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Physics Chapter 9 - Gravity

Newton and Gravity

So this guy Newton


motion. Realized that all objects accelerate towards the ground at the same rate, g. Recognized the presence of some force that kept the heavens moving in their elliptical paths.

three laws of

Quick Review of Newtons discoveries


1st Law The Law of Inertia 2nd Law acceleration = Force mass 3rd Law Forces occur in action-reaction pairs


due to gravity, g

All objects regardless of their mass are accelerated equally by gravity Since this acceleration is so important to the motion of all objects on the surface of the earth it is assigned g = 9.8 m/s2 (or 10 m/s2)

Newton & Gravity


Newton was the first to deduce that the force that makes an apple fall is the same force that keeps the moon in its orbit. His law of gravitation states that every object pulls on every other object based on their mass and distance between them But then he asked himself
Does the falling apple exert a force on the earth? Why doesnt the moon fall into the earth?

Apple The

DOES exert a force on the Earth!

the Earth notice? Why?


moon IS falling! Mountain



Newtons Universal Law of Gravitation

What do you think it depends on?

Newtons Universal Law of Gravitation



of the two attracting objects (m1 & m2) between the two objects (d)


Distance Universal


Gravitation Constant (G)

= 6.67 x 10-11 Nm2/kg2

m1m2 F =G 2 d

Example #1
A 10,000 kg asteroid is close to a 20,000 kg asteroid. If their centers are 100 m apart, what is the force of gravity between them?

The Story of 9.8


before we know that a 1 kg mass exerts a force of 9.8 N on the Earth because
Fweight = mass x gravity = (1kg)(9.8 m/s2)


did this 9.8 come from in the first place?

The Story of 9.8

1 kg mass distance = radius Earth

mobject mEarth m1m2 F = G 2 becomes... F = G d rEarth 2

F = 6.67 10


N m / kg

( 1kg ) ( 5.97 x 1024 kg ) ) 6.38 x 106 m 2 ( )

F = 9.8 N

Acceleration due to Gravity at Different Places on Earth


varies slightly due to differences in the distance from the center of the earth (altitude or latitude)

Pole Panama Canal New York City Denver

g = 9.832 m/s2 g = 9.782 m/s2 g = 9.803 m/s2 g = 9.796 m/s2

Acceleration due to gravity on Different Planets

Jupiter Neptune Saturn Uranus Earth Venus Mercury Mars Pluto Moon 2.54 x g 1.20 x g 1.06 x g 0.92 x g 1.00 0.92 x g 0.38 x g 0.38 x g uncertain 0.16 x g

These depend on the planets mass and radius.

Newton and Gravity Questions

1. When do you weigh more; at the bottom of Death Valley, or atop the high Sierras? Why?


What is the magnitude of gravitational force between two 1-kilograms objects that are 1 meter apart?


What do we call the gravitational force between the Earth and your body?