It just dawned on me again, that the structure of a mass should impact its gravitational field, as opposed to just its total mass –
This has to be the case, because imagine dividing the Earth in half and taking one half far away from the other.
Obviously not the same anymore.
So for a less extreme case where you simply alter the distribution of mass within its volume, you should get a different gravitational field, though it’s probably not noticeable at our scale of observation. Nonetheless, the idea makes sense. I think this is at the cutting edge of science (i.e., actually detecting gravity directly), but if you can do it, then this suggests that the field emitted should have a structure that is perhaps unique to the mass in question. So this might in turn might let us determine the structure of systems that are far away by simply detecting their gravity directly, and looking for patterns, which is again, not easy to do, but if possible, that could be really useful for cosmologists. Specifically, it would give insight into the internal distribution of mass within a system, which I don’t think you can discern otherwise –
You certainly can’t bounce a light off of a planet that’s light years away, but you might be able to detect its gravitational field.
You could start with experiments on Earth using mass, or perhaps the Earth itself, to measure experimentally how the distribution of mass within a system affects the resultant gravitational field, and then back out inferences from cosmological observations based upon the results obtained on or near Earth.
Perhaps you can even skip attempting to detect gravity itself directly, and instead pump a photon through the gravitational field in question, and measure its direction of motion, or frequency, probably both, to determine what impact the gravitational field had on the photon. Or you can leave a mass at a point, and measure its displacement due to the gravitational field in question. This of course might be even more difficult than simply detecting gravity directly, because you’re talking about really small changes to the momentum of a photon, or a mass, especially if you’re talking about changes due to gravity from another planet, as measured on or anywhere near Earth. This might however be realistic in space, sufficiently far from any planet, but you’re still left with the problem of winnowing down the source of a given gravitational field, and attempting to point (or otherwise orient) the instrument in question so that you only account that source. It’s just an idea and may be worse than simply using what I believe to be really new technology that can detect gravity directly, but in either case, the idea makes sense –
The signal contained in a gravitational field should tell you about the distribution of mass in its source, and that’s the real point of the idea, which is already implied by my work on gravity (See, “A Unified Model of the Gravitational, Electrostatic, and Magnetic Forces“), but I didn’t mention the point of backing out structure based upon the actual signal of a gravitational field, because it’s not important to the theory –
It’s applied science, not a theoretical consideration.
Whether you measure this using gravitational force carriers directly, or the effects of gravity on some measuring device, is a question of implementation, and I’m in no position to offer real advice on that. However, because gravity cannot be shielded against, or insulated, if you’re looking for a particular gravitational field, it should exist along a straight line.