To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:
1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.
In Part 1, we learned that Einstein was phenomenally successful because his work was deeply meshed with the experimental evidence of the day. In Part 2, we learned that to be successful at developing new useful theories and discovering new fundamental properties of Nature that will bring forth new interstellar travel technologies, we need to avoid hypotheses that are not grounded in experimental data, as these are purely mathematical conjectures.
In my book on gravity modification I classified physics hypotheses and theories into 3 categories, as follows:
A. Type 1: The Millennium Theories
These are theories that would require more than a 100 years and up to 1,000 years to prove or disprove. Mathematically correct but inscrutable with physical verifiable experiments, even in the distant future.
String and quantum gravity theories fall into this category. Why? If we cannot even figure out how to engineer-modify 4-dimensional spacetime, how are we going to engineer-modify a 5-, 6-, 9-, 11- or 23-dimensional universe?
How long would it take using string theories to modify gravity? Prof. Michio Kaku in his April 2008 Space Show interview had suggested several hundred years. Dr. Eric Davis in his G4TV interview had suggested more than 100 years maybe 200 years. So rightly, by their own admission these are Millennium Theories. It should be noted that Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize 1965) & Sheldon Lee Glashow (Nobel Prize 1979) were against string theory, but their opinions did not prevail.
Even hypotheses that conjecture time travel should be classified as Millennium Theories because they require ‘exotic’ matter. John Eades, a retired CERN senior scientist, in his article Antimatter Pseudoscience, states in no uncertain terms that antimatter is impossible to handle and create in real quantities. Then what about exotic matter?
For that matter any hypothesis that requires antimatter or exotic matter should be classified a Millennium Theory.
B. Type 2: The 100-Year Theories
These are theories that show promise of being verified with technologies that would require several decades to engineer, test and prove.
These types of theories do not lend themselves to an immediate engineering solution. The engineering solution is theoretically feasible but a working experiment or technology is some decades away, because the experimental or physical implementation is not fully understood.
Note there is this gap. We do not have 100-Year Theories in our repertoire of physical theories to keep the pipeline supplied with new and different ways to test the physical Universe.
C. Type 3: The Engineering Feasible Theories
These are theories that lend themselves to an engineering solution, today. They are falsifiable today, with our current engineering technologies. They can be tested and verified in the laboratory if one knows what to test for and how to test for these experimental observations.
Today Relativity falls into this category because we have the engineering sophistication to test Einstein’s theory, and it has been vindicated time and time again. But, there is a very big ‘but’. But Relativity cannot give us gravity modification or new propulsion theories, because it requires mass. We need to stand on Einstein’s shoulders to take the next step forward.
Therefore, if we are to become an interstellar civilization, in the spirit of the Kline Directive, we need to actively seek out and explore physics in such a manner as to bring forth Engineering Feasible and 100-Year Theories.
We need to ask ourselves, what can we do, to migrate the theoretical physics research away from Theory of Everything research to the new field of propulsion physics? Gravity modification is an example of propulsion physics. Here is the definition of gravity modification, from my book:
“Gravity modification is defined as the modification of the strength and/or direction of the gravitational acceleration without the use of mass as the primary source of this modification, in local space time. It consists of field modulation and field vectoring. Field modulation is the ability to attenuate or amplify a force field. Field vectoring is the ability to change the direction of this force field.”
Note by this definition requiring no mass, relativity, quantum mechanics and string theories cannot be used to theorize propulsion physics. Therefore, the urgent need to find genuinely new ways in physics, to achieve interstellar travel.
Can we get there? The new physics? To answer this question let me quote Dr. Andrew Beckwith, Astrophysicist, Ph.D.(Condensed Matter Theory) who wrote the Foreword to my book:
“I believe that Quantum Mechanics is an embedded artifact of a higher level deterministic theory, i.e. much in the same vein as G. t’Hooft, the Nobel prize winner. In this sense, what Benjamin has done is to give a first order approximation as to what Quantum Mechanics is actually a part of which may in its own way shed much needed understanding of the foundations of Quantum Mechanics well beyond the ‘Pilot model’ of DICE 2010 fame (this is a conference on the foundations of Quantum Mechanics and its extension given once every two years in Pisa , Italy, organized by Thomas Elze).”
Why does Dr. Andrew Beckwith reference quantum mechanics in a book on gravity modification?
Because my investigation into gravity modification led me to the conclusion that gravitation acceleration is independent of the internal structure of the particle. It does not matter if the particle consists of other particles, strings, pebbles or rocks. This led me to ask the question, so what is the internal structure of a photon? I found out that the photon probability is not Gaussian but a new distribution, Var-Gamma. Therefore I believe Robert Nemiroff’s three photon observation will be vindicated by other physicist-researchers sifting through NASA’s archives for gamma-ray burst.
Previous post in the Kline Directive series.
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.
17 Comments so far
Interesting article. As a non-expert on the subject — though we know what Carl Sagan said about experts — I have questions and thoughts.
The way I remember it, a number of scientist said it would take hundreds of years to unravel the genome project, but then, who turned out to make the correct prediction “Ray Kurzweil”. And I wonder if the author has read Arthur C. Clark’s book “Profitles of The Future” where he provides evidence that when in history individuals have said that something can’t be done, they were invariably wrong.
I agree with Ray Kurzweil’s presage that mankind will accomplish it all much sooner than linear thinkers have imagined…between 2045 and the end of this century. And if Ray Kurzweil’s singularity does take place, then the creation of virtual realities may render interstellar travel less desirable. Why, because the laws of physics are ubiquitous and life may be able to render any possible reality in the universe without wanting, needing, or risking going there…any time soon.
Regardless, the author’s ideas are interesting and should be pursued until the singularity does change the meaning and purpose of life.
Thanks Bennie Beaver for your comments. I agree “in history individuals have said that something can’t be done, they were invariably wrong”.
We have to say more often that “it cannot tbe done”, and someone will sit up and solve these problems and make it feasible.
This was more generalized than your previous post.
…It’s impossible to predict our future. Sometimes engineering (art) precedes science (understanding) as in the case of the light bulb.
The thing is, this thing, this property of stuff which we call ‘mass’ is a part of many things such as an electron or proton or neutron.
On a large scale like with apples and planets, it seems that mass attracts mass, accelerating them toward each other. (Newton.)
But the relationship, or the equation penned by Newton did not fit in the case of the planet Mercury.
So, along comes Einstein who realizes that a nano second and foot are measurements of the same thing and he increases the number of dimensions of a point to four. Holy saints alive! The Pythagorean theorem works with not just 2 or three dimensions but 4, or even more.
It has to do with the speed of light, but basically mass is thought of as deforming the otherwise regular shape of space much like a dent in the floor effects a ball rolling by.
But the effect of this is actually pretty small, and the force is so weak you can’t hardly notice it, …accept with really big stuff like the earth where this is measured as your weight. But hold up two rocks and you can’t feel the force between them at all.
When we get down to microscopic scales, the forces are even smaller, and by the time we are down in size to an atom, forget it. The ‘gravitational force’ between two atoms likely has never been measured.
That’s the holy grail now. Quantum gravity or String Theory doesn’t make the old pair (Relativity and Quantum Mechanics) wrong, it seeks to unify them. From a math point of view it must be consistent, and from a physicist point of view it must fit experimental or observed data.
Historically, we have unified the electric force with the magnetic force and later the weak force and strong force, and this incredibly weak force we call gravity is the final holdout. The holy grail is to include relativity within quantum mechanics, and from the perspective of a layman, you might as well regard it as having been solved except for a few details.
Did you know that relativity (using the equations of…) is going on with GPS signals? For the GPS system to work properly the relativistic effect of the earth’s mass on the signals must be taken into consideration and compensated for in order to precisely know where you are? The very shape of space around the earth is distorted, which effects the length of the signal from satellite orbit to GPS receiver. —Some might think all this Relativity or Quantum stuff is just theory, but it’s more than that. It’s extremely accurate and used by engineers much the way a carpenter uses what he knows of geometry to make things, and it’s been around now for many many decades.
Again, the extremely feeble nature of gravity makes it difficult to study. Gravity waves have yet to be ‘seen’ in an experiment, and I know of no anomalies or violations of the current (relativity) view. So, in essence, it isn’t broke like Newtons was (by Mercury’s obit.)
If you have an alternative equation to even Newton’s I’d like to see it applied to the motion of (say) a rock falling toward earth from (say) a thousand feet up. Without including the mass of the earth and the rock, how do you determine the force that acts upon them which is proportionate to that mass? Obviously it would be different on the moon having less mass, so how do you ignore mass and account for the difference in acceleration?
You just proved to me you have not read my paper.
Now tell me something new. You sound like a broken record that cannot get out of it’s groove.
I thought I did read you paper. I followed the link, but didn’t find anything more that what you posted here. So where do I find your real paper?
But read or not, you could still answer my question instead of saying I sound like a broken record.
How old are you? Do you know calculus?
OK, I’ve read the 25 pages available online (must have hit the wrong link before…) and still didn’t see anything informative. Are you trying to duplicate the work of Podkletnov? Good luck, let me know how that works out for you. LOL
Re calculus. Why? Do you need someone to teach you calculus?
Re paper. Do you not know the difference between an abstract and a paper? Or how to use a journal’s website?
Re Calculus: No, I studied it at SWU back in the mid 70’s.
—Now, ‘tit for tat’ & after the fact, I ask you again: Do you know calculus?
Re: Paper: I guess I clicked the wrong link the first time because it was neither an abstract nor paper but a copy of what you have here on another page, similar to how your next posting is again just a copy of something you have posted elsewhere.
Yes, I know the difference, and I’ve read the first 25 pages which you seem to have put together, but found no explanation, no answer to the question I asked previously, before you scolded me for not reading it.
Who deleted FDavies last comment? By doing so you are providing a misleading picture of the discussion. If I can take other people describing my work as ‘nonsense’ so should you.
My previous 3 comments refer to an FDavies who did not appear to make sense of what he was saying. Someone censored FDavies comments to make him appear smarter than his commenting would appear, so I’ve removed his remaining ‘intelligent’ sounding comment.
I wasn’t being rude, but found the replies of Benjamin to be both defensive and just a little rude. As he has not provided a reasonable reply, I am assuming the worst, …that while he can quite from wikipdedia, he really doesn’t have a handle on the math required for an intelligent discussion of the material.
FDavies, that is easy for you to say now that you have removed your comments! You are doing what some 3rd world governments do, remove the evidence then claim your are right!
And you have the gall to say that I don’t “have a handle on the math” when you don’t know the difference between an Abstract and a Full Paper. Further you don’t know how to navigate a physics journal website. Is that your idea of an informed and logical discussion on how to get interstellar travel going?
If you don’t know how to read an author’s book I suggest you hold your tongue.
In future I suggest you don’t mess around with comments on this blog.
I’d like to thank Lifeboat Foundation for taking the trouble to undelete and unspam all of FDavies comments.
FDavies is just not worth the trouble, he doesn’t know what he is reading, how to navigate a physics journal website correctly, and last of all from what his description of ‘my’ paper, I can only conclude he has read the wrong paper. And he studied where?
Benjamin, how about we make this about your work instead of guessing about me? And by the way, CWU is Central Washington University.
I asked if you knew calculus. …It’s a simple question you can answer with a yes or no. …I’ll also now ask if you have studied logic.
When I first posted the single word comment :nonsense, I meant to say that I did not find what you wrote to make sense. Yes, the stuff you have copied from wikipedia or elsewhere might, but what you were personally saying did not.
Any first year physics or calculus student can come up with Newtons equations to express a falling object, such as a rock dropped from a plane. You have stated that you don’t need to include mass in this, and I have yet to see such an equation which would say how fast the rock falls without including the mass of the rock and the earth.
So how about we act like grown ups and talk about your equations instead of wasting time slamming me for clicking the wrong link?
Or could it be that you don’t have any?
FDavies, since you comment on my work without reading it, I give you fair warning, in future I will delete all your comments on my blog posts, whether they sound sensible or not.
Franky, I pity you. You don’t read all my posts and therefore arrive at an illogical conclusion before asking questions.
That’s a subtle way of thniknig about it.