Why Gravity is NOT a Force
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 SLtoos 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

  • Veritasium

    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.

    • D D
      D D

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

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  • Max Fuentealba
    Max Fuentealba

    Excellent explanation! but, What about tides?

  • Albert Einstein
    Albert Einstein

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

  • Anwar Zeb
    Anwar Zeb

    One of the best teachers

  • Anwar Zeb
    Anwar Zeb

    Good teacher

  • Mihai Duma
    Mihai Duma

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

  • Hyoryuji

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

  • Hyoryuji

    you just killed Newton Bro

  • REME

    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.

  • Prithivi Raj
    Prithivi Raj


  • Quinn Haze
    Quinn Haze

    Element 115 can bend space time

  • Osmone Everony
    Osmone Everony

    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. 😵🥴

  • Sinai Coons
    Sinai Coons

    I still remember watching this video for the first time, 09 October 2020.

  • dcoog anml
    dcoog anml

    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

  • Ryan Byer
    Ryan Byer

    Can you explain black holes next?

    • dcoog anml
      dcoog anml

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

  • Holdin Muhl
    Holdin Muhl

    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!

  • Sahana Joshi
    Sahana Joshi

    Charge: Gravity, it's working against me.

  • ilkov

    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.

  • Abara Nihei
    Abara Nihei

    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?

  • Gabriel Tobing
    Gabriel Tobing

    Tell it to my physics teacher.

  • L. W
    L. W

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

  • Bearapalegic Bear
    Bearapalegic Bear

    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

  • wajid abid
    wajid abid

    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.

  • Dadson worldwide
    Dadson worldwide

    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

  • Bill Davis
    Bill Davis

    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.

  • Henrik

    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.

  • Ganesh tappita Tappita ganesh
    Ganesh tappita Tappita ganesh

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

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  • The Circuit Cracker
    The Circuit Cracker

    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?).

  • Filip Pivoňka
    Filip Pivoňka

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

  • benjamin rodriguez
    benjamin rodriguez

    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..."

  • Aaron Kriegman
    Aaron Kriegman

    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.

  • JuystaFan

    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.

  • Mike Gajewski
    Mike Gajewski

    So what about the gravitons and gravitation waves?

  • matthew schnieder
    matthew schnieder

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

  • Pat Rice
    Pat Rice

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

  • L. W
    L. W

    So what is gravity?

  • Daniel Sieciński
    Daniel Sieciński

    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

  • Daniel Sieciński
    Daniel Sieciński

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

  • Daniel Sieciński
    Daniel Sieciński

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

  • Party Songs
    Party Songs

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

  • Barry Davis
    Barry Davis

    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
      Barry Davis

      @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.

    • Narf Whals
      Narf Whals

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

  • Barry Davis
    Barry Davis

    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.

  • SaiSanjana Gurram
    SaiSanjana Gurram

    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

  • Douglas Powell
    Douglas Powell

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

  • Pu Du
    Pu Du

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

  • Pu Du
    Pu Du

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

  • akaByrd Twitter
    akaByrd Twitter

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

  • Anthony Rocco
    Anthony Rocco

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

  • Anthony Rocco
    Anthony Rocco

    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.

  • VirtualRunDown

    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?

  • VeganGames

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

  • Yonah Amos
    Yonah Amos

    can someone explain how this applies to a neutron star

  • Yonah Amos
    Yonah Amos

    this makes me cringe so bad and question m existence

  • Don Jobin
    Don Jobin

    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.

  • Parth

    What I understood: that video was sponsored by Caseta

  • Peter Nguyen
    Peter Nguyen

    Someone got a bigger budget

  • bocoy noiu
    bocoy noiu

    I feel sad watching this right now knowing it's gonna have to end eventually, and that I can't watch this for the first time ever again

    • bocoy noiu
      bocoy noiu

      The reason Einstein and others like him are geniuses is because they imagine things the rest of us need help to imagine.

  • Gregory Byrne
    Gregory Byrne

    Toroidal fields. Earth is a 4.5 billion year old closed loop that self regulates co2 with LIFE. The climate cycles of our planet are continental glaciers with lower sea levels brought on by Global tsunami's. The changes in the tilt of the earths axis, north star and proximity to the SUN causes ClimateChange. Global warming The more the axis of the earth tilts towards the sun. The more DIRECT sunlight the higher latitudes poles receive. Warming the southern hemisphere heat sink oceans and thawing the northern hemisphere frozen co2 continents. Which is why temperature rises first and co2 follows. Cause and effect. Every 13 k years when the Precession of the north star aligns the equator with the solar orbital plane at the ecliptic's. The gravitational pull of the SUN pulls tsunami's around the planet East to west because the planet spins west to east. It happened before it will happen again. Not if but when. The one off with the slow rise of sea levels after the global tsunami's is the Zanclean flood of Noah in the Mediterranean.

  • Nathaniel Mata
    Nathaniel Mata

    .... did my dude really just copy this guy's videos?!?! sltoos.info/for/04Nv1Kdlipidv5g/video

  • Mix Newton
    Mix Newton

    Not illusion

  • Throefly

    If gravity isn't a force, what is LIGO detecting? I'm sincerely not fishing for anything here, just genuinely attempting to understand this topic. I had watched this video a couple weeks back, and was just reading www.space.com/ligo-rounds-up-black-hole-mergers today. Found myself wondering how they're able to detect events so far away using gravity's effects with LIGO.

  • Navneet Singh
    Navneet Singh

    Me:- I want to a astronaut. NASA:- You must know all the theories and laws. Me:- 😑😑😑

  • Rob Parker
    Rob Parker

    Given this explanation for gravity can you speculate on how to nullify gravity? So called anti gravity.

  • Willie Evans
    Willie Evans

    Biggest load of Croc ever

  • MeneGR

    8:31 Hey! That's me!

  • Greg Behrendt
    Greg Behrendt

    Excellent presentation, as usual. I always scoffed at the "earth coming up to meet you" concept, yet you have made it so simple and clear. HOWEVER - please help my resultant struggle. Here I am stepping off a North Pole tower and the earth is coming up quickly to greet me, yet, my Antarctic cousin has simultaneously done the same at the south pole. If not by expansion, then how can the earth simultaneously "greet" us both?

    • Greg Behrendt
      Greg Behrendt

      Oops, never mind. I see you have already addressed this. (Though admittedly, I'm still working on conceiving it.) Again, great video, thank you.

  • Šubhransu Sekhar sahoo
    Šubhransu Sekhar sahoo

    After watching this video The inner me: jump off the roof to find it out



  • Ravi Godavarthi
    Ravi Godavarthi

    @veritasium: So when u say space time is curved, does this apply to every thing at quantum level? The reason I asked this question is, do you think space-time has nothing to do with sub atomic forces? I always thought that gravity or as u say, space-time is just a result of sub-atomic forces on a massive scale. Everything u said is basically our conventions of defining things as it still doesn't explain anything in reality

  • Christopher Birkinbine
    Christopher Birkinbine

    The problem with this is it relies on the experience of the observer. Humans do not have senses sophisticated or precise enough to be accurate experimental tools of measurement. When you are falling you reach a terminal velocity because of the balance of forces acting on you. On average this takes about 10 to 12 seconds for humans of average size. If you are at a balance of forces you will FEEL not different than if there are no forces. But how you FEEL and what exists are not the same thing. So trying to prove gravity is not a force based on feeling while ignoring the overwhelming experimental data that says it is, seems a bit irrational to me. You can balance ANY fundamental force to create a 0 acceleration environment. You are using inertial refrence frames as a closed system to try to prove the existance or non existance of things outside of that refrence frame.

  • Tupac Palomeque
    Tupac Palomeque

    But... the earth wasn't flat!? :p

  • Lazaven

    I think my brain just fell out! 😵

  • Sidney Pierce
    Sidney Pierce

    How the hell has nobody done that experiment???

  • Andrew Heagwood
    Andrew Heagwood

    The reason Einstein and others like him are geniuses is because they imagine things the rest of us need help to imagine.

  • giant step
    giant step

    this video is not for naive person like me..

  • von ilao
    von ilao

    hahahaha , whether you like it or not - GRAVITY IS A FORCE , , it's the nature,, the explanation is dumb

  • Marco Pereira
    Marco Pereira

    Coincidently, the happiest thought in my life was imagining Einstein falling into a Black Hole...:) In that dream, Einstein would travel back in time, see the fork on the road and take it...:) The reason for the happiness is because Einstein was wrong to propose the geodesics paradigm and blocked the velocity-dependent force paradigm. The velocity-dependent Force paradigm was applied to the only force Mankind knew about in 1915. The only force was electromagnetism, a notorious velocity-dependent force. Well, it just happens GR and SR are wrong because the Universe doesn't care (doesn't follow) about Einstein's equations. Einstein's equations are equivalent to the tossing of a stone upwards. The evolution of the stone depends upon the initial velocity and the Gravitational Field, so it varies as the stone goes up or down. It just happens that the Universe is better described as a lightspeed expanding hyperspherical hypersurface. Here is the rebutal of GR, SR and L-CDM for good measure: ############################################ Challenge to Relativity - General Relativity is wrong! Marco Pereira's answer to How would anyone defend general relativity from Marco Pereira's HU challenge? (www.quora.com/How-would-anyone-defend-general-relativity-from-Marco-Pereiras-HU-challenge/answer/Marco-Pereira-1) ############################################ Status of DM Research - L-CDM is wrong! Marco Pereira's answer to What is the status (as of 2019) of the search for dark matter? (www.quora.com/What-is-the-status-as-of-2019-of-the-search-for-dark-matter/answer/Marco-Pereira-1) ############################################ Connecting Classical and Quantum Mechanics Marco Pereira's answer to Why did Albert Einstein have so much difficulty accepting Quantum Mechanics? (www.quora.com/Why-did-Albert-Einstein-have-so-much-difficulty-accepting-Quantum-Mechanics/answer/Marco-Pereira-1) ############################################ If curious, go here and see the map of the Observable Universe: qsnyc.shinyapps.io/UniverseMap/?_ga=2.240362826.896784838.1602297614-603560526.1600356343 and here you can see the location of Earth (a.k.a. Terra de Jassa): www.quora.com/According-to-the-Hypergeometrical-Universe-Theory-HU-where-is-our-universe-within-the-hyperspherical-hypersurface/answer/Marco-Pereira-1?ch=2&srid=3aDA This should give you an idea of how lacking is the current Physics when compared to my theory.

  • Slavic Radko
    Slavic Radko

    What do you mean laser beam would be straight for external observer? If so, it would hit the center of a ruler, and then place photoelectric element just below cenetr. It lights or not? It can not be relative!

  • Jon Saboe
    Jon Saboe

    Serious question: If (since) "gravity" is simply an illusion caused by curvature in space-time, how is it that we see reports of detecting gravity waves? If gravity IS as GR states, there shouldn't be any field, right?

  • Vinícius Corrêa
    Vinícius Corrêa

    Why do we always use Newton's formulas for everything?

  • михаил петрович
    михаил петрович

    Типичный пропагандон от академической науки. Гравитация не сила, но чтобы преодолеть гравитацию нужно приложить собственную силу. Нам еще показывают ускорение свободного падения, которое не постоянно и не определяется. Клиническое слабоумие физиков, которые имеют наглость еще ссылаться на физический опыт. Начиная с Ньютона - шарлатана, который утверждает, что гравитация это простейшее.

  • Trelo

    Can we admire the fact that he went to space just to make this video

  • Michael Anderson
    Michael Anderson

    Woa. Hold on there young whipped snapper! I am at 4 minutes into the video and you keep saying "Einstein", but everything you describe is perfecty Newtonian.

  • Brian Joseph Music
    Brian Joseph Music

    The only thing that makes no sense to me and I see NOBODY talking about is. Whty do we keep falling after we're on the ground? why do we come back down after we jump, where the hell are we moving towards? is the earth constantly expanding or are we shrinking . Seriously this is like question number 1 and see nobody on the internet asking it.

  • Prodigal Sun
    Prodigal Sun

    General relativity got crushed by Jumping Jupiter scenario, your posts are crap. Gravity is charge cascade.

  • tom lewitt
    tom lewitt

    So what about the mysterious force between two permanent magnets, held apart. How is that explained by Einsteinian physics?

  • Rafa Pedrós
    Rafa Pedrós

    genius explanation. Why do they still teach 200+ year old Newtonian science in high school when you can show this

  • The Last Irokez
    The Last Irokez

    И тут асфальт поднялся и ударил меня по башке.

  • Pranav Patel
    Pranav Patel

    Yaa Yaa, I exactly know what u r talking about. Not complicated at all.

  • phoenixamaranth

    So since we know gravity isn't actually a force, why do physicists spend so much time trying to rectify gravity with the fundamental forces, particularly with quantum mechanics?

  • Vlad Filatov
    Vlad Filatov

    Can someone explain to me why spacetime is curved around planets and objects with large mass?

  • Alan Pereira
    Alan Pereira

    Gravity is a fake!!!

  • Stephen Andersen
    Stephen Andersen

    F=ma No one says gravity is a force. its an acceleration

  • Caleb Gaston
    Caleb Gaston


  • Prismatic Sovereign
    Prismatic Sovereign

    Space has no property and you occupy it. Magnetism and di-electrics make anything happen. Concencisdrivel

  • Fabio Martini
    Fabio Martini

    gravity is not a force? or we should change our concept of force?..

  • prasenjit chaudhuri
    prasenjit chaudhuri

    Absolutely loved how it clears relativity in a new light, making it rather accessible to layman. Trying to understand how this explains blackhole though 🤔 As the theory goes, Gravity is so strong that light can't escape. Does it mean the matter curves spacetime in a way that the deviation from geodesic path is a lot, as in the acceleration to say still in that path is way higher than light? Well I m not making sense to myself anymore. But would love to have a video or any discussion on this line. If it's already addressed with this context, please share .

  • Stiffydart

    ALFRED? Shurley shome mishtake.

  • Long Dong McStrong
    Long Dong McStrong