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- Physical concepts
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**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.

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- m2 lab - gravitational forces sim-2Uploaded byapi-309607575
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