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What we call “gravity” is a revealing of the invisible contour of space-time.
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Think about what we’ve learned about space-time so far.
Since the speed of light is a constant, we said that something else “has to give.” And this is why space and time are not fixed but relative elements of the universe.
sloshing around to make it fit
Depending on how fast we’re going, space and time slosh around, expanding or contracting, as needed to make the speed of light always come out as 186,000 miles per second.
Space and time, or space-time, is like a fabric, an unseen matrix, underlying all things. This hidden substrata of reality, like an empty stage, is why “space,” and time, too, “is not nothing” but a real undergirding of the 3-D world.
We compared this invisible matrix, this empty stage, to the “yellow guidelines” of Picard’s holodeck:
STNG, episode 138, "Ship In A Bottle"
but here's what I want to especially point out
The invisible matrix-fabric of space-time can be expanded or contracted; it can be made to ripple and wave; it’s the perfect “one size fits all” material.
And if it can be thus manipulated, it can also be warped, and curved, and contoured:
stretched or contracted, warped and curved
In other words, the same space-time that is stretched or contracted, to make the speed of light a constant, can also be warped and curved to create what we call “gravity.”
See how space-time is tractable enough to serve both purposes.
And, regarding gravity – for example, the Moon orbiting the Earth – what we are looking at is an unveiling of the hidden warping and curving of space-time.
This is very important. Most of us still live in a Newtonian world wherein we believe that objects attract each other via a kind of magnetism, with the heavier object creating the greater force. But this is not how gravity works.
Einstein realized that he could not rescue the Newtonian concept of gravity, and that it had to be thrown out in favor of a new paradigm. The very term “gravity” speaks of Newtonianism. “Gravity” literally means “weight” or “heaviness” and these errant concepts form the basis of Newton’s “gravity.”
But the Moon does not “fall” toward or “orbit” the Earth because it is heavy but because the fabric of space-time is warped and curved. And we can actually “see” the warping of space-time by the path the Moon takes to circumnavigate the Earth.
Editor's last word:
John Wheeler, who personally knew Einstein, said:
"Space-time tells matter how to move; and matter tells space-time how to curve."