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Re: g

At 01:05 PM 3/30/96 -0500, >Stanley J. McCaslin wrote:

I have taken to telling my students to "watch their language" when they use
such phrases. Little g is more properly called the local gravitational
constant, and it has a value of 9.8 N/kg, not 9.8m/s^2.

Would it work to refer to g as gravitational field strength? Computing
gravitational force as mg seems exactly analogous to computing electrical
force as qE.

That's an even better term, with mass interpreted as a gravitational charge.

However, I'd hesitate to speak of grav. charge to an intro class...

(Fun thought experiment: what would happen if you release a -1kg ball? Both the
gravitational mass and inertial mass are negative. Your immediate response
probably isn't correct.)


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John E. Gastineau PV34PV3P
North Carolina State University Physics
Physics Courseware Evaluation Project
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