[ExI] Physicist advances a radical theory of gravity
sparge at gmail.com
Tue Aug 20 18:34:15 UTC 2019
This may be old hat, but it's new to me.
The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an
"emergent" force not fundamental.
The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing
models, without resorting to "dark matter".
While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as
a full-fledged theory.
The Dutch theoretical physicist Erik Verlinde is no stranger to big ideas.
His 2009 hypothesis about gravity earned him comparisons to Einstein for
its complete rethinking of what gravity could be. Verlinde proposed that
gravity was not a fundamental force of nature but rather emerged out of the
interactions of information that fills the universe. He also didn't think
there was such a thing as "dark matter" – a useful construct which is
supposedly taking up 27% of the known universe (but is yet to be observed).
Now, in a new interview, Verlinde reveals he is taking steps towards
conceptualizing his groundbreaking ideas in a full-fledged theory.
As reported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO),
Verlinde understands why many had trouble accepting his original proposal.
After all, the previous leading explanations of gravity have been by
Newton, who saw it as an invisible pulling force, and Einstein, who
conceived of it as a curvature of space-time by mass and energy.
In Verlinde's view, based on string theory, quantum information theory and
the physics of black holes, gravity is an "entropic" force that comes into
existence as a result of "information associated with the positions of
material bodies," as he wrote in his 2011 paper. What drives gravity is the
quantum entanglement of tiny bits of spacetime information.
Ten years after publishing his ideas in a paper that caused much
discussion, both from admirers and critics, Verlinde shares that he is
still fleshing them out, based on the research and advancements that have
taken place since then.
"Over the past ten years, we have gradually learned a lot more about how
you should talk about space and time information," said Verlinde to NWO. "I
am seriously considering rewriting my story from 2009, but now formulated
much more precisely. I think that could remove some of the scepticism that
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