The Gravitational Force of Rubbish

May 01 2013 Published by under Bad Math, Bad Physics

Imagine, for just a moment, that you were one a group of scientists that had proven the most important, the most profound, the most utterly amazing scientific discovery of all time. Where would you publish it?

Maybe Nature? Science? Or maybe you'd prefer to go open-access, and go with PLOS ONE? Or more mainstream, and send a press release to the NYT?

Well, in the case of today's crackpots, they bypassed all of those boring journals. They couldn't be bothered with a pompous rag like the Times. No, they went for the really serious press: America Now with Leeza Gibbons.

What did they go to this amazing media outlet to announce? The most amazing scientific discovery of all time: gravity is an illusion! There's no gravity. In fact, not just is there no gravity, but all of that quantum physics stuff? It's utter rubbish. You don't need any of that complicated stuff! No - you need only one thing: the solar wind.

A new theory on the forces that control planetary orbit refutes the 400-year old assumptions currently held by the scientific community. Scientific and engineering experts Gerhard and Kevin Neumaier have established a relationship between solar winds and a quantized order in both the position and velocity of the solar system's planets, and movement at an atomic level, with both governed by the same set of physics.

The observations made bring into question the Big Bang Theory, the concept of black holes, gravitational waves and gravitons. The Neumaiers' paper, More Than Gravity, is available for review at MoreThanGravity.com

Pretty damned impressive, huh? So let's follow their instructions, and go over to their website.

Ever since humankind discovered that the Earth and the planets revolved around the Sun, there was a question about what force was responsible for this. Since the days of Newton, science has held onto the notion that an invisible force, which we have never been able to detect, controls planetary motion. There are complicated theories about black holes that have never been seen, densities of planets that have never been measured, and subatomic particles that have never been detected.

However, it is simpler than all of that and right in front of us. The Sun and the solar wind are the most powerful forces in our solar system. They are physically moving the planets. In fact, the solar wind spins outward in a spiral at over a million miles per hour that controls the velocity and distances that planets revolve around the Sun. The Sun via the solar wind quantizes the orbits of the planets – their position and speed.

The solar wind also leads to the natural log and other phenomenon from the very large scale down to the atomic level. This is clearly a different idea than the current view that has been held for over 400 years. We have been working on this for close 50 years and thanks to satellite explorations of space have data that just was not available when theories long ago were developed. We think that we have many of the pieces but there are certainly many more to be found. We set this up as a web site, rather as some authoritative book so that there would be plenty of opportunity for dialog. The name for this web site, www.MorethanGravity.com was chosen because we believe there is far more to this subject than is commonly understood. Whether you are a scientific expert in your field or just have a general interest in how our solar system works, we appreciate your comments.

See, it's all about the solar wind. There's no such thing as gravity - that's just nonsense. The sun produces the solar wind, which does absolutely everything. The wind comes out of the sun, and spirals out from the sun. That spiral motion has eddies in it an quantized intervals, and that's where the planets are. Amazing, huh?

Remember my mantra: the worst math is no math. This is a beautiful demonstration
of that.

Of course... why does the solar wind move in a spiral? Everything we know says that in the absence of a force, things move in a straight line. It can't be spiraling because of gravity, because there is no gravity. So why does it spiral? Our brilliant authors don't bother to say. What makes it spiral, instead of just move straight? Mathematically, spiral motion is very complicated. It requires a centripetal force which is smaller than the force that would produce an orbit. Where's that force in this framework? There isn't any. They just say that that's how the solar wind works, period. There are many possible spirals, with different radial velocities - which one does the solar wind follow according to this, and why? Again, no answer from the authors.

Or... why is the sun producing the solar wind at all? According to those old, stupid theories that this work of brilliance supercedes, the sun produces a solar wind because it's fusing hydrogen atoms into helium. That's happening because gravity is causing the atoms of the sun to be compressed together until they fuse. Without gravity, why is fusion happening at all? And given that it's happening, why does the sun not just explode into a supernova? We know, from direct observation, that the energy produced by fusion creates an outward force. But gravity can't be holding the sun together - so why is the sun there at all? Still, no answers.

They do, eventually, do some math. One of the big "results" of this hypothesis is about the "quantization" of the orbits of planets around the sun. They were able to develop a simple equation which predicts the locations where planets could exist in their "solar wind" system.

Let’s start with the distance between the planets and the Sun. We guessed that if the solar system was like an atom, that planetary distance would be quantized. This is to say that we thought that the planets would have definite positions and that they would be either in the position or it would be empty. In a mathematical sense, this would be represented by a numerical integer ordering (0,1,2,3,…). If the first planet, Mercury was in the 0 orbital, how would the rest of the planets line up? Amazingly well we found.

If we predict the distance from the surface of the Sun to each planet in this quantized approach, the results are astounding. If D equals the mean distance to the surface of the Sun, and d0 as the distance to Mercury, we can describe the relationship that orders the planets mathematically as:

\[ D=d_0 S^n\]

Each planetary position can be predicted from this equation in a simple calculation as we increase the integer (or planet number) n. S is the solar factor, which equals 1.387. The solar factor is found in the differential rotation of the Sun and the profile of the solar wind which we will discuss later.

Similar to the quantized orbits that exist within an atom, the planetary bodies are either there or not. Mercury is in the zero orbital. The next orbital is missing a planet. The second, third, and fourth orbitals are occupied by Venus, Earth, and Mars respectively. The fifth orbital is missing. The sixth orbital is filled with Ceres. Ceres is described as either the largest of all asteroids or a minor planet (with a diameter a little less than half that of Pluto), depending on who describes it. Ceres was discovered in 1801 as astronomers searched for the missing planets that the Titius-Bode Law predicted would exist.

So. What they found was an exponential equation which products very approximate versions of the size of first 8 planets' orbits, as well as a couple of missing ones.

This is, in its way, interesting. Not because they found anything, but rather because they think that this is somehow profound.

We've got 8 data points (or 9, counting the asteroid belt). More precisely, we have 9 ranges, because all of the orbits are elliptical,but the authors of this junk are producing a single number for the size of the orbits, and they can declare success if their number falls anywherewithin the range from perihelion to aphelion in each of the orbits.

It would be shocking if there weren't any number of simple equations that described exactly the 9 data points of the planet's orbits.

But they couldn't even make that work directly. They only manage to get a partial hit - getting an equation that hits the right points, but which also generates a bunch of misses. There's nothing remotely impressive about that.

From there, they move on to the strawmen. For example, they claim that their "solar wind" hypothesis explains why the planets all orbit in the same direction on the same plane. According to them, if orbits were really gravitational, then planets would orbit in random directions on random planes around the sun. But their theory is better than gravity, because it says why the planets are in the same plane, and why they're all orbiting in the same direction.

The thing is, this is a really stupid argument. Why are the planets in the same plane, orbiting in the same direction? Because the solar system was formed out of a rotating gas cloud. There's a really good, solid, well-supported explanation of why the planets exist, and why they orbit the sun the way they do. Gravity doesn't explain all of it, but gravity is a key piece of it.

What they don't seem to understand is how amazingly powerful the theory of gravity is as a predictive tool. We've sent probes to the outer edges of the solar system. To do that, we didn't just aim a rocket towards Jupiter and fire it off. We've done things like the Cassini probe, where we launched a rocket towards Venus. It used the gravitational field of Venus twice to accelerate it with a double-slingshot maneuver, and send it back towards earth, using the earth's gravity to slingshot it again, to give it the speed it needed to get to Jupiter.

This wasn't a simple thing to do. It required an extremely deep understanding of gravity, with extremely accurate predictions of exactly how gravity behaves.

How do our brilliant authors answer this? By handwaving. The extend of their response is:

Gravitational theory works for things like space travel because it empirically measures the force of a planet, rather than predicting it.

That's a pathetic handwave, and it's not even close to true. The gravitational slingshot is a perfect answer to it. A slingshot doesn't just use some "empirically measured" force of a planet. It's a very precise prediction of what the forces will be at different distances, how that force will vary, and what effects that force will have.

They do a whole lot more handwaving of very much the same order. Pure rubbish.

19 responses so far

  • dete says:

    Do they ever try to explain why people stick to the earth on all sides?

    Or how a force which is originating from the sun doesn't push things away from the sun, at least slowly?

    Or comets? Comets trash their argument not only with their solar-wind-induced tails (which extend directly out from the sun, not around the sun in a circle) and their highly elliptical orbits.

    And if physicists are so very wrong, how come they are willing to trust their measurements of the solar wind?

  • kuremmu says:

    "the solar wind also leads to the natural log"? these people owe me a new brain fuse.

  • Rob Ryan says:

    The scary part isn't that these people have crackpot theories (after all, Kevin Neumaier is in Mensa and the "Triple Nine Society," IQ above the 99.9 percentile so he MUST be correct) but that they have an outlet for it and many people (it's Leeza Gibbons for Heaven's sake!) will lap it up. I suppose that there's always been an audience for the lunatic fringe but it seems to be growing as the filtering function previously served by published media has weakened.

    Sad and frightening.

  • ithinkso says:

    Do they care only about our solar system?

  • Deen says:

    So is the orbit of our moon explained by an earth-wind, and those of Jupitrer by a jovian wind?

  • QM says:

    I'd hate to see these guys trying to deflect a bus by blowing on it.

  • Kevin says:

    Apparently the Neumaiers run a company with a market cap of 55M. Unless this page is a hoax someone set up to make them look bad?

    I could imagine a scenario in which someone got annoyed if Kevin Neumaier was an ass who went around bragging about Mensa and such, so made a website to make him look stupid. Perhaps a disgruntled employee who disliked family politics or heard "I'm in Mensa so shut up and listen" one time too many, so sought out to ruin their reputation.

    Or maybe they are just bizarre.

    • MarkCC says:

      You can never be sure on the internet, but all signs seem to indicate that this is legit - that they really do believe this, and that the site is completely serious.

      The fact that they're successful businessmen isn't particularly surprising. As my dad used to say: Everyone is, roughly, equally intelligent. If you're a genius in one field, you're an idiot in all others.

      Very smart people often fall into the trap of believing that success at one thing means that they're universally exceptional, and that they'll be successful at whatever they try. This seems particularly true for people who are obsessed about their rankings according to personality profiles or intelligence tests.

      So they look at something like the theory of gravity, which they know next to nothing about, and conclude that since they're in the top 0.1 percent of human intelligence according to their test, they must know more about science than people who spend their entire lives studying science.

      (This is a pet peeve of mine. I don't know my IQ. I don't *want* to know my IQ. But I grew up dealing with two kinds of people who saw my personal records at school.

      On one hand, there were the people who saw my IQ, and wanted to tell me all about the things I *should* be doing because I'm so smart. I should join mensa, I should take this special writing class, I should go to a different school, etc.

      On the other hand, there were people who saw that I'm learning disabled, with a perceptual impairment, and wanted to tell me that I *shouldn't* be doing things like taking advanced math classes, because I was over-stressing myself.

      I hated both kinds.)

      • Interesting discussions – but straying considerably from the points we are making. To bring them back a little, we don’t say that gravity doesn’t exist. We say that the equation for gravity is incorrect and the solar wind is another force that is working in our solar system – serving to provide motion, direction of orbit and positioning of the planets. In a good math/bad math sense we say that math shouldn’t replace scientific observations and when it does, math doesn’t give logical results.

        So why doesn’t a space probe prove that the equation for gravity is correct?
        Space missions work. In part, they do prove that the end result of the calculation, the force on the spacecraft is correct.

        There are only two measurable terms that are in play with any spacecraft – these are the distance to the planet and the surface gravity of the planet. So, we contend that the net result of the equation for gravity is correct but the terms themselves are implying something that is not happening.

        The equation for gravity is F= Gm1m2/d^2

        Let’s assign m1 to be our spacecraft and m2 to be the mass of the planet.
        The terms Gm2 are always observed as one term, the surface gravity of the planet. The only way that the mass of the planet was determined was through using Newton’s equation for gravity with the assumption that G is a universal constant.

        The separation of one observation (the acceleration due to gravity) into two terms (Gravitational constant and mass) is both why the equation works for space missions and the equation may also not be correct.

        To clarify, in addition to the gravitational force of the Sun, there are other forces that order and move the planets. One of the other forces is the solar wind.

        We don’t explicitly prove the equation for gravity to be wrong, but strongly question using two terms for one observation. Theories that use gravity as the primary and only force for planetary motion and the universe’s workings are ones that we think are incorrect.

        “Why are the planets in the same plane, orbiting in the same direction? Because the solar system was formed out of a rotating gas cloud. There's a really good, solid, well-supported explanation of why the planets exist, and why they orbit the sun the way they do.”

        The argument doesn’t have support of a lot of observational data. There are no accounts of what happened 4.6 Billion years ago. To create a past that is based on what is now in place is a very difficult thing to do and be correct. There is maybe 100 years of data on how our solar system has been working. To project backward 4.6 Billion years is a stretch. When I do the math, 100 years/4,600,000,000 years there is no observational data for 99.999998% of the history that is being said to have occurred.

        We point out that the solar wind today is providing the force and direction to move the planets along their orbits. This is a force in addition to the attractive force of the Sun.

        • MarkCC says:

          So... Your defense is, basically, two points.

          First, you're arguing that the results of the equation for gravity is absolutely perfectly precise to the limits of our ability to measure, but that that's coincidental, because in reality, the force is partially gravity, and partially something else caused by the solar wind. But you can't quantify that in any way.

          Second, you're pulling out the old "you weren't there, so you don't know" thing.

          In response to the first - there's a whole lot more to our understanding of gravity than you seem to understand. Trying doing some research on experimental gravitational physics. It's a fascinating field of work. And using it, there are tons of ways of actually testing gravity. We can measure differences in the gravitational field at different elevations. We can measure the gravitational attraction between different objects, not just between objects and the earth. We can measure the time dilation effects of gravity. In orbital physics, we can observe the differential gravitational forces caused by different bodies. It's a very rich field, with tons of data. It's a lot more than a circular "we figure out the gravitational force using the mass of the earth, and we figure out the mass of the earth using the gravitational force".

          In response to the second, we don't have direct observational evidence, for obvious reasons. But we have plenty of evidence. The fact that you either don't know about or don't understand that evidence is irrelevant.

        • anadrol1 says:

          "There are only two measurable terms that are in play with any spacecraft – these are the distance to the planet and the surface gravity of the planet."

          Absolutely not, photon pressure is also taken into account see the Pioneer Anomaly.

          "The equation for gravity is F= Gm1m2/d^2"

          Actually there is a more accurate theory of gravity that is used... I can't remember the guys name but he had a big bushy mustache and wild hair, and his theory of gravitation has been tested to a spectacular degree using binary systems consisting of a pulsar and white dwarf in tight orbits around one another.

          "The argument doesn't have support of a lot of observational data. There are no accounts of what happened 4.6 Billion years ago."

          We have plenty of observational data, we can actually see the proto-planetary disks forming around other stars.

  • Charles says:

    Uhhh... Bode's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titius%E2%80%93Bode_law) mathematically predicted [most] orbits in 1715. Not only is the math bad, its not even original.

  • Bruno Saboia says:

    There is something very simple that you forgot to mention, Mark. Space bodies with sufficient mass are round. Why? Because gravity would "crush" a very high mountain or peak, "smoothening" its surface. That's why every sufficiently large body in space is round-like.

  • KeithB says:

    And what about MassCons:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_concentration_(astronomy)

    Also, wasn't Uranus found because of its gravitational effect on Neptune?

  • Chris Hobbs says:

    The word "supersede" has an s in the middle, not a c.

  • kaleberg says:

    This makes Some Sophomore's Law - There is no gravity. The Earth sucks. - sound as profound and solid as Newton or Einstein.

  • shafiqifs says:

    Read & circulate http://phys.org/news/2013-09-gravity-variations-bigger-previously-thought.html#jCp .

    This confirms the alternative theory of gravity. The very space-time concept, on which theories of relativity are founded, has been mathematically, theoretically & experimentally proved as baseless and openly challenged on the basis of published scientific articles. Since the very space-time concept has been proved as baseless the question of curvature of space-time being correct does not arise. Gravity has been shown to be an electromagnetic force as foreseen by Maxwell due to the curl/vortices of aether (the electric dipoles) in the published article 'Revised Foundation of Theory of Everything: Non-living Things & Living Things' (www.indjst.org; Sep 2010) Revised version of this article is available on vixra & General Science Journal in my profile. Standing open challenge could be seen at http://www.worldsci.org/php/index.php?tab0=Abstracts&tab1=Display&id=6476&tab=2 and http://gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/Essays/View/4018.