Claudia de Rham has spent much of her life dedicated to exploring the limits and true nature of gravity. As she describes in her new book, *The Beauty of Falling*, she trained to be a pilot and then an astronaut before pursuing a career in physics.

To simulate free falling, *New Scientist* took her indoor skydiving at iFLY London, where she explained how gravity acts on every cell of your body in the same way. However, this force still isn’t fully understood. It doesn’t fit into the mould of the other fundamental forces, and quantum theory can’t yet explain it. For her part, de Rham has sought to make progress by thinking deeply about the graviton, the hypothetical carrier particle of gravity. Each of the fundamental forces is carried by an equivalent “boson” particle – some of which have zero mass, while others have a very small mass. De Rham wants to know what the graviton’s mass is.

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