<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Similar is the situation here. Once gravitational field strength in a region is mapped (known), we need not be concerned about the bodies which are responsible for the gravitational field. We can compute gravitational force on any mass that enters the region by simply multiplying the mass with the unit rate of gravitational force i.e. field strength,

F = m E

In accordance with this interpretation, we determine gravitational force on a body brought in the gravitational field of Earth by multiplying the mass with the gravitational field strength,

F = m E = m g

This approach has following advantages :

1: We can measure gravitational force on a body without reference to other body responsible for gravitational field. In the context of Earth, for example, we compute gravitational force without any reference to the mass of Earth. The concept of field strength allows us to study gravitational field in terms of the mass of one body and as such relieves us from considering it always in terms of two body system. The effect of one of two bodies is actually represented by its gravitational field strength.

2: It simplifies mathematical calculation for gravitational force. Again referring to the context of Earth’s gravity, we see that we hardly ever use Newton’s gravitational law. We find gravitational force by just multiplying mass with gravitational field strength (acceleration). Imagine if we have to compute gravitational force every time, making calculation with masses of Earth and the body and the squared distance between them!

Comparison with electrostatic field

There is one very important aspect of gravitational field, which is unique to it. We can appreciate this special feature by comparing gravitational field with electrostatic field. We know that the electrostatic force, like gravitational force, also follows inverse square law. Electrostatic force for two point charges separated by a linear distance, "r", is given by Coulomb's law as :

F E = 1 4 π ε 0 Q q r 2

The electrostatic field ( E E )is defined as the electrostatic force per unit positive charge and is expressed as :

E E = F E q = 1 4 π ε 0 Q q r 2 q = 1 4 π ε 0 Q r 2

The important point, here, is that electrostatic field is not equal to acceleration. Recall that Newton's second law of motion connects force (any type) with "mass" and "acceleration" as :

F = m a

This relation is valid for all kinds of force - gravitational or electrostatic or any other type. What we mean to say that there is no corresponding equation like "F=qa". Mass only is the valid argument of this relation. As such, electrostatic field can not be equated with acceleration as in the case of gravitational field.

Thus, equality of "field strength" with "acceleration" is unique and special instance of gravitational field - not a common feature of other fields. As a matter of fact, this instance has a special significance, which is used to state "equivalence of mass" - the building block of general theory of relativity.

We shall discuss this concept in other appropriate context. Here, we only need to underline this important feature of gravitational field.

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Gravitation fundamentals. OpenStax CNX. Sep 26, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10459/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Gravitation fundamentals' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask