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Q & A: Gravity pulls?

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Most recent answer: 03/15/2011
Q:
my question is; Does gravity push up or does it only pull down? I know it's a stupid question.
- hank (age 19)
Pasco, Wa,
A:
Hank,

 The force of gravity attracts masses to one another. The obvious example is that of a person and the Earth. If you jump up, you shortly return to the surface of the Earth due to the effect of gravity. So you could say that it always pulls things together, if that's what you mean by "pull down".


Thanks for asking,

-Zach

On a cosmic scale there's something making the whole universe expand more and more quickly. The most common way to understand that is that it's due to gravity acting on some background "dark energy" filling space. I guess you could say that this gravity is pushing things apart, although I'm not sure what the difference is between pushing and pulling here. On that scale there's definitely no "up" or "down". /mbw

(published on 03/15/2011)

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