NEW YORK, NY – One scientist takes on a subject that many of us take for granted!
What goes up, must come down. It’s a phrase that has been ingrained in our heads and the reason behind it all is gravity. Gravity is the reason why we walk on the ground and stay on it. One scientist, however, isn’t sold on the concept of gravity.
Erik Verlinde, 48, believes that gravity is just one grand illusion. Dr. Verlinde is a respected string theorist and professor of physics at the University of Amsterdam and his theory has caused quite the stir. The bold scientist is going against logic that has been understood for over 300 years and he argued his views in a recent paper, titled “On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton.”
Dr. Verlinde argues that gravity is a consequence of the venerable laws of thermodynamics, which describe the behavior of heat and gases.
“For me gravity doesn’t exist,” said Dr. Verlinde, who was recently in the United States to explain himself. He is among a number of physicists who say that science has been looking at gravity the wrong way and that there is something more basic, from which gravity “emerges,” the way stock markets emerge from the collective behavior of individual investors or that elasticity emerges from the mechanics of atoms.
His argument turns on something you could call the “bad hair day” theory of gravity.
According to him his theory goes like this: your hair frizzles in the heat and humidity, because there are more ways for your hair to be curled than to be straight, and nature likes options. So it takes a force to pull hair straight and eliminate nature’s options. Forget curved space or the spooky attraction at a distance described by Isaac Newton’s equation well enough to let us navigate the rings of Saturn, the force we call gravity is simply a byproduct of nature’s propensity to maximize disorder.
Some of the best physicists in the world say they don’t understand Dr. Verlinde’s paper, and many are skeptical. But some of those very same physicists say he has provided a fresh perspective on some of the deepest questions in science, namely why space, time and gravity exist at all – even if he has not yet answered them.