Gravity

Category archives for Gravity

“Oh leave the Wise our measures to collate. One thing at least is certain, light has weight. One thing is certain and the rest debate. Light rays, when near the Sun, do not go straight.” –Arthur Eddington While we know full well today that Newtonian gravity is just an approximation to a more correct theory…

“[I]f there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” –C.S. Lewis The Universe had two periods where light was abundant, separated by the cosmic dark ages. The first came at the moment of the hot Big Bang, as…

“Journalists often ask me when I go to the field, ‘What do you expect to find?’ And my answer always is, ‘The unexpected,’ because we’re just looking at the tip of the iceberg; we’ve just scratched the surface.” –Donald Johanson Imagine you wanted to know what your acceleration was anywhere on Earth; imagine that simply…

The Missing Piece (Synopsis)

If you’re not a theoretical physicist yourself, you might think that physics is physics — we ask questions about the Universe, do experiments/make observations, and get the answers — and math is just a tool that we use to help us get there. But that really sells the power of mathematics short. For a physical…

“We live in a world that has narrowed into a neighborhood before it has broadened into a brotherhood.” –Lyndon B. Johnson When you think of our own cosmic backyard — our planets, Sun, the nearby stars, and even the closest galaxies to us — you probably don’t think of them in the context of the…

“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” –Vaclav Havel When you take a look at the planets in our Solar System, one of the most striking features about them is that they all orbit in almost exactly the…

“Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.” –Alfred A. Montapert You might not think of falling into a black hole as a choice, but in the case of this week’s Ask Ethan, someone is choosing to explore exactly that! Imagine, if you will, taking a solid object that’s completely outside of an…

“On a cosmic scale, our life is insignificant, yet this brief period when we appear in the world is the time in which all meaningful questions arise.” –Paul Ricoeur What you see is what you get, except when it isn’t. We’re all familiar with Hubble’s law, or the notion that the Universe is expanding, and…

“Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep.” –Alan Watts Neutron star matter is the stuff of legends: it’s the densest three-dimensional material to exist in our Universe. With a density…

“The moon was like this awesome, romantic, mysterious thing, hanging up there in the sky where you could never reach it, no matter how much you wanted to. But you’re right. Once you’re actually here, it’s just a big, dull rock.” –Futurama Oh, but the big dull rocks are fascinating in their own right. Especially, mind…