Pictures of Gravity
Field lines are a powerful tool for building intuition for a complex geometric object such as a 3-dimensional vector field. Magnetic field lines are paths tangent to the magnetic field vectors. The direction of the field line tells me how a magnet tends to align at that location. And the density of the field lines corresponds to the strength of the B-field.
We use field lines to visualize electromagnetism. But how do we visualize gravity? This is a problem faced by numerical relativists who simulate dynamical spacetimes around wobbling and colliding black holes. You can do a reasonable job with an embedding diagram: a 2-dimensional projection that looks like a rubber sheet. But these diagrams ignore one spatial dimension, and they only depict the attractive component of gravity. In addition to the attraction and tidal stretching and squeezing described by Newtonian gravity, Einsteinian gravity also admits twists. How do you draw all of that?
ACTUAL SUMMARY OF GREEK MYTHOLOGY
- Zeus: im gonna put my dick in it
- Everyone: dont put ur dick in it
- Zeus: toO LaTE