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Universal gravitation HTML5


Animated version of Newton's famous drawing dealing the free fall of a body. Free fall and the launching of an object into orbit are both governed by the same theory of gravity.

The '+' and '-' buttons enable you to observe different cases, from free fall (initial velocity zero) to escape velocity (11.3 km/s starting from  the ground).

Frictional effects are neglected and only the force due to gravity is acting.

Click on 'Plus' or 'Minus' to set the initial speed of the cannon ball.

Learning goals

  • To understand how to place an object in orbit.
  • To show that circular motion is a special case of an elliptical orbit.

Learn more

Gravity is a force. Two bodies experience a mutual attraction for each other.

The magnitude of the attractive force (in N) depends on the values of the two masses (in kg) and the distance (r)…

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