Integrated SequencePhysics Chemistry Organic Biology

Web Resources

HyperPhysics - Gravity

Monterey Institute - Newton's Law of Gravity
Multimedia presentation.

University of Winnipeg - Newton's Law of Gravitation
Summary of gravitational force and gravitational potential energy.

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Special points of emphasis



Gravitation describes the mutual attraction of all bodies that occurs due to their mass. The basis of the study of gravitation in classical physics is Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation (Einstein's General Theory of Relativity has supplanted the Law of Universal Gravitation in advanced discussions). The Law of Universal Gravitation allows us to predict the forces between two particles a given distance apart. We can also predict the gravitational force exerted per unit mass at a given point in space, in other words, the gravitational field that a mass creates in its vicinity describing its capacity to exert force on other masses.

Gravity problems appear fairly regularly on the MCAT. On the MCAT you will often see permutations of such classic gravity problems as satellite orbit or escape velocity. Additionally, as an 'inverse square law force', gravitation has many important similarities in problem solving to the electrostatic force. Though there are a host of important differences, gravitation is important for laying some important groundwork for understanding and modeling force and energy relationships in electrostatics.

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