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The Speed of Gravity.

Part 1.
A long standing quandary.

The question that has hung in the air for many years is whether gravity is transmitted instantaneously as was propounded by Newton in his Principia Mathematica in 1687, or at the speed of light as proposed by Einstein in his theory of General Relativity in 1915. Now that it is generally accepted that time is a variable and not a flat continuum as Newton had believed, it is possible for the problem to be resolved.

It is seemly as well as useful, to deal with the question of the speed of gravity separately, as neither Newton nor Einstein knew what caused gravity. Resolving the matter using the physics of special and general relativity alone, without the need to bring in new theories, is unquestionably more convincing. So we will proceed to resolve the matter by showing, that there are three observations of the universe that accord with physics only when gravity is transmitted instantaneously.

Part 2.
General relativity and the runaway universe.

One of the problems with the theory that gravity travels at the speed of light, is that it creates difficulties with moving bodies. Let us accept for the sake of argument the convention that the Universe is uniform on the large scale and expanding. Now consider a galaxy cluster at the centre of other galaxy clusters which are its gravitational neighbours and which lie equidistant, ahead and astern of it, in the line of the expansion. It will be the case, that the middle galaxy cluster will be moving towards the gravitational waves propagated from the galaxy cluster ahead, and away from those that are propagated from astern. So the distance travelled by the gravitational waves coming from ahead, will be much shorter than those from astern. We know that gravitational effect falls away by the inverse of the square of the distance. Therefore, the gravitational effect will be far greater from the galaxy ahead than from the galaxy to the rear. This would create a gravitational differential in the galaxy's line of travel.

A further difficulty is encountered with moving bodies and gravity waves. In general relativity gravity waves are said to be ripples in the fabric of space-time. Consequently, if the source of the wave is not moving away from the moving galaxy, then there must be a compression of the gravity wave at the leading face of the moving galaxy. This is equal to the bluing effect of light. Such gravitational bluing would increase the gravitational energy affecting the moving galaxy.

These two differential gravitational affects in the line of travel, would result in the Universe having a radically different form to that which we observe. It is proposed in the Tempo field theory that these phenomena are avoided, for those parts of the Universe that are expanding or contracting, by the instantaneous transmission of gravitational affect at a distance, gravity being a consequence of the variable time field. (See the Tempo field theory, in which gravity is shown to be the result of a quantum energy wave having a time difference across its wavelength).

In addition we must keep in mind the omnipresent law of the conservation of energy. If the Universe is uniform on the large scale and infinite in extent, then any theory of gravity that involves gravity taking time to reach out to us will break the law, by causing the expansion of the Universe to accelerate without limit. Special relativity exacerbates the situation even more by requiring the kinetic energy of the Universe to become gravitational mass. The continuous creation of kinetic energy, leading hypothetically to the continuous creation of mass, would be a double contravention of the law.

As well as the above effects, any increase in gravitational mass, would make nonsense of the inverse square law as we now observe it. Moreover, the various differences in gravitational effect that we have examined would, over the time the galaxies have been forming, cause great tidal forces to be generated on them. This would have resulted in their structures being markedly different to what we see today.

Part 3.
Why gravity cannot, unlike time and the speed of light, be observer specific.

Special relativity states that all light must be perceived at a constant closing speed of 300,000 kilometres a second, regardless of the speed or state of the transmitter or the speed or state of the observer. It also advances the dubious argument that what is simultaneous in the time domain of one co-ordinate system is not simultaneous in another. (For a counter argument see the Tempo field theory). Under general relativity these assumptions are also applied to gravity. However, despite general relativity, we know that gravity governs the dynamics and structure of the Universe, which are not random and chaotic. Therefore, to avoid chaos and disorder, the universe must be able to accommodate all its different degrees of time dilation and still maintain simultaneity for gravity, throughout its vastness.

Let us examine how chaos would arise if gravity were to travel at a constant finite speed. We know that time is a variable. The faster we move, or the more massive the planet we are on, the more dilated is our time. In modern jargon, time is 'user specific'. So the initial requirement that all light must travel at 300,000 kilometres a second, means that because every second in such a definition is 'specific to the observer' then the speed of light must also be specific to him. Consequently, if we were able to compare the speed of light as between two observers who have different degrees of time dilation, we would discover the impossibility of the proposition for gravity. In such relative situations light can be specific to each observer because all that is required is that he sees all electromagnetic energy with the same closing speed relative to him. Gravity is different however; it has to be common to the whole of the universe and not just to each observer. This difference is required in order to allow the dynamics and structure of the universe to be as observed. Light is a special case, - in that so far as the universe is concerned, the speed of 300,000 kilometres a 'second' for each observer has to be different in comparative terms, in order to relate to the different dilations of their 'seconds'.

To clarify this point, consider being on a massive planet where the time is dilated to twice that on Earth. If we measure out an exact kilometre and with sophisticated measuring equipment measure the speed of light over it, then according to special relativity, we will find the speed of the light to be 300,000 kilometres a second. If we now carry out the same experiment on Earth, in contracted time, special relativity requires that we will get exactly the same result of 300,000 kilometres a second. This is the case, despite the fact that one 'massive-planet-second' is equal to two 'Earth-seconds'. In the universe's comparative terms the light is going twice as fast on Earth than on the massive planet because it is covering the same distance but in half the comparative time.

There are many problems with this special relativistic explanation of the speed of light. It is doubtful if special relativity can do any more than provide a problematical rationalisation of the fact that all rays of light must arrive at the observers eye in sequential order, so they are not all jumbled up. However it does make the point that there isn't a universal flat time, so there cannot be a universal common speed for light over a given distance, an essential requirement for gravity. This means that for the universe to work the way it does, gravity, unlike light, has to be instantaneous.

Unless gravity is instantaneous there are two insurmountable problems for all objects, in addition to those caused by their motion, (as discussed in Part 2). The first, is that two equidistant observers from a gravitational event, each with a different time dilation, will have the gravitational wave approach them across space at different rates, which would prevent them receiving it at the same moment as they must. The second, is that because of the difference in their time dilations, they will measure different frequencies or strengths, for the same gravity wave. Differences in time dilations, such as exist between large and small planets are infinite in number throughout the universe. Consequently, an observer's time and the speed of light for him, cannot play any part in the measurement of gravity. If cosmology is to have any meaning at all, gravity must have a universal application.

It is essential for gravitational effect to be experienced at a given point in space at a common moment and strength by all observers. That does not mean that they will all have the same time label showing on their clocks, but they all must experience the gravitational event at the same instant. This requirement is just impossible under special and general relativity or any other model that requires gravity to travel at a finite speed.

For a model of the universe to be worthy of consideration, it needs a variable time field, with an infinite number of time dilations, in order to comply with observation. Yet, despite having an infinitely variable time field, they must experience only one phenomenon we call gravity. To appreciate the importance of this, we can make use of an extreme thought experiment. Think of deploying an infinite number of astrophysicists in different time dilations throughout the universe. If a massive gravitational event takes place, they must all measure its strength relative to their respective distances from it, but all at the same instant. It is self-evident, that if chaos is not to rule, the universe cannot have multiple gravities, one for each astrophysicist's time dilation. All these issues are resolved if gravitational effect is instantaneous.

Part 4.
The instantaneous principle of equivalence.

It is common ground among all scientists that the principle of equivalence accurately indicates the degree to which light bends in a gravitational field. Indeed Einstein placed great emphasis on this principle when formulating general relativity, arriving at the postulate that acceleration is equivalent to gravity. As it is general relativity that subsequently gave rise to the idea that gravity travels at the speed of light, let us show it to be incorrect by analysing the thought experiment on the principle of equivalence, it being fundamental to both light and gravity.

An observer is put in a large box that is rigged out as a laboratory. The box is located in outer space free from gravitational influences. It is then accelerated at the rate of 9.8 metres per second per second. The observer in the box would not know if he was on Earth with a gravity of 1G or if he was being accelerated. If he were to drop something it would fall to the floor just as if he were back on Earth.

Now if a given extra force is applied to the box, in the line of its travel, it will instantaneously cause the box to increase the rate of acceleration. The observer in the box will feel instantaneously an equivalent increase in gravitational effect. There is no gravitational delay, just an immediate dilation of time and increase in acceleration. To comply with the principle of equivalence, natural gravity must also have the same immediacy.

The principle of equivalence offers a second illustration of gravity being instantaneous. In this instance, gravity and the necessary time differential are simulated by rotational motion and is equivalent to the centrifugal forces generated. The thought experiment relied on to illustrate this is: imagine a flat disc rotating in the horizontal plane about a vertical axis at its centre. A clock is placed at the centre and another at the rim of the disc. When the disc is rotated, the clock at the rim will be moving much faster than the clock at the centre. Accordingly, time for the clock at the rim will be more dilated than the one at the centre.

For an observer on the disc a simulated time field has been created and he will measure a time differential at any position on the disc. He will also feel a centrifugal force acting upon him in proportion to the degree of time differential. The principle of equivalence indicates that the work done in moving from the rim to the centre against the centrifugal force is equal to doing work against gravity where there is a similar degree of time differential.

It can be readily appreciated that the centrifugal force and time differential, are physically induced and can be altered instantaneously by altering the speed of rotation of the disc. It must therefore be the case that gravity, having the same time differential, can also be instantaneously influenced.

While the principle was recognized by Einstein in general terms, its significance was missed when considering the speed of gravity. Those scientists who have been lured down the path that leads to the quicksands of gravity travelling at the speed of light, have wandered from the well trodden way of equivalence. They have overlooked the bedrock science in the principle, missing the common connection of time dilation between speed, centrifugal force and gravity.

It is a fallacy to say that nothing, including gravity, can go faster than the speed of light. The instantaneous transmission of time itself has been overlooked. Time cannot take time to travel as this would give a nil result. It is the instantaneous transmission of time from its matter source, creating a variable Tempo field that allows a time differential to exist across quantum energy waves. The action of such a time differential across a quantum wave, is the key to quantum gravity and an understanding of inertia.

For further reading on the author's theory on quantum gravity and inertia, see 'Time - The Hidden Dimensions of The Missing Physics' by Frank Atkinson, available for purchase or review with extensive free summaries on www.tempofieldtheory.co.uk