Gravity is the force that pulls all elements of matter together. Matter refers to things you can physically touch. The more matter there is, the greater the amount of gravity or force. This means that the Earth or other planets have a great deal of pull and that everything on Earth is pulled back to Earth.
Invisible Forces of Gravity
Gravity is the mutual attraction of two bodies in the universe. Since gravity refers to an invisible force pulling matter together, there are many examples of gravity. Every single thing has gravity, including people.
Some objects have much more gravity than others. The Earth, for example, has more gravity than people. This is why an object that falls is drawn to the Earth and returns to the Earth instead of being drawn to a person and flying at that person.
Some examples of the force of gravity include:
- The force that holds the gases in the sun.
- The force that causes a ball you throw in the air to come down again.
- The force that causes a car to coast downhill even when you aren't stepping on the gas.
- The force that causes a glass you drop to fall to the floor.
- The force that keeps the Earth and all of the planets in line in the proper position in their orbits around the sun.
- The force that propels a toddler down a slide.
- The force that causes the moon to revolve around the Earth.
- The force that keeps Jupiter's moons located around the planet.
- The force from the moon that causes the tides of the ocean.
- The force that causes your drink to rest at the bottom of your glass instead of hovering near the top of your glass.
- The force that causes an apple to fall downward from an apple tree.
- The force that keeps you walking on Earth instead of floating away into space.
- The force that causes a pen that rolls off of your desk to fall onto the floor.
- The force that causes a piece of paper that is blowing in the wind to eventually come back down to Earth.
- The force that causes a balloon that is out of helium to come back down to the ground.
- The force that causes a jump rope to come back to the ground after you swing it over your head.
- The force that causes a lock of your hair to fall to the floor after it has been cut off.
- The force that causes a rock to roll downhill.
Gravity in Action
Gravity has the same effect on every object. If you drop a huge elephant or if you drop a small, thin feather, they fall at the exact same speed. The feather will look like it falls more slowly and it does on Earth because there is air resistance that interferes with the force of gravity and can slow it down. However, if you dropped a feather and an elephant in a vacuum where there was no air resistance, they'd fall at the exact same speed because there is the exact same amount of force being exerted.
By reviewing examples of gravity, you can better understand gravity and how it works in a variety of situations in everyday life.
The term mass refers to the amount of matter in an object. For more science fun you can learn more about the mass of solar objects in Examples of Mass.