Errors on Gravitation

More than three centuries ago, two different theories were developed about the Gravitation of the planets around the Sun.

The Theory of Vortices, developed by Descartes and later improved by Leibniz, asserted that the movement of the planets was due to large vortices of subtle material that occupied the interstellar spaces, vortices that carried the planets and kept them on their trajectories. More dense planets revolved in inner trajectories, less dense planets in outer trajectories. Each planet had its vortex, so the Earth appeared as a minor vortex (which housed the motion of the Moon) revolving in a much larger vortex due to the Sun. According to Leibniz, at the basis of this theory was the constancy of the amount of motive action, that he called “Vis Viva” or living force.

The law of Universal Gravitation, developed by Newton, which bound the planets through the gravitational force, which justified their perpetual motion with the introduction of vacuum and which gave an elegant mathematical solution to the Kepler’s laws.

Between the two theories it’s preferred (and taken as a reference) the one developed by Newton…

Below some mistakes on Gravitation:

  • scientists, three centuries ago, are confused by the mathematical formulation created by Newton and leave out a better conceptual solution (the movement of planets around the Sun describes a vortex) but without an adequate mathematical model
  • Newton find the simplest (but not the only one) solution that satisfies the Kepler’s laws and imposes the existence of the vacuum… but Kepler’s laws are only an approximation (e.g. elliptical orbits) and the existence of the vacuum is a strong assumption almost immediately denied
  • the Theory of Vortices is discarded
  • in different fields of Physics many entities are described also by resorting to rotational components, with the exception of gravity
  • Einstein modifies the Newton’s law of Universal Gravitation by introducing deformations in space considered only to justify the “anomalies” in the orbits of the planets… without telling anything about the corresponding deformations that should occur in the planet deforming the space
  • the Earth’s rotation around its axis and the revolution of the Moon around the Earth (which are, with their regularity and stability, manifestations of perpetual motion) are always taken for granted. The resistance to movement exists and the justification for such movements must be sought in an active gravitational interaction, very different from the one described by Newton


Errors on Gravitation
February 1, 2017
Marco Todeschini