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Questions tagged [newtonian-gravity]

The Newtonian model of gravity in which the force between two objects is given by GMm/r^2.

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231
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11answers
53k views

Don't heavier objects actually fall faster because they exert their own gravity?

The common understanding is that, setting air resistance aside, all objects dropped to Earth fall at the same rate. This is often demonstrated through the thought experiment of cutting a large object ...
191
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8answers
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Does Earth really have two high-tide bulges on opposite sides?

The bit that makes sense – tidal forces My physics teacher explained that most tidal effect is caused by the Moon rotating around the Earth, and some also by the Sun. They said that in the Earth and ...
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Could we send a man safely to the Moon in a rocket without knowledge of general relativity?

I'm wondering if it's possible to send a man to the Moon using equations consistent with Newtonian gravity and without the elaborate tools of Einstein gravity. Are the predictions made by Newtonian ...
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10answers
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How can I stand on the ground? EM or/and Pauli?

There is this famous example about the order difference between gravitational force and EM force. All the gravitational force of Earth is just countered by the electromagnetic force between the ...
92
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3answers
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If Earth had rings?

If Earth had rings, would they center on the equator like Saturn's rings do on its equator?
91
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5answers
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Does a gun exert enough gravity on the bullet it fired to stop it?

My question is set in the following situation: You have a completely empty universe without boundaries. In this universe is a single gun which holds one bullet. The gun fires the bullet and the ...
88
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3answers
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Why do phones land face down?

Layman here. I'm not sure if this is the case or not, but my anecdotal evidence is that mobile phones, especially large screen phones, tend to fall face down when you drop them; much to the owner's ...
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7answers
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Does juggling balls reduce the total weight of the juggler and balls?

A friend offered me a brain teaser to which the solution involves a $195$ pound man juggling two $3$-pound balls to traverse a bridge having a maximum capacity of only $200$ pounds. He explained that ...
84
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8answers
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Could a “living planet” alter its own trajectory only by changing its shape?

In Stanislaw Lem's novel Solaris the planet is able to correct its own trajectory by some unspecified means. Assuming its momentum and angular momentum is conserved (it doesn't eject or absorb any ...
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2answers
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Can an atom orbit the Sun?

Is it possible for a molecule or atom to orbit a star (e.g. the Sun)? Or is there always too much outward force imparted by solar radiation compared to the inward force of gravitational attraction?
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4answers
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Where does the extra kinetic energy come from in a gravitational slingshot?

I read in this answer in this site that the KE a free-falling ball acquires is not originated by the attracting body but that energy was actually stored in the ball when it had been lifted to the ...
77
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5answers
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If dark matter only interacts with gravity, why doesn't it all clump together in a single point?

I'm a complete layperson. As I understand, dark matter theoretically only interacts with the gravitational force, and doesn't interact with the other three fundamental forces: weak nuclear force, ...
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7answers
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Moon's pull causes tides on far side of Earth: why?

I have always wondered and once I even got it, but then completely forgot. I understand that gravity causes high and low tides in oceans, but why does it occur on the other side of Earth?
68
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5answers
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Is there a small enough planet or asteroid you can orbit by jumping?

I just had this idea of orbiting a planet just by jumping and then flying upon it on its orbit kind of like superman. So, Would it be theoretically possible or is there a chance of that small body to ...
66
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7answers
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Why is the Earth so fat?

I made a naive calculation of the height of Earth's equatorial bulge and found that it should be about 10km. The true height is about 20km. My question is: why is there this discrepancy? The ...
64
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9answers
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Why doesn't the Moon fall onto the Earth?

Why doesn't the Moon fall onto the Earth? For that matter, why doesn't anything rotating a larger body ever fall onto the larger body?
62
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5answers
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Why do archery arrows tilt downwards in their descent?

In the movies, arrows shot into the air rotate so that during the descent, the arrow head hits ground first. What is the source of this angular momentum? It would seem that the bow string exerts a ...
61
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3answers
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In a roller coaster, does the rear car have a higher acceleration/speed?

I am wondering about this question since I asked myself: why do people feel more weightless in the rear car of a roller-coaster than in the front car? To feel the effect of weightlessness, you must ...
59
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6answers
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Can a Skydiver Land On a Large Slide and Survive?

Please forgive my lack of artistic ability, but here's my question: Consider that a skydiver, without using his parachute, were to fall exactly parallel to a giant curved slide that starts at $90\,^\...
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5answers
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Why is the Moon considered the major cause of tides, even though it is weaker than the Sun?

You have likely read in books that tides are mainly caused by the Moon. When the Moon is high in the sky, it pulls the water on the Earth upward and a high-tide happens. There is some similar effect ...
53
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5answers
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What does the Moon's orbit around the Sun look like?

I'm curious as to what the Moon's orbit around the Sun looks like. If there's an answer, what's the intuition for it? Here are some things I'm assuming when trying to tackle this question: The Moon's ...
53
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3answers
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How does the Earth's center produce heat?

In my understanding, the center of the Earth is hot because of the weight of the its own matter being crushed in on itself because of gravity. We can use water to collect this heat from the Earth and ...
52
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14answers
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Why do we say that the earth moves around the sun?

In history we are taught that the Catholic Church was wrong, because the Sun does not move around the Earth, instead the Earth moves around the Sun. But then in physics we learn that movement is ...
52
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9answers
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Are we slightly lighter during the day and slightly heavier at night, owing to the force of the Sun's gravity?

Using $g = \frac{Gm}{r^2}$, the force on a point mass located at 1 AU from the Sun ($m = 2 \cdot 10^{30} \text{ kg}$) is about ~0.006 N/kg. Does that mean that, e.g., a 70 kg person is ~42g lighter ...
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Why is bench pressing your bodyweight harder than doing a pushup?

Why does bench pressing your own bodyweight feel so much harder than doing a push-up? I have my own theories about the weight being distributed over multiple points (like in a push-up) but would ...
49
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2answers
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Can we infer the existence of periodic solutions to the three-body problem from numerical evidence?

I recently found out about the discovery of 13 beautiful periodic solutions to the three-body problem, described in the paper Three Classes of Newtonian Three-Body Planar Periodic Orbits. Milovan ...
48
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4answers
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How does gravity work underground?

Would the effect of gravity on me change if I were to dig a very deep hole and stand in it? If so, how would it change? Am I more likely to be pulled downwards, or pulled towards the edges of the hole?...
48
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3answers
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Are there tides in the atmosphere?

Analogous to the tides of Earths oceans, do the Moon and Sun cause our atmosphere to bulge in what could be described as a low and high tide?
47
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4answers
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Why do some location on Earth have only one tidal maximum per day instead of two?

Most places in the ocean have two high tides and two low tides per "day" (~25 hours). But I remember reading that some locations only have one of each per day. This answer has some great explanations ...
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3answers
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If Newton's third law is true, why can we sink in sand? [duplicate]

Newton's third law of motion states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. That is the reason we do not sink into the earth, because when our weight exerts a force on the earth it also ...
45
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5answers
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Why aren't there spherical galaxies? [duplicate]

According to the Wikipedia page on Galaxy Types, there are four main kinds of galaxies: Spirals - as the name implies, these look like huge spinning spirals with curved "arms" branching out ...
44
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9answers
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Why are $L_4$ and $L_5$ lagrangian points stable?

This diagram from wikipedia shows the gravitational potential energy of the sun-earth two body system, and demonstrates clearly the semi-stability of the $L_1$, $L_2$, and $L_3$ lagrangian points. The ...
43
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9answers
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Why is air not sucked off the Earth?

People said outside earth is a vacuum. But the air does not get sucked from the Earth's surface. Some said it is due to gravity and some said the speed of air molecules are not high enough to escape....
43
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6answers
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Pouring water in an aircraft while upside down?

What is the physics behind the following photo? Someone had told me that this is because the aircraft might be moving towards a lower altitude, but I am still not sure.
42
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3answers
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If I drop a ball in an accelerating rocket, will it bounce? If so, how?

Einstein's equivalence principle says that you cannot distinguish between an accelerating frame or a gravitational field. However, in an gravitational field, if I drop a tennis ball, it will bounce, ...
41
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7answers
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If the ground's normal force cancels gravity, how does a person keep rotating with the Earth?

When I am on earth, the weight of my body is countered by the reaction of the ground. So, there is no net force acting on me. But I am spinning with earth. But if there is no centripetal force then ...
41
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4answers
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Has gravity ever been experimentally measured between two atoms?

Has there been any experiments, or are there any references, demonstrating gravity between atoms? If so, what are the key experiments/papers? Or if not, what is the smallest thing that has actually ...
40
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6answers
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How does rotational “artificial gravity” differ from normal gravity?

I am not a physicist, just a curious mind. I was reading a novel by Iain Banks where it was mentioned, that shifting from artificial rotational "gravity" (in space, on a rotating space craft) to real ...
40
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8answers
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“Falling upward” - how far you have to be from Earth to start falling to the Moon?

Talking about gravity with my 9 y/o she asked when do we start "falling upward" to the Moon. What is the distance at which the Moon's gravitational attraction is higher than that of the Earth and thus ...
39
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6answers
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Why aren't satellites disintegrated even though they orbit earth within earth's Roche Limits?

I was wondering about the Roche limit and its effects on satellites. Why aren't artificial satellites ripped apart by gravitational tidal forces of the earth? I think it's due to the satellites being ...
39
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6answers
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Which ball touches the ground first?

This is a very well known problem, but I can't find an answer in the specific case I'm looking for. Let's consider two balls : Ball 1 weighs 10 kg Ball 2 weighs 1 kg Balls have identical volumes (so ...
38
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5answers
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Why can't we feel the Earth turning?

The Earth turns with a very high velocity, around its own axis and around the Sun. So why can't we feel that it's turning, but we can still feel earthquake.
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Would you be weightless at the center of the Earth?

If you could travel to the center of the Earth (or any planet), would you be weightless there?
37
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5answers
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Why do heavier objects fall faster in air?

We all know that in an idealised world all objects accelerate at the same rate when dropped regardless of their mass. We also know that in reality (or more accurately, in air) a lead feather falls ...
37
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7answers
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Hanging a hammer from a table and a stick so that its midpoint is outside of the support of the table

I came across this pic on the internet today. At beginning I thought it is just not possible because the centre of mass is way off so gravity will generate torque making the stick and hammer fall. ...
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5answers
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Why are so many forces explainable using inverse squares when space is three dimensional?

It seems paradoxical that the strength of so many phenomena (Newtonian gravity, Coulomb force) are calculable by the inverse square of distance. However, since volume is determined by three ...
36
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12answers
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If gravity disappeared, would Newton's third law make everything that was pressed to the ground by gravity get pushed upwards? [closed]

If gravity disappeared, would Newton's third law make everything that was pressed to the ground by gravity get pushed upwards?
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6answers
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Why don't planets have Circular orbits?

This might be a completely wrong question, but this is bothering me since many days ago. Given the mass (Sun) curves the space around it, gravitation is the result of such curved space (Correct me if ...
35
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7answers
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Why don't we feel the subtle speed change of Earth's elliptical orbit?

Earth's orbit is a slight ellipse, so to conserve momentum its speed increases when it is closest to the Sun. If the speed changes there is an acceleration. If there is an acceleration there is a ...
35
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7answers
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If the gravity at the center of the Earth is zero, why are heavy elements like iron there?

If gravity is zero at the center of the earth, why is there a core of heavy elements, such as iron? Alternate question for the opposite hypothesis: If gravity is greatest at the center of the earth,...