Gravity is an attractive force that affects and is effected by all mass and - in general relativity - energy, pressure and stress. Prefer newtonian-gravity or general-relativity if sensible.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

11
votes
6answers
2k views

Why is there an escape velocity?

I've been trying for days, but I just can't understand why escape velocities exist. I've searched the web and even this site, and although I've read many explanations, I haven't been able to truly ...
11
votes
3answers
957 views

Imagine a long bar floating in space. What force does it exert on itself in the middle due to gravity?

Problem If you had a long bar floating in space, what would be the compressive force at the centre of the bar, due to the self-weight of both ends? Diagram - what is the force at point X in the ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the exact gravitational force between two masses including relativistic effects?

I was wondering if there is a closed-form formula for the force between two masses $m_1$ and $m_2$ if relativistic effects are included. My understanding is that the classic formula $G \frac{m_1 ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

What happens to light and mass in the center of a black hole?

I know that black holes are "black" because nothing can escape it due to the massive gravity, but I am wondering if there are any theories as to what happens to the light or mass that enters a black ...
11
votes
1answer
422 views

Does gravitation of a sphere equal gravitation of a point?

Under Newtonian model of gravity, a perfect sphere creates the same gravitation field as a point mass in its center. General Relativity describes gravitation differently. How much this difference ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Why does Venus rotate the opposite direction as other planets?

Given: Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum. Reverse spinning with dense atmosphere (92 times > Earth & CO2 dominant sulphur based). Surface same degree of aging all over. Hypothetical large ...
11
votes
4answers
570 views

Why is the relative weakness of gravity a problem?

In my physics classes, I remember it being repeated a few times that gravity is a much weaker force than the other three fundamental forces, and being told this is an open problem in physics. However, ...
11
votes
5answers
9k views

Stephen Hawking says universe can create itself from nothing, but how exactly?

Stephen Hawking says in his latest book The Grand Design that, Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Is it not circular logic? I mean, how ...
11
votes
3answers
621 views

Evidence for black hole event horizons

I know that there's a lot of evidence for extremely compact bodies. But is there any observation from which we can infer the existence of an actual horizon? Even if we are able to someday resolve ...
11
votes
3answers
560 views

Can we disprove Artificial Gravity (like in the movies) with a thought experiment?

Suppose you have a Device that creates an 'artificial gravity' (AG) inside a Box, with these properties: the system does not use inertial forces (like centrifugal force) or a huge mass to create AG ...
11
votes
2answers
788 views

What is the terminal velocity for a mobile phone

You may have seen the story of the iPhone which was dropped from perhaps 13,500 feet by a skydiver - it survived. This made me wonder how to work out the terminal velocity for something like that. ...
10
votes
3answers
551 views

infinite grid of planets with newtonian gravity

Assuming only Newtonian gravity, suppose that the universe consists of an infinite number of uniform planets, uniformly distributed in a two-dimensional grid infinite in both directions and not moving ...
10
votes
1answer
417 views

Sandstone getting soaked with water

I have seen someone putting a sandstone in water. With only about 10% of the stone sitting in the water. One could see the stone getting soaked with water. So there must be a force, which lets the ...
10
votes
4answers
366 views

Effect of gravity upon light and bagels

According to this question and this web site, photons undergo twice the deflection from gravitational fields as do physical objects. However, the weak equivalence principle states that locally, ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Does light lose energy in transit?

Consider a photon is an energetic particle and therefore has a gravitational field. When a photon passes a molecule or particle of dust in space it will pull the dust towards it and deform the dust. ...
10
votes
2answers
257 views

Where did the energy released due to gravitational binding energy of the Earth go?

The gravitational binding energy of the Earth is $2×10^{32} J $, so the same amount of energy must have been released during the Earth's history. According to this and this, the current internal ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Can low-gravity planets sustain a breathable atmosphere?

If astronauts could deliver a large quantity of breathable air to somewhere with lower gravity, such as Earth's moon, would the air form an atmosphere, or would it float away and disappear? Is there a ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a way to fill Tank 2 from Tank 1 through Gravity alone?

I am a newbie in water system design but I am currently faced with the exact situation below on my land, and I need to know whether gravity alone is sufficient in order to fill Tank 2 from Tank 1, as ...
10
votes
5answers
884 views

Can entropy of Universe be constant?

If I understand entropy correctly, then for example two objects orbiting a centre of mass have lower entropy than when said objects eventually crash into each other and form a new one. So let's say ...
10
votes
2answers
422 views

The problem of self-force on point charges

Allow me to preface this by stating that I am a high school student interested in physics and self-studying using a variety of resources, both on- and off-line, primarily GSU's HyperPhysics website, ...
10
votes
8answers
10k views

Is Gravity Energy?

This might be stupid, but is gravity a form of energy? And, if so, couldn't we use it for power?
10
votes
1answer
423 views

Causal and Global structure of Penrose Diagrams

What kind of global and causal structures does a Penrose diagram reveal? How do I see (using a Penrose diagram) that two different spacetimes have a similar global and causal structure? Also, I ...
10
votes
1answer
435 views

Can masses move in 2+1 gravity?

I would like to understand basic concepts of the general relativity in 2+1 spacetime. As far as I know, GR predicts that such a spacetime is flat everywhere except for the point masses which create ...
9
votes
8answers
15k views

Is gravity a force and if so what is its opposite?

For every force there is an equal force in the opposite direction on another body, correct? So when the Suns gravity acts on Earth where is the opposite and equal force? I also have the same ...
9
votes
7answers
4k views

How does Newtonian gravitation conflict with special relativity?

In the Wikipedia article Classical Field Theory (Gravitation), it says After Newtonian gravitation was found to be inconsistent with special relativity, . . . I don't see how Newtonian ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Why can light (photons) bends in a curve through space without mass? [duplicate]

I've heard that light can form a curve if they travel near high-mass stars or even a black hole with strong gravity. Which is according to this Newtonian formula $$\large ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is ski jumping not suicidal?

At least on television, ski jumpers seem to fall great vertical distances before they hit the ground - at least a few dozen meters, though I couldn't find exact distances via a quick search. And yet ...
9
votes
8answers
628 views

Gravity theories with the equivalence principle but different from GR

Einstein's general relativity assumes the equivalence of acceleration and gravitation. Is there a general class of gravity theories that have this property but disagree with general relativity? Will ...
9
votes
4answers
11k views

How can gravitational forces influence time?

How does it work that gravitational forces can affect time and what usable applications could arise from this?
9
votes
4answers
367 views

Would there be time dilation at the point where two gravitational fields cancel each other out?

My question is very simple, and most likely a stupid one: One observer is at a point in space were the gravitational force form massive bodies (or a single massive body) cancel each-other out. The ...
9
votes
1answer
556 views

In what limit does string theory reproduce general relativity? [duplicate]

In quantum mechanical systems which have classical counterparts, we can typically recover classical mechanics by letting $\hbar \rightarrow 0$. Is recovering Einstein's field equations (conceptually) ...
9
votes
1answer
414 views

Gravitational Constant in Newtonian Gravity vs. General Relativity

From my understanding, the gravitational constant $G$ is a proportionality constant used by Newton in his law of universal gravitation (which was based around Kepler's Laws), namely in the equation $F ...
9
votes
6answers
600 views

How Does Hubble's Expansion Affect Two Rope-Tied Galaxies?

Suppose we have two galaxies that are sufficiently far apart so that the distance between them increases due to Hubble's expansion. If I were to connect these two galaxies with a rope, would there be ...
9
votes
3answers
458 views

“Weakness” of gravitational force

I often hear that gravitational force is much "weaker" than electroweak and strong forces. But how can you compare the strength of interactions without the parameters like mass, charge on which it ...
9
votes
3answers
911 views

Why space expansion affects matter?

If space itself is expanding, then why would it have any effect on matter (separates distant galaxies)? Space is "nothing", and if "nothing" becomes bigger "nothing" it's still a "nothing" that ...
9
votes
2answers
273 views

What are the limitations of performing music in space?

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield's song Space Oddity is making news around the world today. It makes me wonder: What are the limitations of performing music in space? Clearly, there is no point to ...
9
votes
3answers
308 views

Are there models/simulations of antigravitational antimatter-galaxies?

In the comments to another question's answer, I started wondering: Assuming antimatter possessed negative gravitational mass§ (which is not proven impossible to date, though deemed unlikely), ...
9
votes
1answer
659 views

Gravitationally bound systems in an expanding universe

This isn't yet a complete question; rather, I'm looking for a qual-level question and answer describing a gravitationally bound system in an expanding universe. Since it's qual level, this needs a ...
9
votes
1answer
107 views

Is it possible to determine whether distant galaxies are gravitationally bound

In a previous question, one issue was related to the potential energy of cosmic structures. This raised in particular the question of whether these structures are gravitationally bound. If you ...
9
votes
2answers
395 views

Why do clouds fly? [duplicate]

I know it's probably the most stupid question there is, but why do they fly are the clouds lighter than air? What's keeping those tiny ice structures floating miles about the ground? I've been looking ...
9
votes
1answer
791 views

Gravitational constant in higher dimensions?

From Newton's law of gravitation we know that $$F=G\frac{m_1m_2}{r^2}$$ where $G$ is gravitational constant. We can also see that it has dimensions $$[G]=\frac{[L]^3}{[M][T]^2}$$ and we have a ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Why does water flow out of an upside-down bottle? (Rayleigh Taylor Instability)

I am currently reading the excellent book An Indispensable Truth: How Fusion Power Can Save the Planet by Francis F. Chen and I came across this explanation. The Rayleigh–Taylor Instability ...
9
votes
2answers
183 views

Why does angular momentum shorten the Schwarzschild Radius of a black hole?

Angular momentum causes the event horizon of a black hole to recede. At maximum angular momentum, $J=GM^2/c$, the Schwarzschild radius is half of what it would be if the black hole wasn't spinning. ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is Einstein gravity not renormalizable at two loops or more?

(I found this related Phys.SE post: Why is GR renormalizable to one loop?) I want to know explicitly how it comes that Einstein-Hilbert action in 3+1 dimensions is not renormalizable at two loops or ...
9
votes
3answers
338 views

Field created by varying Gravitational field

Changing Electric Field causes Magnetic filed and changing Magnetic Field causes Electric Field. Is there anything similar in relation to Gravitational Field? What sort of field is created by varying ...
9
votes
1answer
317 views

Measurement of kaluza-klein radion field gradient?

I've been very impressed to learn about kaluza-klein theory and compactification strategies. I would like to read more about this but in the meantime i'm curious about 2 different points. I have the ...
9
votes
0answers
650 views

Would Portal-style portals transmit gravity? [closed]

In the video game Portal, there are often puzzles which must be solved by gaining a large amount of momentum. Typically, this is accomplished by putting one portal on the ground and another directly ...
8
votes
6answers
9k views

Where does gravity get its energy from?

I would like to know where gravity gets its energy to attract physical bodies? I know that the law of conservation states that total energy of an isolated system cannot change. So gravity has to be ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

A cup of water in ZERO gravity

What will happen if I try to pour a cup of water in zero gravity, into another empty cup? Will the water come out of the cup? The adhesive force between the water molecules and the interior of the cup ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is gravitational time dilation different from other forms of time dilation?

Is gravitational time dilation caused by gravity, or is it an effect of the inertial force caused by gravity? Is gravitational time dilation fundamentally different from time dilation due to ...