On 4 March 2010, New Scientist magazine published an article entitled “Knowing the mind of God: Seven theories of everything“, where Michael Marshall reviewed the most promising candidates for the Theory of Everything, the Holy Grail of theoretical physics. So, what does this report card have to say – is our search for this ultimate scientific understanding going well?
One of the most striking revelations of this article is that all of the profiled candidates are quite different from each other, demonstrating that there is still no fundamental physical or theoretical agreement on the operation of our universe. Each theory is a favorite of one of a number of disparate camps within the scientific community, and each still falls under the general umbrella of our known scientific paradigm, or Standard Theory. Yet, one of the main reasons we seek such a grand theory is that it is expected to provide a clarifying simplicity and understanding that is unknown in today’s science (see comparison diagram above), implying that the answer may even lie outside our Standard-Theory umbrella. Indeed, the existence of seven disparate “final theories” after centuries of scientific enlightenment, each just as strongly defended as the others by its supporters, would almost seem to insist on this being the case. No, our search for the final Theory of Everything is arguably not going well. And although we could proceed just as we are and hope for different results, it may be time to step back and consider things from an entirely new perspective.
Mark McCutcheon’s controversial book, “The Final Theory“, recently released in its second edition, poses a truly unique theory-of-everything candidate called Expansion Theory, which appears to contain all the attributes expected of such a grand final theory. And, perhaps tellingly, it does take a giant step outside our centuries-old science legacy to do so; and, unlike most other candidates, this theory can be tested.
One of the classic qualities of the sought-after final theory is that it should unite all four fundamental forces of nature (gravity, electromagnetism, and both strong and weak nuclear forces); identify a fundamental principle or particle that does this and you are well on your way. According to McCutcheon, a Canadian-born electrical engineer, today’s most stable and ubiquitous fundamental particle, the electron, qualifies as just such an entity – provided we make the sizable leap of considering it to exhibit a new principle of constant subatomic expansion rather than endless “charge”.
Within the atom, this expansion principle addresses the very subatomic structure and nature of the atom itself, replacing current quantum-mechanical models widely acknowledged as bizarre and paradoxical (which by definition means lacking sensible explanation). And, as explained shortly, the further manifestation of such expanding electrons at both the outer edge of the atom and beyond offers surprisingly simple and compelling explanations for not only gravity and atomic bonds, but also electric charge, magnetism and electromagnetic radiation. Taken together, this singular concept of an expanding electron, rather than “charged”, provides potential scientific explanations for all known forms of matter and energy – the very definition of the long-sought Theory of Everything. This certainly qualifies as thinking outside of known science, as may ultimately be required for a final theory, but is it science? As McCutcheon’s book shows, to sincerely answer this question it must be equally applied to today’s theories as well – there must be no free passes on such important issues.
The sweeping rethink of centuries of our scientific legacy in “The Final Theory” does make its case with surprisingly compelling logical, mathematical and scientific arguments that are exceedingly, if not painfully, rare in works of “alternate science”. The core concept is introduced with a new theory of gravity that springs directly from Einstein’s famous elevator-in-space thought experiment where standing on Earth is entirely equivalent to being accelerated upward in space, but it replaces Einstein’s “warped space-time” conclusion with a much simpler and more literal interpretation. Instead, every atom in the universe expands at a tiny universal atomic expansion rate, contributing to an overall outward expansion of our planet, causing the effect of falling objects as well as the force we feel under our feet.
And, indeed, we do regularly witness the expected results of such an underlying expansion: objects in free space are attracted together as if expanding into the space between them, and are then held together as if continually expanding against each other. If, for example, the Earth were expanding toward dropped objects, rather than somehow pulling them downward, the ground would equally approach all dropped objects, effectively causing them to fall at the same rate – regardless of mass, just as we observe. In such a universe there would be no need for Newton’s still-unexplained gravitational force emanating from objects and acting across distances – and neither for Einstein’s “space-time”.
Intriguing, perhaps, but can this be backed by any solid experimental evidence? Einstein clearly believed Newton had gravity sizably wrong, initially following his own radically different space-elevator intuition before settling on his even more radical “warped space-time” concept, but can it actually be demonstrated that Newton and Einstein were both entirely wrong about gravity? Consider this drop-test example from the book and decide for yourself: Hang one object from another by a string, then let them fall. Since all elements remain immersed within the same “gravitational field” or “warped space-time” in today’s theories, the initial separation between them also remains, whether held or falling, as they are still immersed within the same gravitational influence either way. And, of course, this remains just as true with no string, as it should if the string were instead an elastic band; the geometry should remain the same in all three cases both before and during the fall since the gravitational influence has not changed.
But this is not what happens. Replace the string with an elastic band, and the elastic contracts during the fall, pulling the objects together. The effect of gravity, whether according to Newton or Einstein, was previously registered in the extension of the elastic prior to being dropped, and also continues thereafter, so there should be no change in this extension – either longer or shorter. Not convinced? Consider that although an initially unstretched elastic would remain so while falling, this is not the natural free-fall state for the stretched elastic, but the case of no string or elastic at all, where both objects are artificially held a distance apart before being dropped, making the presence of the elastic irrelevant. The contraction of the stretched elastic during free-fall should not occur according to either Newton’s ever-present “gravity field” or Einstein’s “warped space-time continuum”. But it should according to Expansion Theory, since the planet’s expansion forcefully stretches the elastic before the drop, but unlike today’s gravitational theories, this influence vanishes during the fall, freeing the elastic to contract as everything effectively floats while the ground approaches. This simple experiment would appear to seriously challenge both Newton and Einstein, according to the Scientific Method that states even a single negative result disproves any theory, yet it supports McCutcheon’s Expansion Theory.
This raises serious questions about Einstein’s theories of relativity, since Einstein’s “warped space-time” hails from his General Relativity theory, which in turn follows on from his earlier Special Relativity theory. But could this be so? Consider the famous “Twin Paradox” thought experiment, where a speeding astronaut is said to return to Earth to discover he is much younger than his Earthbound twin. A fatal logical flaw in this “paradox” has been reluctantly but increasingly acknowledged over the years, since “everything is relative” in Special Relativity theory, so either twin could be considered speeding or stationary, removing any absolute age difference. But, should this fatal flaw be pointed out, focus is invariably switched away from Special Relativity since the astronaut underwent actual physical acceleration in his travels, which is exclusively the realm of General Relativity instead. This switch is generally presented as a resolution to the issue – but is it?
First, this switch to General Relativity completely invalidates the still often-claimed support for Special Relativity from both this famous thought experiment and from all related physical experiments, such as speeding particles in accelerators or atomic clocks on circling airplanes or satellites. McCutcheon details how these experiments may indeed have come to lend unwarranted support to Special Relativity. Yet this inescapable conclusion is usually not later acknowledged or discussed, leaving many with the impression that the Twin Paradox and related physical experiments still fully apply to and support Special Relativity theory.
Second, McCutcheon further shows that the switch to General Relativity is a fatally flawed solution to this issue. One of the cornerstones of General Relativity is the Principle of Equivalence, which states that the 1g-force effect of gravity on Earth is entirely equivalent to being accelerated through space at the same 1g rate – no experiment should be able to discern any difference. This means that even though this acceleration would produce near-light speeds within months, there should still be no physical difference between this scenario and that of standing on Earth the whole while.
So, according to both the “everything is relative” aspect of Special Relativity and the Principle of Equivalence in General Relativity, it appears there is no such thing as a “Twin Paradox” time dilation effect, despite widespread repetition of theoretical and experimental claims to the contrary. Not only does this seriously question Special Relativity, but doubly so for General Relativity considering the earlier drop-test issue as well. And notably, Expansion Theory differs with both the drop-test prediction of General Relativity and Newtonian gravity and the time dilation claim of Special and General Relativity.
One of the milestones in our science is also one of the most celebrated successes of Newton’s gravitational-force theory – its extension of surface gravity to a further “action-at-a-distance” quality that Newton claimed reaches out into space, holding the Moon in orbit. But this proposal not only still has no solid physical explanation for how it might operate – 300 years later, but also offers no explanation for the immense and endless power source that must exist to support such a powerful undiminishing force. We have developed conceptual abstractions to address this issue in the absence of solid physical explanations, but this has left us with an array of working theories of gravity today and ongoing speculation over possible “graviton particles” or “gravity waves”. And, to the extent that Einstein has aligned his theory with Newton, it also suffers the same difficulties, while the extent to which it deviates often leaves it suffering from impractical abstraction or mathematical intractability.
In contrast, Expansion Theory describes orbits at a distance as a simple geometric consequence of the same singular expanding matter phenomenon responsible for surface gravity. It is easy to see, for example, how dropped objects would effectively fall due to planetary expansion, and also how even horizontally tossed objects would curve and plummet increasingly toward the ground. Such a dramatic momentum change solely due to the geometry of expansion establishes the concept for this plummeting trajectory to become continually less dramatic the greater the horizontal speed, eventually matching the Earth’s curvature, which, by definition, repeats just the same each moment – no longer plummeting but circling the planet.
Likewise, this new concept of expanding matter can also explain observations throughout our solar system – planetary orbits, ocean tides and interplanetary space travel, to name a few. Study the left side of this image of two planets travelling in theoretical straight lines past each other while the gap between them closes due to their expansion. We would never actually see such expansion directly as a size change if we and all other objects expand equally, maintaining constant (relative) sizes, so the closing gap between the objects in the diagram could only manifest as effective curves toward each other while passing, as shown on the right. This is what McCutcheon calls the “Natural Orbit Effect”, where curves and orbits are unavoidable natural trajectories that follow from the pure geometry of expanding matter. In this view, Newton’s absolute straight-line momentum claim for all objects in the universe is a fallacy, and not a law of nature, since it is actually never followed in nature upon closer examination; even objects rolling in a straight line along the ground are actually rolling around the planet.
Interestingly, another test of Expansion Theory, in addition to the earlier-mentioned drop test, could be performed by weighing an object directly on the surface of the far side of the Moon. Since the Moon is about a quarter the size of Earth, its expansion-based surface gravity would be one quarter as well, which, McCutcheon shows, is also calculated by Newton’s mass-based gravitational equations before revising lunar mass assumptions to match actual surface measurements from our space programs. And while the actual one-sixth surface gravity – only directly measured on the near side and presumed to extend around the lunar surface – is currently explained by assuming the Moon is composed of less dense material throughout, McCutcheon’s theory suggests a somewhat different explanation.
Expansion Theory suggests a varying density, from most dense on the near side to least dense on the far side, which is also in keeping with one of the commonly proposed lunar creation scenarios. In this case, since the outward expansion of objects would proceed from their center of mass, there would be less expansion force on the near side and more on the far side, as shown in the diagram at left. This suggests that the far-side surface gravity must be double the near side in order to average to the one-quarter gravity suggested by the Moon’s size. McCutcheon shows that this would not affect either the spherical shape of the Moon or the orbit of any circling satellites, and could only be determined by direct surface contact. The detailed description in the book of the results of differing internal expansion points and force-free gravitational effects at a distance present an entirely new understanding that could revolutionize large-scale engineering projects, such as elevators rather than rockets for reaching orbit.
The book further suggests that ocean tides need not, and cannot, arise from a lunar influence, but only from the inner dynamics of the Earth itself – an inner wobble that must be present even according to today’s classical physics, based on the center-of-mass dynamics of the Earth-Moon system. The analysis justifies why the passing Moon coincides with rising tides, roughly speaking, but for internal reasons that follow from the creation and evolution of the Earth-Moon system.
In Expansion Theory the dynamics of orbiting, expanding moons and planets result in the entire solar system and all of its contained orbits expanding as well. This is shown to explain the slingshot effect that accelerates spaceships as they pass planets – and where there are no known g-forces in the process – an otherwise mysterious maneuver that is actually unexplained today, as shown in the book. And, at the level of the overall solar system, this expansion addresses a widely known puzzling anomaly with the Pioneer space probes and other spacecraft as they travel through the solar system and beyond. These deviations from predicted trajectories can now be understood as possible artifacts of our Newtonian gravitational models based on a force emanating from a given mass, when Expansion Theory suggests our models should be based on the geometry of size and expansion.
And, much as expanding atoms replace “gravitational energy”, the concept of expanding subatomic particles replaces the energies of “Electric Charge” and “Strong and Weak Nuclear Forces”. These separate energy concepts become abstractions for the single underlying phenomenon of subatomic expansion. And such abstractions become unnecessary in a new model of the atom where neutrons and protons are not true particles, but clusters of expanding (not “charged”) electrons, and where “orbiting” electrons instead rapidly bounce off the resultant expanding nucleus.
Today’s “strong nuclear force” holding the powerfully repelling “positively charged” nuclear protons together, all of whose required power sources are oddly absent, is replaced by the natural compression of rapidly expanding protons and neutrons pushing against each other. And the “weak nuclear force” responsible for occasional nuclear decay then furthers the suggestion that neutrons may be less stable clusters of active expanding electrons that occasionally eject an electron to become a more stable proton, in a more straightforward proposal for nuclear “decay”.
This new atomic model also addresses chemical bonds, which are currently considered as endless electric-charge or electromagnetic energy. And, beyond the atom’s outer edge, expanding electrons manifest as a tremendous external group expansion of countless electrons outside the atom in a “Crossover Effect” that we call electric and magnetic fields.
In the end, all forms of “energy” are ultimately represented as different manifestations of one singular phenomenon. The internal energies and structure of atoms is explained by expanding electrons in the subatomic realm. “Gravitational energy” is explained as atomic expansion due to this inner expansion at the atomic boundary. “Electric and magnetic field energies” are explained as clouds of expanding electrons surrounding or emanating from conductive materials or objects. And “electromagnetic energy”, such as radio waves or radiant heat and light, are explained as bands or clusters of freely expanding electrons continually replenished from the radiation source and pushing one another through space at the speed of light. The flow of electrons through electric circuits is also driven by subatomic expansion rather than “electric charge”, and this flow of expanding electrons pushing each other through wires runs our domestic appliances.
According to McCutcheon’s Expansion Theory, when we consider the singular phenomenon of expanding matter, we can explain all four fundamental forces of nature without having to invent separate forces, energies, abstractions or complexities, also resolving chronic mysteries and paradoxes in our science. This article, however, comes with the caveat that such a basic overview of Expansion Theory cannot do justice to the book, as it bypasses all detailed discussions and further topics that McCutcheon has covered to support the theory. Although snap judgments and easy dismissals are justifiable temptations with most alternate theories, familiarization with Expansion Theory is highly recommended at this critical time where informed discussions are imperative when such a compelling new theory arrives – by all appearances a truly viable candidate for the Theory of Everything.
You may be surprised at how much more accessible, comprehensible and verifiable Expansion Theory can be, compared with the other seven “theory of everything” candidates Michael Marshall reviewed in his New Scientist article. In fact, comparing these seven theories to Expansion Theory could turn out to be a very eye-opening exercise. We may very well have here a truly final Theory of Everything, though it remains for you to read, assess and pass judgment upon in a responsible and scientific manner. For a start, it does both highlight and resolve most of the mysteries and paradoxes inherent within Standard Theory, and for that alone we owe it to ourselves and to the future of our science to not dismiss Expansion Theory too hastily.
For further reading on Expansion Theory: http://www.thefinaltheory.com
“Without irony, this life would hardly be worth living.”
Roland Michel Tremblay, Poet for Human Rights