Le Sage's Theory of Gravitation - Recent Activity

Recent Activity

The re-examination of Le Sage's theory in the 19th century identified several closely interconnected problems with the theory. These relate to excessive heating, frictional drag, shielding, and gravitational aberration. The recognition of these problems, in conjunction with a general shift away from mechanical based theories, resulted in a progressive loss of interest in Le Sage’s theory. Ultimately in the 20th century Le Sage’s theory was eclipsed by Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

In 1965 Richard Feynman examined the Fatio/Lesage mechanism, primarily as an example of an attempt to explain a "complicated" physical law (in this case, Newton's inverse-square law of gravity) in terms of simpler primitive operations without the use of complex mathematics, and also as an example of a failed theory. He notes that the mechanism of "bouncing particles" reproduces the inverse-square force law and that "the strangeness of the mathematical relation will be very much reduced", but then remarks that the scheme "does not work", because of the drag it predicts would be experienced by moving bodies, "so that is the end of that theory".

Although it is not regarded as a viable theory within the mainstream scientific community, there are occasional attempts to re-habilitate the theory outside the mainstream, including those of Radzievskii and Kagalnikova (1960), Shneiderov (1961), Buonomano and Engels (1976), Adamut (1982), Jaakkola (1996), Tom Van Flandern (1999), and Edwards (2007)

A variety of Le Sage models and related topics are discussed in Edwards, et al.

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