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Homework Help: Gravitational Force Problem

  1. Feb 5, 2007 #1
    Three particles far away from any other objects are located on a straight line. The masses of these particles are ma = 363kb, mb= 517 kg, and mc = 154kg. Find the magnitude and direction of the net graviational force actiong on particle a, particle b, and particle c. The distance between a and b is .500m from center point to center point. And the distance between b and c is .250m.

    F = G * M * m/r^2

    do i just solve it using the equation above. F = G * 363 * 517 / .250^2. If so, how do i figure out the direction if it is on a line.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2007 #2
    Be thankful its on a line, what is being asked for is the direction of the force. Hint: the particles on the end will be "pulled" toward the others, but the middle particle has a choice.
    In each case you have to sum the forces exerted by the other two particles on the third.
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