Einstein Proved Right on Gravity—Again

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Scientists have subjected Albert Einstein's famous theory of gravity to its toughest real-world test so far—and it has prevailed.


The theory, which was published nearly a century ago, had already passed every test it was subjected to. But scientists have been trying to pin down precisely at what point Einstein's theory breaks down, and where an alternative explanation would have to be devised.

Einstein's framework for his theory of gravity, for example, is incompatible with quantum theory, which explains how nature works at an atomic and subatomic level.

Consider that for a black hole, Einstein's theory "predicts infinitely strong gravitational fields and density. That's nonsensical," said Paulo Freire, an astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Germany and co-author of the study, which appears in the journal Science.

And so scientists are testing the general theory not because they think it is wrong but because they are certain it can't be the final explanation—just as Isaac Newton's notion of gravitational force was superseded by Einstein's.

Einstein's general theory of relativity states that objects with mass cause a curvature in space-time, which we perceive as gravity. Space-time, according to Einstein's theories of relativity, is a four-dimensional fabric woven together by space and time.

Written By: Gautam Naik
continue to source article at online.wsj.com

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  1. “for a black hole Einstein’s theory “predicts infinitely strong gravitational fields and density. That’s nonsensical,”

    I’m sure this is a dumb question, but: we know the location of at least some actual black holes I believe so can’t someone measure the strength of their gravitational field by analyzing the motion of near by stars?

    • In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

      “for a black hole Einstein’s theory “predicts infinitely strong gravitational fields and density. That’s nonsensical,”

      I’m sure this is a dumb question, but: we know the location of at least some actual black holes I believe so can’t someone measure the strength of their gravitational field by anal…

      The fields aren’t infinite outside the event horizon. Nearby stars aren’t even close to that.

    • In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

      I’m sure this is a dumb question, but: we know the location of at least some actual black holes I believe so can’t someone measure the strength of their gravitational field by analyzing the motion of near by stars?

      They surely mean at the centre of the black hole where the density is alleged to be infinite. BTW, what you describe is how they inferred the mass and position of the black hole at the centre of the galaxy. Some orbiting stars move at incredible speed.

      Who’s Afraid of a Big Black Hole?

      • In reply to #5 by papa lazaru:

        In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

        I’m sure this is a dumb question, but: we know the location of at least some actual black holes I believe so can’t someone measure the strength of their gravitational field by analyzing the motion of near by stars?

        They surely mean at the centre of the black hole where t…

        Whose afraid of a big black hole – Thanks so much for this link. An awesome film. I really learnt a lot.

    • In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

      “for a black hole Einstein’s theory “predicts infinitely strong gravitational fields and density. That’s nonsensical,”

      I’m sure this is a dumb question, but: we know the location of at least some actual black holes I believe so can’t someone measure the strength of their gravitational field by analyzing the motion of near by stars?

      The infinitely strong gravitional fields and density are calculated to arise at the singularity of the black hole using Einstein’s equations. The nearby stars aren’t at the singularity (indeed, we would not receive any information for anything inside the event horizon, which is a region some distance from the singularity)

  2. Stop trying to understand things that cannot be understood. God resides inside the event horizon. God made black holes from inside which he can invisibly dwell whilst being able to see and hear all that is going on in the universe.

    • In reply to #4 by Rev Up:

      Stop trying to understand things that cannot be understood. God resides inside the event horizon. God made black holes from inside which he can invisibly dwell whilst being able to see and hear all that is going on in the universe.

      The mother of all god of the gaps.

  3. Who says gravity has to infinite? I say it can reach a maximum after which it can’t get any greater. If all the “space stuff” is gone, it’s gone. It’s truly empty space at that point. Why do I say this? Because God told me, of course!

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