Why does anything with mass have it's own gravitational field?

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of gravitational fields and their relation to mass. It is explained that all objects with mass have their own gravitational field, as mass is a form of energy and a marginally unstable form. This energy flow causes gravity, which is why objects with mass attract each other. The conversation also touches on the concept of orbital speed and how it relates to the Earth's movement around the sun. Newton's laws of motion are mentioned as a way to explain why the Earth does not need a continuous force to maintain its orbit. The conversation ends with a mention of the standard model and the idea that matter is a "frozen" form of energy.
  • #1
_Mayday_
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I have just learned that all objects with mass attract each other. So if I took the example of an apple falling out a tree. The apple is under the Earth's gravitational force, but the Earth is also under some gravitational force from the apple though this force is far less. My question is why? Why does anything with mass have it's own gravitational field? I know that the Earth and other planets orbit the sun and that it is to do with again a gravitational pull, or atleast that is what I think, but why is this?

I have an image below that I have seen a lot when talking about gravitational fields, but I am struggling to interperate it, questions like why do the planets not just get drawn straight towards to sun? If you have an links to information or anything that may help I would most appreciate it. My question might have a very simple answer, but it is one that I haven't found.

http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/236/gravitywell001ds0.jpg
 
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  • #2
thine answer IS orbit
is when we are circling in the gravitational field of a large mass, but are travaling at a fast enough speed to not be pulled into the center, this also applies for celestial bodies, the only reason we are shooting straight through the floor is because of the ground, otherwise we would become a singularity with the core of earth, that's is why Earth isn't pulled towards the sun.

as for WHY all masses had a gravitational field...thats beyond me.

if I am not answering your question, sorry in advance.
 
  • #3
_Mayday_ said:
I have just learned that all objects with mass attract each other. So if I took the example of an apple falling out a tree. The apple is under the Earth's gravitational force, but the Earth is also under some gravitational force from the apple though this force is far less.
No, it's the same. What is different is the gravitational field.

My question is why? Why does anything with mass have it's own gravitational field? I know that the Earth and other planets orbit the sun and that it is to do with again a gravitational pull, or at least that is what I think, but why is this?
Why you don't disintegrate but you stay intact? Because of electrostatic interaction. Why two charges attracts or repel? Because they do it. :smile: You can explain something if you have something else, that is a theory that can describe it, but, before or less, you will find some "basic concept" that it's not yet explained. This is not true only for physics, but for everything.

About gravity, you're lucky, because there are many of such theories, the widely accepted is "Einstein's General Relativity". To say it in very simple terms: mass, but also energy density, generates a warping of the space-time, imposing the other objects to follow this warping trajectory, instead of a rectilinear one, as a ball running on the pavement must follow a warped trajectory when it meet a hollow in it. Remember however that the last is just a metaphor, not what really happens with gravity, because with gravity the space is 3D, not 2D and there it's space-time, not only space, to be warped.

I have an image below that I have seen a lot when talking about gravitational fields, but I am struggling to interperate it, questions like why do the planets not just get drawn straight towards to sun?
That's very simple: because they have an orbital speed. For example, the little roulette's ball doesn't fall down until it has slowed down, if you go fast with the car in a parabolic bend you can stay up, ecc.
 
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  • #4
Thank you for your help Havoc and lightarrow. Thank you for explaining that diagram. Why is the Earth moving at the speed it does and why does it not vary or lose speed, wpuld there not have to be a continuos force acting on the Earth to keep it moving at the speed it is.
 
  • #5
Why is the Earth moving at the speed it does and why does it not vary or lose speed, would there not have to be a continuous force acting on the Earth to keep it moving at the speed it is.

If something is already moving, it will continue to move until a force stops it. So the Earth does not need a continuous force to carry on orbiting. However, there is something holding it in orbit - the gravitational field.
 
  • #6
Mentz114 said:
If something is already moving, it will continue to move until a force stops it. So the Earth does not need a continuous force to carry on orbiting. However, there is something holding it in orbit - the gravitational field.

Thanks for clearing that up.
 
  • #8
If I am totally honest I didn't even consider Newton's laws of motion :blushing:
 
  • #9
_Mayday_ said:
Why does anything with mass have it's own gravitational field?

Mass is a form of energy and a marginally unstable form. It wants to return to a more fundamental energy state. There is an extremely small energy ingress which is compounded -the larger the mass the larger the overall ingress. It is this energy flow which causes gravity. Well, that's the way I see it.

Nick
 
  • #10
Nickeodeon:
Mass is a form of energy ...
Not so. Mass can be converted to energy, but they are not the same thing, as common experience tells us. The rest of your post, insofar as it makes sense, sounds like a private theory.
 
  • #11
Mentz114 said:
but they are not the same thing, as common experience tells us.

I agree that they are not the same thing but, similarly, neither is water and ice but they come from the same stuff.
 
  • #12
Yes, according to the standard model all the matter we see is the result of a tiny imbalance in the matter/antimatter ratio when the energy cooled enough. So it is tempting to think of matter as 'frozen' energy. It is also true that the binding energy of matter contributes E/C^2 to the inertial mass. I don't want to push the analogy though because I got slightly beaten up in another thread when I hinted at it.
 
  • #13
Explaining gravity by falling back on Relativity explains nothing. Why should mass/energy warp the space-time around it?
 
  • #14
qspeechc said:
Explaining gravity by falling back on Relativity explains nothing. Why should mass/energy warp the space-time around it?

Why not ? I don't think science can give the kind of explanation you're after.
It's doubtful if space-time is actually 'warped' but the model is a very good description and predictor of gravitational interactions.
 
  • #15
I'm more comfortable with it being a model, rather than explaining what is actually going on in reality.
 
  • #16
I'm more comfortable with it being a model, rather than explaining what is actually going on in reality.
Me too, especially because there are other theories of gravity that have different, or no space-time curvature.
 
  • #17
qspeechc said:
I'm more comfortable with it being a model, rather than explaining what is actually going on in reality.

I think the reality is obscured from us by the fact that we can easily visualise things that are matter based, ie. things we can touch and move about. The difficulty comes when trying to get an understanding of the energy side of the equation.

For me, I feel comfortable with the idea of energy coming in three basic or primitive states, wave energy (oscillatory), energy associated with mass (rotary) and lastly, gravity, which is the linear version. All other types of energy can fit into one of these categories.

Nick
 
  • #18
For me, I feel comfortable with the idea of energy coming in three basic or primitive states, wave energy (oscillatory), energy associated with mass (rotary) and lastly, gravity, which is the linear version. All other types of energy can fit into one of these categories.
Interesting. In which category does the energy of an electric field fall ?

Tread carefully, your post might be interpreted by a mentor as a private theory.
 
  • #19
Mentz114 said:
Interesting. In which category does the energy of an electric field fall ?

It's rotary
 
  • #20
I still don't see how it is possible for orbit to be the one thing that creates gravity. I have read many presuppotions on the new theories of gravity, including the Final Theory, and in the book it is stated that there is no possible way to find the true source of gravity's power. Sure the orbit of the planets would have some effect but it really explains nothing. On another note what about the law of conservation of energy? The power or energy that powers tyhat particular force never changes or ever disperse to another form. What is your theory on this.
 
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  • #21
Nickelodeon said:
I think the reality is obscured from us by the fact that we can easily visualise things that are matter based, ie. things we can touch and move about. The difficulty comes when trying to get an understanding of the energy side of the equation.

For me, I feel comfortable with the idea of energy coming in three basic or primitive states, wave energy (oscillatory), energy associated with mass (rotary) and lastly, gravity, which is the linear version. All other types of energy can fit into one of these categories.

Nick
nope
 
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1. Why do objects with mass have a gravitational field?

Objects with mass have a gravitational field because mass is a fundamental property of matter that interacts with the fabric of space-time. This interaction creates a curvature in space-time, known as gravity, which causes objects with mass to be attracted to one another.

2. How is a gravitational field created?

A gravitational field is created by the presence of mass. The larger the mass of an object, the stronger its gravitational field will be. This field extends outwards in all directions and can affect other objects with mass in its vicinity.

3. How does the strength of a gravitational field depend on the mass of an object?

The strength of a gravitational field is directly proportional to the mass of an object. This means that the larger the mass, the stronger the gravitational field will be. For example, the Earth has a much stronger gravitational field compared to the Moon due to its larger mass.

4. Can an object have a gravitational field without having mass?

No, an object cannot have a gravitational field without having mass. Mass and gravity are intrinsically linked and without mass, there can be no gravitational field. Even objects with extremely small masses, such as subatomic particles, have a gravitational field.

5. How does the distance between two objects affect their gravitational field?

The strength of a gravitational field decreases as the distance between two objects increases. This is described by the inverse square law, which states that the strength of a gravitational field is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between two objects. This means that the further apart two objects are, the weaker their gravitational attraction will be.

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