Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation: The mathematical expression of the gravitational force

Time to complete course: 22 min.

Try our lab safety simulation

Discover one of 200+ learning simulations available today

About Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation: The mathematical expression of the gravitational force Virtual Lab Simulation

Playing with planets and stars has never been so easy. Dr. One will welcome you to a virtual lab on a spaceship where you’ll have high-tech buttons to play with. They’ll allow you to change the properties of celestial bodies with a simple click and visualize the effect of each term of the gravitational equation. But that’s not all. Have you ever wondered what would happen if the gravitational constant was not part of the equation or why planets don’t fall into the Sun? Press play and find out!

Let’s go to space with Newton and understand his law of universal gravitation:

The story goes that it was an apple that gave Newton his idea of ​​universal gravitation. What if the gravitational force was not just affecting just apples or terrestrial objects, but also causing planetary motion? Luckily, we can go to space with our spaceship and find out.
Up there, we will change the properties of a planet and a star to understand what affects the gravitational force. Afterwards we will play a card game to build up the gravitational equation and test it on Earth. 

Let’s investigate how the terms of the equation are related:

Once we identify WHICH variables affect the gravitational attraction between two bodies, we’ll investigate HOW they affect it. In particular, we will play a card game and use graphs to identify the proportionality between the gravitational force and the terms of the gravitational equation: the masses of two objects and their distance.

Time to try our gravitational equation on Earth:

Let’s go back to Earth and test if our equation can describe the gravitational attraction between two objects. Here on Earth, we will learn how the gravitational force would look like without the gravitational constant in the equation. With the support of Dr. One and Newton we will understand how important G is.  

Also, have you ever shot someone into space with a cannon? If not, playing this simulation will allow you to do it. We will set up the perfect experiment to make possible what Newton had only imagined. We will test if his law of universal gravitation is also responsible for planetary motion.

Get Started Now

Join Newton in his garden and take a spaceship ride to explore gravity in space. Learn the meaning of each term of the equation of the universal law of gravitation and use it to predict the gravitational attraction between two bodies.

Techniques in Lab

  • Equation of the gravitational force
  • Terms of an equation
  • Direct and inverse proportionality
  • Gravitational constant


Learning Objectives

  • Identify the components of gravitational force
  • Explain how the gravitational force is related to the masses of two objects and the distance between them
  • Use the gravitational formula to calculate the gravitational force between two distant objects

Simulation Features

Length – 22 minutes
Accessibility mode – Not Available
Languages – English

Examples of Related Standards

  • HS-PS2-4
  • PS2.B-H1

Screenshots of Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation: The mathematical expression of the gravitational force Virtual Lab Simulation


How it works

A million dollar lab in your browser

Perform experiments in virtual lab simulations to achieve core science learning outcomes. 

All our simulations run on laptop and desktop computers, and you can play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

Hundreds of hours of science learning content

Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more.

With access to our simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of engaging, high-quality learning content available to you.

Discover more Virtual Lab Simulations

We currently have 273 simulations that cover everything from biology and medicine to physics and chemistry.

Learn how you can use Labster in your science course

Take a 15 Minute “Lab Break” with a Virtual Lab Expert

Talk to one of our Virtual Lab Experts about how Labster can engage your students with our virtual labs for online, hybrid and face-to-face courses.

Lab break coffee with us

Please fill out the form below to talk with one of our Lab Experts. 

You must opt in to receive emails from Labster. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Thank you for your submission!

The simulation is already added to this package

Step 1: Choose your simulations

Find and select the simulations that you want to add to your course.

Step 2: Review simulation list

This is the list of simulations that will be added to your course. Click Download once you are ready.

Press the + button next to the simulations that you want to add to your list, or add all the simulations of this package by pressing “add all simulations”.


Related Simulations

No simulations added yet.
    Download the .zip file and upload it to your LMS.

    Download Common Cartridge File

    Choose your Learning Management System below:
    Generating download link. Please wait...
    Congratulations! You can now upload the .zip file into your LMS by the following these instructions:

    Simulation name

    Image container

    Learning Outcomes

    Learning outcomes container


    Techniques container

    Simulation Description

    Description container

    Are you sure you want to delete?

    Package deleted successfully