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Why does mass have the force of gravity?

  • Thread starter dhayward
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  • #1
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Homework Statement


Where does mass get the force of gravity?


Homework Equations


F = G(m1 x m2)/r^2

F = force (N)
G = Gravitational constant (Nm^2/kg^2)
m = mass
r = distance between m1 and m2


The Attempt at a Solution

 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
cristo
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What's the actual question here?
 
  • #3
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how is the gravitational constant derived?
 
  • #4
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empirically i think. In other words it is inferred from experiments/observational data and not the result of any derivation.

The holy grail in physics (and I have a completely incomplete understanding--physics is a hobby for me) is to capture all 4 fundamental forces including gravity in a superset of equations with a bare minimum of constants.
 
  • #5
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Are you asking why the inertial mass is equal to the gravitational mass?
 
  • #6
arildno
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how is the gravitational constant derived?
The first who carried out experiments that led to an empirical determination of G was Cavendish. By means of torsion springs, I think.

Your question can, however, be formulated in a "deep" way:

Why should an object's inherent resistance to motion change (i.e, its inertia) be in any way related to the strength of the attractive force existing between objects (i.e, gravitation)?

This identity between inertial mass and gravitational "mass" is not at all a trivially understandable relationship.
 
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