Myths of Physics: 2. Gravity Is Much Weaker Than Electromagnetism

August 26, 2014 9:19 PM

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This is one you will hear in physics classrooms and read in physics textbooks. It even seems to be familiar experience. The magnetic repulsion between the like poles of two small bar magnets easily overcomes their mutual gravitational attraction.

But the sun and Earth have magnetic fields too, and their mutual gravitational attraction easily overcomes their magnetic interaction. When Newton derived Kepler's laws of planetary motion he just needed his law of gravity and did not have to take into account the magnetic and electric fields of the...

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