Presenting Newtonian gravitation
Abstract
The basic principles of the Newtonian theory of gravitation are presented in a way which students may find more logically coherent, mathematically accessible and physically interesting than other approaches. After giving relatively simple derivations of the circular hodograph and the elliptical orbit from the inversesquare law, the concept of gravitational energy is developed from vector calculus. It is argued that the energy density of a gravitational field may reasonably be regarded as g^{2}/8πG, and that the inversesquare law may be replaced by a Schwarzschildlike force law without the need to invoke nonEuclidean geometry.
 Publication:

European Journal of Physics
 Pub Date:
 November 2007
 DOI:
 10.1088/01430807/28/6/016
 Bibcode:
 2007EJPh...28.1189C