Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Unified Theories and Gravity
Name: N/A
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1991 

If, as Einstein postulated, gravity is not really a force, but is in fact adescription of how objects behave in curved space-time, then why do physic (sorry, I mean physicists) work to unify it with the other three forces? andrew m childs

Well, perhaps what physicists should be doing is modifying the equations for the other three forces to fit them into Einstein's model of spacetime? That is also a hard problem, though I think progress has been made. The problem is that the way Einstein's equations were set up, it makes space-time itself look like something that ought to be quantum mechanically described, just like electric fields etc are really described by quantum mechanics. This leap of logic could be wrong - it could be that Einstein was right all the way down to very small length-scales and very high energies - but since we have no way of experimentally testing that right now, the other approach looks more logically consistent, a criterion Einstein himself would have approved of. But it could be wrong - and we really do not have much prospect of experimental tests for several centuries at least.

Arthur Smith

Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory