Viewing g as the value of Earth's gravitational field near the surface | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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November 28, 2011
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Viewing g as the value of Earth's gravitational field near the surface | Khan Academy

TL;DR

The video discusses two interpretations of the value of g - as the acceleration due to gravity near Earth's surface for an object in free fall or as the average gravitational field at Earth's surface.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What are the two different interpretations of the value of g?

The two interpretations of g are as the acceleration due to gravity for an object in free fall near Earth's surface or as the average gravitational field at Earth's surface, which gives the force per mass on an object.

Q: How does the normal force counteract the force of gravity when sitting on a chair?

When sitting on a chair, the normal force from the chair onto the person's pants offsets the force of gravity, resulting in a net force of 0 in the vertical direction and no acceleration towards the center of the Earth.

Q: What is a field in physics?

In physics, a field is a concept that associates a quantity with every point in space. It can be a scalar field, representing a value, or a vector field, representing a magnitude and direction.

Q: Why is g still relevant even when an object is not in free fall?

g is relevant because it represents the force per mass of gravity acting on an object near the surface of the Earth. It can be used to calculate the force of gravity on any object, whether it's in free fall or not.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The traditional interpretation of g is as the acceleration due to gravity for an object in free fall near Earth's surface.

  • However, g can also be seen as the average gravitational field at Earth's surface, which gives the force per mass on an object.

  • The concept of a field in physics is introduced, where a quantity is associated with every point in space.

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