### Research: Chapter I

To give the reader an idea of just how fast the speed of light is, recall that the speed of light is equivalent to about 186,282 miles per second. The Earth is approximately 27,000 miles around at the equator. On distance alone, a beam of light would travel around the Earth at its equator almost seven times in one single second (6.89 times, to be exact). To give the reader an idea of how slow the speed of light is, let us consider the nearest star to our sun, Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri is a small triplet star in the constellation Centaurus, in the southern hemisphere. Proxima Centauri, with its triplet stars Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri lie about 4 light years from Earth and our sun. Thus, the light we see from these three stars is already 4 years old by the time it gets to us. That's at the speed of light! Therefore, if mankind ever expects to travel to the stars and back in any reasonable time, we must discover the physics that will allow us to travel at speeds well exceeding the speed of light.

That is where this theory comes in. It is an accepted fact that an object with mass cannot accelerate to at or faster than the speed of light, and that the amount of energy required to accelerate an object up to the speed of light increases exponentially (to infinity) to a point that is considered impossible to supply. This comes from an equation found in Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. The equation is as follows:

The variable γ (gamma) is placed into the equation as shown above. Now, notice that in the denominator, as v increases approaching c, (v/c)2 approaches 1, and the entire denominator approaches zero. This makes the expression approach infinity. Thus, the amount of energy required to accelerate an object at or near the speed of light is unattainable. This is according to Albert Einstein.

Could it be that one day an individual will come along and revolutionize physics as we presently know it and show, as Dr. Albert Einstein had, that there are laws of physics that go beyond our present understanding? Could it be that there are laws of physics that explain such strange phenomenon as gravity, magnetism, wave/particle duality, the grand unifying theory, and even the miracles performed by the hands of mankind just as easily as Newton's laws explained motion in one and two directions? Mankind may one day discover that the laws of physics that Albert Einstein set forth only apply to speeds between those applicable to Newtonian laws and the speed of light, c. As a matter of fact, that day may not be as far off as most scientists and physicists argue.

According to Sir Isaac Newton, gravity is "the force of attraction between two bodies [and is] proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them." (2001 Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., Gravitation). Gravity in everyday life is referred to as weight. It is that which binds and attracts objects with mass together. Mankind spends a lot of time and money in the pursuit of defying gravity. So far we have only come up with liquid combustion propulsion to get ourselves off the planet. Gravity is inevitable and inescapable. Gravity requires a great expenditure of energy to counteract its forces and it cannot be defied. It can only be countered, or opposed.