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Andrew Mason
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Dec10-12, 10:11 AM
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Quote Quote by Richard Nash View Post

Question: I would like to avoid these calculations and I was wondering if there exists a better solution.
Welcome to PF!

You certainly need to use calculus. When one does this kind of calculus problem one has to use as much symmetry as possible. It seems that is achieved by dividing the sphere into rings perpendicular to the axis through the centre of the sphere and the point mass, calculating the gravity from a ring and integrating from one end to the other. If that is what they are doing, that is as simple as it gets.