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 = - = -
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)
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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.
F is newtons
M,m impn kilograms
R is in metres.