Forces – Gravity

Graduate Resources

Scientists have described four different kinds of forces in nature:

  • Electromagnetic
    Electric and magnetic forces result from a property of particles called electric charge. Charged particles exert electric forces on each other, and moving charges produce magnetic fields; magnetic and electric forces are considered to be different aspects of the same force.
  • Strong Nuclear
    This is the strongest of the four forces; it’s the force that holds the particles in the nucleus of an atom together. It has to be much stronger than the electromagnetic force, because it is able to overcome the force of the positively charged protons, which try to repel each other. However, this very strong force acts over only very small distances … the size of a nucleus.
  • Weak Nuclear
    This is a force which is involved in the radioactive decay of some nuclei; it is similar to the electromagnetic force, which leads scientists to believe that all four forces may really be different aspects of one single force.
  • Gravity
    This is the weakest of the four forces. It exists between all objects, and can act over long distances. For example, it holds the earth in orbit around the sun, and all the stars together in our galaxy.

The two forces with which you are most familiar are the ones which you can see around you in your daily life … electromagnetism and gravity. You may be surprised that we’ve described gravity as being the weakest force … surely a force that can hold massive planets in orbit must be a very strong one!
In fact, gravity is much weaker than electromagnetism. The reason gravity seems so strong is because we see around us the effects of the gravity caused by the entire planet earth.

Consider this: you could hold in your hands two magnets which attract each other so strongly that you are unable to pull them apart with all your strength. That’s a lot of force for two little pieces of metal the size of your hand.
On the other hand, while the force of gravity from the planet below you pulls you to its surface, you can very easily separate yourself from the earth … by jumping.

Let’s look at the situation a slightly different way. Imagine you are wearing boots with magnets on them, and are standing on a small metal plate.

It isn’t hard to imagine that these small pieces of metal will prevent you from lifting your feet at all … you are ‘glued’ to the metal. The magnetic force in the metal is strong enough to keep you completely immobile.

If you can manage to get some friends to free you and then lift you up high enough, the force will no longer be strong enough to be felt. The magnetism acts strongly only when your boots are very close to the plate.

Now imagine you’re just standing on the ground. Despite the fact that the gravity from the entire planet earth is pulling you down, you can easily separate yourself from the ground by jumping. You’re strong enough to separate yourself from the surface of the earth despite the entire planet’s gravitational force.

This force may be weak, but it acts over large distances. No matter how far up you get, the force of gravity can still pull you back to the ground.

Some people erroneously believe that there is no force of gravity once you reach space, and that’s why astronauts ‘float’ in orbit. This is totally false. The force of gravity gets smaller the farther from earth you get, but very slowly as we’re used to measuring distances. At orbital heights, it’s still just about as strong as it is down on the surface. It’s still a quite respectable size even at the distance of the moon. The further from the earth you get, the smaller the force of gravity, but it never gets to zero.
To understand why astronauts seem to float, visit our ‘Weightlessness’ page.

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on print

Click Below For More Great Resources

 Accounting Essay

 Anthropology Essay

 Architecture Essay

 Art Essay

 Biology Essay

 Botany Essay

 Brand Management Essay

 Business Communication Essay

 Business Development Essay

 Business Essay

 Business Plan

 Business Research Methods Essay

 Chemical Analysis Essay

 Chemistry Essay

 Civil Engineering Essay

 Communications Essay

 Comparative Literature Essay

 Construction Management Essay

 Consumer Behaviour Essay

 Copywriting Essay

 Criminology Essay

 Earth and Environmental Sciences Essay

 Econometrics Essay

 Education Essay

 Educational Research Essay

 English and Linguistics Essay

 English Language Essay

 English Literature Essay

 Environmental Sciences Essay

 Film Studies Essay

 Finance Essay

 Financial Accounting Essay

 Forensic Psychology Essay

 History Essay

 Human Resources Essay

 Human Rights Essay

 Humanities Essay

 Industrial Engineering Essay

 Information Technology Essay

 Integrated Marketing Communications Essay

 International Business Essay

 International Hospitality Management Essay

 International HRM Essay

 Internet Marketing Essay

 Introduction to Business Essay

 Law Essay

 Linguistics Essay

 Literature Essay

 Management Essay

 Management Information Systems Essay

 Market Research Essay

 Marketing Essay

 Marketing Management Essay

 Media Studies Essay

 Music Essay

 Nursing Essay

 Philosophy Essay

 Political Science Essay

 Project Management Essay

 Psycholinguistics Essay

 Psychology Essay

 Religion Essay

 Science Essay

 Social Sciences Essay

 Sociology Essay

 Strategic Management Essay

 Strategic Marketing Essay

 Technology Essay

 Training and Development Essay

 Travel and Tourism Essay

 University Application

 World Literature Essay

 Zoology Essay

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

No spam, just notifications about new products, updates and discounts.

Categories

Related Posts

How to Write a Civil Engineering Essay

[imageeffect type=”frame” width=”250″ height=”188″ alt=”” url=”wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Civil-Engineering-Essay.jpg” ]   If you have been assigned to write a paper on civil engineering, you have to be able

How to Write an Integrated Marketing Communications Essay

[imageeffect type=”frame” width=”250″ height=”188″ alt=”” url=”wp-content/uploads/2012/10/integrated-marketing.jpg” ]   Integrated Marketing Communications or IMC is a concept defined as the process of communication between a brand

How to Write a Psycholinguistics Essay

[imageeffect type=”frame” width=”250″ height=”188″ alt=”” url=”wp-content/uploads/2012/09/psycholinguistics.jpg” ]  Psycholinguistics has come a long way since its inception in understanding the mannerism in which humans communicate, disseminate,

How to Write a Nursing Essay

How to Write a Good Nursing Essay After a student has completed the required academics toward their nursing degree, candidates for nursing school will be

Need Help?

Our Academic Writing Services can help with all question types and formats.

What you can expect:

  • 100% Custom writing answering your question, task or requirement
  • Critical argument and reasoning
  • Logically structured
  • Full and complete reference list
  • Free similarity check

Contact Us

Get in touch to discuss your requirements or use the online order form to place your order

Pay Securely

Pay with confidence and confidentiality using our secure online payment portal

Take Delivery

Download your completed project. Expertly researched and written to your instructions