Newton’s law of gravitation states that the force (in newtons) between two pointmassesm1, m2 is equal to Gm1m2/r2 where r is the distance between the masses and G = 6.61 x 10−11 [≈(20/3)x 10−11]m3kg−1s−2. The force is one of attraction and acts along the line joining the two point masses. We say that the point mass m2 is in a field of force (the gravitational field) due to m1 and vice versa. Since ‘Force = Mass x Acceleration’, the acceleration of m2 will be Gm1/r2. Indeed, it is evident that the acceleration of any point mass due to m1 will be Gm1/r2 towards m1.
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- Gravitational methods
D. S. Parasnis
- Springer Netherlands