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Force: Gravity, Force and Gravity, & Mass vs. Weight

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Eleni Yargo

on 27 January 2014

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Transcript of Force: Gravity, Force and Gravity, & Mass vs. Weight

The Influence of Mass on Gravity
The greater the total mass of two objects, the greater the gravitational force between them. For example, a meteoroid positioned halfway between two asteroids will be attracted more to the asteroid with the greater mass.
The Influence of Mass on Gravity
Another example of this is the orbits of all the planets around the Sun. The Sun is the most massive object in the solar system. This causes all the planet-moon systems, asteroids, meteoroids, and comets to orbit around the Sun. The Sun moves only slightly due to the gravitational force between it and the planets. Because of this, the Sun stays in the central part of the solar system while the planets move in large orbits around it.
Mass vs. Weight
Mass is a measurement of how much matter is in an object. Weight is a measurement of the gravitational force that is exerted on an object.
Force: Gravity, Mass vs. Weight, and Magnetism
Gravity
Gravity is a force among all objects in the universe. Every object is attracted to every other object due to gravity. The closer objects are, and the more mass they have, the stronger the attraction.
The Influence of Mass on Gravity
The difference in mass between two objects can also affect how gravity affects the objects' motion. The motion of the less massive object is more affected by the force than is the motion of the more massive object. For example, the planet Jupiter is much more massive than its moons. This is why each of its moons orbit around the planet. The gravitational force between Jupiter and its moons does affect the motion of Jupiter, but only slightly.
The Influence of Distance on Gravity
The shorter the distance between two objects, the stronger the gravitational force between them. For example, because the Moon's orbit is elliptical, the gravitational force between the Earth and the Moon is stronger when the Moon is closer to the Earth. When the Moon is farther away in its orbit, the gravitational force between it and the Earth is weaker.
Distance vs. Mass
Both distance and mass influence the gravitational force between two objects at the same time. Differences in distance have a greater effect on gravity than do differences in mass. For example, the gravitational force between the Earth and the Moon is stronger than the force between the Earth and the Sun. Even though the Sun has such a great mass, the shorter distance between the Earth and the Moon makes the force between the Earth and the Moon much stronger than the force between the Earth and the Sun.
Mass vs. Weight
Mass is a physical property of all matter that exists in the universe. It is commonly measured in kilograms. Regardless of where an object is located, the mass of the object at any given time remains the same. For example, if a person had a mass of 45 kg on the surface of the Earth, that person's mass would also be 45 kg on the Moon, or even in outer space.
Mass vs. Weight
Unlike mass, the weight of an object can change based on where the object is located. Weight is the amount of gravitational pull on an object. It is commonly measured in newtons or pounds. So depending on where an object is, the gravitational force acting on it could be different and, accordingly, its weight could be different.

Since the gravitational force acting on an object is proportional to its mass, the weight of an object is proportional to its mass as well.
Magnetism
Magnetism is a force of attraction or repulsion that occurs between two magnetic objects.
A permanent magnet is a material that produces a magnetic field without any external magnetic field being present. Permanent magnets can be demagnetized by heating them past the Curie point.
Every magnet has both a north pole and a south pole. The magnetic field around a bar magnet is shown below.
If two magnets are placed so that a north pole and a south pole are facing each other, they will attract each other. If two magnets are placed so that two south poles or two north poles are facing each other, they will repel each other. The magnetic fields generated by these situations are drawn below.
Certain materials respond to magnetic fields by becoming magnetic themselves. Iron is one of these materials. Although magnetic fields are invisible, one common way that people investigate them is to use iron filings. By sprinkling iron filings in a magnetic field on a flat surface, it is possible to see the "shape" of a magnetic field.
The images below show how iron filings respond to magnetic fields generated by permanent magnets. Notice that the iron filings align themselves in shapes that are similar to the magnetic field lines drawn above.
Like poles repel.
Opposite poles attract.
A horseshoe magnet will generate a magnetic field similar in shape to that of two opposite poles brought near each other.
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