Albert Einstein's Unified Field Theory

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the unified field?

Whether we call rhe ubiquitous energy of the universe as radiation, or light in its most general sense, any time-varying electromagnetic field (where the energy density swings from positive to negative and back again around a mean or central position known as true zero energy, similar to the plucked string of a guitar vibrating from a central position) is the unified field. If you do not have oscillation in the energy, there is no unified field, and that means there can be no gravitational field.

The electromagnetic field must be oscillating to be described mathematically, according to Einstein's work, as a unified field and generating a gravitational field of its own.

What does Einstein mean by unified?

From Einstein's perspective, it is the linking of the electromagnetic field with the gravitational field. From our research and understanding the problem Einstein was solving after 1917, the electromagnetic field must be oscillating. That was the missing piece in the puzzle for physicists who were trying to understand Einstein's Unified Field Theory. Or as Graham Keith Russell stated in his 1972 thesis titled The Interpretation of Einstein’s Unified Field Equations:

"How do the field equations describe the geometry of space-time, and how do they describe the electromagnetic and gravitational fields in that space-time?"

What is the Unified Field Theory?

This is a mathematical unification of radiation (i.e., the electromagnetic field) and the gravitational field, which is described by the unified field equations. Einstein came to this conclusion after conducting much thought experiments about the nature of light. In particular, why does light bend in a gravitational field? And why does light move uncharged matter?

However, things gets more interesting in our research when we pursue this unified picture to its logical conclusion. In particular, how is the electromagnetic field, when oscillating, any different from an ordinary gravitational field? Indeed, are there any other ways to generate a gravitational field that does not require radiation or an oscillating charge to be present?

For most scientists, the answer is probably that there is an independent way for the gravitational field to get generated without the presence of the electromagnetic field. And they even rely on the structure of the unified field equations to highlight this alleged independence of the gravitational field from the electromagnetic field, as Dr Leopold Infeld did when he said:

"A pure gravitational field can exist without an electromagnetic field. But a pure electromagnetic field cannot exist without a gravitational field."

However, our research indicates there is no separation of the two fields. If one exists, the other field must also exist, and vice versa.

Furthermore, we are noticing how physicists are also assuming the gravitational field is a real and distinct force of nature. But what if the gravitational field never really existed? Rather, it is only the electromagnetic field that is doing all the work. Is it possible we live in an electromagnetic universe controlled by the electromagnetic field and nothing else?

That is the question the scientific community should be asking.

What observational evidence is there to support a gravitational field in radiation?

Basically any solid matter that scientists think is uncharged is able to move when radiation hits it, or it emits the radiation causing a recoiling of the matter. A classic example would have to be the radiometer. This is a well-known device for which many scientists assume no charges are applied to it, and yet it is patently clear to scientists how the radiation from the Sun can move the so-called "uncharged" metal plates acting as "solar sails" and watch them spin on the tip of a fine needle.

In addition to this, Einstein saw from his General Theory of Relativity another important clue about the nature of light. Principally it is how light can bend in a gravitational field, much like a tennis ball thrown through the air can bend its path by the gravitational field of the Earth. In other words, the gravitational field of the tennis ball is interacting with the gravitational field of the Earth to cause the ball (and the Earth) to move toward each other. The only way to explain this bending of the light is for the radiation to generate its own gravitational field and interact with the gravitational field of the Earth (or any other body that generates a gravitational field). There is no other explanation. No physicist can say there is a difference in the way a tennis ball and radiation bends in the gravitational field of, say, the Earth. One can only conclude that both observations are a "gravitational effect". Any bending of the path of light or a tennis ball is always assumed to be gravitational in nature. Therefore, we must have a gravitational field generated by light, or radiation.

As a result of his careful thinking, Einstein decided to encapsulate the electromagnetic field and the gravitational field into a highly complex mathematical structure known as the unified field equations. This was Einstein's way of saying to the world that he believed the two fields are related.

However, if we think about this link further, the question arises as to how to separate the two fields in reality to show whether one field can exist without the other. How can we be sure one field is not the source for creating the other field and vice versa? With further careful thought, one can actually show the two fields are one and the same thing, if physicists wanted to make the effort.

Is there a difference between solid matter and the unified field?

From Einstein's perspective, there is none. When radiation creates a gravitational field of its own and interacts with other matter, it behaves just like ordinary solid matter. It does not matter the fact that radiation contains an oscillating magnetic and electric fields. When radiation is analysed for its particle-like properties (known as photons) during its interaction with solid matter and compared to how a gravitational field is meant to interact with the same matter, Einstein found no difference between an oscillating electromagnetic field and a gravitational field, and similarly between an oscillating electromagnetic field and solid matter. Everything is seen as one and the same thing.

The only question for Einstein was whether radiation is the gravitational field. This is the sixty-four million dollar question. Or is there another way to generate a gravitational field without ever needing to use an electromagnetic field? Indeed, that was the only remaining question Einstein had in his mind in the latter part of his life after he published his Unified Field Theory in a German scientific journal in 1929. For if there was a way to show radiation is the gravitational field and nothing else can create it, then we can say we live in a purely electromagnetic universe. Then the only force of nature is the electromagnetic field (via radiation), and everything must have an electromagnetic explanation, including gravity and universal gravitation. It is as simple as that.

But if that is not true, then there must be more exotic things happening in the universe that physicists have to learn about. Perhaps an unseen exotic particle is creating the gravitational field? So far, there is no evidence to support this. No exotic particle alleged observed in particle accelerators can live long enough and have the means (and in sufficient quantities) to create a gravitational field all the time to explain how matter comes together on its own throughout the universe. If one had to poke a stick at any other energy capable of doing this with solid matter throughout the universe, you would have to choose radiation. It is ubiquitous. We live in an ocean of radiation, and there is no way of escaping it. The quantity is there. The question is how radiation interacts with solid matter and what imbalances in the electromagnetic force is taking place between two or more objects. If there is an imbalance in the force, could it be enough to account for the gravitational effect of matter clumping together?

That is where physicists will need to look at more closely.

What areas of physics are likely to be challenged by Einstein's Unified Field Theory?

There are a number of areas, but our research indicates that physics will almost certainly face in the near future the following fallacies within its current body of knowledge:

  1. Gravity and universal gravitation is a separate and distinct force of nature.
  2. The neutron is uncharged at all times.
  3. There are exotic forces of nature known as the "weak" and "strong" nuclear forces.
  4. There are uncharged objects in the universe.
  5. Radiation cannot exert a strong enough force on solid "uncharged" matter for any practical purposes on a large-scale.

Looking at the Unified Field Theory and the way the universe works from observations, it is looking strongly like the following is closer to the truth:

  1. There is no difference between gravity/universal gravitation and radiation. Gravity and universal gravitation is controlled by radiation, and radiation is gravity/universal gravitation. So why bother having a gravitational field if radiation can do all the work of the gravitational field? The universe should be seen in a purely electromagnetic way with radiation applying the necessary pressure needed to keep things on the surface of planets as well as other objects moving around planets, stars and galaxies.
  2. The neutron is constantly charged. It is controlled by the two fundamental charged particles of the electron and proton spinning around each other to give the impression to an outside observer that the neutron is uncharged.
  3. Only the electromagnetic field controls how protons stay together and how the electron comes out of the neutron. There are no exotic forces of nature to consider.
  4. No matter how much we like to think or believe after measuring something and observing the results with our eyes, there is no such thing as a perfectly uncharged object at all times. We cannot trust what we see with our eyes or instruments all the time to think that we have the truth. We have to use our imagination to go beyond what our eyes are observing and to use computer modelling to confirm the new picture. Therefore, an atom with equal numbers of electrons and protons cannot be considered totally and consistently uncharged at every instant in time. The same is true of the neutron. Indeed, not even radiation can be considered truly uncharged at all times. Its oscillation ensures it remains continuously charged as well.
  5. Radiation is only moving the charged component of matter.

There will be other areas for radiation to play an important role. Quantum theory and the mathematical interpretations physicists have made of certain solutions is just one area. The mystery of dark energy and dark matter will also have an answer. The age and size of the universe is another area to be affected by the Unified Field Theory. And so too is the mystery of why our bodies age over time.

And dare we say it, there is also a new understanding of the concept of God in religion thanks to the properties of light?

There is much we can learn about light and its impact on many things in our lives and through the universe. It is time we take serious note of this situation.

What do you say to those mathematicians working in physics today who believe gravity and universal gravitation is a purely mathematical force under the General Theory of Relativity caused by a bending of spacetime?

Saying a force is entirely mathematical and leaving it as that (i.e., not make any effort to find out what it represents in the real world as physicists are meant to do) represents a kind of failure in our visual skills as required by all good physicists to see through a problem. Mathematicians can come up with new mathematical frameworks that may help to see the problem of gravity and universal gravitation in a different way and perhaps even give more accurate results (e.g., the light bending effect). However, it is the job of a true physicist to relate the mathematics to reality. It is like quantum theory with its heavy reliance on mathematics to make predictions and give probabilities of where particles are likely to be using probability waves. Those waves do nothing to explain why or how the particles get to a certain position and attain a certain speed in a real world. Indeed, there were physicists who looked for a real wave in nature that could behave like this probability wave.

As for Einstein himself, he already knew the limitations of mathematics to reality. He even gave a statement in support of this view when he said:

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality"

And Einstein never stopped at his General Theory of Relativity when trying to understand gravity and universal gravitation. When he realised the oscillating electromagnetic field was playing a crucial role in affecting the gravitational field and, indeed, had to be generating its own gravitational field, he pursued it. This led to producing his next ambitious work known as the Unified Field Theory. But has he and other physicists come to the logical conclusion about what is the gravitational field? Can we be certain we have found the real force responsible for gravity and universal gravitation, or not found it as some mathematicians in physics believe?

Whatever the truth, we need to be very careful not to accept everything mathematics tells us. Nor can we expect mathematics to give us the final real-life answer.

To understand better this limitation of mathematics, whenever we talk of an object that appears stationary in space and nothing else, the mathematical point-of-view based on the General Theory of Relativity is to assume that the gravitational force is zero on the object. Or, we must assume that the gravitational of the object has cancelled out the gravitational field of space or a nearby source of matter, such as the Earth.

Bu then, suddenly, the object renders itself invisible, just like a black hole. So how do we explain this? The mathematician does not know why unless he/she suggests the idea of another universe and the object has slipped into it from our universe by breaking spacetime in some way. However, it is only when physicists see an accretion disk around the object that the mathematical model has to change. Because physicists realize that the object is not merely stationary because the gravitational field has been cancelled. Rather the force is being exerted around the object. So mathematics has to accommodate this additional force to explain the invisibility effect.

However, if the object is not invisible and sitting stationary in space, we cannot assume gravity is a mathematical force created by spacetime that has been cancelled out through acceleration. A mathematical force doesn’t know the mechanics of gravity. The gravitational field could still be there? What if everything is constantly accelerating thanks to the tiniest vibrations resulting from the impact of radiation in space?

By constantly seeing gravity as a mathematical force we effectively fail to reveal these unseen vibrational forces from other phenomena, such as light or radiation, and how they might play a role in the mechanics of gravity and universal gravitation.

The same is true when we calculate the total work done by an object that moves from point A to point B. If the points end up being at the same location, mathematics tell us there is no work done. Well, try telling that to a person who does a long circuit of running or intense walking until he eventually develops muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The reality is that work was done in a physical and real sense and internally through a re-arrangement of atoms to create the muscles and so on. Some kind of work has clearly been applied on the person to become what he/she is after finishing the circuit. Mathematically, it does not see this internal work. So it calculates the overall work done as zero. But in reality, the physical and real aspect of the work done is different and felt plainly and clearly by the person. The mathematics does nothing to explain this internal work being done to reverse the chaos and increasing entropy of solid matter over time.

Any kind of so-called mathematical force or description must be taken with great care. Such mathematical descriptions may not reveal anything of the mechanics happening in the real world. Physicists need to be prepared to visualize and find the real explanation for why it happens.

Did Sir Isaac Newton believe gravity and universal gravitation to be a "mathematical force"?

There appears to be some confusion (or perhaps determination) among some modern-day physicists to see gravity and universal gravitation as a purely "mathematical force". It seems, from the recent torrid discussions that took place recently with Emory Taylor at Caltech, it would be in the interest of science and in providing more accurate research work to the public to simply "accept" the mathematical nature of the force as described by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and leave it as that. There is nothing else further we can learn about gravity in the real world except to apply the mathematics and see what answers it can provide. Then maybe there could be a way to relate the mathematics to reality.

To further emphasise this view, Taylor talked about Newton as having believed in gravity and universal gravitation to be a "mathematical force". Is this true?

Looking at how other physicists view gravity and universal gravitation, including Newton himself, it suggests that not everyone agrees with Taylor's point-of-view. Einstein was among those who disagreed given the way he pursued the problem of gravity and universal gravitation throughout his life. In fact, it forced Einstein not to accept the General Theory of Relativity in its entirety when he made the decision to modify it to allow the electromagnetic field to be included in its influence on gravity and universal gravitation. This naturally lead to the development of his Unified Field Theory in the 1920s. Still, he did not stop there. He did not accept gravity and universal gravitation as a purely mathematical force and left it like that. He pursued the problem again and again through regular thought experiments until he was confident that he should maintain his stance on the Unified Field Theory right to the end. In other words, there is something about the nature of light which is important in understanding the true nature of gravity and universal gravitation and Einstein must have uncovered the clue in his own quiet way.

It is looking like Einstein has seen something to convince him he was on the right track and most other physicists have not, except for a few electromagnetic experts in the middle of the 1950s who were brought in to discuss gravity and universal gravitation and Einstein's work on the Unified Field Theory at the request of the U.S. government. The only clue we have of where this work may have went for the benefit of people like the US Air Force has been talk of an electronic "rain" from outer space. A kind of "pushing action" has been hinted at by some of these experts as a new and more radical way of understanding gravity.

Whatever the truth, in order to clarify this apparent misunderstanding some modern physicists have with gravity and universal gravitation and the views of Sir Isaac Newton, other physicists have stated that Newton only used his mathematical skills to describe the behaviour of bodies of mass under the influence of a "force" (i.e., the "gravitational force" for lack of a better word) to determine such things as Kepler's law of planetary motion. In that way, Newton and others can determine the position and speed of bodies of mass with accuracy, and how the quantity of mass and the separation distances between masses helped to increase or decrease the strength of this "gravitational force". The fact that Newton used mathematics for this very purpose is by no means evidence that Newton had believed in a "mathematical force". In fact, how could he? Newton had nothing specific to say about the "force" other than it appeared to be an "attractive force" between bodies of mass. Indeed this was the only quoted words he used in his book, The Principia, but this is not equivalent to saying it is a "mathematical force".

So, does this mean Newton saw gravity as a "real and physical force"? The Principia is, surprisingly enough, not entirely clear either about this aspect. However, from Newton's perspective, it was natural for him to observe the world and noted how this "force" influenced bodies of mass. Right from the day he observed an apple fall from a tree as he sat underneath one, he realised there was a hidden force of nature being applied continuously all around him. It made him believe gravity and universal gravitation had to be a real and physical force, possibly emanating from the bodies of mass in question or potentially outside the bodies of mass although he could not be sure about the latter. Without a deeper understanding of gravity and universal gravitation, he had nothing specific to say about the "force" other than it reminded him of the way certain things are attracted to one another. The force of gravity and universal gravitation seems to have an "attractive" quality about it given the way the bodies of mass would appear to move toward each other. It we assume the force is attracting bodies of mass, it would suggest that the source of this force is probably coming from within the mass itself and reaching out to influence other mass and somehow pulls on the mass to bring things together, which is how most physicists interpret the "force of attraction".

Of course, this is the kind of interpretation that may not necessarily be correct. Nor can we assume for one moment that because of Newton's stature and great intellect that we can automatically assume he was right too. Physicists should not always stand on the shoulders of great scientists, such as Newton, and assume all these people in the past are right all the time. It may well be the case that physicists might need to jump off the shoulders of great scientists of the past and leap into a new world and find a completely different interpretation on the nature of gravity and universal gravitation. That is something physicists need to be prepared for.

Until we make that leap, all we can say is that Newton had nothing specific to say about whether the "force" was mathematical or real, although there was nothing in what he wrote to suggest that it wasn't real. Indeed, how could he think otherwise? Newton had nothing to say about the way a body of mass accelerates can cause a cancellation of the gravitational force on the object (as we are led to believe in a mathematical sense according to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity). He could not say this force is fictitious in the sense that it can disappear under certain conditions. And, he had no reason to doubt the real and physical nature of the force based on what he saw with his eyes. Furthermore, he didn't rely on mathematics to deduce the existence of gravity and universal gravitation. He accepted the reality of gravity and universal gravitation based on his observations. And from there, Newton could see the way the force influences bodies of mass. He simply had to assume the force is real, and that he chose to see it as an "attractive force" because that is how it looked to him. But, of course, as physicists know, that was his own interpretation based on the observations he made on the real world. In reality, the force of gravity could be quite different (perhaps even a "pushing force" rather than an "attractive" or "pulling force"). But until we find out the mechanics of what this force is in reality, we do not know for sure. Certainly Newton didn't know. He had nothing to say about whether gravity and universal gravitation should be a "mathematical force" or a "physical force". Although, if Newton did rely on his observations and could see things falling to the ground, he probably had no choice but to accept it as a real force of nature.

Then Einstein came along and he too became perplexed by the nature of gravity and universal gravitation. Indeed, he sought a physical and real explanation for the phenomenon right from the word "Go" and never really wavered from this position right to the end of his life.

At one point, he came up with another clue that helped him to visualise gravity as a kind of fictitious force due to the way that it could appear and disappear through a mere acceleration of a body of mass. As a result of this interesting insight, Einstein came up with a mathematical theory for gravity.

Einstein was initially not comfortable using mathematics to describe gravity and universal gravitation. He wasn't entirely convinced of this mathematical approach because it wasn't really getting him closer to an answer of what is gravity and universal gravitation in a real and physical sense. Yet at the same time, Einstein knew acceleration was important to controlling the strength of this gravitational force when it is applied to bodies of mass. Somehow he had to encapsulate this idea to paper in some logical and rational way. Mathematics is one way of doing this. However, the nature of the mathematics seemed to him to be a little excessive and difficult to visualise compared to his Special Theory of Relativity. We see this from history from the way Einstein had to be convinced by his mathematical friend, Marcel Grossman, to accept pure mathematics as a way to consolidate in Einstein's mind his gravitational idea of accelerating masses and unify it with his Special Theory of Relativity. Einstein was described by a number of his contemporaries as being allergic to pure mathematics at first. But once Einstein saw the power in unifying his ideas in a mathematical way and helped to balance things in accordance with the laws of conservation of energy, he became comfortable to pursue the same mathematics later to unify another concept in relation to what he saw about the electromagnetic field and its connection to the gravitational field. This, of course, led to the formulation of his Unified Field Theory in the 1920s.

But again, this is by no means an admission from Einstein that he had believed in gravity and universal gravitation as a purely "mathematical force". In fact, he understood the limitations of mathematics in explaining the real world and realised it was not enough on its own to seek a "real force" explanation. All that his General Theory of Relativity and the Unified Field Theory ever did was to present gravity as a "mathematical force" caused by the bending of what was described at the time as "spacetime" (whatever the latter represents in reality). Since then, a number of physicists have assumed gravity is a distinct force of nature that can only be seen as a mathematical force in accordance with Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Not so for Einstein. Being foremost a physicist and not a pure mathematician, Einstein was always searching for a deeper and more physical explanation for gravity. Hence the reason for his decision to pursue light (thanks to its inherent gravitational-like behaviours, such as light bending and moving uncharged matter), as the next phase in his understanding of the phenomenon in order to help him get to a deeper and more physical explanation. He always believed the force represented something real in his own mind, and that this something appears to be common throughout the universe. The question in all of this work is whether Einstein saw something in the phenomenon of light to eventually help convince him that gravity and universal gravitation had to be a real force of nature and something that is distinct, or simply a force that is related to another real and physical phenomenon for which other physicists have not yet considered before.

However, one thing is certain. This idea of accepting gravity as a "mathematical force" and not go further is not how science works. Such blind acceptance of certain concepts is more closely attuned to how religion works, which follows the doctrine of never challenging or questioning the status quo. Science is there to question what we see and learn all the time. Thus, the pursuit of a deeper understanding and getting beyond the mathematical descriptions is what science, especially physics, is all about.