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Gravity near the earth - Gravity near the earth We can...

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Gravity near the earth We can apply the Universal Law of Gravitation to objects near the earth also. For an object at or near the surface of the earth, the force due to gravity acts (for reasons that will become clearer in the section on Newton's Shell Theory ) toward the center of the earth. That is, it acts downwards because every particle in the earth is attracting the object. The magnitude of the force on an object of mass m is given by: F = where r e 2 is the radius of the earth. Let us calculate the constant : = 9.74 This is the acceleration due to gravity on the earth (the figure is usually given as 9.8 m/sec 2 , but the value varies considerably at different places on the earth's surface). Thus if we rename the constants = g , then we have the familiar equation F = mg which determines all free-fall motion near the earth. We can also calculate the value of g that an astronaut in a space shuttle would feel orbiting at a height of 200 kilometers above the earth: g 1 = =(6.67×10 -11 )(5.98×10 24 )(6.4×10 6 +2×10 5 ) -2 = 9.16
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