Gravity's attraction and 2 ships attraction

2 ships at sea in close range will tend to move towards each other, this is because the channel between the ships is calmer then the surrounding sea and the waves will push them together. Could this be an explanation as to how gravity works? Some sort of random waves throughout the ‘foam’ of space-time partially blocked by other matter will cause a attractive force?

Has this been theorized?

Can this be used for propulsion?

Can this explain frame shifting?

There is already a very elegant, extremely well-tested theory that characterizes the behavior of gravity upon mass and energy, to wit, general relativity. While we don’t know what gravity “is” in a fundamental sense (i.e. why the presence of mass causes distortions in the metric tensor) but we can describe its behavior in nearly all scenarios and scales save for at the level of fundamental particles, which would require a quantum theory of gravity. Invoking a nebulous aether that is blocked by other masses and causes some apparent attraction is neither rigorous nor particularly useful. For what it is worth, the theory sounds similar to the “pushing gravity” hypothesis promoted by Nicolas Fatio de Duillier and later Georges-Louis Le Sage. There are a significant number of problems with the theory that made it unpalatable even before a modern working theory of gravity was developed.


Feynman mentioned this as a potential explanation for gravity, once. It doesn’t actually work, but it’s really hard to show that, since it gets most of the qualitative effects right.

Sounds like a perfect reason to search for what it is, instead of what it does, or more specifically we have found some rules that seem to work but still have no idea why it happens.

That’s in the realm of philosophy, not science. Science can never answer questions of what something fundamentally is, just what things do.

Science has postulated the theory of the graviton (and anti-graviton) particle required to support the current theory, yet still unable to find it, seems like it’s time to reconsider. Microwormholes making up the ‘substance’ of the universe seem more to support the ships at sea theory then the graviton theory -since they can’t find any gravitons. And the ships at sea theory would do the exact thing that gravitons should do, at least at a initial glance, though you mention this may break down at some level.

Science has also postulated that the graviton (which, incidentally, would be its own antiparticle) would be really friggin’ hard to find, and predicted that we would not, in fact, find any. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that it is highly unlikely that humans or our descendants will ever detect individual gravitons (though beams of large numbers of gravitons are another story). Nor, for that matter, have we ever found wormholes, so they’re not any better as an explanation.

And here I was opening this thread thinking it would be a discussion of the phenomenon of ships attracting each other – is it really caused by the waters between them being calmer and can operate over a distance of miles?

A physicist named Verlinde has been promoting the idea that gravity is an emergent property of spacetime; that in a process analogous to thermodynamics, it’s a side effect of spacetime seeking a state of maximum entropy.

Wow. Theorized particles emerging from some of the most wildly successful theories (QED, QCD) we’ve ever crafted or spacetime waves caused by undetected, hypothetical microworm holes which emerge from no theory I can think of. Which to choose, which to choose…

When I read the title to this thread I immediately considered the Casimir effect.

My “guy on the street / what physics you talkin’ bout, willis?” understanding of the Casimir effect was that it is something to do with two nearby plates affecting the generation or lifespan of virtual particle pairs. And that this allows light to travel slightly quicker through such a space because it’s even more empty than a normal vacuum.

However, on seeing the wiki page, I see that it’s rather more like the ships side by side hypothetical than I realised. Or can now understand.

One question I had was how far that effect of 2 ships could happen. It seems like if a ship could absorb some energy in a direction then yes in theory the range could be infinite, yet the force be very weak at long ranges.

I remember when that paper popped out a few years back. It’s a neat idea, but I say that only because I’m starting to think that alogorithms and transformation of information is where the next big discoveries are going to be. Link that got me thinking that way (American Scientist)

You do realize that postulating a particle may be impossible to find because no one has evidence of one, is pretty darn close to … well lets just say it sounds very self serving. It’s very hard to find, doubtful that even your grandchildren generation will find a single one, but believe us it exists. So that’s why we haven’t found it yet, because it’s hard to find, and we know that. I have to say that arguments about the scientific evidence of proof of God come to mind on this one.

I did think we found micro wormholes and have seen quantum tunneling.

Micro wormholes are extremely different from quantum tunneling. Quantum tunneling has to do with the probabilistic wave nature of matter; wormholes are possibly consequences of the structure of spacetime but are entirely theoretical - they only exist as solutions of equations. An okay-ish analogy could be drawn between wormholes and the negative solution of a square root - except we have only ever observed the positive solution.

A paper by Rothman and Boughn agrees with you about the difficulty/impossibility of detecting a single graviton:

They calculate that an apparatus sufficiently massive to detect a graviton would collapse under its own weight to create a black hole :slight_smile:

From my Midshipman days I remember it having to do with the pressure waves from the two ships. The waves cancel each out between the ships crreating a low pressure area. It is a functionof: the design of the hulls, the speed of the ships and the distance from each other. As the distance increases the pressure decreases by a square factor.

What the OP is suggesting is this theory (Keller and Boisbaudran). One reason why the theory doesn’t work is because it predicts that moving bodies in a vacuum would experience a “drag” force, which is inconsistent with experiment.

This might be a factor for two stationary ships (a situation which doesn’t really occur very often at sea), but for two ships underway on parallel courses, there is a more important phenomenon to consider.

Two ships in close proximity traveling on parallel courses will be attracted toward each other because of the Bernoulli effect. The water between the ships is funneled between the two hulls, causing an increase in fluid velocity and a corresponding drop in pressure, resulting in an attractive force between the two hulls. For typical Navy warships, the effect is only noticeable when the ships are relatively close (i.e. less than 100 yards) and traveling at a decent clip (which is necessary to maintain adequate steerageway.) The force of attraction increases as the ships get closer and as their speed increases.

The phenomenon is well known in the U.S. Navy, because ships travel on parallel courses during underway replenishment (UNREP) operations.

The effects being discussed here are not all that noticeable at distances much greater than the hull length of the ships in question.

That is the differance between different backgrounds. I never thought of two ships on parallel courses.

The only thing I have experienced was one ship over taking another or two ships passing each other.

And it was Bernoulli effect that I was trying to come up with.