Difference between revisions of "Gravitation"

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Newton's [[Theory of Gravity]] was one of the earliest triumphs of modern [[physics]]. It now stands as both one of the most successful and most mysterious areas of that field. On one hand, the [[Theory_of_Relativity|General theory of Relativity]] is one of the most successful [[Scientific_Theory|scientific theories]] to date. On the other hand, how General Relativity can be reconciled with [[Quantum_mechanics|quantum physics]] remains an open question, and is one of the hotly contested areas of modern physics.  Since the late 1970s [[string theory]] and its [[supersymmetry|supersymmetric]] relative [[superstring theory]] are the theories which many physicists see as the most likely paths to unifying gravity with the other fundamental forces (electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces).
 
Newton's [[Theory of Gravity]] was one of the earliest triumphs of modern [[physics]]. It now stands as both one of the most successful and most mysterious areas of that field. On one hand, the [[Theory_of_Relativity|General theory of Relativity]] is one of the most successful [[Scientific_Theory|scientific theories]] to date. On the other hand, how General Relativity can be reconciled with [[Quantum_mechanics|quantum physics]] remains an open question, and is one of the hotly contested areas of modern physics.  Since the late 1970s [[string theory]] and its [[supersymmetry|supersymmetric]] relative [[superstring theory]] are the theories which many physicists see as the most likely paths to unifying gravity with the other fundamental forces (electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces).
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== Christianity and Gravity ==
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Some Christians do not believe in gravity. This is because it does not line up with Biblical accounts of how the universe works. It is known that the Earth is flat, and sits upon foundations (set by God himself). Also that the sun and other planets revolve around the earth. However, if there were such a thing as gravity then the Sun and other planets would simply fall, they wouldn't float and revolve around the earth. Also, Jesus ascended into Heaven. Again, not possible if gravity is real. And so instead of gravity it is thought that God simply keeps everything in balance. He creates a force around most of us much like gravity, because its useful for us. However, he lifts that force when need be (ie for the planets to revolve, and for Jesus to get to heaven).
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== References ==
 
== References ==
 
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Revision as of 15:55, 4 April 2007

Gravitation is a phenomenon which attracts all objects within the universe to each other [1]. In modern physics, it is explained by the General Theory of relativity. Before general relativity, gravitation was described by Isaac Newton's law of universal gravitation, which is still useful in most situations.

Everything in the universe that has mass attracts every other thing that has mass. How much depends on the size of the masses and the distance between them. For normal objects, this pull is minute, but you can measure the pull between a very large object like the Earth and another object like you by standing on the scales. Your weight is the measure of the pull of gravity between you and the planet you are standing on. This force depends on your mass and the mass of that planet, but it also depends on your distance from the center of the planet. The further you are from the planet's center, the weaker the pull between it and your body. If you double your distance, the force is one quarter. At ten times the distance, the force is one hundredth. It drops off with the square of the distance. This is called the Inverse Square Law. [2]The force never becomes zero, no matter how far you travel.

Astronauts in the space shuttle appear to be weightless because they are in a container which is falling. The reason the space shuttle doesn't fall to earth is that it is moving very fast sideways at the same time as it is falling, so it falls in a curve. Its speed makes its curved path the same as the Earth’s curve, so it never comes down but stays in orbit, in free fall.

Gravitation is responsible for making objects accelerate towards each other as well as for the formation of the Earth and Sun, the stars and the planets.

Gravity and Modern Physics

Newton's Theory of Gravity was one of the earliest triumphs of modern physics. It now stands as both one of the most successful and most mysterious areas of that field. On one hand, the General theory of Relativity is one of the most successful scientific theories to date. On the other hand, how General Relativity can be reconciled with quantum physics remains an open question, and is one of the hotly contested areas of modern physics. Since the late 1970s string theory and its supersymmetric relative superstring theory are the theories which many physicists see as the most likely paths to unifying gravity with the other fundamental forces (electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces).


Christianity and Gravity

Some Christians do not believe in gravity. This is because it does not line up with Biblical accounts of how the universe works. It is known that the Earth is flat, and sits upon foundations (set by God himself). Also that the sun and other planets revolve around the earth. However, if there were such a thing as gravity then the Sun and other planets would simply fall, they wouldn't float and revolve around the earth. Also, Jesus ascended into Heaven. Again, not possible if gravity is real. And so instead of gravity it is thought that God simply keeps everything in balance. He creates a force around most of us much like gravity, because its useful for us. However, he lifts that force when need be (ie for the planets to revolve, and for Jesus to get to heaven).


References

  1. New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition
  2. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/forces/isq.html