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Gravity verses electromagnetic attraction

  1. Apr 23, 2008 #1
    We`ve seen how particles in zero gravity form clumps through electro magnetic attraction, and that these clumps will then develop gravitational forces. Isn`t then gravity merely the same as this electro magnetic attraction only on a larger scale?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2008 #2
    Although many if not most hold onto the hope that some time (most likely long from now) all of the fundamental forces will somehow be unified... according to our understanding, gravity and E&M are very different.
    For instance, E&M forces don't act on things without charge (i.e. neutral sums of charged particles or neutrinos(?) ).
    Similarly, gravity doesn't effect massless particles (i.e. photons).
    The details of the differences aren't too important, but another one of the main things, is that gravity is about a billion times weaker than the E&M forces.
     
  4. Apr 23, 2008 #3

    malawi_glenn

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    Gravity does indeed affect massless particles, see 'gravitational red shift' etc.
     
  5. Apr 23, 2008 #4

    Nabeshin

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    Also, gravity is strictly an attractive force, whereas electromagnetism can work to attract or repel.
     
  6. Apr 23, 2008 #5

    malawi_glenn

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    electromagnetism can be "sheilded", gravity can not, since there is no such things as "negative" mass
     
  7. Apr 23, 2008 #6
    You are absolutely correct that the presence of gravity does change the observational nature of massless particles; but at the same time i think its worth noting that its not gravity that is causing such a change (for instance redshift) - but the bending of space due to gravitational fields (to my knowledge)... this is really semantics - but i think it does illustrate an important conceptual different.
     
  8. Apr 23, 2008 #7
    In some cases gravity can be repulsive instead of attractive. But in every day circumstances you're right.
     
  9. Apr 23, 2008 #8

    Wallace

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    The 'bending of space' is simply a qualitative description of how gravity effects the motion of particles. It is not something different from gravity, it is gravity, if it is anything.
     
  10. Apr 23, 2008 #9

    Nabeshin

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    Elaborate. I am mystified.
     
  11. Apr 30, 2008 #10

    malawi_glenn

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    Gravity IS bending of space, according to the theories of Einstein
     
  12. Apr 30, 2008 #11
    Maybe it is like the difference between a wave and a current in water in a way?
     
  13. May 1, 2008 #12

    malawi_glenn

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    The theory of both EM and gravity is well known, and it is nothing like what you are trying to ascribe.
     
  14. May 1, 2008 #13
    What I was trying to say is that maybe they are both different types of the same thing. By the way, what is "the theory of both EM and Gravity"? It is my impression that science still does not know exactly what EM is, or what the cause of gravity is. We know how to measure it and make predictions, but linking them would require a better understanding of what they are.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  15. May 1, 2008 #14

    malawi_glenn

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    Ooop I should have written the "theories" ;-)
    Unification of EM and Gravity is not done yet.

    And please, specify: What are you referring to in your posts?

    "Maybe it is ... " (What is 'it' referring to?)
    "... that maybe they are both ... (What is 'they' referring to?)
     
  16. May 1, 2008 #15
    Gravity, and EM is what I am referring to. If they can be unified, they must be linked somehow. The same way E=mc2, maybe gravity and em are phenomena of the same fundamentals. Comparing EM to a current, and G to a wave is to me an interesting way of looking at it because EM is a current of photons yet gravity is not a current of particles but instead it is a change in the structure of space just as a wave is not a current but instead it is a change in the structure, or a curvature of the ocean.
     
  17. May 1, 2008 #16

    malawi_glenn

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    Have you done "Classic Electrodynamics" in collage / university yet? I am referring to "because EM is a current of photons "

    unifying all physical theories into one, has always been a goal. String Theories are the candidates for this task today, even though their reasoning are quite a bit more intricate than yours.
     
  18. May 1, 2008 #17
    Even if they come up with the right series of 1's or whatever they are trying to do, what will they understand after the math works?
     
  19. May 1, 2008 #18

    malawi_glenn

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    How to unify Gravity with Quantum field theories.
     
  20. May 1, 2008 #19
    Even if they do that, there will still be room for interpretation of what it all means. They will be able to do a whole new level of predictions which will allow huge advances in science which is totally awesome. That doesn't mean that no one can wonder what the findings mean philosophically.
     
  21. May 1, 2008 #20
    Has it been proven or shown how mass creates a gravitation field? Where does the "gravity" come from within an atom? Do neutrons have something to do with gravity?
     
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