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Author Topic: How are magnetism and gravity related?  (Read 12389 times)

Jess

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How are magnetism and gravity related?
« on: 11/07/2008 10:10:40 »
Jess asked the Naked Scientists:

Gravity is a pulling force and magnetism is a push and pull force based on
charges. How are magnetism and gravity related?

What do you think?


 

Offline lightarrow

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How are magnetism and gravity related?
« Reply #1 on: 11/07/2008 12:47:33 »
They are not. It's almost a century physicists are trying to relate them... :)
None have succeeded yet.
 

Offline graham.d

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How are magnetism and gravity related?
« Reply #2 on: 11/07/2008 13:27:00 »
They might be related (and probably are) but a unified theory remains elusive. There are one or two recent proposed Grand Unified Theories (GUTs) and these may get tested to some extent when the Large Hadron Collider gets fully operational.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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How are magnetism and gravity related?
« Reply #3 on: 11/07/2008 14:30:23 »
As lightarrow said, no-one has yet succeeded in relating the electromagnetic force & gravity. In fact the problem of relating them (of relating all the known forces) is 1 of the biggest puzzles in physics; it is known as the Heirarchy Problem.

The electromagnetic force is in the order of 1036 times stronger than gravity, but no-one has yet found out why. Many theories have been proposed to account for the enormous difference between the strength of gravity & the strength of the other 3 known forces, but none have yet been shown to be correct.

The problem is the amount of energy needed to probe distances at which the strength of gravity may equal the strength of the other forces. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN will be the most powerful collider in the world; producing energies in the region of 7TeV. But to probe distances at which gravity becomes strong we would need 1016 times that amount of power. Clearly, that is far beyond our capabilities and is likely to remain so.
« Last Edit: 15/07/2008 07:53:35 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline LeeE

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How are magnetism and gravity related?
« Reply #4 on: 12/07/2008 13:00:02 »
As the others have said, relating gravitation and electromagnetism remains one of the key goals of science.

However, there are similarities between them both, insofar as they both exhibit field, or force phenomena, and this suggests a relationship of some sort.  As you've pointed out, electromagnetism can be both attractive and repulsive, whereas gravity is only attractive, so as well as the similarity, there's a clear difference between them.  There is also the difference in apparent strength between the two and the fact that gravity affects electromagnetism i.e. a gravity well will affect a photon, but electromagnetism doesn't seem to affect gravity.

An interesting way of looking at this is: if a gravity field is interpreted as a distortion of the shape of spacetime, could the electromagnetic field also be a distortion of (a*) spacetime?

* Not necessarily being the same one.
 

Jessyd88

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How are magnetism and gravity related?
« Reply #5 on: 15/07/2008 03:30:39 »
Thank you all for replying. When i think of this subject i just hurt my mind trying to understand it. I think there has to be a relationship between the two...I am going to try and find out as much information as possible. It is a fascinating concept.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

How are magnetism and gravity related?
« Reply #5 on: 15/07/2008 03:30:39 »

 

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