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GRAVITATION 1

10. GRAVITATION
o CENTRIPETAL FORCE:
The force that causes acceleration and keeps the body moving along the
circular path is acting towards the centre. This force is called the centripetal
force.
o GRAVITATIONAL FORCE :
All objects in the universe attract each other. This force of attraction between
objects is called the gravitational force.
o UNIVERSAL LAW OF GRAVITATION:
Every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force which is
proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the
square of the distance between them.

Q.1 Write the formula to fine the magnitude of the gravitational force between
the earth and the object on the surface of the earth.

o IMPORTANCE OF THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF GRAVITATION.


1.This force that binds us to the earth
2.The motion of the moon around the earth is due to this force.
3.The motion of planets around the sun is due to this force.
4.The tides due to the moon and the Sun are due to this force.
o GRAVITATIONAL CONSTANT-The value of G that is universal gravitation
constant (which was found out by Henry Cavendish) is 6.673X10-
11Nm2/kg2
o GRAVITY-Force of gravitation due to the earth is called gravity.
o ACCELERATION DUE TO GRAVITY-Whenever an object falls towards the
earth, acceleration is involved and it is due to the earth’s gravitational

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GRAVITATION 2

force. So this acceleration is called the acceleration due to the


gravitational force of the earth or acceleration due to gravity.
The value of g that is acceleration due to gravity of the earth is 9.8m/s2
o FREE FALL-Whenever objects fall towards the earth under the
gravitational force alone, we say that the objects are in free fall.
Q.2 Differentiate between mass and weight
MASS WEIGHT
i. The mass of an object is the i. The force of attraction of the
measure of its inertia earth on an object is known as
the weight of the object. It is
equal to the product of mass
and acceleration due to gravity.
ii. It is a scalar quantity ii. It is a vector quantity
iii. It is measure by a pan balance. iii. It is measured by a spring
balance.
iv. Mass of a body is never zero iv. Weight of a body is zero at the
centre of the earth because
there g=0
v. It remains the same whether v. The weight of an object
the object is on the earth, the depends on its location that is if
moon or even in outer space. the object is on the earth of
That is the mass of an object is moon or any other planet.
constant vi. The weight may vary from place
to place.
vi. The SI unit of mass is kg vii. The SI unit of weight is (N)
Newton.

o MASS OF MOON
Q.3 Why is the weight of an object on the moon 1/6th its weight on the earth?
The mass of moon is less than that of the earth. Due to this the moon exerts
lesser force of attraction on objects. So weight of an object on the moon 1/6th
its weight on the earth.
o THRUST-The force acting on an object perpendicular to the surface is
called thrust.
o PRESSURE-The thrust on unit area is called pressure.
Pressure=thrust/area
The SI unit of pressure is N/m2 that is Pascal (Pa) in honour of scientist Blaise
Pascal.

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GRAVITATION 3

 GIVE REASON why a nail has a pointed tip, knives have sharp edges and
buildings have wide foundations. OR why is it difficult to hold a school
bag having a strap made up of thin and strong string?
- The force acting on a smaller area exerts a larger pressure, and a smaller
pressure on a larger area. The pointed tip of nail, sharp edges of knives,
has smaller area so they exert larger pressure. The thin string exerts a
large on our hand due to its smaller area. Hence we feel uncomfortable.
The building has wide foundations, so the foundation exerts less
pressure.
o BUOYANCY-The upward force exerted by the water or air (fluid) on the
object is known as upthrust of buoyant force.
- When an object is immersed in the fluid, the following two forces are
acting on it.
i. upward buoyant force
ii. Downward gravitational force
- The upthrust force depends on the following factors:
i. Density of the liquid: the density of liquid increases, the buoyant force
exerted by it also increases.
ii. Volume of the object immersed in the liquid: as the volume of solid
object immersed inside the liquid increases, the upward ‘buoyant force’
also increases.
o DENSITY OF A SUBSTANCE
The density of a substance is defined as the mass per unit volume.
The unit of density is kilogram per metre cube that is kg/m3
We express density of a substance in comparison with that of water.
Density of water is 103kg/m3 or 1g/cm3
o Relative density-The relative density of a substance is the ratio of its
density to that of water.
Relative density=Density of a substance/Density of water
Relative density has no unit.
Objects of density less than that liquid float on the liquid. The objects of
density greater than that of a liquid sink in liquid.
 GIVE REASON
1. You find your mass to be 42 kg on a weighing machine. Is your mass
more or less than 42 kg?
- More than 42 kg. The weighing machine reads slightly less value due to
the upthrust of air acting on our body.
2. You have a bag of cotton and an iron bar, of mass 100 kg each. Which
one is heavier?

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- The cotton bag is heavier than the iron bar. The cotton bag experiences
larger upthrust of air than the iron bar. So weighing machine; indicates a
smaller mass for cotton bag than its actual mass.
3. Why does a sheet of paper falls slower than one that is crumpled into a
ball?
- The sheet of paper will experience a larger air resistance due to its larger
surface area than that of its ball form.
o ARCHIMEDES’ PRINCIPLE
When a body is immersed fully or partially in a fluid, it experiences an upward
force that is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by it.
o Applications of Archimedes’ principle
I. It is used in designing ships and submarines.
II. Lactometers, which are used to determine the purity of a sample of milk
and,
III. Hydrometers used for determining density of liquids are based on this
principle.

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