- #1

Grizzly_1

- 7

- 3

- Homework Statement
- The diagram shows gravitational equipotential. Adjacent equipotential are separated by an equal gravitational potential difference V.

Which point has the greatest gravitational field strength?

- Relevant Equations
- E=-GM/(r^2)

To the best of my knowledge, gravitational field strength is directly proportional to the mass of the object that is causing the field, and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the mass causing the field and the point at which you are determining field strength. In this case, as we do not know the location of the mass we cannot determine the direction of the field lines, and by extension we cannot tell if the potential differences are decreasing from D to A, or A to D.

If you knew which way the potential gradient was increasing, I think you could work out which point had the greatest gravitational field strength as it is the point at which potential is the least (most negative), as this implies it is closest to the mass or masses that are causing the field.

As you do not know this, I do not know how you could answer such a question, they are just arbitrarily placed about the square and I do not know the relevance of equipotentials, as these are just indications about lines that have an equal potential difference along its length, this doesn't tell us anything relevant to finding at which point the gravitational field is greatest.

So this is my reasoning so far, I am truly stumped. I hope someone can help out in solving this tricky question (or perhaps not tricky and I am just being silly).

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