Science Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Can gravitational force act from a distance?

Expert Answers info

Lupe Tanner, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor

bookPh.D. from Oregon State University


calendarEducator since 2015

write3,394 answers

starTop subjects are Science, Math, and Business

When we throw a ball in air and it fall down or when a pencil rolls off the table and falls down or raindrops fall down towards the ground; we are witnessing gravity working at a distance. Gravity is one of the fundamental forces and is capable of acting at a distance. In all the cases mentioned above, none of the objects is in contact with Earth, yet Earth's gravitational field causes them to move towards Earth.

According to Universal Law of Gravitation, the gravitational force between any two objects is directly proportional to the product of their masses and is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Thus, the farther away the objects are from each other, the lesser is the gravitational force between them. 

Another example of gravity working at a distance is planets rotating around Sun. Since Sun is very large and much more massive than any solar planet, all the planets are attracted towards it and moves around it.

Hope this helps. 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial