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Carver Mead presents The Universe and Us: An Integrated Theory of Electromagnetics and Gravitation

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Published on Mar 5, 2015

The Universe and Us: An Integrated Theory of Electromagnetics and Gravitation

Carver Mead, Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, Caltech

Presented at TTI/Vanguard's Biotech & Beyond
February 24, 2015
San Diego, California

Newton's mechanics, Maxwell electromagnetism, and GR gravitation share the disadvantage that the quantities in their equations (force, acceleration, electric and magnetic fields, tensor elements involving stresses and gravitational field) are one full derivative away from the fundamental four-vector properties of matter. Not only does this derivative characterization complicate the theory, but it pushes a great deal of the problem into boundary conditions that are often difficult to determine.

The present contribution can be viewed as an attempt to develop the maximum physical insight using the minimum mathematical complexity. We present a unified theory of gravitation and electromagnetism in which the two interactions are of exactly the same form, but of the opposite sign. Both couplings are based squarely on the elementary four-vector coupling of matter wave functions. All calculations are carried out on elementary quantities (energy, momentum, current density, scalar and vector potentials). The concept of force, and its requirement for some force equation, although sometimes useful, is not required. This four-vector approach, which we call G4v, represents an significant simplification and unification of physical law.

The results derived by G4v for Gravity-Probe B, gravitational redshift, precession of elliptical orbits, Shapiro delay, deflection of light by massive bodies, and the total gravitational-wave radiation from binary systems are identical to those of GR to the first post-Newtonian order.

G4v predictions of gravitational-wave radiation patterns for binary systems, antenna patterns for observatories like LIGO, gravitational potential inside neutron stars and black holes, and certain velocity-of-light experiments differ significantly from those predicted by GR. It should be possible to compare the predictions of G4v with those of GR within the next few years.

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