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Circular Motion and Gravitation

Holt
Chapter 7
Honors Physics

Chapter 7

Circular Motion and Gravitation

Section 1 Circular Motion
Section 2 Newtons Law of Universal Gravitation
Section 3 Motion in Space

Resources

7.1 Circular Motion

Any object that revolves
about a single axis
undergoes circular
motion.

Tangential speed (vt):

speed of an object along an
imaginary line drawn tangent to
the objects circular path
depends on an objects
distance from the center of the
circular path
is constant in uniform circular
motion

2
vt

ac =

speed.

Chapter 7

Section 1 Circular Motion

Centripetal Acceleration

Acceleration is a change in
velocity.

(a) As the particle moves from A to

B, the direction of the particles
velocity vector changes.
(b) For short time intervals, v is
directed toward the center of the
circle.
Centripetal acceleration is
always directed toward the
center of a circle.

Chapter 7

in direction.

In circular motion, an acceleration due to a

change in speed is called tangential
acceleration.

A car traveling in a circular track can have both

centripetal and tangential acceleration .
Because the car is moving in a circle, the car has a
centripetal component of acceleration.
If the cars speed changes, the car also has a
tangential component of acceleration.

the net force

directed toward the center of an objects
path

Fc = mac
Fc =

mvt
r

Fc and ac are in the same direction.

The centripetal force is in the plane of
the object and perpendicular to the
tangential speed of the object.

Centripetal force
overcomes the path
of inertia. Inertia is
not a force.

Chapter Force
7
Centripetal

Consider mass m that is being whirled in a horizontal

circular path of radius r with constant speed.

The force exerted by the string has horizontal and vertical

components. The vertical component is equal and opposite to
the gravitational force. Thus, the horizontal component is the
net force.
This net force, which is directed toward the center of the circle,
is a centripetal force.

Chapter 7

Centripetal Force
If the centripetal force vanishes, the object stops moving
in a circular path.
A ball that is on the end of a string is
whirled in a vertical circular path.
If the string breaks at the position
shown in (a), the ball will move
vertically upward in free fall.
If the string breaks at the top of the balls
path, as in (b), the ball will move along a
parabolic path.

7.2 Newtons Law of Universal Gravitation

Gravitational Force

Chapter 7

Section 2 Newtons Law of Universal

Gravitation

Gravitational Force

The centripetal force that holds the planets in orbit

is the same force that pulls an apple toward the
ground. It is the gravitational force.

Gravitational force is the mutual force of attraction

between particles of matter.

The amount of gravitational force depends on the

masses of the objects and on the distance
between them.

7.2 Newtons Law of Universal Gravitation

Gravitational Force

m1m2

Fg ~

Fg = G

m1m2
r

G = 6.673 x 10-11 N.m2/kg2

G is the constant of universal gravitation.
r = the distance between the centers of
the two masses, m1 and m2.

m2

m1

Chapter
7 of Universal Gravitation
Newtons
Law

The gravitational forces that two masses exert on each other are always
equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.
This is an example of Newtons third law of motion.
One example is the Earth-moon system.
As a result of these forces, the moon and Earth each orbit the center of
mass of the Earth-moon system. Because Earth has a much greater
mass than the moon, this center of mass lies within Earth.

7.2 Newtons Law of Universal Gravitation

Gravitational Force

The tides result from the difference between the

gravitational force at Earths surface and at Earths
center.

Spring tides are higher high and

lower low tides than normal.
Neap tides are lower high and higher
low tides than normal.
NOAA's National Ocean Service:
Animation of spring and neap tides

7.2 Newtons Law of Universal Gravitation

Gravitational Force

Henry Cavendish, 1798, determined the value of G,

G = 6.673 x 10-11 Nm2/kg2
and then he determined ME.

Chapter 7

Gravitation

weight = mass gravitational field strength

Because weight depends on gravitational field
strength, weight changes with location:
weight=mg
Fg GmmE GmE
g

2
2
m
mr
r
On the surface of any planet, the value of g, as well as your
weight, will depend on the planets mass and its radius.

Fg = W = m1g
Fg = G
m1g = G
g=G

m1m2

m1ME
2

r
ME
r

A gravitational force is an interaction between a mass and the

gravitational field created by other masses.
Gravitational potential energy is stored in the gravitational field.
Gravitational field strength is g = Fg/m and equals free-fall acceleration.
Gravitational field strength rapidly decreases as the distance from Earth
increases.

Newtons second law of motion gives inertial mass (amount

of matter in an object).

F = ma

Newtons law of universal gravitation gives gravitational

mass (amount of attraction objects have for each other).

Fg = G

m1m2
r

Chapter 7

Keplers Laws

(1609, 1619)

Keplers laws describe the

motion of the planets.
First Law (The Law of
Ellipses): Each planet travels
in an elliptical orbit around the
sun, and the sun is at one of
the focal points.

Chapter 7

Keplers Laws

Second Law (The Law of Equal

Areas): An imaginary line drawn from the
sun to any planet sweeps out equal areas in
equal time intervals. If the time a planet takes to
travel the arc on the left (t1) is equal to the time
the planet takes to cover the arc on the right
(t2), then the area A1 is equal to the area A2.
Planets move faster closer to the sun.
Thus, the planet
travels faster when it
is closer to the sun
and slower when it is
farther away.

Chapter 7

Keplers Laws

(1609, 1619)

Third Law: Kepler's third law - sometimes referred to as

the law of harmonies - compares the orbital period and
radius of orbit of a planet to those of other planets. The
square of a planets orbital period (T2) is proportional to the
cube of the average distance (r3) between the planet and
the sun.

Planet

Period
(s)

Average
Dist. (m)

T2/R3
(s2/m3)

Earth

3.156 x 107 s

1.4957 x 1011

2.977 x 10-19

Mars

5.93 x 107 s

2.278 x 1011

2.975 x 10-19

Planet

Period
(yr)

Ave.
Dist. (au)

T2/R3
(yr2/au3)

Mercury

0.241

0.39

0.98

Venus

.615

0.72

1.01

Earth

1.00

1.00

1.00

Mars

1.88

1.52

1.01

Jupiter

11.8

5.20

0.99

Saturn

29.5

9.54

1.00

Uranus

84.0

19.18

1.00

Neptune

165

30.06

1.00

Pluto

248

39.44

1.00

Chapter 7

Keplers Laws

Keplers laws were developed a

generation before Newtons law of
universal gravitation (1687).

Newton demonstrated that Keplers laws

are consistent with the law of universal
gravitation.

The fact that Keplers laws closely

matched observations gave additional
support for Newtons theory of gravitation.

Chapter 7

Keplers third law states that T2 r3.

The constant of proportionality is 42/Gm, where m
is the mass of the object being orbited.
So, Keplers third law can also be stated as follows:
2

3
4

2
T
r
Gm

Chapter 7

Keplers third law leads to an equation for the period of

an object in a circular orbit. The speed of an object in a
circular orbit depends on the same factors:

r3
m
T 2
vt G
Gm
r
Note that m is the mass of the central object that is being orbited.
The mass of the planet or satellite that is in orbit does not affect
its speed or period.
The mean radius (r) is the distance between the centers of the two
bodies.

Chapter 7

Planetary Data

Chapter 7

Weight and Weightlessness

To learn about apparent weightlessness, imagine that you
are in an elevator:
When the elevator is at rest, the magnitude of the normal
force acting on you equals your weight.
If the elevator were to accelerate downward at 9.81 m/s 2,
you and the elevator would both be in free fall. You have
the same weight, but there is no normal force acting on
you.
This situation of no normal force is called apparent
weightlessness.
Astronauts

weightlessness.

Chapter 7

Weight and
Weightlessness

The gravitational fields of planets are used to

direct the travel (paths) of space probes.