Gravity

Category archives for Gravity

“It’s the gravity that shapes the large scale structure of the universe, even though it is the weakest of four categories of forces.” -Stephen Hawking Galaxies don’t just exist in isolation in our Universe, but are often found bound together as a part of even grander structures. Our own Milky Way is bound in a…

How flat can a planet be? (Synopsis)

“‘I’ll follow him to the ends of the earth,’ she sobbed. Yes, darling. But the earth doesn’t have any ends.” -Tom Robbins We have some pretty good definitions of what it takes to be a planet, and one part of that definition is that a world needs to be massive enough to pull itself into…

“For the first time, astronomers have outlined and named the network of galaxies that includes the Milky Way, adding a line to our cosmic address and further defining our place in the universe.” -Douglas Quenqua There’s been a longstanding puzzle in astrophysics that’s finally coming to a head. For nearly a century, we’ve known that…

Ask Ethan: What Is Spacetime? (Synopsis)

“‘Space-time’ – that hideous hybrid whose very hyphen looks phoney.” -Vladimir Nabokov Sure, you know what space and time are. If you heard of Einstein and relativity, you might know that they’re not absolute quantities, but that how you experience distances and the ticking of clocks is dependent on your motion through the Universe. But…

“Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.” -Stephen Hawking Throw a book into a black hole, and the information must somehow wind up inside. Same goes for a star, a planet, or even a single proton: that information must be maintained. But allow enough time to pass, and quantum theory…

“It was a strange lightness, a drifting feeling. Zero gravity. I understood that everything that once seemed solid and immovable might just float away.” -Lisa Unger If you want to experience zero gravity, all you need to do is go to space, turn your rocket off and feel that weightless sensation, right? Except, from up…

“You may hate gravity, but gravity doesn’t care.” –Clayton Christensen If all we had were galactic rotation curves — like those measured by Vera Rubin — we would know that something was wrong with our picture of the Universe, but we wouldn’t know how. Two equally good explanations, that there was either a flaw in…

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.” -Aleister Crowley As we learn more and more about the Universe, we’d like to describe it…

“It’s the first time the universe has spoken to us through gravitational waves, up to now we’ve been deaf to them.” -Dave Reitze No doubt about it: the greatest science advance of 2016 was the end of the century-long wait for the first direct detection of gravitational waves. Not only were we able to detect…

“Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.” -Thomas Aquinas Sure, you’ve studied a little physics. You know about Einstein and General Relativity, the quantum nature of the Universe and the fundamental…