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## Gravitation

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### ... where we can compare the Earth's gravitational field: one at the Earth's surface ... accn at the distance of the Moon's orbit (gm) ge = 1 / (radius of Earth)2 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Gravitation

1
Gravitation
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Gravitation What was so clever about Newtons
contribution?
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Isaac NewtonJanuary 1643 March 1727
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Nikolaus KopernikusFebruary 1473 May 1543
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Johannes KeplerDecember 1571 November 1630
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Amongst other things, Kepler had deduced
that-1 Planets go around the Sun in
ellipses2 The periods of their orbits
(planetary years) were related to the radii of
their orbits. T2 a r3Newton attempted to fit
these observations to ideas about gravity.
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• Facts available to Newton
• 1 Earths circumference, originally estimated by
and improved by French surveyors during Newtons
• Their best value, in todays units,
69.2miles/degree 69.2 x 360 miles
• 24900miles 40 100km.
• This implies a radius (Re) of 6380km.

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Eratosthenes - from Google
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The real Eratosthenes?
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Fact 2 The Moons distance from Earth (radius
of Moons orbit, Rmo). Estimated by Aristarchus
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and Hipparchus
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Using the size of the shadows during a lunar
eclipse, they found the Moons distance, Rmo to
60 x 6380 383 000km 3.83 x 108m or 250
000miles
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Fact 3Length of a lunar month (time taken for
Moon to make one complete orbit)27.32 days
27.32 x 24 x 3600 sec 2.36 x 106seconds.This
is easily measured by counting the number of days
taken for several lunar months.
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Fact 4 Acceleration of falling objects on Earth
9.8m/s2. Measured by Galileo, who died the
year Newton was born.
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Galileo Galilei February 1564 January 1642
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Newtons ideas
• Idea 1 The force used to keep an object rotating
in a circle depends on the objects speed and the
circles radius in this way- F m v2 / r
• This implies that the centripetal acceleration
(directed towards the centre on the circle)
• is equal to v2 / r.

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• This was proved in
• Newtons Principia.
• This is his own copy.
• Possibly the first
• proof.

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Idea 2 The Moon is in orbit around the Earth
because gravity supplies this centripetal force.
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Idea 3This gravitational force is proportional
to 1 / (distance from Earths centre)2.
3 This gravitational force is proportional to 1
/ (distance from Earths centre) 2. Idea 3 was
probably also suggested by Robert Hooke.
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Idea 3This gravitational force is proportional
to 1 / (distance from Earths centre)2.
• Idea 3 - was possibly also suggested
by Robert Hooke with whom Newton had a
continuing row for about 20 years

3 This gravitational force is proportional to 1
/ (distance from Earths centre) 2. Idea 3 was
probably also suggested by Robert Hooke.
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Newton had all the ingredients, now lets see how
he made a good stew!
• There are two places where we can compare the
Earths gravitational field one at the
Earths surface
• and the other at the orbit of the Moon.
• This uses idea 3.

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Idea 3
• Gravitational accn at the Earths surface (ge)
• Grav. accn at the distance of the Moons orbit
(gm)
• ge 1 / (radius of Earth)2
• gm 1/ (radius of Moons orbit) 2
• (radius of Moons orbit) 2
• (radius of Earth) 2
• Rmo2 / Re2

25
Rearranging slightly
• ge Rmo2 x centripetal accn of Moon(gm)
• Re2
• to get a numerical value for ge, all we need to
do is to insert the centripetal acceleration from
Idea 1 and the known value of the ratio of the
orbital sizes (60/1).

26
Idea 1
• Centripetal accn of Moon v2 / Rmo
• First - the Moons velocity, v,
• circumference of Moons orbit
• time for one revolution
• 2pRmo / 2.36 x 106 1019m/s

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and, second, the accn of Moon, gm v2
10192 1.038x106 Rmo Rmo Rmo
1.038x106 / (60 x Re) 1.038x106/(60 x 6.38 x
106) gm 0.00271m/s2
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Now we can substitute this into our expression
for ge
• ge Rmo2 x gm
• Re2
• where Rmo2 / Re2 602

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and so, finally, ge 602 x 0.00271m/s2
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ge 9.8m/s2which agrees with Galileos
measured value!
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and you say Wasnt that really neat of him to
calculate ge so accurately from all that data
about the moon? or you should, if you havent!
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Conclusion
• The next step was to extend this idea to the
whole of the solar system and then to the rest of
the universe. It has become the Universal Law of
Gravitation.
• Newtons ideas are only superseded by those of
Einstein under extreme conditions, so he was
right to a high degree of approximation.

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