Peter Horava v. Einstein: no contest!
What does Peter Horava offer us physicists, for scrapping Einstein’s central concept of space-time (New Scientist cover story: Rethinking Einstein:The end of space-time)?
His proposal to remove Lorentz symmetry means no longer is the speed of light the same for all, while it puts Maxwell’s electromagnetic fields in limbo.
As he’s lost gravity waves propagating on space-filling fields, Horava had to add a direction of time to Einstein’s field equation and needed to resurrect gravitons.
He claims to obtain a new unified approach to the fundamental forces of nature in return for breaking the symmetry of space-time, but cannot say what this means for the theory of Black Holes.
As Ananthaswamy’s article mentions, nothing can escape from Black Holes as nothing can travel faster than light. Likewise, under the symmetry of space-time, nothing can fall into a Black Hole because it takes infinite time, as viewed by external observers.
Physicists can empathise with searching for an alternative to Black Holes to describe gravitationally collapsed masses. But not with leaving this vague as “a very big question”, and not with throwing out Einstein’s field theory – validated, of course, by the bending of light, advance of Mercury’s perihelion and the orbital decay of binary pulsars via gravitational radiation.
[New Scientist declined to publish this criticism, submitted 16 August 2010]