Refractive Field Theory of Gravity

The goal of the refractive field theory is to derive a theory of gravity based on the following four principles:

  1. Gravity is a field, with a electromagnetic-like four-potential.
  2. The weight of the gravitational field is a gravitational source.
  3. The gravitational field has an index of refraction.
  4. The frequency of waves are unaltered by a gravitational field.

This description, however, requires a coherent view of a flowing field in a fixed space-time. In essence, this represents the motion of a Lorentzian aether, and the possible anisotropic index of refraction of the aether.

The failure to detect the motion of the aether using the Michelson-Morley experiments is explained by the fact that the gravitational field is the Lorentzian aether, and the flow of the aether is along the gravitational field lines. Thus the Michelson-Morley experiment are specifically aligned perpendicular to the flow of the aether to eliminate the effects of its actual motion.

Tetrad fields can be used to represent fluid motion in special relativity, and provides a natural setting to describe gravitational time dilation and frame dragging. Indeed, general relativity has been expressed using tetrad fields to create a teleparallel equivalent. The resulting tetrad field, however, has no material component.

Just as one can object to the idea of a dynamic, immaterial, space-time of the traditional interpretation of general relativity, one can object to an index of refraction and flow of an immaterial medium. This may even be the root source of the difficulty in quantizing general relativity.

In quantum mechanics, a field is created as a stochastic process emerging from the properties of underlying particles with a material existence. In general relativity there is no covariant field density to speak of, thus no material existence for the quantum particles to approach. This then emerges as a mathematical failure in the ability to apply the renormalization process to quantum models of general relativity.

Despite these philosophical objections, general relativity explains observations exceedingly well. Any competing theory must be equally predictive. The weak field predictions have been distilled to ten parameters representing the required corrections relative to Newtonian gravity, the parametrized post-Newtonian formalism.

Eight of these represent the conservation of momentum, conservation of energy, conservation of angular momentum and frame dependence, and are 0 for general relativity. This leaves the two Eddington–Robertson–Schiff parameters.

The PPN parameter \gamma can be described by the tetrad field. The goal of this theory is to describe the PPN parameter \beta as due to the material nature of the field itself, rather than distortions in space-time.

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