Does Gravity Swirl? Why? Researching the Truth

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In summary: The gravity probe B mission was to measure the gravitational field of the sun and moon. They accounted for the quadrupole and higher "pole" from the asymmetry of the earth by using an algorithm. They also accounted for the effects of the sun and moon on the probe by using a sensor.
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SuperM4ssive
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I vaguely remember learning somewhere somehow sometime that gravity doesn't just dent space-time inwards, it also swirls space-time just a bit. I remember learning this because it was visually depicted using honey. However, now that I try to find out more, I can't seem to find any reference to this swirling effect at all, either positive or negative. It's simply never mentioned. Is it actually true? And if so, why? Why does gravity swirl?
 
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It appears to be correct, but the current precision of the relevant measurement is pretty poor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_Probe_B

As far as "why", science cannot really answer "why" questions, except in terms of a more fundamental theory. Currently, general relativity is our fundamental theory of gravity, so we cannot answer "why" questions about it until we develop a more fundamental theory.

What we can answer is "how". Energy, momentum, and stress all contribute to gravity in GR through the EFE. This is different from Newtonian gravity where momentum does not contribute.
 
  • #4
Also check wikipedia and google for the "Kerr metric" and "Kerr black holes"; that's the solution that describes the swirling/frame-dragging effect around a massive rotating body.
 
  • #6
DaleSpam said:
It appears to be correct, but the current precision of the relevant measurement is pretty poor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_Probe_B

As far as "why", science cannot really answer "why" questions, except in terms of a more fundamental theory. Currently, general relativity is our fundamental theory of gravity, so we cannot answer "why" questions about it until we develop a more fundamental theory.

What we can answer is "how". Energy, momentum, and stress all contribute to gravity in GR through the EFE. This is different from Newtonian gravity where momentum does not contribute.

Do you know more about this missions? How did they account for quadrupole and higher "pole" from the asymmetry of the earth? How did they account for the effects of the sun and moon on the probe?
 

Related to Does Gravity Swirl? Why? Researching the Truth

1. Does gravity swirl in space?

No, gravity does not swirl in space. Gravity is a force that pulls objects towards each other, but it does not swirl or rotate like a vortex. This is because gravity is a fundamental force that acts in a straight line between objects, rather than a spinning force.

2. Why do some people believe that gravity swirls?

Some people may believe that gravity swirls because of a popular misconception that the force of gravity is caused by the rotation of the Earth. However, this is not the case. The Earth's rotation does contribute to the effects of gravity, but it is not the cause of gravity itself.

3. Is there any scientific evidence to support the idea of swirling gravity?

No, there is no scientific evidence to support the idea of swirling gravity. In fact, the laws of gravity as described by Newton's law of universal gravitation and Einstein's theory of general relativity do not include any mention of swirling or rotating gravity.

4. What is the source of this misconception about swirling gravity?

The misconception about swirling gravity may stem from misunderstandings of scientific concepts or from popular media and entertainment that depict gravity in a visually appealing but inaccurate way. It is important to seek information from reliable sources and to critically evaluate claims about scientific phenomena.

5. How can we dispel the myth of swirling gravity?

As scientists, it is important to communicate accurate information and educate others about the true nature of gravity. This can be done through outreach and education efforts, as well as by using evidence-based explanations and examples to debunk the myth of swirling gravity.

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