a) Two particles of masses m1 and m2 are placed along the x and y axes respectively at a distance ‘a’ from the origin. Calculate the gravitational field at a point P shown in figure below.
Gravitational field due to m1 at a point P is given by,
Gravitational field due to m2 at the point p is given by,
The direction of the total gravitational field is determined by the relative value of m1 and m2.
When m1 = m2 = m
(iˆ + jˆ = jˆ + iˆ as vectors obeys commutation law).
total points towards the origin of the co-ordinate system and the magnitude of total is Gm/a2.
Qualitatively indicate the gravitational field of Sun on Mercury, Earth, and Jupiter shown in figure.
Since the gravitational field decreases as distance increases, Jupiter experiences a weak gravitational field due to the Sun. Since Mercury is the nearest to the Sun, it experiences the strongest gravitational field.