• Question: Why do we have gravity?

    Asked by near499eve to Rachel E, Martin M, Kieran O, Julian, Mark S, Amber VW, Alex DL on 13 Mar 2024.
    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 13 Mar 2024:

      Isaac Newton was really the first scientist to try and explain gravity… The famous apple on the head story is said to have led him to work out the fact that gravity is the attaction between two masses. He even derived the mathematical relationship for that interaction as an “inverse square law”. However, he really didn’t explain how it works. Einstein got a little close by saying the mass distorts space… so if you imagine space a a flat rubber sheet and put a larger mass in the centre, it will curve the sheet around itself such that small masses will roll towards the larger mass. However, Einstein didn’t manage to put gravity on the same quantum mechanical framework as the other three important forces in the Universe… electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force that use exchange particles to have an effect. Others are now trying to do this with the idea of gravitons.

    • Photo: Amber Villegas - Williamson

      Amber Villegas - Williamson answered on 12 Apr 2024:

      Excellent question.
      I’m going to give you a slightly different answer to some that you might have heard before…

      Why do we have gravity?
      I don’t actually know the “why”. I know we do as we see the effects of it but the “why” for me is unknown and this is why we STEM. Because when there are questions we don’t know the answer to, this is the time we start to investigate. Martin mentions in his response that people think that this is to do with a “gravitons” particle., but new things are discovered every single day.
      Perhaps it is you who will answer the question as to “why”…