If I take an hammer and slam it on a table, I will not be surprised to see the table breaking and my anger slowly vanishing.
I remember a difference being made between impact and non-impact forces when I was in high school, but I can't really say how much was related.
Now, I'm older but I'm still meditating if a stronger gravitational pull will eventaully break things apart (like a table).
I might guess a link with why the fire is burning in the sun, and its constant fusion(fission?). An attempt :)
We, inhabitants of earth, know we can break things by applying a certain force to an object. I don't think impact time play an important role, as long as the force is of the same degree ( there is a misconception that a force should be applied for a very brief time, but I think what is usually meant is the impulse should rather be short ). Impact area seems relevant instead. Everyday experience seems to suggest that if you apply the same force it's easier to penetrate a table if you use a needle rather than a phone.
Again, It seems to me, but I might be wrong.
Anyway, force of gravity seems to act on everthing ( and everything's center of mass/gravity), but it apparently doesn't have any other effect except for pulling down things. It does not break them, at least(I've read that it does deform them on the atomic).
Moreover, is there really a difference between impact and non impact-forces? Even if we suppose the existence of gravitons? :)

  • $\begingroup$ Not break 'apart' but it would crush the table down to a thin layer of atoms on the surface. $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2018 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ Make the table out of very thin balsa wood and then start piling books on it. On Earth it will collapse due to the force of gravity, but would hold up quite a bit better on the Moon. Net-net: If gravity is stronger build stronger tables. $\endgroup$
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 14, 2018 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


Take a wooden table and keep putting more and more weight on it little by little. At some point, the table will snap. Was that an impact force? I do not think so. But the result is like that of an an impact.

Gravity breaks apart stuff due to tidal forces and black holes spagetify things. But these are smooth and incremental effects. Anything abrubt would be due to the internal structural instabilities of a body and some snapping may take place just like the wooden table above.


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