Gravity is a pretty strong force. It’s the reason you are still able to sit, stand or walk on the surface of the earth. It’s the reason water bodies on earth experience tides. But it’s not the reason why your dad did not return after he went out to buy milk.
Fundamental Types of Forces
Our universe experiences 4 fundamental types of forces. The strong force, the weak force, the electromagnetic force, and the Gravitational force. All these forces have super weird natures. The strong nuclear force or strong force holds neutrons and protons at the center of an atom, tightly. Its property defines it to be a powerful attractive force between two hadrons. A hadron could either be a neutron or a proton. Weak forces, or, weak interactions handle radioactive decay. Do not try to research weak force because it might give you cancer, unless, you are a physicist. Electromagnetic forces are attractive or repulsive forces between charged particles and magnetic dipoles.
Finally, gravity. It is an attractive force between any two bodies having mass, or is it? A huge instrument to study gravity, known as LIGO was powered up in September of 2015. The instrument worked like this: It had two km long tunnels placed at a 90-degree angle to each other. A single laser beam is fired in each of the tunnels, at the ends of which, precision mirrors are fitted, which reflect back the beam. If there is no disturbance in the normal gravitational field, then, both the laser beams should return at the same time. But if there is a disturbance, then the time at which both the beams return would not coincide.
All the matter in this universe attracts each other, which includes us. Not attraction of love but gravity, but we don’t feel it. But when it comes to black holes, even light cannot escape its gravitational field. So is gravity strong, or is it weak?
Coming back to the LIGO experiment, the instrument recorded its first detection of gravitational waves just two days after it was powered up. Which proves that gravitational force can travel through space-time. The wave detected, was from the collision and merging of 2 supermassive black holes, spinning around each other at almost the speed of light. Imagine the amount of energy released during this event a few billion years ago, now perceived on earth.
However, the question remains, why is gravity such a weak force. Scientists have suggested many hypotheses to help answer this. Out of them, the most interesting one is that, during the big bang, when a tiny ball of compact mass, exploded, releasing a huge amount of hot gasses, to form the universe, a parallel universe was also formed. This Parallel universe has physical properties which are opposite to the ones that we have. This phenomenon might interfere with the force of gravity and reduce its effects.
Nonetheless, even an ant is capable of standing up and walking under the force of the earth’s gravity, where the earth is almost astronomical to the power astronomically bigger than an ant. So I guess, gravity, is really a weak force on the scale of human beings but it’s a terrifyingly strong force when it comes to a planetary scale.
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