Newtons law of Gravitation

April 19, 2023
Section 2: Newtons Law of

Figure 7.3: Gravitational Force Between Two Masses


  • The inertial mass of an object determines the amount of force needed to produce a given acceleration of that object. The gravitational mass determines the force of gravitational attraction between two bodies. In Newtonian mechanics, these two masses have no obvious connection with each other. Nonetheless, it was observed empirically that they are numerically equal. This remarkable fact was known for centuries, but remained unexplained until Einstein's General Theory of relativity.
  • Newton's gravitational constant is extremely small when expressed in terms of laboratory sized objects: the gravitational force between two 1 kg objects separated by 1 is only 6.67 x 10- 11 Newtons.
  • For an object of mass near the Earth's surface: grav = - = - mg (24)
    where E = 5.98 x 1024 kg is the mass of the Earth and E = 6.38 x 106 m is the radius of the earth and = 9.8 / 2 (25)

    in agreement with the expression in Chapter 3.

Definition: Gravitional Potential Energy

Due to the gravitational force of attraction, any two objects with masses 1 and 2 located a distance apart have the ability to do work. Hence they have potential energy. The gravitational potential energy of such objects is:

PE grav = - . (26)

Next: Problems Up: Circular Motion and the Previous: Centripetal Acceleration

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Chapter 12-1: Newtons Law of Universal Gravitation
Chapter 12-1: Newtons Law of Universal Gravitation
PHY2048 Lesson 4 5a Newtons Law of Gravitation
PHY2048 Lesson 4 5a Newtons Law of Gravitation

Newton's law of gravitation? | Yahoo Answers

F = GMm / r ^ 2
F, force between two bodies of mass, M and mass, m.
G , is the universal gravitonal constant.
R is distance between the two bodies.
Units are,
F is newtons
M,m impn kilograms
R is in metres.

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