Gravitational Field
Gravitational field, abbreviated as g, is a region of space where forces are exerted and affect anything that has mass. The gravitational field is a concept in physics that describes the influence of a massive object on the space surrounding it. It is a region where objects with mass experience an attractive force due to the presence of another mass.
According to Newton's law of universal gravitation, every object with mass attracts other objects with a force that is directly proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers. The gravitational field is a way to quantify this force at any point in space. The gravitational field strength at a given point is defined as the force experienced by a unit mass placed at that point. It is measured in units of acceleration because it represents the acceleration due to gravity acting on a mass. In other words, it describes how much the gravitational force per unit mass changes with respect to position.
The gravitational field strength depends on the mass of the object creating the field. For example, on the surface of the Earth, the average gravitational field strength is approximately 9.8 m/s². This means that a mass placed at that location will experience a force of approximately 9.8 newtons per kilogram (N/kg) due to Earth's gravity.
The gravitational field is responsible for various phenomena, such as keeping planets in orbit around the Sun, causing objects to fall towards the Earth, and shaping the large scale structure of the universe. It is a fundamental force of nature and plays a crucial role in understanding celestial mechanics, astrophysics, and general relativity.
Gravitational Field formula |
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\( g = G \; m \;/\; r^2 \) (Gravitational Field) \( m = g \; r^2 \;/\; G \) \( r = \sqrt{ G \; m \;/\; g } \) |
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Symbol | English | Metric |
\( g \) = Gravitational Field | \(ft\;/\;sec^2 \) | \(m\;/\;s^2\) |
\( G \) = Universal Gravitational Constant | \(lbf-ft^2\;/\;lbm^2\) | \(N - m^2\;/\;kg^2\) |
\( m \) = Earth Mass | \(lbm\) | \(kg\) |
\( r \) = Distance from Center of Earth | \(ft\) | \( m \) |