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 There are four known fundamental forces

in nature.
1. Gravity
2. Weak nuclear
3. Electromagnetic
4. Strong nuclear
 Electroweak is a combination of the
electromagnetic and weak nuclear.
 Still searching for a “grand unification.”

• Gravity (infinite range)
• Weak nuclear force (short range)
• 10 x stronger than gravity
• Electromagnetic force (infinite range)
• 1035 x stronger than gravity
• 102 x stronger than weak nuclear
• Strong nuclear force (short range)
• 1038 x stronger than gravity
• 105 x stronger than weak nuclear
• 103 x stronger than electromagnetic
• Gravity:
 Acts only on mass.
 Believed responsible for the large-scale structure
of the universe.
• Weak nuclear force:
 Acts on charged particles.
 Governs nuclear radioactive decay.

 Electromagnetic force
 Acts on charged particles.
 Governs chemistry.
• Strong nuclear force
 Acts on charged particles.
 Binds quarks.
 Overlaps to hold the nucleus together.

 an attractive force that pulls
any two masses together
 Earth’s gravitational force
exerts a force of attraction on
any object near the earth
**acts downward
towards the center
of the Earth
 What will happen if….

 a marble and a sheet of paper are

dropped from the same height?

 air resistance affects very light

objects with a large surface area
 What will happen if….

 the sheet of paper is crumpled into a

tight ball and then dropped at the same
time as the marble?

 air resistance is much less and they hit

the ground at (almost) the same time
This is a stop-
action photo
showing a table-
tennis ball (blue)
and a golf ball
(white) fall at
exactly the same
rate even though
they have different
Therefore, mass
does NOT affect
the rate of
acceleration due
to gravity!
 gravity causes all
objects to
downwards at a
rate of 9.8
m/second each
 So, for every
second that an
object is in free
fall, the object’s
downward velocity
increases by
9.8 m/s
 The speed of a
falling object
increases as it
 Acceleration due to
gravity is “g”

g = 9.8 m/s2

that’s about 32 feet/s2

 Butwhat if a
feather and a
rock are dropped
at the same time?
 Air resistance
normally affects
the feather
 Small, dense
bodies do not
have substantial
air resistance
Δv = g x t
Δv = change in velocity
= vfinal - vinitial
Δv = g x t
g = acceleration due to
= 9.8 m/s2
Δv = g x t
t = time the object takes
to fall
in seconds
An apple at rest falls from an apple tree.
The apple hits the ground with a velocity
of 10.5 m/s. How long did it take for the
apple to land?

vi = 0 time (t)
vf = 10.5 m/s
Δv = g x t 10.5 - 0 = 9.8 x t
vf-vi = g x t t = 1.07 seconds
 As the skydivers
begin their
descent to Earth,
they continue to
accelerate until
they hit
 As the speed of
the skydivers
increases, the
upward force of
the air resistance
continues to
increase until it is
equal to the
downward force
of gravity.
 As the speed of
the skydivers
increases, the
upward force of
the air resistance
continues to
F air F gravity increase until it is
resistance equal to the
downward force
of gravity.
 Objects that are
thrown rather
than dropped
follow a curved
 Has two components
1. forward velocity
(horizontal motion)
2. vertical motion

*these two components

are independent of
 These two balls
are released at
the same time
 Once the yellow ball is
released there is no
more horizontal force
acting on it to keep the
ball moving to the right
 Still only two
forces acting on
the body
1. gravity
2. air resistance
 The curved path of
the yellow ball is
called “projectile
 The two balls fall
with the same
acceleration and
strike the ground
at the same time!
 Newton wondered about the force that keeps
the Moon in orbit around the Earth and the
Earth about the Sun.
 He was also thinking about gravity.
 Since falling bodies accelerate, Newton
concluded that they must have a force
exerted on them, a force we call the force of
 Whenever a body has a force exerted on it,
that force is exerted by some other body.

 A year before he died, Newton’s friend
William Stukeley visited him at his home
in Kensington, near London.
 After dining, they went into the garden
to drink tea under the shade of some
apple trees.
 “Amidst other discourse,” Stukeley
wrote, “he told me he was just in the
same situation as when formerly the
notion of gravitation came to his mind.
It was occasioned by the fall of an apple,
as he sat in a contemplative mood.”
Newton realized that
Earth’s gravity was
the centripetal force Gravity
that kept the moon force

in orbit.
Also discovered that
gravity was weaker
at that great
The force that holds the moon in orbit
around the earth, the earth around the
sun, and governs the motion of all
celestial bodies is the same force that
causes the apple to fall from the tree.

Force of gravity has magnitude given by

(Gravity Force) = (G) x ( Mass of Object A ) x ( Mass of Object B)

( Distance ) x ( Distance )


Object Object
A Force Force B

Equal and opposite forces

(Newton’s Third law)
 Let’s calculate the
gravitational force
between two friends.
Assuming that the
friends are spheres [to
simplify the calculation
of r], have masses of
70 and 86 kg (about
154 and 189 lb,
respectively), and are
standing 2 m apart, we
= 1.00 × 10−7 N.
In the formula for gravity force, we have

G = 0.0000000000667 N m2 / kg2
= 6.67 x 10–11 N m2 / kg2

The formula and the constant are called

“universal” because, up to now, this
theory predicts gravity anywhere in the

What is gravity? One view is that gravity is a physical
entity called a field that is created by an object. A field
is something that has values at every point in space.

In the case of the gravitational field, a vector is attached

to every point in space. For a spherical (or point) mass M,
the vectors are given by The gravitational force can
r GM then be written as
g = − 2 rˆ r r
r Fg = mg
Here is an example of using the formula

(Gravity Force) = (G) x ( Mass of Object A ) x ( Mass of Object B)

( Distance ) x ( Distance )

Object A (1 kg mass)

Object B (Earth)

DISTANCE = Earth’s Radius

Find gravity force for a 1 kg mass on
surface of Earth.
Earth’s Mass

(Force) = (6.67 x 10–11) x ( 1 ) x ( 6 x 1024 )

( 6.38 x 106 )2
Universal Gravity Constant, G
Value comes out to 9.8 Newtons Earth’s(check
Radius this
with your calculator; it’s good practice).
Find gravity acceleration on a 1 kg mass.
Using Newton’s Second Law,

(Acceleration) = (Force) = ( 9.8 N )

(Mass) (1 kg )
Answer is 9.8 m/s2, which we’ve been
rounding off as 10 m/s2.
 Question: What happens to the other
quantity in an inverse-square
relationship if the first quantity is cut in
Answer: The other quantity becomes
four times larger.
For elliptical orbits (of which a circular orbit is a special
case) the motion repeats indefinitely.

However, if the initial speed

is large enough, the orbit
becomes open, that is,
it does not repeat. The
form of the orbit depends
on the total energy of the
orbiting object.
In deep space, far away
from all stars,
planets, etc. there is
almost no gravity
In orbit near Earth,
gravity is still strong
(only 10% less than
on surface).
Why are Shuttle and
Space Station
Earth is nearby
Freefall is a state of weightlessness, even though gravity is present.
NASA has a special
airplane for
astronauts in free-
fall weightless
The “Vomit Comet”
nickname tells
you it’s quite a
wild roller-coaster The plane flies between 20,000 and
ride. 30,000 feet, same as commercial flights.