Sep 1, 2012

Questioning the Foundations of Physics to Achieve Interstellar Travel: Part 1

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

Would It Keep Us Awake At Night?
It is not sufficient to just challenge the foundations of physics just for the theoretical interest. To make the challenge come alive we need a goal that will keep us awake at night at the possibility of new unthinkable inventions that will take man where no man has gone before.

Is interstellar travel possible? I have found that in trying to answer this question, I am forced to challenge the foundations of physics. This question provides a vessel to discuss how to challenge, and if we have found some of the answers, there are still more questions.

The two most important questions in my opinion are, what is force?, and what is the difference between ‘travel’ and ‘arrival’? That is, why do we need to ‘travel’, why can’t we just ‘arrive’?

I started questioning the foundations of physics in 1999. In attempting to answer the question, what is force?, in 2007 I discovered a new formula for gravitational acceleration g=τc2 that does not require us to know the mass of the planet or star. τ is the change in time dilation divided by the change in distance. This is an immense discovery, never before accomplished in the 346-year history, since Newton, of the physics of gravitational fields, as all theories on gravity require us to know the mass of the planet or star.

Gerard ‘t Hooft the 1999 Nobel Laureate showed in 2008 that gravitational forces can be present in space even where planets and stars are not. My work goes a step further. We can determine the acceleration present in space without any knowledge of the planets or stars that cause this gravitational field (Solomon, 2011).

A New Schema To Advance Propulsion Physics
Unlike Newtonian gravity or General Relativity, the importance of the shape of spacetime lies in the fact that it informs us of what time dilation and length contraction are, as these two parameters are the minimum information one requires to determine gravitational acceleration. Therefore, the formalism in this essay will be different from that of Newtonian gravity or General Relativity, as a tensor treatment is outside the scope of this essay.

A schema is an outline of a model of a complex reality to assist in explaining this reality. The work of various researchers in the gravity field can be presented by a conceptual formalism referred to as source-field-effect schema. The source-field-effect schema corresponds to the mass-gravity-acceleration phenomenon, respectively.

Puthoff’s (Amoroso et al, 2002) source-field schema describes how the mass source could create a gravitational field; how General Relativity’s curved spacetime could be produced by the polarizability of vacuum in the vicinity of a mass. Rueda & Haisch (Amoroso et al, 2002) source schema is about mass only. They discuss inertia mass, mass as a field and Higgs boson as the origin of mass.

Bondi (1957) suggested the possibility of a field schema not requiring mass. Bondi made two observations when reviewing gravitation as a theory and suggested that mass may not be critical to a theory of gravitation. First, as “long as relativity is considered purely as a theory of gravitation, the inertial and passive gravitational masses do not in fact appear.” This is consistent with the fact that gravitational acceleration (but not force) is independent of the mass of the object being accelerated. His second observation was that “active gravitational mass occurs for the first time as a constant of integration in Schwarzschild’s solution” suggesting the possibility that this constant of integration could have other experimentally untested interpretations.

One could conjecture that mass is a proxy for number of quarks and therefore a proxy for quark interaction as the source of gravitational fields. Bondi did not explicitly say it, but maybe one should look into other mechanisms for gravitational field sources. Hooft (2008) takes another step in Bondi’s direction with his source-field schema. He states that the “absence of matter no longer guarantees local flatness” that the absence of mass does not guarantee that acceleration will not be present. In effect the field is being disengaged from its source. Wagoner (1998) describes a local-field schema, how a gravitational field “emerges from a local analysis” leading to a broad class of metric theories.

Solomon’s (2009) schema proposed a different local analysis, one where local field distortions in spacetime lead to a local particle distortions, and alter the ‘shape’ of the particle causing the center of mass of the particle to shift. This shifting is seen as acceleration g and is governed by g = τc2, where τ is the change in time dilation divided by the change in distance across this particle; thereby providing a mathematical solution to Hooft’s (2008) assertion that “absence of matter no longer guarantees local flatness”.

To be continued … Part 2 of this Essay is here.


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.

  • CB on September 1, 2012 7:39 pm

    I concur with the goals of your group. As a practicing physicist, inventor, and industrialist, a significant amount of my time is spent on these matters. Have you considered the work of Miguel Alcubierre and its implications on the shape of spacetime, particularly in light of current work in negative index of refraction and metamaterials? The latter offers a route to achieving Alcubirre’s work in the real world. Contact me by e-mail if interested as I do not participate in any social media sites, Linkedin included. I was on a government intelligence panel on future technologies with Puthoff a number of years ago. CB

  • Thomas Golz on September 1, 2012 7:49 pm

    In 1959 Dewey Larson published a GUT called the Reciprocal System. For example, it prepicted/explained Quasars & Pulsars prior to their identification as such. The theory says space/time is expanding as a uniformly distributed positive scalar, at the speed of light. Gravity is therefore NOT a force at all (although the simple math of the force equation does nicely discribe the motion), but a uniformly distributed inward scalar motion against this outward expansion. A GUT with two motions, not four forces. It fully explains everything from intermolecular distances, exactly what gravity is, to globular cluster stability from first principles.
    If you want an interstelar drive, one needs to make the space/time expansion non-uniform (non-randomly distributed).


  • GaryChurch on September 1, 2012 7:57 pm

    I think you are all on the wrong blog. The pseudo scientific baloney blogs can usually be found by searching “Tesla time machine” or “Alien technology.“
    Good luck with that changing the laws of physics stuff.

  • Benjamin T. Solomon on September 1, 2012 9:04 pm

    Gary Church, you are doing an excellent job of discrediting yourself. Thank you for your efforts. I could not have done it better.

  • Gary Michael Church on September 1, 2012 9:34 pm

    Solomon– you are a quack
    Why don’t you and the other 2 stooges go where the kind of people who like your bizarro rambling will find it. No one who comes here is going to read it.

  • chieko on September 1, 2012 11:12 pm

    @Gary…I did.

  • Armacedon on September 2, 2012 2:34 am

    @Gary…I did read it too. I support the efforts of author and others. Putting everything in question, is absolutely necessary in order to make a real breakthrough discovery.
    @Benjamin T. Solomon please keep up working and exploring. I liked the article.

  • j merton on September 2, 2012 4:22 am

    & so did I. To science is to question everything. Otherwise it’s just nescience.

  • GaryChurch on September 2, 2012 11:56 am

    3 more fans of gravity modification; more reason to believe we are selecting ourselves for extinction. Like faking the moon landing and cold fusion, there is always some foolish distraction to occupy our attention while doomsday approaches.

  • Benjamin T. Solomon on September 2, 2012 3:29 pm

    CB, thanks, I’ll contact you soon.

    Can you elaborate more on what this “government intelligence panel on future technologies” conclusions were?

    Also, I did briefly look at Alcubierre’s work. In Part 2, I’ll explain my reasoning for trying a different approach to physics that is not related to relativistic, quantum or string theories.

    If you stay close to the experimental results, mass cannot be accelerated past the velocity of light. So concepts like warp speed (my apologies to scifi writers) or 1,000+ velocity of light cannot be realized. A velocity greater than velocity of light cannot occur in Nature, so I’m doubtful that an Alcubierre-type drive can be physically realized.

    One needs to note per Prof. Morris Kline’s “Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty” that mathematics has become so sophisticated that it can now be used to prove anything.

  • Benjamin T. Solomon on September 2, 2012 3:34 pm

    Thomas Golz, I had not heard of Dewey Larson until today. I googled him and found this link,

    After a quick look at the website, I found I could not figure out what his thesis was in terms of ‘concrete’ physical events or processes. Maybe his way of thinking is so far different from mine I could not relate to it.

    My views are much closer to relativity but not the same as.

  • Benjamin T Solomon on September 3, 2012 9:34 am

    Thanks chieko, Armacedon and j merton .

    I have posted Part 2, here:….vel-part-2

  • Mirela on September 22, 2012 12:22 am

    39 4−19−12 replies: Lets start with Newton and his law of gvatiry. Newton wondered why Apple fell down, why it didnt stay there or why not move up? Well, he thought, probably Earth exerted a force. So everything falls down on earth. Then he extended the same principle and found that the same force of Sun caused planets to move around it, and so on. We had Newton’s laws for several centuries, but without the answer to the question WHY? Why or How did a massive object pull down smaller ones?The theory we have today is that Gravity is NOT a force like what Newton had thought, but instead it is the geometry of space time. Objects in free fall dont feel any force as such. You feel gvatiry only when you resist it, either by being on land resisting the pull towards the center of the earth, or on a rocket trying to escape gvatiry. But still we do not know why or how the presence of mass or momentum-energy causes the geometry of space-time to change ie we are not aware of the actual mechanism involved in this behavior. But we know that it does happen.Now coming to how Einstein thought that mass-energy causes space-time curvature. First we have special relativity and its success. And then Einstein’s attempt to introduce gvatiry and non-uniform motion into it, which led to GR. What puzzled Einstein here was that the mass calculated by using inertia (Newton’s second law of motion), and the mass calculated using gvatiry (Newton’s law of gvatiry) were one and the same. So he guessed they must be indeed related to each other. Infact it was this equivalence which made Galileo easily explain why all objects fall at the same rate.Now that we have the equivalence principle and the famous elevator thought experiment which proves this, let us consider the path of a light beam in an accelerated elevator, and as we know it will appear to be bent because the elevator would have moved up by the time the light reaches the other wall of the elevator. Right? So if the equivalence principle is really true, then light should bend even under the influence of gvatiry. Isnt it?And if it does, what else can be the conclusion other than that gvatiry causes space (space-time) to bend? Since gvatiry itself is caused by mass, it should be the momentum-energy that causes spacetime to curve or bend.Infact it was one of the first predictions of GR which was then also tested successfully during a total solar eclipse, where in it was found that Sun caused light passing around it to bend. –8Was this answer helpful?

  • Benjamin T. Solomon on September 22, 2012 12:51 pm

    Thanks, Mirela, for your comments. True, but …

    The real problem is not that GR or QM does not work. The real problem is that we cannot develop ‘reasonable’ propulsion engines with these theories. You don’t have to listen to me, just google and figure the costs yourself from the info available on the internet. It will astound you.

    The other problem is the claimed technologies are outlandish. For example, with current theories you end up carting around 1,000,000 tons of black hole matter to propel 1 ton of real matter. Really? Our current 40-year chemical rocket technologies can do better than that!

    We need to debunk a lot of the stuff out there not because they don’t work in theory but because many of these proposed technologies will bankrupt governments before they can get started, assuming that is they are technologically feasible.

    Therefore, before we can even get to considering realistic concepts, and alternative theories, we have to debunk much of the stuff out there. Remember, the US is no longer alone in its endeavors to reach the stars, and if we keep harping on outlandish or economically infeasible projects we WILL be left behind.