Physicist Proposes New Theory of Gravity—Gravity Does Not Exist


Many people have heard the story of when Newton sat under an apple tree to think, and suddenly an apple fell on his head and he conceived the theory of gravity. But after a long time, physicists knew gravity was a very strange physical law. Compared to other basic interaction forces, gravity was very difficult to deal with. Now the reasons for this peculiarity may have been explained: gravity is not a fundamental interaction force, but instead may be the derivative of another more fundamental power.

Professor Eric Verlinde, 48, a respected string theorist and a professor of physics at the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Amsterdam, proposed a new theory of gravity as reported by the New York Times on July 12, 2010. He argued in a paper, titled “On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton” that gravity is a consequence of the laws of thermodynamics. 

“For me, gravity doesn’t exist,” Dr. Verlinde told the Times. Of course, the apple will fall to the ground, but the physical laws governing that action may not be the way science has viewed it for the past 300 years.

The core of the theory may be relevant to the lack of order in physical systems. The Times describes his argument as the “bad hair day” theory of gravity. Hair frizzles in the heat because there are more ways for it to curl than to remain straight. Dr. Verlinde postulates that the force we call gravity works in a similar way. 

Professor Verlinde’s theory is that gravity is essentially an entropic force. An object moving around other small objects will change the disorder surrounding the objects and gravity will be felt. Based on this idea in the Holographic theory, he can derive Newton’s second law of mechanics. In addition, his theory on the physics of inertial mass is also a new understanding. 

Research on the universe in modern science is essentially based on the theory of gravity. If gravity does not exist, then our understanding of the galaxy and the universe’s structure could be wrong. This may be why astronomers often find it difficult to explain gravitational movement’s of distant celestial bodies and have to introduce the concept of “dark matter” to help balance the equations.

While some physicists say Verlinde’s theory is wrong, others are intrigued. Even some who don’t necessarily agree with Verlinde say a new theory of gravity could help resolve some cosmic puzzles that have emerged—like so-called dark energy, a force that seems to be pushing the expansion of the universe. New theories of gravity may stimulate scientists to seek a new understanding of the universe.

“We’ve known for a long time gravity doesn’t exist,” Dr. Verlinde told the Times, “It’s time to yell it.”

Article originally appeared on Pure Insight. Read the original Chinese here.

This article has been revised from a previous version. 



  • matthew jules

    i have written a paper on this subject where i propose that what we have come to think of as a static force intrinsic to objects of great mass (gravity) is actually the centripetal force of the rotation of any given celestial body (coriolis force). i have written a paper explaining this and other perceptions i have. anyone with a degre wishing to perform an impromptu peer review of it can contact me at musashi0327@gmail.com.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-A-Quest/100000875744905 Jason A. Quest

      I’m curious how it accounts for the gravitational effect of non-spinning bodies, or the fact that gravity operates the same perpendicular to the plane of rotation as well as within it.

    • Jon Grey

      Gravity is not dependent upon rotation.

    • MatthewJamesGoodwin

      I’ve written on paper lots of times to.

  • TerryHuggles

    I have never believed in gravity. I have always thought it to be a state of mind.

  • Capt Jack Obvious

    Then why does the airless moon have an attractive force that holds it’s rocks on it’s surface? Gravity exists as a field but Electromagnetism is by far and away the most effective force in the known universe.

    • MatthewJamesGoodwin

      Obvious? If you stop pushing something it stops moving obviously. Effective? In what way? Efficiency, magnitude or just easier to think about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.w.scott.16 David W. Scott

    Gravity doesn´t exist, the gravitational effect (GE) is the result of compressed spacetime. Matter compresses (warps) spacetime around it. :-)

  • stevefromohio

    I like gravity on my mashed potatoes.

  • kctruth

    If gravity doesn’t exist, my life must really suck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/awintersun Adrian Wintersun

    This article explained nothing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.scott.77582 Matthew Scott

      Absolutely! I couldn’t understand a word of it – I’m an engineer and I study physics, yet this article made no sense to me whatsoever.

  • Andrew Mango

    Ahhhhhh…the mighty hand of GOD!

  • Paul Panza

    Gravity, time and god are not there! Free, free at last!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/autumnsfantasy Jennifer Anker

      There’s still physics and law enforcement. )=

  • caribbeancritic

    Gravity is an illusion it is simply expansion at an acceleration of 32 feet per second per second! if everything including the atoms of your body are doing this the overall effect is unnoticed, however this acceleration keeps you stuck to the planets surface.Time can simply be said to be movement over distance it can also explain orbits by simple geometric progression. we live in an electromagnetic universe with nothing to constrain it’s physical size therefore this expansion is all encompassing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/box1813 Alex Davis

      How can expansion “stick” you to any point on a sphere?

      Time is relativistic and effected by outside factors. The most recent graphical representations of time look much like multiple sets of ripples on a lake, not arrows.

      Lastly, you may be wrong on the unlimited expansion room idea. There are some very interesting theories that use a non linear time model to depict multiple universes in close proximity. Individual “realities” exist between the walls of the ripples, and eventually they intersect (and annihilate each other). Given what we know about the nature of our universe, it’s foolish to think we are either the beginning or the end.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.scott.77582 Matthew Scott

      The force of gravity is a ‘contracting/binding’ force which operates on a large scale – it is not an expansion. (32 feet/sec/sec only applies as measured on earth)

  • fred

    The Universe is not driven by the weakest force in Nature known as “gravity” – some ten to the power of 39 times weaker than proton-proton or electron-electron repulsion, or electron-proton attraction – but by electromagnetism and plasma physics. It’s an Electric Universe, maybe infinite and eternal. Gravity is probably electrical – you don’t think the most
    massive dinosaurs could have been able to stand up, let alone walk and run or
    fly, in the Earth’s present-day gravity and atmosphere, do you?

    If the universe were driven by attraction-only gravity, it would have collapsed long ago. It most surely stands to reason that for the very big jobs, Nature would use the strongest attractive and repulsive forces at its disposal – the electric forces and fields. The Big
    Bang [Once upon a time that did not yet exist, there was nothing - which
    exploded. What a hoot! ], Black Holes, neutron stars, dark matter, dark energy, warped
    spacetime and other fancy gobbledygook are impossible, laughable absurdities.
    Without Einstein, but with a Maxwell-Lorentz ether, a gravity-driven universe
    would never have got off the ground.

    http://www.holoscience.com/wp/

    http://www.maverickscience.com/saturn.htm

    http://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/

    http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=226351

    Admitting an electric universe opens the door and could lead (as Nikola Tesla well knew) to free energy. To the Matrix imposers who want to own us by monitoring, tracking, metering and charging us for everything: That is Forbidden!

    • MatthewJamesGoodwin

      Oh geewhiz relativistic and quantum mechanics are just to hard, to European avant-garde and Jewish. So you’ll just stick to good old easy double and triple intergrals from a brit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/box1813 Alex Davis

    Does your ether act as a fluid or gas, or is it ever present and devoid of movement?

    If it acts with fluidity, then its reasonable to think that bodies in motion would develop high and low pressure areas according to location (especially a sphere). Since we can determine that gravity is only minimally effected by position on earth (and the change is relative to altitude), we can assume that this is not the case.

    The second case involves an ether that does not “flow”, but instead is ever present. But, then how do you explain E=MC^2? Particle accelerators have demonstrated past a shadow of a doubt that relative mass increases with speed, subsequently requiring absurdly large amounts of energy to propel single particles near the speed of light. How does your ether model account for these well proven facts?

    What is the substance of the ether? What particles/strings/etc are responsible for it’s behavior? How does it account for black holes?

  • DeadInHell

    This article just kind of says “gravity doesn’t exist” 37 times and then ends. I was hoping for some actual substance that would make these claims seem like…I don’t know, something other than the drunken ramblings of an internet “physicist”.

    • http://www.paulnewcomb.com/ Paul

      I think when he says “gravity doesn’t exist” he means it doesn’t exist in the way we’re accustomed to thinking about it. I just think it’s worded that way to peak our interest and to prep the reader for a potential paradigm shift in the way we perceive the forces of gravity.

      • Dado

        good thing you explained that, I was just about to float up in space… :)

  • DarkStarAz

    So that’s how Neo did it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/magister.magenta Magister Magenta

    The universe is software, it’s all just algorithms. That is what they will discover in the end. We are not real.

    • So CAL Snowman

      agreed

    • MatthewJamesGoodwin

      What’s the software running on? It needs a substrate to run on.

      • http://www.paulnewcomb.com/ Paul

        And what is the substrate running on? The substrate needs a substrate to run on. And on….and on…..and on…and on…..

        • MatthewJamesGoodwin

          A substrate doesn’t run on anything, software runs on it.

    • http://www.paulnewcomb.com/ Paul

      Even if we are just algorithms, we’d still be real. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to say or think “we are not real”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1616336316 Mary Mahi Mahi

    Well my nutty Professor Verlinde I beg to differ try saying that gravity doesn’t exist as you ride your bike up a steep 1400 feet in elevation up a dormant volcano I live on I know I tried then failed after I discovered from living in flat Florida GRAVITY. Trust me it does exist!

  • MatthewJamesGoodwin

    Ether, you’ve obviously been breathing to much of it.

  • MatthewJamesGoodwin

    Whaaa! Flow with respect to what it’s self! “Well bugger me it’s flowing at one metre per metre one second per second.” Or one. You’ve managed to baffle yourself with you own [...] buzz word salad.

  • Buddy

    I teach Physics. Physicists have known about entropy for two hundred years.
    Entropy is the measure of a system’s disorder. All natural processes tend to
    increase entropy. Depends on what you decide is your system’s boundary.
    For example, you can freeze water in your kitchen refrigerator and the atoms
    take relatively fixed positions in the ice crystals which is a decrease in disorder,
    however, it requires power to operate and discharges heat into your kitchen, and
    uses power from the power company and has heat losses all along the way.
    Each of those increase the entropy. The total is an increase in disorder (entropy).
    Mass distorts space. That has been verified by watching planets going behind
    planets or the sun. The light is “bent” around the object due to its mass. So
    far, the only gravity force is found to be attraction, while electrical properties are
    more complicated, having attracting and repelling forces (charges). Blah blah…
    This article is a waste of time and the physicist named is just trying for some
    publicity, but if it gets more people to read and study physics, I guess it is
    worth something.

  • bz

    Gravity exists. What has hung all the geniuses up is that it is not a constant. Just like they say light has no weight even though a black hole sucks it up through gravity. So Gravity is the fastest force in the universe, and the speed of gravity depends on the mass, or density of the object generating it. Ask yourself what happens when a Black Hole implodes?

  • MatthewJamesGoodwin

    You do realise that the atmosphere is pushing on you pretty much the sameacross your whole surface. That removes any possible apparent increase in weight.

    • Capt Jack Obvious

      The inverse of a full tire is a harder to move car.

  • http://www.facebook.com/georges.huybens Georges Bernard Huybens

    Both Newton, the general theory of relativity and quantum physics are time reversible. No entropy created, time is an illusion. (Einstein) But we all know this is not true. The gravitational field plays the role of a reservoir of negative energy from which matter is created. This is an irreversible process. The transformation of space-time into matter corresponds to a dissipative, irreversible process producing entropy.
    See Ilya Prigogine – ‘The end of certainty’

  • Guest

    How do I express my own theory of how gravity works? I have thought about gravity for years and don’t entirely agree with how it is described. I don’t know how to right it down in a math formula but I could describe it. Also I don’t want someone getting my theory and if they agree with my understanding of it passing it off as their own.

  • RSK

    what he discovered on the basis of thermodynamics was already stated in general relativity by Einstein


Top