Is gravity a theory or a fact? A very frequently asked science question, which is supported by evidence and experiment but still has a lot of theories around it.
It is one of the most important concepts of classical physics, but some people call it ‘ just a theory ‘ So, let’s dive deep into the universe and find an explanation that explains gravity.
1. Theories for Explaining Gravity
According to Newton’s law,
” Every particle in the universe attracts every other particle with a force that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers”
However it stands corrected for all phenomena of everyday life, but when we consider the entire universe and take into consideration the black hole, movement of the planets in the solar system, and the binary pulsars then the Newtonian theory of gravity does not do justice.
So, to understand the expansion of the universe we have to consider general relativity.
According to the theory of relativity, rather than invisible gravitational fields, there is gravity which is a curving or warping force, so it describes gravity not as invisible waves but a warping force that increases as the size of the object increases as it is more massive and can warp more space around it.
Although any theory that we might consider to explain or describe gravity will not hold constant for all objects or all positions in the universe. Also, with the passing of time and better technologies and discoveries are made.
2. Why People Believe that Gravity is Only a Theory?
People believe that there are a lot of flaws when we consider the laws of gravity so they believe that these are just theories and that is not how gravity works.
Some examples explain the same; according to the mass of the earth and sun, if we consider the theory of gravity the gravitational force of the sun would be more than that of the earth which implies that the moon should go around the sun and not the earth.
Similarly, when we are considering Earth’s gravity, we have to understand that the gravitational forces must be working on asteroids, meteors, and comets as well, so with the gravitational pull acting on them exerted by the Earth they would destroy it by now, which does not stand true.
Even the rotation of the moon on its axis is absurd, because if it does rotate then how come we see its same face on the earth?
If we go further, the whole idea of having planets revolve around fixed orbits around the sun also does not make a lot of sense, but we believe otherwise.
Our textbooks tell different stories we can say, but laws rarely change and things fall due to gravity. Objects attract each other, other forces are also present in the natural world and even between celestial bodies.
Considering all this, gravitational theory just looks like a scientific terminology but it does not agree with us.
3. Problems with Scientific Theories
As science changes, with new technologies and new evidence, it starts making you feel that such a thing called gravity is not making common sense.
Let’s understand this with an example, we know that force is an inverse square law and also that opposite charges attract each other.
So, if we consider the sun to be having a positive charge and the planets a negative charge then we explain the revolution of the planets around the sun but it is not explained in the same manner by the laws of gravity.
If we consider the electron and nucleus structure of the atoms, where electrons revolve around the nucleus why can we not replicate the theory for the solar system as well? Why do the laws change when celestial bodies are in consideration?
Even anti-gravity has been a very largely debated issue and it is believed that the concept of anti-gravity exists but it is not accepted by most people or scientists because they want to hold onto their opinion about the gravitational laws and thus they keep rejecting the reverse theory for their convenience.
It is said that a lot of physicists have found problems in their mathematical calculations or theories involving gravity. Isaac Newton’s mathematics didn’t add up so it was made into calculus.
Similarly, with Einstein when his mathematics didn’t add up a whole new branch was again formed which was called tensors. Similar history exists for Newton as well.
4. How Evolution Changes Everything?
There is one problem that is being overlooked by all the critical analysts of gravity and its physical theory. The scientific method to test a theory is that you conduct tests.
So when you conduct a test and it is consistent with the theory it approves the theory and it stands corrected.
However, if we run a test that is inconsistent with the theory we can say that the theory is not correct and it is disapproved.
But what we need to understand here is that this can be variable for everything in the universe, so the result may be true for say a thousand tests but disapprove just one of them.
This does not make the scientific theory wrong all in all, it just makes the point clear that you can not finitely or so transparently check the workability of any theory.
The second point to be considered is that timing and evolution bring huge changes in all the constants and the variables of any gravity equation. So, Einstein formulated his theory in 1915, today we sit in the 2000s.
So, do we expect that after so much time, new technology, and advancement in science the theories will still fall in the stencils that were created so long back?
We need to understand that new evidence brings changes, discoveries, and new additions to the theory of gravity.
5. Final Thoughts
To sum up the entire discussion is gravity a theory or a fact, we can say that it is not a very well-accepted theory.
The theory exists, it is in practice and mathematical calculations are done on the very same basis.
But people believe that the available evidence is not enough for them to buy the whole concept of Universal Gravity. They feel it has a lot of gaps and new, better alternative theories should be there.