CONCEPTS

What is the force of gravity?

We explain to you what the force of gravity is, how and by whom it was discovered. In addition, some examples of this force.

  1. What is the force of gravity?

It is known by force of gravity or simply gravity, one of the fundamental interactions of nature , due to which the bodies endowed with  mass attract each other in a reciprocal manner and with a greater intensity to the extent that they are more bulky . The principle that governs this interaction is known as “gravitation” or “gravitational interaction”, and responds in physics to what is described by the  Law of Universal Gravitation.

It is the same attraction that the Earth exerts  on the bodies and objects that rest on its surface, we included, and that makes things fall. It also  determines the movements of space stars , such as planets orbiting the Sun or moons and artificial satellites in turn orbiting these planets.

Unlike the other fundamental interactions in the Universe  (which are strong and weak nuclear forces, and electromagnetism), the force of gravity inexplicably predominates over enormous distances , while the others occur at much shorter distances.

Since it is a force , gravity is usually measured using different formulas, depending on whether it is a mechanical (classical) or relativistic physical approach.

It is usually represented in kilograms of force , that is, in Newtons (N) or, also, by the acceleration that it prints on the objects on which it acts, which on the earth’s surface reaches about 9.80665 m / s2.

  1. Who discovered the force of gravity?

Force of gravity
The Law of Gravitation was discovered by Isaac Newton in 1687.

The force of gravity was not properly “discovered”, since its effects are known from the principles of humanity and thought . However, the  Law of universal gravitation  that explains and allows it to be calculated was proposed by Isaac Newton in 1687, supposedly after receiving the impact of an apple on the head, while resting in the English countryside.

This event would have revealed to the English scientist that the same force that makes things fall to the ground keeps the planets in their orbit with respect to the Sun and their satellites with respect to them. This was a turning point in the history of modern physics.

Subsequently, physicist Albert Einstein in the twentieth century, based on Newton and his own findings, postulated his  Theory of General Relativity , in which he reformulated some aspects of Newtonian gravitation.

Thus a new perspective on gravity, called relativist , was inaugurated  . According to her, gravity would not be a measure of universal force, but variable , and would only affect space but also over time .

  1. Examples of the force of gravity

The force of gravity can be seen in the following examples:

  • The free fall of a body on the earth’s surface, the simplest example. The mass of the planet attracts us to it, and acts on our mass by printing an acceleration in time at the rate of fall. That is why an object that falls for a minute hits stronger than one that does it for a second.
  • An object thrown into the sky, like a cannonball, for the same reasons, will fly in a straight line until it suffers a loss of acceleration, the result of gravity, curving its trajectory. When it exceeds the initial force of the explosion, the object will fall and stop moving.
  • The orbitation of the Moon  around our planet is due to the fact that it is trapped in its gravitational field, at a distance such that it cannot move straight away, nor can it collapse towards us and fall.
  • Attracted by its enormous force of gravity, many meteorites enter the  atmosphere of Jupiter, Saturn and other massive planets, torn from their natural orbit around the Sun (also due to the latter’s gravitation) and placed on a collision path with these planets.

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