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How to explain there cannot be a case where r=0 in F=G(Mm/r^2)

by WaaWaa Waa
Tags: case, explain, fgmm or r2
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WaaWaa Waa
#1
Feb24-13, 03:51 PM
WaaWaa Waa's Avatar
P: 12
Hi. This is my first post here. In one of our science groups in Facebook, a member is asking about a case where r=0 in Newton's Equation F=G(Mm/r^2)

The best i could do was to state that there cannot be two point masses with a distance r=0 between them. He seems to accept my explanation but his intuition that it should be 'infinity' still remains. I would like to explain it better. Can you please help?

I have searched the site but could not find the answer. If there is already a thread, I would be glad if you could point me towards it.
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rock.freak667
#2
Feb24-13, 04:25 PM
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P: 6,202
The gravitational force of attraction between two point masses, M & m2, separated by a distance 'r' is given by:

F= GMm/r2

If r=0, then you don't have two masses anymore but one mass. In which cases, gravity would vary with depth of the planet. Read more here.
KeithPickering
#3
Feb24-13, 04:40 PM
P: 2
Quote Quote by WaaWaa Waa View Post
Hi. This is my first post here. In one of our science groups in Facebook, a member is asking about a case where r=0 in Newton's Equation F=G(Mm/r^2)

The best i could do was to state that there cannot be two point masses with a distance r=0 between them. He seems to accept my explanation but his intuition that it should be 'infinity' still remains. I would like to explain it better. Can you please help?

I have searched the site but could not find the answer. If there is already a thread, I would be glad if you could point me towards it.
When r=0, you no longer have two masses, you have one. This condition actually does occur at a black hole, where all mass is (believed to be) contained in a singularity, i.e., a single point.

Ryoko
#4
Feb25-13, 12:33 AM
P: 102
How to explain there cannot be a case where r=0 in F=G(Mm/r^2)

I don't think the gravity law works well on a quantum scale since the nuclear forces and electromagnetic forces become very strong at small distances.
WaaWaa Waa
#5
Feb25-13, 01:29 AM
WaaWaa Waa's Avatar
P: 12
Thank you guys for your insights, we managed to resolve the question.

When we are talking about classical physics, I think we sometimes tend to grab ideas from Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and get confused and this seems to be the root of the problem.


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