PhET Simulation Online Lab: Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Internet Activities
  • Activity
16 pages
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Easel Activity Included
This resource includes a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device. Easel by TpT is free to use! Learn more.
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This engaging inquiry-based lab activity will guide your students to an understanding of Newton’s law of universal gravitation as they learn what factors affect the force between two masses. This online lab is intended to be used with the Gravity Force Lab: Basics HTML5 Simulation from PhET Interactive Simulations. The link for the simulation is:

In the first activity students will learn that the gravitational force is always attractive. Newton’s law of universal gravitation is an inverse square law similar to Coulomb's law. The difference is that gravitational forces are always attractive, while electrostatic forces can be attractive or repulsive. In the second activity students will determine the relationship between the force and the mass of the objects. In the third activity students will determine the relationship between the force and the distance between the objects.

In the summary questions students will practice what they have learned from the simulation and will use Newton’s law of universal gravitation to calculate the gravitational constant and the magnitude of the force between objects.

PhET simulations incorporate research based, student centered activities that are fun and easy to use. All of the PhET simulations are available from their website: This PhET online simulation can be done in the classroom or during distance learning.

This product includes:

(1) The lab activity worksheets.

(2) An answer key for the worksheets.

(3) Notes covering a full description of Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation.

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Total Pages
16 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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