Gravitational Constant

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If the gravitational constant varies, how can it be considered constant? This article sheds light on variations observed in the gravitational constant (G). Please discuss how a changing "constant" can survive and the effects it may have on science.

Expert Answers

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The truth is that it is not really constant, we just pretend it is.  We are talking about scientific experiments and laboratory measurements.  Sometimes they can become kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Despite these variations, most scientists take it for granted that the constants themselves are really constant; the variations in their values are simply the result of experimental errors. (huffington post)

In order to study the natural world, we have to make some assumptions.  However, we have to remember that we are making these assumptions so we do not end up kidding ourselves.  We are trying to understand complex processes, and the only way to do that is to try to simplify them so that they can come closer to the realm of our understanding.  That’s why I hate physics.

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