- #1

- 25

- 0

something = z+r

^{2}

F=ma, true but i understand it better explained like; force equals the measured mass of an object multiplied by its rate of acceleration.

anyways, why are gravitational fields infinite?

How do we know they are infinite?

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- Thread starter AustinJones
- Start date

- #1

- 25

- 0

something = z+r

F=ma, true but i understand it better explained like; force equals the measured mass of an object multiplied by its rate of acceleration.

anyways, why are gravitational fields infinite?

How do we know they are infinite?

- #2

- 834

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Infinite in what way?

- #3

K^2

Science Advisor

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Anyways, we can't test this directly, of course. We cannot measure gravity from an object that's on the far side of the universe from here. But we can test whether the theory itself holds, and then we make an assumption that it holds at any range.

- #4

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- 0

I'm not saying its wrong i'm just saying i personally without a education in physics, don't like that concept.

Over time we have developed a lot of things to try and understand gravity

a gravitational constant, a pattern gravity fallows 1/r^2, theories like gravitons.

I feel like were missing something very simple which makes our calculations wrong in the big end results.

- #5

K^2

Science Advisor

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Anything we know can be wrong. In fact, it's probably wrong. But ultimately, what we care about are predictions. If a theory makes predictions that work, we like that theory, and we are going to treat it as "this is how things work," even in situations where we know otherwise.

- #6

K^2

Science Advisor

- 2,469

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Anything we know can be wrong. In fact, it's probably wrong. But ultimately, what we care about are predictions. If a theory makes predictions that work, we like that theory, and we are going to treat it as "this is how things work," even in situations where we know otherwise.

- #7

Drakkith

Staff Emeritus

Science Advisor

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I'm not saying its wrong i'm just saying i personally without a education in physics, don't like that concept.

Over time we have developed a lot of things to try and understand gravity

a gravitational constant, a pattern gravity fallows 1/r^2, theories like gravitons.

I feel like were missing something very simple which makes our calculations wrong in the big end results.

It isn't that we KNOW the range is infinite, it is that our observations have given us the means to develop theories and models that describe how gravity behaves. These models and theories tell us that the force of gravity falls off at a certain rate but never reaches zero. In the end I don't really see a big difference between being infinite and having a finite range. A finite range would certainly be so far away that it just doesn't matter. Consider that the center of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster is approximately 54 million light years away yet it's gravity affects our own galaxy and slows our recession down. So the range is already greater than 54 Mly, as part of the cluster is beyond that distance. Given the nature of cosmological models that describe the evolution of the universe over time it may matter if the range is significantly less than the diameter of the observable universe, but that's about the only thing I can think of where it would really matter.

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