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Gravity Probe B

Testing Einstein's Universe

Special & General Relativity Questions and Answers

Can matter really become infinitely compressed in a singularity?

As I noted in a previous question, it is believed by many physicists that when Einstein's general relativity and quantum mechanics FINALLY get married together in some 'Theory of Everything' that there will appear limits on the size, time and mass of physical events in our physical universe. Combining these 'Planck Scale' units one can derive a limiting density near 10^94 grams pre cubic centimeter, and it is believed that this replaces the 'infinite density and curvature' condition predicted for singularities according to the less-complete theory of general relativity.

At least that is the hope.

Return to the Special & General Relativity Questions and Answers page.

All answers are provided by Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for the NASA Astronomy Cafe, part of the NASA Education and Public Outreach program.