*World of Physics*. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.

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## Gravitational Field

The gravitational field is a measure of the **gravitational force** present in a region of **space** due to material objects. A quantitative description of the gravitational field is developed in the following way: take the **force** felt by a test body and divide it by its own **mass**. The test body may be moved from place to place to map out the size of the field. This equation is **Newton's law of universal gravitation** extended to a many-particle (or n-particle) system. Although Newton's law of gravitation is applicable in many instances, it is not applicable when relativity (special or general) must be taken into account.

The gravitational field, represented by the symbol g, is defined as the gravitational force per unit mass. For any object whose mass is constant, Newton's second law of **motion** states that the net external force F on a body is the...

This section contains 515 words(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page) |