# Gravity and density

by mintparasol
Tags: density, gravity
 P: 78 Can we say that there is a direct relationship between the density of an object and the strength of it's gravity field? Can we come up with a mathematical model to describe the relationship between gravity and density? Say we have an object that contains the same amount of matter as the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Say that this object takes up a lot of space, 2x the size of the Milky Way for example. This object, tho identical in mass, would have a very different gravity field to the black hole. For starters, this object would exert less gravitational force on another object than the black hole would at the same distance. Can we say that there may be a logarithmic relationship between the density of a body and the amount of spacetime curvature the body will cause? I hope these questions don't sound stupid! Thanks in advance for any replies.. ad
HW Helper
P: 8,962
 Quote by mintparasol Can we say that there is a direct relationship between the density of an object and the strength of it's gravity field? Can we come up with a mathematical model to describe the relationship between gravity and density?
For the surface gravity yes it's easy.
g = GM/r^2 and M = density * 4/3pi * r^3
so g = 4/3 pi G density * r

 Say we have an object that contains the same amount of matter as the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Say that this object takes up a lot of space, 2x the size of the Milky Way for example. This object, tho identical in mass, would have a very different gravity field to the black hole.
It would have a different surface gravity - because you would be a different distance to the centre of the mass

 For starters, this object would exert less gravitational force on another object than the black hole would at the same distance.
No - at the same distance the same mass exerts the same force. It's just that for denser objects you can get closer so the distances can get less and the force larger
P: 78
 Quote by mgb_phys For the surface gravity yes it's easy. g = GM/r^2 and M = density * 4/3pi * r^3 so g = 4/3 pi G density * r It would have a different surface gravity - because you would be a different distance to the centre of the mass
Say we go beyond surface gravity. Can we describe a relationship between density and gravity at any given distance from the centres of the objects (within or without the object) outlined in my OP?

 Quote by mgb_phys No - at the same distance the same mass exerts the same force. It's just that for denser objects you can get closer so the distances can get less and the force larger
Can we come up with any math that describes this increase in force at smaller distances? It seems to me that a mathematical law of this nature should hold equally true for objects/distances at the quantum level as it would for objects/distances at the cosmological level. It also seems to me that the density of the object in question would be crucial to this math because at the quantum level, density and distance are totally interdependent..

I'm just a lay nut tho so I'm probably way off here!

P: 87

## Gravity and density

 Quote by mintparasol Say we go beyond surface gravity. Can we describe a relationship between density and gravity at any given distance from the centres of the objects (within or without the object) outlined in my OP? Can we come up with any math that describes this increase in force at smaller distances? It seems to me that a mathematical law of this nature should hold equally true for objects/distances at the quantum level as it would for objects/distances at the cosmological level. It also seems to me that the density of the object in question would be crucial to this math because at the quantum level, density and distance are totally interdependent.. I'm just a lay nut tho so I'm probably way off here!
Um no this would not hold true. Say this object was the earth. And then the same amount of mass but 2x the volume. Now at a distance say the radius of the larger one, surface gravity of the larger one, the force would be the same for either one. But once you go past the surface of the larger one, the force of the larger one would become less and less. But you have not reached earths surface yet so the force due to the Earth-object would increase. The reason that it decreases the farther down you go is because the mass above you is pulling you up and therefore cancelling out some of the mass that is pulling you down. There is a point in the center of any symetrically round object, wether it be a sun or moon or planet, the the gravitational force acting on you is zero because everything pulling you one way is counteracted by the mass pulling you in the opposite direction. So density only has to do with how strong the surface gravity is. A black hole is very very VERy high density so you can get very very VERy close to the center making its surface gravity gigantic. thats as far as the extent of density has on gravity that I know of

Sincerely,
FoxCommander
P: 78
 Quote by FoxCommander Um no this would not hold true. Say this object was the earth. And then the same amount of mass but 2x the volume. Now at a distance say the radius of the larger one, surface gravity of the larger one, the force would be the same for either one. But once you go past the surface of the larger one, the force of the larger one would become less and less. But you have not reached earths surface yet so the force due to the Earth-object would increase. The reason that it decreases the farther down you go is because the mass above you is pulling you up and therefore cancelling out some of the mass that is pulling you down. There is a point in the center of any symetrically round object, wether it be a sun or moon or planet, the the gravitational force acting on you is zero because everything pulling you one way is counteracted by the mass pulling you in the opposite direction. So density only has to do with how strong the surface gravity is. A black hole is very very VERy high density so you can get very very VERy close to the center making its surface gravity gigantic. thats as far as the extent of density has on gravity that I know of Sincerely, FoxCommander
Thanks for that!

What I'm getting here then is that gravity depends on mass, density and some sort of 'field' that permeates all of everything. Matter curves spacetime, or does spacetime curve matter?
 P: 1 I have a question, probably me being stupid in my tiredness, but what is the relation to and object's density to its gravity if mass increases and volume stays the same?
P: 143
 Quote by RandyLowe I have a question, probably me being stupid in my tiredness, but what is the relation to and object's density to its gravity if mass increases and volume stays the same?
If mass increases, but the Volume remains the same, then the intensity of gravity increases in direct proportion to the increase in the Density within the given volume. After all, Density multiplied by Volume yields the quantity of mass:

m = DV

Therefore, if Density doubles, mass also doubles, if Density triples, mass also triples hence, the increase in mass yielded by the increase in Density yields a proportionately stronger gravitational field per the same distance from the center of mass.
 PF Patron Sci Advisor P: 10,039 If you are far enough away from any object then you can consider all the gravitational forces as acting through its centre of mass. But for objects other than spheres made up of shells with spherical symmetry, you may need to Integrate the gravitational affect of all the elemental parts, which is quite a complicated calculation. (There may be some short cuts for particular shapes) If an irregular object subtends more than a few degrees from the observer then its gravitational effect could probably be distinguished from that of an equivalent point mass. For example, the observer's orbit would probably not be a perfect ellipse any more. An orbit round a nebula could be pretty different from that around the star that eventually forms from it. (Not that you'd live long enough to get round all the way)
P: 8
 Quote by mintparasol Can we say that there is a direct relationship between the density of an object and the strength of it's gravity field? Can we come up with a mathematical model to describe the relationship between gravity and density? Say we have an object that contains the same amount of matter as the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Say that this object takes up a lot of space, 2x the size of the Milky Way for example. This object, tho identical in mass, would have a very different gravity field to the black hole. For starters, this object would exert less gravitational force on another object than the black hole would at the same distance. Can we say that there may be a logarithmic relationship between the density of a body and the amount of spacetime curvature the body will cause? I hope these questions don't sound stupid! Thanks in advance for any replies.. ad
this is not true gravity is highest at the center and becomes less as you get further from the center the surface has nothing to do with the gravity if your model was true then the earth would be hollow.
P: 8
 Quote by FoxCommander Um no this would not hold true. Say this object was the earth. And then the same amount of mass but 2x the volume. Now at a distance say the radius of the larger one, surface gravity of the larger one, the force would be the same for either one. But once you go past the surface of the larger one, the force of the larger one would become less and less. But you have not reached earths surface yet so the force due to the Earth-object would increase. The reason that it decreases the farther down you go is because the mass above you is pulling you up and therefore cancelling out some of the mass that is pulling you down. There is a point in the center of any symetrically round object, wether it be a sun or moon or planet, the the gravitational force acting on you is zero because everything pulling you one way is counteracted by the mass pulling you in the opposite direction. So density only has to do with how strong the surface gravity is. A black hole is very very VERy high density so you can get very very VERy close to the center making its surface gravity gigantic. thats as far as the extent of density has on gravity that I know of Sincerely, FoxCommander
this is not true gravity is highest at the center and becomes less as you get further from the center the surface has nothing to do with the gravity if your model was true then the earth would be hollow.
P: 412
 Quote by chuxxx this is not true gravity is highest at the center and becomes less as you get further from the center the surface has nothing to do with the gravity if your model was true then the earth would be hollow.
Nonsense. Refer to the shell theorem to see why.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_theorem
PF Patron
Thanks
P: 3,946
 Quote by chuxxx this is not true gravity is highest at the center and becomes less as you get further from the center the surface has nothing to do with the gravity if your model was true then the earth would be hollow.
What you said is of course nonsense on both accounts. In units where G = 1, $\Phi = -\int_{\mathbb{R}^{3}}\frac{\rho d^{3}x'}{\left \| x - x' \right \|}$ and for a thin spherical shell of mass, after choosing spherical coordinates and orienting the axes so that the field point is along the z - axis, we get $\Phi = -\frac{M}{2 R^{2}}\int\frac{\delta (R - r')r'^{2}\sin\theta 'dr'd\theta '}{\sqrt{r'^{2} + r^{2} - 2rr'\cos\theta '}}$. Inside the shell, the result is then $\Phi = -\frac{M}{R}$ hence $\vec{a} = -\triangledown \Phi = 0$ (of course you could arrive at this much faster using the classical cone argument).

Fox was describing a solid sphere of approximately uniform mass density, in which case it is easy to show using a plethora of methods that $F_g\propto r$ within the sphere, where again $r$ is the radial coordinate from the origin centered around the sphere. This is in agreement with what Fox said.
P: 3,170
 Quote by chuxxx gravity is highest at the center
Which direction does the force of gravity have at the center?
 PF Patron Sci Advisor P: 10,039 He could be confusing gravity with the pressure you would find inside a planet / star centre.
 P: 8 the equation is wrong r is not at the center of the out side of the shell it is at the center of the shell itself.if not then where is the gravity coming from?
PF Patron