This Thursday, theoretical physicist Alexander F. Mayer will be giving a scientific lecture on one of the most highly-debated and unsolved mysteries in science: “quantum gravity.”
Mayer will be giving the lecture in the AHS Little Theatre as an extended invitation from the Albany High School Science Club for a better understanding of a scientific paper Mayer wrote on the subject.
The talk will begin at 7 P.M. and end around 9 P.M. The public lecture is intended for a general scientific audience, with a question-and-answer session following the lecture.
Full press release below:
A SOLUTION TO QUANTUM GRAVITY: PHYSICIST PROPOSES A TESTABLE SYNTHESIS BETWEEN EINSTEIN’S GENERAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY AND QUANTUM MECHANICS.
On Thursday, 6 October, theoretical physicist and Bay Area native, Alexander F. Mayer, will present an empirically testable solution to what has been generally acknowledged to be the most important outstanding problem in science for nearly a century: “quantum gravity.” A Science Channel documentary ( JPhysics.org/TTW ) discusses this problem. Mayer’s talk will be open to the public and aimed at a general scientific audience. The initial draft of the related scientific paper has been pre-released for peer review at JPhysics.org/QG.
The Albany High School Science Club will be hosting the event at the Albany High Little Theatre on 6 October 2011 between 7 and 9 pm to learn more about the topic of this scientific paper. The address of the venue is 603 Key Route Blvd., Albany, CA.
A solution to the quantum gravity problem must explain how gravity is produced at atomic and subatomic (i.e., “quantum”) scale. The current explanation of gravity, Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity, explains gravity on the scale of objects that behave according to “classical” physics, also known as “Newton’s laws of mechanics.” These laws govern familiar observables from a grain of salt falling out of a salt shaker to the gravitational interaction of entire galaxies of stars seen through modern telescopes.
To understand how extremely small the quantum world is, a single typical grain of table salt contains more than a billion billion (1018) atoms. Furthermore, a typical atom has more than a trillion (1012) times the volume of its nucleus, which contains virtually all of an atom’s mass. At subatomic scale, classical physics fails to predict empirical observations and experiments reveal statistical behavior governed by wave models. A theory of quantum gravity must provide an intellectual bridge between models of the incredibly small strange “wavy” quantum world of the atom and the spectacularly huge world of gravitationally-bound galaxy clusters that can be seen through a large modern telescope.
More than three centuries ago, Isaac Newton first described gravity as a force that is directly proportional to mass; double the mass and you double the force of gravity. Although Albert Einstein updated Newton’s universal law of gravitation in 1915 with his famously abstruse theory of “curved spacetime,” Einstein maintained Newton’s idea of a universal gravitational constant (G) which determines the force of gravity per unit of gravitating mass. Apparently, just as Newton’s laws of mechanics fail to be physically meaningful at the typical very high speeds of subatomic particles, his law of gravity similarly fails to be meaningful at the tiny quantum scale of the atom. This was a key stumbling block to the problem of unifying general relativity with quantum mechanics.
Mayer reveals that the most famous equation in the world (E = mc2) is incomplete because it is missing a term that includes the energy to produce the gravitational field far away from the completely localized energy (E) of the source mass, itself. This term, called a “phasor” in mathematics, splits Einstein’s E into two distinct pieces which together yield more energy than what physicists have mistakenly called the ‘total energy’ (i.e., Einstein’s E) for more than a century. Mathematically, these two energy components are similar to the combined distance (S) over both the down-town and cross-town legs of an idealized taxi trip in the pattern of a capital “L.” Einstein’s E is the shorter distance (i.e., the hypotenuse) between the start and finish. The difference (S – E) is the energy projected out into space by a mass at the speed of light, which curves spacetime and thus produces the gravitational field. Almost all of this energy comes from the intrinsic motion of fundamental particles bound inside of protons and neutrons.
Einstein’s energy equation changed the world forever. Correcting it to account for gravity may facilitate development of a revolutionary new energy technology, which is the most exciting aspect of Mayer’s talk.