The Gravity Of It All


September 22, 2012 by bck1402

It’s been a while since the last post. It’s not like I stopped writing, but it was writing that kept me a little busy from stopping by here for a spell (rewriting, more like it). Should it matter?

I suppose like anyone else who started up a WordPress blog, there would be a few other blogs that one would start following, and a little before the rewriting kicked in, there was one piece on gravity by Peter Cawdron that caught my attention. I have a little interest in all these things, having done a little (probably too little) research on the matter as well as watching a whole bunch of documentaries on the Discovery channel. One that stood out in particular was Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe.

In combination with everything else I picked up, it really got me thinking about how gravity works, or doesn’t work… or does it? And I poured some of my own thoughts into a journal entry I did for The Syndi-Jean Journal. It was one of those entries where she would be going on about what she’s learning in classes and used that as an excuse for why she doesn’t write more about her classes.

So, in a way to plug the journal, I’m going to share an edited excerpt from that entry which was written back in Dec 2009 (according to the metadata on the original file) and my thoughts on the matter may have changed a little by now…

(My) feeling is like… if gravity is strong enough to hold us down and we need such extreme forces to escape it (like a rocket blasting to break away from Earth’s gravity), how is it that I could even lift my own foot off the ground? I then figured that maybe Mass plays a part in the whole thing, so the more massive something is, the harder ‘gravity’ holds it to the ground and thus, more force or power would be required to move it. However, if Mass is such a factor, why doesn’t something with less Mass, like a piece of paper, get pulled towards the gravity of a building that obvious has more Mass, or do you have to be as small as an ant for that to work? But then, an ant would could still cling to something as small and light as a feather, so maybe Mass doesn’t quite factor in there.
(Carol) pointed out that stronger still was this Electro-Magnetic force that was inherent in all objects that could be the force that attracts and repels things. In one way, this EM force would be like gravity in that particular way where one massive object might attract another object and hold on to it, but at the same time, like with magnetic forces of opposing power, push back just enough to not create too strong a hold. The strength of this particular force could also be determined not just by the Mass of an object, but also by the composition in relation to another object.
For example, people in general would have enough magnetic force that would result with being pulled towards the Earth but enough opposing elements that would give us the ability to push away at the same time, so with enough strength, we can jump or push away from the Earth momentarily. An ant might have enough elements that would attract it to all kinds of objects, thus allowing it to be upside down on a piece of paper held by me, but enough opposing particles between that ant and other elements or objects that would allow it to move.
Again, this was just a possibility – a theory. It was not necessarily the truth of the matter that would fully explain the nature of Gravity or Electro-Magnetism or how Quantum Mechanics would fit into all of this and how it would also relate to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity.

Okay – a little bit of a cheat for filling out this post. It did help me take one more typo out tho. It is just an excerpt of several parts, and other parts left out, and if you’re so inclined to read the whole entry (much appreciated with thanks) head on over here for as long as it’s around.

And also do check out Peter’s write up on Gravity which has some amazing illustrations. In the meantime, I have a bunch of reading to catch up on (done with Robopocalypse, moving on to China Mieville’s Kraken next and Project Itoh’s Genocidal Organ just arrived), more editing/read-through to do and another personal script to finish. Shouldn’t be keeping me away from this too much then.


3 thoughts on “The Gravity Of It All

  1. […] written before about how the concept of Gravity is a bit of a conundrum to me and in watching the documentary, […]

  2. pcawdron says:

    Is a sheet of paper gravitationally attracted to a building in addition to the Earth? Good question. Yes. And gravity operating at this kind of level is visible. Here’s a link to a experiment you can do to bend space and time within your own basement!

    You can try introducing other large objects, like a bowling ball, that (without touching the torsion balance bar) will effect the bars position through local gravitational influence. If you do give it a go, be sure to do a blog post about it and include some pictures 🙂

    • bck1402 says:

      Thanks for the links, and it’s going to take a while to read through that first one. Not so sure if I’m going to run the experiment as yet (and there’s no basement in my house).
      And thank you for reading.

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