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Unit 3

# 3.5 Inertial vs. Gravitational Mass

Peter Apps

### AP Physics 1Β π‘

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## Essential Knowledge 1.C.2 π¦

Gravitational mass is the property of an object or a system that determines the strength of the gravitational interaction with other objects, systems, or gravitational fields.
• a. The gravitational mass of an object determines the amount of force exerted on the object by a gravitational field.
• b. Near Earthβs surface, all objects fall (in a vacuum) with the same acceleration, regardless of their inertial mass.

### Key Concept: Gravitational Mass

Determined by the strength of the gravitational force experienced by the body when in the gravitational field g.

## Essential Knowledge 1.C.3 π

Objects and systems have properties of inertial mass and gravitational mass that are experimentally verified to be the same and that satisfy conservation principles.

### Key Concept: Inertial Mass

Determined by the acceleration experienced from a given force F.

### Gravitational Mass vs. Inertial Mass

• Gravitational mass is measured by comparing the force of gravity of an unknown mass to the force of gravity of a known mass.
• Inertial mass is found by applying a known force to an unknown mass, measuring the acceleration, and applying Newton's Second Law, a = F/m.
βΆ While these masses are measured in varying applications, they have been experimentally proven to equal the same value; therefore Inertial = Gravitational.

Image courtesy of quickmeme.com.

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