|Page 5 - A Better Way to Picture the Invisible
For many people, it is easiest to picture gravity as a kind of special invisible force, emanating from every object in the universe. Newtons law of gravitation leads one to see it this way and it is probably the view most of us were given when we learned about gravity in elementary school. However, there is another, more correct way to picture gravity. It stems from Albert Einsteins general theory of relativity, a theory that describes gravitation more accurately than Newtons law and, at the same time, teaches us about the large scale structure of the universe.
To understand what gravity really is (or at least how we see it today), you must have a basic understanding of the ideas behind general relativity. The theory itself is actually a set of complex mathematical equations which are much too advanced to discuss here. Instead, we will provide an overview of the ideas about gravity that these equations produce.
For more on Albert Einstein and the history of general relativity see History Page 7.