I was watching the movie "Interstellar" recently and in that a character "Romly" mentions that if he could peep into the black hole "Gargantua" he could solve gravity.

I have a questions, is that a factual statement or is it for the movie's plot.

If yes then can someone explain what he means by solving gravity.

I am though interested in physics am not that knowledgeable in it.

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    $\begingroup$ Poor movie plot. Gravity is not a problem, combining gravity with quantum theory is a problem, but the jury is still out if that is even a reasonable thing to attempt. Not everything in nature can be successfully quantized. The dynamics of classical fluids (including gases) can, for instance, not be quantized because they are matter in a state of thermodynamic disorder which suppresses quantum effects almost completely. It may very well be that gravity is spacetime in a similar state, in which case there is a thermodynamic theory of gravity (general relativity) but no quantum theory. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jun 9 '15 at 5:38
  • $\begingroup$ Well.. I didnt understand half of that :-) sorry for being dumb.. can you explain that in simple terms $\endgroup$ – Anarach Jun 9 '15 at 5:39
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    $\begingroup$ We basically have a classical theory of gravity that has withstood 100 year of tests, that's general relativity. We have not seen any signs of gravity being a quantum field, so all attempts to describe gravity as a quantum field (like electromagnetism and the nuclear forces) are essentially speculation at this point. You could as well say that there is no contradiction to anything we have been able to discover so far and our current state of theory. The only contradiction happens at a level where we force gravity to be a quantized force, but that's a man made desire, not tested reality. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jun 9 '15 at 5:44
  • $\begingroup$ oh..now I get it.. I would say good try Christopher Nolan :-) $\endgroup$ – Anarach Jun 9 '15 at 5:46
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    $\begingroup$ Regarding the question in the title: I for one am glad for the fact that we have gravity, lest Earth wouldn't be orbiting the Sun, we wouldn't stay put on the ground, the Earth would have no atmosphere, etc. I'm sure this is an area where peoples' opinions might differ, but I wouldn't really call that a problem. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jun 9 '15 at 11:23

There is no problem with gravity. We have general relativity to describe it in full, and it works as far as we can tell.

The "problem" in the movie, as I understand it, was that it was infeasible to evacuate everyone from Earth. It takes an enormous amount of energy to get even a small amount of mass out of Earth's gravity well. The movie called for some futuristic ability to manipulate gravity so as to make this evacuation possible. Note such an ability is pure science fiction with no basis in reality.

Now as soon as you mention "problem" and "gravity" in the same sentence, everyone will immediately start thinking about how general relativity and quantum mechanics don't play well together. This is a real "problem" that many physicists work on, but note that in the movie "solving gravity" could be done even without "solving gravity + quantum mechanics."


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