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# Are you familiar with this formula?

A-Level: Gravitational force between two masses

One of the four fundamental forces in our universe, gravity is responsible for holding together planets, stars, and galaxies. While gravity is the weakest of the four fundamental forces, it is arguably the one that we are most aware of on a daily basis.

This equation (below), taken from the AQA A-Level Physics syllabus, was first derived by Sir Isaac Newton in 1687. It describes the gravitational force between two objects in space, F, where G is the gravitational constant, m1 and m2 are the masses of the objects attracting each other, and r is the distance separating them. The equation can be used to calculate the attractive force between any two objects. To that effect, this equation was used to predict existence of Neptune in the 19th century by observing the movement of other planets in our solar system.

In the AQA A-Level physics syllabus, students can expect to use this equation to calculate the gravity felt on the surface of other planets, and will use this equation in conjunction with the circular motion module to find the speeds of orbiting satellites.

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