- Gravitation is the force that attracts any two objects with mass toward each other, as described by Newton’s law of universal gravitation.
- Gravity is the specific force experienced by objects due to the Earth’s gravitational pull, causing objects to have weight.
- Gravitation is a universal force between all masses, whereas gravity refers to the force experienced by objects on or near Earth.
What is Gravitation?
Gravitation generally occurs between any two bodies on the Earth or outside it. The force of gravitation can be experienced by any big or small object on the Earth or beyond it. The amazing fact about gravitation is that despite holding all the objects in the universe, it is considered a weak force.
The concept of Gravitation was first introduced by Sir Isaac Newton in 1687. He proposed a Universal Law of Gravitation, which can be expressed as follows:
F = G(m1m2)/R2.
In the above equation,
- F = Force of Gravitation
- m1 and m2= Two masses of the body
- r2 = Distance between the two bodies’ center
- G = Gravitation Constant having a value of 6.67 X 10-11 Nm2/Kg2
The gravitational constant remains the same throughout universal. Hence, it is known as a universal constant.
What is Gravity?
The term ‘Gravity’ is simultaneously used in place of ‘Gravitation.’ Although the meaning and usage of the terms are different, people get confused and use them in place of one another. Gravity is the attractive force that acts upon two bodies where one object will always remain on the earth’s surface, and the second body can be anything.
Gravity tends to have a strong force as it is the only reason that holds up all the planets around the sun in the solar system. The term refers to the attractive force exerted by the earth on any object.
Also, it has its vector field; that is, gravity has a direction that acts downwards if we put zero force effect condition no matter what, the force of gravity will always remain zero at the earth’s center.
Difference Between Gravitation and Gravity
- Gravitation generally occurs between any two bodies on the Earth or outside it. On the other hand, Gravity generally acts between anybody or object present on the earth and between the earth.
- Gravitation always acts in a radial direction whereas, on the other hand, Gravity always acts towards the ground or, say, towards the center of the earth.
- Gravitation is considered a weak force of attraction, whereas, on the other hand, Gravity is considered a powerful force of attraction.
- Gravitation is a physical quantity with a vector, whereas, on the other hand, Gravity has its vector field.
- Gravitation to acts requires at least two objects or masses so there can be a force of attraction, whereas on the other hand, to experience gravity, only one object or body is required as the Earth is the other object.
- In Gravitation, if we consider an infinite distance between the bodies, the force of gravitation becomes ultimately zero. In contrast, on the other hand, in Gravity at the center of the earth, no matter what, the force of gravity will always remain zero.
Comparison Between Gravitation and Gravity
|Parameter of Comparison||Gravitation||Gravity|
|Nature||It generally acts between any two bodies on the Earth or even outside it||It generally acts between anybody or object present on the earth and between the earth|
|Direction||It acts in a radial direction||It acts towards the centre line of the earth, i.e., towards the earth’s core/ground.|
|Effect of Force||Weak||Strong|
|Vector||Physical quantity with a vector||Own vector field|
|Requirement||Two bodies or objects||Only one body or object, as the earth is always the second object|
|Condition for Zero force effect||If we consider an infinite distance between the bodies, the force of gravitation becomes ultimately zero.||At the centre of the earth, no matter what, the force of gravity will always remain zero|
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.