Lessons from the Woodward effect

July 2, 2012 — Leave a comment

Re: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodward_effect

Now I’m not sure that he is onto something real or not, although experiments are still being performed which detail positive results.

He does have some pretty convincing arguments about what happens to an object with a varying mass:

Let us suppose that, viewed in our inertial frame of reference moving with respect to the brick, when the mass of the brick changes, its velocity changes too so that its momentum remains unchanged. (The cause of the velocity change is mysterious. After all, driving a power fluctuation in the brick to excite a mass fluctuation need not itself exert any net force on the brick. But we’ll let that pass.) We see the brick accelerate. Now we ask what we see when we are located in the rest frame of the brick. The mass fluctuates, but in this frame the brick doesn’t accelerate since its momentum was initially, and remains, zero. This, by the principle of relativity, is physically impossible. If the brick is observed to accelerate in any inertial frame of reference, then it must accelerate in all inertial frames. We thus conclude that mass fluctuations result in violations of local momentum conservation if the principle of relativity is right.

Of course no ‘real’ physicist thinks that you can change the mass of something without a pipe of energy or mass leading into it, but that’s what he means here – some ‘magical’ varying mass. I assume that for my electron model, this varying mass is only a local effect – there is a secret topological ‘wormhole’ pipe that connects two electrons together, so the total mass is constant.

So does Woodwards insight give us any guidance with the effects of the resulting monopole gravitational waves on other varying masses? We can see right away that momentum conservation for such a topological system is only adhered to over a time average.

Look at the diagram from Woodwards article:


We see shades of my varying mass model. I am not saying that electrons can self accelerate, but more that the interaction of varying mass objects leads to entirely new physics, without introducing any new equations.

With monopole gravitational waves, the electron will feel a varying force, and the averaged momentum rule from Woodward would then imply that the net average acceleration on the particle is in one direction only, depending on the phase of the arriving wave. Of course these phases are what are called charge – the electron wants to maximize the acceleration, in order to go down the potential energy landscape in the best direction.

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