These three amigos – brothers in arms – stand on some huge bales of hay and look down at the ground. It’s covered in hay so it will be a soft landing if they jump – but will they jump? The kids, all wearing reddish orange colored clothing so they can be found easy, I guess, in all that hay, take each other’s hands. They are of different sizes and ages but they are clearly all in this together. The oldest and middle two brothers leap first meaning that they’re pulling the youngest along with them. And here’s the other mistake; each of the older brothers are standing either side of the youngest and holding his hands meaning he has no way to stabilize himself. He is literally at the whim of gravity. The youngest kid crashes head first into the hay, face planting in such an epic way you will find yourself replaying it over and over.
So what do we know about gravity – that wonderful force that brought all three kids crashing down to Earth? Well according to that repository of all information, Wikipedia, gravity is most accurately described by the general theory of relativity (proposed by Albert Einstein in 1915) which describes gravity not as a force, but as a consequence of the curvature of spacetime caused by the uneven distribution of mass. Good old Albert, eh! He had such a mind – a one in a billion mind. The most extreme example of this curvature of spacetime is a black hole, from which nothing—not even light, not even one of America’s Funniest Videos—can escape once past the black hole’s event horizon. However, for most applications, gravity is well approximated by Newton’s law of universal gravitation, which describes gravity as a force which causes any two bodies to be attracted to each other, with the force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. See, it turns out that gravity is the weakest of the four fundamental forces of physics, approximately 1038 times weaker than the strong force, 1036 times weaker than the electromagnetic force and 1029 times weaker than the weak force. As a consequence, it has no significant influence at the level of subatomic particles (that’s left to a wholly different force of nature). In contrast, it is the dominant force at the macroscopic scale, and is the cause of the formation, shape and trajectory (orbit) of astronomical bodies. For example, gravity causes the Earth and the other planets to orbit the Sun, it also causes the Moon to orbit the Earth, and causes the formation of tides, the formation and evolution of the Solar System, stars and galaxies.
So now you have all that information on gravity and you can see for yourself how soft hay can be when you face plant in it, get out there and make some funny videos for us!
What funny things have you seen kids do? Upload videos of them HERE! And don’t forget to watch the amazing video below!