Gravitational Constant – Class 11 | Chapter – 8 | Physics Short Notes Series PDF for NEET & JEE
Gravitational Constant: The gravitational constant is a physical constant that appears in the Universal Law of Gravitation, which describes the force of gravitational attraction between two objects. The gravitational constant is denoted by the symbol G and has a value of approximately 6.67430 × 10-11 N m2/kg2.
The gravitational constant relates the strength of the gravitational force to the masses and distances of the objects involved. It is a fundamental constant of nature and is thought to be universal, meaning that it applies to all objects in the universe that have mass.
The gravitational constant is a difficult constant to measure precisely, and its value has been the subject of numerous experiments and measurements over the years. Some of the most accurate measurements of the gravitational constant have been made using a device called a torsion balance, which measures the force between two masses due to their gravitational attraction.
Importance of Gravitational Constant
The gravitational constant, denoted by the symbol G, is an extremely important physical constant in physics. Here are some reasons why it is important:
- Universal Law of Gravitation: The gravitational constant appears in the Universal Law of Gravitation, which describes the force of gravitational attraction between two objects. This law is one of the most fundamental laws of physics, and it plays a critical role in understanding the motion of objects in the universe.
- Understanding Planetary Motion: The gravitational constant is necessary to calculate the gravitational forces between objects in the Solar System. This helps us to understand and predict the motion of planets, moons, asteroids, and other objects in our Solar System.
- Testing Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity: The gravitational constant is also important in testing Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which describes the curvature of spacetime due to the presence of matter and energy. Accurate measurements of the gravitational constant can help us to verify or refine this theory.
- Space Exploration: The gravitational constant is used in the design and navigation of spacecraft, which are subject to the gravitational forces of planets and other celestial bodies. Accurate calculations of the gravitational forces between objects in space are necessary to ensure the successful operation of spacecraft.
- Geophysics: The gravitational constant is also used in geophysics, where it is used to determine the density and composition of the Earth’s interior. By studying the gravitational forces between different parts of the Earth, scientists can infer information about its structure and composition.
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