9887

Gravitational Force between Two Spheres

This Demonstration shows how the gravitational force between two spheres depends on their masses and the distance between them. The equation used is , where is the gravitational constant , is the first mass, is the second mass, and is the distance between the centers of the spheres. Use the sliders to change the masses of the objects and the 2D sliders to move the spheres. It is assumed that the spheres do not overlap; otherwise, the force law would become more complicated.

SNAPSHOTS

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DETAILS

Snapshot 1: objects of mass 5 kg and 4.62 kg, 5 meters apart, have a force between them of
Snapshot 2: objects of mass 9.19 kg and 6.14 kg, 8.71 meters apart; force equals
Snapshot 3: objects of mass 1 kg and 10 kg, 6.28 meters apart; force equals
Special thanks to the University of Illinois NetMath Program and the mathematics department at William Fremd High School.
References
[1] J. S. Walker, Physics, San Francisco, CA: Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2010.
[2] J. C. Villanueva. "Gravitational Constant." (Jul 19, 2009) www.universetoday.com/34838/gravitational-constant.
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