Thereís no Such Thing as Gravity:
The World Just Sucks!

A slightly different approach to general relativity
for high school physics students

By Mark Sowers

Table of Contents

Prologue:

Hereís an easy problem that almost every high school physics student can solve. What is the Potential Energy of a 1-kilogram rock suspended 74 feet (22.5m) above the ground?

Easy, as long as we know a few thingsÖ

  1. the equation for Potential Energy (Potential Energy (U)=mgh).
  2. the gravitational acceleration at the surface of the Earth (g=9.8m/s2)

So lets run the numbers. Potential Energy = 1kg(m) times 9.8m/s2(g) times 22.5m(h). We get about 220 joules. This is also the amount of energy it took to raise the rock 74 feet. Remember that number, 220 joules, because it will be significant in a moment.

OK, thatís handy to do, but unfortunately it doesnít really tell us much about how the universe works. Sure it tells us that the higher we raise something, the more potential energy it has, but it doesnít tell us anything about potential energy. What is it? And where did the energy go? Plus what about gravity? What is gravity? Why is it important? How does it Ďpullí us towards the Earth?

The equation U=mgh doesnít answer any of those questions. To find those answers weíll do that same problem again. Only this time we will use the most famous of all equations: E=mc2. This sounds difficult at first, but itís really not. We just need a calculator that allows for some really big and some really small numbers.

Energy = 1kg(m) times 299,792,458m/s(c, the speed of light) times 299,792,458m/s(c, the speed of light again). You get 89,875,517,900,000,000 joules, which is a really big number and not even remotely close to what we found before. Iíll explain what this number represents in chapter 4.

Oh, thereís one more piece of information we should know. If you placed a perfect clock at both the top and bottom of a 74-foot tall tower, and perfectly synchronized their times, in 13 million years the clock at the top would read one second fast. This is not due to any problem with the clocks. Itís due to the fact that time itself moves slightly faster at the top of that 74-foot tower than it does at the bottom.

Itís true. Back in 1959 scientists at Harvard proved that time flowed approximately 0.00000000000000245 times faster at the top of a 74-foot tall tower than it did at the bottom.

Now 0.00000000000000245 may seem like a really small amount. Some might even say insignificant. But if you multiply that small difference in time by a really big amount of energy, like 89,875,517,900,000,000 joules, you get something pretty significant.

You get 220 joules.

Notice what we did here. We were able to find the potential energy of an object by using the mass and the difference in the rate that time itself flows. Nowhere did we mention height or gravity.

In this paper Iíll show you why this works and what it means for our understanding of gravity.