220 Last modified August 22, 2016
The notion that space and time are variables was introduced by Einstein in his special theory of relativity. He suggested that space and time were warped around massive objects. He used the analogy of an elastic sheet dimpled in by a spherical weight in its center. This idea caught hold of scientific thought and was taught in schools for many years. This notion prevented Einstein from realizing his lifelong goal. It is not possible to unify all the forces of nature within the concept of variable space-time.
Variable space-time worked well to explain relativity phenomena within a limited field. But it did not work as a unifying concept. For unification to work, space and time must be flat in the non-varying classic sense so that relativity phenomena is a natural consequence. With the classic view of space and time, unification is easily achieved as shown in the pages linked by the gold buttons.
Unification means that all the forces are the same thing. But we know of four forces that seem very different. There are the electric and the magnetic forces which we consider as one because they are so closely related. Then there is the strong force, the weak force, and gravity. The strength of each is much different than the strength of the other.
But if we look for similarities there are several. For example, all the forces diminish with distance by the same rate. Gravity and the electric forces diminish as the square of distance away from their source. This seems unusual. If the forces were evenly distributed throughout a volume of space we might expect it to change with distance like the volume of a sphere which changes as the cube of distance, not the square. This suggests that the forces of gravity and the forces of electricity might propagate through space as planes.
We know that the electric and magnetic forces propagate as crossed planes that are perpendicular to each other. Since the force of gravity diminishes at the same rate we might consider that it also propagates the same as the electric force. Then, if it propagates the same, perhaps it is just a different manifestation of the same force.
Now, let's consider just exactly what is a force. We might say it attracts or repels objects. But in the sense of a photon-only universe, we can get down to the most simple aspect of it. A force is something that changes the future position of the points of saturation in photons.
Each photon has associated with it two points of electromagnetic saturation. The points of saturation are driven through space by electric and magnetic amplitude change in surrounding space. So we can say that the change in electric and magnetic amplitude in nearby space drives the points of photon saturation through space. That force is the tendency for a photon to change its direction of propagation through space.
Electric and magnetic amplitude change drives the points of photon saturation directly. Ambient diminished electric and magnetic fields might affect the future position of photon points of saturation in a different way. Since saturation is a property of space, there is a limited amount of amplitude available to each photon. Ambient diminished fields use up part of that available amplitude. Photon points then might reach saturation at an offset toward increasing field strength.
So there we have the possibility of gravity as an electromagnetic phenomenon. Whether or not it is real depends upon the ambient diminished field's contribution toward saturation. This may or may not be the way nature works. There is another electromagnetic mechanism that must produce gravitational attraction. It is a mathematical certainty given only that Maxwell's equations solve for the speed of light. Or, as suggested by the gold-button linked paper by Eddington, there may be more than one mechanism for gravity. Eddington suggests that Newton type gravity may account for half and refraction may account for the other half.
The contribution of refraction as a gravity source is more certain. Given that Maxwell's equations do predict the speed of light it is mathematically certain that photons must attract each other. Called the constant impedance of empty space, electric permittivity and magnetic permeability determine the speed of light. These are actually variables that increase in amplitude as electromagnetic activity increases. Their value increases toward massive objects. The path of light bends in the direction of increasing strength of these variables. Comprised of light, massive objects must gravitate toward the same direction.
The strong and weak forces are much more simple. We only have to consider that an electron exists as its electromagnetic forces and occupies an area equal to the wave length of its associated photon. Then, nuclear particles are made up of similar but more massive curled-up waves.
Nuclear dynamics are such that we can deduce how nucleons bind through electromagnetic interaction. Shells intermingle and occupy different planes so that they are never in the same state as other shells. Electromagnetic forces are greater at the surface of the more massive shells because of their smaller radius. However, because the forces diminish as the square of distance, when sensed at any distance greater than an electron's radius, they measure the same as the force of an electron.
John Wheeler said:
The electromagnetic construct of the universe is that principle. First said by Maxwell, "the final irreducible constituent of all physical reality is the electromagnetic field."