Talk:Newton's law of universal gravitation

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It would be nice to have a history of the theory, including genesis, acceptance, refinement and expansion, application, theoretical obsolescence, and current role in education. -- Beland 19:03, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Law or theory?[edit]

I've usually heard this described as a law, and indeed that is the title of the article. However the first line of the article says that it is a theory. This should be either changed, or explained in the article. Harley peters 01:35, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I second that. Wikipedia even has an article emphasizing the difference between a law and a theory, but this article conflates the two as if the were the same thing.

2601:588:4200:1C59:69F9:93F:3A8F:C907 (talk) 14:29, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

What ranges of r, m amd M has this Law/ Theory been tested experimentally? (talk) 01:52, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Lead sentence[edit]

Is this a law or a theory? --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 04:00, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Quick answer: both. Quick, but not that quick answer: everything in science is theory - even everything which is (today) considered to be "correct". Why? Since falsifiability is a crucial element in science and the philosophy of science. And law, well, that's just a short name for a mathematical assumption which can predict (more or less accurately) physical observable results of the underlying theory. Make sense? Newton's law, historically named so, is still in use, even if Einstein's theory of general relativity is considered to be "the one". Today, that is, I must add... --Dna-Dennis (talk) 05:05, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Can you bend Gravity?[edit]

I am writing my thesis and was wondering if gravity could bend. There was no mention of it in 'Newton's Laws of Gravitation.' —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:18, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm not 100% certain I understand what you mean, but you might mean can gravity bend space? According to Einstein's theory of general relativity the answer is a definite "yes"; Einstein's theory (contrary to Newton's) explains the movement of for instance a small body A through a gravitational field caused by a massive body B as a simple consequence of the fact that mass B bends the spacetime continuum, with no forces involved. In this theory, even light (electromagnetic radiation) is bent. Newton, on the other hand, explains gravity as a consequence of forces between different masses, which cause them to independently attract eachother. These two theories predict the reality almost equally correct on an astronomical scale, but the underlying theories are more or less contradictory to each other (they are also centuries apart in history:) ). Regards, --Dna-Dennis (talk) 23:52, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Eh, I probably should point out that Einstein's theory has proven to be more accurate than Newton's, when scientists have used more modern means of measurements. So, Einstein's theory is today widely considered to be the superior theory of gravity. For more info, see Tests of general relativity. --Dna-Dennis (talk) 00:02, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Is there any who can answer to the following.[edit]

Comment: The following is inappropriate for Wikipedia. This is not a forum to debate the logic or validity of Newton's Law. Instead, the law should be presented the way it is currently accepted in the literature, e.g. textbooks or papers. If there is controversy, it should be documented the way it is published in the literature. Arguing against validity without referencing sources falls under original research. Asking for explanations should also be done elsewhere. Milliemchi (talk) 16:35, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Critique 1

Suppose two masses m1 = m2 = 1 kg, diameter of m1 = m2 = 0.5 m Both masses are in space and the centre to center distance between them is 1 metre = r , then

F= Gm1m2/r2 = G = 6.67*10-11 Newton.

But Gravitational accelerations or forces of attractions of both masses balance each other and therefore value of gravitational force F should be zero between those two masses, if not, then Which one is gravitating/ or falling mass. And how aforementioned masses attract each other by F= Gm1m2/r2 = G = 6.67*10-11 Newton, when there is no gravitating or falling mass.

what the friction are you talking about? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Make it more simple

let say earth is an sphere. Now if we put imaginary earth on earth or sun on sun and now apply F= GMm/R2to the masses, where g = GM/d2. M= mass of earth, m= mass of imaginary earth, centre to centre distance between two masses = diameter of earth. Now again which one is falling mass or gravitating mass where gravitational acceleration of each mass cancel each other.

Critique 2

Sorry, I messed up with calculation in my previous critique 2 therefore I want to represent it again in different way. Consider an apple (or sphere) is at any height “h” and starts falling with g1 towards the surface of the earth. Both apple and earth attract each other with a force equal in magnitude (F1=F2) but opposite in direction. The g1 of apple (or sphere) is 9.8 m/sec/sec towards earth while The g2 of earth is 1.63 x 10^-24 m/sec/sec towards apple (or sphere) Since g1>g2 therefore apple (or sphere) move (fall) faster towards earth and both bodies comes to rest when they touch each other. At rest neither apple (or sphere) is accelerating (at any rate m/sec/sec) further towards earth nor earth towards apple (or sphere). The velocity of any object is zero at its rest position and since acceleration is the rate of change of velocity therefore, technically/ theoretically at rest, acceleration of any object is also equal to zero. Therefore at rest it is wrong to say that the value of g is always 9.8 m/sec/sec for w = mg. Therefore, when both apple (or sphere) and earth rest on each other the value both g1 and g2 should also equal to zero because of no further rate of change of velocity towards each other. Therefore F1=g1m=g2m=0=F2; Just like we don’t feel the weight of earth nor earth feel ours. Further, If two objects are under influence of gravitation either at rest or uniform motion then there is contradiction between First law of motion and Universal law of gravitation.

Critique 3

Equation was derived on the assumption that earth is a homogeneous sphere while in reality it is composed of many different materials with variant densities. So the actual center of gravity of earth is somewhere else but not at its center. So this means thing should fall on the ground at an angle to the normal except at two location where the real center of gravity of the earth is closest and farthest to its surface. So why an object is falling straight on the ground surface not an angle???. If answer is micro gravity then do we have to change the value of R in equation g = GM/R2. If we change R then value of g will be diffrent than 9.8 m/s/s.

Critique 4

Here is the summary of attraction Forces of Sun - Moon, Earth - Moon and Sun - Earth during Total Eclipse when the Moon is between Sun and Earth.

F = GMm/r2

Sun - Moon - Earth S-M = 4.1984 x 1020 M - E = 2.2 x 10^20 Net force on the Moon = 4.1984 x 1020 Minus 2.2 x 1020 = 1.998 x 1020 towards Sun At this point why Earth force the moon to revolve around its centre when the net force on the moon is much much greater towards the sun ? Explain please. Check the calculation pls. If we consider the Sun - Earth Force S - E= 3.67 x 1022 , then Net Force on the Moon = 1.998 x 1020 Plus 3.67 x 1022 = 3.68 x 1022 towards Sun.

Please also note that force of attraction F = GMm/r2 between sun and moon in any case (perigee, apogee, average) is much greater than between moon and earth F = GMm/r2 (perigee, apogee, average). So technically it should revolve around the sun in separate orbit and not around earth. So why moon revolves around earth?

Here is also the detail of escape velocity of moon Vem wrt to both sun and earth when it is in between earth and sun in total eclipse.

Sun------------(V em, wrt s=2GM s/Rsm)1/2 -----------Moon-------(V em, wrt e=2GM e/Rem)1/2--------Earth

V em, wrt s=(2GM s/Rsm)1/2 >>> Vem, wrt e=(2GM e/Rem)1/2

V em, wrt s>>>> V em, wrt e

Please check all calculation.

Critique 5

Let “P” is a point or an origin of two circles of radius r1=1 meter and r2= 2 meter. Consider these two circle as spheres (empty from inside) or consider these circles as two bangles in space. Now apply Newton’s law of gravitation i.e. F=GMm/R2 to those two masses and neglect all other local attractions.

As gravitational force of attraction between these two bangles is infinity (center to center distance b/t masses is zero)

Now how much force is required to separate aforementioned masses, infinity or less? If less then what about the Newton’s law? Myktk (talk) 04:38, 7 August 2008 (UTC)Zarmewa

Critique 6:

Galileo had concluded hundreds of years before - All objects released together fall at the same rate regardless of mass. i.e. g = GM/R2 and had proved on the lunar surface by falling feather and hammer at the same time in the absence of air.

As g= GM/R2 and does not depend upon the falling mass therefore why the masses of atoms / molecules (mass of any kind) of air/ gases do not fall at the same rate on the surface of earth along with other masses or obey the Newton law of gravitation.e.g a blimp or ballon filled with helium gas. Further movements of air molecule in atomosphere depend upon temperature, pressure and Newton did not mention any temperature or pressure in his law of gravitation. (talk) 08:09, 20 February 2009 (UTC) zarmewa khattak

Hi! I'm not sure I follow your reasoning completely, but I will try to respond anyway.
You said : (Critique 1:) Now again which one is falling mass or gravitating mass where gravitational acceleration of each mass cancel each other.
Which one is falling/gravitating? Well, both, of course.
No, the forces do not cancel each other out - this is only if you look at the gravitational system as a whole. From the perspective of each mass, each mass experiences a force F, and will therefore undergo an acceleration a=F/m (according to Newton's second law F= m x a, see Newton's laws of motion).
Critique 2 and 3 I don't quite understand, but they might have to do with what I said above.
You said: (Critique 4:) So technically (the Moon) it should revolve around the sun in separate orbit and not around earth. So why moon revolves around earth?
But you are doing a significant mistake here; you assume that the masses have no initial velocity, and thus no Momentum (p=m x v). Earth, the Moon (and the Sun) all have velocities, and the Moon has been in a stabile orbit around the Earth for a very, very long time. All these objects have thus a significant Momentum, and it is thus quite hard to force them off their course in space. The Moon is simply too close to the Earth and too far from the Sun to be pulled "out of orbit".
Critique 5 I'm not 100% sure I get your point, but strictly mathematically, yes, the force would be infinitely large. But! The distance between two different objects can in reality never be zero; they then become per definition the same object, or rather a new object (compare with Nuclear fusion). But I must also mention that your reasoning comes close to the rules for the creation of black holes, see Schwarzschild radius.
Critique 6 seems to question Newton's law by applying the concept of temperature. Why this? The one has nothing to do with the other. Temperature in physics is a collective concept which relates to the average of the velocities of all particles, and therefore temperature is in this case more closely related to Momentum (p=m x v).
All in all, Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation describes the influence of gravitation, i.e. mass attracts mass, nothing more, nothing less. It does not describe Momentum, temperature and everything else, for this you need to consider other physics, including Newton's laws of motion. Regards, --Dna-Dennis (talk) 00:28, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

A good try but not satisfactory

1- Imaigine a rope pulled by two persons with equal forces but opposite in direction. Thus F1=Gm1m2/D2= Gm1m2/D2=F2. Also m1 try to accelarate m2 towards m1 but at the same time m2 try to accelarate m1 towards m2 with same amount but opposite in direction. I forgot to write the diameters of those two masses viz 0.5 m.

2- Centripital and centrifugal (gravitational) forces are the reseans for orbital velocities of moon and earth around sun therefore moon could have got different velocity around sun upon its creation.

3- There is infinity force b/t aforementioned masses as per law of gravitation. Another simple example is sperical ballon or plastic swimming pool ball filled with water or air. There are two masses, one is water or air and the other is ballon. Center of both masses are coinicides.

4- A ballon filled with water and partially (small amount) with air will come up to the surface if it is put at the bottom of swimming pool and so temperatute is not the right justfication. Adio (talk) 06:24, 20 March 2009 (UTC) zarmewa

I have to say the same; A good try but not satisfactory... far from.
1. a rope pulled by two persons with equal forces - this is a very bad example; with a rope, the two persons (and forces) are physically connected, as the rope is made up of atoms. Gravitational force does not need any physical connection; it works perfectly well in vacuum. Thus, as I said, the forces do not cancel each other out. Basic physics.
2 So why moon revolves around earth? was the original question. Last time I looked, yes, the Moon was still orbiting the Earth. And last time I calculated (in school a very long time ago), the reality was consistent with Newton's laws of motion and other laws of physics. And why focus on The Moon, there are many moons in the Solar System, orbiting other planets (e.g. Triton, Titan, Titania and a sh*tload of others). I bet there are even moons around moons. They also follow the laws of physics. Clarification: The Moon does orbit the Sun, it just orbits the Earth as well. If you wonder why the moon orbits the Earth, you probably should study Astrophysics and Astronomy. Newton's theory does not, and can not explain why the Moon was caught by Earth in the first place, this is the role of Astronomy. AFAIK - and I'm far from sure - the Moon is believed to be a byproduct of some planetary collision a very long time ago. Check the article The Moon - the info is probably there.
3 There is infinity force b/t aforementioned masses as per law of gravitation. Again, only mathematical, theoretical infinity. And (simple) mathematics almost never perfectly describes reality, compare with Chaos Theory. In reality, we don't know yet, as very small distances can not be perfectly examined due to quantum effects, see Uncertainty principle. There may very well be (and probably are) other effects when we deal with very small distances. And the effect of gravitation will in either case be very hard to distinguish, as it is very weak compared to other forces, e.g. the Electromagnetic force.
4. A ballon filled with water and partially (small amount) with air will come up to the surface if it is put at the bottom of swimming pool... So what? This has nothing whatsoever to do with gravitation. It's about pressure, and is covered by completely different physics. Why apply gravitation to it in the first place? It's just confusing to mix things together this way.
As I said, Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation describes the influence of gravitation, i.e. mass attracts mass, nothing more, nothing less. It never was, and never will be a Grand unification theory. Anyway, if you are dying to criticise gravitational theories, why don't you start with Einstein's General Relativity? After all, this is the currently superior theory. Good luck, btw. And, if you're dying to discuss physics and try to attack a gravitational theory which has been used successfully for hundreds of years, and still is, I recommend doing it at Good luck, again. You will have a lot of explaining to do... --Dna-Dennis (talk) 07:51, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Your second critique is actually mistaken on the nature of the gravitation betwixt the Earth and the apple. The Earth's centre of gravity is at the heart of its core (a good bilingual joke in English and French). Therefore both bodies are still accelerating towards each other. However, Newton's third law states that as the bodies are in contact, the reactant force negates the acceleration. Hence, the apple does not inexorably penetrate the surface of the earth, but still has a token acceleration towards it.
I,E Wouldst thou speak? 19:44, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

No plugin calculator[edit]

I have this page [1] which offers a handy calculator for any of the parameters of the equation. Do you agree to post it as an external link? I checked it and it complies with the external link guidelines. See you. Elpiades (talk) 03:15, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Change the notation to correct the article[edit]

The notation is inconsistent. As written, the formula equates the magnitude of a vector (force) with a vector. As a result the formula provided is not correct. Adjust the notation accordingly.RCS 66 (talk) 21:59, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Excess of generality about masses of large size[edit]

Recent amendments of the opening made it so excessively general that it is no longer valid (if it ever was). (Why does excess generalization so often happen to Wikipedia articles?) It's just not true that all large objects attract and are attracted as if the mass was concentrated at the center of mass: it's only been shown for spherically-symmetrical mass distributions, and under an exact inverse square law. (Actually 'center of mass' is something of a misleading misnomer because of this, it might be better referred to as something like a center of inertia or a center of moments.)

I just added an amendment that removes the untruth (or hopefully at least most of it), but it could probably be improved a lot for readability. Terry0051 (talk) 22:18, 16 December 2009 (UTC)


"The problem is that Newton's Theories and his mathematical formulas explain and permit the (inaccurate) calculation of the effects of the precession of the perhelions of the orbits and the deflection of light rays. However, they did not and do not explain the equivalence of the behavior of various masses under the influence of gravity, independent of the quantities of matter involved."

Well I see one problem with that statement. It seems obvious that if I double the mass of a bag of sand, that I'm doubling the force of acceleration while also doubling the resistance of the bag to acceleration due to inertia. The acceleration thus stays the same because 2n/2m is still n/m. The (anti)derivatives used to move between acceleration/velocity/position might also be mentioned...

Or maybe I missed the point of that section.  ;) I mean I do seem to be reading that section as claiming that his formula didn't take into account doubling the mass (false, twice the force, but twice the mass to spread it through), or changing the volume (also false, as covered in a previous paragraph of the article), however he didn't have the means to do calculations for say, a cube with one corner with 80% of the mass, in a chaotic distribution. That's hard enough even today unless you use a computer - and it still isn't trivial! (talk) 21:36, 20 January 2010 (UTC)


It says, "Relativity is only required when there is a need for extreme precision, or when dealing with gravitation for extremely massive and dense objects.". That doesn't tell me anything. Could anybody clarify that in the article? Thank you. Infringement153 (talk) 06:41, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Newton's Laws versus Einstein's Theory[edit]

Dear Mr. Favonian: Please allow me to edit the text in the Newton's Law's section. The writing is extremely biased towards Einstein's General Relativity Theory. Granted there are many scientists that believe that this theory is a law, there are many the do not. I have not added any comments to the Einstein relativity wiki, only to the Newton section. There have been some recent papers that caste a doubt on Einstein's theory and reinforce Newton's Law's, so please allow me to point this out. I have kept in place any mention of Einstein as another theory in the interest of fairness, even though I believe that General Relativity has been invalidated, since it predicts a non-existent precession of Mercury.

Perhaps we can come to a compromise in the wording that doesn't make Newton's Law's sound like a "fringe theory". After all, these laws have been around for much longer than Einstein's theory, and our space agency uses these laws, not Einstein's for our satellite calculations.


D c weber (talk) 20:33, 17 October 2010 (UTC)d_c_weber Dave Weber —Preceding unsigned comment added by D c weber (talkcontribs) 20:18, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I can't let that one fly... "it predicts a non-existent precession of Mercury".. Not only does the precession of Mercury exist, but even Newtonian physics predicted a precession of Mercury. Although Newtonian physics didn't predict it accurately enough, Einstein's General Relativity does predict it accurately.. It was, in fact, one of Einstein's three tests for general relativity. All three tests pointed to the superiority of general relativity over Newtonian physics. (talk) 20:40, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Where exactly was the universal law of gravitation stated?[edit]

The familiar usual statement of the law Every particle in the universe attracts every other particle ... etc is apparently NOT given in Newton's Principia. (Newton did not use the word universe anyway). At least, I could not find it. If it does occur please correct me and give the exact reference and Newton's words. If it does not occur, does anyone know where it comes from? JFB80 (talk) 20:56, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

What is the place that has highest gravitational force in the earth?[edit]

Can anyone tell me what is the place that has highest gravitational force... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Susanpus (talkcontribs) 09:08, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Questions such as these should generally be referred to the Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science. I believe the Himalayas are the point. A map of the strength of earth's gravity can be found here (note: external link). Sailsbystars (talk) 02:11, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Moved from article[edit]

The law of gravitational force has also been used to as a base for research in other fields like political science and economics. International business scholar Tinbergen(1962) used the Newton's law of gravity to derive Gravity equation which he said could help explain bilateral trade flows between two countries. Since then a number of research studies have applied gravity equation to explain international trade flows like Gould(1994), Head and Ries(1998) and Girma and Yu(2002).

The new section lacks references showing relevance here. Economists may have applied a similarly formatted formula, but that seems rather irrelevant to this article. Vsmith (talk) 09:35, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Law of Gravitation in 11 Space-Time Dimensions. By Mikhail Vlasov.[edit]

Point Mass[edit]

As stated in the article, the law refers to objects that do not exist -- point masses (that is, masses of infinite density). Perhaps the statement of the law should be more straightforward, and then qualified later on: Every mass attracts every other mass with a force equal to G m1 m2 /R_squared, where m1 and m2 are the values of the masses, G is the universal gravitational constant, and R is the distance between the centers of the masses. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ajahnjohn (talkcontribs) 09:46, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Inaccurate Picture: "Slice earth.svg"[edit]

This illustration ( appears to inaccurately label the "lehmann discontinuity". The actual lehmann discontinuity seems to be only a few hundred kilometers from the Earth's surface. In this illustration, the lehmann discontinuity is depicted to be near the Earth's core.

See: (1) The nature of the Lehmann discontinuity in subcontinental mantle Woodhouse, J.; Deuss, A. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2005, abstract #T22B-03 <>

(2) Wikipedia:

(3)Karato, S. (1992), On the Lehmann discontinuity, Geophys. Res. Lett., 19(22), 2255–2258, doi:10.1029/92GL02603

This illustration needs to be examined by an expert in the field. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Observations conflicting with Newton's theory[edit]

The paragraph added in [2] gives the impression that newtons laws are sufficient to account for the precession of Mercury. The claim that modeling the sun as a set of 13 point masses accounts for the 43 arc second per second discrepancy seems to be contradicted in [3] where the oblatness of the sun accounts for only 0.0254 arc seconds per century. (talk) 13:29, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Mathematical formula understanding[edit]

The use of mathematic formulas to solve physical problems can lead to false concepts concerning the physical phenomena involved and the Gravitational force formula is a typical case of that. Since the the force is calculated in units of force versus the square of a unit of distance, the concept is generated that a physical distance squared unit of distance is important with relation to the physical phenomenon involved when it is more probable that the physical significance of the distance is more related to a "volume displacement factor" or "volumetric displacement occurrence per unit of linear distance of motion", and that the interaction of gravitational fields is related to their volumetric interelationship. Also, of course, the multiple combined mass value leads to a concept that every mass particle interacts with every other particle which is probably not the case. And now we have the theory of relativity distorting our concept of an orthogonal 3 dimensional space continuum by mathematically intertwining it with a (presumably orthogonal?) time continuum such that we can go an infinite distance in a zero time interval if we can just go fast enough???WFPM (talk) 03:01, 16 February 2012 (UTC) See Orders of magnitude (magnetic field)


I am not sure that the latest effort, by, is correct. He has been warned before. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

"Observations conflicting with Newton's theory"[edit]

I don't get the meaning and purpose of the last sentence in the last paragraph - in the section "Observations conflicting with Newton's theory" - can anyone edit it to clarify the meaning?

"The problem is that Newton's Theories and his mathematical formulas explain and permit the (inaccurate) calculation of the effects of the precession of the perihelions of the orbits and the deflection of light rays. However, they did not and do not explain the equivalence of the behavior of various masses under the influence of gravity, independent of the quantities of matter involved."


Hello people — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:04, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Does "g =GM/d^2" conform with "F = GMm/d^2" mathematically?[edit]

Does "g =GM/d2" which appear in Newton's universal law of gravitation conform with "F = GMm/d2" teleologically?

It is inoculated that both earth and an apple (smaller objects) accelerate toward each other due to force of gravitation but apple appears a lot to the earth due to its greater acceleration as compared to the earth toward an apple, which is so minuscule to be distinguished. Since the difference in masses is mammoth therefore it seems that not only the earth is stationary as compared to an apple but also the reduction in on-center distance "d" occurs due to falling of an apple (in its acceleration mode) ONLY, but verily, both masses are changing their positions as well as "d" decreases due to the falling of both masses (in their higher types of complex motion). This can easily be observed if collated the following two identical spherical masses (from point to celestial) which are separated by on-center conspicuous distance “d”. Let

First Mass = M1, Second Mass = M2, M1 = M2 = Identical, Centre-to-Centre distance b/w M1 and M2 = d, d1 = d2, d1 + d2 = d, Gravitational acceleration of M1 = g1, Gravitational acceleration of M2 = g2 and “c” be the mid point of “d".

The precocious simultaneous procession of M1 and M2 in the forepart toward "c" is due to the coetaneous germination of g1 and g2, inter alia, the reduction in "d" ("d1" and "d2" equally on both sides of “c”) and accretion in "F" are coeval which transform aforementioned both masses swiftly into higher derivatives of position w.r.t time such as gravitational jerk, jounce, crackle, pop, lock, drop etcetera.

Consequently, it is inferred presciently that two objects attract each other at much faster rate due to development of spawning of complex motion o'er time instead of advancing merely with accelerations (“g”) of "F" anecdotally.

More over, the contemporary formation of g1 and g2 due to “F” are out of the question (talk) 03:12, 19 January 2014 (UTC)Eclectic Eccentric Kamikaze

Since this is technically incorrect, is Gauss's law also incorrect?[edit]

Einstein superseded is law as gravitational waves do not travel instantaneously as Newton assumed but at the speed of light, how can this be show in Gauss's law which is derived from Newton's law?-- (talk) 18:34, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

History section needs more context[edit]

The History section could be improved with an introduction that sets the scene. Doesn't it tie into the history of planetary motion (Kepler's three laws) for instance? The controversy with Hooke and question of attribution are relevant but not the whole story. pgr94 (talk) 09:37, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

G is the probabilistic effect of overall attraction[edit]

F = G \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}\ , where:

F is the force between the masses, G is the gravitational constant (6.673×10−11 N·(m/kg)2), m1 is the first mass, m2 is the second mass, and r is the distance between the centers of the masses. Diagram of two masses attracting one another

Newtonian Gravity in Spiral Galaxies[edit]

Current text: "In Spiral galaxies the orbiting of stars around their centers seems to strongly disobey to Newton's law of universal gravitation. Astrophysicists, however, explain this spectacular phenomenon in the framework of the Newton's laws, with the presence of large amounts of Dark matter." Add in "Newton's gravitational formulae given in the 'Principia' only cover bodies with spherical and point symmetries. Newton specifically makes a note in Book 1, Section 12, that warns of this. Section 12 is specifically for bodies with 'spherical symmetry'. He says that for any other shapes, he would have to recalculate the formulae, but notes that he doesn't have the time. This was 100 years or more before people began to discuss the movement of stars in galaxies and clusters. The problem arises because galaxies are roughly disc shaped and clusters more distorted. Following his suggestion for galaxies gives forces about 5 times the forces calculated using the published 'spherical' formula. This difference roughly matches the amount by which the formula is reported to be in error and could possibly remove the requirement for Dark Matter. Clusters will probably show greater discrepancies but it will be harder to predict any corrections; they will probably be bigger." Ref: 'Mass Distribution in Rotating Thin-disc Galaxies According to Newtonian Dynamics', James Q. Geng and C.F Gallo, Galaxies 2014,2 199-222; doi:10.3390/galaxies/2020199: 14 April 2014. --GilR 02:22, 3 January 2015 (UTC)Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gilbert.Rooke (talkcontribs)

Article Images[edit]

Could someone please take a look at some of the images on this article? Do they all actually belong here? -- (talk) 01:00, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I'd be willing to lose (at least) File:Field_lines_mass_24_lines.gif and File:Gravity_field_is_arbitrary.gif. Not sure these animated GIFs add anything to the article. - dcljr (talk) 01:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed them. - dcljr (talk) 06:38, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Gravitational vs inertial mass[edit]

The statement under the section about the problems with newtonian gravity contains several incorrect statement. It also contains a completely irrelevant paragraph about special relativty which i took out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2607:FB90:17C2:31EC:0:4B:2A40:9E01 (talk) 17:18, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

I can't understand this sentence in the article, and hope someone can clarify it.[edit]

The meaning of the last sentence of the third paragraph under "Newton's Work and Claims" simply escapes me, even after reading it over a dozen times. I can't make it sound coherent, no matter how hard I try. It may be punctuation, or it may be above my intellectual level. At any rate, here it is:

"In addition, Newton had formulated in Propositions 43-45 of Book 1,[19] and associated sections of Book 3, a sensitive test of the accuracy of the inverse square law, in which he showed that only where the law of force is accurately as the inverse square of the distance will the directions of orientation of the planets' orbital ellipses stay constant as they are observed to do apart from small effects attributable to inter-planetary perturbations."

It's understandable, to me, until the part which begins with "in which he showed...", and I'm lost from there.

Respectfully, DB — Preceding unsigned comment added by Deadlyblues (talkcontribs) 14:00, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

I believe it's trying to say that only an inverse-square law of gravity would allow the path of a planet around the sun to be a "closed ellipse", where the major axis always points in the same direction (although that's not actually how planetary orbits behave). - dcljr (talk) 06:16, 29 October 2016 (UTC)