Lesson Plan: Newton’s Law of Gravitation Physics
This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to use Newton’s law of gravitation to calculate the force due to gravity between two massive objects.
Students will be able to
- understand that every mass in the universe is attracted to every other mass,
- understand that this attraction can be modeled as a force that acts on the center of mass of an object, and that for two massive objects, the force on each points along the line intersecting their centers of mass,
- use to calculate the gravitational force experienced by two objects.
Students should already be familiar with
- what gravity is,
- what the difference between mass and weight is,
- how to use to find the weight of an object given its mass and the local gravitational field strength,
- Newton’s laws of motion.
Students will not cover
- surface gravity on large objects,
- the gravitational field strength within large objects,
- gravitational potential energy,
- escape speed.