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Book details
  • Genre:SCIENCE
  • SubGenre:Physics / Relativity
  • Language:English
  • Pages:220
  • eBook ISBN:9781098360221
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098360214

The Machinery of Gravity

Generalized Equivalence

by David Franklin

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Erik Verlinde, a  Dutch string-physicist, published a paper in 2009 postulating gravity was not a fundamental force of nature, but rather arises from the 2nd law of thermodynamics analogous to the way gas laws derive from random motions of particles.  Using this insight he derived a version of Newton’s Gravity Law of the form F=+GMm/R2 that differs from Newton’s form by the presence of a  plus sign instead of a minus sign.

The physics community was excited by his results ( one Finish physicist, Jarmo Makela, calling it a “remarkable paper” ) but to this day, as is true for other string-theory concepts, it remains an unproved but interesting speculation. This is because while string-theory notions are of great value they are of such a nature that they cannot be tested by experiment, the golden touchstone for validity in science. 

This present book examines  Verlinde’s form of Newton’s gravity law in the context of what is established as accepted behavior of gravity by the physics community and an experiment is described that would validate its possibility or falsify it to the levels of certainty required in physics for new ideas. The author believes that the test if carried out will show the expansion interpretation of gravity is viable.


EDITORIAL REVIEW: The Machinery of Gravity by David Franklin

Challenging some of the greatest minds and accepted concepts in modern physics, The Machinery of Gravity: Generalized Equivalence by David Franklin is a thought-provoking proposal of a paradigm shift in modern physics.

While this may sound like a daunting work to digest, the author does an exceptionally good job of keeping this high-level material accessible for a broad range of readers. With a disarmingly upfront style of narration, this book lays out our present understanding of physics, alongside streams of fascinating questions that seem to poke holes, or at least find loose threads, in our current conceptions of science.

At its core, the book is a vehicle for the concept of Generalized Equivalence (GEQ), a radical new hypothesis founded on gravity being a repelling force caused by the universe’s perpetual expansion, rather than the attractive force that holds us all on the ground. In practical terms, this change in thinking wouldn’t alter our relationship to gravity, but the concept of everything in the universe “growing towards one another” is a dramatic departure from the widely accepted tenets of academics around the world.

Franklin does not approach this contentious argument unprepared – he methodically moves through well-known aspects of physics, countering accepted theorems and equations with his own derivations and explanations, backed by logic and mathematics, but fueled by a fundamental shift in perspective. As the text moves past thermodynamics, general relativity, and time dilation, each boasting its own thorough summaries (and objections), the more theoretical aspect of Franklin’s idea comes into focus. By combining elements of General Relativity (GR) and Newtonian physics, the GEQ theory doesn’t fully bridge the two, but does answer some major astrophysical questions.

Franklin is quick to note that while a century of study on General Relativity has not suggested it is false, some phenomena have been observed that cannot be explained by GR, and this is the gap GEQ proposes to fill. The claim that GEQ can account for the bending of starlight and the behavior of spiral galaxies – without the blank check of dark matter as the explanation – is well-expounded by Franklin in a series of confident chapters that are perhaps the most interesting of the book, as they directly apply this new theory to a current mystery.

On a more heady, philosophical level, the tenets of these two theories aren’t necessarily aligned, meaning that it doesn’t seem possible for both to be correct. However, to propose GEQ as the “machinery” inside the “black box” of GR is a clever dodge that is a compelling and persuasive vantage point for his argument. Bolstered by ample diagrams and a patient, professorial style of explication, it is difficult not to accept this proposed idea as fact.

In terms of the prose, there are few errors or mistakes to adjust, aside from the occasional word reversal or missed comma, which are far outweighed by the author’s attention to detail. The layout and structure of the book are also excellent; the chapter summaries to introduce key concepts in layman’s terms are inclusive and appreciated, and will likely keep readers engaged for longer. A balance between high-level and common language is difficult to maintain, but even for novice stargazers, this deep dive into gravity’s secrets and systems is an academic but accessible thrill that will appeal to physicists and laypeople alike, given the incredible implications for science. SPR Review

About the author
David Franklin was born in Brockton, MA in 1932, and studied psychology and philosophy at the University of Vermont before transferring to New York University to study Physics. He received his undergraduate degree in physics, then continued graduate studies in physics and electronics at night school while working at the Naval Applied Science Laboratory in Brooklyn, NY. He continued to work at that facility for the next eleven years as a physicist/engineer. He then transferred to MIT where he began his work in sensory substitution (funded by Naval Research Laboratories) that was to occupy him for the next 30 years. In 1982 he and his wife founded Audiological Engineering Corporation, while continuing to work with MIT on their studies of tactile communication methods. David Franklin is best known for his work designing and developing wearable tactile aids for the deaf and other related products. His work was extensively supported by grants from NIH under the SBIR program from 1982 through 2005 as well as from other government agencies. During this same period, he served as a peer reviewer for the SBIR/NIH initiative. He was an invited speaker before The US Congress in support of the SBIR Program. He headed a consortium between his company, MIT, and Brandeis University, to develop methods and technology for utilizing tactile interfaces for control of rotary winged aircraft to obviate undesired interactions between vision and a pilot's balance perceptions due to disturbance of the inner ear (semi-circular canals). The project demonstrated the feasibility of substituting tactile sensory inputs for vision in controlling fixed wing aircraft in flights carried out at The Naval Air-station Pensacola, Florida, work funded by DOD. He holds six US and foreign patents and his inventions have been used around the world both in the hearing industry and in consumer products. Preparation for this present book involved extensive self-study beyond the physics he learned as a student many years ago. He is married, has three children and six grandchildren. His hobbies include cooking, carpentry, woodworking, hiking, fishing, and anything that involves a forest or bodies of water. He used to be a great aficionado of chainsaws and wood splitting devices, but age has robbed him of those pleasures.

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