The Value of g Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be re-sized to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom. This Interactive does not display very nicely on all phones and we do not recommend its use on many phones.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive is intended for use in a unit that discusses the concept of universal gravitation. The Interactive demonstrates that the value of the gravitational field strength is different on different planets. Learners click on a photo of the planet and view the value of g on that planet's surface. The mass and radius of the planet are stated along with one interesting fact about the planet that is depicted in the photo. The Interactive could serve as an introduction to a discussion of Newton's law of universal gravitation. A typical challenge would be ...
  1. The value of g is 9.8 N/kg on Earth's surface but it is noticeably different on other planets. Using the Value of g on Other Planets Interactive, collect some data regarding the value of g on other planets. What factors seem to affect the value of g? Can you develop a rule that describes what factors tend to make the value of g larger and what factors tend to make the value of g smaller? Make a claim that answers these questions and support your claim with evidence and reasoning.

Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Value of g Interactive. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignments CG6 and CG7 of the Circular Motion and Gravitation module provide great complements to this Interactive. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.
  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding, most notably ...

    Universal Gravitation
    The Inverse Square Law of Universal Gravitation

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Further Investigations: 
    The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes some additional experiences with universal gravitation that complement this Interactive. Two notable ideas include ...

    The Great Mass Attraction Simulation
    Satellite Motion Simulation

    Visit The Laboratory.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating Value of g into an instructional unit on satellite motion and gravitation can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.

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