[FoRK] Inertial Mass != Gravitational Mass?

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Mon Jun 14 20:00:19 PDT 2010

> I've been wondering what they were smoking in Copenhagen for at least a third of that neat 80 years. ;-)

Sorry, less glib required.  Not particularly addressing the mentioned links and speculation.

My beef with most QM and attempts to reconcile w/ GR is (a) the mysticism that's cropped up around eg the Copenhagen interpretation and (b) the complexity of the resulting proto-TOEs.  Not alone in either of those critiques.  There's a dogma that has arisen around the whole subject in academia that should itself be a huge red flag; a fact not unnoticed by some braver folks actually working in the area lately.

That said, I have a longstanding bet of sorts with Eli (doubt he remembers) that in general QM and particularly QCD will turn out to be a better approximation of its subject phenomenon than GR.  Certainly it has been measured far more precisely to date.

Shouldn't be a surprise: the fundamental bet here is that the universe is essentially discrete.  Any non-discrete hypotheses, if that's true, will yield all sorts of weird results requiring increasingly difficult contortionist acts to rationalize.  And that appears to be the where we are stuck, despite Zeno making that point some ~2500 years ago.

Ironically, I think this path through quantum weirdness leads back to a kind of neoclassical physics, but one that rests on a fundamental assumption of discreteness and probability.

Re my own mumblings, more some other time;  the brief description, though, is that if you assume a net local influence of the total gross non-local vacuum energy density elsewhere, you get a kind of MONDish GR where the metric and Reimann curvature tensors relate not solely to the local stress-energy tensor from the local mass per se but rather to a locally-observed universal stress-energy tensor representing the entire effect of all non-local mass-energy, dominated by the vacuum energy, less a stress-energy tensor representing the relative absence of same in the vicinity of local mass (due to Pauli exclusion.)  

You don't have to throw out Einstein's field equations entirely; you simply need to include both tensors and some undetermined constant of proportionality, and do the correct tensor arithmetic.  The non-local stress-energy tensor has to be integrated over the entire universe(s, see below), but that can be swagged... ;-)

This looks a lot like GR but may explain various anomalies such as those that are inspiring the search for a MOND, without all the hocus pocus of dark matter and (particularly) dark energy.  Beats the hell out of 11-dimensional mbranes with dark whatever permeating everything, anyway, IMHO.  Why have an arbitrary number when you can have as many as needed and dramatically simplify the math in the process? ;-)

If you further assume MWI with weakly-interacting probabilistically "near" states (ie, the wave function distributes across multiple probabilistically-related phase-space configurations) the whole thing would seem to become even simpler; the unit terms themselves just become PDFs...  

Though maybe the latter assertion of simplicity isn't obvious from this rather poor description. ;-)

Still just $0.02, despite inflation...  and probably worth about that. ;-)


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