The enigma of gravity

April 23, 2018

With the death of gravity maestro Stephen Hawking and the discovery of gravitational waves from space in 2015, there has never been a better time to get up to speed on gravity. But, if you think gravity is a perfectly understood force, think again. Consider these paradoxes…

• Gravity is the weakest force in the everyday world yet it is the strongest on the cosmic scale

• Gravity is the “force” that keeps your feet on the ground yet no such force actually exists

• Gravity was the first of nature’s fundamental forces to be recognised yet today it is the least understood.

Gravity, to steal the words of Winston Churchill, is “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”. And penetrating that enigma promises to answer the biggest questions in science: What is space? What is time? What is the universe? And where did it all come from?

The enigma of gravity

(Big Issue, 23 April 2018).

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