Gravity

Gravity

How the Weakest Force in the Universe Shaped Our Lives

Book - 2012
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"Physicists will tell you that four forces control the universe. Of these, gravity may the most obvious, but it is also the most mysterious. Newton managed to predict the force of gravity but couldn't explain how it worked at a distance. Einstein picked up on the simple premise that gravity and acceleration are interchangeable to devise his mind-bending general relativity, showing how matter warps space and time. Not only did this explain how gravity worked - and how apparently simple gravitation has four separate components - but it predicted everything from black holes to gravity's effect on time. Whether it's the reality of anti-gravity or the unexpected discovery that a ball and a laser beam drop at the same rate, gravity is the force that fascinates"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312616298
0312616295
1466802529
9781466802520
Branch Call Number: 539.754 C587G 2012
Characteristics: 322 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

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jimg2000
Nov 26, 2012

Author revisited Newtonian Mechanics, General Relativity and Gravity with updates on recent work on anti-matters, anti-gravity, dark matters etc:Relativity and the Cosmos By Alan Lightman Posted 09.09.97 NOVAExcerpt - The essence of gravityWhat was general relativity? Einstein's earlier theory of time and space, special relativity, proposed that distance and time are not absolute. The ticking rate of a clock depends on the motion of the observer of that clock; likewise for the length of a "yardstick." Published in 1915, general relativity proposed that gravity, as well as motion, can affect the intervals of time and of space. The key idea of general relativity, called the equivalence principle, is that gravity pulling in one direction is completely equivalent to an acceleration in the opposite direction. A car accelerating forwards feels just like sideways gravity pushing you back against your seat. An elevator accelerating upwards feels just like gravity pushing you into the floor.If gravity is equivalent to acceleration, and if motion affects measurements of time and space (as shown in special relativity), then it follows that gravity does so as well. In particular, the gravity of any mass, such as our sun, has the effect of warping the space and time around it. For example, the angles of a triangle no longer add up to 180 degrees, and clocks tick more slowly the closer they are to a gravitational mass like the sun.Many of the predictions of general relativity, such as the bending of starlight by gravity and a tiny shift in the orbit of the planet Mercury, have been quantitatively confirmed by experiment. Two of the strangest predictions, impossible ever to completely confirm, are the existence of black holes and the effect of gravity on the universe as a whole (cosmology).

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