The Plastic Brain


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Totally naive musing on gravity

I can never get over gravity, and how the force is transmitted. I know that gravitons are suspected, but how would a particle flying out of a mass exert a pull on another mass?

I have some rare earth magnets (BuckyBalls). They roll across the table like ball bearings, but just as a single ball approaches a cluster they snap together, moving the cluster ever so slightly closer to the source of the ball. Perhaps gravitons could work like that? They get sent out from one mass, and just as they are about to collide with some other mass they snap together with it.

This idea made me rethink gravity. At first, I thought of it as a very long range interaction between two large masses. Now I think of it as a very short range interaction between a graviton and some atom (or sub-atomic particle) with which it interacts…At least in my mind, that makes it much easier to comprehend.

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Watch spiral galaxies form in your browser.

http://vis.stanford.edu/protovis/ex/nbody-full.html

(Via @ProfessorFunk)

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