Read Chapter 3: Energy and the article Chapter 3 – Gravity Revision.pdf
Answer the following question:
Write your essay with at least 250 words.
Does revising gravity imply that the way we currently understand gravity is wrong?
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Student Post KLaw
The Economist article “Wanted: Einstein Jr,” dives into a curious phenomenon that scientists the world over are having a difficult time explaining. In certain circumstances, spacecraft utilizing the Earth’s gravity as a means of gaining speed were increasing in velocity a measurable fraction more than expected. Further investigation found this discrepancy to be constant and are able to apply it to other missions with the same circumstances and account for the same variation. Yet it begs the question: do we not fully understand gravity?
Given how often scientific discoveries are made – changes to long held beliefs, new explanations and formulas – I think it’s entirely possible that there is, however small, a fundamental flaw in our understanding of gravity. The article compares the plight of Newton’s explanation to the eventual theories we have today thanks to Einstein. Even the smallest variation in an established scientific theory opens the door for investigation, discovery, and a re-working of that theory into a new, allegedly correct conclusion.
However, with the natural evolution of scientific theories and laws, the article is careful to account for the unnatural conditions that led to the variation in speed. Given that the objects in question are spacecraft, they are propelled by artificial means and utilize a course no natural object would be able to take. The application of our understanding of gravity and the discrepancy may be a result of that, influenced by an unknown factor that scientists have not been able to pinpoint. I believe we understand gravity to the best of our ability, but there are still so many things we simply cannot comprehend and don’t yet have the means to measure.