# Weight is the force of an object due to a gravitational field.

Weight depends on acceleration due to
gravity; hence weight depends on its position in the universe hence the weight of an object can be
zero if the gravitational force acting on it is zero. W=mg. The earth is not a perfect sphere meaning
the radius at the equator is greater than at the poles hence the gravitational force is not the same. It
also varies with the presence of dense ore bodies.
Gravitational field, region of influence around any object where a mass would experience a force
due to the first mass.
Aim: to find the value of g by measuring the period of a known length.
Theory: the period of oscillation (T) of a pendulum of length l is given by the formula where g
is the acceleration due to gravity. From the equation is can be shown that
Method: a mass was tied to the end of a string and attached to a horizontal support.
The length of the pendulum was measured from the point of support and centre of mass.
The mass was pulled to the side so that the string made an angle of less than 10 degrees and was
released.
The length was then varied and then the process was repeated.
Conclusion: acceleration due to gravity (average) in this experiment was 9.8 plus minus 2 m/s.
Variations were due to experimental error, accuracy devices.
The change in gravitational potential energy is related to work done. Work is done when a force
moves an object. Since when lifting an object the force is working against gravity hence the force
needed to lift the object is equal to its weight. The work done is stored in the object, hence work
done= change in gravitational potential energy.
Gravitational potential energy is the work needed to move an object from a very
large distance to a point in a gravitational field. As we lift an object above ground we do work on it,
the work is stored in the object as gravitational potential energy. Since we release the object the
work (energy) is converted into kinetic energyas the object falls back down again, work must be
done to move an object against a gravitational field towards infinity therefore the gravitational
energy is higher than any other point in the field. We define gpe at infinity to be zero as the gpe
between two bodies falls to be zero at an infinite distance, hence the gpe at any other point must be
negative.
Galileo postulated that all objects regardless of their mass fall at the same rate as gravity is the same
for all objects.
Escape velocity is dependent on the gravitational constant, mass of the planet and radius but is
independent from the mass of the object, hence escape velocity is the same for all objects. The
lower the escape velocity the less likely the planet has an atmosphere.
Newton said that if a person launched a projectile from peak it would travel in a parabolic motion
and hit the ground and that by increasing the launch velocity the projectile would go even further
and that if another was launched fast enough it would travel around the earth because as it falls the
surface of the earth curves around it, it would be a fixed height above earth and be in a circular
orbit.