Why does gravity attract non-metallic objects as magnetism does? I understand why gravity, because of mass of an object, works. But earth has a magnetic field, and the moon does not. Indeed, many masses in the universe do not exhibit magnetic fields. If magnetic field plays a part, why does wood on non-metallic (magnetically charged) objects fall at the same speed, especially when we have physics that indicate when a mass (e.g. earth) in orbit should fall into the law of centrifugal force. If the earth is pulled (I say pushed by other heavenly bodies) by gravity to prevent centrifugal force onto the earth. Why should centrifugal force act on non-metallic objects. There appears to be a contradiction that is unexplainable. Help me understand.


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    $\begingroup$ The earths magnetic field is extremely small. Also, a magnetic field only interacts with a moving charged particle, while gravity interacts with all objects of mass. $\endgroup$ – jerk_dadt Mar 4 '14 at 5:58
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe I don't understand your question well, but I'm not sure why you think that centrifugal force should act only on metallic objects. Centrifugal force is a completely different force than magnetic force. It has a completely different cause and properties: these 2 forces are absolutely independent. Centrifugal force acts on everything in rotating frames of reference. Magnetic force acts on some materials only and it does not care of rotation at all. $\endgroup$ – mpv Mar 4 '14 at 7:16
  • $\begingroup$ Also I'm not sure why you think gravity and magnetism should bot act only on metallic objects. Gravity and magnetism are again completely different forces with totally different causes, so they have different properties. They also act totally independently of each other. $\endgroup$ – mpv Mar 4 '14 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ Celestial bodies do not "push" objects with gravitational forces; it is an interesting property of gravitation that any two massive bodies will feel an attractive (pulling) force due to gravity. $\endgroup$ – chase Mar 6 '14 at 10:39

Magnetic field doesn't play a part. In the case of the earth, the magnetic field is incredibly weak and can't attract much.

Gravity and centrifugal forces have to do with the mass of a body, not the magnetic pole strength. Magnetic fields are different beasts entirely which have to do with the velocity of charged particles or their magnetic pole strength.


As stated before our planets magnetic field is too weak to play a significant role.

Centrifugal force just describes conservation of momentum, that means that a body (e.g. earth) wants to go in a straight line forever, unless a force (e.g. gravity from the sun) acts on it. The force that forces a body on a curved path is usually called centripetal force (see wikipedia).

PS: Gravity not only acts on all objects with mass, but even on those without any mass, like photons (i.e. light). This phenomenon appears in nature when light by the gravitational field of a galaxy cluster. This is then called a gravitational lens (see wikipedia).


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