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Chapter 2, Section 1 Notes Gravity and Motion
Aristotle was the first to discuss gravity.
He believed that the amount of gravity was dependent on an object’s mass.
Galileo Galilei challenged Aristotle
He argued that mass of an object does NOT affect the time it takes that object to fall to the ground.
He tested this by dropping two cannon balls of different masses to the ground. They hit at the same time!
Gravity and Acceleration
Acceleration is the rate at which velocity changes over time.
Objects fall to the ground at the same rate because the acceleration due to gravity is the same for all objects.
Acceleration of all object toward Earth= 9.8 m/s 2
Acceleration depends on force and mass.
An object with a lot of mass does have a larger force acting upon it, but it is harder to accelerate. This is why objects of different mass can fall with the same acceleration
Velocity of Falling objects
To calculate the change of velocity of a falling object, use the following equation V= g x t = change V= velocity g= acceleration due to gravity, 9.8m/s 2 t= time( seconds)
Air Resistance and Falling Objects
Air resistance is the force that opposes the motion of objects through air.
Air resistance is dependent on size, shape and speed of an object. For example, air resistance would affect a flat piece of paper more than a crumpled pieces of paper.
Increased speed = more air resistance
Air resistance will increase until it is balanced with the downward force of gravity.
Once the net force is 0 Newtons, the object will fall at a constant velocity known as its terminal velocity
If there is no air resistance, and object is said to be in free fall.
Free Fall occurs if the only force acting on an object is gravity.
Free fall can only occur where there is no air, such as in a vacuum.
Orbiting Objects are in Free Fall
An object orbits when it travels around another object in space.
A spacecraft that orbits Earth moves forward, but is also in free fall towards Earth, this causes the spacecraft to orbit.
The 2 forces ( forward + down) allows the shuttle to follow the curve of the Earth’s surface, and allows it to orbit.
The astronauts inside a spacecraft are also in free fall, which is why they float.
Other objects also orbit in space. ( the moon, planets, star, etc)
Objects that orbit are in a constant circular motion, and are always changing direction. This is caused by a constant unbalanced force, known as centripetal force. This force is caused by gravity.
Projectile Motion and Gravity
Projectile motion is the curved path an object follows when it is thrown or propelled near the surface of Earth.
There are two components to projectile motion horizontal motion: motion that is parallel to the ground vertical motion: motion that is perpendicular to the ground(gravity)
Examples of projectile motion: frog leaping diving into a pool shooting an arrow
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