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Gravitation is a natural phenomenon by which objects with mass attract one another. In everyday life, gravitation is most commonly thought of as the agency which lends weight to objects with mass. Gravitation compels dispersed matter to coalesce, thus accounting for the existence of the Earth, the Sun, and most of the macroscopic objects in the universe. It is responsible for keeping the Earth and the other planets in their orbits around the Sun; for keeping the Moon in its orbit around the Earth; for the formation of tides; for convection, by which fluid flow occurs under the influence of a temperature gradient and gravity; for heating the interiors of forming stars and planets to very high temperatures; and for various other phenomena observed on Earth. Modern physics describes gravitation using the general theory of relativity, in which gravitation is a consequence of the curvature of spacetime which governs the motion of inertial objects. The simpler Newton's law of universal gravitation provides an accurate approximation for most calculations.
The terms gravitation and gravity are mostly interchangeable in everyday use, but a distinction is made in scientific circles. "Gravitation" is a general term describing the phenomenon by which bodies with mass are attracted to one another, while "gravity" refers specifically to the net force exerted by the Earth on objects in its vicinity as well as by other factors, such as the Earth's rotation.
Main article: Earth's gravity
Every planetary body (including the Earth) is surrounded by its own gravitational field, which exerts an attractive force on all objects. Assuming a spherically symmetrical planet (a reasonable approximation), the strength of this field at any given point is proportional to the planetary body's mass and inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the center of the body.
The strength of the gravitational field is numerically equal to the acceleration of objects under its influence, and its value at the Earth's surface, denoted g, is approximately expressed below as the standard average.
g = 9.8 m/s2 = 32.2 ft/s2
This means that, ignoring air resistance, an object falling freely near the Earth's surface increases its velocity with 9.8 m/s (32.2 ft/s or 22 mph) for each second of its descent. Thus, an object starting from rest will attain a velocity of 9.8 m/s (32.2 ft/s) after one second, 19.6 m/s (64.4 ft/s) after two seconds, and so on, adding 9.8 m/s (32.2 ft/s) to each resulting velocity. Also, again ignoring air resistance, any and all objects, when dropped from the same height, will hit the ground at the same time.
According to Newton's 3rd Law, the Earth itself experiences an equal and opposite force to that acting on the falling object, meaning that the Earth also accelerates towards the object (until the object hits the earth, then the Law of Conservation of Energy states that it will move back with the same acceleration with which it initially moved forward, canceling out the two forces of gravity.). However, because the mass of the Earth is huge, the acceleration of the Earth by this same force is negligible, when measured relative to the system's center of mass.
Originally posted by jmotley
I remeber learning in school that it was caused by the rotation of the earth...
I googled it and got nothing.
Originally posted by jmotley
This is the definition of gravity. Not what causes it.
I know what causes us to stay on the surface and things to fall.
Lets say the earth stopped spinning. would we all float off to space.
Originally posted by getreadyalready
It is not a simple question at all! It is actually a very complicated Physical Chemistry / Physics question.
No proof of the mechanism of gravity exists, but it can be observed in the smallest particles known to man!
Originally posted by Teknikal
If anyone ever work's it out they will probably be as famous as Einstein.
Originally posted by Ex_MislTech
reply to post by jmotley
Gravity is caused by mass, the more mass you have the more
gravity you get.
Pretty straight forward.
Originally posted by genius/idoit
....basically Tesla believed that gravity was a force pushing down on us not pulling us down...