Is gravitation really the curvature of spacetime?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Uri234, Nov 8, 2013.

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  1. Uri234

    Uri234 Active Member

    I was thinking a lot about the universe lately and especially about how the universe works and about the true nature of the gravitational force.

    And what I realized is that there are so many things that we do not understand about the universe and that really scares the Hell out of me most of the time. The true nature of the gravitational force is one of them, the origin of mass and matter is the other mystery. Another mystery to me are the forces which drive human behavior.

    I am also trying to understand human behavior which doesn't quite make sense to me at all most of the time.
  2. pickwithaustin

    pickwithaustin Staff Alumni

    Hello Uri.
    Questioning how or why things work are good starting points for exploring further. Have you studied physics and psychology at all? Those courses may be a good source to helping learn more about these things that puzzle you.
  3. Uri234

    Uri234 Active Member

    Physics is the central science. Physics is much more important than any other science including psychology because it deals with fundamental problems and issues. And I'm not sure that psychology is even a science. I think that psychology is not even a real science compared to physics.

    I tried to study physics alone without a professor based only on free articles which I can read on Wikipedia. Physics books cost a lot of money and I just do not have the money right now to afford the physics books that I want to get.

    And studying physics in University is also very very difficult for me right now because I feel very bad in the mornings and even getting out of bed and taking a Taxi to university is too difficult for me.

    Driving is too difficult for me so I can't drive my own car so I have to take a Taxi to wherever I want to go. But then again, even taking a Taxi every day costs a lot of money.

    Also another problem I'm facing is that University entrance is also very very difficult for me to attain right now because University entrance requires a lot of money, money which I don't have right now.

    Now in order for me to be able to enter University then I need to be able to earn some money first but in order to earn money in the legal way then I need to be able to get out of bed in the morning and not to vomit and feel nausea and fever.

    I vomit basically every morning and I also have high fever in the morning so it is very very difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning and function normally like every other normal people.

    I can't function normally in society like every other person and by functioning normally I mean waking up every morning, getting a job like every normal person, paying taxes, taking university entrance exams (which cost money btw) and then entering the University system to study physics.
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  4. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Uri, physics is a fascinating study! Good for you for having a strong interest that you are pursuing on your own because other avenues are not available to you right now! That takes lots of self-discipline!

    I don't know enough about physics per se to offer much of an opinion on your topic. You might find the discussion board at this link interesting - it's all physics discussions about various topics. :)
  5. pickwithaustin

    pickwithaustin Staff Alumni

    It sounds like you have a good potential for some goals agenda without the questions of how the universe works or why people behave as they do. Are you seeing any professionals/doctors? What are your plans for seeking potential wellness?
  6. Uri234

    Uri234 Active Member

    The problem is that being a biochemical blob or whatever the fuck I am I just can't die (normally) like every normal human being. And I also have this panic fear of getting injured so my panic fear of injury prevents me from having a normal life like every normal human being.

    So I just continue to suffer on this planet and my suffering here just doesn't end.

    And one day I will be left alone on this planet with no one to take care of me and that's scares the Hell out of me.
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  7. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    The answer to the question of gravity is no, in my uneducated opinion, but Einstein said something else. Gravity is the effect of mass, not time. However, we don't know everything about the universe or everything about how it works. Physics and math are the most reliable instruments we have so far to understand at least the observable universe, but those are flawed by our human limitations right now. We still are attempting to understand dark matter. Since everything in the universe, as we know so far, is in motion and nothing is stationary, and we know that it takes gravity or some other force of energy to put or keep anything in motion, it's possible energy itself is what causes what we know as space time and it varies depending on where you are (because space time is a subjective concept). It's been theorized that wormholes, for example, could bend the space between very distant locations, making what we measure as the time to move between the two locations much smaller than traveling outside the wormhole would be.

    There are a few interesting books on the topic I'd recommend for you:

    Space, Time, and Gravity by Robert M. Wald

    A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

    Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future In Space by Carl Sagan

    Cosmos by Carl Sagan

    Listen to Neil deGrasse Tyson's talk show Star Talk Radio

    The Universe: Gravity episode
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  8. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    I feel like I missed a large portion of answering the original post. If you want to understand human behavior, you have to go out and about and study animals and humans. Psychology and Sociology are fields that improve our understanding of why we are the way we are and do certain things that we do. It's unfair to call them "not a real science" because science at its core is a process of experimenting and understanding all things. These fields use scientific methods to form certain theories and conclusions about human behavior.
  9. Adam

    Adam SF Supporter

    Well I can't speak for gravity. But the reason I think Psychology is more important than physics. Is because science wouldn't function without human thought behind it.

    When ever you run an experiment you check your equipment. But do you check your mind and how you fit the pieces together? A lot of flawed science has come out of engaging in various biases. Some of those biases are very subtle if you have no awareness of them and how you are coloured by them. A lot of peoples own issues and difficulties with life also come a lot from those sorts of biases.

    It is taking conscious will and self awareness for you to be expressing your pain right now. The universe will continue on and does not give a shit about you, in that context gravity is some what irrelevant to the pain you are in. You will not live consciously for ever and so you wont be left alone, you will crumble and change like everything else in the end. You can't escape the possibility of pain that is just part of life. So right there, your avoidance of pain and injury is probably causing you pain any way. This avoidance is a psychological issue that you need to address. Various therapies could be helpful. Cognitive therapy has some good efficacy to it for coping with anxiety and getting a handle on it. Why not research it for yourself come to your own conclusion.

    You have identified another issue. You throw up and feel feverish all the time. That is not healthy mate, go see a doctor.

    As for dealing with people, well the only way to beat that one is to get out there interact and hone your craft as you go. Avoidance teaches you nothing. It is like never opening a book on Physics. How can you possibly understand it then?

    You just need to ask your self this simple question, do you want to keep suffering or move out of that state? Then you are going to have to take pro active action and be prepared for some knock backs.

    If you want the world of people to make sense around you, sure you could study psychology and sociology. You may learn a lot about yourself and the silly non scientific humans as well and it still won't make sense, lol. But the answer is more in doing your own positive experiments. Ask yourself what do you want? What do you want from life itself? Once you have that answer you can chart your course.
  10. Uri234

    Uri234 Active Member

    Thanks for the response Prinnctopher's Belt.

    But we actually have a good reason to assume that gravity is an electromagnetic phenomena. Although I do not completely understand quantum mechanics and quantum field theory I think that many experiments in the future will prove me right: that gravity is indeed electromagnetic.

    Maybe the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator in Geneva (in Switzerland) will detect gravitons or other particles which could be the carriers of gravity.

    Albert Einstein believed that mass and energy curves spacetime so gravity is treated as a geometric phenomenon that arises from the curvature of space-time.

    General relativity follows from Einstein’s principle of equivalence: on a local scale it is impossible to distinguish between physical effects due to gravity and those due to acceleration. The solution of the field equations that describe general relativity can yield answers to different physical situations, such as planetary dynamics, the birth and death of stars, black holes, and the evolution of the universe. General relativity has been experimentally verified by observations of gravitational lenses, the orbit of the planet Mercury, and the dilation of time in Earth’s gravitational field.

    You can read more about Einstein's general theory of relativity in Encyclopedia Britannica:

    However general relativity has a lot of programs too. First the theory predicts singularities in black holes. Singularities are points where our known physics breaks down. So general relativity actually fails where singularities arise.

    General relativity provides an excellent description of what happens in the normal, day-to-day events in the universe, but the theory seems to fail in "extreme" circumstances.

    The equations of general relativity are unable to tell us anything precise about events such as high-energy particle collisions, for instance, or the collapse of stars into black holes. However, the biggest clue to its limitations, Mazur and Chapline say, is in the way it allows time to break down.

    Another problem with general relativity is that aeneral relativity allows the formation of loops in time in certain circumstances. Sometimes, for instance, a kind of one-dimensional fault line in space-time known as a "cosmic string" can form. When such a string spins rapidly around an axis along its length, it creates a loop in time; travel round one of these "closed time-like curves" (CTCs) and you’ll keep coming back to the same moment in time. Mazur and Chapline contend that, according to general relativity, the same thing can happen with a rotating black hole.

    The trouble is, quantum theory requires time to be "universal" - there should never be closed loops of time isolated from the time in the rest of the universe. That means quantum theory can’t work everywhere in a universe governed by general relativity.

    And since most physicists reckon quantum theory to be a more accurate description of reality than general relativity, relativity’s view of space and time - what cosmologists call the vacuum - must be wrong.

    Second, general relativity predicts dark matter, dark energy, gravitational waves and wormholes. But the problem is that gravitational waves have never been detected experimentally and so have wormholes.

    Also we have good reasons to believe that wormholes do not (and probably cannot) really exist.

    The problem with the existence of wormholes is that wormholes are intrinsically unstable. While exotic stabilization schemes for wormholes have been proposed, there is as yet no evidence that these can work or indeed that wormholes exist.
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  11. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

  12. mulberrypie

    mulberrypie Well-Known Member

    i understand your fear, uri. what's unknown is quite scary for me as well. cosmological mysteries, like the ones that plague you, in addition to male pattern baldness, senescence, human behavior, etc. taunt me day-to-day. the very world in which I find myself, this place referred as 'existence' is so bizarre to me. I loathe that I can't just ignore the questions and just experience it like others do. I have to form a coherent, rational explanation for human experience and the realization that I can't makes me feel I almost feel afraid, almost claustrophobic, trapped.
  13. who95

    who95 New Member

    That was an interesting read. I also have an interest in physics (although this interest has been fading for a while now) but I've never even once heard about the concept of gravity being electromagnetic. I mean, the only instance I would have though that that would have been applicable would have been during the big bang where the fundamental forces are believed to have been unified. Is this theory essentially saying that there are only three fundamental force and that gravitation and the electromagnetic force are fundamentally the same thing? I can't really follow this when they behave in some different ways. Do you have some links about this? It sounds interesting.

    I've also never heard of CTCs before now so that should be interesting to read more into.

    Maybe I've just misunderstood, but I've always been under the impression that dark matter and energy are theorised as a result of observations, namely the acceleration of expansion and the 'extra' mass of star systems, rather than as a result of general relativity. Also, whilst I get how relativity predicts the possibility of wormholes, I don't follow why a lack of observational evidence for them goes against GR. I mean, it's a theoretical possibility that arises from GR but it's not something you'd expect to naturally see in the universe, is it? I mean you'd have to bend spacetime to a ludicrous extent, far more so even than a black hole, to get a wormhole. I've always though that this wasn't something anyone was generally looking for but was more just a theoretical extension of applying general relativity to extreme situations. If you could correct me on this stuff I'd appreciate it :)
  14. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Also, gravity is not electromagnetism. Electromagnetism is a force requiring an electric charge. All things in the universe are subject to gravity, but not all things have an electric charge. Therefore, because all things are subjected to gravity, yet not all of them have an electric charge, gravity and electromagnetism are two separate forces and are not the same.
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