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Picture yourself standing on a ball that is expanding at such a rate that it makes you stick to the ball. Everything in the universe is expanding at this same rate. To escape the earths gravitational pull we would need to jet upward faster than the expansion of the earth. Each object expands at a different rate on its surface according to its size. Thus different gravity affects for different size planets.

When in space we are subject to being affected by the most distant body if we stand in its way.

I just can not explain the reaction of our tides with our moon.

Have any scientists seriously considered an idea like this?

Follow up July 23

I am no scientist, but I think someone with more knowledge might explore this idea a little further.

At the very lease the idea that every thing in the total universe is expanding, including all parts of the atom can be used as a simple way to see formulas and the same results to the effects of gravity of anything on the surface of a sphere planet or a donut shaped planet.

The area of mass will grow but the density will remain the same.

The idea can be cross referenced by light shifting etc, to see if it falls in line with the known action of planet gravity and the known expansion affect of the whole universe.

Maybe the gravity affect of a planet on its surface dweller is a completely different force than is the force that maintains the orbits of planets. keplers law I believe.

What happens when we have an eclipse of the moon?, does the earths orbit around the sun change for time of this eclipse?

My summary is that if all scientists can not explain gravity totally, then maybe the common thought for all these years is not completely a correct one.

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Yes!! I've been thinking about this for years, just posted a similar question: physics.stackexchange.com/q/106103 In my question, I assert that tidal swelling and orbital motion could be explained as wave interference. But, you know, what the hell do I know? –  Jason Boyd Apr 1 at 6:31

3 Answers 3

This view fails to account for free orbiting behavior. You know, the planets around the sun, the moons around the planets, artificial satellites around the Earth.

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@aepryus; I am also looking for a better definition of gravity and of the TOE than what is handed down to us. –  George Jones Apr 17 '13 at 0:28

What you are trying to do is recast gravity as a noninertial Force.

For this "idea" to work out, you need one or more of the following:

  • a fine tuned rescaling factor that shrinks stuff inside gravity wells at a speed proportional to the outward volumetric velocity mass is traveling outwards, OR a geometric formalism to explain why stuff does not change in volume over time (maybe you are accelerating on some hidden dimension?)

  • the more mass you add in a region, the faster that region will accelerate outwards, so outer layers will feel a outward push proportional to their weight

I suspect that if you achieve the above steps, your insight will show to be roughly equivalent to the existing gravitational theory, but in some unusual different conformal coordinates

If you think about it, the tide (or any far-away gravitational effects) will have to be explained by some twisting in the geometry, more precisely you need a factor for radial tidal tension, and this gives you constraints over the shape the rescaling factor needs to have

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Longitudinal tidal tension, by the way, refers to the fact that the near side of the moon is attracted more strongly to the earth than the surface on the other side, which causes stress to the moon or indeed any large enough body. –  Emilio Pisanty Jul 23 '12 at 23:42
indeed, radial would have been a better term, thanks @EmilioPisanty –  lurscher Jul 24 '12 at 16:11

I realise this is an old question, but just for the record, Scott Adams has postulated this theory before and is the earliest source I know.

From a review of The Dilbert Future:

What if, says Adams, instead of gravity being an attracting force, it is merely the doubling in size of all objects every second – we wouldn’t perceive it as increase in size, because we’d be increasing along with all the other objects. Okay, this wouldn’t give us the usual acceleration of gravity at about 9.8 meters per second per second, but let’s let him slide on the math and assume he meant an increase in size at a rate that would give us the proper acceleration. How, he asks, would we be able to tell the difference between this and gravity the way we perceive it now? He gives us one answer, in the motion of planets around the sun, which should be bumping into each other all the time (and bumping into the sun, too). Luckily, he tells us, the universe is expanding, which allows all these objects to grow into it. How convenient that the rate of expansion in the universe is just enough to counterbalance the ‘gravitational’ increase in size of all objects.

Now for the quiz: Why won’t Scott’s model of gravity work, even without the problem of orbiting objects? I can think of at least three examples off the top of my head, only one of which needs any help from general relativity (oops, there goes another hint). Adams claims not to be able to think of any reason why it won’t work, and that he floated the idea in a Dilbert Newsletter and received no satisfactory objections, which just goes to show the quality of thinking of readers of that newsletter.

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