UNDERSTANDING

GRAVITY
-Acceleration Due to
Gravity.
-Gravitational Field.
-Gravitational Field

Let’s test your memory …
If you throw an object, what will

happen?
The object will falling down
What is Newton’s Second Law?
Newton stated the relationship
between force, mass and
acceleration.
F=ma

The apple story

GRAVITY
Introduces by Sir Isaac Newton.
Objects fall because they are

pulled towards the Earth by the
force of gravity.

e pull of gravitational force

•keeps things on the
earth.

he pull of gravitational forc

brings things down to earth

when they are thrown upwards.

he pull of gravitational forc

holds the moon in its

orbit round the Earth.

The pull of gravitational
force, F;
keeps things on the earth.
brings things down to earth

when they are thrown
upwards.
holds the moon in its orbit
round the Earth.

ACCELERATION DUE TO GRAVITY
Figure shows a stroboscopic

photograph of a ball falling
under gravity
The distance between two

successive images
increases, showing that the
ball are falling with
increasing velocity , i.e.,
falling with an acceleration


The acceleration of objects falling freely is known

as the acceleration due to gravity, g = 10 ms-2
2

(value from experiment).
Therefore, F = mg

ACCELERATION DUE TO
GRAVITY
On the late 16th century, Galileo

Galilei drops two object of
different mass from the Leaning
Tower of Pisa and found out that
the object fall with the same
acceleration (hit the ground at
the same time) .
This experiment to disprove
Aristotle's theory of gravity, which

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italy)

Objects with different mass

would fall with same
acceleration assuming that
there is no air resistance
In other words, gravitational

acceleration is independent
of mass.

BOYLE invented

vacuum pump to
remove air.
In vacuum, both
objects reach the
bottom of the
cylinder at the
same time.
In atmosphere, a
piece of tissue
paper does not

Experiment in the moon to test Galelio’s statement

BUT! WE CANT DO this test in the earth

because there are air resistance which
opposes the pulling force of gravity.

FREE FALL

A free-falling object is an

object falling under the force of
gravity only.
A free-falling object does not
encounter other forces like air
resistance or friction that
would oppose its motion

Let’s see the effect of air resistance
with making our own small parachute
Physics behind the parachute :
 Every object will fall down with
acceleration of 9.8 ms-2.
The parachute experiences the air
resistance and opposes the pulling force of
gravity.
Air resistance experiences by an object
depends on its shape.

GRAVITATIONAL FIELD
FORCE OF
GRAVITY

FORCE OF
GRAVITY

FORCE OF
GRAVITY

FORCE OF
GRAVITY

Gravitational field is a region
around the Earth in which an
object experiences a force
towards the centre of the earth.

GRAVITATIONAL FIELD
STRENGTH
The gravitational field

strength is defined as the
force acting on unit mass in
the field.
The gravitational field strength
at the surface of the Earth is
9.8 N kg-1 .
g = F/m
;
F = Gravitational force

WEIGHT, W
The weight of an object is

defined as the gravitational
force acting on the object.

F = ma

W= mg

g is the
gravitatio
nal
accelerati
on

Unit is the same as force, N
Example : 2 kg = 20 N

EXAMPLE 1
A marble is dropped from

the top of a building and
takes 2 s to reach the
surface of the Earth. What
is the height of the
building ?
(20 m)

EXAMPLE 2
A rock has a mass of

20.0 kg and weight of
90.0 N on the surface of a
planet.
(a) What is the
gravitational
acceleration on the
surface of the planet?

SUMMARY