• Register
PhysicsOverflow is a next-generation academic platform for physicists and astronomers, including a community peer review system and a postgraduate-level discussion forum analogous to MathOverflow.

Welcome to PhysicsOverflow! PhysicsOverflow is an open platform for community peer review and graduate-level Physics discussion.

Please help promote PhysicsOverflow ads elsewhere if you like it.


PO is now at the Physics Department of Bielefeld University!

New printer friendly PO pages!

Migration to Bielefeld University was successful!

Please vote for this year's PhysicsOverflow ads!

Please do help out in categorising submissions. Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!

... see more

Tools for paper authors

Submit paper
Claim Paper Authorship

Tools for SE users

Search User
Reclaim SE Account
Request Account Merger
Nativise imported posts
Claim post (deleted users)
Import SE post

Users whose questions have been imported from Physics Stack Exchange, Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or any other Stack Exchange site are kindly requested to reclaim their account and not to register as a new user.

Public \(\beta\) tools

Report a bug with a feature
Request a new functionality
404 page design
Send feedback


(propose a free ad)

Site Statistics

205 submissions , 163 unreviewed
5,054 questions , 2,207 unanswered
5,345 answers , 22,721 comments
1,470 users with positive rep
818 active unimported users
More ...

  Theories that Relate Gravity, Electricity, and Magnetism

+ 3 like - 0 dislike

There are some people who (without having a stated theory that I know of) insist that Gravity, Electricity, and Magnetism are related. Some point to symmetry in Maxwell's Equations as a potential indication of this (intuitive) connection. Is it possible that there are "Maxwell-like" equations that relate Electricity and Magnetism directly to Gravity? All forms of electromagnetic energy do interact with gravity. Are there any physicists who are working on this sort of theory?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 03:28 (UCT), posted by SE-user JoeHobbit
asked May 7, 2011 in Theoretical Physics by JoeHobbit (15 points) [ no revision ]
There's this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaluza%E2%80%93Klein_theory

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 03:28 (UCT), posted by SE-user Jerry Schirmer
This is actually sort of mainstream physics (otherwise it would have been closed). People do look for these sorts of theories, and there have been some results (basically, the Kaluza-Klein theory Jerry mentioned), but nobody has been able to really successfully unify anything other than the EM force with gravity.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 03:28 (UCT), posted by SE-user David Z
I dont understand the negative votes for this. I am voting it up. It may have come from a non-expert but thats the kind of curiosity which drives people into sciences !

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 03:28 (UCT), posted by SE-user New Horizon
@JoeHobbit As far as I care to tell from clicking random links, the vast majority of gravity.wikia.com is psuedoscientific nonsense, especially that page. No sane physicist believes in "electrogravity" any more than unicorns (and indeed there are no credible citations to anything even remotely resembling a scientific publication there). I would advise you to never visit that site again, lest you fall into the brainwashing that lurks there.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 03:28 (UCT), posted by SE-user Chris White
@ChrisWhite You are correct! I meant to post this link: arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0603033 and since have found this one as well: arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0209016

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 03:28 (UCT), posted by SE-user JoeHobbit

2 Answers

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

Yes there is. The most basic of which is theory. To quote the tag wiki I wrote:

theory is a classical theory that unifies gravity () and electromagnetism (). Kaluza - Klein theory shows that in 5 dimensions is equivalent to plus in 4-dimensions.

is an extension of which also unifies the weak force and the strong force, and with .

See also this answer of mine. Summarising the main points of that answer,

Classical General Relativity and Classical Electromagnetism are unified in Kaluza-Klein-Theory, which proves that 5-dimensional general relativity is equivalent to 4-dimensional general relativity plus 4-dimensional maxwell equations.

Obviously, this already agrees with your premise, since Maxwell's theory unifies Electricity and Magnetism, and now, there is additionally the gravitational force.

This is really intuitive and interesting, in my opinion.

A byproduct, though, is the scalar field known as a "Radion" or "Dilaton" which appears due to the "55" component of the metric tensor. In other words, the Kaluza-Klein metric tensor equals the GR metric tensor with maxwellian components on the right and the base; but then obviously, you have an extra field down there.

$${g_{\mu \nu }} = \left[ {\begin{array}{*{20}{c}} {{g_{11}}}&{{g_{12}}}&{{g_{13}}}&{{g_{14}}}&{{g_{15}}} \\ {{g_{21}}}&{{g_{22}}}&{{g_{23}}}&{{g_{24}}}&{{g_{25}}} \\ {{g_{31}}}&{{g_{32}}}&{{g_{33}}}&{{g_{34}}}&{{g_{35}}} \\ {{g_{41}}}&{{g_{42}}}&{{g_{43}}}&{{g_{44}}}&{{g_{45}}} \\ {{g_{51}}}&{{g_{52}}}&{{g_{53}}}&{{g_{54}}}&{{g_{55}}} \end{array}} \right]$$

Imagine 2 imaginary lines now.

$${g_{\mu \nu }} = \left[ {\begin{array}{*{20}{cccc|c}} {{g_{11}}}&{{g_{12}}}&{{g_{13}}}&{{g_{14}}} & {{g_{15}}} \\ {{g_{21}}}&{{g_{22}}}&{{g_{23}}}&{{g_{24}}} & {{g_{25}}} \\ {{g_{31}}}&{{g_{32}}}&{{g_{33}}}&{{g_{34}}} & {{g_{35}}} \\ {{g_{41}}}&{{g_{42}}}&{{g_{43}}}&{{g_{44}}} & {{g_{45}}} \\ \hline {{g_{51}}}&{{g_{52}}}&{{g_{53}}}&{{g_{54}}} & {{g_{55}}} \end{array}} \right]$$

So the stuff on the top-left is the ordinary 4-dimensional metric tensor you know from 4-dimensional GR, and the stuff on the edge ($g_{j5}$ and $g_{5j}$) is for electromagnetism (and magically comes from 4+1=5-dimensional general relativity).

... And you have an additional component on the bottom right (which you can still derive a field equation for). This is the radion/dilaton.

However, just as an addition, what about the weak and strong interactions? Surely, they exist, too! . Luckily, we have an extension to kaluza - klein called , which additionally
talks about the weak and strong forces, and requires .

... Which we know, lies in the low - energy limit of string theories.

Related: http://physics.stackexchange.com/a/76370/23119

answered Sep 28, 2013 by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ revision history ]
+ 0 like - 6 dislike

I know two (non-mainstream) distinct ways.
Because this simple Question atracted downvotes I will have to say something in defense:

A particular physics viewpoint that 'is not mainstream' do not cast in itself a ban, at least it should not be so. To a physicist minded person there are no taboos. To be mainstream means that, in the present, the main focus of the mindforce is concentrated in the exploration of certain labyrinths that once were hidden behind a closed door. Other doors were closed without further exploration and a sign was placed at the entrance: Dead End. Some solitary minds pursue the difficult job of digging other labyrints. If they succeed they will be our heros. The only quality that is required is honesty, IMO, as is posted at the entrance of this site.

Polarizable-Vacuum approach:
Polarizable-Vacuum (PV) representation of general relativity by Puthoff, 1999

Having shown by specific calculation that the PV approach to the three classical tests of GR reproduces the traditional GR results

from the Discussion section:

alternatively, one can define space as Euclidean and time as the same everywhere, and discover (from exactly the same measurements) how the velocity of light, and natural clocks, rods, and particle inertias 'really' behave in the neighborhood of large masses. There is just as much (or as little) content for the word 'really' in the one approach as in the other; provided that each is self-consistent, the ultimate appeal is only to convenience and fruitfulness, and even 'convenience' may be largely a matter of personal taste..."

Linked with this paper Polarizable vacuum analysis of electric and magnetic fields by Xing-Hao Ye, 2009

The electric and magnetic fields are investigated on the basis of quantum vacuum. The analysis of the electromagnetic energy and force indicates that an electric field is a polarized distribution of the vacuum virtual dipoles, and that a magnetic field in vacuum is a rearrangement of the vacuum polarization. It means that an electromagnetic wave is a successional changing of the vacuum polarization in space. Also, it is found that the average half length of the virtual dipoles around an elementary charge is $a = 2.8 × > 10^{−15}m$

The other approach that I'm aware is explored in Douglas Pinnow book 'Our Resonant Universe' it follows after the steps of Kaluza-Klein, Goedecke and Haus (and Maxwell ;-) and ...
It is a monography of a model of particles, based only on Electromagnetism (EM), that has only one parameter (electron mass) and derives the particle properties to within 1% of their values (barion masses bellow 0.1%) and does not suffer of the barionic spin crisis. The model uses only three building blocks: Electron, Pion and Muon.
The concepts of Mass, Charge and Gravitational Force became crystal clear, IMO.

You can have a glimpse of the model and explore further starting from here.

I'm used to see two arguments against the possibility of unification of EM and gravity:
The different scale of the forces and the fact that gravity is only attractive.
IMO both of them can be easily dismissed.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 03:28 (UCT), posted by SE-user Helder Velez
answered May 10, 2011 by Helder Velez (-130 points) [ no revision ]
Of course we must be cautious because there are a lot of (nameit) around. Being skeptical is good. Knowledge only advances when we put to the test what we know.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 03:28 (UCT), posted by SE-user Helder Velez
"Our Resonant Universe" seems (at first glance) to be what I am seeking. Thankyou for your defense of exploring what others consider dead ends.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 03:28 (UCT), posted by SE-user JoeHobbit
When we say "not mainstream", we mean "crackpot", in a polite way...

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 03:28 (UCT), posted by SE-user Dimensio1n0

Your answer

Please use answers only to (at least partly) answer questions. To comment, discuss, or ask for clarification, leave a comment instead.
To mask links under text, please type your text, highlight it, and click the "link" button. You can then enter your link URL.
Please consult the FAQ for as to how to format your post.
This is the answer box; if you want to write a comment instead, please use the 'add comment' button.
Live preview (may slow down editor)   Preview
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
Anti-spam verification:
If you are a human please identify the position of the character covered by the symbol $\varnothing$ in the following word:
Then drag the red bullet below over the corresponding character of our banner. When you drop it there, the bullet changes to green (on slow internet connections after a few seconds).
Please complete the anti-spam verification

user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

Your rights