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Objects in space

  1. Nov 19, 2015 #1
    First. I'm not a high school student studying physics. Has been decades since I was. I just have a basic question about "object's weight in space". So please excuse my vocab if I don't use the right wording and if you could explain it to me in layman's terms. Not as a student of physics.

    My question is...if you held a 20 pound weight to your side standing on the ground and did so again hanging from a gymnastic bar parallel to the ground 20 feet up...would the weight not feel heavier because gravity is pulling it to the ground?

    If you had this same 20-lb weight in your hand and climbed a ladder would it not get progressively heavier?

    Thanks guys.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to PF!

    I'm not clear on how your thought process, but no, over short distances, the gravitational force is constant. Over large distances, it decreases (see Newton's law of gravity equation).
  4. Nov 19, 2015 #3
    Ok Thanks Russ. I just assumed a weight would "feel heavier" the higher it is off the ground. As I said. It's been decades since I opened a physics book. Nor was I a science buff in school. Thanks for not going too "Big Bang Theory" on me. I'm not a student of physics obviously. Just thought this would be one of the best places to ask.

    Maybe you (or any one else here) could answer a similar question...if you were holding a 30-lb dumbell in one hand standing on the ground..why would it feel heavier over time? Besides muscle fatigue. Is it simply that gravity is constantly pulling the weight towards the ground?
  5. Nov 19, 2015 #4


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    Science Advisor

    Why would the answer be anything other than muscle fatigue? If gravity is constantly pulling the weight downward then its downward force is constant.
  6. Nov 19, 2015 #5
    The feeling in your muscles is due to fatigue, the muscles get "tired". There is no change in the weight.
    Same as running for a long time. It feels harder to run the last meters but this is not due to something pulling you back harder as you move away from your starting point.
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