Why Gravity is NOT a Force

Publicerades den 9 okt 2020
The General Theory of Relativity tells us gravity is not a force, gravitational fields don't exist. Objects tend to move on straight paths through curved spacetime. Thanks to Caséta by Lutron for sponsoring this video. Find out more at: www.lutron.com/veritasium
Huge thanks to Prof. Geraint Lewis for hours of consulting on this video so I could get these ideas straight in my own brain. Check out his SEnewss channel: ve42.co/gfl or his books: ve42.co/GFLbooks
Amazing VFX, compositing, and editing by Jonny Hyman
2D animations by Ivàn Tello
Filmed by Steven Warren and Raquel Nuno
Special thanks to Petr Lebedev for reviews and script consultation
Music by Jonny Hyman and from Epidemic Sound epidemicsound.com
Rocket made by Goodnight and Co.
Screen images in rocket by Geoff Barrett
Slow motion rocket exhaust footage from Joe Barnard at BPS.Space


  • Here's a question I've seen a lot in comments: OK, I'm accelerating up but then shouldn't someone on the other side of the globe fall off? No, here's why: Either watch again from 8:28 or read what I've written below... Spacetime is curved - it curves the opposite direction on the other side of the Earth. Neither us on this side of the Earth nor they on the other side are changing our spacial coordinates - we're not moving up, they're not moving down - Earth isn't flying into one of us. BUT we both ARE accelerating. In curved spacetime you have to accelerate just to remain stationary. The traditional definition of acceleration is something changing its velocity. In general relativity you have to embrace a new definition of acceleration: it means deviating from a geodesic - not going on a straight line path through spacetime. Near the Earth a geodesic is a parabola so unless you're moving in a parabolic arc (like on a zero-g plane) you are accelerating. This definition is the same as the old one so if you're accelerating in deep space then your velocity is changing. *BUT*... if you are near a large mass you are in curved spacetime, now acceleration your velocity is changing. You can stay stationary relative to Earth's surface and still be accelerating. This is because your acceleration should be measured not relative to the Earth's surface but relative to free-falling objects - they are inertial observers. Imagine this - I'm in deep space and I make horizontal rows and rows of stationary golf balls. Then I hop in my rocket and accelerate up through them. Just think about what that looks like. Now my rocket is back on Earth just sitting there. I freeze time for a sec and make horizontal rows and rows of golf balls up into the atmosphere. Now unfreeze time. What do you see? If you just look at the golf balls and the rocket ship it looks the same as the situation in space where the golf balls were stationary and the rocket was accelerating. Einstein's point was the golf balls have the better claim as the "stationary" thing since their experience is just like the golf balls in deep space - no forces experienced. The rocket on Earth is just like the rocket in space. It feels a force and hence an acceleration.

    • @JAW BL4Z3R Space time curvature causes the effect which is called gravity force in Newton's law of gravity.

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  • I actually had always wondered how light could be affected by gravity if it has no mass, but this explains that as well

  • He is wrong farmon fields are 2d and 5d bubbles of the membrane theory. Einstein is dumb autistic. Get a clue so am I. Science must always seek greater undertaking of measurements and errors in your empirical theories. Like tessler said he is math not science. Math is language so its limited in understanding. Find your inner intuition and meda phisics and ask with inn your cpu in your chest the merkaba. Did you know it changes reality?

  • The planit is spinning and moving at 1000 miles and hour. I am not moving I fall now planet going hit me not ne hit the planet same as in space. So the core has hydrogen attraction in q resonsons of our star. And we also in 7 farimons of bubbles holding gases the air water because of the ferma effect. The core has di nitrogen 5d crystal that makes the nitrogen part of the planets ferma gravity waves there bubbles not waves or lines a tora field. Working theory anyone want join on this?

  • so are you saying that there is no field of gravity extending to infinity unlike the magnetic field or the quantum fields for electrons and quarks?

  • I'd say forget about all of your general relativity theories and equations, drop a bowling ball on your foot, then tell me gravitational fields don't exist.

  • 7:45 R.I.P #அருட்பெருஞ்ஜோதி 🔥

  • Just wait until flat earthers get their hands on this. Gravity isn't even real, see!!

    • the thrusters would propel you in front, but there is nothing behind you so you can't propel yourself, or am I wrong here?

  • Flat earthers: so we were right? Veritasium: well yes, but actually no

    • Sooooo, what do we do about flat Earthers..?

  • What force make us/things to move on the curve of the spacetime?

  • Nice video learned a lot but its not necessary to clown around so much its a bit distracting

  • Sorry but Vsauce did it better

  • If I jump on the other skde of the globe, why don't I free fall then?

  • Ok but how do you do that I'm bad at editing

  • Gravity is not a force, but space has a force, "Space Force"! TRUMP 2020

  • So is it possible for you to not be accelerating even though your spatial coordinates are changing at inconsistent rates.

  • Is that the same rocket ship you could dig out of the ground in Super Mario Bros 2?

  • I have a question regarding Einstein equation. The position formula propose by Einetin is equal to the acceleration minus this fancy Einstein's tensor which means in order to stay at rest one would need an acceleration to cancel out with the contribution of gravity (the tensor). This confirms that there is an acceleration right now 'the normal force' pushing us up (where I am assuming that its magnitude would still be equal to 'mg' as when dealing with the Newtonian theory) while the tensor has pretty much the same magnitude and therefore we end up with zero-displacement. But if we are not moving due to the acceleration of Earth pushing us then it seems to me that the charge particle on the table 'at rest' would not be radiating since although it has an acceleration, it is not moving!? I feel like there is something I am not getting right. Thanks in advanced for your help

  • Never heard such rubbish

  • As a Harvard Neuroscientist, here's another mind-bending gravity-related thought. When you rotate your head, you are NOT in control of the primary directionality of your eye movements under most circumstances. Try this. Keep your head still and look at your finger while you shake your finger left and right; your finger will look blurry due to motion blur. Now, instead, keep your finger still and look at it while you simultaneously shake your head left and right, which will demonstrate - in this situation - that you are still able to maintain a stable image of your finger. This is because your gravitationally-influenced sense of your head in space - your vestibular system - has a hardwired reflex to move your eyes in the opposite direction of your rotational head movements. This vestibular-ocular reflex (VOR) ensures automatic dynamic stabilization of images during head movements. You are not consciously doing this, and you can not consciously override it. The VOR is truly a reflex and, interestingly, does not depend on vision. During head movements, you will still have a strong VOR if you are in the dark or if you have your eyes closed. Your VOR originates from your vestibular system, which is located in your inner ear right next to your cochlea - your organ of hearing. Your vestibular system for rotational head movements consists of a series of three fluid-filled semicircular canals that have little "hair" cells inside the canals. When your head moves up-down (pitch), left-right (yaw), or shoulder-to-shoulder (roll), fluid inside the corresponding semicircular canal flows. This head motion-induced flow bends the hair cells within the canal to ultimately send electrical impulses to your hindbrain. These electrical impulses - encoding head movement - then talk to parts of your brain controlling eye movements, which connect to your eye muscles to reflexively move your eyes in the opposite direction of your head movement. So be thankful that your sense of your head in space - your vestibular system - takes care of maintaining a stable image of the world even when your head bobs around as you walk. Otherwise, walking would be a blurry journey of craziness. Videos coming soon.

  • If there is no gravity, then I’m not overweight. I’m just accelerating faster than you bro. Take that Usain Bolt

  • Thank you very much.

  • From where the charged particle in the gravitational field will get the energy for emitting a photon?

  • Sooooo, what do we do about flat Earthers..?

  • just one little flaw in this video. You can't turn on the rocket thrusters in space, I mean you can but it would be pointless, you are in space already moving in a constant speed. And the thrusters would propel you in front, but there is nothing behind you so you can't propel yourself, or am I wrong here?


  • If the independent mass of the earth weighing down on the fabric of space time is what produces a curvature of space time resulting in gravity then what OBJECTS OF GREAT MASS BECAME PRESENT AFTER THE ALLEGED BIG BANG TO BEND THE FABRIC OF SPACE TIME TO CREATE GRAVITY ITSELF THAT THEN PULLED IN DEBRIS TO ASSEMBLE THE EARTH, MOON AND STARS????? Then explain who this curvature of space time contradicts itself with retrograde!!? If gravity itself pulls all matter to its center how then are we taught that the universe is expanding??? Liars!!!

  • You are a blatant liar!! Gravity is not a force or occurrence!! It is a farce!! To date some 500+ years gravity itself has NEVER BEEN DIRECTLY DETECTED PER CURRENT, FIELD, WAVE, BEAM, RAY OR PARTICLE ON THE EARTH!!! You teach gravity as fact when in truth it isnt fact but on agreed upon THEORY!! We are only taught about what gravity does, results or makes happen. WE ARE NEVER TAUGHT ABOUT WHAT GRAVITY IS ITSELF BECAUSE GRAVITY ITSELF HAS NO INDEPENDENT PRESENCE OR SUBSTANCE TO DIRECTLY DETECT!!!

  • Gravity is like the centrifugal force: not technically a real force, but you can pretend that it is and still get accurate results

  • Awesome video! But I have a question for anyone willing to shed some light on this. One thing that was not mentioned in the view presented in the video was kinetic energy. How can one say that free falling should be the same thing as staying still in space. In one case the subject has kinetic energy, in the other it has not. I am not familiar with the physics of GR but as an engineer (and by this inherently bound to the Newtonian view 😅) I am sure that one object has kinetic energy and the other has not, thus I cannot understand how these two cases are to be seen as equals. I am 100% certain I am not smarter than Einstein obviously, so any help to pinpoint where is the error in my thinking?! Thanks for the help!

  • So then wth is a “gravitation wave”?? Or whatever the heck they’re calling it when they say they’ve measured gravity. If gravity is not a force how can there be a gravity wave?

  • Gravity is an actual force, it has nothing to do with the geometry of space or curved space. A new theory of gravity was just published in a new ebook, " The Universe 20/20" on amazon, everything you think you know about gravity is now obsolete.

  • Where this falls apart is in what has to happen to the rocket to maintain 1G apparent. To do this, the rocket must remain in acceleration. In a fairly short amount of time, the rocket would be at light speed. What then? So I think it's more appropriate to think of gravity more like buoyancy. An object is influencing the Higgs field to the exact proportion to the amount of space it displaces. The proof is a simple one. We don't continue to accelerate to maintain 1G. Therefore we must be exerting a "force" on the Higgs field to maintain our cosmic buoyancy.

  • Something always seemed a bit off about gravity to me but this explanation of it put things into focus that were a bit hazy prior to this particular explanation, thank you

  • I might tell this to my science teacher

  • 'THEORY' means it's not even proven. The End.

    • @Michael Cahoon It's about the Frequencies. Life as we know it would not exist without the frequencies that bind everything togther. The earth is not flat and it's not round either.. It's not really physical. The definition /word physical is Man Made MM 33. So you don't really know what it is and neither do I. I have a pretty good idea though. Prove all that wrong.

    • @Michael Cahoon So you are ignoring me now then it seems? That tells me a great deal.

    • @Aaron Jacobs Thanks...! Get back to me if you ever find out.

    • @Michael Cahoon well, the infinite density of the singularly is what causes the phenomenon (I don't know exactly as I haven't spent nearly long enough studying this so I'm not confident answering you)

    • @Aaron Jacobs So, the crushing density of the object that initiates the 'black hole' is in fact the instigator of the force that pulls on anything that comes near it's singularity. Is that correct?

  • Does this infer that time is technically a force instead of gravity?

  • Wow, Phoebe was actually right, we are not being pulled, but pushed by Earth

  • Yeah screw you veritasium, you think you know better than me?

  • This video is great!! Would someone care to please explain why the gravity would be pushing up against my feet and against someone elses feet on the opposite side of the earth? Would the direction of the acceleration not be uneven/at an angle or is this due to the inertial mass countering it? Basically why is the angle of the force not noticeable?

  • That “illusion” hurts... a lot!

  • What I get from this is that the sci-fi "anti-gravity" devices are impossible.

    • Not necessarily, if we can find a way to generate negative mass then we can accomplish a repulsive force much like positive mass being attractive.

  • Wow... incredible..

  • As long as I've known Derek he's consistently asked the difficult questions. This video challenged me, and taught me many things. I want to try the eclipse photo now. Impressed Eddington did it in 1919.

  • right wing and conspiracy nutters: "gravity doesn't exist and this video is proof, got ya"

  • Excellent explanation! but, What about tides?

  • ha ha ha I know... I'm always right..... sad newton noises

  • One of the best teachers

  • Good teacher

  • Step 1. Pause the video at 12:31 Step 2. Set the speed at 0,5 Step 3. Enjoy 🤣

  • 13:57 bending light would apply easily if the distance travel of the light increased?

  • you just killed Newton Bro

  • This is one of your best Derek. You’re an outstanding “explainer,” as is Diana. Well done. I watched your video a few times and suddenly ... “click”.... the lights went on.

  • Yo

  • Element 115 can bend space time

  • So you say it's a deformation in spacetime which makes masses attract each other as gravity is no force. I wonder which force bends spacetime in the first place if it's not gravity. 😵🥴

  • Literally this video is just blew up my mind. After watching this video, while imagining all those he explained... Wow😍😍 You just gave me a new perspective of seeing the worl

  • Can you explain black holes next?

    • This is so beautiful, I have looked at this for 5th time.

  • So if there is no such thing like a gravitation field, how can there be gravitation waves? Waves do need a field, don't they? If gravity is no force, so how can it be compensated by a counterforce? Due to Newton force = counterforce. What is a force? If a force can accelerate a body then any force shall curve spacetime. So any force is an illusion? Strange video this!

  • Charge: Gravity, it's working against me.

  • Wow, all concept are explained very well and in a very entertaining way. However every time it says acceleration and gravity are completely equivalent, it seems to me it is missing something. I believe Einstein already pointed out that GR is valid only locally: two objects free falling in the elevator will get closer to each other, as the two people walking towards the north pole, this will not happen for the accelerating rocket. I might be wrong, but I think it makes some difference.

  • But what exactly is pushing atoms into eachother to a point where the almost fuse like in a Neutron Star? I get the Curved Spacetime thing but, thats an honest Question, what makes matter crushing into itself? Just a bent geodesic?

  • Tell it to my physics teacher.

  • Einstein also said: If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it.

  • What an idiot. Space doesn't exist. Our atmosplane would b sucked off and fill the available space. 2nd law of thermodynamics. Wake up. If theres pressurized air we need a container. Stop it sheeple. Its flat water isn't magical sticky bendy NASA water. Its flat tge way i have seen it in every puddle

  • one of the best video and made it to simplify it for a basic person to understand how gravity works. salute to you dude.. u have done something many teachers in the world failed to explain.

  • Goid job . It really highlights how particle physics is really imaginary interpretations that things like gradations and qaurks are really non existent it just helps us have random calculating prediction of probability that works at this space time moment. We witness the dream of dreams but your supposed to ignore that and lie to yourself about it. Pick and choose the observations that you will accept and ignore those that don't tell you the answer you want to see .lol I luv science though its always going to be limits that allow us to talk ourselves into and out of reality interpretation

  • Lol I thought those were casada switches... as if they sponsored you.... those things are sweet to replace 3ways and you get a dimmer switch.

  • I learned about general relativity in school and did not only generally understand many of the teachers Explanations, but was able to calculate many things with the corresponding formulas (i specifically remember that one of my final exams had the question: "how fast must a rocket with the length x be to fit into a garage of length y?"). But this Video gave me a level of understanding that i lacked before. Thank you for that. I think for calculating easy everyday stuff i'll stick to Newtonian physics though.

  • Is really gravity is not a force but it is equal to mg how

  • 🤯🤯🤯

  • Can´t we say the same thing for charges in an electrical field? There is no electrical forces when a charge is running due to the "illusion of an electrical field", it is just space-time distortions, or forming electro-desic. Well I guess everything is part o a model, and the model that we work out may accommodate, both views if well modeled. I believe the error between Newtonian and Einsteinian models in predicting the deviation of the light of stars, is just because the best adjustments were not made in the Newtonian models, for example (did they correct limit of speed and acceleration according to what they use in relativity?).

  • This is so beautiful, I have looked at this for 5th time.

  • Defendant: "Your Honor--I have photos to prove that was a very steep hill; and according to Einstein I wasn't moving at all! It was your Officers standing next to their patrol cars with the radar guns that were coming towards ME at 200 MPH..."

  • I was just writing a script for a video about gravity, but you said it better than I could. Here's two ideas I had that you may want to include in a future video about gravity: I agree that the rolling a ball on a sheet illustration is misleading. Here's a better illustration: place a mass on the sheet as before, then roll a toy car on the curved sheet. The toy car travels along a geodesic. To explain how the earth can stay the same size despite the surface accelerating upwards, try drawing a space time diagram on the surface of a balloon or a ball. The surface of a fixed width object in a curved spacetime diagram will not travel along a geodesic. This will also show why someone on the opposite side of the earth doesn't fall off.

  • I feel like I don't like the use of the term 'SpaceTime' My mind tries to separate the two by default into its respective meanings and doesnt allow me to hold onto the whole picture. I think it would help to talk about larger planets with different g force accelerating at the same rate as earth. It sounds like a planet 10x the size of earth orbitting the sun could have the same acceleration, and be a planet capable to stand on.

  • So what about the gravitons and gravitation waves?

  • Are we all just gonna ignore that guy who kicked Derek in the face?!? 12:30! 😮

  • This video is a masterpiece. The best explanation of gravity on the internet currently.

  • So what is gravity?

    • Gravity is Santa Claus. Presents still show up under the tree, but not because a fat man from the North Pole is flying around.

  • IS someone know how to make ACCELARATION minus COORDINATES = ZERO ... because then I could stay static into spacetime and be immortal :) "VELOCITY Through TIME" = ZERO

  • Summary ... it All depends on the point of view ... or just DENSITY matter is matter ;)

  • Good is that a Earth give me a hand to equal my movment ... because other way I would be a sick ;)

  • Very good video. Btw, there is nothing called space & time in reality. It is only time. Even space is an illusion. Figure out how!

  • Should you not use two different objects of different weight for that lie? Feather and bowling ball? Does real life show you he is wrong? This is an attempt to account for Gravity being DEBUNKED, Facts remain facts if they are FACTS, This is the THIRD rendition of gravity. Newton, Einstein, Now the admittance that it's NOT a force. It was all a dream. Kills the Gas containment Theory stone DEAD. NO GRAVITY, Welcome to Flat non rotating EARTH.

    • @Barry Davis ah so telling you that we tested it on the moon is probably futile since you believe the moon landing was faked as well.

    • @Narf Whals Hahahahahahahahahaa nice one. I think Brian Cox nearly proved that but there was soooo much editing done to fool the unwary I doubled up with laughter.

    • This is Einsteins gravity. A feather and a bowling ball fall at the same rate in a vacuum.

  • How does this idiot KNOW what it is like to go into a place nobody has ever been? Einstein never ever went into space so what was he studying? Space time is YOUR imagination NOT REALITY. Think about it BENDING TIME? Really? Bending space?? Yeah a cartoon to show you something NEVER WITNESSED, Calling weight gravity. And using the vomit comet to FAKE weightlessness.

  • Both the charges will radiate electro magnetic radiation because in the object there will be electrons which are moving of course we can't feel it but there exist tiny amount of electromagnetic radiationn

  • Is it just me or does your rocket ship look a little like Wallace & Gromit's?

  • "Do you feel weightless?" ISS astronauts watching your video: "Yes..."

  • I am learning about the gravitational field in school and I love you.

  • Thank you for this... this is very informational and interesting !!

  • Typically, a good rule of thumb when explaining difficult topics. If it can only be explained through metaphors, most likely, you got something wrong.

  • This video attempts to discredit years of proven scientific research. It is no masterpiece, it is a blunder just as Einstein deemed it was in his day. This same mistake was made by Einstein and he later admitted how foolish it was, calling it one of his greatest blunders. You took a mans FAILED WORK called it fact and then USED HIS OWN WORDS to manipulate other people into believing it. I've never felt this way towards Veritasium but WOW. Please reconsider this opinion, research this topic further. We know gravitational forces exist, and we know they are directly linked with time which is why time travels more slowly as you are further from massive bodies like planets or dark matter. ALL PROVEN SCIENCE. This video directly opposes this in so many ways.

  • if the force is based off acceleration/velocity, then shouldn't you way the same on the moon and on the earth since there acceleration is the same, or would the moon actually have more velocity so you should weigh more on the moon? so a planets mass size would be irrelevant when determining an objects weight, it would be the speed of the acceleration at that point in space?

  • Can someone show me a jar of spacetime? It's all pseudoscience

  • can someone explain how this applies to a neutron star

  • this makes me cringe so bad and question m existence

  • a straight line path in space-time that happens to be curved around a massive object. so any object regardless of mass and speed should fallow that same curve in space-time, because it thinks it is traveling in a straight line that happens to be curved around a massive object.

  • What I understood: that video was sponsored by Caseta

  • Someone got a bigger budget