The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > Education > Interesting Lectures and Seminars


Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Theory of Relativity Research:
What Is Gravity?

Yu Matsumoto
2nd year student in the Master's Program of the Graduate School of Fundamental Science and Engineering

Professor Yoneda

The Theory of Relativity is scholarship that explains gravity and the effect it causes on space-time with descriptions utilizing the tools of mathematics, such as Riemannian geometry and tensor analysis. Gravity, to put it simply, is the distortion of space-time. It is possible to perceive the form of gravity from various angles by analyzing a variety of physical phenomenon brought about by gravity, such as black holes and gravitational waves.

Einstein's equations are the formula that is the starting point for everything in the Theory of Relativity which describes gravity. I am conducting research in a field called numerical relativity which calculates the numerical solutions to Einstein's equations using computers.

Professor Gen Yoneda is in charge of this seminar. He is a great man who captures the essence of complex matters and then explains them simply better than anyone else. I make an effort to learn from him. There are many occasions when it is not possible to keep up with the many sharp questions that leap from the openhearted personality of Professor Yoneda, but these are times of rich learning.

There are many reference books and papers which I have become able to read since coming to learn the Theory of Relativity over the past three years. However, what I understand is only an explanation which makes the assumption that there is the existence of gravity with such an effect where there is this phenomenon. I am keenly aware on a daily basis that the depth of physics and the lack of study on my part means that I do not yet understand the question, "Why does gravity exist?"

The author giving an explanation in front of a blackboard

A textbook used in the class