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Law of Universal Gravitation With Formula & Example

The Law of Universal Gravitation is a fundamental principle in physics formulated by Sir Isaac Newton. It describes the gravitational force between two objects with masses 1 and 2 separated by a distance .

Law of Universal Gravitation

Law of Universal Gravitation:

The postulate of this law of physics establishes that the force of attraction of two bodies is proportional to the product of their masses.

The intensity of that attraction will be stronger the closer and more massive the bodies are.

F = G(m1m2)/R2

Where:

  • is the gravitational force between the two masses,
  • is the gravitational constant (≈6.674×10−11 Nm2/kg2),
  • and are the masses of the two objects,
  • is the separation between the centers of the masses.

The force exerted between the two bodies with mass (F) is equal to the universal gravitation constant (G) times the product of the two masses involved (m1.m2) divided by the distance that separates them, squared (d 2 ) .

Key points about the Law of Universal Gravitation:

  1. Inverse Square Law: The force of gravity between two masses is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers. As the distance increases, the force of gravity decreases rapidly.
  2. Proportional to Mass: The force of gravity is directly proportional to the product of the masses of the two objects. If one of the masses increases, the gravitational force increases proportionally.
  3. Universal Application: The law applies to all objects with mass in the universe. It is not limited to just apples falling on Earth but is applicable to celestial bodies like planets, stars, and galaxies.
  4. Mutual Attraction: Newton’s law of gravitation implies that both masses experience an equal and opposite force. In other words, every mass in the universe attracts every other mass.
  5. Dependence on Mass and Distance: The strength of the gravitational force depends on the masses of the objects involved and the distance between their centers.

An example of the law of gravitation is the gravitational attraction exerted by two bowling balls . The closer they are to each other, the greater the force of attraction.

Summary

It forms a crucial part of Newton’s laws of motion and has been foundational in understanding gravitational interactions on both small and astronomical scales.

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