Where does gravity come from

• hollyrenee
In summary, during an introductory physics test, the question of what causes gravity was raised. While there are theories that successfully explain how gravity works, the ultimate cause of its existence is still unknown and it remains a topic of curiosity for many, including theoretical physicists. Some suggest that gravity is caused by the curvature of spacetime, but others are not satisfied with this explanation. Despite the complexity of the topic, it is not uncommon for aspiring physicists to try and understand it on their own.

hollyrenee

During a physics test today (introductory phys) we had to find the force exerted on an object from gravity. So my mind somehow wandered off as I started wondering where gravity actually comes from. I know that's a very broad question since I guess we don't even really know where we "come from", so maybe it should be rephrased as what causes gravity... Either way, the answer seems beyond me. I'm having trouble grasping what exactly causes this force I suppose. Can anybody help me out? This is the first physics class I've taken, so if you think the answer would be beyond my understanding then I don't mind if you just say so.
=D

Thanks!

Oh and this isn't a homework question or anything. I'm just curious.

That's okay, Holly - we probably would have guessed that this was not a homework problem. In fact, you could take it on as an independent study project - and when you solve it you'll get the Nobel Prize!

I'm just kidding, but in fact the question you've asked is sort of like the Holy Grail for theoretical physicists. There are some very successful theories that describe gravity very well, but none that actually explain why it must exist in the first place - not yet, at least!

When Isaac Newton was asked this same question he famously replied "Hypotheses non fingo," which is sometimes whimsically translated as "Uhmm..."

Einstein's theory (general relativity) says that gravity comes from the curvature of spacetime - and in turn, the curvature of spacetime is caused by matter. But if you're not satisfied by that answer, don't worry, you're not alone ;-) The curvature thing was devised as a way to explain how gravity works, but like belliott4488 said, a lot of people still wonder about why it exists.

Yeah, I've asked all my unversity lecturers on what they think about it, and they have no idea besides the current theories revolving around gravitrons

Haha, aw rats! I guess I'll just have to add this to my list of "things that drive me nuts because i don't understand them and most likely will never understand". Or I'll just go figure it out myself since I know so much about physics. (ha ha...) :tongue:

hollyrenee said:
Haha, aw rats! I guess I'll just have to add this to my list of "things that drive me nuts because i don't understand them and most likely will never understand". Or I'll just go figure it out myself since I know so much about physics. (ha ha...) :tongue:
Hey, a lot of very successful Physicists got started exactly that way! In my case, it was magnets - they seemed like magic, so I decided that I would try to understand them as well as I possibly could.

Um, I guess that means some less-than-successful Physicists got our start that way, too. :tongue2:

1. What is gravity?

Gravity is a fundamental force of nature that causes objects with mass to be attracted to each other. It is responsible for keeping planets in orbit around the sun, and for objects falling towards the Earth's surface.

2. Where does gravity come from?

Gravity is a natural phenomenon that exists because of the mass and energy of objects in the universe. The more mass an object has, the stronger its gravitational pull will be.

3. Is gravity the same everywhere?

Yes, gravity is a universal force that exists everywhere in the universe. However, the strength of gravity can vary depending on the mass and distance between objects.

4. How was gravity discovered?

Gravity was first described by Sir Isaac Newton in the 17th century. He observed that objects fall towards the Earth at a constant rate, and proposed the theory of gravity to explain this phenomenon.

5. Can gravity be explained by Einstein's theory of relativity?

Yes, Einstein's theory of relativity provides a more accurate understanding of gravity compared to Newton's theory. It explains gravity as a curvature in spacetime caused by the presence of mass and energy.