1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Newtonian gravity

  1. Aug 16, 2007 #1
    how would you describe newtonian gravity as a vector field?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Well, as a simple case, suppose you've got a mass positioned at location [tex]\vec{x}_{0}=(x_{0},y_{0},z_{0})[/tex] with mass [itex]m_{0}[/itex]

    Then, for any spatial point [tex](x,y,z)=\vec{x}\neq\vec{x}_{0}[/tex]
    that mass generates at that point a force per unit mass:

    The force [itex]\vec{F}[/itex] acting upon an object of mass M situated at (x,y,z) is then found by multiplying f with M.
  4. Aug 16, 2007 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Another form you sometimes see assumes that the mass is at the origin, and uses spherical coordinates:

    [tex]\vec F (r, \theta, \phi) = - \frac{G m_0}{r^2} \hat r[/tex]

    where [itex]\hat r[/itex] is the unit vector in the outward radial direction at that particular point.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook