Gravity is not a constant. What icon falls next?
Whadya know? New cutting-edge research seems to show conclusively that gravity doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. To wit, it is stronger at lower-than-average accelerations. Wow! That changes everything! For the skinny see this account.
I can’t imagine a deeper revolution in physics, even though the finding hasn’t hit the social media yet. Everything we see out there is somehow affected by gravity. Our worldviews are predicated on the value of the gravitational “constant” that is now a constant no longer.
The underlying theory behind this was actually developed in the 1980s by an Israeli physicist. If you want to sound cool just mention Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND). Oh BTW, MOND rules out the existence of dark matter. That is currently the favored interpretation of modern cosmological observations, so nuts to that – yet another fundamental scientific component down the gurgler.
Although, maybe this new finding explains this “Challenging Einstein – New Study Suggests That Dark Matter Interacts With Gravity in a Non-Local Way”.
Another thing. Einstein made gravity and time two sides of the same coin. What happens to general relativity when we’ve just divided gravity into at least two parts?
For a moment, just think about things if gravity is not a constant across the universe. Can’t count on anything right? Would there still be ice on Alpha Centauri? Could life sometimes be based on vanilla-flavored gelato super-ultra-iron? Could there be a table of quantum elements that differ based on your cosmological location? Etc. and so on.
My august readers will no doubt be aware that gravity is only one of numerous “universal” constants. We used to think that these would always be the same no matter where you were in the firmament. Actually, there’s not so many in that list, check them out here. But if they can all assume different values based on their cosmological location, that makes for not just a huge number of different universes, but also ones that are radically and unimaginably different.
If gravity is not a constant, we are going to one day come across a universe where a transgender transition between black hole-sized up-quarks and a galactic-scale uber jelly made of that curious God-particle DNA that exists in 10 dimensions. It’s gotta be there somewhere. From there on we’ve got to impose a ban on the infinite spectrum of conversion therapies meanwhile making sure that we don’t offend arbiters of good taste of the woke kind.
The list of “universal constants” all affect matter and energy in an infinite number of ways. They affect literally everything imaginable and beyond. It’s going to be too big even for AI and the infinite GPTs. What do we do when we find out that the “characteristic impedance of vacuum” has a fundamental impact on politics and culture in whatever civilizations we are lucky enough to find in the Great Blue Beyond?
It does seem as if the so-called universal constants are actually all plastic in nature; maybe they should be called the universal plastics instead? The infinitudes of impacts in the world of energy, mass and life still remain for us to try to figure out what they all really mean.
Its strange to think that until now we have always thought of gravity as being one of the bedrock forces in the universe, kind of like God, but more stable. If we don’t have such inherent stability in the things that the universe is made of, what do we really have? Or is it nothing?
Another puzzle for AI to ponder on behalf of we humans.
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