Date: Around 1993
I do not understand why space is not considered a tangible
substance, if it has elastic properties.
Indeed, several people have looked for the manifestation of this
which would be gravitons, the excitations of the gravitational field. So far
there is no good evidence that we have seen any after almost 30 years of
looking. Either they do not exist, or nothing is happening to produce them
near by. The effects you are taking about are very small and would be very
difficult to detect near a regular planet. Near a black hole they can be
large, we think.
A new experiment that is designed to detect even extremely weak
gravitational waves has been recently proposed, and may soon be built - this
is called LIGO, or laser interferometric gravitational wave observatory (I
think). If they exist, this experiment should see them within the next few
Actually, gravity has not been shown to be an inertial effect.
What is usually said is that the effect of gravity cannot be distinguished
from the effect of an acceleration from any other source: a force is a force.
It is a pretty strong statement, but I do not think it implies all that you
are saying it implies.
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Update: June 2012