the math being close to *reality*, but not exact. Again, however, this is not advanced. Even grade school science is close but not exact. What's the temperature outside? How many inches of water did it rain last night? What's the circumference of the Earth? And Newtonian physics (which is also not advanced) is close, but not exact. Even at the slow speeds and low gravities of our mundane lives. Special and General Relativity have the honor *not* of being exact, but merely of being closer to exact than anything else so far.

The only common types of math where "close doesn't count" are basic arithmetic (excepting fractions) and pure algebraic manipulation.

In your high school physics class, do you *really* think you were exact when you used 186,000 mi/s or 300,000 km/s for the speed of light? Or in grade school, that the Earth rotates in exactly 24 hours (as measured from solar zenith to solar zenith)?

Or even before that, when you bought one candy bar at 3 for a dollar, and you got 66 cents in change?

Precision and accuracy are two terms you should have been made aware of by high school science, and rounding errors by middle school math.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Insightful)

You're muddling the distinction between the concept of exact measurement with exact model.

When we say that Newtonian physics is "about" right, we're saying that, given the properties of the area of the physical world we inhabit (about sea level on an Earth sized planet), Newtonian physics is a model that can predict the behavior of bodies in motion pretty accurately. Relativity theory models those same bodies more accurately, and in a wider area of application. In this way, our models of the universe could be said to be asymptotically approaching "correctness".

When we say that the speed of light is "about" 3 x 10^8 m/s, everybody but the most retarded physics students know that it's not exactly that, but that that number is close enough that it's usable. Same as saying pi = 3.141 and g = 9.81 ms^-2 at sea level on Earth. Those are imprecise but "close enough" approximations of natural constants which do not have integer values, so we just truncate them to the desired level of accuracy for the current use. I don't need pi to a hundred places to be able to triangulate the hats on the sports oval for the experiment in 10th grade. Hell, pi to eleven places will calculate Earth's circumference to within a millimeter, which is "accurate enough" for pretty much all everyday uses.

Don't mix these two concepts, a model can be 100% accurate even if we are incapable of measuring fully, and vice versa.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Interesting)

While I agree with your basic premise, let's examine your statement with regards to the number PI.

We have a whole bunch of different equations that calculate what PI is to billions of digits of accuracy.

Is our model of PI more accurate than our measurement of a circle in reality?

Does this mean our model of PI can not be more accurate than our measurements?

Or is there some other way to 'prove' that our model of PI is exact regardless of what our universe measures it as?

--jeffk++

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

Is our model of PI more accurate than our measurement of a circle in reality?

There are no naturally occurring perfect circles. A circle just the concept of a perfectly symmetrical ellipse. I could be mistaken but I'm almost positive that its impossible to form a perfect circle in a universe were there are more then 2 particles interacting.

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

In principle a model could comply with an objective reality with 100% convergence, but we would be forever unable to prove it 100% because there is no direct access to objective reality's fundamentals, only experimentation & prediction. That doesn't mean the model isn't 100% accurate, it just means we can't say (with 100% confidence) that it is.

## Limit of knowledge (Score:5, Insightful)

Then we say "this works for all but a few special cases... close enough."

Actually we don't - we just say that we don't know any way to do it better and it seems to work outside of these cases....so until someone can come up with something better we'll go with the best we have.

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

one key one was newton's assumption that the effect of gravity was instant.

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:4, Informative)

What's the "speed of gravity" then?

The unproven and untested theory is that a gravity wave travels at the speed of light.

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

There have been some attempts [wikipedia.org] to test it, so I wouldn't call it untested.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Funny)

As part of a psychological experiment, two single men, a physicist and mathematician, were placed in an otherwise empty room with a beautiful naked women at the far end.

They were instructed that they'd be allowed to close half the distance to the women every 10 minutes. Disgusted at the obvious subterfuge, the mathematician walked away in disgust. But the physicist stayed behind, occasionally glancing at his watch.

The experimenters looked puzzled, then asked the physicist, "You do realize, of course, that mathematically speaking, you can never actually reach the woman?"

"Naturally", replied the physician, looking up. "But I can sure get close enough for all practical purposes!"

## Re: (Score:3, Funny)

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

I didn't realize $4.99 + tax was advanced math. We almost always use math in a close enough context. Close doesn't count in pure math, but as soon as you apply it to something real you're always talking about close enough.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:4, Interesting)

Well, it does make a jump from a fundamental force we can't seem to detect into a latent, emergent phenomenon which we, er, also can't detect the source of.

So it transfers one critical unknown into a less important, impossible to verify unknown. Then it links up with Relativity somehow. Not exactly a "theory of everything".

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

Indeed. Until there is some confirmation of string theory, it, and anything extrapolated from it, while interesting in an academic sense, is ultimately meaningless in an empirical sense.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:4, Interesting)

Even the simple things that you take for granted, such as Inertia, is not understood. Nobody can explain why there is Inertia, or what mechanisms makes it a requirement.

What is important is that we can model things. If two such models fit observations, then there is no reason to dismiss one of them (such as string theory) out of hand. In the end, neither model is truth. Model's can't explain "why."

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:4, Informative)

Any child can (and often does) ask the question "Why?" repeatedly past anyone's endurance. That does not mean the respondent does not understand anything. Also sometimes one is simply not well informed. For instance the question of why there is inertia is addressed by the work of Higgs and the theoretical Higgs boson. One of the main stated goals of the LHC in Europe is to have collisions energetic enough to get experimental verification of the Higgs boson.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:4, Insightful)

For instance the question of why there is inertia is addressed by the work of Higgs and the theoretical Higgs boson.

No, it isnt addressed by it. This is just another theoretical model.

In the case of gravity, begin with Newton.

F = Gm'm"/d^2

This is a model. This does not explain why there is gravity. The fact that we eventually found instances that contradict it lead to another model, general relativity. General relativity doesnt explain why there is gravity either, and we have since found cases where this model too many not hold ('dark energy'.) The Higgs wont dig us out of this lack of understanding, because nobody understands why things at these scales (see the photon) behave the way they do.

120 years ago things were thought to be much simpler. Proton, Electron, and then Photon. That was it. Back then we could at least understand the models, but understanding the model is not the same as understanding reality (obviously, since we were wrong.) Now we have quantum theory and particles behaving like waves (or maybe its waves behaving like particles) culminating in the situation that nobody really even understands how reality could even be like the models.

The model is all we have, and its not a description of reality, but instead a tool to predict observation.

With a good enough model I can tell you where every pool ball on the table will end up. That model need not represent the reality that the pool balls are made up of trillions of atoms each made up of quarks and electrons, that the balls bounce against each other because the individual electrons repel each other while also binding atoms together, that the amount of kinetic energy (heat) in the balls will change, that even the shape of the balls changes as they move.

The pro-pool player need not understand what is really going on to make the shot. His model, just like the model with individual atoms, is just a tool to make predictions. The little boy can ask "why" and the adult can answer, but that answer is not actually correct.

Why do things in motion tend to stay in motion? Nobody knows! We call it Inertia.

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

Anyone who knows that intertia exists and has internalized this fact enough to, say, drive a car, understands inertia.If you have 2 masses, they exhibit an attractive force upon each other. We call this phenomenon "gravity", and we are experienced in predicting it and comfortable with our models of it.

If you have a mass and try to accelerate it, it exerts a reaction force upon you. We call this phenomenon "inertia", and we are also experienced in predicting it and comfortable with our models of it.

What nob

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

He's not abusing the word "understand" (well, maybe a little), he's just using it in a slightly different context. You may be able to predict your wife's behaviour, but if it came down to some sort of rule (she will always choose option 2 in the bottom half of an hour, option 1 in the top half for example) you might not say you understood her. You could predict her behaviour, but you would have no idea

whyshe made choices that way. In reality, you do understand, at least to some degree, why she makes th## Re: (Score:3)

This theory has nothing to do with string theory.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Insightful)

Well, it does make a jump from a fundamental force we can't seem to detect into a latent, emergent phenomenon which we, er, also can't detect the source of.

*EVERYTHING* in the universe is based on some fundamental thing which we "cannot detect the source of". Even something as simple as math, or logic, is based on a set of axioms, or givens, which can never, themselves, be explained in terms of where they come from.

In physics, things like quarks (or if there's something that makes those, then that thing), or the fundamental forces, are all currently unexplained regarding why or how they exist.

What this work does (or at least, claims to do) is connect gravity with the rest of physics.

But your opening line is actually quite wrong:

Well, it does make a jump from a fundamental force we can't seem to detect into a latent, emergent phenomenon which we, er, also can't detect the source of.

Not at all. Presently, gravity is an axiom. It is a thing that exists, and upon which much is built, but below which nothing can be known. With this theory, gravity is just like things built upon gravity (such as orbits, gravitational singularities, etc.), which can all be explained by something below them. At some point, everything ends up as an axiom. This theory removes one of science's present axiom, and any time you can do that, you've done nothing less than fundamentally enhanced our understanding of the universe.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Insightful)

I'm not well versed on entropy / thermo-dynamics. The basis of making any of this intuitive is an elastic band - which apparently is a good description of a thermal entropy-chamber with an external force stretching a polymer chain. The temperature affects the restorative force which resists the stretching. In general, this force is not considered a fundamental force. It is the result of entropy - of individual atoms traveling random paths such that a lowest energy state is sought. The net migration of atoms - the diffusion can, on a macroscopic level, have a directional force measured. But this isn't a direct force (like weak-electro-magnetic or the strong nuclear force) - instead it's a net-force - aggregating all atomic paths given a particular orientation of matter at a given point in time.

The next critical piece of information is the mathematical representation of the universe as a 2D holographic surface. Or rather, looking at any particular event as a 2D surface that encloses any piece of information we wish to observe/describe. All the matter/energy/information within the surface is described mathmatically by the surface itself.. And thus the surface carriers information.. And consequently has an information density - the author describes a number of bits per unit area of information.

The author describes a maximum possible density - a minimum surface area that can hold a bit. And this is described as the event horizon of a black-hole.. Namely a 2D sphere with 100% information storage.. Any information that is absorbed by the black-hole corresponds to a growth of the sphere such that the total area has increased slightly, and thus can facilitate an extra bit of information.

Thus any region of space can be thought of as having an enclosed surface.. And if there is ANY energy there-in, there will be bits of information on that surface of a corresponding density.

For two surfaces enclosing different sizes of matter/energy, the density of the surfaces will be different.. Likewise, if two surfaces enclosing the same matter are of different sizes, the density will be different.

The final piece is describing a natural migration of this energy density. Namely, that energy/information that 'moves' from one surface to another will be traveling through different information-densities. Much like a gasious atom moving through a medium. The assymetries in the information-surfaces (like the assymetries in the atmosphere) will constrain the degrees of freedom of the energy. There net effect is equivalent - diffusion. Or more generally, that the laws of thermodynamics dictate the aggregate forcing functions used to describe the enclosed system.

The author then uses various equations to bring about entropy to the classical Neutonian F=ma (specifically F = Gm/r^2), and more impressively into red-shift equations for Einsteins relativity. Meaning he's able to relate the classical force of gravity into more-intuitive/tangible elasticity equations.

The end result is that he feels he can do away with action-at-a-distance, space-time, and gravity as a force. By saying that the attractive force of stellar bodies is really the diffusion of energy as defined by the laws of entropy. Whenever you have a 'gradient' between two adjacent arbitrary surfaces, you'll have a diffusion (as you'd naturally expect in fluids / gasses). This gradient typically has a complex measureable path between 2 or more massive bodies.. And thus any matter traveling along those paths will experience reduced degrees of freedom consistent with entropy/diffusion. The net motion can be measured as a forcing function equivalent to Neuton/Einstein. But the important thing to take away is that this is a NET motion.. NOT a natural force exerted on each particle - as a charged electric field would produce.

This is fundamentally why we have so much difficulty trying to incorporate gravity i

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

> This sort of atheism is a religious belief system

You are technically correct in that when I go to dictionary.com, the word "religion" as it's defined there could be used to describe ANYTHING. You are using that as an excuse to attempt to surrepticiously equate our logic with your lack of logic, and claim they're the same, or at least imply that our belief system is just as groundless as yours.

This is what you are saying: "Hey look, we've got a belief system, you've got a belief system, that means you

## Re: (Score:2)

Have we conclusively shown that relativity isn't quite exactly right? Or do you just mean that relativity hasn't been rectified with quantum mechanics?

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

## If the math works, then it approximates reality (Score:5, Insightful)

## Re:If the math works, then it approximates reality (Score:5, Informative)

"shut up and calculate" is attributed to David Mermin [wikipedia.org] according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] (which sites an article behind a login)

## Re:If the math works, then it approximates reality (Score:4, Interesting)

It looks like I have access, so I'll summarize the article. This is the May 2004 "Reference Frame" column in Physics Today, written by David Mermin, titled "Could Feynman Have Said This?"

Mermin came across something that ascribed "shut up and calculate" to Feynman, and was somewhat disturbed. Mermin had written in Physics Today (April 1989) that "If I were forced to sum up in one sentence what the Copenhagen interpretation says to me, it would be "Shut up and calculate!" Therefore he was worried that he perhaps had absorbed the quotation from Feynman at some point, and then used it in his article without proper attribution.

So he embarked on a Google search, finding lots of hits having the quotation as Feynman's, and none for Mermin. But then he realized that none of the web material cited any sources or told the "story" of the quotation. So he thinks he may be a victim of the "Matthew effect," from the "tendency always to assign exclusive scientific credit to the most eminent among all the plausible candidates." In other words, somehow the quotation got attached to Feynman, who is well known for his work in QM.

Next Mermin examines whether or not the witticism actually matches Feynman's personality. He concludes that it doesn't; however Feynman's "habitual irreverence" is probably a factor.

In closing, Mermin lays claim to the saying and awaits evidence that Feynman actually said it.

## Re:If the math works, then it approximates reality (Score:4, Insightful)

I think the meaning of "the math works" in this case is that the math successfully predicts the outcome of experiments. In that case, use it, even if you can't intuitively understand "why" it gives correct predictions.

## Re:If the math works, then it approximates reality (Score:4, Insightful)

If the math works, then "shut up and calculate"

Sorry, but experiments trump math.

And what do you think "if the math works" means, to a physicist?

## Re:If the math works, then it approximates reality (Score:4, Insightful)

For example, you can measure all the angles in the known universe if you want to, but you will *never* be able to prove the Pythagoras theorem wrong.

Provided that your angles all exist in two-dimensional planes of zero curvature, that's correct.

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Funny)

That assertion can also never be proved wrong, and it is mathematically sound.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Funny)

Indeed. The truth is, it is all a dream. My dream, in fact. It all emanates from me, I designed it all based on what you know as mathematical principles.

That assertion can also never be proved wrong, and it is mathematically sound.

You're pretty confident for a figment of my imagination....

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

Well He said that He would take us out of the Land of Egypt and He did that... Oh, you wanted predictions in terms of physics. And for current-day events. Yeah, God's an arbitrary SOB sometimes.

## Re:Just because the math works doesn't mean it's t (Score:5, Interesting)

I do like the idea of not needing an explanatory tool like "Dark Energy" ... that has always bothered me. Far more than "Dark Matter".

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

I just look at it like a game of Ikaruga [wikipedia.org]... just make sure the dark bullets and ships don't touch your light-oriented ship. Or else you explode violently.

Deriving a Grand Unifying Theory of Everything is probably easier than Ikaruga.

## Information (Score:5, Funny)

So... information wants to be free?

## Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:5, Insightful)

I couldn't begin to assess how plausible this theory is; neither could most of the people on Slashdot. However, I do know the arXiv is not a peer-reviewed journal, which mean that we can't even rely on the peer-review system to gain information on how sound the underlying research is. Many excellent publications appear on arXiv before being published in excellent journals, but some fairly questionable research ends up there as well.

Rather than post completely uninformed comments on the subject, leave that to people in the field.

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:5, Insightful)

It didn't sound like it was research, but rather mathematical theory based on looking at existing principles from a different direction. If there is enough underlying research in newtonian physics and general relativity, then wouldn't that same research also apply here?

Granted, I'm no mathematician, but it just seems a bit cliquish to say "don't pay attention to this" because of where the first publication is happening.

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:4, Insightful)

Hmmm, I don't think "peer review" can be satisfied by "amateur review". Amateurs can sometimes make some interesting contributions, but not usually.

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:5, Informative)

couldbe better reviewed this way but you have to ask - by whom? The whole idea of peer review is that you get "peers", who (provably) know a little something about the field. If you've ventured into the surreal world of physics fora on the intertubes, you will understand my reluctance to put any stock on such "open" reviewing.Your criticism of "cliquishness(?)" would be valid if people were saying that you should grant

Naturea greater benefit of the doubt as compared toJournal of Physicsbut the fact is that Arxivisnon-peer-reviewed and I've seen some doozies on there on par with the awesomely funny crap I get at my university email address (the crackpots mass mail their delusions to the entire faculty/grad student directory at large universitiesHaving said all this, I have been given to understand (by my colleagues in high-energy theory - arguably the most prolific field on Arxiv) and I paraphrase here, that Arxiv is more like a bulletin board where they can pass ideas back and forth on far shorter time scales than in traditional publications. But when it comes to ideas that (they feel) have survived the maelstrom of brainstorming, the final product must be published in a peer reviewed journal as a first step (of many many many more) to entering the field's gestalt.

Think of Arxiv as Wikipedia's sandbox if you will

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:4, Informative)

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

If you've spent any time in academia, you'd know that peer review is a cruel joke.

It's more politics than science. It doesn't matter which country you're in, nor which college, university or lab you're affiliated with. It's all about making sure your paper says the right things to support the fucks (your "peers") who have managed to trick various corporate and government officials into giving them the large grants, especially when their research is total crap. Otherwise, you're ostracized.

After years of see

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:5, Funny)

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:4, Insightful)

And industry has stopped doing original research for a long time now. I've heard tales of woe aplenty from people in so-called "R&D" departments who complain that development times greater than a presidential term of office are simple laughed at in industry these days. Industry has come a long way (mostly hellward

There are many problems with the academic peer review process. The problem you allude to probably even exists in some fields. For the most part, clever researchers find a way around them and visionaries try daily to try to change things for the better. And then there some who

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:4, Interesting)

If you've spent any time in academia, you'd know that peer review is a cruel joke.

It's more politics than science.

Somebody didn't get tenure.

I didn't get tenure either, and there were serious political issues, the first time. But that's not a problem with peer review (which I still am asked to do, occasionally). Most PhD's never get tenure, at least not in a research university. Academia is one bitch of a career path.

I still publish papers, in less-prestigious journals and conferences, mostly peer-reviewed. Some papers are turned down. So it goes...

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

Let me echo this sentiment. I did my PhD in a esoteric corner of Number Theory. In my first position after graduate school, I submitted a number of papers. Waited a minimum of one year for rejections or impossible demands for revision. The handful of others in my area refused to collaborate with me. I left academia.

Seven years later, a student of one of these people who refused to collaborate submits a paper,

and somehow I get to be referee. I turned it around reasonably quick, rejected because it over

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:5, Informative)

Now, I know you didn't actually read my post. If you had, you would have noticed that I wrote, "After years of seeing the high-quality research of others basically shut out by the peer review process, ..."

I find it interesting that you post anonymously, your claims are vague and unsubstantiated, you refuse to even indicate the field of interest we are talking about. I think this is a troll frankly but what the heck...

My wife and quite a few of my friends have been published in peer-reviewed journals. I myself have worked in research labs and around scientists and researchers who regularly publish. I've even contributed to a few peer reviewed papers myself, though my contributions were too small to merit author credit. I'm very familair with the process and the problems with peer reviewed journals. Yes, they can be a bit political and even faddish at times. No, they are not always fair nor is all the critique of the submissions accurate.

That said, it's been my experience that those who are "basically shut out" are almost invariably kooks with ideas that do not stand up to serious scrutiny or who think their ideas are better and/or more important than they actually are. There are lots of journals out there and even relatively weird ideas can almost always still get published. There are various degrees of scrutiny depending on the journal in question. Your "friends" research might not be worthy of Nature or Science or whatever the most prestigious journal is in their given field but I've never personally seen worthy research get completely shut out. There are just too many ways to get published for this to be possible except in rare circumstances.

There were many other researchers who shared my views, and I know several of them who also moved to industry because they got tired of the scam that is academia.

Academia does have it's problems to be sure but calling it a "scam"? Sorry but my own experience says you are most likely just trolling.

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:4, Informative)

Yes and no, in my own experience. Indeed, "fancy" theories will probably get rejected outright. But if you want to publish in a high-profile journal (Nature*, Science*) then politics really make their appearance. Of course this doesn't mean that if you write total crap you'll get published: but that for two identical valuable contributions, politics may favor one with respect to another. At least, I've seen this recently more than once in life sciences. And politics suck, especially when they trump good science.

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

Of course this doesn't mean that if you write total crap you'll get published: but that for two identical valuable contributions, politics may favor one with respect to another.

ONLY in a specific publication. That doesn't mean that the contribution can't get published, it just might not be in Nature. So publish the research elsewhere. If the science is good ultimately it doesn't matter where it is published. Journals often will reject articles because they are judged to not be of wide enough interest for the readership of the journal. Has nothing to do with the quality of the science but it's a perfectly valid reason to choose one article over another.

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:5, Insightful)

Rather than post completely uninformed comments on the subject, leave that to people in the field.

Awwww, don't we get to do anything? We have such expertize in giving completely uninformed comments, who else has such refined skill at not RTFA, probably not even the summary and yet comment as if it was the topic of our PhD thesis in a field we know nothing about? That sort of thing only comes through years of practice and non-studying. No I think we'll leave them to do the informed comments, for the truly abhorrent comments devoid of all facts, correctness and sanity they should leave it to professionals.

## Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score:5, Insightful)

Rather than post completely uninformed comments on the subject, leave that to people in the field.

A million times, NO. Science is for everyone. That doesn't mean everyone is right, or everyone should be listened to, but *EVERYONE* has the right to talk about science, and even be wrong about science.

If instead, everyone was posting comments on the paper as part of the peer-review process, I'd agree. We want to weed out the comments there to those that sufficiently grasp the concepts involved. Hence the term, peer-review. Slashdot is not, however, peer-review. It's a news and social site for nerds. As such, it's entirely out of line to tell people not to comment on a story unless they are "people in the field".

IAAP and I completely agree with you. What GP

shouldhave written instead was: "Rather than post completely uninformed comments on the subject, inform yourself by reading about the subject before commenting out of your ass.Thenpost an insightful/interesting comment or questionabout or even loosely related to TFA(what a mad and novel idea!) instead of indulging in soap box grandstanding".## Summary of comments (Score:5, Funny)

At least half the comments on this story will boil down to one or more of the following:

There. That should save everyone some time.

## Re:Summary of comments (Score:5, Funny)

Well, I think I'll refrain from posting now. Thanks for saving my time.

## Re: (Score:2)

Happy to be of service.

## Re:Summary of comments (Score:5, Insightful)

You assume the destination is more important than the journey, young Grasshopper.

## Re:Summary of comments (Score:4, Funny)

In addition:

Someone is going to say "this violates conservation of energy/conservation of entropy/ blah" (even if it doesn't) and dismiss it. Also ignoring the fact that most new theories does violate something at the time of its discovery at some point

Another person is going to complain that this theory is crap but their favorite 'new thory' is the one, like, I dunno, "it's turtles all the way down" and this respects conservation of charge.

A "christian scientist" (LOL) is going to spin this as proof of Jesus or something.

## Re: (Score:2)

Which it is: given that the volume of the universe is infinite there must be an infinite number of worlds. But not all of them are populated; therefore only a finite number are. Any finite number divided by infinity is zero, therefore the average population of the Universe is zero, and so the total population must be zero. So anyone I meet must be a product of my deranged imagination.

Thank to Douglas Adams insight for the above.

## Re: (Score:2)

Spoil sport!

## Re:Summary of comments (Score:5, Funny)

Don't forget "correlation is not causation!"

## Re:Summary of comments (Score:5, Insightful)

just because every science article like this has a high number of posts saying "correlation is not causation" does not mean that science articles cause "correlation is not causation" posts. Correlation is not causation.

## way cool (Score:5, Interesting)

FTA:"Starting from first principles, using only space independent concepts like

energy, entropy and temperature, it is shown that Newtons laws appear naturally and

practically unavoidably. Gravity is explained as an entropic force caused by a change

in the amount of information associated with the positions of bodies of matter. "

and "... the holographic hypothesis provides

a natural mechanism for gravity to emerge. It allows direct contact interactions

between degrees of freedom associated with one material body and another, since all

bodies inside a volume can be mapped on the same holographic screen."

If this is proven correct - that gravity and inertia are emergent from information entropy

and statistics, it would be very, very exciting if for no other reason than it would be yet

another support (probably the strongest yet) for the holographic universe description /

the 'reduced dimensionality' description. This could also resolve some of the impossibly

inconsistent problems in physics integrating gravity with microscopic forces and spooky

effects like action at a distance.

So far all we've had to support a holographic universe is black hole physics and string

theory conjectures.

It's mind warping to imagine that the whole of our existence necessarily depends

on encodings that are 2-dimensional in nature. If this is the case, what a world

it would be. Philosophers and religious folk will argue over what that might mean.

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

Philosophers and religious folk will argue over what that might mean.And while they are all deciding whether God/god/Xenu programmed the universe via voice command or a PADD, I'll be working to convince the Creator that I am self-aware, thus securing a free warp-capable shuttlecraft!

On a more serious note, as is always the case, this "new" line of thought seems to be a better description of something we observe, yet still constrained by our ability to model and describe things. As IANATP (I am not a theor

## Re:way cool (Score:5, Interesting)

what does this potentially bring us

The paper posits that gravity is an entropic force, not a fundamental one. He does this by starting with the assumption of a reduced dimensionality universe with one emergent direction for space and shows that as a mass approaches the holographic boundary he can combine statistical mechanics equations and Einsteins equations for mass & energy (throw in a couple hand waves about average energy and degrees of freedom) and he derives Newton's laws and more.

This is fundamentally a different view of how gravity, inertia and space arise compared to the current "fundamental forces" understanding in physics. An accurate and testable understanding of gravity could potentially lead to areas impossible to predict: anti-gravity, energy production, warping and changing space, usable action at a distance for communication or transportation.

This is analogous to the shift in understanding when humans understood and then used the electrical force. Who could have dreamed before electric power of mobile phones, global Internet connectivity, HDTV, Twitter, Superbowl broadcasts, images from Mars, superconducting MRI coils, particle accelerators, etc. etc. A functional understanding of gravity could be even more revolutionary than the change in the human condition from understanding electricity.

## Re:way cool (Score:4, Insightful)

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

Insight.

You know, when Newton figured out the fundamentals of physics, he didn't do so to produce new shiny toys, but to understand the universe. Newton was philosopher, not engineer.

## Textbooks (Score:5, Funny)

Damn it. I knew I should have sold back my college Physics textbooks when I had the chance...

## Golden ratio (Score:2, Redundant)

## Re:Golden ratio (Score:5, Funny)

I have a gut feeling that golden ratio will fit into all this somewhere.

Provided the golden ratio is exactly 42.

## Not at an all an expert but... (Score:4, Interesting)

From http://www.scientificblogging.com/hammock_physicist/holographic_hot_horizons [scientificblogging.com] the first of the two blog entries:

The value for G comes out correctly if you enter for Abit the value corresponding to a Planck area. However, the Planck area (G/c3) is defined in terms of Newton's gravitational constant G. Have we not introduced a circular reasoning here? I am actually not sure.

This does seem like an issue. However, it looks like you can do this with G as a variable. The upshot then is not that you get the right value for G at the end but that you get Newton's inverse square law (up to a scalar) which by itself would be really impressive even if one can't a priori get the value of G.

Obligatory disclaimer: I'm a math grad student not a physicist so I could be completely wrong here.

## Re:Not at an all an expert but... (Score:5, Insightful)

The upshot then is not that you get the right value for G at the end but that you get Newton's inverse square law (up to a scalar) which by itself would be really impressive even if one can't a priori get the value of G.

The inverse square relation comes easily from the fact of 3 spatial dimensions. The gravitational flux from a mass is spread out over a surface of a sphere, whose area is proportional to the square of the radius. It is a perfect analogy of electric fields.

It is possible to derive the same form in many different ways. It is a nice exercise to play with alternative theories of gravity, and see how they are similar or different. However, general relativity has a crucial deviation from the inverse square law, which results in the anomalous orbit of Mercury, for example. This does not mean GR is the final correct answer, of course.

## Re: (Score:3)

This isn't really a correct interpretation. Although it's true that a slight deviation from 1/r2 in a force law will give you precession of perihelion like Mercury's, that isn't a correct way of

## Re: (Score:2)

## Awesome conversation starter! (Score:5, Funny)

"He does not consider gravity as fundamental, but as an emergent phenomenon that arises from a deeper microscropic reality."

If that doesn't make you the life of the party in one fell swoop, NOTHING ever will.

## Re:Awesome conversation starter! (Score:5, Funny)

"He does not consider gravity as fundamental, but as an emergent phenomenon that arises from a deeper microscropic reality."

If that doesn't make you the life of the party in one fell swoop, NOTHING ever will.

No kidding. Chicks really dig my emergent phenomenon.

## Re:Awesome conversation starter! (Score:5, Funny)

No kidding. Chicks really dig my emergent phenomenon.

...but they always get deeply disappointed at the microscopic reality :(

## Getting paranoia to a new level (Score:5, Funny)

## Comments from Lubos Motl (Score:5, Informative)

## Re:Comments from Lubos Motl (Score:4, Funny)

He's 'undecided' because he hasn't been observed yet.

Thanks, I'll be here all week...

## My crazy idea about gravity. (Score:3, Interesting)

I had this crazy idea about gravity. I've always though gravity was a "push" rather then a "pull". The way I see it, matter (quarks and other subatomic particles) doesn't occupy space/time, but rather displaces it. Meanwhile, space/time is trying displace the void that is matter. It's sort of like having a sheet of rubber and then creating a small pin prick in it. If I try hard enough, I could push my finger through it, but the rubber will try and displace that bigger hole I'm creating.

Which leads me to a system of proportional displacement. If the distance of space/time is greater on the outside vs between two objects, they get "pushed" toward each other. However, if the distance of space/time between two objects becomes great enough, they pulled apart. Kind of like how galaxies coalesce stars, but galaxies them selves are so far away from each other, the entire universe gets expanded as we speak.

Anyways, just may crazy messed up idea. No proof what-so-ever to back it up. Granted, I'm not ignorant to the real math a science we know today. After all, the written laws of physics is what gets us to the moon and mars. :)

## Put theory to test in real world (Score:5, Funny)

I think we could put this to the test in the real world. We could gather various entities, some of which are known to have a very low concentration of information, like marketing people and bureaucrats, and see whether they cause a local reduction in gravity.

## Obligatory HGGTG (Score:2)

"Hotblack Desiato's chief research accountant has recently been appointed Professor of Neomathematics at the University of Maximegalon, in recognition of both his General and his Special Theories of Disaster Area Tax Returns, in which he proves that the whole fabric of the space-time continuum is not merely curved, it is in fact totally bent."

## Potentially disastrous to science fiction writers (Score:3, Insightful)

If gravity is truly not fundamental and works as described by the paper, then you can kiss the antigravity machine goodbye!

## First Pluto, then gravity (Score:5, Funny)

## It would go a long way to explaining a lot (Score:3, Interesting)

## Did anyone misread.. (Score:3, Funny)

## Descriptive analysis of "here is two" (Score:3, Interesting)

But 'here is two', um, seriously? English is my third language and I've yet to have problems with using is for singular and are for plural.

The traditional analysis supporting "here are two" treats the sentence as having been inverted into verb-subject order, an unusual order for English. Dialects admitting "here is two", on the other hand, treat "here" as a singular subject referring to "the set presented here", in the same sense that "everyone" is singular, and "two" becomes the complement.

## Re: (Score:2)

Raindrops are spheres too. They aren't actually "raindrop" shaped.

## Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

Clearly, the author is aware that a good theory is testable, as that paragraph admits that it's not at that stage right now. That doesn't mean it's meaningless, as most any idea starts out pretty vague.

## Re:What is "information"? (In that context.) (Score:5, Interesting)

Dude! Information is a perfectly useful theoretical property in theoretical physics, directly related to entropy. Observe, for instance, all the cool stuff Stephen Hawking has done is related to black hole entropy in some manner or another. (Black holes have to have entropy, otherwise you could violate the second law of thermodynamics by tossing stuff into them.... but if they have entropy, they should emit radiation.... hey, guys, look, a way for black holes to emit radiation and evaporate!!)

As Jacob Bekenstein put it, the trend in physics is to "regard the physical world as made of information, with energy and matter as incidentals." (Bekenstein came up with the Bekenstein bound, a fundamental limit on the amount of information/entropy which can be contained within a space. If you could come up with a system with more entropy in a given space, then you might be able to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics by tossing it into a black hole.)

In his theory, gravity exists because of a difference in concentration of

informationin the empty space between two masses and its surroundings.In his theory, gravity exists because of a difference in concentration of

entropyin the empty space between two masses and its surroundings.Same darned thing.