You Don’t Have to Get Bonked on the Head by an Apple to Learn that Gravity Matters

Posted: April 3, 2014

Don Davis

This story is about “Gravity and General Relativity.” Wait! Before you stop reading, you should also know that this is actually a fun, non-technical presentation by the Dead Mathematicians’ Society at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC).

The fun and hilarity will take place April 15, 3:15 – 4:15 p.m., in Room AC2608 on the Gresham Campus, 26000 S.E. Stark St. MHCC students, employees and the general public are invited to attend. Parking is free, no permit required.

Don Davis, retired MHCC physics instructor, will lead the presentation. He offers the following information to tee up his talk.

“Sometimes the simplest questions turn out to be the toughest ones. Suppose a child comes up to you and asks, ‘Why do things fall?’ You reply, ‘That’s easy, kid. Things fall because of gravity.’

“The child then asks, ‘What is gravity?’

“You reply, ‘Well, you see, the Earth acts like a giant magnet that attracts everything.’

“The child then asks, ‘Would you please tell me the goal of that?’

“You reply, ‘I’d love to tell you, kid, but I’m really busy right now. Don’t you have a video game to play, or something?’ (i.e. ‘Go away, kid, you’re bothering me!’)”

With just a bit more seriousness, Davis says his presentation will address the following questions:

  • How can we determine if something has been messing around with our gravity?
  • Why does the presence of matter and energy change the shape of space and time?
  • Why does it matter?

Dead Mathematicians’ Society
Nick Chura, MHCC math instructor, now leads the Dead Mathematicians’ Society, which was formed in 1986 to make math fun and interesting.

Individuals requiring accommodations due to a disability may contact the MHCC Disability Services Office at 503-491-6923 or Please contact the office at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure availability.

For more information, media professionals may contact the Office of Community Engagement 503-491-7204 or

© 2014 Mt. Hood Community College | 26000 SE Stark St. | Gresham, OR 97030 | 503-491-6422
 Last Modified: 4/4/2014 08:19:39 AM