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# Newton’s Law of Gravitation

For the first time, Newton's equation appeared in 1687 in the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. It describes the reasons why that apple fell from that tree. It is uncertain that the apple actually fell on Isaac Newton's head, but this equation really describes why people stay rooted to the ground, what locks our planet in orbit around the sun.

According to Newton’s idea, in the universe, the particles of matter attract each other thanks to the force of gravity. The law explains how strong that attraction is.

According to the equation, the force of attraction (F) between two objects is proportional to the product of their masses (m1, m2), divided by the square of the distance between them (R) and multiplied by G, which is the gravitational constant, which should be measured by experiment. In 2007, US scientists manage to measure G at 6.67408 × 10-11 m3 kg-1s-2.

It took a while for Newton to discover his formula. He did it after studying the centuries of measurements conducted by astronomers. Stargazers had spent plenty of time trying cataloguing the positions of the planets and stars. By the 17th century, Johannes Kepler, the German mathematician and astronomer, had worked out the geometry of movements of these objects. He carefully investigated the movement of Mars to calculate that planets orbited the sun in elliptical paths. Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion helped astronomers to find out the position of the planets in the future based on the records.

The laws discovered by Kepler gave the idea on how the planets moved around the sun but did not explain why. That gap was filled in by Newton by supposing that there was a force acting between the bodies moving around each other.

According to the story, Newton saw how an apple fell on the ground and this made him ask a question why the fruit always fell on the ground, but not veer off to the right or left. According to Newton’s laws of motion, any object that starts moving from a standing point is undergoing acceleration and, if there is acceleration, there must be a force. That apple started its movement in the tree and landed on the ground, which means there must be a force that attracts the apple and the Earth.

The scientist started questioning if everything around our planet should feel this force of attraction, as well as the moon, and why it does not fall and crash onto the surface of the Earth as the apple did?

Over some time, Newton concluded that the moon is in freefall around our planet but since it moves fast, the Earth's surface simply cannot catch it.

For the first time, Newton's equation appeared in 1687 in the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. It describes the reasons why that apple fell from that tree. It is uncertain that the apple actually fell on Isaac Newton's head, but this equation really describes why people stay rooted to the ground, what locks our planet in orbit around the sun.

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Assignment ID
100002008
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CREATED ON
30 September 2016
COMPLETED ON
3 October 2016
Price
\$43
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