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WHAT exactly is gravity? Everybody experiences it, but pinning down why the universe has gravity in the first place has proved difficult.
Although gravity has been successfully described with laws devised by Isaac Newton and later Albert Einstein, we still don't know how the fundamental properties of the universe combine to create the phenomenon.
Now one theoretical physicist is proposing a radical new way to look at gravity. Erik Verlinde of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, a prominent and internationally respected string theorist, argues that gravitational attraction could be the result of the way information about material objects is organised in space. If true, it could provide the fundamental explanation we have been seeking for decades.