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The Gravitational Field: The aliens are coming Virtual Lab

Help the alien Pondus study gravitational acceleration on Earth and find out how Earth’s mass and the distance from where we measure it affects the strength of Earth’s gravitational field.

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The Gravitational Field: The aliens are coming

About this Simulation

Have you ever had the chance to talk to an alien from a far-away galaxy? In this simulation, you will meet Pondus and help him study Earth's gravity. The mass of his planet is so big that he needs a huge thrust to escape its gravitational pull. Learn about the gravitational field and gravitational acceleration at Earth's surface and anywhere in space, and help Pondus understand if Earth is more suitable than his planet for space travel. 


Do all objects experience the same acceleration when they fall? Is there a difference between mass and weight? According to the legend, Galileo dropped different weights off of the Tower of Pisa to study gravitational acceleration on Earth. From our lab, you can do the same and much more: you can change Earth’s gravity and see how this affects the freefall and weight of objects.

The gravitational field 

Even though you can’t see gravity, but just experience its effects, scientists have found a way to represent it: the gravitational field lines. Just with the click of a button, you will be able to visualize the gravitational field lines and understand how their density changes with the intensity of the gravitational field.

Calculate the gravitational field strength

The gravitational field lines look different from space: when we move away from Earth's surface, field lines no longer look parallel. They point radially to Earth's center. You will learn how to interpret them and relate the field strength to the distance from the field source. They will learn how to calculate gravitational acceleration at any point in space. Will you help Pondus learn more about gravity on Earth?

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Define the gravitational acceleration

  • Define the gravitational field

  • Calculate the gravitational acceleration at a point of the gravitational field

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Gravitational field
  • Universal law of gravitation
  • Mass vs Weight
  • Field strength

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