How the Weakest Force in the Universe Shaped Our Lives

Book - 2013
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Of the four forces that control the universe gravity may be 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. Then Einstein recognised 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, but it predicted everything from black holes to gravity's effect on time. Whether it's the reality of anti-gravity or the discovery that a ball and a laser beam drop at the same rate, gravity is the force that fascinates.
Publisher: London, Duckworth Overlook,, 2013.
Edition: Paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©2012.
ISBN: 9780715644072
Characteristics: 322 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.


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Apr 11, 2018

Very readable about the mysterious gravity. I guess physicists like to see things and so far gravity has eluded them.
I also like that Clegg reminds us that black holes, big bang and black matter are so far theories. Stay tuned for proof!

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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