There's gravity, and then there's gravitational force. They are not the same --
that's why other forces, such as inertia, centrifugal force (which is really
another term for gravitational force) are considered to be constant. In physics,
gravity is the curvature of space caused by the presence of a mass, so is a
characteristic of space-time geometry itself. If, as some physicists now think,
the universe is not contracting or even at stasis, an acceleration of the
space-time continuum itself would mean that anti-gravity exists near the edges of
the universe; standard inflation theory holds that gravity was much stronger at a
time very shortly (and we're talking ridiculously short periods of time) after
the Big Bang because of the presence of anti-gravity, but that in a static or
shrinking universe the anti-gravity would have quickly disappeared.

The data needed to determine which scenario is actually correct are not yet
availble -- as it stands they show somewhat conflicting results.

This is how I understand the current state of astrophysics, but I look forward to
whatever anyone else has to offer.  Incidentally, here's a Scientific American
link to an article on anti-gravity in an accelerating universe:

"John W. Redelfs" wrote:

> I have been doing a massive search on the multiple Ebsco full-text
> databases on the term "antigravity."  And I have been amazed by some of the
> things I have been reading.  Apparently, according to Scientific American,
> Science News, Time magazine and others, recent discoveries indicate that
> the "big bang" that allegedly started this universe is not slowing down as
> expected, but is speeding up.  Many responsible scientists are saying this
> turns everything on its ear because it suggests that in some parts of space
> there is not only gravity, but antigravity.
> Well, of all the sciences, physics is the one that I expect the fewest
> surprises from.  I mean the top people in the field agree on basics.  And
> one of the assumptions has always been that gravity is the same everywhere
> in the universe.  But low and behold it looks like this may not be the case.
> Question: If gravity varies from place to place in the universe, why
> couldn't such other phenomenon as inertia, centrifugal force, etc?  And if
> these most basic forces are not constant throughout the universe, just how
> can we know anything for sure?
> Do any of you propeller heads know anything about this?  If you like, I can
> post a couple of these stories to the list.  Just let me know.
> John W. Redelfs                       [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> ===========================================
> "Atheistic humanism is the opiate of the self-described
> intellectuals" --Uncle Bob
> ===========================================
> All my opinions are tentative pending further data. --JWR
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“The first duty of a university is to teach wisdom, not a trade; character, not
technicalities. We want a lot of engineers in the modern world, but we don’t want
a world of engineers.” – Sir Winston Churchill (1950)

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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