Links - References
Discussion on Grava and Cosmology
10/28/2000 Ray Cruz to Dr. Jim Kennedy by e-mail:
Hopefully you can devote a few minutes to reading and maybe critiquing my
treatise on grava. Thanks for giving me the inspiration to do this.
(Dr. Kennedy had previously recommended that Ray read 'The Elegant
Universe' by Brian Greene, after several discussions about cosmology. Ray
read the book and felt compelled to resolve some of the issues presented by
creating a new theory as presented here. Ray attached the Treatise on
Grava to this message.)
Dr. Jim Kennedy replies to introduction to Grava Treatise by e-mail
October 29, 2000
Thanks for sharing this with me. You obviously have been enthralled
with this very interesting problem. There are a number of seductive
philosophical possibilities, some of which you have described.
Recalling that the scientific method is NOT the only way of gaining
knowledge of the universe (e.g. if one could have a discussion with an
advanced alien race, or perhaps God, one could skip over a lot of
grief), there are some comments that can be made about the
First of all, nature knows nothing of mathematics. Nature behaves
according to rules; the rules know nothing about mathematics. (This is
not unlike your description of Grava.)
Humans work the problem from the bottom up; basically by cut and try,
and by rejecting what seems to fail. We use mathematics as a way of
trying to organize what we observe. It is a tool, it is not the rule
(though sometimes we talk like it is). Math is just a means of
quantifying how nature behaves. This bottom-up approach has no sure
guaranty of success, but it is the only way we know how to approach
discovery in a systematic way.
Philosophically, one can argue that the scientific method is guaranteed
to fail as soon as we reach a point of trying to explain that which we
cannot observe or measure (a point we have certainly not reached yet).
Then again, our ability to "explain" the universe mathematically has
far) always given us insights into how to observe that which before we
either didn't know how to observe, or even know that we should/could
What we are really trying to do is "model" the universe,
mathematically. I stress the word "model". Models are not reality, they
Intellectually honest scientists know that we are not "explaining" the
universe, just building mathematical constructs that are (to varying
degrees) successful in predicting the outcome of "experiments" (that
given the "before" state, predict the "after" state of
matter and energy involved in some sort of interaction). From that
perspective, within their original realms, general relativity (big
mass/energy at large distances) and quantum theory (small mass/energy at
small distances), get very high marks.
The big-versus-small realms of these two theories represent
or extreme states of physical systems. They clearly are not the more
general case of ANY amount of mass/energy at ANY distance. As pointed
out in the Elegant Universe, the two theories cannot be directly combine
and still yield meaningful answers.
That doesn't mean that the two theories are intrinsically wrong. It
probably only means that, without realizing it, the mathematical
descriptions of the two theories include certain hidden (and probably
simplifying) assumptions that are justified in each extreme case, but
cannot be successfully used together in the general case.
The challenges discussed in the Elegant Universe relate to finding out
what those assumptions are and properly describing the more general set
of rules underlying the whole range of mass/energy states.
To be seen as successful, any approach needs to provide a pathway to
building the most general mathematical description, that actually works.
The concepts in the Elegant Universe show some promise of this, though
they probably aren't the only way to do it. It isn't immediately clear
to me how one might do that with your picture, but that might be an area
to focus your attention as you expand the concept into more details.
Some of the ideas in your thesis are reminiscent of others that have
popped up before, so clearly you are in good company. For example, in
the 1930's (+/-) the British physicist Sir Arthur Eddington attempted to
use quantum theory to calculate the total number of mathematically
possible quantum wave functions and produce what he regarded as a
calculation of the total amount of mass/energy in the universe. He
concluded (as you have proposed) that it was a specific fixed number.
(I don't recall the names, but there are a couple of interesting popular
books about his fascinating work. There is another book that mentions
him -- I think its "From Einstein to Eddington".)
About the same time, the mathematician Mach also proposed a principle
that attempted to explain the equality of inertial mass and
gravitational mass (something we still don't really understand) as the
result of each particle in the universe interacting gravitationally with
every other particle (sort of like your Grava notion).
Another book you will probably enjoy is Steven Hawking's "Black Holes
and Baby Universes". It's in paperback, I just saw it in Bookman's or
someplace the other day.
Another issue is the question of how many universes there are (every
black whole could be the "outside" of another universe (Hawking's
universes"). And even Hawking has found himself wondering, if
everything is follows rules, who/what wrote the rules -- a question that
is edging ever closer to being of scientific interest and not just