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Newton’s law of gravitation

Newton’s law of gravitation can be expressed as

F 12 = G m 1 m 2 r 2 r ^ 12

where F 12 is the force on object 1 exerted by object 2 and r ^ 12 is a unit vector that points from object 1 toward object 2.

As shown in [link] , the F 12 vector points from object 1 toward object 2, and hence represents an attractive force between the objects. The equal but opposite force F 21 is the force on object 2 exerted by object 1.

The figure shows two circular objects, one smaller, labeled as mass m1 on the lower left, and the larger one labeled m2 on the upper right. The center of each object is labeled C M. A line is drawn joining the center of the objects and is labeled as r. Two red arrows and two black arrows, one each from the center of each object, are drawn toward each other. The black arrow from the center of mass 1 is labeled r hat 1 2 and the red arrow from mass 1 is labeled F 1 2. The black arrow from the center of mass 2 is labeled r hat 2 1 and the red arrow from mass 2 is labeled F 2 1.
Gravitational force acts along a line joining the centers of mass of two objects.

These equal but opposite forces reflect Newton’s third law, which we discussed earlier. Note that strictly speaking, [link] applies to point masses—all the mass is located at one point. But it applies equally to any spherically symmetric objects, where r is the distance between the centers of mass of those objects. In many cases, it works reasonably well for nonsymmetrical objects, if their separation is large compared to their size, and we take r to be the distance between the center of mass of each body.

The cavendish experiment

A century after Newton published his law of universal gravitation, Henry Cavendish determined the proportionality constant G by performing a painstaking experiment. He constructed a device similar to that shown in [link] , in which small masses are suspended from a wire. Once in equilibrium, two fixed, larger masses are placed symmetrically near the smaller ones. The gravitational attraction creates a torsion (twisting) in the supporting wire that can be measured.

The constant G is called the universal gravitational constant    and Cavendish determined it to be G = 6.67 × 10 −11 N · m 2 /kg 2 . The word ‘universal’ indicates that scientists think that this constant applies to masses of any composition and that it is the same throughout the Universe. The value of G is an incredibly small number, showing that the force of gravity is very weak. The attraction between masses as small as our bodies, or even objects the size of skyscrapers, is incredibly small. For example, two 1.0-kg masses located 1.0 meter apart exert a force of 6.7 × 10 −11 N on each other. This is the weight of a typical grain of pollen.

The figure illustrates the Cavendish experiment. A horizontal bar, centered on a stand, supports two spheres of mass M, one at either of its ends. The point where the bar sits on the stand is labeled
Cavendish used an apparatus similar to this to measure the gravitational attraction between two spheres ( m ) suspended from a wire and two stationary spheres ( M ). This is a common experiment performed in undergraduate laboratories, but it is quite challenging. Passing trucks outside the laboratory can create vibrations that overwhelm the gravitational forces.

Although gravity is the weakest of the four fundamental forces of nature, its attractive nature is what holds us to Earth, causes the planets to orbit the Sun and the Sun to orbit our galaxy, and binds galaxies into clusters, ranging from a few to millions. Gravity is the force that forms the Universe.

Problem-solving strategy: newton’s law of gravitation

To determine the motion caused by the gravitational force, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the two masses, one or both, for which you wish to find the gravitational force.
  2. Draw a free-body diagram, sketching the force acting on each mass and indicating the distance between their centers of mass.
  3. Apply Newton’s second law of motion to each mass to determine how it will move.

Questions & Answers

A body receives impulses of 24Ns and 35Ns inclined 55 degree to each other. calculate the total impulse
Sukpen Reply
A body receives impulses of 24Ns and 35Ns inclined 55 degree to each other. calculate the total impulse
Previous
twenty four square plus thirty-five square minus to multiple thirty five twenty four and equal answer number square Via this equation defined Total Total impulse
Cemal
why simple pendulum do not vibrate indefinitely?
Zirmal
what is matar
Abdulrahman Reply
The uniform boom shown below weighs 500 N, and the object hanging from its right end weighs 400 N. The boom is supported by a light cable and by a hinge at the wall. Calculate the tension in the cable and the force on the hinge on the boom. Does the force on the hinge act along the boom?
Jave Reply
A 11.0-m boom, AB , of a crane lifting a 3000-kg load is shown below. The center of mass of the boom is at its geometric center, and the mass of the boom is 800 kg. For the position shown, calculate tension T in the cable and the force at the axle A .
Jave
what is the S.I unit of coefficient of viscosity
Biam Reply
Derived the formula of Newton's law of universal gravitation Fg=G(M1M2)/R2
Monychol Reply
hi
Asdesaw
yes
Cemal
a non-uniform boom of a crane 15m long, weighs 2800nts, with its center of gravity at 40% of its lenght from the hingr support. the boom is attached to a hinge at the lower end. rhe boom, which mAKES A 60% ANGLE WITH THE HORIZONTAL IS SUPPORTED BY A HORIZONTAL GUY WIRE AT ITS UPPER END. IF A LOAD OF 5000Nts is hung at the upper end of the boom, find the tension in the guywire and the components of the reaction at the hinge.
dangly Reply
what is the centripetal force
Malok Reply
Of?
John
centripetal force of attraction that pulls a body that is traversing round the orbit of a circle toward the center of the circle. Fc = MV²/r
Sampson
centripetal force is the force of attraction that pulls a body that is traversing round the orbit of a circle toward the center of the circle. Fc = MV²/r
Sampson
I do believe the formula for centripetal force is F=MA or F=m(v^2/r)
John
I mean the formula is Fc= Mass multiplied by square of velocity all over the Radius of the circle
Sampson
Yes
John
The force is equal to the mass times the velocity squared divided by the radius
John
That's the current chapter I'm on in my engineering physics class
John
Centripetal force is a force of attraction which keeps an object round the orbit towards the center of a circle. Mathematically Fc=mv²/r
Adebileje
In Example, we calculated the final speed of a roller coaster that descended 20 m in height and had an initial speed of 5 m/s downhill. Suppose the roller coaster had had an initial speed of 5 m/s uphill instead, and it coasted uphill, stopped, and then rolled back down to a final point 20 m bel
tan Reply
A steel lift column in a service station is 4 meter long and .2 meter in diameter. Young's modulus for steel is 20 X 1010N/m2.  By how much does the column shrink when a 5000- kg truck is on it?
Andiswa Reply
hi
Abdulrahman
mola mass
Abdulrahman
hi
Asdesaw
what exactly is a transverse wave
Dharmee Reply
does newton's first law mean that we don't need gravity to be attracted
Dharmee Reply
no, it just means that a brick isn't gonna move unless something makes it move. if in the air, moves down because of gravity. if on floor, doesn't move unless something has it move, like a hand pushing the brick. first law is that an object will stay at rest or motion unless another force acts upon
Grant
yeah but once gravity has already been exerted .. i am saying that it need not be constantly exerted now according to newtons first law
Dharmee
gravity is constantly being exerted. gravity is the force of attractiveness between two objects. you and another person exert a force on each other but the reason you two don't come together is because earth's effect on both of you is much greater
Grant
maybe the reason we dont come together is our inertia only and not gravity
Dharmee
this is the definition of inertia: a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.
Grant
the earth has a much higher affect on us force wise that me and you together on each other, that's why we don't attract, relatively speaking of course
Grant
quite clear explanation but i just want my mind to be open to any theory at all .. its possible that maybe gravity does not exist at all or even the opposite can be true .. i dont want a fixed state of mind thats all
Dharmee
why wouldn't gravity exist? gravity is just the attractive force between two objects, at least to my understanding.
Grant
earth moves in a circular motion so yes it does need a constant force for a circular motion but incase of objects on earth i feel maybe there is no force of attraction towards the centre and its our inertia forcing us to stay at a point as once gravity had acted on the object
Dharmee
why should it exist .. i mean its all an assumption and the evidences are empirical
Dharmee
We have equations to prove it and lies of evidence to support. we orbit because we have a velocity and the sun is pulling us. Gravity is a law, we know it exists.
Grant
yeah sure there are equations but they are based on observations and assumptions
Dharmee
g is obtained by a simple pendulum experiment ...
Dharmee
gravity is tested by dropping a rock...
Grant
and also there were so many newtonian laws proved wrong by einstein . jus saying that its a law doesnt mean it cant be wrong
Dharmee
pendulum is good for showing energy transfer, here is an article on the detection of gravitational waves: ***ligo.org/detections.php
Grant
yeah but g is calculated by pendulum oscillations ..
Dharmee
thats what .. einstein s fabric model explains that force of attraction by sun on earth but i am talking about force of attraction by earth on objects on earth
Dharmee
no... this is how gravity is calculated:F = G*((m sub 1*m sub 2)/r^2)
Grant
gravitational constant is obtained EXPERIMENTALLY
Dharmee
the G part
Dharmee
Calculate the time of one oscillation or the period (T) by dividing the total time by the number of oscillations you counted. Use your calculated (T) along with the exact length of the pendulum (L) in the above formula to find "g." This is your measured value for "g."
Dharmee
G is the universal gravitational constant. F is the gravity
Grant
search up the gravity equation
Grant
yeahh G is obtained experimentally
Dharmee
sure yes
Grant
thats what .. after all its EXPERIMENTALLY calculated so its empirical
Dharmee
yes... so where do we disagree?
Grant
its empirical whixh means it can be proved wrong
Dharmee
so cant just say why wouldnt gravity exists
Dharmee
the constant, sure but extremely unlikely it is wrong. gravity however exists, there are equations and loads of support surrounding the concept. unfortunately I don't have a high enough background in physics but have this discussion with a physicist
Grant
can u suggest a platform where i can?
Dharmee
stack overflow
Grant
stack exchange, physics section***
Grant
its an app?
Dharmee
there is! it is also a website as well
Grant
okayy
Dharmee
nice talking to you
Dharmee
***physics.stackexchange.com/
Grant
likewise :)
Grant
Gravity surely exist
muhammed
hi guys
Diwash
hi
muhammed
what is mathematics
Fadumo
What is the percentage by massof oxygen in Al2(so4)3
Isiguzo Reply
molecular mass of Al2(SO4)3 = (27×2)+3{(32×1)+(16×4)} =54+3(32+64) =54+3×96 =54+288 =342 g/mol molecular mass of Oxygen=12×16 =192 g/mol % of Oxygen= (molecular mass of Oxygen/ molecular mass of the compound)×100% =(192/342)×100% =19200/342% =56.14%
Adebileje
A spring with 50g mass suspended from it,has its length extended by 7.8cm 1.1 determine the spring constant? 1.2 it is observed that the length of the spring decreases by 4.7cm,from its original length, when a toy is place on top of it. what is the mass of the toy?
Silindelo Reply
solution mass = 50g= 0.05kg force= 50 x 10= 500N extension= 7.8cm = 0.078m using the formula Force= Ke K = force/extension 500/.078 = 6410.25N/m
Sampson
1.2 Decrease in length= -4.7cm =-0.047m mass=? acceleration due to gravity= 10 force = K x e force= mass x acceleration m x a = K x e mass = K x e/acceleration = 6410.25 x 0.047/10 = 30.13kg
Sampson
1.1 6.28Nm-¹
Anita
1.2 0.03kg or 30g
Anita
I used g=9.8ms-²
Anita
you should explain how yoy got the answer Anita
Grant
ok
Anita
with the fomular F=mg I got the value for force because now the force acting on the spring is the weight of the object and also you have to convert from grams to kilograms and cm to meter
Anita
so the spring constant K=F/e where F is force and e is extension
Anita
mass=50g=50/1000 kg m=0.05kg extension=7.8 cm=7.8/100 e=0.078 m g=9.8 m/s² 1.1 F=ke k=F/e k=mg/e k=0.05×9.8/0.078 k=0.49/0.078 k=6.28 N/m 1.2 F=6.28e mg=6.28e m=6.28e/g e=4.7 cm =4.7/100 e=0.047 m=6.28×0.047/9.8 m=0.29516/9.8 m=0.0301 kg
Adebileje
In this first example why didn't we use P=P° + ¶hg where ¶ is density
Anita Reply
Density = force applied x area p=fA =p = mga, then a=h therefore substitute =p =mgh
Hlehle
Please correct me
Hlehle
sorry I had a little typo in my question
Anita
Density = m/v (mass/volume) simple as that
Augustine
Hlehle vilakazi how density is equal to force * area and you also wrote p= mgh which is machenical potential energy ? how ?
Manorama
what is wave
Alfred Reply
who can state the third equation of motion
Alfred
wave is a distrubance that travelled in medium from one point to another with carry energy .
Manorama
wave is a periodic disturbance that carries energy from one medium to another..
Augustine
what exactly is a transverse wave then?
Dharmee
Practice Key Terms 2

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 1. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12031/1.5
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