There are tools and techniques to calculate gravity with an incredible degree of accuracy. You can almost completely describe its effect, but there is no unified theory about what gravity is, probably not yet.
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Gravity is usually described as one of the four fundamental forces of nature, but some physicists claim that this may be an emergent phenomenon (it occurs not on a micro, but on a macroscopic scale). Besides, both points of view are supported by evidence.
The following paragraphs will help to illustrate what we know and do not know about gravity.
• Newton’s law of gravity (1686) does not provide any explanation of what it is. The law only explains how it works.
• Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (1915) narrates that planets and stars (any matter) bend the fabric of space generate gravity as a result of bending. But in this theory, there is no explanation of what the fabric of space consists of and what its fundamental properties are.
• People coined another term to hide their ignorance of why gravity holds galactic structures together. The current understanding of gravity claims that galaxies will fly apart, especially at the outer edges. But this does not happen although they should. Therefore, something is holding them back. It is called dark matter.
• It is known that gravity is not always homogeneous, even under constant conditions. We believe that gravity is the same thing that is measured today and will be measured tomorrow. This is the coherence.
• Newton’s law of gravity is not universal. It fails near very strong gravitational fields such as black holes. It is also considered false when gravitational fields are very weak, for example, in atoms.
Undoubtedly, the general theory of relativity surpasses Newton’s law of universal gravitation when gravity is extremely strong, but also fails when talking about atoms.
• Gravity has not been tested as well as other forces. It is likely that it is present among all matter, but this has never been fully verified, unlike electromagnetic force. It is known that the derived equations can produce errors when two objects are already at a distance of a meter from each other.
Indeed, today it is not known what gravity really is. There are ideas that can be very well calculated, even errors (knowledge gaps). But so far, a theory that can nail anything is elusively slipping away.