Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 244, Issue 1–2, pp 249–261 | Cite as

Possible new properties of gravity

  • Tom van Flandern
Session 5. Gravitation and Time in General Relativity


If static gravity or spacetime curvature information is carried by classical propagating particles or waves, a modern Laplace experiment places a lower limit on their speed of 1010c. The so-called Lorentzian modification of special relativity permits such speeds without need of tachyons. But there are other consequences. If ordinary gravity is carried by particles with finite collision cross-section, such collisions would progressively diminish its inverse square character, converting to inverse linear behavior on the largest scales. At scales greater than several kiloparsecs gravity can apparently be modeled, without need for dark matter, by an inverse linear law. The orbital motions of Mercury and Earth may also show traces of this effect. If gravity were carried by particles, a mass between two bodies could partially shield each of them from the gravity of the other. Anomalies are seen in the motions of certain artificial Earth satellites during eclipse seasons that behave like shielding of the Sun's gravity. Certain types of radiation pressure might cause a similar behavior but require many free parameters. Particle-gravity models would change our understanding of gravitation and our views of the nature of time in relativity theory.


Mercury Lower Limit Dark Matter Free Parameter Special Relativity 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom van Flandern
    • 1
  1. 1.Meta ResearchWashington, DC

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