Gravitational Fields


  • Describe and interpret radial gravitational field distribution around a single point mass
  • Explain and apply Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation and the concept of gravitational acceleration, g, as gravitational field strength
  • Explain the conditions for a satellite to remain in a stable circular orbit in a gravitational field and calculate the parameters of satellites in stable circular orbits
  • Describe and explain the impact of satellites and the associated technologies on everyday life

Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

newton gravitational law

Gravitational Field Strength

=acceleration due to gravity

gravitational field strength equation


Indicating field diagrammatically

  • Indicated by gravitational field lines
  • Point towards centre of mass of an object
  • Indicate the direction of the gravitational force applied to an object in the field
  • Strength of the field is determined by the density of the lines

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