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GPB circling earth

Two-dimensional analogy of spacetime distortion generated by the mass of an object. Matter changes the geometry of spacetime, this (curved) geometry being interpreted as gravity.

Gravitation or gravity is a natural phenomenon by which all physical bodies attract each other. Gravity gives weight to physical objects and causes them to fall toward the ground when dropped.

In modern physics, gravitation is most accurately described by the general theory of relativity (proposed by Einstein) which describes gravitation as a consequence of the curvature of spacetime. For most situations gravity is well approximated by Newton's law of universal gravitation, which postulates that the gravitational force of two bodies of mass is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

In pursuit of a theory of everything, the merging of general relativity and quantum mechanics (or quantum field theory) into a more general theory of quantum gravity has become an area of active research. It is hypothesized that the gravitational force is mediated by a massless spin-2 particle called the graviton, and that gravity would have separated from the electronuclear force during the grand unification epoch.

Gravity is the weakest of the four fundamental forces of nature. The gravitational force is approximately 10−38 times the strength of the strong force (i.e. gravity is 38 orders of magnitude weaker), 10−36 times the strength of the electromagnetic force, and 10−29 times the strength of the weak force. As a consequence, gravity has a negligible influence on the behavior of sub-atomic particles, and plays no role in determining the internal properties of everyday matter. On the other hand, gravity is the dominant force at the macroscopic scale, that is the cause of the formation, shape, and trajectory (orbit) of astronomical bodies. It is responsible for the formation of tides; for natural convection, by which fluid flow occurs under the influence of a density gradient and gravity; for heating the interiors of forming stars and planets to very high temperatures; for solar system, galaxy, stellar formation and evolution; and for various other phenomena observed throughout the universe. This is the case for several reasons: gravity is the only force acting on all particles with mass; it has an infinite range; it is always attractive and never repulsive. Even though electromagnetism is far stronger than gravity, electromagnetism is not relevant to astronomical objects, since such bodies have an equal number of protons and electrons that cancel out (i.e., a net electric charge of zero).

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