Does my gravity pull on the Sun?

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Physics < Cosmology < Science

Does my gravity pull on literally everything else?

Yes, your gravity pulls on the Sun, and everything—just a teeny, tiny bit!

Gravity extends across vast distances, including the gap between you and the Sun. While the gravitational pull you exert on the Sun is minuscule compared to the Sun’s immense gravity, it’s still there. This is because gravity decreases with distance but never truly disappears. Gravity is what scientists call a long-range force and it extends everywhere, all at once. So, even though the effect is incredibly small, every object with mass, including you, contributes to the gravitational dance of the universe.

Think about this concept for a second. Every object, including every atom, is pulling on every other one. It’s almost like every particle is attached by strings to every other particle. While it’s hard for any human to imagine how their body is connected to a distant galaxy, that’s the job of theoretical physicists. They believe it will lead to a grand unified theory of everything. 

They are trying to reconcile how forces span space and consider such things as extra dimensions and parallel universes. At its core, string theory imagines strings passing through various dimensions or something in a way that explains how all things attract all other things. Although various string theories are complicated and involve many crazy ideas, this gives you a glimpse into how they think about such things. Meanwhile, experimental physicists continue to gather more data to feed them.

Thinking about what pulls on what in empty space is a great introductory tool to particle physics. Now that you’ve come this far, take the 5-minute deep dive: Empty Space: A Dive into Particle Physics.

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