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History of Classical Gravitational Theory and General Relativity

Unit 5 Research Presentation Example

Judy Hill

on 29 July 2010

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Transcript of History of Classical Gravitational Theory and General Relativity

Aristotle thought that all matter on earth was made of only four elements: earth, water, air, and fire. Heavy things were made of earth and moved down. Light things were made of fire and moved up to their natural place The planets were made of a fifth element that moved in circular motion. Galileo felt objects moved in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force. Kepler used the idea that the sun was the center of planetary motion and was the cause of its motion. Isaac Newton was born in 1642. He escaped the black plague after college by moving to his family farm. During this time he developed his laws of motion and law of gravitation. And although others were being discussed at this time his were well respected Newton also worked with optics but was incorrected in some of his thoughts. He invented calculus and made other contributions to science. Isaac Newton was a fellow and president of the Royal Society. He spent time studying and writing about religion. Henry Cavendish took a device called a torsional balance, invented by John Mitchell, and through a series of clever measurements was able to complete the equation for Gravitation. The constant of proportionality was missing until his work.
Fg = Gm1m2/r2. G = 6.67 x 10-11
Einstein developd the general theory
of relativity, which is a different way
to explain gravitational phenomena.
The equivalence of inertial and gravitational properties are the basis of general relativity. This means that gravitational and inertial affects are not distinguishable. A mass causes a dip in the space-time fabric. Other masses ride into the dips.
This is how masses are attracted to other masses. Light also rides the fabric of space-time and a heavy mass causes a sharp hole. Light will ride into one of these holes and the heavy mass will not let it escape. The closest approach to the center of that hole where light can excape is the Schwarzschil radius. Black holes are thought to be real, and there are several candidate regions of space where they are thought to exist. They might result from a large star exploding outward and inward causing a very small and heavy body with sufficient gravity to trap light. A lens bends light and can be used to control the focus of light. One of the primary proofs of Einstein's theory is that light passing near a heavy body will be bent in a lens-like fashion. This is gravitational lensing. Some people believe worm holes exist. They could be the result of the fabric of space being folded in a certain region of space where a deep depression in one region of space-time opens into another region. There is no real evidence for their existence, but they fit some equaion solution in relativity. There have been experimental results that confirm predictions of general relativity.
Some of these include: The distance of Mercury's closest approach to the sun moves The lensing of light by the sun The redshift of light due to gravity Slowing of clocks in a high gravity field History of Classical Gravitational Theory and General Relativity
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