Gravity Facts March/4/2019
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11Gravity is one of the four fundamental interactionsTrue! The original article did have its own citation here but since it linked back to the same site, adding a citation here from Brittanica.https://www.britannica.com/science/fundamental-interaction
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12[Gravity is one of the four fundamental interactions], a force generated by objects with mass that pulls all known forms of energy towards themselves, like a marble rolling down to the bottom of a sink.TRUE! Pulling from Brittanica and Glenn Elert's physics HypertextBook, we confirm the claim that Gravity acts on all forms of energy and the Hypertext Book offers a quick confirmation that it's a force generated by objects with mass.

The alert coloring here is just to make sure that I read the original line correctly. I read it as saying that Gravity was a member of the four funamentals and furthermore is itself a force with the listed properties (properties which it doesn't necessarily share with the other fundamental interactions). However it could also reasonably be read as saying that Gravity is a member of the four funamental interactions and all of those interactions have the listed properties as a given due to being in this group.

https://www.britannica.com/science/subatomic-particle/Gravity#ref367668

https://physics.info/newton-first/

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13It’s responsible for the large-scale structures of the universe, from the shape of galaxies to the spin of solar systems.TRUE! Brittanica notes the long reach of gravity affecting of stars, galaxies and other structures throughout the cosmoshttps://www.britannica.com/science/gravity-physics
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14It keeps our feet on the ground, gives objects weight, keeps the moon orbiting the Earth, the Earth orbiting the sun, and the sun rotating around the Milky Way.TRUE! Brittanica once again notes the effect on celestial bodies and Elert's textbook directly states that it's what we base our concept of weight off ofhttps://www.britannica.com/science/gravity-physics

https://physics.info/newton-first/
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15Until the 17th Century, scientists at the time believed in what was called the mechanistic universe. That is, they believed that the universe operated like a grand machine, like a perfectly constructed, incredibly intricate clock.Flagged for implication. The Mechanistic or Clockwork Universe was believed in during this period and the description of the philosophy as seeing the Universe as a grand machine is accurate. However The philosophy is being portrayed here as *ending* in the 17th century and being completely in opposition to Newtonian physics. Citation 1 and 2 give a descritpion of the mechanistic universe (though descriptions do show up in the other citations as well) with Citation 2 offering a timeline that shows the theory gaining momentum in the 17th century and continuing into the 18th.

University of Oregon (citation 3) and Encyclopedia.com (citation 4) go on to further cement Newton's importance when it came to the acceptance of the mechanistic Universe, again showing the health of the belief well into the 18th Century.

What *did* get superseded by Newton's work on gravity and did fall out of favor in the 17th century was specifically the Cartesian Mechanistic Universe/ Cartesianism (final citation from Birttanica)
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Mechanism_(philosophy)

http://users.clas.ufl.edu/ufhatch/pages/03-Sci-Rev/SCI-REV-Home/05-sr-lng-timeline.htm

http://zebu.uoregon.edu/2003/hum399/lec10.html

https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/science-magazines/astronomy-and-cosmology-mechanistic-universe

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Cartesianism
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16Part of this philosophy was that there could be no interaction without contact.TRUE! Looking at specifically the Cartesian model of Mechanism contact is noted as being necessary for the transfer of forces.https://www.britannica.com/topic/Cartesianism
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17When it came to gravity, people held onto ideas that predated even the mechanistic universe. They believed in the ideas of Aristotle from the 3rd Century BC: That every object has a ‘natural place’ which they all move towards.TRUE! University of St. Andrews notes Aristotles theories on gravity being formulated in 330 BC as well as objects moving towards their 'natural place' as part of that theory.

It also goes on to show that it was a theory well regarded by the time the 17th Century rolled around as it describes Descartes arguing against it.
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/history/HistTopics/Gravitation.html
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18The Earth is the heaviest object, and its natural place is below everything else. Water sits on top of it, and air rises above both, which is why bubbles rise in water. This natural place was considered a fundamental law of the universe, and contributed to the long held belief of the Earth sitting at the centre of the universe.TRUE! This description falls neatly in line with Brittanica's description of Aristotelian physics including the relative 'natural places' of the four elements (the fourth being fire) and its contribution to an Earth Centric universe is noted by Brittanica.https://www.britannica.com/biography/Aristotle/Physics-and-metaphysics
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19he [Newton] held one of the most prestigious academic posts in the world, the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics of Cambridge University.TRUE! Isaac Newton (being among only 17 to ever hold the position to this day) is confimred by Reutershttps://www.reuters.com/article/us-science-hawking-cambridge/stephen-hawking-leaves-newtons-chair-at-cambridge-idUSTRE58T44R20090930
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210 he [Newton] would spend his nights researching and practising alchemy and the occult.TRUE! Humanities Magazine notes Newton's occult fascinations and alchemicalactivitieshttps://www.neh.gov/humanities/2011/januaryfebruary/feature/newton-the-last-magician
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211One of his goals was turning base metals into gold, and discovering hidden clues in the Book of Revelations to uncover the date of the apocalypse (apparently it was in 2016).Incorrect Date:

Discover Magazine (citation 1) notes Newton's quest for the philospher's stone (which would turn base metals into gold)

Citation 2, a statement from Stephen D. Snobelen (Assistant Professor of History of Science and Technology at University of King’s College) confirms Newton used clues from the Book of Revelation to try and discover the date of the end of the world. however the date of the apocalypse given here is 2060
http://discovermagazine.com/2010/jul-aug/05-isaac-newton-worlds-most-famous-alchemist

https://isaac-newton.org/statement-on-the-date-2060/
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212When he proposed the idea of gravity, an invisible force that permeates the Earth that can’t be seen or touched, other scientists considered him out of his mind and accused him of bringing the occult into science.TRUE! According to Standford one of the criticisms thrown at Newton's feet for his theory on gravity was its occult-like qualities. In particular Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz challenged him on this point.https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/newton-philosophy/
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213Newton was unable to discover the physical cause of gravity. He called the idea “inconceivable” and “absurd”,TRUE! from Citation 1 in Newton's correspondence with Richard Bentley we see Newton hope for his readers to discover the physical cause of graviy as he find innate gravity an "absurd" idea and the lack of such a physical force to be "inconceievable" (well, technically he uses the word 'unconceivable')
http://www.newtonproject.ox.ac.uk/view/texts/normalized/THEM00258
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214One of his most famous quotes was “I frame no hypothesis.”TRUE! sources abound for thsi quote but I selected one from modern philospoher Bryce Gessel which adds some interesting flavor to the quote. Including an evidently 'derisive tone' it may have had in its original languagehttp://emps.me/bryce/2018/08/08/translations-of-newtons-hypotheses-non-fingo/#easy-footnote-2-335
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215To his credit, Newton’s gravity was just a mathematical description of the motion of the planets that he saw through his telescope. While his force was unusual, it did make accurate predictions. It was used by later astronomers to discover the planet Neptune.TRUE! Presentation from Stanford notes the prediction of Neptune's discovery based on gravitational forces on Uranus, thanks to Newton's gravity's predictive power. Finally it also notes that his Gravity helped describe planetery observations he had made. Whether it was *just* a mathematical description could be debated but is a reasonable enough statement and more a point of argument than exact fact.https://web.stanford.edu/~buzzt/gravity.html

http://www.thestargarden.co.uk/Newtons-theory-of-gravity.html
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316Neptune was discovered because Newton’s equations correctly interpreted the cause of eccentric orbit of Uranus as another large planetTRUE! While some other factors contributed, Uranus' odd movements when compared to its predicted path by Newton's Gravity led a concentrated effort from astronmers and mathematicians such as John Couch Adams to track where a new planet might be hiding that would explain this orbit.https://www.britannica.com/place/Neptune-planet/Neptunes-discovery

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317Eventually the scientific community came around to his ideas, including his position that while the physical cause of gravity was unknownTRUE! Timeline by Australian Academy of Science notes Isaac Newton's theories along with the lack of a physical cause with the next node on the timeline only appearing with Einstein.https://www.science.org.au/curious/space-time/gravity
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318Hundreds of years later in the early 20th Century, Albert Einstein was a young German patent clerk.TRUE! History channel confirms the story of Albert Einstein working as a clerk in a patent office of Germany, as well as dating his first steps into the academic spotlight in 1905https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/albert-einstein
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419The Bern clocktower and streetcar tracks where Einstein first thought of the concept of spacetime. Colorised photo from 1900.TRUE! Report from the BBC confirms the story of the Bern Clocktower inspiring Einstein.

Source of photo included in citation 2
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20160901-the-clock-that-changed-the-meaning-of-time

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001701089/
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520The nearby clock tower struck 6pm, and a thought came to him. If he looked out the window, he’d see the clock face say 6pm. He can see it because light waves are carrying the image to him.
But if his streetcar was travelling at the same speed, the speed of light, then every time he looked out the window the clock would still say 6pm. Time, at least from the perspective of everyone else, would be frozen.
This was the beginning of the idea of spacetime.
TRUE! The BBC reports the story of the Bern Clocktower inspiring Einstein, barring the exact detail of 6pm the story matches the one told in the claim. http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20160901-the-clock-that-changed-the-meaning-of-time

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521But some things, like light and gravity, act as if space and time were both just parts of the same thing. It distorts both space and time simultaneously.TRUE! Australian Academy of Science notes both light and gravity ont heir descriptions of how space and tiem are linked.https://www.science.org.au/curious/space-time/gravity
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522Spacetime is a concept built on this discovery. If they act in this way, perhaps our intuitions are wrong and space and time are actually the same thing – a fabric.TRUE! Australian Academy of Science notes that theories linking space and time stemmed from discoveries in light and gravity
https://www.science.org.au/curious/space-time/gravity
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523Gravity causes a ‘gravity well’ to form within the underlying ‘fabric’ of spacetime,TRUE! Space.com and hubblesite note the phenomenon and the terminology (minor ommision in that the second citation doesn't use the term gravity well but it shows up in the first.)https://www.space.com/28738-einstein-theory-of-relativity-explained-infgraphic.html

http://hubblesite.org/reference_desk/faq/answer.php.id=58&cat=exotic
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524The depression that an object, like the sun, causes within this underlying fabric causes other objects that aren’t as big to fall towards it, like an asteroid (or to orbit it, like the Earth).TRUE! gravitic pull of objects like the sun causing orbits noted by NASA. https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/review/dr-marc-solar-system/planet-orbits.html
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525Not even light, a particle without mass, is unaffected by gravity, because they all must travel through spacetime.TRUE! Hubblesite notes the effect of gravity on lighthttp://hubblesite.org/reference_desk/faq/answer.php.id=58&cat=exotic
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526Some massive astronomical objects like galaxies or galaxy clusters have a lensing effect, magnifying the light from galaxies that lie far beyond, giving us a window into the distant universe.TRUE! CFHTLenS's description of gravitational lensing matches up with this claimhttp://www.cfhtlens.org/public/what-gravitational-lensing
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627But a few decades after Einstein, a new field of physics entered the scene. Quantum mechanics.TRUE! Timeline from University of Pittsburgh has Quantam Mechanics entering the scene around the mid 1920s which would be a couple of decades after Einstein entered the scene around 1905.

Flagging since I made the assumption that "after einstein" here meant after Einstein entered the field, however if the claim is instead that Quantum Mechanics entered the scene decades after Einstein stopped contributing to the field the timeline would be a bit off.
http://fafnir.phyast.pitt.edu/particles/quantumt.html
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628When physicists combined Einstein’s general relativity and quantum mechanics in their equations, instead of fitting together neatly, the equations produced impossible results. The two theories were utterly incompatible.TRUE! an article by the Guardian notes the conflict between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanicshttps://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/nov/04/relativity-quantum-mechanics-universe-physicists
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629At the moment, physicists use quantum mechanics when dealing with things that are small, like within the atom, and general relativity when dealing with things that are large, like putting a satellite in orbit around the Earth.TRUE! An article by the Guardian notes the use of Quantum Mechanics in the realm of the very tiny and General Relativity in the realm of the very large.https://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/nov/04/relativity-quantum-mechanics-universe-physicists
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630The other fundamental forces have already been incorporated into quantum mechanics, and it’s gravity that is next on the list.TRUE! University of Illinois notes that 3 of the four fundamental forces have quantum descriptions with gravity being the odd man out.https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=1232&t=quantum-fundamental-forces
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631The problem is that compared to the other forces, it is exceptionally weak and therefore hard to detect at the sub-atomic scale of quantum mechanics, and it may require more powerful instruments than what we currently have access to.TRUE! Dr. Bard form West Texas University notes that Gravity is incredibly weak compared to the other fundamental forces.http://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2013/05/22/why-is-gravity-the-strongest-force/
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732The effort to create a unified framework of the fundamental forces is the driving force behind the push to develop a theory of everything.TRUE! PBS describes the quest for the Theory of Everything, noting that part of it is developing a framework that can include all of the fundamental physical forces.https://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/intro/purpotoe-frame.html
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