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Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation

\LARGE F=-G\frac{Mm}{r^2}

The Terms

F - Magnitude of the gravitational force between two point masses [Units: N, Newtons]

G - Newton's gravitational constant [Value: 6.67 x 10-11 N mkg-2]

M - Mass of the first point mass [Value: 5.97 x 1024 kg]

m - Mass of the second point mass [Units: kg]

r - Distance between the two point masses [Units: m]

What Does It Mean?

Newton's law of universal gravitation states that two objects are attracted to each other by a force which is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. It bears a close resemblance to Coulomb's law in electrostatics,


for the force between two charges q_1 and q_2 separated by a distance r.

Newtonian gravity was succeeded by Einstein's general theory of relativity, however Newton's law remains very successful except in situations where very high mass objects are involved or extreme precision is required.

Further information at Warwick

The Equation of Gravitation is covered in the first year module "PX148 Classical Mechanics and Relativity".


Sir Isaac Newton

1642 - 1727