The Universe is Only Spacetime

John A. Macken

The Universe is Only Spacetime by John A. Macken

How many component parts are required to construct the universe? The standard model has so many component parts that it is difficult to state a specific number. String theory has vibrating strings, branes, exchange particles and 11 dimensions. This book and 3 technical papers make the case that everything in the universe can be formed from the single building block of 4 dimensional spacetime. However, this is not the quiet, smoothly curving spacetime envisioned by Albert Einstein. General relativity is describing only the macroscopic properties of spacetime. Quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics requires that the vacuum be filled with a tremendous energy density of quantum fluctuations (zero point energy). However, even quantum mechanics does not give a precise description of the properties of the energetic vacuum on the scale of Planck length (~10-35 m). Characterizing the vacuum on this scale is required to show how 4 dimensional spacetime can be the single component building block of everything in the universe. This book and technical paper show how all fundamental particles, forces and cosmology are derived from this energetic 4 dimensional spacetime.

The book, The Universe is only Spacetime (revision 8.0 – August 2015) gives the unabridged detailed description of the entire theory. It presents the concepts with a more detailed explanation than the papers. Also, many subjects such as the cosmological implications, neutrinos and dark matter are covered in the book.

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Revision 8.0 – Placed online for comments – August 2015


There is now also 3 shorter technical papers which cover various aspects of the theory. The best condensed introduction to the subject is a 17 page technical paper titled Spacetime-based Foundation of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. This paper was published in 2015 by Springer as a chapter in the book series titled Progress in Theoretical Chemistry and Physics, volume 29 with DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-14397-2_13. A preprint is available here. Here is a portion of the abstract:

Abstract: This work makes the case that everything in the universe (all particles, fields and forces) is derived from the single building block of 4 dimensional spacetime. The tremendously large impedance of spacetime (c3/G) permits small amplitude waves in spacetime to be the universal building block. The spacetime wave-based fermion model is shown to plausibly possess the correct spin, energy and the ability to appear to be point particles in experiments. This model also generates the weak gravity curvature of spacetime and the gravitational force between particles. The electrostatic force between fundamental particles is also derived and shown to be related to the gravitational force through a simple difference in exponents. A new constant of nature is proposed which converts electrical charge into a strain of space. The distortion of spacetime produced by photons is also analyzed.

Download: Spacetime-based Foundation of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity
by John A Macken


The other two papers deal with photons and electric fields. The most recent of these, to be published by SPIE in October 2015, is titled Energetic Spacetime: The New Aether. It shows how the energetic spacetime field satisfies the conditions to be the relativistic aether. Photons propagate as quantized waves in this medium. Of particular interest, a calculation shows how it is possible to derive the energy density of energetic spacetime using only equations from general relativity and acoustics. The other paper on photons is titled Spacetime-based Model of EM Radiation was published by SPIE in 2013.

Download: Energetic Spacetime: The New Aether
by John A Macken

Download: Spacetime-based Model EM Radiation
by John A Macken

Quantum mechanics is the most successful theory devised by man. However, this success is largely a case of the equations corresponding to experimental observation. The current physical interpretation of quantum mechanics does not lead to a conceptually understandable model of the universe. Furthermore, there is clear evidence that the current starting assumptions for some quantum mechanical equations are missing at least one essential assumption. When equations fall apart and yield an impossible answer such as infinity, these equations are screaming that a rigorous extension of the starting assumptions gives nonsense. Renormalization might seem to fix the problem, but this is merely a case of artificially adjusted the answer so that it no longer is a logical extension of the starting assumptions. Instead the unreasonable answer should be taken as an indication that the starting assumptions are not sufficient to completely describe all aspects of the universe. The missing assumption is proposed to be: The universe is only spacetime.

The approach taken in this book is to start with the simplest assumption (the universe is only spacetime) and examine whether this is the missing assumption that clarifies all of physics. Is it possible to derive a model of the universe using only the single building block of 4 dimensional spacetime? As the model is developed, it is frequently tested to be sure that it is compatible with the equations of quantum mechanics and general relativity. It is found that adding this assumption explains many of the mysteries of quantum mechanics and general relativity. The ultimate support for the accuracy of this assumption is demonstrated because this approach generates predictions which are proven to be correct. For example, gravity and the electrostatic force are shown to be related because when these forces are expressed as waves in spacetime, the equations differ by only a difference in exponents in one term. This term is squared for gravity and not squared for the electromagnetic force. This previously unknown exponent relationship between these forces was derived from this spacetime model but proven correct using standard equations.

To most scientists this starting assumption will initially seem impossible. How can matter, light, galaxies and the forces of nature be obtained from what appears to be the empty vacuum of spacetime? Well, spacetime is far from being a featureless void. As John Archibald Wheeler said, "Empty space is not empty". The quantum mechanical version of a vacuum volume is full of activity. Vacuum fluctuations (zero point energy) possess a vast energy density that only interacts with our observable universe (fermions and bosons) through quantum mechanical operations. The vacuum energy is shown to give spacetime its properties such as speed of light, a gravitational constant (G), permeability of free space (µo), permittivity of free space (εo), impedance of spacetime (Zs) and a bulk modulus (derived here).

Understanding the quantum mechanical properties of spacetime and reconciling these properties with general relativity reveals how this single building block can be the source of everything in the universe. Furthermore, the biggest mysteries of quantum mechanics become conceptually understandable when we adopt the model that builds particles and forces from the quantum mechanical properties of spacetime.

The model of the universe described here not only is compatible with existing equations but goes further. For example, this model gives new insights into the forces of nature. Gravity is shown to be closely related to the other forces of nature. Simple equations show this close relationship and explain why gravity is such a weak force compared to the other forces. Inertia is derived and connected to the energy of fundamental particles. An electrical field is shown to be a distortion of spacetime which can be characterized. Equations are derived that convert charge to a distortion of spacetime. Photons are shown to experience the same impedance as gravitational waves. A new cosmological model of the universe explains how the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe is the result of spacetime undergoing a transformation that continues today.

The content of this book was not first presented in technical papers because the subject is just too large. Only after explaining the big picture concepts in detail in this book has it been possible to write single subject technical papers. In the book, it is necessary to lay out a series of introductory ideas, and then weave these concepts into a single coherent theory. The first three chapters lay the groundwork of physical interpretations and definitions that prepares the reader to understand the proposed model. Development of the wave based model of the universe starts in earnest in chapter 4.

The book is available as a single 7 MB unit ( PDF Book Download ) or individual chapters are available below. If the book is downloaded, I recommend saving the book (click the save icon), then read the saved version of the book. This will be a larger format and it will not be necessary to download the book for future reading.


The Universe is Only Spacetime by John A. Macken

Table of Contents


1    Confined Light Has Inertia                                                                          1-1

• Light in a Reflecting Box  • Confined Black Body Radiation  • de Broglie Waves  • 8 Particle-like Properties of a Confined Photon

2    Definitions and Concepts from General Relativity                                    2-1

• Schwarzschild Solution  • Definition of Gravitational Gamma • Schwarzschild Coordinate System  • Coordinate Speed of Light • Gravitational Acceleration and the Rate of Time Gradient   • Shapiro Experiment  • Gravity Increases Volume  • Connection Between the Rate of Time and Volume

3    Gravitational Transformations of the Units of Physics                             3-1

• Why Are the Laws of Physics Unchanged When the Rate of Time Changes?  • Normalized Coordinate System  • Length and Time Transformations • Transformations Required to Preserve the Laws of Physics  • Insights From the Transformations

4   Assumptions 4-1

• This Book's Basic Assumption  • QM Model of Spacetime  • GR Model of Spacetime  • Dipole Waves in Spacetime  • Planck Length/Time Limitation On Dipole Waves  • Impedance of Spacetime • 5 Wave-Amplitude Equations  • Bulk Modulus of Spacetime  • The Single Fundamental Force 

5Spacetime Particle Model5-1

• Spacetime Vortex in a Sea of Vacuum Energy  • Particle Design Criteria  • Inertia from Confined Energy • The Rotar Model of a Particle  • Quantum Radius and Quantum Volume of a Rotar  • Rotating Grav Field  • Analysis of Lobes • Dynamic Time  • Strain Amplitude Hβ  • Particle Size Analysis  • Stability Mechanism  • Higgs Boson Not Needed

6Analysis of the Particle Model and Derivation of Gravity6-1

• Rotar Energy Test  • Rotar's Angular Momentum Test  •  Dipole Moment  • Quantum Amplitude Equalities  • Circulating Power • Rotar's Theoretical Maximum Force (Strong Force)  • Electromagnetic Force at Distance Rq • Rotar's Gravitational Force at Distance Rq  • Weakness of Gravity  • Force – Amplitude Relationship • The 4 Forces Are  Intimately Connected

7   Virtual Particles, Vacuum Energy and Unity                                           7-1

• Virtual Particle Pairs  • Vacuum Energy  • Harmonic Oscillators in Spacetime  • Energy Density of Vacuum Energy  • Energy Density Equals Pressure  • Bulk Modulus of Spacetime  • Vacuum Energy Is a Superfluid  • Stability of Particles Made of Waves • Vacuum Energy Stabilization of a Rotar  • Minimum Required Energy Density  • Maximum Attracting Force  • Asymptotic Freedom  • Rotation of Molecules  • Unity Hypothesis  • Entanglement-Unity Connection

Analysis of Gravitational Attraction                                                           8-1

• Nonlinear Effects of Waves in Spacetime  • Newtonian Gravitational Equation Derivation  • Connection between Gravitational Force and Electromagnetic Force  • Equivalence of Acceleration and Gravity Examined  • Comparison of a Rotar's  Rotating Grav Field and Gravitational Acceleration • Energy Density in the Rotating Grav Field  • Gravitational Energy Storage

9   Electromagnetic Conversions and Spacetime Units                                 9-1

• Charge Conversion Constant • Spacetime Interpretation of Charge  • Impedance of Spacetime Conversion • What Is an Electric Field? • Electric Field Conversion • Proposed Experiments • Spacetime Units Conversion Table

10Rotar's External Volume10-1

• Gravitational and Electromagnetic Strain Amplitudes    • Electric Field Cancelation   • Model of the External Volume of a Rotar • Wavelets • Path Integral  • de Broglie Waves  • Ψ Function  • Relativistic Contraction   • Compton Scattering  • Double Slit Experiment


• How Big Is a Photon?  • Photon - Definition • Waves in Vacuum Energy  • Wave Model of an Electron‑Positron Annihilation  • Entanglement  • Single Photon Model  • Photon's Momentum Uncertainty Angle • Compton Scattering Revisited  • Limits on Absorption  • Photon Emission from a Single Atom  • Recoil  • Huygens-Fresnel-Kirchhoff Principle

12  Bound Electrons, Quarks and Neutrinos                                                12-1

• Electrons Bound in Atoms  • Physical Interpretation of the Ψ Function  • Intrinsic Energy of Quarks  • Energy of Bound Quarks  • Calculation of a Proton's Radius  • Removal of a Quark from a Hadron   • Gluons  • Modeling a Neutrino With Rest Mass  • W and Z Bosons 

13Cosmology I – Planck Spacetime13-1

• Comoving Coordinates  • The -CDM Model  • Planck Spacetime • Maximum Energy Density • Creation of New Proper Volume • Background Gravitational Gamma of the Universe u • Immature Gravity • Implication of an Increasing u in the Universe • Energy Density of Planck Spacetime  • Proposed Alternative Model of the Beginning of the Universe  • Cosmic Expansion from u  • Starting the Universe from Planck Spacetime  • Radiation Dominated Epoch  • Lost Energy Becomes Vacuum Energy  • Estimates of the Current Value of u • Dark Matter Proposal

14   Cosmology II – Spacetime Transformation Model                               14-1

• Alternative To The Big Bang Model  • Shrinking Meter Sticks  • No Event Horizon  • Constant Energy Density When Vacuum Energy Included  • Redshift Analysis  • Estimating the Density of Vacuum Energy  • Units of Physics in the  Spacetime Transformation Model  • 10120 Calculation  • Does Dark Energy Exist?  •  Cooling of the Universe  • Black Holes  • Time's Arrow • The Fate of the Universe

15   Definitions, Symbols and Key Equations                                               15-1


Some  key points from the book are:

  • Even though a photon is commonly defined as a massless particle, a photon exhibits inertia if it is confined in an optical resonator. The inertia arises from bidirectional Doppler shifts when the resonator is accelerated. This is intrinsic inertia that does not require a Higgs field. A confined photon is shown to possess a total of 8 particle-like properties. Fundamental particles are not confined photons, but this similarity is used to explain how fundamental particles can be formed out of waves in spacetime. (chapter 1)
  • Spacetime is more than 3 spatial dimensions plus time. Spacetime is shown to also have the largest possible impedance and bulk modulus (chapters 4 and 7). Therefore spacetime is a very stiff elastic medium which supports energetic waves.
  • Vacuum fluctuations in spacetime are known to be highly energetic (vacuum energy, virtual particle pairs, Casimir effect, etc.). It is proposed that vacuum fluctuations are actually dipole waves in spacetime that lack quantized angular momentum. General relativity forbids dipole waves in spacetime but they are proposed to be permitted by the uncertainty principle. This is the same as saying that the fluctuating spatial displacement of spacetime cannot exceed Planck length and the fluctuating temporal displacement of spacetime cannot exceed Planck time. (chapter 4)
  • The dipole waves in spacetime that form vacuum fluctuations are proposed to have the properties of a superfluid including the inability to possess angular momentum. Any angular momentum present in the sea of vacuum fluctuations is quantized. (chapter 7)
  • A fundamental particle model is proposed that is a rotating distortion is spacetime that forms a closed loop, one Compton wavelength in circumference. This model depends on an interaction with the vacuum energy to form stable resonances. The proposed structure is analyzed and shown to possess the required particle-like properties including quantized angular momentum, intrinsic inertia (rest mass) and the ability to appear to be a point particle in a collision experiment. The quantum mechanical properties of particles are made conceptually understandable. (chapters 5, 6, 7)
  • This model generates only one truly fundamental force. This is the repulsive force exhibited when waves in spacetime, propagating at the speed of light, are deflected. Variations of this single fundamental force result in the four forces of nature. Attraction between particles is explained. (chapters 4, 5, 6 ,8)
  • Gravity is derived from this fundamental force. The reason for the weakness of gravity is shown to be that gravity is associated with the nonlinearity of spacetime which is a weak second order effect. New relationships between the forces of nature are obtained using insights from the wave-based model. (chapters 6 and 8)
  • Compton scattering has been used to "prove" that a photon must have particle-like properties. However, it is shown that a purely wave based explanation of both an electron and a photon gives the same scattering characteristics. Furthermore, the wave-based model is actually superior because it shows how it is possible for the electron to go from its initial velocity to its final velocity without accelerating through intermediate velocities. (chapter 9)
  • A new cosmological model of the universe is proposed that is based entirely on the properties of spacetime. The expansion of the universe is viewed as being the result of a transformation of spacetime that started with the "Big Bang" and continues today. This model eliminates the need for dark energy and it gives different predictions about the future of the universe. (chapters 13, 14)

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