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published by the Physics Education Technology Project
This interactive simulation helps students visualize the gravitational force that two objects exert on each other. It features two spherical objects exerting a gravitational pull on each other.  The mass of either sphere can be changed from 1-100 kg. Watch the force vectors change as you change the mass. The simulation was designed to promote two basic concepts: 1) All interacting objects exert a gravitational pull, even if it is very small; 2) The magnitude of the gravitational attraction depends on the mass of the interacting objects and their distance apart.  

Editor's Note: Scroll down on the page to find supplementary lesson plans and activities, such as a Calculations Lab, Clicker questions, and quantitative graph building.

This item is part of a larger collection of simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET). The simulations are animated, interactive, and game-like environments in which students learn through exploration. All of the simulations are freely available from the PhET web site for incorporation into classes.

Please note that this resource requires Java Applet Plug-in.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Gravity
= Universal Gravitation
- High School
- Middle School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2007 PHET; University of Colorado
Additional information is available.
force of gravity, gravitational force, gravity simulation, interactive multimedia
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created November 12, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 31, 2010

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4G. Forces of Nature
  • 9-12: 4G/H1. Gravitational force is an attraction between masses. The strength of the force is proportional to the masses and weakens rapidly with increasing distance between them.
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Record Link
AIP Format
(Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2007), WWW Document, (https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/gravity-force-lab).
PhET Simulation: Gravity Force Lab, (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2007), <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/gravity-force-lab>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Gravity Force Lab. (2010, August 31). Retrieved October 17, 2017, from Physics Education Technology Project: https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/gravity-force-lab
Chicago Format
Physics Education Technology Project. PhET Simulation: Gravity Force Lab. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, August 31, 2010. https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/gravity-force-lab (accessed 17 October 2017).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Gravity Force Lab. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, 2007. 31 Aug. 2010. 17 Oct. 2017 <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/gravity-force-lab>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Gravity Force Lab}, Publisher = {Physics Education Technology Project}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {17 October 2017}, Month = {August 31, 2010}, Year = {2007} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Gravity Force Lab
%D August 31, 2010
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%C Boulder
%U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/gravity-force-lab
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D August 31, 2010
%T PhET Simulation: Gravity Force Lab
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%V 2017
%N 17 October 2017
%8 August 31, 2010
%9 application/java
%U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/gravity-force-lab

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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

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