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8102-7102 SDIUM












The Newtonian Synthesis is the union of terrestrial
laws and cosmic laws. The ancients believed that
the stars, the planets, and the Moon moved in
divine circles. Isaac Newton recognized that there
must be some kind of force that acts on the planets;
otherwise, their paths would be straight lines. Along
with this idea, Aristotle supposed that any force on
a planet would be directed along its path. However,
Newton reasoned that the force on each planet
would be directed toward a fixed center which is
the Sun. Therefore, Newton leads the concept of the
force of gravity that pulls the apple off a tree
because of the force between Earth and an apple to
the force that pulls moons and planets and
everything in the universe. This was a revolutionary
of general notion that there were two sets of natural
laws: one for earthly events, and another, altogether
different for motion in the heavens.


There is a popular story that Newton was sitting under
an apple tree, an apple fell on his head, and he
suddenly thought of the Universal Law of Gravitation.
As in all such legends, this is almost certainly not true
in its details, but the story contains elements of what
actually happened.
What Really Happened with the Apple?
Probably the more correct version of the story is that
Newton, upon observing an apple fall from a tree,
began to think along the following lines: The apple is
accelerated, since its velocity changes from zero as it is
hanging on the tree and moves toward the ground.
Thus, by Newton's 2nd Law there must be a force that
acts on the apple to cause this acceleration. Let's call 
this force "gravity", and the associated acceleration the
"acceleration due to gravity". Then imagine the apple
tree is twice as high. Again, we expect the apple to be
accelerated toward the ground, so this suggests that
this force that we call gravity reaches to the top of the
tallest apple tree.
Sir Isaac's Most Excellent Idea
Now came Newton's truly brilliant insight: if the force
of gravity reaches to the top of the highest tree, might
it not reach even further; in particular, might it not
reach all the way to the orbit of the Moon! Then, the
orbit of the Moon about the Earth could be a
consequence of the gravitational force, because the
acceleration due to gravity could change the velocity
of the Moon in just such a way that it followed an orbit
around the earth.
Newton knew that the force which caused the apple's
acceleration (gravity) must be dependent upon the
mass of the apple. And since the force acting to cause
the apple's downward acceleration also causes the
earth's upward acceleration (Newton's third law), that
force must also depend upon the mass of the earth. So
for Newton, the force of gravity acting between the
earth and any other object is directly proportional to
the mass of the earth, directly proportional to the mass
of the object, and inversely proportional to the square
of the distance which separates the centers of the
earth and the object.
The constant of proportionality G is known as the
universal gravitational constant. It is termed a
"universal constant" because it is thought to be the
same at all places and all times, and thus universally
characterizes the intrinsic strength of the gravitational
force. The numerical value of G is very small, which is
basically the reason for the force of gravity to be the
weakest force of the nature. For the value of "G", refer
to your text book..
But Newton's law of universal gravitation extends
gravity beyond earth. Newton's law of universal
gravitation is about the universality of gravity. Newton's
place in the Gravity Hall of Fame is not due to his
discovery of gravity, but rather due to his discovery that
gravitation is universal. ALL objects attract each other
with a force of gravitational attraction. Gravity is
universal. This force of gravitational attraction is
directly dependent upon the masses of both objects
and inversely proportional to the square of the
distance which separates their centers.

The constant G appearing in Newton's law of
gravitation, also known as the universal
gravitational constant,
where F is the force between two masses m
and M a distance r apart. The numerical value
of g is


Gravity and Distance : Inverse- Square Law(Yoke)
           The inverse-square law holds for gravity and for
all phenomena wherein the effect from a localized
source spreads uniformly throughout the
surrounding surface: light from a match, radiation
from a piece of uranium, and sound from a cricket.
        For greater distances, force is less
        For greater distances, Earth’s gravitational force
approaches zero. Although, the force reaches zero,
but never reaches zero. If you were transported to
the far reaches of the universe, the gravitational field
of home would still be with you. The gravitational
field of every material object, however small or
however far, extends through all of space.


 When we think of gravity, it is something that
presses us against Earth which is the sensation we
interpret as weight. To illustrate, when standing on a
bathroom scale that is supported on a stationary
floor. The gravitational force between you and Earth.
According to Newton’s third law, the floor and scale
push upward on you, compression of the springs is
read as your weight. In another case, if you repeat
this weighing procedure in the elevator, your weight
will vary while accelerated motion. This because
when the elevator accelerates upward, the bathroom
scale is compressed even more which will also
increase your weight.
On the other hand, if the elevator accelerates
downward, your weight will be decreased. 

  Therefore, we can simply summarise that weight is
evidenced by support force. In addition, the weight is
the force that exerts against a supporting floor or a
weighing scale.
        What if the elevator is in free fall? Then, the
reading on a weighing scale would be zero and it is
weightless. However, there is still a gravitational force
acting on you in a weightless condition, causing your
downward acceleration, but gravity now is not felt as
weight because there is no support force. Astronauts
in orbit are without a support force. They are in a
state of weightlessness, which isn’t the absence of
gravity, but the absence of a support force.


The gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun makes
the water in the oceans bulge, causing a continuous
change between high and low tide.
Illustration showing how the gravitational force of the
Sun and Moon act together and create spring tides at
New Moon and Full Moon.
The oceans bulge. (Not to scale.)
While both the Moon and the Sun influence the ocean
tides, the Moon plays the biggest role because it is so
much closer to our planet than the Sun.
In fact, the tidal effect of the Moon on Earth is more
than twice as strong as that of the Sun, even though the
Sun's gravitational pull on Earth is around 178 times
stronger than that of the Moon.


A gravitational field is the force field that exists in the
space around every mass or group of masses. This field
extends out in all directions, but the magnitude of the
gravitational force decreases as the distance from the
object increases. It is measured in units of force per
mass, usually newtons per kilogram (N/kg). A
gravitational field is a type of force field and is
analogous to electric and magnetic fields for electrically
charged particles and magnets, respectively. There are
two ways of showing the gravitational field around an
object: with arrows and with field lines. Both of these
are shown in the picture below. Arrows show the
magnitude and direction of the force at different points
in space. The longer the arrow, the greater the
magnitude. Field lines show the direction the force
would act on an object placed at that point in space.
The magnitude of the field is represented by the
spacing of the lines. The closer the lines are to each
other, the higher the magnitude.

There are two ways of showing the gravitational field
around an object: with arrows and with field lines. Both
of these are shown in the picture below. Arrows show
the magnitude and direction of the force at different
points in space. The longer the arrow, the greater the
magnitude. Field lines show the direction the force
would act on an object placed at that point in space.
The magnitude of the field is represented by the
spacing of the lines. The closer the lines are to each
other, the higher the magnitude.
Arrows and field lines that represent gravitational field
Illustrations of gravitational field about an object using
arrows and field lines
The gravitational field varies slightly at the earth's
surface. For example, the field is slightly stronger than
average over subterranean lead deposits. Large caverns
that may be filled with natural gas have a slightly
weaker gravitational field. Geologists and prospectors of
oil and minerals make precise measurements of the
earth's gravitational field to predict what may be
beneath the surface. 17

in the early part of the 20th century, amodel for gravity
quite unlike was presented by Einstein in his general
theooy of relativity. Einstein perceived a gravitational
field as a geometrical warping of 4-dimensional space
and times he realized that bodies put dents in space
and time somewhat like a massive ball placed in the
middle of a large dents the 2-dimensional surface
(Figure 26). The massive the ball, the greater the dent If
we roll a marble across the top of the bed but well
away from the ball, the marble will roll in a night-line
pat But roll the marble near the ball, it curve as it straig
ndented surface of the the on the marble will orbit the
ball in an circular path. If you put on your Newtonian
lasses, so that you see the ball and marble but not the
bed, you might conclude that t marble so that because
it is attracted to the ball you put on your Ein einian
asses, curves you see the marble and the indented
waterbed but the "distant ball, you would likely
conclude that the marble curves because the sur- face
on which it moves is in 2 dimensions for the waterbed
and in 4 dimensions for space and time


A black hole is the star from which it collapsed, so
the gravitational field in regions at and greater than
the original star’s radius is no different after the star’s
collapse than before. However, at the closer
distances near the surroundings of a black hole, the
gravitational field can be enormous. If something
passes too close to it, even the light, dust, or a
spaceship, they will be drawn. Astronauts could
enter the edges of this warp and if they were in a
powerful spaceship, they could escape from it. On
the other hand, after a certain distance, they could
not escape and would disappear from the universe.
It’s good to know that any object falling into a black
hole would be torn to pieces. NO feature of the
object would survive EXCEPT: its mass, angular
momentum (if any), and its electric charge (if any). A
similar theoretical entity to a black hole is the
“wormhole”. It is an enormous dense point; the
wormhole opens out again in some other part of the
  How can a black hole be detected if there is
literally no way to see it? It makes itself felt by its
gravitational influence on nearby matter and
neighboring stars. There is now good evidence that
some binary star systems consist of a luminous star
and an invisible companion with black-hole-like
properties orbiting around each other. Even stronger
evidence points to more massive black holes at the
centers of many galaxies.
The center of our own galaxy is almost surely hosts a
black hole, although it’s not easy to see.

We all know that Earth is round. But why is Earth
round? It is round because of gravitation. Everything
attracts everything else, and so Earth has attracted
itself together as far as it can! Any "corners" of Earth
have been pulled in; as a result, every part of the
surface is equidistant from the center of gravity. This
makes it a sphere. Therefore, we see from the law of
gravitation that the Sun, the Moon, and Earth are
spherical because they have to be (although
rotational effects make them slightly ellipsoidal). If
everything pulls on everything else, then the planets
must pull on each other. The force that controls
Jupiter, for example, is not just the force from the
Sun; there are also the pulls from the other planets.
Their effect is small in comparison with the pull of
the much more massive Sun, but it still shows.

When Saturn is near Jupiter, its pull disturbs the
otherwise smooth path traced by Jupiter. Both
planets wobble" in their orbits. The interplanetary
forces causing this wobbling are called
perturbations. By the 1840s, studies of the most
recently discovered planet at the time, Uranus,
showed that the deviations of its orbit could not be
explained by perturbations from all other known
planets. Either the law of gravitation was failing at
this great distance from the Sun or an unknown
eighth planet was perturbing the orbit of Uranus. An
Englishman and a Frenchman, J. C. Adams and
Urbain Lever rier, each assumed Newton's law to be
valid, and they independently calculated where an
eighth planet should be. At about the same time,
Adams sent a letter to the Greenwich Observatory in
England and Leverrier sent a letter to the Berlin
Observatory in G ermany, both suggesting that a
certain area of the sky be searched for a new planet. 

The request by Adams was delayed by
misunderstandings at Greenwich, but Leverrier's
request was heeded immediately. The planet
Neptune was discovered that very night! Subsequent
tracking of the orbits of both Uranus and Neptune
led to the pre diction and discovery of Pluto in 1930
at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona Whatever you
may have learned in your early schooling,
astronomers now regard Pluto as a diwarf planet, a
new category of certain asteroids in Kuiper belt
Regardless of its status, Pluto takes 248 years to
make single revolution about the Sun, so no one will
see it in its discovered position again until the year
2178 Recent evidence suggests that the universe is
expanding and accelerating out ward, pushed by an
antigravity dark energy that makes up some 73% of
the uni verse. Another 23% is composed of the yet-
to-be-discovered particles of exotic dark matter.
Ordinary matter, the stuff of stars, cabbages, and
kings, makes up only about 4%. 

The concepts of dark energy and dark matter are
late-20th and 21st-century discoveries. The present
view of the universe has progressed apprecia bly
beyond the universe as Newton perceived it Yet few
theories have affected science and civilization as
much as Newton's theory of gravity. The successes of
Newton's ideas ushered in the Age of Enlightenment
Newton had demonstrated that, by observation and
reason, people could uncover the workings of the
physical universe. How profound that all the moons
and plan beautifully simple rule to govern them ets
and stars and galaxies have such a namely,
F = G(m1*m2/d^2)

The formulation of this simple rule is one of the
major reasons for the success in science that
followed, for it provided hope that other phenomena
of the world might also be described by equally
simple and universal laws. This hope nurtured the
thinking of many scientists, artists, writers, and
philoso- phers of the 1700s. One of these was the
English philosopher John Locke, who argued that
observation and reason, as demonstrated by Newton,
should be our best judge and guide in all things.
Locke urged that all of nature and even society
should be searched to discover any "natural laws"
that might exist. Using Newtonian physics as a
model of reason, Locke and his followers modeled a
system of govern- ment that found adherents in the
thirteen British colonies across the Atlantic. These
ideas culminated in the Declaration of
Independence and the Constitution of the United
States of America.