907 words - 4 pages

Universal Gravitation

Objectives

* Compare and contrast gravitational force vectors as mass and distance are changed. (Explorations 1, 2, and 3)

* Discover how changes in the distance between two objects affects the gravitational force between them. (Explorations 1, 2, and 3)

* Describe how changes in the masses of two objects affects the gravitational force between them. (Explorations 1, 2, and 3)

Description of Activity

In this activity, you will explore how distance and mass affect the gravitational force between two objects. You will select one of three locations to work within: a 9 m2 room, a 9 × 104 m2 city block, or a 9 × 1022 m2 region of space. You will also change ...view middle of the document...

Select Scenario 1. Set both m1 and m2 to 10.0 kg, the approximate mass of a one-year-old child. Place the objects 1.50 m apart.

2. Observe the gravitational force vectors on the masses. Sketch these as observations.

3. Move the objects to 2.00 m apart, and sketch the gravitational force vectors again.

4. Change the distance to 2.50 m apart, and sketch the gravitational force vectors again.

5. Repeat steps 1–4, but increase m1 or m2 to 40.0 kg, roughly the mass of a sixth grader.

Observations and Analysis

1. In what direction do the gravitational forces act?

The force is stronger when the objects are closer and smaller when they are farther.

2. Describe the relationship between gravitational force and distance.

The gravitational force is directly proportional to the mass of the bodies and is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

3. Did replacing one of the 10.0−kg masses with a 40.0−kg mass have any effect?

Yes…. The force of gravity improved to 40.3

Exploration 2: Interaction of Masses on a City Block

Procedure

1. Select Scenario 2. Study the gravitational force acting between two 2.0 × 107−kg objects (each represents the approximate mass of a house). Set the two “houses” 100 m, 150 m, and 200 m apart. Sketch the gravitational force vectors each time.

2. Investigate the gravitational force acting between a 2.5 × 107- kg “house” and a 2.0 ×

108−kg “house” with the same distances as step 1. Sketch the gravitational force vectors each time.

Observations and Analysis

1. In what direction do the gravitational forces act?

The force is stronger when the objects are at 100m.

2. When one of the masses was increased, what happened to the gravitational force?

The...

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