In our real Universe, matter and energy are distributed almost perfectly evenly and the

curvature of space is very tiny.

The

curvature of space can distort the CMB's "hot" and "cold" spots, changing their apparent size.

Since there are major drawbacks to the

curvature of space model of gravity maybe gravity is just a superposition of moving standing waves produced by presently undefined ultimate structures of matter.

Geometry refers to the

curvature of space. That's a relatively familiar idea; Einstein showed more than 80 years ago how matter warps space-time around it, an effect that's apparent to us as gravity.

Most of us now want to know a handful of additional numbers: t, the age of the universe; [[Omega].sub.m], the density of matter in all forms (normalized to the amount that would just stop the expansion in infinite time); [[Omega].sub.b], the density of the sort of matter we are made of, from hydrogen to uranium; K, the

curvature of space (spherelike, flat, or saddlelike); [[Omega].sub.A], Einstein's infamous cosmological constant (again normalized); and the amplitude and slope of the spectrum of primordial bumps and wiggles that grew into superclusters and voids in the distribution of galaxies we see.

What the maps look like depends on certain characteristics of the Universe, for example on the

curvature of space.

The general theory of relativity posits that gravity is essentially a geometric effect--in other words, the theory links mass with the local

curvature of space. Interestingly, it says nothing about the shape of the universe--the overall form, or topology, of the three-dimensional spatial component of relativity's four-dimensional space-time.

The general theory of relativity posits that gravity is essentially a geometric effect -- in other words, the theory links mass with the local

curvature of space. Interestingly, it says nothing about the shape of the universe -- the overall form of the three-dimensional spatial component of relativity's four-dimensional space-time.

A separate theory and different equations present this fundamental force as a consequence of the

curvature of space and time (SN: 12/3/94, p.376).

This possibility arises from an effort to integrate quantum theory, which applies to the behavior of matter on a microscopic scale, with the general theory of relativity, which holds that gravity is a geometric effect dependent on the

curvature of space.

What success these theorists may have hinges on the formidable task of solving the equations underlying the general theory of relativity, The equations describe a physical force, gravity, in terms of geometry-variations in the

curvature of space and time.

In Einstein's theory, the force of gravity is a manifestation of the

curvature of space and time caused by the warping effects of concentrations of masS.