Gravitational field strength between masses

In summary, the gravitational field strength at point P due to a mass at point X is equal to Gm/r2, and the addition of an identical mass at point Y results in a resultant gravitational field strength between g and zero. However, the attempt at a solution made a mistake in the calculation, leading to an incorrect approximation of 1/2.
  • #1
calculator20
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Homework Statement




A mass at a point X gives rise to a gravitational field strength g at point P as shown. An identical mass is placed at point Y

x ________ p ______________________ y

The resultant g f s is now?

Homework Equations



g = Gm/r2

The Attempt at a Solution



I know the answer is between g and zero but don't know if my method is correct?

I'm assuming distance x to p is r and p to r is approximately 2r

Am I right that g = Gm/r2 - Gm/2r2 so g is approximately 1/2?

 
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  • #2
calculator20 said:
I'm assuming distance x to p is r and p to r [correction: y] is approximately 2r

Am I right that g = Gm/r2 - Gm/2r2 so g is approximately 1/2?

Write out Gm/2r2 more carefully (using parentheses) and you might spot your error.
 

Related to Gravitational field strength between masses

1. What is a gravitational field?

A gravitational field is the force exerted by an object with mass on any other object with mass. It is a fundamental concept in physics and is responsible for the force of gravity.

2. How is gravitational field strength between masses calculated?

The gravitational field strength between two masses is calculated by dividing the force of gravity between the two masses by the mass of the object experiencing the force. This is represented by the equation g = F/m, where g is the gravitational field strength, F is the force of gravity, and m is the mass of the object.

3. Does the distance between masses affect the gravitational field strength?

Yes, the gravitational field strength between masses is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. This means that as the distance between two masses increases, the gravitational field strength decreases.

4. How does the mass of an object affect the gravitational field strength?

The greater the mass of an object, the stronger its gravitational field. This means that a larger mass will exert a greater force of gravity on other objects and have a higher gravitational field strength.

5. Can gravitational field strength be negative?

No, gravitational field strength cannot be negative. It is always a positive value as it represents the force of gravity between masses. A negative value would imply that the force is repelling rather than attracting, which is not possible for gravity.

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