Email letter from Dr. Herbert Pfister upon the Request of Copy of his Paper “On the History of the So-Called Lense-Thirring effect”.
Dear Dr. Jeong,
In the attachment you receive my paper on the history of the so-called
Lense-Thirring effect, as published in General Relativity and Gravitation.
I have also talked about this topic at the Erice Summer School (in honour
of John Wheeler) in June 2006, whose Proceedings should appear soon at
Springer. In 3 weeks from now there will be a conference "Beyond Einstein"
in Mainz, where I again will speak about this, and about more recent
extensions (quasiglobal principle of equivalence, cosmological aspects of
dragging). These conference proceedings should later appear as a volume in
the Einstein Studies at Birkhaeuser.
Concerning the papers you attached to your mail, I should say that I
disagree with most of your arguments. I may disclose (after more than 10
years) that I have been referee for your papers submitted in 1996/97 to
Phys.Rev.Lett. and Class.Quant.Grav.. So you know most of my
counter-arguments, i.e. the coordinate dependence of your dipole moment
results. From this time I also know that other referees had similarly
In contrast, my "solution of the centrifugal force problem" in
Class.Quant.Grav. 2(1985)909, and in my article in the book "Mach's Principle"
(Tuebingen Conference, ed. by J.Barbour and H.Pfister, 1995) is approved by
most experts in the field (C.Will, K.Nordtvedt, J.Ehlers, W.Bonnor, D.Brill,
I.Ciufolini, W.Rindler et al.).
I am sorry that my opinion of your work is not more positive. (I have not
read your attached articles in detail because their content seems to be
very similar to the articles, I rejected in my function as referee.)
Response by E. Jeong
Dear Dr. Pfister,
I appreciate your email and the attached file. After reading your paper, one
question that I may have is, at some point, all the calculations have to be
based on a certain coordinate system to make any sense out of the general
covariant formulation. I think the linearized theory of general relativity
is one of such attempts where the theory of dipole gravity is based. At
least it succeeded in reproducing the Newtonian gravity.
Regarding your statement, "any physically realistic, rotating object will
suffer physical deformation, in orders omega^2 and higher". I agree with
your point that there will be a deformation due to the centrifugal force.
But is it possible to exactly quantify the degree of deformation?
I think the rigidity of the matter is a relative concept. Most importantly,
depending on the tensile strength of the material, the degree of deformation
will differ by a vast magnitude. If we assume that there is a thin spherical
mass shell of the black hole density, it won't deform until it reaches the
rotation at the surface very close to the speed of light. So, to my humble
opinion, it is possible to postulate that the rigidity of the matter can be
assumed to the highest level without the loss of generality. In fact, the
formulation of dipole gravity didn't require the fast rotation of the
spherical shell, because the shift of the center of mass starts from the
point zero. We only have to assume that the material is strong enough to
withstand the given rotational speed without deformation. In fact, the
general deformation will be certainly destructive in such a way that the
shell no longer can be considered spherical or any known form, if it is
possible, beyond a certain rotational speed.
I think dipole gravity transcends general relativity. The cosmological
evidences for its existence are overwhelming. Please remember that we had
Newtonian gravity before we knew there is general relativity. I tend to
think that if general relativity is really a correct theory of the universe,
it should have predicted the presence of dipole gravity as it did. But
dipole gravity can also exist without general relativity as a separate
entity. In my opinion, general relativity only facilitated the hint on the
presence of dipole gravity in a cryptic way.
Eue J Jeong
Email Response from Herbert Pfister,
Dear Dr. Jeong,
Concerning the deformation of my shell, I should say the following:
a) The shell is deformed in a prolate form, and this is an invariant
result, because I have calculated the invariant equatorial and polar
circumferences. In the collapse limit the form becomes spherical,
as already proven by de la Cruz, Israel (my ref. 15).
b) However, my shell does not consist of "normal material" which you can
order in a workshop. The shell was defined by the (non-material) condition
that its interior is flat, in order to fulfil Mach's demand for
"relativity of rotation" (correct Coriolis and centrifugal forces in its
Concerning your "dipole gravity", I may repeat that in GR a dipole moment
of an isolated system is a coordinate dependent statement (you can always
make the dipole moment zero by transforming to an appropriate coordinate
system). If you go beyond GR, this statement is of course no more true.
However, to go beyond GR, you have to have very strong arguments which I
do not share: GR is, on one hand, experimentally tested in so many
different regions, and in some of them with very high precision. On the
other hand, GR has overwhelming inner consistencies which rival theories
usually do not have. E.g.: equations of motion follow from the field
equations; positive energy theorem (GR is the only theory which allows to
fix the zero of energy, in contrast e.g. to Kaluza-Klein-theories, as I
could prove with Dieter Brill in Phys.Lett. B228(1989)359).
Email Response from E. Jeong,
Dear Dr. Pfister,
It seems to me you decided to cut the legs and arms of a child to make
him/her fit into an old cloth. General relativity is a brand new theory,
very sophisticated, diverse, correct and full of potential and surprise. I
don't know why anyone would want to impose a flatness condition on inside a
rotating shell to make it fit the old Machian demand for "relativity of
rotation". Basically, you artificially imposed an old condition to get the
desired solution you intended. So, in the process, no new knowledge is
Also, your statement "any physically realistic rotating body" in your paper
seems to contradict the next statement in your email, "my shell does not
consist of "normal material" which you can order in a workshop". I think
"any physically realistic material" should be considered "a normal
material". But I don't know if you can consider a neutron star as composed
of a normal material. For a cosmological consideration, I would consider
neutron star as consists of a normal matter which would be the most rigid
known material in the universe next to the black hole.
The kinetic energy which is equivalent to mass obviously increases in a
rotating mass shell. The farther from the axis of the rotation of the mass
component, the more increase of the mass. So, a rotating hemisphere develops
a dynamic shift of the center of mass while this can not be said to be true
for a rotating spherical mass shell. Is this phenomenon coordinate
dependent? If it does, what makes the rotating hemisphere different from the
rotating sphere? If we use the same coordinate transformation to make the
shift to disappear for the rotating hemisphere, it will reappear for the
rotating sphere, whatever the transformation may be.
I already discussed this problem in 1995 with Dr. Kip Thorne of Caltech, one
of the authors of the book "Gravitation", and he said "the concept of the
gravitational dipole moment makes sense...." after a lengthy debate over the
email. But I don't think I need his confirmation to know this observation is
Since the spin rotation is a separate degree of freedom of motion relative
to the linear motion, this phenomenon of the relativistic center of mass
shift for a rotating hemisphere represents a very unusual mechanical system.
It violates Newtonian mechanics straight on because you can displace an
object just by rotating it by giving it a slight impulse on the rim
perpendicular to the direction of the linear displacement. But the key
reason for the violation is special relativity, not general relativity. In a
way, general relativity clarified its property by identifying it as the
major second order term(diagonal) in the linearized theory. So we have
The simplicity of explaining the jets and the dark matter problem at the
same time using dipole gravity will be the most spectacular success of the
theory. No other theory has shown such a feat.
Plasma and magnetic field theory proposed by Blanford "explained" jets but
not the dark matter problem, on the other hand, Mondian cosmology explained
the dark matter problem but not the jets. But I always knew instinctively
that there must be a purely mechanical theory for both of the problems since
I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
It basically fulfilled the dream of general relativity, as it supposed to
be. That is, the problems in the large scale universe can be explained by
general relativity. However, until 2007, I didn't notice the sign error in
the Lense-Thirring force and it impeded the explanation of the dark matter
problem. But then suddenly there came the Copernican change of the view,
what if the signs of the Lense-Thirring force were reversed?
Instantly, everything became crystal clear. The attractive radial component
of the Lense-Thirring force is only a tiny manifestation of the (medium) long
range attractive dipole gravity force and the repulsive axial component of the
Lense-Thirring force is at the core of the driving force of the jets in both
directions of the poles. The dark matter halo is a matter distribution due
to this dipole gravity force lines all around the rotating neutron stars and
the black holes. You may recall that the astronomers observed jets from the
neutron star where people do not expect the plasma will be present and the
neutron stars do not have the horizon. The theory of the jets proposed by
Blanford et al already started to crumble.
We can insist the Mach's view inside of the rotating mass shell and forget
about the jets and the dark matter problems, but if we change our
perspective and open our eyes, we can see the grandeur beauty of general
relativity, the beauty that Einstein would have loved to see in his life
Eue J Jeong
I havn't received response since Sept 4 2008.
I still think Herbert Pfister's book is an excellent reading for a complete historical review of the Mach's principle and the Lense-Thirring force before dipole gravity. Of course, his book is a living proof of how badly we have been lost in the mystery of the Lense-Thirring effect. The detailed rendition of the discussions on the subject by the numerous prominent gravitational physicists with Dr. Pfister is truly a fascinating reading.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Posted by Eue Jin Jeong at 11:44 AM