Day 42 – Factors Affecting Gravity


Physics 11 – Today we began a new unit on forces, starting with gravity.  Since gravity is something that is involved in all of our analysis of forces, I figure that it’s a good place to start.

The students looked at whether rotation, atmospheric pressure, magnetic field, or mass had any effect on the force of gravity.  The arguments/expositions used were

  • rotation: I put a mass on a scale on a rotating turntable but the scale reading didn’t change
  • atmospheric pressure: I showed some pictures of a mass on a scale inside a vacuum chamber, and the scale reading didn’t change
  • magnetic poles: by analyzing the magnetic field lines (north pole to south pole), we reasoned that gravity would not be uniform if it was affected by the magnetic field.
  • mass: intuitively people agree that mass matters. We also watched videos of the Cavendish experiment in action

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