VCE Together Year 12 Physics: Gravitational and Electrical Fields about a Point Mass or Charge

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Gravitational and Electrical Fields about a Point Mass or Charge

In this lesson on Gravitational and Electrical Fields about a Point Mass or Charge, which is part of Unit 3 Area of Study 1 for VCE Physics, you will learn about them with reference to:

  • the direction of the field
  • the shape of the field
  • the use of the inverse square law to determine the magnitude of the field
  • potential energy changes (qualitative) associated with a point mass or charge moving in the field

Gravitational Field Strength at any Point

Newton’s law of gravitation, states that any particle of matter in the universe attracts any other with a force varying directly as the product of the masses and inversely as the square of the distance between them.

So let’s learn to apply Newton’s law of gravitation to:

  • Predict the gravitational field strength at any point in a gravitational field
  • Predict the gravitational field strength on the surface of a planet

Gravitational Field follows this equation:

g = \frac{GM} {r^2}
  • g is the gravitational field strength
  • G is the gravitational constant
  • M is the mass of the plant
  • r is the radius

Gravitational field strength is:

  • Proportional to the mass of the orbital body.
  • Inversely proportional to the radius squared

Predict the gravitational field strength at any point in a gravitational field

Predict the gravitational field strength on the surface of a planet

Electric Field, Electric Field Strength and Electrical Potential Energy

This video will provide definitions of electric field, charge and potential.

Static Electricity

Looking for more resources on concepts aside from Gravitational and Electrical Fields? Check out more of our VCE Physics resources here!

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