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Unformatted text preview: gravitational attraction between the earth and the moon. In Chapter 15 we will see that the strength of the gravitational interaction can be calculated as follows: where G is the gravitational constant and m e is the mass of the earth. For a constant circular motion, the gravitational force must provide the required centripetal force: The distance between the earth and the moon can therefore be calculated: The constant of gravity is known to be G = 6.67 x 10-11 m 3 /(s kg) and the mass of the earth is known to be m e = 5.98 x 10 24 kg. The measured period of the moon is 27.3 days (2.3 x 10 6 s). The distance between the moon and the earth can therefore be calculated: r = 3.82 x 10 8 m which agrees nicely with the distance obtained using other techniques (for example the measurement of the time it takes for light to travel from the earth to the moon and back). Figure 6.12. Forces acting on a car while rounding an unbanked curve....
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