Force of Gravity Example – Newton’s Gravitational Force 1


Isaac Newton showed us the force of gravity between two objects is directly proportional to the mass of the two objects and inversely proportional to the distance between them. Expressed as a formula, the force of gravity is:

where
Fg is the  force of gravity
M is the mass of the first object
m is the mass of the second object
r is the distance between the centers of the two objects
and
G is the gravitational constant = 6.670 x 10-11 N·m2/kg2 in SI units.

This worked force of gravity example problem shows how to use this formula to find the force of gravity between two objects.

Example Problem:
The Earth has a mass of 5.972 x 1024 kg and the Moon has a mass of 7.348 x 1024 kg. The distance between them is 3.844 x 108 m. What is the force of gravity between the Earth and the Moon?

Solution:
Earth Moon
Using the formula for gravitational force, plug in the values given in the problem.

Fg = 1.981 x 1022 N

It takes a lot of force between the Moon and the Earth. For trivia’s sake, The force between the Earth and Moon due to gravity is 0.03 moles of Newtons.


About Todd Helmenstine

Todd Helmenstine is the physicist/mathematician who creates most of the images and PDF files found on sciencenotes.org. Nearly all of the graphics are created in Adobe Illustrator, Fireworks and Photoshop. Todd also writes many of the example problems and general news articles found on the site.


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