I'm getting toward the conclusion of Lee Smolin's book (Trouble with Physics). This is a very engaging, exciting book. I'm in the chapter where he contrasts "seers" and "craftspeople", the philosophical deep-thought approach of early 20th-cent. (European, mostly) physics, with the latter-day (American) pragmatic-technician attitude, which has paradoxically led to a sociological "groupthink" impasse in the academy. Smolin underlines contemporary physics' dire need for seers.
Led me to pick up Arthur Eddington's 1935 relativity classic Space, Time and Gravity (1935) (which I happened to have on my shelf!). Gratified to discover that his famous astronomy experiment (in Brazil & elsewhere) of 1919 - which was able to determine (by way of a solar eclipse) that light rays are bent near stars to a degree that supports Einstein's theory - took place on May 29th (my birthday). That annual date is the best for such observations, since the sun is passing through a background region of very bright stars.
Just for fun I'm going to exercise my rights as a card-carrying (non-science, non-math, non-physics) dillettante, and play seer for a minute (stolen from work). Smolin discusses great unsolved problems & conundrums in relativity & quantum theory. Here's my very seeeerious contribution to their solution :
Henry's 5/29 Cosmology Sketch (or, The Eureka-2 Theory, or, The C-C (Cosmic-Ceramic) Rider Theory)
1. The simplest way to describe the universe : mass (or matter) set in motion (at very high speed).
2. The universe is composed of mass in its simplest and most efficient 3-d geometrical form - the sphere. Spherical bodies + motion = direction + spin.
3. Gravity, at its simplest, is an effect of the acceleration of spherical masses. Gravity rays and fields are thus an effect of matter in motion.
4. Light and electromagnetic rays are complementary (similar) effects resulting from specific types of matter. In other words, the energy-effects of both gravity and electromagnetism stem from the more basic force, which we will call the motion-force or spin-force.
5. Atomic and sub-atomic energies are manifestations of this same force on a minuscule scale. The smaller the mass the greater the effect of spin-energy. Thus quantum (sub-sub-atomic) effects - such as quanta-leaps (discrete energy packets) and "non-location" (the uncertainty principle applied to quark-level particles) are simply observation effects of spin-energy on very minute quantities of mass. Quantum leaps are so tiny & so fast that we are unable to observe the actual movements from here to there.
6. Relativity theory is substantially correct but incomplete. This is because the 20th-century effort to solve the observed contradictions of Newton's classical physics (the laws of our familiar local environment) over-simplified the spacetime geometry of matter in motion.
7. The problem of "dark" matter and energy on the cosmic scale is a result of said theoretical incompleteness. The incompleteness of the theory relates to unexplored aspects of cosmic equilibrium or "states of rest". Einstein's brilliant simplification (relativity theory) did not take sufficient account of this threefold relation : matter-speed-rest. In relativity, motion and rest are equivalent. But what is not understood is the state we might call "permanent-motion-and-rest", or "resting-in-motion" (TS Eliot's chinese vase, in Four Quartets). A motion/rest complementarity or duality, that is, rather than a simple equivalence.
8. Local environments of equilibrium and rest (such as our complexity-manifesting and life-supporting planet) are developmental or teleological, in Aristotle's sense. In other words, planetary ecologies, for example, have a developmental teleology comparable to that of biological forms (seed to full-grown plant, lamb to full-grown sheep, etc.).
9. Thus we should further characterize the primal motion-force or spin-force as the teleology-force. The as-yet unaccountable combination of high accelerations on the rim of the universe with the holding power of dark energy/matter is a function of the same teleology-force : local planetary equilibria are symmetrical (ie. pervasive) on a cosmic scale.
10. "Arguments from design" or "anthropic principle" theories are tautological, non-scientific descriptions of effects, not scientific explanations of causes. Such descriptions are certainly within the range of philosophy, and perhaps even logic; but they don't offer scientific avenues for hypothesis or proof.
11. The resolution of the conundrums in relativity, gravity, and quantum theory will not stem so much from research in particle physics or string theory, but from the investigation of this teleology force. For example, the action of this t-force may provide a real "background geometry", which will have to modify relativity theory (which disallows any such unified background spatial geometry - and which disallowance has led to all the baroque mathematical extremes of string theory).
12. Think of the "t-force" as primarily conceptual (for the moment). For example, consider the contrast between Euclidean geometry and Einstein's non-Euclidean timespace - the geometry of bent light-waves. Euclidean geometry is rooted not so much in points, lines and shapes, as (more fundamentally) in equalities. An "equation" is a complex "equality". A square is an equality of lengths. A parallel is an equality of distances.
The conceptual structure of Euclidean geometry is not negated or invalidated by the non-Euclidean effect of the material spacetime universe : it is only limited in some of its applications. Euclid is a kind of abstraction (in the form of geometrical laws) of our familiar, local (classical, Newtonian) environment. The equalities represented in Euclid are what we might call metaphors for states of local rest.
Think of the teleology of the t-force as utilizing non-Euclidean, relativistic effects in a developmental process which results in the Euclid-like geometries of our local world. In other words, the state of Rest (with a capital R) which preceded the "Big Bang" is reiterated in the equilibrium (the state of rest - of seeming-equilibrium - happening at actually tremendous cosmic speeds). Thus the (restful) origin of the universe is replicated, in miniature, in local environmental states of equilibria (as Einstein himself emphasized, steady motion is equivalent to rest). "In my beginning is my end". The spherical revolutions of matter are the most basic and pervasive image of the time-sphericity (or cosmic circularity) represented in the developmental history of the universe.