Bulg. J. Phys. vol.27 no.S3 (2000), pp. 271-274

Comparison of the Characteristics of the Gravitational Force, Gravity and Weight

L. Mitranic
Faculty of Sciences, Department of Physics, University of Banja Luka, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Abstract. Understanding the essence of certain physical concepts represents sometimes a problem not only to students but also to numerous teachers. One typical example of such concepts in Classical Mechanics are: gravitational force, gravity and weight of an object. Due to similarities occurring in the terminology applied, they are often erroneously identified as a single concept. The students' inability to answer correctly to the question about the similarities and differences between these physical quantities indicates that an insufficient effort was made in the interpretation of these concepts both in teaching practice and in physics textbooks. Even the college education given to the high-school physics teachers does not always provide them with full understanding allowing them to answer completely to these questions. The aim of this paper is to offer a deeper explanation of these concepts and then indicate to similarities and differences.

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