# Gravity is still electromagnetism

Discussion in 'Alternative Theories' started by impaJah, Feb 1, 2012.

1. ### impaJahRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
46
I'm not an expert in physics or anything but an interesting thought occurred to me today. I don't know if someone else has already thought of this. Could it be that what we perceive as gravity is just a heavily neutralized magnetic/electrostatic force? In other words our universe has struck a fine state of balance between the positive and negative electromagnetic forces leaving only a weak potential difference which we have labeled as "gravity."

Thanks for reading and I'm eager to hear the responses!!

3. ### rpennerFully WiredValued Senior Member

Messages:
4,833
Really? Do you know nothing about gravity or electromagnetism?

Gravity (so every experiment tells us to high precision) couples to inertial mass.
Electromagnetism (so every experiment tells us to high precision) couples to electric charge.

Electric charge comes in two forms which differ qualitatively in that like-repels-like while gravity only (so experiment tells us) varies quantitatively and like-attracts-like.

Most macroscopic objects have no net electric charge and no imbalance in the microscopic motions of their component particles between those with positive and those with negative charge. Yet, these objects with no discernible net electromagnetic effect have gravity.

"Permanent" magnets have gravity and if you demagnetize them so that they are in the first class of object, their gravity changes by a vanishingly small amount. I don't believe any experiment has measured it.

Tiny objects (like pieces of tissue paper the size of fish food flakes or ground pepper) can be given sufficient electric charge to overcome the pull of the entire Earth's gravity.

So how can gravity (if just electromagnetism) explain how the Sun attracts both the Earth and the Moon, yet the Earth and Moon attract each other?

You have 40 seconds.

5. ### impaJahRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
46
You bring up some awesome points!!! After reading your post a couple of times I'm left wondering, because again I'm no expert, how neutrons behave with both atoms and ions? Do they react the same to both? Are they attracted to either? What keeps them in the atom if there is no left over charge?

I actually couldn't find what I was looking for with these questions on a quick google search although I'm sure this information must be out there somewhere.

I bring up these questions because if the universe is simply in a state of more or less balanced electromagnetic forces, then wouldn't we be behaving more or less like big neutrons?

Are you saying here that a permanent magnet his a different gravity than if the same object was demagnetized? Or am I reading this wrong? If I'm interpreting you correctly then I find this very interesting!!!

7. ### rpennerFully WiredValued Senior Member

Messages:
4,833
Neutrons have a small magnetic dipole moment because their positively- and negatively-electrically charged components (the experimentally observed partons which correspond to the quark model) don't have exactly the same state of motion.

With spins pointed in the same direction, a neutron has an experimentally measured magnetic dipole moment of −1.91304273 ± 0.00000045 while a proton has a magnetic dipole moment of +2.792847356 ± 0.000000023 in units of nuclear magnetons. These are quite small compared to electron-generated magnetic moments or electrically charged particles.

This is approximately well-explained by a simple model where the valence quarks have fixed effective masses. http://pdg.lbl.gov/2011/reviews/rpp2011-rev-baryon-magnetic-moment.pdf

Neutrons have a much more interesting effect on nuclei, but that effect is neither electromagnetic nor gravitational. Nuclear effects are largely identical for atoms and ions. These nuclear effects tend to prefer nearly equal numbers of protons and neutrons in nuclei, but because protons repel each other electromagnetically, for large nuclei, an excess of neutrons is more stable than equal neutrons and protons.

Just because electrical charges are largely balanced in most macroscopic objects does not mean that the microscopic details don't matter. The computer you are using in an application of microscopic patterns of electrical imbalances making a differences to you. A computer would not work if atoms were like big neutrons.

I'm saying no experiment has measured any change in gravity of a demagnetized magnet. Theory predicts a extremely tiny change (like nanograms in a 1-ton magnet) but that shows you how unimportant the relationship is.

8. ### impaJahRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
46
I'd like to ignore neutrons for a moment as the more I'm thinking about it the more it seems that it's not necessary to know their nature in order to humor this theory.

Now I don't know if anyone has measured or even knows how to measure the electrical charge of the earth. From what I understand about it's construction though is that it's made up 3 distinct layers, becoming more dense towards the core. Now what if in one of the layers predominately there is some kind of mass (which I think most scientists agree with this theory and that it is comprised mostly of nickel) with a sizable positive or negative charge? A huge mass of anything, with even a slight charge (compared to its size) would undoubtedly attract us as if we were just small bits of paper or tiny metal shavings.

Consider a vacuum and on one end there is a mass with one extra electron and on the other end a billion miles from it there is an electrically neutral mass. Let's say that there is no separate force of gravity in this universe. I think these two masses would collide over time. What do you think would happen?

9. ### prometheusviva voce!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
2,045
No. Thread moved to alt theories.

ah ha!

10. ### impaJahRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
46

I'm not sure what you're laughing at. What I said was sincere. Please share with me the joke as I like a laugh as good as anyone!!

Thanks for taking the time to read and post! :thumbsup:

11. ### originIn a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect.Valued Senior Member

Messages:
11,049
Laughing is: Ha Ha

Realization is: Ah Ha

12. ### impaJahRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
46

***********

Now I was thinking more about this and how astrophysicist's observations of celestial bodies confirms the currently accepted theory of gravity. And understandably this adds "weight" (lol) to that theory. Well... of course their observations accord with the theory of gravity!! Think about how an astrophysicist deduces the mass of a celestial body...

It is deduced by observing the relationship of the body's movement with other bodies. Well think about it... just as easily one could argue that the celestial body with the most "pull" is not the one with the most mass, but the one with the greatest deficiency of electrons - which would say nothing of mass at all and still be just as plausible!

13. ### Janus58Valued Senior Member

Messages:
2,132
There are a number of problems with this idea.

When you see small bits sticking to an object it is because some of the electrons of the surface atoms of the object have been removed, and thus the electrons which surround the nuclei of the outer atoms of the pieces of paper are attracted to them. The object and pieces of paper have to be very close for this to work. This is because the nuclei of the paper's atoms are repelled by the positively charged outer atoms of the object, so it is only when the electrons are much closer to the object than the nuclei that their attraction is enough to overcome the repulsion. What this means is that the net attraction falls off very very quickly as the distance between paper and object increases; much faster than the inverse square that we see with gravity. It also means that it only works if the outer part of the object is positively charged. If they where negatively charged (excess of electrons) they would repel the pieces of paper.

Secondly, It can't explain the mutual attraction between three or more objects.

For example, we have landed men and objects on the Moon where they "stuck" to the surface just like they do on Earth. This means that for your idea to be correct, the Moon would have to have a net positive charge like the Earth. But like charges repel so the Moon and Earth would repel each other and the Earth would not hold the Moon in orbit.

Another example is the famous Cavendish experiment where the attraction between brass spheres was measured. In your model either both spheres would have been attracted to the Earth and repelled by each other or the spheres would have been attracted to each other and one of them repelled by the Earth. Instead both spheres were attracted to each other and the Earth.
If the electrically neutral object were truly neutral (not made up of a equal amount of positively and negatively charged parts) then there would be no attraction at all. If it was made up of such parts, then it would depend on how they where arranged. If it was made of atoms with outer electrons, then it would actually be slightly repelled. If it was made of a central negative mass surrounded by positive masses, then their would be a slight net attraction. However, this attraction would not follow the square of the distance law or be tied to the mass of the object like we see with gravity. There is just no way to make attraction by electrical charge act in an equivalent way to gravity.

14. ### Janus58Valued Senior Member

Messages:
2,132
This falls afoul of what I already mentioned in the last post: the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass and the mutual attraction of more than two objects. If gravity and mass had no connection then the rules of orbiting bodies would not be what they are. Objects at the same distance from a celestial body could orbit at different rates due to their different mass/charge ratios. You just would not see the nice neat relationship between orbital distance and orbital speed that we see.

Also, objects in orbit around a body are effected by their attraction to other objects in orbit. These "perturbations" are well observed and have even been used to find planets in our own solar system. The observed perturbations are just not consistent with an attraction scheme which relies of electrostatic attraction/repulsion. Planets orbiting the Sun would be repelled by each other and not attracted as observed.

I repeat what I said in the last post; you simply cannot make an electrostatic attraction model that will mimic what we see happening around us.

15. ### impaJahRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
46
Thank you for posting Janus58! I skimmed over what you wrote because I just got off work and my mind not the sharpest at the moment. I fully intend to read it more carefully tomorrow!!

I'm just curious but has anyone ever tried to actually create some sort of model based on this theory to mimic the effects of gravity? All you would need are a couple of almost completely neutral but slightly charged spheres set inside a vacuum. I wonder if orbit could be achieved this way? Hmm.

16. ### impaJahRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
46
I made a mistake. Although I think it's possible for the illusion of gravity to be created through voltage, I believe it is much more common within the observable universe that magnetism is what causes this illusion of gravity.

All we would need to prove this is to put 1 sphere in a vacuum with a given magnetic dipole of a certain strength and then put spheres of various masses (some ferromagnetic, some not, some mixed) without any magnetic field in along with it. Then change the strength of the dipole in the same sphere (higher or lower) and observe if any changes in attraction between the spheres occur.

17. ### originIn a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect.Valued Senior Member

Messages:
11,049
If gravity was and illusion and the force was actually a result of electromagnatisim it would be easy to measure this. There is no significant measured electormagnetic interaction between the planets, moons and stars. You are completely off track and heading for a cliff.

18. ### Janus58Valued Senior Member

Messages:
2,132
There is no need to do such an experiment as nature does it for us already. There are a number of substances that are diamagnetic. They are the complete opposite of ferromagnetic materials in that they are repelled by magnetic fields. Examples of such materials are Bismuth, Mercury, Silver, Gold, Lead, and water. Any magnetic field strong enough to mimic say, the gravity of the Earth would repel these substances.

In addition, magnetism falls victim to many of the same flaws as electrostatic charge would; No equivalence between attraction and inertial mass and it would not adhere to to the inverse square law for examples.

Honestly, think about it. One of the "Holy Grails" of physics is, and has been for a long time, the unification of the forces; finding a single explanation for them all. Do you really think that in all that time, the countless scientists who have tackled this problem would have missed such a simple answer if it was viable in the least bit?

19. ### impaJahRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
46
Well by virtue of all of the bodies in the solar system having a magnetic field... and since flux waves theoretically go on forever at progressively weaker strengths... there must be interaction between the fields. It's actually quite funny and fitting that you say there is "no significant measured electromagnetic interaction" - meaning the net force is weak - because gravity is known as the big weak force!!

I don't see how the existence of diamagnetic substances makes this experiment unnecessary? Maybe I didn't describe the experiment clear enough, but in it I want to see if magnetic fields can simulate what we observe as gravity in a vacuum using spheres with varying masses and magnetic field strengths.

A low magnetic field strength attracting a more or less neutral body might not react the same way we would expect two bar magnets to attract for instance. From what I can tell from searching, there doesn't seem to be much research into weak magnetic fields in a vacuum.

You would think but then again stranger things have happened. Sometimes the most difficult things to see are the things right in front of our nose.

20. ### AlexGLike nailing Jello to a treeValued Senior Member

Messages:
4,304
This idea keeps coming up again and again.

We have a very good understanding of electromagnetism, and the laws which govern it's behavior. Our technological civilization is based upon it. It is nothing like gravity. There is no relationship between gravity and electromagnetism.

21. ### Pincho PaxtonBannedBanned

Messages:
2,387
The OP stated an opposite relationship....

That's not exactly a relationship.

22. ### originIn a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect.Valued Senior Member

Messages:
11,049
Really? Then lets see you jump 10 ft straight up in the air.

23. ### impaJahRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
46
Hehe... it is strong compared to me but weak compared to what we know electromagnetism is capable of (hence the designation of the "big weak force" in comparison to the "small strong force")... you know this..