Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Circular Motion and Gravitation

In this unit, I learned about circular motion and gravitation. Using my knowledge of vectors, I learned that any object moving in a circle is accelerating. I learned how to find this acceleration and the force that keeps the object in a circle, known as centripetal force. I also learned about gravitation and the Law of Universal Gravitation which states: "Every object in the universe attracts every other object in the universe with a force that varies directly with the product of their masses and inversely with the square of the distance between the centers of the two masses." Using this law I learned how to find the force of gravity between two objects in the universe.

I have mostly found gravitation difficult. I tend to forget to convert units and often have "finger problems" when working with scientific notation.

I do feel though that my problem solving skills have increased when it is necessary to apply previous concepts to this unit. I do feel like I am getting better at paying attention to the units in an problem too, but I need to make sure I am paying attention at all times.


  1. Good reflection.
    You said that the force that keeps an object in a circle is the centripetal force, is that a special kind of force? please explain what you mean by that.

  2. Thankyou, and yes centripetal force is a special force that is directed toward the center of a circle in order to keep an object moving in a curved path.

  3. Ryan,

    Good observation. We have the same problem of forgetting to convert the units. This chapter was hard for me as well. You will be more successful in understanding the concepts by doing more problems and working together with someone that know the concepts well.

    Yulong Su