# Gravity: Warping of Space or Force?

• messysmurf
In summary, Gravity, as defined by Einstienien Theory, is a warping of space. And any mass traveling through space will take the path of least inertial resistance, ie not necessarily a straight line, dependent on that warping of space. So, is gravity a force, or just an expression of warped space, that happens to influence matter passing through it?

#### messysmurf

Gravity, as defined by Einstienien Theory, is a warping of space. And any mass traveling through space will take the path of least inertial resistance, ie not necessarily a straight line, dependent on that warping of space. So, is gravity a force, or just an expression of warped space, that happens to influence matter passing through it?

I'll quote the last post.

The best short answer is that both views are basically correct. Speaking rather loosely, given a particular coordinate system, the curvature of space-time can be reduced to a "curvature of time" and a "curvature of space". (For the more expert here, we are using the popular term "curvature" to describe the Christoffel symbols, and not the Riemann curvature tensor, and the above classification is slightly oversimplified).

The "time curvature" part of GR introduces both gravitational time dilation, and acts mathematically in the equations of motion (the geodesic equation) just as if it were a force.

The "space curvature" part of GR cannot, however, be directly modeled as a force.

So the space-time curvature model is a more complex model than a force model, because it includes ideas that can be interpreted as forces, and ideas that cannot be directly modeled only by forces.

messysmurf said:
Gravity, as defined by Einstienien Theory, is a warping of space.
Space-time not just space.

messysmurf said:
And any mass traveling through space will take the path of least inertial resistance, ie not necessarily a straight line, dependent on that warping of space.
A free falling object travels on straight paths (geodesics) in wrapped space-time, which might look curved when projected onto space.

messysmurf said:
So, is gravity a force, or just an expression of warped space, that happens to influence matter passing through it?
Both models can be used to describe the common effect of mass attraction. But Einstein's model predicts some effects like light bending better than Newton's model, and gravitational time dilation which Newton doesn't predict at all.

Also note that even in Einsteins model you can treat gravity as a force, but unlike in Newton's model it is an inertial force due to an accelerated reference frame, not an interaction force:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictitious_force

But if you model the accelerated reference frame with distorted coordinates, instead of inertial forces, then indeed there is no "force of gravity". And free falling a objects follow a straight path as shown in this animation:

## 1. What is gravity?

Gravity is a natural phenomenon that causes objects with mass to attract each other. It is a fundamental force in the universe and is responsible for keeping planets in orbit around stars, and stars in orbit around galaxies.

## 2. Is gravity a force or the warping of space?

This is a debated topic in the scientific community. According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, gravity is the result of the warping of space-time by objects with mass. However, in classical mechanics, gravity is considered a force. Both explanations have been supported by evidence, and the true nature of gravity is still being studied and understood.

## 3. How does the warping of space cause objects to move?

In Einstein's theory of general relativity, the presence of mass causes the fabric of space-time to curve. This curvature determines the path of objects with mass, causing them to move towards the center of the curvature. This is what we experience as gravity.

## 4. Can gravity be manipulated or controlled?

Currently, there is no known way to manipulate or control gravity. However, scientists are exploring possibilities such as using electromagnetic fields to simulate the effects of gravity or using advanced technology to create artificial gravitational fields.

## 5. How does gravity affect time?

According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, the warping of space-time by gravity also affects the flow of time. Objects with a stronger gravitational pull experience time at a slower rate, while objects with a weaker gravitational pull experience time at a faster rate. This phenomenon is known as time dilation and has been confirmed through experiments, such as the Hafele-Keating experiment.