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A new veiw on gravity

  1. Jan 4, 2008 #1
    I had an interesting thought about what gravity really is, and I had to ask someone to see if they would get the same spark.

    I have been reading "E=mc^2" by David Bodanis, and after I had read a part about how the space-time continuum flexes around a star in the sky, I had this Idea that maybe gravity is a force created from the warped space time continuum. I pictured how the space time continuum curves around our earth for example, then someone is walking along the earth, but what holds him down to the earth, is the warped space-time. Being that time would move slightly faster where his head is than where his feet are, he is forced to stay on the ground. I think you could compare the warped space-time continuum, to rubber bands being stretched around the earth. I wish I could even understand this idea more fully. It's hard to explain exactly what is in my mind.
     
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  3. Jan 4, 2008 #2
    so is this set theory, logic probability or statistics?
     
  4. Jan 4, 2008 #3
    Theory.

    but, It looks like I'm not the first to notice this affect after all. I was just reading another forum where it mentions that Einstein also explained this same affect.
     
  5. Jan 4, 2008 #4

    DaveC426913

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    Unless I'm completely bonkers and am misreading you, that is exactly what Einstein's Theory of General Relativity is all about.
     
  6. Jan 4, 2008 #5
    Oh . . .


    I always thought that the theory of relativity was just the space time continuum, in relation with light.
     
  7. Jan 4, 2008 #6

    Vid

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  8. Jan 4, 2008 #7

    DaveC426913

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    The Theory of Special Relativity is known for its posits about how light behaves.

    The Theory of General Relativity deals more with gravity.

    Wiki is your friend. It will bring you up to speed faster than we can.
     
  9. Jan 5, 2008 #8

    HallsofIvy

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    First, this physics, not mathematics so I am going to move it. Second, "gravity caused by warped space time continuum" is not new. Third I do not understand where you get "Being that time would move slightly faster where his head is than where his feet are, he is forced to stay on the ground." Why does time moving faster where his head is "force" him to stay on the ground?
     
  10. Jan 5, 2008 #9

    gel

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    Doesn't this combined with the strong equivalence principle imply exactly what the OP suggested? Someone standing in an accelerating spaceship would also observe time running very slightly faster at his head than at his feet, and would feel an effective force similar to gravity.
     
  11. Jan 5, 2008 #10

    Gokul43201

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    The equivalence principle presupposes the existence of a gravitational field. To use this to demonstrate the existence of one is circular.
     
  12. Jan 6, 2008 #11

    HallsofIvy

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    Both of those statements are true. I just don't see how one implies the other.
     
  13. Jan 6, 2008 #12

    gel

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    Assuming that physics in space-time is locally Lorentz invariant, there should be a local coordinate frame in which special relativity holds (ignoring tidal effects...). The only way to do this is to use a frame which is accelerating downwards, in order to cancel out the difference in the rate at which time is flowing at the observer's head and feet. Then, an object moving at constant velocity in this accelerating frame would actually be accelerating downwards in a frame fixed to the surface of the Earth.
    I wasn't trying to argue that this difference in the rate at which time flows at the observer's head and feet is the "real cause" for the gravitational force he feels, just that either one does follow logically from the other according to the assumptions of General relativity.
     
  14. Jan 6, 2008 #13
    I think I said this wrong. Time should move faster at his feet, and slower at his head, correct?
     
  15. Jan 6, 2008 #14

    gel

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  16. Jan 6, 2008 #15
    Thanks for that explanation, that is what I viewed in my mined. But if something could hold perfectly still, would it float as if it were in space?

    Also, everything that the object was made up of would have to be perfectly still.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  17. Jan 6, 2008 #16

    gel

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    No. That doesn't follow from what I was saying, and would violate the equivalence principle.
     
  18. Jan 6, 2008 #17
    What would violate the equivalence principle?
     
  19. Jan 6, 2008 #18

    gel

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    For one thing, I was arguing that the inertial frame under which special relativity is locally valid is one which is accelerating downwards. Any object that is not subject to external non-gravitational forces would move with constant velocity, and would not accelerate when viewed in such a frame. So, switching to the frame fixed to the surface of the earth, all objects would accelerate downwards at the same rate. It doesn't matter whether it or any of its component parts are holding perfectly still.

    Furthermore, the definition of the strong equivalence principle as given in Wikipedia (strong equivalence principle) explicitly states that the gravitational motion of a body does not depend on its constitution.
     
  20. Jan 6, 2008 #19

    OmCheeto

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    hmmmm.... So If I took a 1 meter rod and held it vertically, would it weigh more than if I held it horizontally? And if I flattened the rod into a sheet, would it weigh even less? Or am I totally not following this thread at all?
     
  21. Jan 6, 2008 #20
    Actually, I think you have a good point. If you were holding a rod up vertically, it would weigh less, because the intensity of the warped time frame would be more where it is nearest to the earth, than the intensity of the time frame up higher into the atmosphere.

    I may be able to explain that better: The time frame nearest to the earth would have a smaller radius than the time frame that is farther up into the atmosphere.

    Because of the Theory of General Relativity, The rod would weigh slightly less if it were standing upright, and weigh more if it were laying horizontally, I do believe.

    Just as a space ship leaves the earth, and is nearly released of the gravitational pull, your pole would also be farther out of the gravitational pull, and would weigh less.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
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