Team Physics -
Created by: Team Physics -, Last Updated: July 11, 2024


Gravitation is the force of attraction that acts between all masses in the universe, causing them to be drawn toward one another. This fundamental interaction is responsible for the motion of celestial bodies, the structure of galaxies, and the phenomenon of objects falling to the ground on Earth. Described by Isaac Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation. Gravity is the force that pulls objects toward the Earth, and gravitational acceleration Formula on Earth is approximately 9.8 m/s². Gravity Formula quantifies this force of attraction, highlighting the relationship between mass and distance.

What is Gravitation?

Gravitation is the natural force of attraction between all objects with mass or energy. It causes planets to orbit stars, moons to orbit planets, and governs the motion of celestial bodies. First described by Isaac Newton and later refined by Albert Einstein, gravitation is essential to the structure and behavior of the universe.

Gravitation Formula

The gravitational force between two objects can be calculated using Newton’s law of universal gravitation, given by the formula.

F = G⋅m₁⋅m₂ / r²


  • F = gravitational force between the two objects
  • G = universal gravitational constant (6.67430×10−¹¹ N⋅m²⋅kg-²)
  • m1 = mass of the first object
  • m2 = mass of the second object
  • r = distance between the centers of the two objects

Examples of Gravitation

Examples of Gravitation
  1. Apple Falling from a Tree
  2. Orbiting Planets
  3. Moon’s Tides
  4. Falling Objects
  5. Galactic Movement
  6. Satellite Orbits
  7. Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS)
  8. Gravitational Lensing
  9. Black Holes
  10. Formation of Stars and Planets
  11. Comet Paths
  12. Weight on Different Planets

Examples of Gravitational Force

  1. Weight on a Scale: The force of gravity acting on a person’s mass is measured as weight when they step on a scale.
  2. Bouncing Ball: When you throw a ball upwards, gravity slows it down, stops it, and then pulls it back to the ground.
  3. Water Flow in Rivers: Gravity causes water to flow downhill from higher elevations to lower ones, shaping rivers and streams.
  4. Mountain Climbing: Climbers feel the pull of gravity as they ascend, requiring more effort to climb higher altitudes.
  5. Gravitational Slingshot: Spacecraft use the gravity of planets to gain speed and change direction, saving fuel and time during space missions.
  6. Raindrop Falling: Gravity pulls raindrops from clouds to the Earth, leading to precipitation.
  7. Erosion: Gravity contributes to erosion by pulling soil and rocks downhill, reshaping landscapes over time.
  8. Tug of War on an Incline: If a tug-of-war game is played on a hill, gravity affects the effort needed to pull uphill or downhill.
  9. Pendulum Motion: A pendulum swings back and forth due to gravity acting on its mass, creating a regular motion.
  10. Buoyancy and Gravity: Objects submerged in water experience buoyant force opposing gravity, determining whether they float or sink.

Examples of Gravitational Force Class 8

  • Raindrops Falling to Earth
  • When clouds release rain, gravity pulls the raindrops toward the ground. This force causes the raindrops to accelerate as they fall, eventually reaching the surface.
  • Keeping Earth’s Atmosphere in Place
  • Gravity holds Earth’s atmosphere close to the planet, preventing it from drifting into space. This force ensures that the air we breathe remains around Earth, supporting life.
  • Hikers Climbing a Mountain
  • When hikers climb a mountain, they work against gravity. The force of gravity pulls them downward, making it more challenging to ascend, but it also assists them on their descent.
  • Volcano Eruptions
  • During a volcanic eruption, gravity influences the flow of lava and ash. Gravity pulls the lava down the slopes of the volcano and causes the ash to settle back to the ground after being expelled into the air.
  • Comets and Asteroids in Space
  • Comets and asteroids in our solar system are affected by the gravitational pull of the Sun and planets. This force determines their trajectories, causing them to follow specific paths through space.

Importance and Uses of Gravitation

Importance of Gravitation

  • Planet Formation: Causes dust and gas to clump together in space, leading to the formation of planets.
  • Star Formation: Pulls together gas clouds, leading to the birth of stars through nuclear fusion.
  • Planetary Orbits: Keeps planets in orbit around stars, such as Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
  • Moon’s Orbit: Maintains the Moon’s orbit around Earth, influencing tides and stabilizing the planet’s axial tilt.
  • Galaxies and Clusters: Holds galaxies together and binds clusters of galaxies, shaping the large-scale structure of the universe.
  • Atmosphere Retention: Holds the Earth’s atmosphere in place, making life possible by providing air to breathe and protecting from space radiation.
  • Objects Falling: Causes objects to fall to the ground, influencing countless daily activities.
  • Weight Measurement: Determines the weight of objects, essential for various scientific and practical applications.

Uses of Gravitation

  • Satellites:
    • Communication: Essential for placing communication satellites in orbit, enabling global telecommunication.
    • Weather Forecasting: Crucial for weather satellites that monitor climate and weather patterns.
    • GPS Technology: Fundamental for the functioning of GPS satellites, aiding navigation and location tracking.
  • Space Exploration:
    • Mission Planning: Assists in planning space missions, calculating trajectories, and navigating spacecraft within the solar system.
    • Interplanetary Travel: Important for understanding gravitational slingshot maneuvers to accelerate spacecraft.
  • Engineering Applications:
    • Civil Engineering: Critical for designing structures that can withstand gravitational forces.
    • Aerospace Engineering: Important for calculating the gravitational forces acting on aircraft and spacecraft.
  • Medical Applications:
    • Bone Density Studies: Understanding the effects of microgravity on bone density, aiding in the development of treatments for osteoporosis.
    • Fluid Dynamics: Studying the behavior of fluids in the human body under different gravitational conditions.
  • Educational Purposes:
    • Physics Education: Fundamental concept taught in physics, essential for understanding other scientific principles.
    • Astronomy Education: Crucial for learning about the motion of celestial bodies and the structure of the universe.


Who discovered the law of gravitation?

Sir Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravitation in the 17th century, explaining how objects attract each other with a force proportional to their masses.

What is the universal law of gravitation?

The universal law of gravitation states that every mass attracts every other mass with a force directly proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of their distance.

How does gravity affect weight?

Weight is the force of gravity acting on an object’s mass, calculated by W=mg, where g
gg is the acceleration due to gravity.

What is the acceleration due to gravity on Earth?

The acceleration due to gravity on Earth is approximately 9.8 m/s²

Why do objects fall to the ground?

Objects fall to the ground due to Earth’s gravitational pull, which accelerates them towards the center of the planet.

Do all objects fall at the same rate?

In the absence of air resistance, all objects fall at the same rate regardless of their mass due to uniform acceleration by gravity.

How does gravity keep planets in orbit?

Gravity keeps planets in orbit by providing the centripetal force needed to balance their inertia, causing them to follow curved paths around the Sun.

What is a black hole?

A black hole is a region in space with an extremely strong gravitational pull, from which nothing, not even light, can escape.

How does gravity affect tides?

Gravity from the Moon and the Sun causes tidal forces on Earth, leading to the rise and fall of ocean levels.

What is microgravity?

Microgravity is the condition where objects appear weightless and experience very weak gravitational forces, often encountered in orbiting spacecraft.

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