"Today's scientist have substituted mathematics for experiments and they wander off through equation after equation and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality."
I found the above quote of Nikola Tesla from the web site of John Bedini who is the electronics genius of today. The correctness of the source is as good as that of John Bedini's. But I think it makes sense that the above statements could have been made by Nikola Tesla. He could be referring to Einstein's general relativity and also many of the Thermodynamical equations which may have been considered a symptom of "wandering off" from the reality in Tesla's point of view. My personal take on this is that the statement of Nikola Tesla can be a perfect description for the presently known theory of quantum gravity. For example, the theory of Quantum gravity could not find dipole gravity which is a macroscopic phenomenon.
The scope of quantum gravity is pretty much the same as general relativity. The fundamental question of "if gravity is a quantum phenomenon" has not even been settled yet. It is still in the domain of a conjecture. The obvious attempt to incorporate the gravity into quantum theory has failed in the first step when they couldn't find a method to renormalize it, which is a critical step to make any sense out of a quantum theory because the infinities in the quantum field theory are formidable beasts that need to be regulated with a systematic subtraction. They haven't found a method to regulate quantum gravity to make the prediction of the theory to compare it with the experimental data.
While he was right in many ways, my objection to Nikola Tesla's statement is that the mathematical equations in physics still matters especially when you know exactly what each variables in the equation mean.
When they solved general relativity in the weak field approximation, which is the only solution that the mundane, measurable day to day world can be described, they found the Newtonian gravity, dipole gravity and the gravitational quadrupole moment. The Newtonian gravity was expected because any theory of generalized gravity should recover Newtonian gravity in its first approximation. If it doesn't, then the generalized theory of gravity would be wrong. There would be no need to pursue such a theory any further.
And then there was the dipole term which was quickly dismissed because the mathematical term describing the gravitational dipole moment requires the physically meaningful displacement of the center of mass of the object.
The only known displacement of the center of mass in Newtonian mechanics was by the displacement of the origin of the coordinate system. However, this was too trivial if anybody can notice it. Ok, let's put the origin of the coordinate system back to the center of mass of the object and, voila, we don't have to worry about the dipole term anymore. It is gone.
This was how the second order "mathematical term" of general relativity was treated and eliminated in the earlier solution of general relativity. Of course, no doubt Einstein agreed to this conclusion. I emphasized the "mathematical" because I'm here trying to invoke the ghostly specter of the
"mathematics" in direct contrast to Nikola Tesla's early observation.
I noticed the oddity of this interpretation in 1982, when I was a graduate student of U of M, when I heard the news that they (physicists) explained the jets using the magnetic field and the plasma model in the black hole. I could not exactly put my finger in it but I felt it was simply very odd. The model did not sound very elegant, because it didn't give you the satisfaction of the ah ha moment. The other impression was that the black hole should be an intensely gravitational object not an electromagnetic one and the observed length of the jets in both directions seems to be the same, contrary to the electromagnetic theory would predict.
If general relativity had the solution for the jets from the black holes, it should be this dipole term yet it was thrown away so quickly and matter of factedly.
Why it can't be overlooked.
General relativity was throwing out a puzzle in the linearized theory with the mathematical term called the gravitational dipole moment. What this means is that the truthful math of general relativity had the gravitational dipole moment embedded in its original structure. But the researchers in the field did not know what sense to make out of it. You figure out what this displacement of the center of mass means, but I won't tell you, this was exactly what general relativity was saying.
But how can you find the solution for the puzzle if you don't realize there is even a puzzle? If you accept the explanation by the theorists without critical thinking, how can you suspect there could be something wrong with the widely spread interpretation. However, my physical intuition told me there was something not quite correct in the interpretation of dipole gravity in 1982. If you had solved all the problems at the end of the each chapter of the book of Mechanics by Simon and about 80 percent of the problems in the Jackson's Electrodynamics, you will probably feel the confidence in your intuition on certain subject of physics.
I tend to forget a lot of things. I sometimes search for the keys in my pocket or that I put on a plainly visible table. The more plainly visible place I put it, the harder to find it. I also frequently forget my wife's birthday. But I do not forget the oddities in nature or something that does not follow the expected routine.
Somehow the oddity of the gravitational dipole moment remained in my memory for a long time until I performed a little experiment thirteen years later in 1995 in my mental picture about the center of mass of the rotating hemisphere with special relativity incorporated.
This mental experiment may not mean much to a lot of people. It is purely an exercise of a gedanken experiment. Now in an instant frozen moment of time, the
collectively rotating hemispherical solid object will show the shift of the dynamic center of mass because the dynamic mass increase will be non uniform over the entire volume of the object since a certain part of the object will move faster than other locations and the averaged position of the center of mass will remain skewed because of the longitudinal asymmetry of the object, and also because the center of mass is the averaged location of the object relative to the rest of the universe.
Why this is not normal? Because it violates the first principle of Newtonian mechanics which says that an object without being subjected to the external force will remain at the same position. The rotating hemisphere changes its dynamic center of mass without being pushed in the direction of the shift of the center of mass.
In the terrestrial experiment, this effect will certainly be negligible. The actual shift will be too small to measure. However, if the dimension of the object becomes a massive stellar object, this effect will not be small.
And additionally, this physically measurable quantity makes the gravitational dipole moment meaningful in general relativity and the strength of it depends on the rotating frequency of the source. Voila, we found the magnetic gravity purely from general relativity that describes the rotating objects.
As it came out of the violation of the first principle of the Newtonian mechanics, this isolated gravitational dipole moment has the antigravitational propulsion effect that can set itself in motion in the mass filled universe spontaneously. This is the most astounding revelation in our physical sciences. And this is the consequence of the standard mathematics of general relativity.
Please notice that it was in "MATHEMATICS".
Never underestimate the power of "mathematics" in the "verified" theories of physics.
General relativity and Maxwell's equation are pretty much considered verified theories in physics.
Even if you may overhaul the entire physics of the universe, it will still boil back down to these two fundamental principles of physics in the macroscopic world.
I tend to believe that the secret of the universe can be found from inside the known physical theories by finding out the conflicting anomalies they have among themselves in addition to the way how the symmetry of the nature is broken.
For example, while the mystery of the possible presence of the magnetic monopole is still prevailing among scientists due to the unpleasant out of symmetry between the electric charges and that of the magnets in the Maxwell's equation, how many people see the mysterious and puzzling mass of the neutrinos in the standard electroweak theory has any ramifications to it.
It seems to me the neutrinos are the most ill understood particles in the universe in our physics today, if I'm allowed to make a conjecture on what can be the possible future breakthrough in our knowledge of physics.
No one knows exactly where these neutrinos are despite the staggering number of their existence which is the same as the number of the electrons in the universe. And surprisingly no one seems to be puzzled by it. And not many seem to see the glaring mathematical possibility that the neutrinos can be tachyons.
Again, it is all in mathematics. If we assume that the neutrinos are tachyons, how many mysteries in the universe will be solved instantly !!!!.