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Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces

From Curves To Strings

The ‘curves in space’ theory of gravity is falling out of favour due to the fact that Einstein’s equations seem to work on our solar system but begin to break when we apply the same near a black hole or back in time, during the initial big bang.

String Theory, which conceptualizes that gravity and all other forces are products of tiny vibrating strings, is the prime candidate to replace Einstein’s work.

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Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces

Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces

https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-gravity-is-not-like-the-other-forces-20200615/

quantamagazine.org

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Key Ideas

Gravity And The Forces Of Nature

According to physicists, quantum particles are responsible for three forces of nature:

  • Strong nuclear force.
  • Weak nuclear force.
  • Electromagnetic force.

The fourth force of nature, gravity, is till now assumed to not originate from quantum particles, but from the curves in the space-time continuum, according to the celebrated physician Albert Einstein.

From Curves To Strings

The ‘curves in space’ theory of gravity is falling out of favour due to the fact that Einstein’s equations seem to work on our solar system but begin to break when we apply the same near a black hole or back in time, during the initial big bang.

String Theory, which conceptualizes that gravity and all other forces are products of tiny vibrating strings, is the prime candidate to replace Einstein’s work.

General Relativity Theory

Einstein's General Theory Of Relativity provides a rock-solid description of gravity, black holes and even the Big Bang, but fails to explain the very ‘singularities’ that signal towards infinity.

The extraordinary force of gravity can be researched with new-age engineering experiments but there is a risk of pushing too far and risking extreme damage by accidentally creating a black hole.

Gravity Leads To Black Holes

The infinite weirdness of black holes makes it difficult for a physicist to combine gravity with quantum mechanics (QM).

The fact that gravity works on everything makes it difficult to construct an apparatus to measure the QM properties of gravity. This is because the measuring apparatus can itself collapse into a black hole if it is heavy, and would not be able to measure accurately if it is too light.

Quantum Gravity And The Degrees Of Freedom

Any proposed theory of quantum gravity would need to take care of the principles of locality, which state that any variable can change independently while measuring the properties of any point in space-time. These variables are called the degrees of freedom.

A worthy theory of quantum gravity has to minimize the degrees of freedom.

The Holographic Principle

"The number of degrees of freedom in a spatial region is proportional to its surface area instead of its volume” - Daniel Harlow, Quantum gravity theorist at MIT.

Something Out Of Nothing

Quantum gravity experiments and observations show some interesting phenomena in particles and even space-time. It is the cause of the creation of entire universes, not just particles.

The more the universe expands, the more vacuum is created, due to the expansion of space-time, leading to further perplexing questions.

Gravity Is Incalculable

  • While performing quantum calculations, certain infinite terms appear, making these theories ‘non-renormalizable’.
  • Theories that are describing the forces of nature other than gravity, can easily be renormalized(put to scale) and that makes gravity an anomaly.
  • Gravity, for the most part, becomes a special force of nature that cannot be calculated.

Gravity And Unknown Factors

The reason Einstein’s theory of general relativity works well in lower energy calculations and standard quantum techniques but not in higher energies and scales (like a black hole), could be because certain key features or ingredients of gravity are yet unknown to us, and are therefore missing from the famous theory.

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Teleporting humans

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The Observer Effect

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Quantum Theory had a similar ‘uh oh’ moment when it was found that the behaviour of atomic level particles changes when we (a conscious observer) are looking at it, or not. This is known as the Observer Effect.

Objectivity Vs Consciousness

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