Enter the mass of object 1, the mass of object 2, and the distance between them and this calculate will evaluate the gravitational force between them.

Gravitational Force Formula

The gravitational force between two objects is calculated with the following formula:

F = G * M * m / R^2

  • Where F is the gravitational force.
  • M is the mass of the larger object
  • m is the mass of the smaller object
  • R is the distance between the center of the objects
  • G is the gravitation constant which is equal to 6.674*10^-11 N*m^2/k^2

Gravitational Force Definition

Gravitational force is the force that arises from the mass of objects. This force is a fundamental force of nature. The large the mass the larger the force.

How to calculate gravitational force?

The following example shows how someone might calculate the gravitational force between two circular objects that have their center of masses exactly in the center of their body.

How to calculate gravitational force

  1. First, determine the mass of the larger object

    In many cases, the larger object is a body like a planet or celestial body. In this case, the mass will need to be calculated using the known physics of gravity. For the most part, you can just look up the mass of any planet in the solar system. For this example, we will assume the object is the earth, which has a mass of 5.972 × 10^24 kg.

  2. Next, weight or measure the mass of the smaller object

    For this example, we are going to use a bowling ball as our smaller object. We will say that we put the ball on a scale and find the mass to be 10kg.

  3. Next, measure the radius of the distance between objects.

    Since we are using the earth as the larger object, we can simply take the radius of the earth, add it to the height the bowling ball is placed at, then finally add the radius of the bowling ball. For this example, we will assume this adds up to 6.379 km.

  4. Finally, enter all of the known information into the formula

    We now have all of the information needed to perform out calculation. We enter all of the information and find the force due to gravity to be approximately 98N.

  5. Analyze the results

    Check the answer to make sure it makes logical sense and apply what you learned to other problems.

FAQ

What is gravitational force?

Gravitational force is the force that arises from the mass of objects. This force is a fundamental force of nature. The large the mass the larger the force.