Gravity is a Push

Author(s): 
Walter C. Wright
Publisher: 
Carlton Press, NY
Edition / Year: 
1st Edition. 1979

[Walter C Wright, Carlton Press, 1979]

Gravity is a Push, by Walter C. Wright, Jr.

As its title suggests, this book expounds a theory that the force of gravity is a push rather than a pull. This is not an idea invented by Wright - a Frenchman named George-Louis LeSage is usually credited with coming up with the first version of it in 1784. Since then there have been several attempts to come up with a push theory of gravity that can be made to fit with observation, some of them very sophisticated - such as those put forward by the renegade astronomer Tom Van Flandern and others. There is even a patent based on a push gravity theory. But Wright's scheme as set out in this book is rather harder to take seriously.

Wright tells us that he started to think about gravity because his son Tom did not believe in Newton's theory, in particular the standard explanation for high and low tides. Wright found his son's doubts compelling and looked into the question further. He could not understand why, if gravity is an attractive force, all the heavenly bodies are not “stuck together like a bunch of grapes”. How could it be that no-one else had previously spotted this glaring, fatal, flaw in Newton's theory? He does not enlighten us.

According to Wright, the gravity we experience on earth does not come from our planet but instead from the Sun. The Sun is made of two types of metal, causing it to generate a magnetic field, but in the form of anti-matter, which explains how its magnetic field repels rather than attracts the planets. This repulsive force between heavenly bodies is also the reason for the observed expansion of the universe: obviously if all the stars repel one another that is why they are moving further apart with time. Curiously, the idea that a magnetic force from the Sun holds the planets in place is also to be found in a book written in 1910 by one of my favourite crank writers Webster Edgerly, who wrote:

“The sun is the most energetic of all powers, and its energy is magnetism. It is able to hold all its planets away from it by the pushing power of its peculiar rays.”

In support of his theory, Wright has built numerous models, commonly using magnets, to demonstrate different facets of it. He is very proud of these models, which he evidently regards as much more convincing than mere mathematics: indeed he regards the inability of exponents of Newton's theory to build convincing physical models (convincing to him, that is), as damaging to their credibility. Unfortunately his models don't really demonstrate anything other than his failure to grasp elementary physics. Take one of his examples, the behaviour of a Slinky toy when held vertically under gravity:

springs A, B, and C as described in the text

I studied the Slinky toy and it seemed odd to me that if gravity were a pull from the earth, then why did the rings on the Slinky Toy closest to the earth show the least amount of pull? The only explanation possible, in my opinion, was that gravity was pushing the rings of the Slinky Toy downward.

It surely takes a genius for wrong-headedness to find difficulty with a phenomenon for which an averagely intelligent 14-year-old would be able to provide an explanation. For physics duffers the illustration shows what is happening (I hope) simply enough: in A there is the Slinky spring showing greater stretch at the top and less toward the bottom as described by Wright. In B a few coils have been cut off from the bottom and replaced with an equivalent weight of solid metal; in C more coils have been cut off in the same way. It should be clear from this how the amount of stretch of the spring comes from the weight of the coils below it, so coils near the bottom are stretched apart much less than those near the top. Moreover, if there were a significant difference in the force of gravity between the top and bottom of the spring as Wright seems to be implying, by the same token you would weigh noticeably less at the bottom of a flight of stairs than at the top!

A key ingredient of Wright's theory is something he calls the 'magnetic circular squeeze'. This is a force which acts inwards to 'squeeze' objects such as the planets into round shapes. Wright claims that this force is responsible for the fact that the hairs on your head do not taper whereas those on your arms do. What is more:

The incoming magnetic wave has a twist factor in it.

The 'twist factor' - nothing to do with Chubby Checker - is made responsible for the twisting of water draining down plug-holes, the way that apricots grow, the direction of continental drift, the helical shape of the DNA molecule and the sometimes-observed corkscrewing of lightning bolts. Then, musing further on the great electrical power of lightning, he wonders whether gravity is not after all:

static electricity, which is a form of magnetism which makes all the heavenly bodies react like [statically charged] balloons [that is, they repel one another]. It is something to consider.

As if all this were not enough, Wright believes that the Earth flips around 90 degrees every so many thousands of years. Because “permanent magnets do not change their poles”, evidence of changes in the position of the Earth's magnetic poles leads him to the conclusion that it is the whole Earth that must flip “very gently”, with new poles forming “where the old ones used to be”. This is because he believes that the poles are created by the Sun's magnetic field, not by anything inside the Earth.

There is a great deal more nonsense in this book, including the ludicrous claim that Einstein's General Theory supports Wright's conclusions. Yet, though his ideas may be preposterous and baseless, there are - as usual - a few souls inclined to believe them. As far as I can judge, these mainly fall into those who could not understand physics at school and who find his simple models appealing; those who are perversely attracted to 'alternative' ideas in general; and those who want a different theory of gravity specifically because they think it may explain how flying saucers work. On one fan's web page you will find the assertion (dated 1992) that “[Wright] NEVER claimed that gravity is magnetic in nature”, although that very claim is clearly made on page 25 of this book, which would suggest Wright is not merely loopy, but intellectually dishonest, too: though the same web site tells us elsewhere that he:

is one of the most energetic and alive people I know, sharp as a tack. He and his beautiful lady friend Darlene ... still go dancing every Saturday night!!

You can't say that about Stephen Hawking, can you?

More alternative gravity theory links

  1. The Earth's “Center of Gravity” - Up or Down?
  2. Gravity, Relative Magnetic Fields and Chi
  3. Eggsperimental verification of a new theory

Gravity is a popular subject of consideration for fringe theoreticians, so there is a lot more of this kind of thing out there, mostly of equal battiness.

Comments

Well, here it is. Finally. The Unified Slinky Theory.
He's half right. Gravity is a push, not a pull. However, It is the fabric of spacetime that exerts the push. The larger the accumulation of matter, the more spacetime resists it. This is a fairly weak push, after all I can resist my own weight and stand up against the spacetime pressure against the 6 trillion tons of Earth. Einstein wasn't wrong about the effects matter has on spacetime, he just didn't think it through. Inside the sphere of influence of a spacetime-matter distortion, matter is pushed together. Outside this sphere of influence, matter is pushed apart. this accounts for both gravitation and the accellerating expansion of the Universe. Look at it this way, if matter didn't distort spacetime, the universe would be filled with rarified molecular dust.
The reason Wrights works is difficult to accept is that it does not require acceptance. His work is scientific yet he does not subscribe to contemporary model/paradigm of thought regarding gravity. The reason it does not require acceptance is because it is an analogy, or rather an extension of a different analogy to that of Newtons exploration. The nature of Wrights initial analogy does not make any changes in the current models of celestial behavior including Einsteins relativistic refining of the Newtonian analogy. All that wright does is reverse the direction of the flow of an observed force of nature. When electrical current was first observed it was deemed to flow in a given direction. It did not take long for an application of the newly discovered phenomena to reveal the path of the electron to be the opposite. This was nothing new in terms of electronics but it has paved the way for a far more complete understanding of the universe at its constructive levels. The old theories and equations still work because nature is a balanced system. The kind of exploration that we see in Wrights work is exactly what science requires to make new sense of a world not yet fully understood. His work can inspire your own thoughts if you let it. Analogy, mythology and reasoned imagination are the beginning, the science then simply plots a path through with observation and reflection. Gravity is still a puzzle, and if we are discount any other paradigm that differs from our current incomplete one, how will we ever complete the puzzle. Those who are happy to sit with the belief that the space/time warp analogy is truth are not wrong, but they are also staring the means dead in the eye and claiming it to be the end. 'To entertain and idea without accepting it is a sign of a good education' - Aristotle

Teos, have you actually read Wright's book? It's not "scientific" in any meaningful sense of the term. Science is not about analogies, it's about models that can be used to make predictions and that, more importantly, can be refuted.

The idea of Wright as some sort of radical pusher at the boundaries is ludicrous. To go beyond, you have to understand what's gone before, and since Wright can't even get basic mechanics right he's not a very convincing candidate. Actual scientific revolutionaries are like Wegener or Zwicky, people who know their stuff, not lovable boobs like Wright.

Fair comment. I can't argue with the fact that his methods are not scientific and i have to concede that my initial statement that his work is scientific is an incorrect summation. I am not scientifically trained therefore i am not qualified to judge regarding scientific methodology. I simply mean to say that to entertain new analogies about how our universe functions is the key to realising the truth of that which we are presented with as observers. It seems to me that the problem with a book like 'Gravity is a Push' is that Wright makes observations using magnetism to explain a force that he believes behaves in the same way when the two forces are in no way related outside of his discourse. Does it not seem to be the case that to understand the mechanics of all that has previously been observed only to use this information to predict that which is to come is the very state of mind that has causes science to make mistakes, right itself in reflection and thus further our currently incomplete understanding of the universe. These mistakes are the guide posts to realising the truth of our universe and perhaps our current mechanical models can be explained by a completely different model that will not disprove our current explanations but place them in a different system that illuminates the truth behind the mechanics. If Wright has spent his life making mistakes in the entertaining of nothing but flawed and fantastical ideas then how is this different to any previous form of scientific exploration that is always and invariably replaced by the radical explorations of a free thinker. I do not mean to imply that Wright is a radical free thinker who has discovered truth, however, it is the process of free thought that is absolutely necessary in the journey. Thanks for the advice. I'll stop making wild claims about anybodies work being scientific without having the correct background and I'll certainly have a look at the work of Wegener and Zwicky. I just love hearing about people who have the conviction to live as imagineers, when they are wrong they clarify what is right and when they are right point us in new directions, either of these two states (of either right or wrong) always lead us in the direction of truth when we apply our minds to reason.

Thanks Francois. I am not surprised. Care to suggest alternatives?

I don't know of any crackpot gravity sites, so no. The topic has never appealed to me. Although, doesn't Alex Chiu have a weird explanation of gravity? After verification, it turns out he does: http://www.alexchiu.com/spacestation/grav2.htm So I guess this is my suggested alternative. :)
Hello, I am sure that our society is still far away from the key to the mystery of the creation of our universe, as well as of the nature of gravity. But still, they are trying to make attempts, and there are more and more new discoveries about the fabric of space-time . Recently scientists have turned up rare evidence that space-time is smooth as Einstein predicted, while pushing closer to a complete theory of gravity.

This hasn't been discussed here already somewhere; has it? If not, I'm hoping anyone may like to collaborate here to help compile material on the theory that all forces are repulsive, none being attractive. What seems to be attraction between 2 objects would actually be outside pressure causing the objects to move closer together. If a person stands on a platform some short distance above the Earth and moves off of the platform without any other support, there's nothing pulling on the person, like a rope, but there's something pushing from above. That something would seem to be the aether, or the like. The Earth partially blocks the aether from below the person; otherwise equal aether pressure from all directions would cause the person to remain next to the platform without falling. 

Mysteriously, a spammy link to some crummy website selling patio furniture appeared in your comment, Kevin. Never mind, I have removed it.

I know that's what you'd want because no one would leave comments on this most excellent of sites with the sole intention of getting a free linkback, would they?

Links from here cost $MOOLAH$, bro.

I also have such a hypothesis as well as an overall theory of the universe that goes hand and hand with what you say.

Fascinating. A link that's in the article, but reposted by you! That's called "adding value" and it's what makes the world go round.

I agree with Jamey Lynne. And I propose this to you. The sun creates a bubble in space time. As does the Earth,moon,ect. Because the body's spin, so do the bubble they create, like a record. The earth is being protected from the full force of space time by the suns bubble. If we were alone in space without this, our gravity would be much greater. The push of the Earth loses to the push of space time. That's why if you jump you come back down. The moon is in the earths bubble adding a double effect from earths bubble and the suns bubble. Weakening the push from space time on the moon. Plus it has its own push weakening space times push even further. Because of the earth and the moons bubbles are so close, and overlap they cause the push from space time to be very weak in between them. This allows the earths push, to push the oceans out towards the moon. If the moon was absent there would be a uniformed bulge all the way around the equator. That's why there is lesser bulge on the opposite side of the planet. Its just from the earth pushing out where space time pushes the least, at the equator. Creating the tides and the biggest scientific mind f%$# of all time.

I am afraid unless you can describe this mathematically and demonstrate (a) that it is consistent with all known observations and (b) that it predicts something new that can be tested by experiment, your proposal is just a pretty story.

That's what distinguishes science from mythology, religion and other non-explanations: repeatability, testability, refutability.

Hi I was able to block gravity between 2 masses using a laminar laser beam from a 1.5 watt laser. The lab experiment is described in Physics Paper, Dec. 2011. It seems only pushing gravity theory can explain the observed effect. Hope someone with a bigger laser will try this . Louis.

 Is "Physics Paper" a journal? Could you supply a link to the publisher site?

After FOURTEEN YEARS of research, I now have enough notes and evidence to write a scientific paper and rattle all of your brains. "Gravity is caused by the inter-galactic radiation of particles travelling beyond the speed of light, mostly from Black-Holes" - Rangutan 1988-2012 So tracking back on my discussions on the web I came across "Gravity is a Push". Wally was quite right that there is something WRONG with current definitions of gravity but does not explain what is MISSING in research of gravity. The fact is that gravity is a resultant of something else, not an atractive force. Which idiot beleaves that two masses on either side of the universe attract each other? Walter Wrights observation is quite correct that the oceans appear to be pushed towards the Sun. What he really means is the oceans that are at LOW TIDE are pushed by incomming gravitons and that mass of water is pushed toward the high-tide areas ... Newton was on the right track but Einstein messed everything up. Also modern-day morons like Hawkings and his fans are missleading us horribly. The mere fact that they all use a CONSTANT means there is a missing intellectual component. "G" is the value of gravity in our solar system but NOT universal. I would like to spend a year studying the correct terms for astrophysics and quantum mechanics then write a paper on REAL GRAVITY. I now realised that my coined "bontrons and bomtrons" are simply "gravitons", free particles travelling beyound the speed of light, therefore no mass but have momentum, produced by blackholes.....

You can disagree with Stephen Hawking by all means, but to call him a moron is beneath contempt. You probably wouldn't even know what a black hole is if it weren't for his work.

IT IS GOOD TO SEE THIS CONCEPT BEING PONDERED BY SO MANY. PUSH GRAVITY IF IT PROVES TO BE VALID WILL OPEN THE DOOR TO PROPULSION THAT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE SPACECRAFT. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE ADVANTAGES IF YOU COULD CANCEL THE GRAVITATIONAL FORCE COMING TOWARDS YOU FROM ANY DIRECTION. THE RESULT WOULD BE MOVEMENT OF THE CRAFT IN THE DIRECTION OF THE CANCELED OR PARTIALY CANCEL FORCE AND THE EQUAL PROPULSION OF THE CONTENTS OF THE CRAFT WITH NO INERTIAL REACTION OF SAID CONTENTS. GRAVITY IS NOT A WEAK FORCE BUT IS RATHER A FORCE THAT IS RELATIVE TO AS WE EXPERIANCE IT THE MASS OF THE BODIES THAT CAST MINIMALLY ATTENUATED GRAVITATIONAL SHADOWS AND THEREFORE MUTUAL BLOCKING OR SHADOWING. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT RACES OF BEINGS ARE ALREADY USING THIS CONCEPT AND WE AS HUMANS ARE STILL GETTING OVER THE FACT THAT WE ARE NOT THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING ? IS IT POSSIBLE THE STUDY OF BLACK HOLES WILL BRING TO US THE REALIZATION OF JUST HOW POWERFUL GRAVITATIONAL EFFECTS CAN BE IF MANIPULATED ? DO NOT CLOSE YOUR MIND TO THE THEORY OF OTHERS BUT PROSESS IT AS A GROUP WITH RESPECT . MANY HAVE COME BEFORE US WHO HAVE BEEN PROSECUTED FOR THEIR REALIZATIONS ONLY TO HAVE BEEN PROVEN CORRECT POSTMORTUM .

Thanks for typing in all caps, the green ink of the internet. It saves us having to read what you write before deciding you are a crank.

IM SORRY IF MY CAPITALIZATION OFFENDS ANYONE MY EYES ARE OLD BUT MY MIND IS STILL CLEAR. I AT SOMETIME IN MY LIFE HAVE REALIZED NO ONE SINGLE PERSON HAS ALL THE ANSWERS. IN MOST CASES IT IS THE CONTEMPLATION AND CO-OPERATION OF MANY THAT FORMULATE VALID LAWS OF PHYSICS .

I was a good friend and a student of Walter Wright. He was known as Red Wright to most of his friends. He gave me a copy of his book Gravity is a Push and he mentioned my name in the book. I am not a scientist, although I have some limited knowledge of the field. Red may not have been a scientist, but he was a brilliant and interesting individual. I am writing this several years after his death. I wish I could have contacted him before he died to let him know that there is new evidence that his theory that gravity is a push which he tried to explain to me on many occasions, is in fact being studied more closely now. I saved an article from USA Today, dated Tuesday, October 2, 2007 entitled, "Scientists still in the murk about Cosmic 'Dark energy' it could hold the key to universe;s fate, by Ron Cowen . The article among other things stated, "Science writers took part in a workshop last month at the space telescope Science Institute in Baltimore to focus on the question of why gravity on the largest scales, has switched roles -pushing out instead of holding in," also stated, "Astronomer Adam Riess remembers the moment he realized that instead of pulling galaxies together, gravity was pushing them apart. This is a very interesting article and should be read in its entirety to see the relationship between what is now being explored and what Red postulated. I sure would have loved to show this to Red while he was alive. I know he would have been pleased.
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