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Chapter 13 Universal Gravitation Everything Pulls on Everything Else!

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 13 Universal Gravitation Everything Pulls on Everything Else!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 13 Universal Gravitation Everything Pulls on Everything Else!

2 The Falling Apple/Moon Without an outside force, moving objects continue to move at constant speed in a straight line…inertia. Clearly, the moon is NOT doing this. Thus, a force must be responsible for the moon’s changing motion. Newton reasoned that the moon is falling toward Earth for the same reason an apple falls from a tree— they are both pulled by Earth’s gravity.

3 13.2 The Falling Moon The moon is actually falling (accelerating) toward Earth but has great enough tangential velocity to avoid hitting or moving closer to Earth. The moon is actually falling around Earth. It falls beneath the straight line it would follow if no force acted on it. The moon is a projectile circling Earth under the attraction of gravity.

4 13.2 The Falling Moon Newton compared the motion of the moon to a cannonball fired from the top of a high mountain. If the cannonball were fired with enough speed, its path would become a circle and the cannonball would circle indefinitely.

5 13.2 The Falling Moon The cannonball and the moon have a tangential velocity that is sufficient to ensure nearly circular motion around Earth rather than into it. Mass has no effect on the acceleration of freely falling objects. How far the moon falls should relate only to its distance from Earth’s center.

6 13.3 The Falling Earth Newton’s theory of gravity confirmed the Copernican theory of the solar system. If the tangential velocities of the planets were reduced to zero, their motion would be straight toward the sun and they would indeed crash into it…like an apple to the earth The earth and other planets, are behaving just like the moon…they are falling around the sun

7 13.4 Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation Newton discovered that gravity is universal. Everything pulls on everything else in a way that involves only mass and distance. G = 6.67 × 10 –11 N·m 2 /kg 2

8 13.5 Gravity and Distance: The Inverse-Square Law The force of gravity weakens with the square of distance. For example, if objects were moved 3 times as far apart, 1/9 the force of attraction is present between them.

9 13.6 Gravitational Field Earth can be thought of as being surrounded by a gravitational field that interacts with objects and causes them to experience gravitational forces. Earth’s gravitational field is strongest near Earth’s surface and weaker at greater distances from Earth. Its direction is toward the center of the earth. “g” is the gravitational field strength

10 13.7 Gravitational Field Inside a Planet The gravitational field of Earth at its center is zero! If you traveled through an imaginary hole drilled completely through Earth, you’d gain speed as you fell from the North Pole toward the center of Earth, and lose speed moving away from the center toward the South Pole.

11 13.8 Weight and Weightlessness Pressure against Earth is the sensation we interpret as weight. Weightlessness is not the absence of gravity; rather, it is the absence of a support force. Astronauts in orbit are without a support force and experience weightlessness.

12 13.8 Weight and Weightlessness Weight is what the scale would read…


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