Standard #: SC.912.P.12.4


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Describe how the gravitational force between two objects depends on their masses and the distance between them.


General Information

Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Physical Science
Standard: Motion -

A. Motion can be measured and described qualitatively and quantitatively. Net forces create a change in motion. When objects travel at speeds comparable to the speed of light, Einstein's special theory of relativity applies.

B. Momentum is conserved under well-defined conditions. A change in momentum occurs when a net force is applied to an object over a time interval.

C. The Law of Universal Gravitation states that gravitational forces act on all objects irrespective of their size and position.

D. Gases consist of great numbers of molecules moving in all directions. The behavior of gases can be modeled by the kinetic molecular theory.

E. Chemical reaction rates change with conditions under which they occur. Chemical equilibrium is a dynamic state in which forward and reverse processes occur at the same rates.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved

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Related Access Points

Access Point Number Access Point Title
SC.912.P.12.In.4 Identify examples of how gravity attracts other objects, such as people to Earth or orbits of planets in the Solar System.
SC.912.P.12.Su.4 Identify that gravity is a force that attracts objects.
SC.912.P.12.Pa.4 Recognize that things fall down toward Earth unless stopped or held up (gravity).


Related Resources

Lesson Plans

Name Description
A New View: Space Exploration MEA

This MEA is about space exploration. Students will review data on six extrasolar planets and determine which one would be most feasible to explore first.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

The Physics of Pool The objective of this lesson is to illustrate how a common everyday experience (such as playing pool) can often provide a learning moment. In the example chosen, we use the game of pool to help explain some key concepts of physics. One of these concepts is the conservation of linear momentum since conservation laws play an extremely important role in many aspects of physics. The idea that a certain property of a system is maintained before and after something happens is quite central to many principles in physics and in the pool example, we concentrate on the conservation of linear momentum. The latter half of the video looks at angular momentum and friction, examining why certain objects roll, as opposed to slide. We do this by looking at how striking a ball with a cue stick at different locations produces different effects.

Though not required, students who have been exposed to some physics would benefit most from this video. In mathematically rigorous classes, students can concentrate on the details of vectors and conservation of linear momentum.

No materials are required for this lesson, and it can be completed easily within a class period.
How Mosquitoes Can Fly in the Rain In this lesson, we learn how insects can fly in the rain. The objective is to calculate the impact forces of raindrops on flying mosquitoes. Students will gain experience with using Newton's laws, gathering data from videos and graphs, and most importantly, the utility of making approximations. No calculus will be used in this lesson, but familiarity with torque and force balances is suggested. No calculators will be needed, but students should have pencil and paper to make estimations and, if possible, copies of the graphs provided with the lesson. Between lessons, students are recommended to discuss the assignments with their neighbors.

Tutorial

Name Description
Gravitational Forces: Brick vs. Feather

Would a brick or feather fall faster? What would fall faster on the moon?


Virtual Manipulatives

Name Description
Centrifugal Reaction Force


The present activity will help the students understand the centrifugal force which is an outward force experienced by an object travelling in a circle. Students will recognize that this force depends on the mass of the object, the speed of rotation, and the distance from the center. It is important to make the students understand that centrifugal force does not actually exit, it appears quite real to the object being rotated and students can understand this concept while playing with the virtual manipulative.

Gravity Force Lab

This virtual manipulative will allow you to visualize the gravitational force that two objects exert on each other. By changing the properties of the objects, you can see how the gravitational force changes.
Some areas to explore:

  • Relate gravitational force to masses of objects and distance between objects.
  • Explain Newton's third law for gravitational forces.
  • Design experiments that allow you to derive an equation that related mass, distance, and gravitational force.
  • Use measurements to determine the universal gravitational constant.

Student Resources

Tutorial

Name Description
Gravitational Forces: Brick vs. Feather:

Would a brick or feather fall faster? What would fall faster on the moon?


Virtual Manipulative

Name Description
Gravity Force Lab:

This virtual manipulative will allow you to visualize the gravitational force that two objects exert on each other. By changing the properties of the objects, you can see how the gravitational force changes.
Some areas to explore:

  • Relate gravitational force to masses of objects and distance between objects.
  • Explain Newton's third law for gravitational forces.
  • Design experiments that allow you to derive an equation that related mass, distance, and gravitational force.
  • Use measurements to determine the universal gravitational constant.


Parent Resources

Virtual Manipulative

Name Description
Gravity Force Lab:

This virtual manipulative will allow you to visualize the gravitational force that two objects exert on each other. By changing the properties of the objects, you can see how the gravitational force changes.
Some areas to explore:

  • Relate gravitational force to masses of objects and distance between objects.
  • Explain Newton's third law for gravitational forces.
  • Design experiments that allow you to derive an equation that related mass, distance, and gravitational force.
  • Use measurements to determine the universal gravitational constant.


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