Stuck between two large masses - does it get pulled apart?

• Peterfhannon
In summary: I was wondering if the objects inside the shell would still feel the gravitational force from the shell or if they would be 'float' in space.The objects inside the shell would still feel the gravitational force from the shell.
Peterfhannon
If an object is between 2 large masses with high gravity, that haven't come together (gravity of other large masses is keeping them apart) does the object between them get pulled violently apart or does the gravity balance out?

Tidal forces are what cause objects to be broken up due to gravity. Basically, for an object that is relatively large, the force of gravity due to some other more massive object will be different at different points on the smaller object.

Because gravity falls off with 1/r2, the tidal forces become more important the closer the objects are together.

There is a distance from the large object called the Roche limit. The Roche limit is the distance from the large object where if the small object gets within it, it will start to break up due to the tidal forces.

So basically it depends on how far away the objects are all from each other.

An example of an object being bound between two more massive objects would be an object at the L1 Lagrangian point. An object at the L1 Lagrangian point would probably not be broken up due to tidal forces, because it would be so far from either of the larger masses.

I'm curious about whether gravity coming from 2 directions cancels out, or whether it pulls in both directions. I think you're saying that it cancels out. To clarify, what if something was in the hollow centre of a planet, would it be pulled apart or 'float' in the centre?
As you can tell I'm not a physicist, just a curious layperson :).

Well, gravitational force is a vector quantity, which just means that it has a direction. If the gravitational force at a single point due to one object is equal in magnitude but opposite in direction to the gravitational force of another object, then yes, the net force on any object at that position will be equal to zero. This is the same idea as with the Lagrangian points.

As for an object in the center of a hypothetical hollow planet, you can find info on that in this article:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_theorem

basically what it says is that an object within a spherical, perfectly symmetrical shell of mass will feel no gravitational forces due to the shell of mass.

And also an object outside of the shell "sees" the shell as a single point of mass at its center.

It was shown by Isaac Newton using calculus.

Strange, thanks!

1. How is the force of gravity affected when stuck between two large masses?

The force of gravity is determined by the masses of the objects involved and the distance between them. When stuck between two large masses, the force of gravity acting on the individual will be determined by their position and the masses of the two objects. It is possible for the force to be pulling the individual in two different directions, causing a sense of being pulled apart.

2. Can a person survive being stuck between two large masses?

Surviving being stuck between two large masses would depend on the specific circumstances. If the two masses are far enough apart, the individual may not experience a significant force of gravity and could potentially survive. However, if the masses are close enough together, the force of gravity could be strong enough to cause harm or injury.

3. Is it possible to get pulled apart when stuck between two large masses?

Yes, it is possible to get pulled apart when stuck between two large masses. As mentioned before, the force of gravity acting on the individual will depend on their position and the masses of the two objects. If the force is strong enough, it could cause the individual to be pulled apart.

4. How does the distance between the two masses affect the force of gravity on a person?

The distance between the two masses directly affects the force of gravity acting on a person. According to Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation, the force of gravity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the masses. This means that the further apart the masses are, the weaker the force of gravity will be on the individual.

5. What other factors besides mass and distance can affect the force of gravity on an individual stuck between two large masses?

Aside from the masses and distance between the two objects, the individual's position relative to the masses and the size of the individual's own mass can also affect the force of gravity. Additionally, the presence of other nearby objects with their own gravitational forces can also play a role in the force experienced by the individual.

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