How Magnetic Fields Can Bend Space

According to classical concepts in Physics, Gravitational Fields can bend space, while Magnetic Fields are orthogonal to them, and as long as that model does not break, no intensity of Magnetic Field, will do what a Gravitation Field does.

But there are many ways in which the classical theories of Physics have been replaced by more-controversial ones, based on Quantum Mechanics.

(Revised 10/19/2016)

One subject which Quantum-Mechanics describes, is that of Virtual Particles. And this is my best stab at explaining ‘how they work':

The ‘normal state’ of matter, is to have positive energy, which is really just a confusing way to say that matter has positive mass, since mass and energy are equivalent, and since photons, that are generally perceived as only consisting of energy, can collide with nuclei, and cause matter-antimatter particle-pairs to be created, the combined mass of which must not exceed the energy of the incident gamma-ray photon.

This concept of matter possibly having positive energy can be misread, because the particle in question could be an electron, the electrical charge of which is defined as negative. This negative electrical charge does not prevent the electron from being positive matter, in the sense that its electrical properties are orthogonal to its mass, as a property.

But there was a famous Physicist named Dirac, who discovered quite by accident, that in correspondence with the positive-energy / mass -state of a particle, a negative-energy state is also ‘possible’, because that negative state by itself does not lead to contradictions.

The ‘inverse electron’ is positively charged, and opposite the regular electron in every way, including that the inverse one has positive charge, (and negative mass and energy). If the electron was left-handed, the positron will be right-handed.

Quite by accident, Dirac had discovered antimatter.

(Edit 05/25/2017 : It should be pointed out that this initial theory of Antimatter stands in contradiction with the modern, observed fact, that antimatter has positive mass, even though in some ways, it’s supposed to exist in opposition to ‘regular matter’. Hence, the paradox has already been commented on in depth, that while in the laboratory, Scientists are only able to convert energy into matter and antimatter simultaneously, the observed Universe consists almost entirely of matter.

Scientists cannot explain why this inconsistency takes place; they can only measure that it does.

It’s assumed that the reader is already familiar with this, and this posting is designed to have a liberal look at the subject, which could open up ways to rethink it. Trying to rethink a subject, while clinging to every assumption we may make about it, will usually not lead to any new insights. )

But under normal circumstances, the properties of empty space are defined such, that the energy-state of the electrons equals zero, which simply means that they do not exist. Yet, there is some small probability, that both a negative a positive-energy electron exist simultaneously, yet temporarily. Over slightly longer distances, relative to their distances of uncertainty, their properties cancel out. “Virtual Particle Phenomena” arise, when these particle-properties fail to cancel out completely. This usually requires some catalyst to happen, that catalyst having to consist of positive energy.

An extremely strong magnetic field – which would have to be stronger, even, than the magnetic field of a regular neutron star – is capable of evoking an asymmetry, in the paired, virtual particles of empty space. And then, if the magnetic field becomes as strong as that observed belonging to a type of start called a ‘magnetar’, a gamma-ray photon that crosses it, can cause a particle-antiparticle pair to be formed, which consume the photon, and which promptly annihilate, thus leaving behind two or more photons, that are less-energetic than the original photon was.

And so by distorting the relationship between a particle and its inverse, as belonging to a virtual-particle pair, a magnetic field can in fact have an effect on empty space. I do not know whether this meets the criteria of distorting space adequately.

Dirk

I have a piece of personal speculation to add. It might be that Dirac had an incorrect way of working with this subject.

Continue reading How Magnetic Fields Can Bend Space

A Brief History of Time

I recently took part of a socially-oriented group-reading, using an excerpt from the Steve Hawking book “A Brief History of Time”. This was a book which I had not read before, but which for some reason, our group chose to in to, on Chapter 10, which I believe is a chapter, in which the author tries to explain, ‘What is the theory of everything, with emphasis on Gravity?’

I think that one aspect of this book which was not taken seriously enough, would have been precisely, to present it as one interpretation of Physics. I think that as much as Science and Physics is supposed to be objective, this extremely broad field is in fact subject to fashion trends.

And so there is one example from this Chapter 10, which I would like to use, to exemplify of Physics is ripe with fashion. Steven Hawking tries to explain, why and why not Gravity has been incorporated into the Unified Theory of Physics.

Steven Hawking points out, that there have been false dawns in the evolution of Science, but that we are making progress, including in our understanding of Gravity. But Gravity has always had as its main drawback, the fact that it lends itself the least, to interpretation according to Quantum Mechanics.

That problem began in the middle of the 20th century, when Physics was making a turn away from theories that can be called the Classical Theories, based on Fields – hence, the Albert Einstein ambition to produce a Unified Field Theory – in favor of the particle-based Universe, which now dominates the current definitions of the Universe, and which has arisen out of a relatively sudden desire to translate all Physics knowledge, into particle-based, QM knowledge equivalents.

Scientists have always been quick to point out, that the particle explanation of EM radiation is easy, in the existence of Photons. The explanation for the Strong Nuclear Force has been easy, either in the form of Quarks, or in the form of Gluons. But then Scientists were at an initial lack for gravity, in response to which it was simply stated ‘Gravity is mediated by a Graviton.’

Nobody ever explained what the behavior of a suspected Graviton was supposed to be, to result in what is observed as gravity. And the way Steven Hawking responds to this in his book, is to suggest that Scientists cheat a little bit, by adapting their theories to observed facts. In fact, If Science does not explain observed facts, it becomes useless.

Gravity acts on all the objects of the Universe, over great distances, without any certification from Humans, as being QM-conform. But when Physicists were asked in the 1970s, to explain how, and to make use of the construct of a Graviton, they actually started to build a concept of “Super Gravity”.

There is a reason, why I had not heard of Super Gravity, before the chapter-reading. As an individual, I could simply be satisfied that Gravity had not been adequately explained, in terms of actual Gravitons. But professional Scientists do not have this luxury, because they always need to find the answers, where questions are still unanswered.

And so in the 1970s, they started to build a concept of Super Gravity, according to which Gravity was no longer caused by a Graviton alone, but rather by a Group of Particles, that included Fermions and Bosons!

This concept eventually gave rise to a model which was so complex, that it would have needed to be tested on computers to see – whether it reflects known facts about how gravity behaves. And it was the failure of Super Gravity, to provide a simpler answer, which also gave rise to the success which followed it – the Revival of String Theory in the 1980s.

But the failure of Super Gravity was not actually, as far as I can tell, an actual failure with Super Gravity. This failure takes its roots in the simple fact, that because every phenomenon needed to be caused by a particle, Gravity needed to be caused by a particle, this particle was named, but nobody can explain how a Graviton is supposed to work, even to this day.

Well, Mathematicians have found that String Theory makes the most sense, if its equations are describing a Graviton. But they too, cannot provide a common-sense explanation, for how that proposition is supposed to work. They simply like String Theory, because they do.

And as far as I am concerned, the most up-to-date description of the subject remains, that in theory, Gravity should be mediated by Gravitons then, but that Scientists still do not really know how. This was also the state of affairs, before Super Gravity was attempted.

Also, Steven Hawking makes the statement that Quantum Mechanics is generally the Art, of balancing positive an negative infinities, such that the finite residuals will correspond to the observable. This is very similar to how he simply explains, that directly after the Big Bang, there just happened to be slightly more matter, than there was antimatter, and that this was the reason then, for why today, the Universe consists almost entirely of matter.

These statements might be brilliant conjecture, but do not count as facts. The only place where Physics balances infinities, is in the special field of Virtual Particles. And otherwise the subject does not crop up, as a general feature of QM. But it is a fixture, to the Steven Hawking interpretation, of how the Universe works. Which somehow needs to conform to a very Human notion of QM.

Dirk