General Relativity in 8 gifs
holy fuck is this really how it works?
In non-gif terms:
"General relativity combines the time dimension with the three dimensions of space to form what is called spacetime. The theory incorporates the effect of gravity by saying that the distribution of matter and energy in the universe warps and distorts spacetime, so that it is not flat. Objects in this spacetime try to move in straight lines, but because spacetime is curved, their paths appear bent. They move as if affected by a gravitational field.
As a rough analogy, not to be taken too literally, imagine a sheet of rubber. One can place a large ball on the sheet to represent the Sun. The weight of the ball will depress the sheet and cause it to be curved near the Sun. If one now rolls little ball bearings on the sheet, they won’t roll straight across to the other side but instead will go around the heavy weight, like planets orbiting the Sun.”
- The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking, page 35
There are a lot of really cool phenomena connected to this, my favourite being gravitational lensing which lets us observe distant galaxies and detect dark matter. Space is fascinating.
i’ve been trying to explain this sketch to people for years
there is literally no way to explain this sketch it’s just a thing you have to see and even then I’m not sure why it’s so funny