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Tidal Gravity

Tidal gravity encompasses a lot more than the tides of the ocean. The title of this page might suggest that we are talking about tides - more specifically coastal tides, but there is more... We will spend some time on coastal tides. In fact, it will be shown that there is a common misconception about how coastal tides work.

In Newton's theory, tidal gravity is the fact that parts of extended objects are at different distances from a source of gravity. The gravitational force vectors are therefore different on different parts of the extended object. This can stretch and/or squeeze an object.

In relativity theory, the same effect is explained by means of curved space-time. The curvature is different for different regions of extended objects. This causes the space-time geodesics to be different for each region, hence the stretch and/or squeeze that is experienced.

Like always, the differences between Newton's and relativistic effects are slight at large distances from objects. It is only in the very near-regions that there is a marked difference.

Tidal gravity is a relatively short-range effect. This is borne out by the fact that our moon's effect on Earth is stronger than the much more massive Sun's effect. In fact tidal effects drops off with the inverse of the cube of the distance from the primary mass.

The attached pdf file will give you an intriguing view of this fascinating subject and also a solid explanation of coastal tides.


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Here is your pdf: Tidal Gravity

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