This week we're talking about Gravity! Travelling from the basics with Newton and his apples onto more complicated stuff with Einstein and black holes, gravitational lensing and even how you can measure the acceleration due to gravity in Student Science!
In the 17th Century Sir Isaac Newton published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, laying the foundations for most of classical mechanics, the sort of thing taught at GCSE and A-level these days…
He also described gravity as a force that attracts things that have mass, supposedly it all started when he was watching an apple fall from a tree but whether that is true or not he did come up with the three laws of motion and he described universal gravitation.
One of his most famous formulas is:
where F is the force, G is the gravitational constant, m1 and m2 are masses and r is the distance between the two masses. Frazer Pearce tells us a little more about G:
This formula was used for many years and helped explain the orbits of the planets around the Sun and can even calculate your weight on the moon!