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Gravity:   the
                          phenomenon
                          that keeps
                          our feet on
                          the ground:




By Moira Whitehouse PhD
Gravity is a force.
Gravity is a force that pulls.
Every object has gravity.
So every object pulls on every other
object.
The more mass an object has, the harder
it pulls.
We will use two hypothetical planets for our
example. Both the blue and green planets
are pulling on each other.




          Which one pulls harder?
This should help us see that the more mass
 an object has the stronger its gravity.

    Moon                         Earth




 The Earth obviously has more mass than
But the Moon’s gravity is also pulling on
 the Moon and it pulls harder.
the Earth. So hard that the oceans swell
 So much harder that theever it passes. in an
toward the Moon where        Moon is held We
call this high tide. Earth as though by some
 orbit around the
 magically strong string.
Let’s think about gravity on our favorite little
planet, Earth.
Gravity on Earth pulls everything toward
its center.
That’s why there is
no top or bottom
and no one falls
off.
If you dug a hole
right through the
Earth and fell in,
how far would
you fall?
You’d fall into the hole and shoot right past
 the center because you would be going so
 fast. As soon as you passed it, you
would be pulled
back towards the
center. So you
would bounce back
and forth like a
bungie jumper till
you finally stopped
at the center.
On Earth it appears that not everything falls
 to the ground at the same rate.
It seems to us that things with less
mass or weight e.g. feathers fall
slower than things with more mass
or weight e.g. rocks.
 This is a misconception.
As demonstrated by Galileo in the 1500’s, all
objects in a vacuum, fall at the same rate
regardless of mass.
Lighter objects on Earth fall slower due to
our atmosphere which slows their descent.
On the Moon, an astronaut dropped a
feather and a hammer.
Since there is no atmosphere on the
Moon the feather and the hammer hit
the ground at the same time.
Demo dropping book and paper.
The weight of an object is a measure of
how hard gravity pulls on it.
However, the amount of gravity on each
planet differs. The Moon has only one-sixth
as much gravity as the earth. Consequently,
on the moon you would weigh only one-
sixth of what you weigh on Earth.
This boy weighs
60 pounds on
Earth.
On the Moon he
would only weigh
10 pounds.
Since each planet has a
different amount of
gravity, this boy’s
weight would change
each time he went to
another planet.
On Jupiter,
this would be
like carrying
an extra 100
pounds
around on
your back all
day.
The farther an object is from the center of
a planet, the weaker the force of gravity.




So, would this apple weigh more in some
place like Death Valley or on top of a very
high mountain?
Weight of a one pound apple heading out
to space.



                   Apple     Apple       Apple     Apple
                   weighs    weighs      weighs    weighs
                   1 pound   1/4 pound   1/9 pound 1/16 pound
                   here      here        here        here
In a spaceship like the shuttle, you would be
weightless. However this is not because
you are so far from Earth that there is no
gravity. It is because the spaceship, being
pulled by gravity, is always falling from
beneath you.
Both of these men are weightless, still they are
both being pulled by gravity. They have weight




only when gravity pushes them against
something like the floor or a scale.
What causes gravity?

Even the great          At his time
Sir Isaac Newton        and still
couldn’t answer         today, what
that one.               causes gravity
                        is a mystery.

But it is a force that effects everything in
the universe.

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Gravity for Elementary and Middle students (Teach)

  • 1. Gravity: the phenomenon that keeps our feet on the ground: By Moira Whitehouse PhD
  • 2. Gravity is a force. Gravity is a force that pulls. Every object has gravity. So every object pulls on every other object. The more mass an object has, the harder it pulls.
  • 3. We will use two hypothetical planets for our example. Both the blue and green planets are pulling on each other. Which one pulls harder?
  • 4. This should help us see that the more mass an object has the stronger its gravity. Moon Earth The Earth obviously has more mass than But the Moon’s gravity is also pulling on the Moon and it pulls harder. the Earth. So hard that the oceans swell So much harder that theever it passes. in an toward the Moon where Moon is held We call this high tide. Earth as though by some orbit around the magically strong string.
  • 5. Let’s think about gravity on our favorite little planet, Earth.
  • 6. Gravity on Earth pulls everything toward its center.
  • 7. That’s why there is no top or bottom and no one falls off.
  • 8. If you dug a hole right through the Earth and fell in, how far would you fall?
  • 9. You’d fall into the hole and shoot right past the center because you would be going so fast. As soon as you passed it, you would be pulled back towards the center. So you would bounce back and forth like a bungie jumper till you finally stopped at the center.
  • 10. On Earth it appears that not everything falls to the ground at the same rate. It seems to us that things with less mass or weight e.g. feathers fall slower than things with more mass or weight e.g. rocks. This is a misconception. As demonstrated by Galileo in the 1500’s, all objects in a vacuum, fall at the same rate regardless of mass. Lighter objects on Earth fall slower due to our atmosphere which slows their descent.
  • 11. On the Moon, an astronaut dropped a feather and a hammer. Since there is no atmosphere on the Moon the feather and the hammer hit the ground at the same time.
  • 12. Demo dropping book and paper.
  • 13. The weight of an object is a measure of how hard gravity pulls on it. However, the amount of gravity on each planet differs. The Moon has only one-sixth as much gravity as the earth. Consequently, on the moon you would weigh only one- sixth of what you weigh on Earth.
  • 14. This boy weighs 60 pounds on Earth.
  • 15. On the Moon he would only weigh 10 pounds.
  • 16. Since each planet has a different amount of gravity, this boy’s weight would change each time he went to another planet.
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21. On Jupiter, this would be like carrying an extra 100 pounds around on your back all day.
  • 22. The farther an object is from the center of a planet, the weaker the force of gravity. So, would this apple weigh more in some place like Death Valley or on top of a very high mountain?
  • 23. Weight of a one pound apple heading out to space. Apple Apple Apple Apple weighs weighs weighs weighs 1 pound 1/4 pound 1/9 pound 1/16 pound here here here here
  • 24. In a spaceship like the shuttle, you would be weightless. However this is not because you are so far from Earth that there is no gravity. It is because the spaceship, being pulled by gravity, is always falling from beneath you.
  • 25. Both of these men are weightless, still they are both being pulled by gravity. They have weight only when gravity pushes them against something like the floor or a scale.
  • 26. What causes gravity? Even the great At his time Sir Isaac Newton and still couldn’t answer today, what that one. causes gravity is a mystery. But it is a force that effects everything in the universe.