Albert Einstein Puzzled over Question of Gravity, Too

Article excerpt

Byline: J. Hope Babowice

You wanted to know

David Rieck, 8, of Mundelein wanted to know:

Why do we have gravity?

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"Why do we have gravity,?" asked David Rieck, 8, a soon-to-be- fourth-grader at Diamond Lake Elementary School in Mundelein.

What if your baseball soared into the heavens every time you pitched, or the cake batter floated out of the bowl and onto your ceiling? Gravity is the force that keeps everything on the ground that belongs on the ground. It's what Sir Isaac Newton discovered to be the reason for ripe apples falling down. Gravity is a fundamental physical force that affects all matter. It's opposite is weightlessness, what astronauts experience when traveling in space.

University of Chicago geology professor Alfred C. Anderson said the question of why we have gravity has not yet been answered. The great physicist Albert Einstein puzzled through that question and never solved it.

"Scientists would say that gravity was established at the beginning of our universe at the time of the Big Bang," Anderson said.

Anderson answered this question about gravity - why does Earth experience that particular force of gravity? Gravitational force has to do with a planet's density and size. For example, the moon has a gravitational force that is one-eighth that of Earth's. The moon is much smaller and less dense than Earth; that's why astronauts can jump really high when walking on the moon's surface.

Weightlessness, or lack of gravity, is a problem that scientists are in the process of researching. …