Is Gravity a Weak Force?
Gravity is said to be the weakest of the 4 forces, namely the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force. Gravity is an attractive property of matter that wants to attract more matter to itself. But, normal gravitational attraction between 2 protons is so small that it is unmeasurable. Gravity can safely be ignored by chemists when they study how groups of atoms bond together to form molecules. But is Gravity a weak force?
We have all experienced gravity when we have fallen down.
The question is why is gravity so weak? This is kind of like a child asking why is the sun so hot or any other silly ‘why’ question a child asks.
Gravity nonetheless is the dominant force in real life. It holds us to the ground and keeps the moon and planets in their courses? Gravity is always an attraction force much like the Law of Attraction but gravity is very important when creating a universe.
Gravity seems like a force field which tries to pull two objects toward each other. Gravity is also a kind of energy because an object inside this field can use potential energy to do work, such as a hydroelectric dam uses the potential energy of falling water to do work. Is Gravity a force and an energy? Perhaps…
Gravity inside Protons and Neutrons
Inside atoms the Newtonian energy of gravity between particles doesn’t exist! Instead, the Quantum force of Gravity is born!
The strong nuclear force that holds quark particles together comes from the gluon binding force. This force acts in two ways, first it holds quarks together to create Protons and Neutrons and it also creates a force called gravity. Wait a minute, let me explain below…
But first consider that, electric charges can repel each other as well as attract. Any everyday object is made up of a huge amount of atoms made up of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negative electrons but the positive and negative charges cancel each other out.
However, everything that has mass, has the same gravitational attraction ‘force’, so gravity becomes an additive and stronger force relative to electrical or nuclear forces in larger objects.
Examples of Gravity
An object falls only when the combined gravity of all the atoms in the Earth is stronger than other forces. Think of an apple hanging from a tree and finally falling. The apple was held by the apple stem to the tree. When the stem broke the apple fell because it was attracted to the gravity field of the Earth. The apple has protons and neutrons held together by gluons and these gluons were attracted to the field of gluons that are in the Earth.
Gravity is normally so weak that you can pick up a steel nail easily with a small magnet. But try to pick up a 250 kg mass and the force of gravity is so strong that you can’t pick it up with all your strength.
Note that objects have a mass but gravity gives the object its weight. The more the mass the stronger the attraction to the Earth. In space you are weightless because you are far away from the Earth but you are not massless.
For instance, you would weigh a lot less on the moon but your mass is constant. Maybe you could pick up that 250kg mass if you are on the moon where gravity is much less.
Sand grains and snowflakes are also affected by the gravity of the massive Earth. But their gravitational pull of atoms exert on each other, more than on the entire Earth. This self-gravity is not important in small objects but bodies as large as planets and even our Moon have enough gravity to make them round because of the strong combined force of gravity.
Another well known example is the gravitational force between the moon and the Earth. This causes the oceans to have tides. In the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick the tides reach 30 feet high and makes the Petitcodiac River flow upstream so surfers can ride the tidal bore uphill.
A large planet like Jupiter gets crushed by its own gravity to extraordinary densities and if the centre gets hot enough to supply a balancing pressure, it might ignite a nuclear reaction to create a star like our sun.
Because gravity is so weak a typical star like the Sun is massive. In any smaller amount, gravity could not compete with the nuclear pressure, or squeeze the material hot and dense enough to make a star. In our universe it is just the right amount.
Can Gravity Bend Space?
This drawing shows that the force field of gravity is stronger the closer the objects are to each other, also gravity is a long range force that extends the energy field as in this sketch.
Einstein, how can gravity bend space?
My question is how can gravity bend space? Gravity uses a mass attracting mass force so how would it bend space which has almost nothing in it and is almost a total vacuum?
Einstein tried to understand gravity as the curvature of space instead of a force that attracts more mass to itself. He came up with this (out of the world) theory because he believed that light was massless. His theory allowed him to explain why light was attracted to gravity. The easy way to prove Einstein wrong is to prove light has mass. But what about using logic?
Where does Gravity come from?
What is the force of gravity inside large objects such as stars and black holes? Remember the property of gravity is an attraction between objects. It wants to attract more matter to itself.
Alright, scientists have finally looked inside the atom and found it contains quarks held together by gluons and orbitals of electron particles. A proton is made up of 3 quarks which has a total electric charge of plus one that balances the electron’s minus one charge.
These quarks in a proton are held together not by an electrical force or a unknown force but by gluons which are kind of like a glue called the strong nuclear force.
Gluons are strange because the farther apart the quarks move from each other the stronger the glue force becomes, preventing the protons from pulling apart because of the repulsive force of positive electric charges of the quarks..
My question is, does that strong glue force create a gravity field inside atoms?
If each small proton and neutron has this energy maybe this is what gravity is made of. The gluon is also an attractive binding force to other gluons just like the attractive force of gravity.
All particles of matter are made up of atoms that are constantly vibrating and the hotter the temperature the faster they vibrate. Any extra heat energy that gets added to the particle and you will see it has more mass. This extra mass is due to the extra energy that the gluons are producing in order to keep the quarks together.
This is an observed result, that the mass of atoms comes about 99% from the gluon energy.
There is no doubt that gravity is a property of mass! Space doesn’t curve itself to attract matter. Matter must first arrive to create stars and Black Holes. Did Einstein put the cart before the horse?
The vibration of quark particles in atoms creates a need for a strong force and this gluon force field must also be the source of gravity…
The fact that the gluon force is stronger during vibrational molecular motion when the quarks are farther apart, means it is a long range force like gravity.
Gluons and Quarks during the Big Bang
When temperatures reach into millions of degrees the gluons force breaks down into a plasma of quarks and gluons as at the time of the Big Bang. What if gravity wasn’t a force until a few thousand thousands of a second later?
They say that during an Electroweak Epoch from 10–36 seconds to 10–12 seconds the gluons were separate from the other two forces so that the field of particles was more like a field of radiation having very little mass.
This allowed the particles to expand faster than the speed of light into a void of space to become a homogenous universe into a uniform soup of plasma. Eventually the soup cooled down and the Higgs field added some mass that slowed down the Big bang inflation reaction.
Shortly after gluons added more mass to protons and atoms as the universe became full of matter containing mass and gravity, not mass attracted by a curvature of space.
In this molecule drawing notice the many spring like gluons holding quarks together.
The Big takeaway is that the source of Gravity comes from Gluons.
Another cool idea is how the use of gravity starts a nuclear fusion reaction to create stars. How does this gluon energy create enough heat using gravity if it doesn’t have this force inside each atom? Is this the source of Gravity?
I will examine these questions in greater detail when I study the Big Bang moment and the nature of gravity.
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Erik has a BSc degree and is a retired professional photographer who is now a published Author of many books. His passion is understanding how life and the universe works. He is currently blogging about the science of the Big Bang and the science of cosmology. Erik is helping his tribe with questions about the universe. His goal is to help find a theory of everything (TOE). In order to do that, he is trying to prove light has mass and that the fabric of spacetime is a false theory. We are welcoming questions and answers that you might have about the universe.