Turning Gravity Inside Out

In the late 1600’s, Sir Isaac Newton got bonked on the head by an apple and surmised that every point of mass is attracted to every other point of mass with a strength that diminishes as the inverse of the square of the distance that separates them. The predictive accuracy of his equation was so consistent for so long, that his theory became law, despite the fact that he never managed to explain how gravity works. And it wasn’t until the dawn of Quantum Mechanics that we found out that gravity doesn’t always work.

Today, our current collection of laws and theories representing some of humanity’s best efforts to describe the universe might be affectionately described as a large, codependent, dysfunctional family that lives by the mantra 'Often wrong, but never in doubt.' The Law of Gravity is the family patriarch that younger theories such as Relativity, Big Bang, and Quantum Mechanics are still forced to respect, even as they rebel against him.

Quantum theory introduced two new forces that govern behavior at the subatomic scale. The strong nuclear force holds protons and neutrons together in the nucleus of every atom, and the weak nuclear force allows neutrons to convert to protons, while radiating electrons in the process. Now quantum theory describes the interaction between the tiniest particles we’ve been able to conceive of, which may sound like a highly specific special case scenario with which gravity has no obligation to cooperate. And yet, at this scale, we’re talking about physical properties that are common to virtually every object in the known universe.

Now, as a general rule, when more than one theory describes the same phenomenon, we want their predictions to agree. But for the past hundred years, gravity has proven to be a considerable monkey wrench in quantum math. Through this project, I propose that a surprisingly simple principle of accelerating particle expansion underlies the four known forces, offering a potential reconciliation of the laws of physics.

This is not a concept well-suited to written or verbal expression, nor can the story be effectively told with simple diagrams. Richly conveying true multi-dimensional interaction calls for full visual immersion, leaving only one suitable presentation format: stereoscopic animation. This is the "animatic" (rough animated sketch) of my masters thesis project, which is currently in production and due for release in early 2011.