Thought experiment and back up from educational sources:What "actual reality"? You think Newton had some deeper, qualatative description of gravity independent of the math? He didn't. I think you misunderstand what science is....
Gravitational force is a force. It says so right in Newton's gravitational force equation and as DH explained, that equation is still perfectly valid in a large number of applications!
If I'm in a car going around a corner very quickly, I get pushed to the side. That's not because there's an external force in the curb pulling on me, but rather that my body wants to move in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force. Einstein said gravitation is the same as acceleration rather than an external force, gave his rocket on the ground vs. space thought experiment, and it's been tested. How do you explain the studies for the equivalence principle, inertial mass and gravitational mass? Einstein's Gravitation being a fictitious force, or the bending of spacetime creating an illusion of an external force? Link from UCLA http://www.physics.ucla.edu/demoweb/demomanual/modern_physics/principal_of_equivalence_and_general_relativity/curved_spacetime.html You're not implying that at slow speeds and low mass, gravitation is an external force field, while in other situations it's instead the bending of spacetime? I thought gravitation is gravitation. That's why I said the implications stayed similar, although the explanation was replaced (physical laws vs. what a scientific theory is).
If Newton's idea that gravitation is a force was real, how do you explain gravitational redshift, gravitational time dilation, the wobble of Mercury's orbit, stuff that happens with black holes, and how the bending of light is not what Newton would predict but rather what Einstein would? Newton said a body at rest stays at rest unless an external force does something, so according to him if I'm holding an apple and drop it, the reason it doesn't stay at rest is because of an external force called gravity. However Einstein said it was the bending of spacetime with no force involved, just acceleration plus the bending of spacetime create the illusion.
Something I found from the National Academy of Sciences, the highest Science organization in the U.S. http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=751&page=8
Another source says: "The general theory overturned Newton's theory of gravity which had been valid for two hundred and fifty years. In Newton's universe, gravity was regarded as an attractive force which all massive bodies exert on each other. The planets moved in elliptical orbits about the sun because of its great mass powerful gravitational force. In Einstein's universe, gravity is not regarded as an exterior force, but rather as a property of space and time or "spacetime"."
The observable principle may be correct for that limited situation. However, does that mean the observable principle law is universal (correct), nor even the explanation (theory of gravitation)? Aristotle's theory of gravitation was right in some situations, but I'm not sure that means it's deserving of being correct, but only a very limited relative truth. As they look for explanations of gravitation better than General Relativity, I wonder what it'll look like in a thousand years from now?If Newton's laws are completely correct in a given situation, wouldn't that make them Absolute Truth for that limited situation?
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