Lab Notes for a Scientific Revolution (Physics)

November 30, 2013

The Yang-Mills Mass Gap Solution


I have been a bit behind with this blog, but wanted to let you know that I have pulled together many of the various threads I have posted over the past several years into a complete solution to the Yang-Mills and Mass Gap Problem, which paper is here:

The Yang-Mills Mass Gap Solution.

The Mass Gap problem was specified back in 2000 by Arthur Jaffe and Edward Witten at

This problem really has four aspects, which are as follows: 1) the mass gap itself, 2) QCD confinement, 3) chiral symmetry breaking and 4)  proof of the existence of a relativistic quantum Yang-Mills field theory in four-dimensional spacetime.  Each of these is respectively presented in sections 10, 11, 12 and 13 of this paper.

You can read the paper abstract, so I will not repeat it here.  But I will also be delivering an oral presentation of this work at the April 2014 APS meeting in Savannah, Georgia.  Yesterday, I submitted the abstract for that presentation, which is below:

APS Abstract: The Yang-Mills Mass Gap problem is solved by deriving SU(3)C Chromodynamics as a corollary theory from Yang-Mills gauge theory.  The mass gap is filled from the finite non-zero eigenvalues of a configuration space inverse perturbative tensor containing vacuum excitations.  This results from carefully developing six equivalent views of Yang-Mills gauge theory as having: 1) non-commuting (non-Abelian) gauge fields; 2) gauge fields with non-linear self-interactions; 3) a “steroidal” minimal coupling; 4) perturbations; 5) curvature in the gauge space of connections; and 6) gauge fields related to their source currents through an infinite recursive nesting.  Based on combining the Yang-Mills electric and magnetic source field equations into a single equation, confinement results from showing how the magnetic monopoles of Yang-Mills gauge theory exhibit color confinement and meson flow and have all the required color symmetries of baryons, from which we conclude that they are one and the same as baryons.  Chiral symmetry breaking results from the recursive behavior of these monopoles coupled with a view of the Dirac gamma matrices as Hamiltonian quaternions extended into spacetime.  Finally, with the aid of the “steroidal” view, the recursive view of Yang-Mills enables polynomial gauge field terms in the Yang-Mills action to be stripped out and replaced by polynomial source current terms prior to path integration.  This enables an exact analytical calculation of a non-linear path integral using a closed recursive kernel and yields a non-linear quantum amplitude also with a closed recursive kernel, thus proving the existence of a non-trivial relativistic quantum Yang–Mills field theory on R4 for any simple gauge group G.

I am of course interested in any comments you may have.


June 15, 2013

Slides from my first Physics Lecture, and a New Draft Paper Summarizing the Experimental Points of Contact which Affirm my Work

This past week I gave my first physics lecture on the research in my recent four published papers establishing that proton and neutrons are actually a particular type of magnetic monopole (based on a theory called Yang-Mills because those are the names of the two fellows who invented its foundations).  In the lecture, I consolidated all four of my papers totaling about 140 pages into a 70 minute lecture (50 minutes talk, 20 minutes Q&A discussion) and 64 slides which you can download from Physics Lecture Slides.

It would probably take someone a couple of weeks to read through and thoroughly understand my four papers.   The slides were designed to allow someone to assimilate the same information within a couple of hours.  Please take a look.

Also, I prepared a new paper which you may read at Fitting the 2H, 3H, 3He, 4H Binding Energies 3  which in ten pages lays out the multiple relationships I have found which very clearly connect to experimental data that had never before been explained.  This is the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of the multiple ways in which nature herself validates my theoretical work at the parts-per-million level.   My hope is that people in the physics community will see these results, realize that there is something real here, and then take the time to backtrack to understand the theoretical foundations that got me to that point.  A sort of “inversion” of my work to lead with the experimental results in order to catalyze interest.  Everything in this paper by the way, is simple arithmetic (as in, numbers calculated and compared to other numbers), and about the only complexity is that you need to understand a tiny bit about matrix multiplication (like that the “Trace” of a square matrix is just the sum of all the entries long its upper left to lower right diagonal).  If you do not want to even sort through the matrix stuff, then just look at equations (14) through (20).  These are pure numbers, and you will see how close I get to the experimental data each and every time.  Nobody has ever before explained this experimental data with such high precision!

People, I am usually careful not to toot too loudly about my work.  But I have to say that this is real, it is fundamental, and it will revolutionize nuclear and particle theory.  The question is no longer if, but when.  The discoveries have been made and they are in print and all they need is attention from the right places.  My “lab notes” and related work will soon spark a “scientific revolution” toward which I have been working for over 40 years.  Real results in hand, I am now doing all that I can to make that happen sooner rather than later.  I welcome any help or support my friends can provide in making that happen.


May 4, 2013

My four recent peer-reviewed papers about Magnetic Monopole Baryons are now all published and online

I wanted to let you know that my recent second, third and fourth peer-reviewed papers were all published on April 30.  These papers, in order of logical development, are:
2)  J. Yablon, “Predicting the Binding Energies of the 1s Nuclides with High Precision, Based on Baryons which Are Yang-Mills Magnetic Monopoles,” Journal of Modern Physics, Vol. 4 No. 4A, 2013, pp. 70-93. doi: 10.4236/jmp.2013.44A010.
3)  J. Yablon, “Grand Unified SU(8) Gauge Theory Based on Baryons which Are Yang-Mills Magnetic Monopoles,” Journal of Modern Physics, Vol. 4 No. 4A, 2013, pp. 94-120. doi: 10.4236/jmp.2013.44A011.
4)  J. Yablon, “Predicting the Neutron and Proton Masses Based on Baryons which Are Yang-Mills Magnetic Monopoles and Koide Mass Triplets,” Journal of Modern Physics, Vol. 4 No. 4A, 2013, pp. 127-150. doi: 10.4236/jmp.2013.44A013.
The “Special issue on High Energy Physics” in which the foregoing all appear is at:
Also, the very first paper in which is is all rooted was published a couple of months ago, but finally went online about ten days ago.  This paper may be downloaded at:
1)  Yablon, J. R., Why Baryons Are Yang-Mills Magnetic Monopoles, Hadronic Journal, Volume 35, Number 4, 401-468 (2012)
If you want to quickly understand the original paper #1, which is 67 pages, I suggest that you start by reading the introductory section in paper #2, which is a three page encapsulation of paper #1.  Overall, this introductory section of paper #2 is the best point entry to understanding my recent research.  I am happy to answer questions or engage in discussions online.
Best to all,

June 20, 2012

Might Baryons be Yang-Mills Magnetic Monopoles?

If you have followed my blog the past few years or been a participant sci.physics.foundations, you will know that since early 2007 I have been advocating that baryons are Yang-Mills magnetic monopoles, hiding in plain sight.   Now, finally, I have developed rigorous mathematical proof of this, and it is in a paper you may read at:

2012 Baryon Paper Final

The equation which encapsulates the entire thesis, is (8.1), and I have copied it below into this post.  Now you can read the paper, see how I got to (8.1), and understand exactly what this equation is saying about nuclear physics.


February 27, 2008

Lab Note 2: Derivation of the Maxwell Stress-Energy Tensor from Five-Dimensional Geometry, using a Four-Dimensional Variation


As mentioned previously, I have been able to rigorously derive the Maxwell tensor from a five dimensional Kaluza-Klein geometry based on Lorentz force geodesics, using a variational principle over the four spacetime dimensions of our common experience.  At the link: Kaluza-Klein Theory, Lorentz Force Geodesics and the Maxwell Tensor with QED, I have attached a complete version of this paper, which includes connections to quantum theory as well as an extensive summary not included in the version of the paper now being refereed at one of the leading journals.  This is a strategic decision not to overload the referee, but to focus on the mathematical results, the most important of which is this derivation of the Maxwell tensor.

Because this paper is rather large, I have decided on this weblog, to post section 10, where this central derivation occurs.  Mind you, there are nine sections which lay the foundation for this, but with the material below, plus the above link, those who are interested can see how this all fits together.  The key result emerges in equation (10.15) below.  Enjoy!

Excerpt: Section 10 — Derivation of the Maxwell Stress-Energy Tensor, using a Four-Dimensional Variation

 In section 8, we derived the energy tensor based on the variational calculation (8.4), in five dimensions, i.e., by the variation delta g^{{rm M} {rm N} } .  Let us repeat this same calculation, but in a slightly different way. 

 In section 8, we used (8.3) in the form of {rm L}_{Matter} =-{textstylefrac{1}{8kappa }} boverline{kappa }g^{5{rm B} } J_{{rm B} } =-{textstylefrac{1}{8kappa }} boverline{kappa }g^{{rm M} {rm N} } delta ^{5} _{{rm M} } J_{{rm N} } , because that gave us a contravariant g^{{rm M} {rm N} } against which to obtain the five-dimensional variation delta {rm L}_{Matter} /delta g^{{rm M} {rm N} } .  Let us instead, here, use the very last term in (8.3) as {rm L}_{Matter} , writing this as:

{rm L}_{Matter} equiv {textstylefrac{1}{2kappa }} R^{5} _{5} =-{textstylefrac{1}{8kappa }} boverline{kappa }left(g^{5beta } J_{beta } +{textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} boverline{kappa }F^{sigma tau } F_{sigma tau } right)=-{textstylefrac{1}{8kappa }} boverline{kappa }left(g^{mu nu } delta ^{5} _{nu } J_{mu } +{textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} g^{mu nu } boverline{kappa }F_{mu } ^{tau } F_{nu tau } right). (10.1)

It is important to observe that the term g^{5beta } J_{beta } is only summed over four spacetime indexes.  The fifth term, g^{55} J_{5} ={textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} boverline{kappa }F^{sigma tau } F_{sigma tau } , see, e.g., (6.8).  For consistency with the non-symmetric (9.5), we employ g^{5beta } J_{beta } =g^{mu nu } delta ^{5} _{nu } J_{mu } rather than g^{5beta } J_{beta } =g^{mu nu } delta ^{5} _{mu } J_{nu } .  By virtue of this separation, in which we can only introduce g^{mu nu } and not g^{{rm M} {rm N} } as in section 8, we can only take a four-dimensional variation delta {rm L}_{Matter} /delta g^{mu nu } , which, in contrast to (8.4), is now given by:

T_{mu nu } equiv -frac{2}{sqrt{-g} } frac{partial left(sqrt{-g} {rm L}_{Matter} right)}{delta g^{mu nu } } =-2frac{delta {rm L}_{Matter} }{delta g^{mu nu } } +g_{mu nu } {rm L}_{Matter} . (10.2)

Substituting from (10.1) then yields:

T_{mu nu } ={textstylefrac{1}{4kappa }} boverline{kappa }left(delta ^{5} _{nu } J_{mu } +{textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} boverline{kappa }F_{mu } ^{tau } F_{nu tau } right)-{textstylefrac{1}{2}} g_{mu nu } {textstylefrac{1}{4kappa }} boverline{kappa }left(g^{5beta } J_{beta } +{textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} boverline{kappa }F^{sigma tau } F_{sigma tau } right). (10.3)

Now, the non-symmetry of sections 8 and 9 comes into play, and this will yield the Maxwell tensor.  Because delta ^{5} _{nu } =0, the first term drops out and the above reduces to:

kappa T_{mu nu } ={textstylefrac{1}{4}} boverline{kappa }left({textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} boverline{kappa }F_{mu } ^{tau } F_{nu tau } right)-{textstylefrac{1}{2}} g_{mu nu } {textstylefrac{1}{4}} boverline{kappa }left(g^{5beta } J_{beta } +{textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} boverline{kappa }F^{sigma tau } F_{sigma tau } right). (10.4)

Note that this four-dimensional tensor is symmetric, and that we would arrive at an energy tensor which is identical if (10.3) contained a delta ^{5} _{mu } J_{nu } rather than delta ^{5} _{nu } J_{mu } .  One again, the screen factor delta ^{5} _{nu } =0 is at work. 

 In mixed form, starting from (10.3), there are two energy tensors to be found.  If we raise the mu index in (10.3), the first term becomes delta ^{5} _{nu } J^{mu } =0 and we obtain:

-kappa T^{mu } _{nu } =-{textstylefrac{1}{4}} boverline{kappa }left({textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} boverline{kappa }F^{mu tau } F_{nu tau } right)+{textstylefrac{1}{2}} delta ^{mu } _{nu } {textstylefrac{1}{4}} boverline{kappa }left(g^{5beta } J_{beta } +{textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} boverline{kappa }F^{sigma tau } F_{sigma tau } right). (10.5)

with this first term still screened out.  However, if we transpose (10.3) and then raise the mu index, the first term becomes g^{5mu } J_{nu } and this term does not drop out, i.e.,

-kappa T_{nu } ^{mu } =-{textstylefrac{1}{4}} boverline{kappa }left(g^{5mu } J_{nu } +{textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} boverline{kappa }F^{mu tau } F_{nu tau } right)+{textstylefrac{1}{2}} delta ^{mu } _{nu } {textstylefrac{1}{4}} boverline{kappa }left(g^{5beta } J_{beta } +{textstylefrac{1}{4}} g^{55} boverline{kappa }F^{sigma tau } F_{sigma tau } right). (10.6)

So, there are two mixed tensors to consider, and this time, unlike in section 8, these each yield different four-dimensional energy tensors.  Contrasting (10.5) and (10.6), we see that delta ^{5} _{nu } =0 has effectively “broken” a symmetry that is apparent in (10.6), but “hidden” in (10.5).  At this time, we focus on (10.5), because, as we shall now see, this is the Maxwell stress-energy tensor T^{mu } _{nu } =-left(F^{mu tau } F_{nu tau } -{textstylefrac{1}{4}} delta ^{mu } _{nu } F^{sigma tau } F_{sigma tau } right), before reduction into this more-recognizable form.

February 25, 2008

Lab Note 2 Term Paper: Kaluza-Klein Theory and Lorentz Force Geodesics . . . and the Maxwell Tensor

Dear Friends: 

I have just today completed a paper titled “Kaluza-Klein Theory and Lorentz Force Geodesics,” which I have linked below:

Kaluza-Klein Theory and Lorentz Force Geodesics.

I have also submitted the draft linked above, to one of the leading physics journals for consideration for publication.

One of the things I have been beating my head against the wall over these past few weeks, is to deduce the Maxwell stress-energy tensor from the 5-dimensional geometry using Einstein’s equation including its scalar trace.  I finally got the proof nailed down this morning, and that is section 10 of the paper linked above.

I respectfully submit that the formal derivation of the Maxwell stress-energy tensor in section 10, provides firm support for the Spacetime-Matter (STM) viewpoint that our physical universe is a five-dimensional Kaluza-Klein geometry in which the phenomenon we observe in four dimensions are “induced” out of the fifth dimension, and that it supports the correctness of the complete line of development in this paper.  Section 10 — as the saying goes — is the “clincher.”

As is apparent to those who have followed the development of this particular “Lab Note,” my approach is to postulate the Lorentz force, and require that this be geodesic motion in 5-dimensions.  Everything else follows from there.  The final push to the Maxwell tensor in section 10, rests on adopting and implementing the STM viewpoint, and applying a 4-dimensional variational principle in a five-dimensional geometry.  If you have a serious interest in this subject, in addition to my paper, please take a look at The 5D Space-Time-Matter Consortium.

Best to all,


February 19, 2008

Lab Note 2 Progress Report: Draft Paper on Kaluza-Klein Theory and Lorentz Force Geodesics

Hello to all my readers and contributors:

I have been very busy these past several days preparing my research on Kaluza-Klein five-dimensional theory into a formal paper.  I now have a draft paper sufficiently advanced, that I would like to share it with my readers and contributors for their comment.

I am not going to reproduce this directly on the blog as there are dozens of equations and the paper itself is already 25 pages.  However, I have linked a PDF copy of the latest draft below, for your perusal and comment.

Kaluza-Klein Theory and Lorentz Force Geodesics — 2-19-08 Draft

I know that there are literally dozens if not hundreds of Kaluza-Klein papers already out there in the world.  This one, I believe, is the one that actually describes how nature works, and how classical gravitation and electrodynamics actually do become united in nature.

Looking forward to your thoughts.


February 14, 2008

Lab Note 2, Part 3: Gravitational and Electrodynamic Potentials, the Electro-Gravitational Lagrangian, and a Possible Approach to Quantum Gravitation

Note:  You may obtain a PDF version of Lab Note 2, with parts 2 and 3 combined, at Lab Note 2, with parts 2 and 3.

Also Note: This Lab Note picks up where Lab Note 2, Part 2, left off, following section 7 thereof.  Equation numbers here, reference this earlier Lab Note.

8.  The Electrodynamic Potential as the Axial Component of the Gravitational Potential

 Working from the relationship F^{{\rm M} } _{{\rm T} } \propto 2\Gamma ^{{\rm M} } _{{\rm T} 5} which generalizes (5.4) to five dimensions, and recognizing that the field strength tensor F^{\mu \nu } is related to the four-vector potential A^{\mu } \equiv \left(\phi ,A_{1} ,A_{2} ,A_{3} \right) according to F^{\mu \nu } =A^{\mu ;\nu } -A^{\nu ;\mu } , let us now examine the relationship between A^{\mu } and the metric tensor g_{{\rm M} {\rm N} } .  This is important for several reasons, one of which is that these are both fields and so should be compatible in some manner at the same differential order, and not the least of which is that the vector potential A^{\mu } is necessary to establish the QED Lagrangian, and to thereby treat electromagnetism quantum-mechanically.  (See, e.g., Witten, E., Duality, Spacetime and Quantum Mechanics, Physics Today, May 1997, pg. 28.)

 Starting with {\tfrac{1}{2}} F^{{\rm M} } _{{\rm T} } \propto \Gamma ^{{\rm M} } _{{\rm T} 5} , expanding the Christoffel connections \Gamma ^{{\rm A} } _{{\rm B} {\rm N} } ={\tfrac{1}{2}} g^{{\rm A} \Sigma } \left(g_{\Sigma {\rm B} ,{\rm N} } +g_{{\rm N} \Sigma ,{\rm B} } -g_{{\rm B} {\rm N} ,\Sigma } \right), making use of g^{{\rm M} {\rm N} } _{,5} =0 which as shown in (6.5) is equivalent to F^{{\rm M} {\rm N} } =-F^{{\rm N} {\rm M} } , and using the symmetry of the metric tensor, we may write:

{\tfrac{1}{2}} F^{{\rm M} } _{{\rm T} } \propto \Gamma ^{{\rm M} } _{{\rm T} 5} ={\tfrac{1}{2}} g^{{\rm M} \Sigma } \left(g_{\Sigma {\rm T} ,5} +g_{5\Sigma ,{\rm T} } -g_{{\rm T} 5,\Sigma } \right)={\tfrac{1}{2}} g^{{\rm M} \Sigma } \left(g_{5\Sigma ,{\rm T} } -g_{5{\rm T} ,\Sigma } \right).  (8.1)

It is helpful to lower the indexes in field strength tensor and connect this to the covariant potentials A_{\mu } , generalized into 5-dimensions as A_{{\rm M} } , using F_{\Sigma {\rm T} } \equiv A_{\Sigma ;{\rm T} } -A_{{\rm T} ;\Sigma } , as such:

A_{\Sigma ;{\rm T} } -A_{{\rm T} ;\Sigma } \equiv F_{\Sigma {\rm T} } =g_{\Sigma {\rm M} } F^{{\rm M} } _{{\rm T} } \propto g_{\Sigma {\rm M} } g^{{\rm M} {\rm A} } \left(g_{5{\rm A} ,{\rm T} } -g_{5{\rm T} ,{\rm A} } \right)=\left(g_{5\Sigma ,{\rm T} } -g_{5{\rm T} ,\Sigma } \right). (8.2)

The relationship F_{\Sigma {\rm T} } \propto \left(g_{5\Sigma ,{\rm T} } -g_{5{\rm T} ,\Sigma } \right) expresses clearly, the antisymmetry of F_{\Sigma {\rm T} } in terms of the remaining connection terms involving the gravitational potential.  Of particular interest, is that we may deduce from (8.2), the proportionality

A_{\Sigma ;{\rm T} } \propto g_{5\Sigma ,{\rm T} } . (8.3)

(If one forms A_{\Sigma ;{\rm T} } -A_{{\rm T} ;\Sigma } from (8.3) and then renames indexes and uses g_{{\rm M} {\rm N} } =g_{{\rm N} {\rm M} } , one arrives back at (8.2).)  Further, we well know that F_{\Sigma {\rm T} } =A_{\Sigma ;{\rm T} } -A_{{\rm T} ;\Sigma } =A_{\Sigma ,{\rm T} } -A_{{\rm T} ,\Sigma } , i.e., that the covariant derivatives of the potentials cancel out so as to become ordinary derivatives when specifying F_{\Sigma {\rm T} } , i.e., that F_{\Sigma {\rm T} } is invariant under the transformation A_{\Sigma ;{\rm T} } \to A_{\Sigma ,{\rm T} } .  Additionally, the Maxwell components (7.10) of the Einstein equation, are also invariant under A_{\Sigma ;{\rm T} } \to A_{\Sigma ,{\rm T} } , because (7.10) also employs only the field strength F^{\sigma \mu } .  Therefore, let is transform A_{\Sigma ;{\rm T} } \to A_{\Sigma ,{\rm T} } in the above, then perform an ordinary integration and index renaming, to write:

A_{{\rm M} } \propto g_{5{\rm M} } . (8.4)

In the four spacetime dimensions, this means that the axial portion of the metric tensor is proportional to the vector potential, g_{5\mu } \propto A_{\mu } , and that the field strength tensor F_{\Sigma {\rm T} } and the gravitational field equations -\kappa T^{{\rm M} } _{{\rm N} } =R^{{\rm M} } _{{\rm N} } -{\tfrac{1}{2}} \delta ^{{\rm M} } _{{\rm N} } R are invariant under the transformation A_{\Sigma ;{\rm T} } \to A_{\Sigma ,{\rm T} } used to arrive at (8.4).  We choose to set A_{\Sigma ;{\rm T} } \to A_{\Sigma ,{\rm T} } , and can thereby employ the integrated relationship (8.4) in lieu of the differential equation (8.3), with no impact at all on the electromagnetic field strength or the gravitational field equations, which are invariant with respect to this choice.

9.  Unification of the Gravitational and QED Lagrangians

 The Lagrangian density for a gravitational field in vacuo is {\rm L}_{gravitation} =\sqrt{-g} R, where g is the metric tensor determinant and R=g^{\mu \nu } R_{\mu \nu } is the Ricci tensor.  Let us now examine a Lagrangian based upon the 5-dimensional Ricci scalar, which we specify by:

{\rm R} \equiv R^{\Sigma } _{\Sigma } =R^{\sigma } _{\sigma } +R^{5} _{5} =R+R^{5} _{5} . (9.1)

February 6, 2008

Lab Note 2, Part 2: Gravitational and Inertial Mass, and Electrodynamics as Geometry, in 5-Dimensional Spacetime

(You may obtain a PDF version of this lab note at Electrodynamic Geodesics) Note: See also Part 3 of this Lab Note, Gravitational and Electrodynamic Potentials, the Electro-Gravitational Lagrangian, and a Possible Approach to Quantum Gravitation, which contains further development.

1.  Introduction  It has been understood at least since Galileo’s refutation of Aristotle which legend situates at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, that heavier masses and lighter masses similarly-disposed in a gravitational field will accelerate at the same rate and reach the ground after identical times have elapsed.  Physicists have come to describe this with the principle that the “gravitational mass” and the “inertial mass” of any material body are “equivalent.”  As a material body becomes more massive and so more-susceptible to the pull of a gravitational field (back when gravitation was viewed as action at a distance), so too this increase in massiveness causes the material body in equal measure to resist the gravitational pull.  By this equivalence, the result is a “wash,” and so with the neglect of any air resistance, all the bodies accelerate and fall at the same rate.  (The other consequence of Galileo’s escapade, is that it strengthened the role of experimental testing, in relation to the “pure thought” upon which Aristotle had relied to make the “obvious” but untested and in fact false argument that heavy objects should fall faster.  In this way, it spawned the essence of what we today know as the scientific method which remains a dynamic blend of thought and creativity, with experience and cold, hard numbers derived from measurement of masses, lengths, and times.)

  Along his path to developing the General Theory of Relativity (GTR), Albert Einstein made a brief stop in 1911 in an imaginary elevator, to conduct a gedanken in which he concluded that the physical experience of an observer falling freely in a gravitational field before terminally hitting the ground is no different from what was commonly thought of as Newton’s inertial motion in which a body in motion remained in motion unless acted upon by a “force.”  (GTR later showed that this was not quite true, the “asterisk” to this insight arising from the so-called tidal forces.)  And, he concluded that the force one feels standing on the floor of an elevator in free fall to which a constant force is then applied, is no different from the force one feels when standing on the surface of the earth.

  The General Theory of Relativity, in the end, captured inertial motion and its close cousin of free-fall motion in a gravitational field, in the most elegant way, as simple geodesic motion in a curved geometry along geodesic paths which coincide precisely with the paths one observes for bodies moving under gravitational influences.  This was a triumph of the highest order, as it placed gravitational theory on the completely-solid footing of Riemannian geometry, and became the “gold standard” against which all other physical theories are invariably measured, even to this day.  (“Marble and wood” is another oft-employed analogy.)

  However, the question of “absolute acceleration,” that is, of an acceleration which is not simply a geodesic phenomenon of unimpeded free fall through a swathe carved out by geometry, but rather one in which an observer actually “feels” a “force” which can be measured by a “weight scale” in physical contact between the observer and that body which applies the force, is in fact not resolved by GTR.  To this day, it is hotly-debated whether or not there is such a thing as “absolute acceleration.”  Surely, the forces we feel on our bodies in elevators and cars and standing on the ground are real enough, but the question is whether there is some way to understand these forces — which are impediments to what would otherwise be our own geodesic free fall motion in spacetime under the influence of gravity and nothing more — as geodesic forces in their own right, simply of a different, supplemental, and perhaps more-subtle character than the geodesics of gravitation.  That is the central question to be examined in this lab note. (more…)

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