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Homework Help: Calculating Force w/ Scientific Notation Answers Coming Out Wrong?

  1. Jun 16, 2011 #1
    This is a simple question. I am calculating the force of two masses based on the Universal Law of Gravitation. I am setting up the equation as G (gravitational constant of 6.67e-11)*mass1*mass2 all divided by the distance between the masses squared.

    This particular question is about masses of 5 and 2.5 that are .1414 meters apart, so I am doing (6.67e-11*5*2.5)/(.1414^2) and getting 4.17e-8 as the answer.

    HOWEVER, the answer is apparently 4.171e-14.

    Is this a calculator error (TI-89) or a formula error?

    Thank you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2011 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Are you sure the masses are in kilograms, not grams?
     
  4. Jun 16, 2011 #3
    Thanks! Perhaps I've been a little stressed today. That is exactly what was wrong.
     
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