Thursday, January 20, 2011

Einstein's Take on Gravity

Stephen Martin

Has Newton’s law of Universal Gravitation been keeping you awake at night? You’re not alone. I’d like to take a moment to break from my normal posts on the rights and wrongs of the movie industry to talk about something that haunts me more than any horror film possibly could, and that is the vastness and utter complexity of our universe. You probably didn’t see that one coming. Gravity is one of those subjects, in particular, that completely boggles my mind. I just don't get how something could have a natural magnetism to it just because of its sheer size and/or density; I feel like there has to be more to it.

I found myself reflecting on this frequently, because I have that kind of time. However, I recently came across Albert Einstein's take on gravity, and while it still is pretty mind boggling it gives both an interesting and logical explanation of this physical anomaly as well as giving a look into the complicated and brilliant mind of one of the most prolific geniuses of this world. Here it is, in all its glory...

"Gravity, he figured, was a warping of space and time, and he came up with the equations that describe how the dynamics of the curvature result from the interplay between matter, motion, and energy. It can be described by using another thought experiment.

Picture what it would be like to roll a bowling ball onto a two-dimensional surface of a trampoline. Then roll some billiard balls. They move towards the bowling ball not because it exerts some mysterious attraction but because of the way it curves the trampoline fabric. Now imagine this happening in the four-dimensional fabric of space and time." -Einstein by Walter Isaacson

This explanation, to me, makes much more sense. It’s so simple and yet so brilliant. The only problem is that now I lay awake in bed trying to wrap my brain around the concept of “space and time”. It’s a vicious cycle. Perhaps I’m doomed to live my life trapped in a purgatory of only semi-understanding the universe. Screw it, I’m going to go watch some South Park.


Stephen Martin
s.insight@gmail.com
facebook.com/patroncologne
Bookmark and Share

No comments: