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I am not asking why it occurs, but what it is. Everything understood is something.

Something would entail the existence of a property, whether or not tangible.

We know photons exist, but we know they are subatomic particles.

Speaking on states and matter, is gravity matter? Does it have states? Is it solid, liquid, gas, plasma? Is it atomic, subatomic, etc.?

Natural phenomenom doesn't tell me absolutely anything about what gravity is.

So I ask again in pure simplicity ... what is gravity?

Is gravity magnetism? As such it would be a force. But I've been told that's incorrect.

Also, Eintein's "theory" doesn't answer any of these questions:

1.What causes gravity?

2.What is gravity?

3.Is gravity a force?

4.Can gravity be controlled?

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closed as off-topic by dmckee Oct 19 '13 at 0:40

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Could you define "control"? –  Kyle Kanos Oct 18 '13 at 19:56
    
Think "control" as in the electricity we use. –  Andy Harglesis Oct 18 '13 at 20:40
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You can move masses as you can move electrons. –  jinawee Oct 18 '13 at 20:45

3 Answers 3

Gravity is a fundamental force in addition to the other 3 known forces of nature that are: electromagnetism, the weak force and the strong force. Gravity acts on matter, but it is absolutely not matter.

Einstein's theory do answer the questions you listed:

  1. Gravity is caused by the presence of matter who curves the spacetime continuum.
  2. Gravity between two bodies is the result of the curvature of spacetime of those same bodies.
  3. Einstein's theory treats gravity as something other than force, namely that it isn't a force. I will add an analogy here, to qualify gravity as a force depends on your point of reference. For instance, centrifugal force looks as if it doesn't exist to an outside observer who isn't rotating, but to an object that is doing the rotating, it's very real. To clarify more, gravity is a force relative to us who feel it's consequences, but in a more fundamental level, it is not a force but the result of the curvature of the spacetime continuum.
  4. That depends on your definition of "control".
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Physics is not involved in telling you what things "are", but just "how" things work.

I'm sorry, but your question is totally meaningless, because you're trying to describe gravity with other things that don't have a basic definition.

Like David Hume has described: phyiscs can never give the final answer on anything, because behind every answer there's another question, while mathematics gives you final answers. So the explanation of gravity can always change, and will always entail more questions with more answers, while 1+1=2 will never ever change.

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Hey, give the guy some slack - it's his first post and for him the question isn't totally meaningless ... or else he wouldn't have asked it, would he? (Least we forget the first time we too asked such questions!) –  Howard Pautz Oct 18 '13 at 19:58
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@HowardPautz No, he's just a troll. He asked more questions that got closed. –  jinawee Oct 18 '13 at 20:06
    
@jinawee - ah, OK then ... well if that were the reason TheQ.Physicist knocked him, perhaps he should have said so. @ TheQ.Phys., if you know this to be true, then I'll delete my comments here. –  Howard Pautz Oct 18 '13 at 20:09
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Anyhow, this is not an answer and should be deleted too. –  jinawee Oct 18 '13 at 20:14

Andy, actually, Einstein's theories do answer at least your questions 1 through 3, and could give us a plausible reply to #4 too. In a sense #1 and #2 are the same question. I like the "net" picture for gravity: stretch a net like trapeze artists use, only make the ropes closer together. If you put something into that net, say a beach ball, and then pull the net from below, the ball will roll into the cone shape you've created. That pull on the net is mass.

So if you could control the mass, you could control gravity - but the forces to do so would be ginourmous! (You, know, it's only science fiction, (and we shouldn't pursue this more here, but it is a good image: it was either the Romulans or the Klingons who put black holes (a rip in the net by pulling too much) in front of the ships to pull them ahead at tremendous speeds. How the heck the 'held' onto a black hole is another question :))

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Einstein's theory is just that - a theory. It doesn't give any fundamental reasoning behind why I should believe it, understand it, or consider it. It looks like I'm going to have to be the one who discovers gravity. –  Andy Harglesis Oct 18 '13 at 20:43
    
Well, I commend your enthusiasm, but to discover gravity, it would be wise to understand what everyone else before you has thought about it. A theory is nothing more than a model that fits what is observed. The better the theory, the closer the model fits the observations. And as observational techniques improve, questions about the models' theories arise... wash, rinse, repeat. The best and greatest gravity theory we have is Einstein's work - and there are many 'proofs' of its correctness. (Your GPS wouldn't work without it, BTW). As to "why" - science can't answer that. Only the "how". –  Howard Pautz Oct 18 '13 at 20:49

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