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Universal Gravitation Lab

Universal Gravitation Lab

Purpose:

In this activity you will be learning how the distance between objects affects the force of gravity between the objects. 

Info:

Make sure you measure distance from center of mass 1 to center of mass 2



Part 1:  Distance

  1. Open the Universal Gravity Lab found here.  If you hold down the command key as you click, it will open the program in a new window.

  2. Set up object 1 and object 2 to any parameters that you want, but once they are set, you cannot change them for the remainder of part 1.

  3. Turn on the ruler so you can get the distance between the center of object 1 and object 2.

  4. Move the objects around test 10 different distances apart and record the distance and the corresponding force (be sure to write the force using the same metric prefix the whole time).

     distance (m) Force (N)
      

  5. Graph your data and develop an equation that relates force gravity to the distance between the objects.  When you curve fit your data select "inverse squared" as your graph type.

  6. Copy your graph into your lab book and make sure you copy the equation also.

Part 2:  Mass 1

  1. Set up object 2 to any parameters that you want, but once the parameters are set, you cannot change them for the remainder of part 2.

  2. Set your distance between the center of the two masses.  Do not change this for the remainder of part 2.

  3. Change around the mass of object 1 and record the corresponding forces between the objects.  Do at least 5 different masses.  Make sure you make a chart to track your data.

  4. Graph your data and develop an equation that relates force gravity to the mass of object 1. 

Part 3:  Mass 2

  1. Set up object 1 to any parameters that you want, but once the parameters are set, you cannot change them for the remainder of part 3.

  2. Set your distance between the center of the two masses.  Do not change this for the remainder of part 3.

  3. Change around the mass of object 2 and record the corresponding forces between the objects.  Do at least 5 different masses.  Make sure you make a chart to track your data.

  4. Graph your data and develop an equation that relates force gravity to the mass of object 2. 

Things to have in your lab book:

  • Purpose

  • A picture of the lab set up. 

  • A data table for each part

  • A graph for each part with all the things a good graph should contain.

  • The equation for each part.

  • A statement of conclusion for each part.
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