What is the use of gravity

What is gravity

In order to explain gravitation simply, we have here the most important facts from physics andchemistry compiled in an understandable way. Together we discover their effects on our globe and on other planets. Furthermore, gravity is explained to children through a captivating experiment. Our courseExperiments for children shows you even more natural wonders, by the way.

Gravity - definition

Simply put, gravitation means the attraction of masses. It is one of the four basic physical forces. You can learn more about this in ourphysics Workshop. Your child still has problems in this subject? Our area Homework assistance offers many helpful tips and explanations.

On our blue planet, we actually only feel the gravitational pull, because theMercury and the other celestial bodies are too far away or too small. But what we can still see is the power of the lunar attraction. Do you know where and when we can notice them? And how to explain gravity to children? If not, we'll tell you here: at the sea, the regular alternation of ebb and flow occurs due to the attraction of the moon. Incredible that entire oceans can be moved back and forth by this force of a heavenly body, right? You can learn more about heavenly bodies in our Astronomy for kids Offered.

Newton was the first to formulate these laws in 1687Natural sciencesthat are still valid today. Because every body attracts other bodies in the universe, so gravity is simply explained. The force of attraction, in turn, depends on the mass of the body. We also explain other facts in ourbiology Course. It is essential to mention in this context Albert Einstein's theory of relativity (see deGrasse Tyson, 2019). At the University of Jena his theories are still being researched today. And not only there, but also, for example, at theUniversity of Trier.

Differentiation between gravitation and gravity

If you explain gravity simply, you should tooGravityMention, because both it is a body force with two components. Part of the force of gravity is on the one hand the gravitational force of our home planet and on the other hand (to a very small extent) the centrifugal force that arises when the earth rotates.

If you are with the childcare want to discuss the subject of gravity, the example of the globe helps. The combined physical strength has a different effect between the poles and the equator. As a result, the acceleration due to gravity is slightly higher at the poles and slightly lower at the equator. The reason for this is that the centrifugal force flattens the globe slightly at the poles and bulges slightly at the equator (see Reuther, 2012). If you want to learn more about this fascinating phenomenon, take a look at the Children's University past.

Gravity simply explained: How does it affect celestial bodies?

You can also find out the facts about the effect on celestial bodies in the subjectastronomy learn. But first, we'll explain gravity for kids below. Using the example of the sun and our globe, the answerUniversity of Oldenburg the question asked, because both celestial bodies attract each other. The gravitational force ensures that we do not move away from our central star and remain on our orbit. If that gravity were suddenly no longer there, we would fly further into space and move away from the sun.

But we are not the only celestial body orbiting the central star. In the solar system, apart from our globe, there is also an inner orbitVenus and Mercury and at a distanceSaturn and another four planets their orbits like thatUniversity of Heidelberg Gravitation explained simply. This also includes countless small objects such as stony asteroids or icy comets. This whole collection, which orbits a common center in space and is held in place by the force of attraction, is called a galaxy (cf. Bennett, 2020).

Our Weight on Other Planets - Gravity Explained for Children

You have probably already stood on a scale and checked your weight, right? The weight that you were then able to read is only valid on our home planet. On all other celestial bodies, however, you are a little heavier or lighter because of the different gravity conditions.

Gravity is explained for children by our illustrative example calculation in the following table: In our example you weigh 35 kg here and now we imagine that your scales are on the planet from the first column of the table. Then you have to multiply your weight (35 kg in the example) by the factor from column 2. So that you don't have to take out the calculator, we have already calculated for you. So you can find your weight as a traveler in space in the last column. You will be amazed how light as a feather you arePluto or how heavy as lead on Jupiter! Besides, that will Solar system for children in this way more tangible and understandable.

Table 1: Our weight on other celestial bodies - gravity explained for children

Your discovery explained simply

This law of gravitation was discovered by Isaac Newton, born in England in 1643, who subsequently became world famous with it. There is also a little story about it: when Newton was lying under an apple tree in the garden at home, an apple fell at his feet. But now it didn't leave him in peace to find out why the apple was always perpendicular to theearth falls. Why doesn't the apple fall to the side or up? Why is thatSun always up and not falling down? Finally, Newton found the answer in the fact that mass bodies attract each other. What keeps the celestial bodies in orbit is consequently the centrifugal force, which is balanced with the attraction of mass. At the Homeschooling you learn more about this power.

Did you know?

Newton has been researching throughout his life and has also discovered many groundbreaking innovations. For example, he described three other physical laws that are still valid today. To do this, he broke new ground in mathematics: in order to calculate the forces that hold celestial bodies on their orbits, he developed infinitesimal calculus. But the all-round genius was also skilled in terms of craftsmanship, because he built the first reflector telescope.

Gravitation attempt to imitate

Gravity explained for children, that's the aim of our experiment. Because the easiest way to understand complex facts is through your own experiment or trial. We explain this to you step by step in our instructions, how the attempt at gravity works. In short, this is a playful way to familiarize yourself with Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

So, simply explained, gravity is a force that attracts masses. But the riddle of how gravity works has not yet been completely resolved. Gravity for children only explains what is known today. That is why young researchers are needed who take on the physical wonders in our living environment.


Bennett, Jeffrey; Donahue, Megan, et al. (2020): Astronomy - The Cosmic Perspective, 9th Edition, Munich.

DeGrasse Tyson, Neil (2019): The universe for those in a hurry, Munich.

Reuther, Claus-Dieter (2012): Forces in the lithosphere, Heidelberg.

FAQs about gravity simply explained

Do you have to know what the four physical forces are called if you simply explain gravity?

The four basic forces of physics are called gravitation, electromagnetism, weak interaction and strong interaction. They are part of the basic knowledge in physics and are therefore important when explaining gravity simply.

What is the difference between mass attraction and gravity simply explained?

Both terms describe the same phenomenon: This causes all our bodies to fall down, in the direction of the center of the earth. Exception: they are caught beforehand!

Gravitation explained simply: can we live without it?

No, because ours toothe atmosphere is attracted and held in place by gravity. This means that without gravity we cannot breathe, so we cannot live either. So our survival can easily be explained by gravity.

Can astronauts help explain gravity to children?

Do you want to explain gravity to children here? Then examples from space travel are always particularly captivating. Because at a height of 200 kilometers astronauts can fly around weightlessly in their spaceship, but the gravity still works 94 percent.

Should one look at each planet when explaining gravity to children?

Yes, because every planet has a different gravitational pull. Has the strongest attractionJupiterbecause there is the largest magnetic field of all planets. There this force is 10 to 20 times stronger than on our earth ball.