Gravity is extremely weak, interacts with everything and slows down time. Only one influence in contemporary physics is known that combines all these properties: quantum entanglement. Below it will be explained what quantum entanglement is and how it is able to distort spacetime.
Requirements for candidate gravity theories
Whatever causes gravity must act on all physical objects, as well as on empty space itself. It should slow down time and shrink space. It must exert an influence on mass proportional to inertial mass. Gravity is extremely weak, so whatever causes the effects on spacetime must be extremely weak, but it must be universal and have a universal influence. More details in our article Schizophrenic properties of the graviton.
Quantum mechanics as the overriding theory
With the exception of general relativity, all physical theories make use of quantum mechanics. There are three theories at the basic level: quantum electrodynamics (QED) which describes the electromagnetic force at the quantum level (in essence, quantum electrodynamics consists of Maxwell's four equations combined with relativistic quantum mechanics), QCD (quantum chromodynamics which describes the strong nuclear force; this is mathematical less rigorously formulated than QED) and the quantum theory describing the weak interaction (and merged with QED to form the electroweak quantum dynamics). All these three (or two) theories explain, with the general theory of relativity, all observations. Since the general theory of relativity deals with objects of macroscopic size and quantum dynamics with the world at the quantum level, this poses hardly any problems in practice, except in the field of black holes, theoretical, never observed objects with an escape speed greater than the speed of light.
However, any attempt to merge general relativity with quantum dynamics yields monstrous mathematics. Well-known examples of this are string theory and loop quantum gravity. Hence, contemporary physics has spacetime described by the general theory of relativity and interactions between particles and fields by quantum mechanics in its two (or three) incarnations.
The consequences of quantum entanglement on spacetime
Quantum entanglement occurs when two quantum particles come into contact with each other. If two particles, A and B, are quantum entangled with each other, it means that if a measurement is made on one particle, it captures a correlated property of the other particle (for example: measure the momentum of one particle, then lies of the other particle the place exactly). From a physical point of view, an observation means: quantum correlate a particle with an enormous system (for example an object with a lot of mass, such as the whole of the observation device and observer). Mathematically, this limits the degrees of freedom of the whole system: From a mathematical point of view, the space that the system occupies with this becomes smaller. Suppose a particle m in solid object M is quantum entangled with a particle n in object N. Suppose, in object M, a quantum collapse of the wave function of m takes place, so that the momentum of m is exactly known with respect to the rest of M, then In object N, the position of n must be exactly known with respect to N. Due to the proximity of M and N, continuous interactions (mediated by virtual or real particles) take place between M and N, thus creating a continuous quantum entanglement.
Not one observation has been made to date that contradicts quantum electrodynamics or general relativity. Since the mathematical description of spacetime according to the special theory of relativity is also that according to quantum mechanics, this mathematical space corresponds completely to the real space. Preliminary inescapable conclusion: quantum entanglement causes a limitation, in other words a reduction, of spacetime. Exactly the effect of which the general theory of relativity predicts that mass has on the surrounding spacetime ...
Quantum entanglement with virtual particles in the vacuum
It follows from Heisenberg's uncertainty relationship that on a quantum scale we cannot make absolute statements about measurable quantities such as energy, time, momentum and place. We can only do that about their product: for example, we know that a particle such as an electron (mass: 9.10938188 × 10-31 kilogram) with the corresponding positron (of equal weight) maximum 1.3 × 10-21 second (the time in which light travels one thousandth of the diameter of an atom, or one hundred proton diameters). Virtual particles are distinguished from real particles only by their energy, which is net zero. This means that the effective range of all virtual particles with mass is very small. Only photons, light particles, have zero mass, so an infinite range. This is also necessary, because in quantum mechanics, electromagnetic interactions are caused by virtual photons (and, as is known, a lightning or a strong electromagnet has far more range than a thousandth of an atomic nucleus).
It has already been possible to entangle particles with each other using electromagnetic fields. We therefore know (and also from quantum theoretical calculations and other experiments) that virtual particles can be quantum entangled with real particles. We know that real particles can transfer that quantum entanglement via virtual particles to other real particles. If a real particle is quantum entangled with a virtual particle, this will also limit the degrees of freedom of the virtual particle (in practice: a virtual photon, except for virtual neutrinos, the range is extremely small), so here also applies that spacetime shrinks around mass. If we assume that the vacuum consists of a sea of virtual particles (and both observations and theory indicate this), this describes a mechanism why mass shrinks spacetime.
However, because virtual particles have zero mass and energy, the net influence of the virtual particles takes place on real particles or virtual particles mutually. Only when real matter in the vicinity charges virtual particles with energy (generates a field, a physicist would say) can they influence or transfer them to other particles.
Yasahiro Hotta's fundamental discovery: energy transfer consumes quantum entanglement
Virtual particles are by definition energy-free on balance. In a article published in February 2010 However, the Japanese physicist Hotta establishes that there is a connection between energy transport and the use of quantum entanglement: energy exchange takes place through the use of quantum entanglement.
We have already seen that quantum entanglement occurs continuously, namely through the interaction of two particles (or as a virtual photon pair that reacts in the space between the two objects with two particles m and n in two systems with masses M and N respectively). The moment the quantum entanglement is broken, Hotta states, energy transfer takes place between both systems.
You wouldn't say it if you thought about the fact that a planet like the earth moves around the sun at many kilometers per second, but physically, objects in a gravitational field have negative energy. It takes energy to pry the object out of the gravitational field. The mechanism described by Hotta can explain how the energy transfer takes place in gravitational interactions. The vacuum between the two objects becomes “empty” due to the exchange of virtual photons, which creates an attractive force. In fact, the Casimar force (demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally), which pulls electrically conductive plates together in a vacuum, is the result of this.
Mass is energy; energy is relative; mass is not. Why?
We have known since the beginning of the last century that mass is equivalent to energy according to Einstein's world-famous formula, energy is mass times the square of the speed of light. However: the energy of something is relative: depending on which inertial frame you choose (what your position as an observer is). If two observers fly towards each other at a considerable speed and they use their own position as a starting point, they themselves have a kinetic energy of zero and the other observer an energy of half the square of his speed. However, they agree on each other's rest mass. The rest mass of a particular observer does not depend on the reference system.
It has been explained in an earlier article how mass can be produced from mere energy, without having to do magical or scary things or rely on virtual particles. This thought experiment involves a large collection of light particles. Unlike “normal” light, these light particles are linked together, in this case by a hypothetical massless sphere. What gives the light mass is the coupling of the light particles to each other, in this case by the massless specular sphere.
What is still missing
The mathematical foundation. It will have to be shown that from what Hotta has established about energy exchange in quantum entanglement, the Einstein equations for the distortion of spacetime due to mass (tensors) rollers make sense. The proposed model of the interactions between two hollow spheres with reflecting photons may be an interesting test model. Another option could be to derive the gravity between two electrons from all conceivable quantum entanglements with positive energy between the particles. This far exceeds the mathematical abilities of this writer, but not those of many theoretical physicists. Should this result in an anomalous value or behavior of gravity, then it has been shown that this idea is incorrect. It thus meets the requirements of a falsifiable theory.