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Gravity Probe B

Testing Einstein's Universe

Special & General Relativity Questions and Answers

If spacetime is a consequence of the deformation of space by gravity, why is gravity a universal phenomenon rather than a local one?

Einstein stated that in his General relativity, there would be no mathematical difference between what we call the gravitational field, and what we identify as 'space-time'. Space-time is, therefore, not a consequence of gravity, it IS the gravitational field itself. The cosmological gravitational field created at the Big Bang encompasses everything and is the dynamical embodiment of space-time itself.

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