Volume 7: Pages 415-421, 1994)
Why Is Gravity So Weak?
David W. Talmage 1, Richard J. Sanderson 1
1The Webb Waring Lung Institute, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262 U.S.A.
Gravity possesses several unique features that distinguish it from the other three fundamental forces. Most prominent among these is its relative weakness, which at the level of fundamental particles amounts to approximately 40 powers of 10. In addition to this weakness, gravity also differs from the other forces by affecting all forms of matter and energy and by being effective without being absorbed. Despite these differences, most theoretical attempts to explain gravity are based on the assumption that the underlying mechanism of the gravitational force is the same as that of the other forces. The present model is based on an attempt to explain the unique properties of gravity as well as the exact equivalence of gravitational and inertial masses. By borrowing well‐established concepts from quantum mechanics and general relativity and the universe's scalar field from Brans‐Dicke, we have proposed a causal model of gravity in which the primary effect of the gravitational field is on the velocity of light. The other effects of gravity and inertia are considered secondary to changes in light velocity. One of the consequences of this model is that the gravitational constant (G) will vary inversely as the cube of the total Newtonian potential (P) and directly as the cube of the velocity of light (c). By using this model and Fermat's principle that light follows the least time path, we have been able to calculate the observed displacement of a star at the rim of the Sun, and the time delay of light passing that way. An explanation of the precession of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit requires an acceptance of the concept of delayed potential that balances the negative precession caused by the change inG. The positive precession observed is thought to be due to the damping of velocity predicted by special and general relativity.
Keywords: velocity of light, gravitational constant, quantum gravity, general relativity, precession of orbit, Brans‐Dicke theory, Fermat's principle, Mach's principle, rest mass, clock rate
Received: December 15, 1992; Published Online: December 15, 2008