Related topics: galaxies

Laser-based prototype probes cold atom dynamics

By tracking the motions of cold atom clouds, astronomers can learn much about the physical processes which play out in the depths of space. To make these measurements, researchers currently use instruments named 'cold atom ...

Found: three black holes on collision course

Astronomers have spotted three giant black holes within a titanic collision of three galaxies. Several observatories, including the Chandra X-ray Observatory and other NASA space telescopes, captured the unusual system.

Using ultracold atoms to find WMDs

One problem in dealing with weapons of mass destruction is that they are well hidden. The key to finding them may be to change the methods we use to look. One such method is taking shape in a lab in the basement of Small ...

New virtual laboratory for merging neutron stars

For the first time, a high-performance computer will make it possible to simulate gravitational waves, magnetic fields and neutrino physics of neutron stars simultaneously.

Galaxy blazes with new stars born from close encounter

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken a new look at the spectacular irregular galaxy NGC 4485, which has been warped and wound by its larger galactic neighbour. The gravity of the second galaxy has disrupted the ordered ...

What Earth's gravity reveals about climate change

On March 17, 2002, the German-U.S. satellite duo GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) was launched to map the global gravitational field with unprecedented precision. The mission lasted 15 years, more than three ...

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Gravitational field

A gravitational field is a model used within physics to explain how gravity exists in the universe. In its original concept, gravity was a force between point masses. Following Newton, Laplace attempted to model gravity as some kind of radiation field or fluid, and since the 19th century explanations for gravity have usually been sought in terms of a field model, rather than a point attraction.

In a field model, rather than two particles attracting each other, the particles distort spacetime via their mass, and this distortion is what is perceived subjectively as a "force". In fact there is no force in such a model, rather matter is simply responding to the curvature of spacetime itself.

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