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Gravitational Force Definition

Gravitational Force Definition

Gravitational force is the fundamental force of attraction between two masses, such as objects or celestial bodies, in the universe. According to Newton’s law of universal gravitation, every mass attracts every other mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centres. The formula for gravitational force is given by:

F = G(m1m2)/r2


  • ( F ) is the gravitational force,
  • ( G ) is the gravitational constant,
  • m1 and m2 are the masses of the two objects, and
  • ( r ) is the distance between their centres.

Gravitational force is responsible for phenomena like the Earth’s gravitational pull on objects, the orbits of planets around the sun, and the overall structure of the universe. It is a fundamental concept in physics, shaping the motion and interactions of celestial bodies and objects on Earth.

At its core, gravitational force is the attractive force that exists between any two objects with mass. It is a universal force that affects everything, regardless of size or distance. Additionally, this force pulls objects towards each other and is responsible for the phenomenon of weight.

Moreover, the universe is full of remarkable phenomena, and one such fundamental force that governs the motion of objects is the gravitational force. This force, discovered by Sir Isaac Newton, plays an important role in our everyday lives. These roles include keeping our feet firmly on the ground to shaping the orbits of planets and stars. In this article, I will explain the concept of gravitational force, its definition, and also look into its significance in various aspects of the universe.

Gravitational Force Definition
Gravitational Force Definition

Law of Universal Gravitation

The Law of Universal Gravitation was formulated by Newton. It describes the relationship between the masses of two objects and the force of attraction between them. According to this law, the gravitational force is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centres.

Understanding Gravitational Attraction

Gravitational attraction is the result of the interaction between masses. Every object in the universe exerts a gravitational pull on other objects, no matter how small or large. This attraction is what keeps celestial bodies like planets and moons in their orbits around larger objects such as the Sun.

Gravitational Force Definition: Factors

Several factors influence the strength of the gravitational force. Therefore, the mass of the objects involved is a crucial factor, as the force increases with increasing mass. Additionally, the distance between the objects also plays a significant role, with the force decreasing as the distance increases.

Gravitational Force and Celestial Bodies

Gravitational force governs the movements of celestial bodies, such as planets, moons, and stars. It also keeps planets in their elliptical orbits around the Sun, and moons in orbit around their parent planets. Additionally, gravitational force is responsible for the formation of galaxies and the dynamics of star clusters.

Gravitational Force on Earth

On Earth, the force of gravity keeps us grounded. It pulls objects towards the centre of the Earth, giving them weight. It is important to know that the strength of gravity on Earth’s surface is approximately 9.8 m/s². Therefore, this strength determines how much objects weigh and how they interact with their surroundings.

Applications of Gravitational Force

Gravitational force finds practical applications in various fields. It enables space exploration, as it is important for launching and manoeuvring satellites. Furthermore, the understanding of gravitational force is also essential in fields such as geophysics. This is because it helps to study the Earth’s interior and gravitational anomalies.

The Role of Gravitational Force in Astronomy

Astronomy heavily relies on the study of gravitational force. It helps astronomers understand the behaviour of celestial bodies. Additionally, they can predict celestial events like eclipses and tides, and explore phenomena like black holes and gravitational waves. Moreover, the study of gravitational force has provided invaluable insights into the structure and dynamics of the universe, allowing us to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos.

The Future of Gravitational Force Studies

As technology advances and our understanding of the universe deepens, the study of gravitational force continues to evolve. Therefore, scientists are exploring new avenues. These avenues include gravitational wave detection and the search for dark matter, to expand our knowledge of this fundamental force. Exciting discoveries await us as we push the boundaries of our understanding further.


Gravitational force is a remarkable phenomenon that shapes our universe. It is a fundamental force that governs the motion of objects and plays a vital role in our daily lives. From the orbits of planets to the weight we feel on Earth, the gravitational force is ever-present and influential. By studying and comprehending this force, we gain valuable insights into the workings of the cosmos and unlock new frontiers in scientific exploration.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does the gravitational force affect the motion of planets? A gravitational force keeps planets in their orbits around the Sun. It provides the necessary centripetal force that balances the tendency of the planets to move in a straight line, resulting in stable elliptical orbits.

2. Is there a way to shield or manipulate gravitational force? Currently, there is no known method to shield or manipulate gravitational force. However, scientists continue to explore possibilities and theories, such as the concept of gravitational shielding or the hypothetical concept of antigravity, for potential future advancements.

3. How does gravitational force contribute to the formation of galaxies? Gravitational force plays a crucial role in the formation of galaxies. It acts as an attractive force between matter, causing the accumulation of gas, dust, and stars. Over time, these accumulations form galaxies with intricate structures.

4. Can gravitational force be repulsive? Based on our current understanding, the gravitational force is always attractive. However, in cosmology, the concept of dark energy suggests the existence of a repulsive force counteracting the gravitational pull, leading to the accelerating expansion of the universe.

5. How does the strength of gravitational force vary on different celestial bodies? The strength of gravitational force varies depending on the mass and size of the celestial body. Larger objects, such as massive stars or black holes, exert a stronger gravitational force, while smaller objects have comparatively weaker gravitational forces.

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Acceleration Due to Gravity in Physics


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