Gravity

Objective:

  • Relate the gravitational force to the mass of objects and the distance between them.

This virtual lab is designed for use in 5th grade lessons.

Virtual Experiment

In the Gravitational Attraction Simulation, students observe the gravitational attraction that two objects exert on each other and change the properties of masses to see their effect on gravitational attraction. The law of attraction says that all objects in the universe are attracted to each other. The more mass an object has, the stronger its attraction.

The figure below shows the functions each button performs.

Workflow:

Step 1. When the simulation opens, you will see:

  • The weight of the first body-2 billion kg;
  • The weight of the second body is 4 billion kilograms;
  • The distance between the bodies is 4 kilometers;
  • The force with which the bodies act on each other’s mass is 33.4 N

Step 2. You will see that the two body shapes have two different sizes. By pressing the constant size button, you can make both bodies the same size without changing the weight.

Step 3. Increase the distance between the bodies. Observe the gravity.

Step 4. Decrease the distance between the bodies. Observe the gravity.

Step 5. Change the mass of the first body. Observe the gravity.

Step 6. Change the mass of the second body. Observe gravity.

Step 7. Draw conclusions. How did gravity change while the distance between the bodies changed and while the masses of the bodies changed?

Conclusion

During the simulation, you observed the gravitational interaction between two bodies. The dependence of the force of gravity on the mass and distance between the bodies has been shown.