Electromagnetism and gravity: Are they related?

By Ranjana Narayan, IANS,

New Delhi : Are gravity and electromagnetism “two sides of the same coin”? An Indian researcher says yes and advances the theory of the gravity of planet Earth being linked to the electromagnetism generated within its core. The research paper is up on a NASA site on astrophysics and generating interest.

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Ashwini Kumar Lal, an official with the Town and Country Planning Organisation of India’s urban development ministry, has in his paper “On Planetary Electromagnetism and Gravity” said that the gravitational pull on earth and similar planets like Mars, Venus and Mercury is due to the generation of electromagnetism within their interiors.

“There is an electrical dynamo working inside these planets. The gravity on these planets is due to the electromagnetic force,” Lal told IANS.

Lal’s paper was published in the June 2011 issue of the peer-reviewed online American journal, Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics. It has also been put up on the Astrophysics Data System (ADS), a digital library portal for researchers in astronomy and physics, maintained by NASA and Harvard’s Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

“The outer core of the earth comprises iron and nickel, through which electricity can pass. Since earth itself is rotating on its axis, it creates an electric medium and the earth becomes like a dynamo,” he contends.

Lal also feels that his theory of gravity and electromagnetism being two sides of the same coin “is a major statement in the laws of physics” and could cause a “major upset in physics”.

This is because the Standard Model of particle physics only explains the interactions of three fundamental forces – electromagnetic and the strong and the weak nuclear interaction, but leaves out gravity, as it does not incorporate the theory of general relativity.

Lal writes in his article: “Findings of the study undertaken suggest that Earth’s gravitational attraction may be attributed to magnetic coupling experienced between Earth’s electromagnetism and all the earthly objects – electrically charged or uncharged. More precisely, terrestrial gravity is deemed to be outcome of the bound state of the planetary electromagnetism.”

According to Professor T.V. Krishnan, a former scientist with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), who is working with problems in fundamental physics, “Dr Lal has sought to establish that gravitation and electromagnetism are both sides of the same coin, based on his studies of the Earth’s magnetism. This has brought into focus what is straight under our nose in particle physics, but not noticed.”

“The unit of magnetism depends on both mass and charge of the particle (Bohr magneton). Electrostatic as well as electro-magnetic forces depend on mass as well as charge.

“In fact every particle with energy, including the neutrino, has mass given by Einstein’s famous formula, E=mc² (energy equals mass into speed of light squared). But what is true for a particle is true for galaxies as well.”

“Dr. Ashwini Kumar Lal seeks unity of concepts from the ‘macro’ to the ‘micro’ and his conclusions that the forces are all related deserves appreciation,” says Prof Krishnan, who has authored a book “Beyond the Barriers”.

Lal has earlier authored three research papers in the fields of astrophysics and physics that have been published in leading European/American journals. His papers, including one on Origin of Life, are also abstracted in the Astrophysics Data System digital library.

(Ranjana Narayan can be contacted at [email protected])