## Questions and Answers

What is the formula for the magnitude of gravitational attraction between two masses according to Newton's universal law of gravitation?

F = G * (m_1 * m_2) / r^2

What is the gravitational constant's approximate value in the universal law of gravitation?

Approximately 6.674 * 10^-11 N(m/kg)^2

What does the gravitational constant G represent in the universal law of gravitation?

Gravitational constant G represents the strength of the gravitational force.

How is the magnitude of the gravitational field defined in relation to the mass and distance from the mass?

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What does the gravitational field represent?

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What is the acceleration due to gravity usually denoted as?

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What is gravitational potential energy?

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What factors does the gravitational potential energy equation depend on?

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What happens to the gravitational potential energy if the distance between two objects increases?

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Define escape velocity.

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What does the escape velocity formula depend on?

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What is the approximate escape velocity on Earth?

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## Study Notes

## Gravitation

Gravity is the fundamental force that binds objects together in the universe. It is described by Isaac Newton's laws of motion and gravity. In this article, we will explore the universal law of gravitation, gravitational fields, gravitational potential energy, and escape velocities.

### Universal Law of Gravitation

Newton's universal law of gravitation states that every point mass attracts every other point mass by a force acting along the line intersecting both points. This force depends on each mass and on the distance between them:

F = G * (m_1 * m_2) / r^2

where F is the magnitude of the gravitational attraction between mass m_1 and mass m_2 separated by distance r. The constant G is called the gravitational constant, approximately equal to 6.674 * 10^-11 N(m/kg)^2. This law applies to all objects with mass, whether they are on Earth or other planets, as well as stars and galaxies.

### Gravitational Field

The gravitational field is a vector field that describes the force experienced by an object due to nearby masses. It represents the region around a massive body within which another body experiences a net force acting towards that central body. The magnitude of the gravitational field is given by:

|E|^2 = -G * m / r^2

where |E|^2 is the intensity of the gravitational field at distance r from mass m. For planetary bodies, we usually define the acceleration due to gravity, denoted g, as the negative gradient of the potential at the surface of the body.

### Gravitational Potential Energy

Gravitational potential energy is the energy stored in an object as a result of its position relative to one or more other massive objects. It measures how much "work" could be done by the object without any external forces acting upon it. The equation for gravitational potential energy is:

U = -G * (m_1 * m_2) / r

where m_1 and m_2 are two objects whose centers of mass are separated by distance r. If r increases, the value of U decreases, meaning the gravitational potential energy between the objects has been converted into some other form of energy.

### Escape Velocity

Escape velocity is the minimum speed required for an object to escape the gravitational pull of another object, such as a planet or a star. For an object launched horizontally from the edge of a planet's atmosphere, escape velocity is always greater than the orbital velocities for most planets in our solar system because there is no friction to slow down the object. The escape velocity formula is:

v_esc = sqrt(2*GM/R)

where v_esc is the escape velocity, G is the gravitational constant, M is the mass of the body being escaped, and R is the radius of the body. On Earth, the escape velocity is approximately 11.2 km/s, while on Mars, it is about 5.02 km/s.

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## Description

Explore the fundamental concepts of gravity including Newton's universal law of gravitation, gravitational fields, gravitational potential energy, and escape velocities. Learn about the forces that govern interactions between massive bodies and the energy associated with their positions in space.