How does Gravity travel the speed of light

In summary: u take the mass of the object...m2...and divide it by the gravitational force...m1g...and that will give u the acceleration...in terms of g...that u experience...
  • #1
Alpha[X]²
21
0
How does Gravity travel the speed of light, if it accelerates at 9.8 m/s² on Earth? Shouldn't it travel at a constant c?
 
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  • #2
Don't mix these up:
(1) The speed of gravity--the speed at which a change in gravitational field propagates. That speed, per general relativity, is c.
(2) The acceleration due to gravity of an object near the Earth's surface. That's an acceleration of an object, not the speed of gravity.
 
  • #3
But, why are they different?
 
  • #4
Why would you think they would be the same? You do realize that speed and acceleration are two different things--so that right off the bat, equating them makes no sense. (Kind of like aking why is 3 dollars different than 3 feet.) And further: one is the speed of gravity, while the other is the acceleration of an object. What's the connection?
 
  • #5
Alpha[X]² said:
But, why are they different?

Speed of gravity: Let's say the sun was to disapear, it would take a little over 8 minutes (distance earth-sun sun at velocity C) for the Earth to change gravitational course.
Hence; the "effects of gravity" travel at C.

Acceleration due to gravity: Corresponds to the gravitational force of a mass. On earth: 9.8 m/s²

They are both very different things.
 
  • #6
A ship with Solar sails is propelled by photons. The force propelling the ship travels out from the Sun to the ship at c, but the ship itself does not. It will be constantly accelerated by the force of the photons, but it will travel much slower than the force that is propelling it.

True for EM force, true also for gravitational acceleration (not saying the two are similar, but the principle of things moving much more slowly than the force that is accelerating them is still relevant).
 
  • #7
I tend to think of it more like this (ignore unit troubles please): Objects do not fall at c. But gravity get's to the object that fast.
 
  • #8
Alpha[X]² said:
How does Gravity travel the speed of light, if it accelerates at 9.8 m/s² on Earth? Shouldn't it travel at a constant c?

Gravity permeates space at the speed of light. On earth, objects fall towards its surface at a speed of 9.8 meters per second. The first statement is gravity's own speed while the 9.8 is gravity's affects on other object's speed toward the Earth.
 
  • #9
I am a newb too but I somewhat get this (I hope)
Here's how I think it works:
Gravity accelerates 9.8m per second. So in 1 sec, it would be 9.8, in 2secs, 19.6m/s(9.8x2) and in 3secs, it would be 29.4(9.8x3). and so on but it would stop until it reaches c.

Am I Right or Wrong?
 
  • #10
Completely and utterly wrong. As the Doc said, 3 dollars and 3 feet are not the same thing, are they?

You do know that g (acceleration due to gravity) is different on every planet and also differs depending on how high above the Earth you are, right? That 9.8 is not a universal constant(g isn't G), it is just about what g happens to be on earth, on average. It isn't even the same everywhere on earth!
 
  • #11
I meant that for Earth only, not universally. Would I be right then?
 
  • #12
I don't mean to be disrespectful to anyone in this thread, but honest to god what kind of physics teachers do you all have?

Raza, no you wouldn't be right. Think before you make any conclusions. I honestly don't know how to reply to make it clear to you (in other ways than have been previously stated).

I'll try this:

Let's say that each particle of Earth emits gravitons which fly outward in all directions. Then, when some object, like yourself, is hit with a graviton, it is pulled towards the origin of the graviton. The average position of the origin of all the gravitons from Earth is the center. So, on average, these gravitons pull you towards the center. They pull with a force proporitonal to your mass. The acceleration you experience is NOT acceleration of the gravitons, it's the acceleration of your physical human body towards the center of the spherical earth. The individual gravitons fly at the speed of light to meet and provide a force onto you.

Would it make sense for gravity itself to begin at rest and accelerate on its way towards an object?
 
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  • #13
Raza said:
I meant that for Earth only, not universally. Would I be right then?
You're being rediculous. Please stop.
 
  • #14
ok guys...lets make it clear...raza...i thing u must go and study the chapter onn gravitation...if u did then here how it goes...u stand on the earth...gravitation force...which is defined as (Gm1m2)/r^2 = mg..were m1 is mass of you and m2 is the mass of earth...r is radius of earth..ok?...if u are standing on the earth...the gravitational equation..which is universal must apply to the force that u learn...m1g...hence...in order to find g=(Gm2)/r^2 and this quantity is 9.8ms-1...get it...
 
  • #15
m1g..sorry
 
  • #16
vijay123 said:
ok guys...lets make it clear...raza...i thing u must go and study the chapter onn gravitation...if u did then here how it goes...u stand on the earth...gravitation force...which is defined as (Gm1m2)/r^2 = mg..were m1 is mass of you and m2 is the mass of earth...r is radius of earth..ok?...if u are standing on the earth...the gravitational equation..which is universal must apply to the force that u learn...m1g...hence...in order to find g=(Gm2)/r^2 and this quantity is 9.8ms-1...get it...
Can you stop writing like a 4-year old?
 
  • #17
now suppose...for some reason...the sun was taken out of ur solar system...earth would only get deflect away from the former sun 8mins(approx.) since it takes 8mins for the INFLUENCE OF GRAVITY between the earth- sun system to dispappear...this influence of gravity...i think...which is the gravitational field...dun even think about gravitons right now...
 
  • #18
sorry...i am onli 14 years old and i dun speak english as my first language...sorry for any inconveinece
 
  • #19
arildno...u got a masters in fluid mechanics...omg...can i ask u a question...does bournoullli's equation apply in real life?...is it an approximation of any kind?
 
  • #20
vijay123 said:
..does bournoullli's equation apply in real life?
Yes.
is it an approximation of any kind?
Yes.
 
  • #21
Look at the units. C= m/s; g=m/s^2. As some one said not the same. C is speed; g is acceration (change is speed over time.:smile:
 
  • #22
Can someone explain it me with a graph?
If the accerelation is 5.0m/s2 and you are starting from rest, how would a graph look like?
What velocity would it be in 10 seconds?
 
  • #23
It is a straight line up and to the right. And the velocity after 10 seconds... well, you tell me: v=at.
 

Related to How does Gravity travel the speed of light

1. How is gravity able to travel at the speed of light?

According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, gravity is not a force that travels, but rather a curvature in the fabric of space-time. This curvature is caused by massive objects and affects the motion of other objects in its vicinity. Since the speed of light is the fastest possible speed in the universe, this curvature, or gravity, also travels at the speed of light.

2. Is gravity affected by the speed of light?

No, gravity is not affected by the speed of light. As mentioned before, gravity is not a force that travels, but a curvature in space-time. This curvature is not affected by the speed of light, as it is a fundamental property of the universe.

3. Can gravity travel faster than the speed of light?

No, according to the theory of general relativity, the speed of light is the maximum speed at which anything can travel in the universe. Since gravity is not a force that travels, it cannot exceed the speed of light.

4. How does the speed of gravity compare to the speed of light?

Both the speed of gravity and the speed of light are considered to be the same, which is approximately 299,792,458 meters per second. This means that both gravity and light travel at the maximum speed possible in the universe.

5. Is there any evidence that gravity travels at the speed of light?

Yes, there have been several observations and experiments that support the idea that gravity travels at the speed of light. For example, the observation of gravitational waves, which are ripples in space-time caused by massive objects, have been found to travel at the speed of light. This is consistent with the theory of general relativity, which states that gravity travels at the speed of light.

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