Gravity and Inertia as Complementary Aspects


Short text


It becomes increasingly clearer that an appropriate understanding of gravity is the key to a future unified theory of forces. The intensive and comprehensive confrontation with the phenomenon of gravity and our not always factual handling of it, by putting back from all prejudices, is worth every effort. For science and for the correct approach it s less important if somebody can represent himself the how of the gravity action. More important is the appropriate approach to the phenomenon of gravity relevant for the specific goal, as done by Newton.

The idea of equality without egalitarianism has it very difficult not only in the society, but also in the science of physics. Like in the century old controversy between light as wave vs. light as particles, only after Bohr's idea of complementarity became accepted, the time is now ripe for conceiving the phenomena of gravity and inertia as two equal but different sides of the same thing. It is usually ignored that Newton by no means did consider inertial mass as the cause of centripetal force - which insinuates the reproach he had believed in action at a distance - but rather stated in Definition VIII of his "Principia" he wrote, that "the accelerative force to the placeof the body, as a certain power diffused from the centre to all places around to move the bodies that are in them", which corresponds to what is called today a permanent field. This permanent field is complementary to the quantum, or "particle of body" (Newton), so that the quantum gravity can not be a fundamental problem.
      The mass is á measure of matter, namely the measure of its mechanical resistance. To this extent it is unappropriate to read about mass as "cause" of gravity. That gravity is a phenomenon belonging to matter and existing so permanent as this, is expressed by the proportionality constant G introduced by Newton.
translated by Dr. Georg Galeczki (Cologne/Germany)

© HILLE 1997

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Lecture presented at the 61th conference of the German Physical Society in March 1997, in Munich, in both sections "Gravity and Relativity Theory" and "Mathematical Foundations of Physics".