The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Inside The Commons: Lifting The LidSaturday, 1st October 2016 17:10 - BBC Two Scotland onlyMichael Cockerell presents the first in a four-part series with unparalleled access to the House of Commons, filmed... Read more: Inside The Commons: Lifting The Lid
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2016: TheresanomicsAvailable for over a yearTheresa May wants a bigger role for government in business. Will it happen? Can it work? Read more: The Bottom Line: Autumn 2016: Theresanomics
Life Story: ParenthoodAvailable until Sunday, 30th October 2016 01:00
BBC Inside Science - 2016/2017 series: Rosetta's comet touchdown finaleAvailable for over a year
Scotland and The Battle for Britain: Episode 1Available until Friday, 28th October 2016 03:05
OpenLearn Live: 30th September 2016A quick collection of items of interest, to bridge the gap between Lives: 100 days of Brexit, the... Watch now: OpenLearn Live: 30th September 2016
Free courses for teachers and student teachersThe links below provide access to a series of free, short Open University courses aimed at... Read more: Free courses for teachers and student teachers
Digital literacy: succeeding in a digital worldThis free course, Digital literacy: succeeding in a digital world, will develop your confidence... Try: Digital literacy: succeeding in a digital world now
Organisations and management accountingThis free course, Organisations and management accounting, examines the nature of organisations,... Try: Organisations and management accounting now
From the moment that Galileo dropped two cannonballs of different sizes and weights from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa mankind has been fascinated by the impact of gravity. This free course, Motion under gravity, looks at gravity, its impact on objects and how the energy involved in the movement of objects is dispersed or stored.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand that all objects, irrespective of their mass, experience the same acceleration g when falling freely under the influence of gravity at the same point on the Earth. The weight of an object is the force F g due to gravity acting on the object, and for an object with mass m the weight is given by F g=mg
- understand that if the height of an object of mass m changes by Δh, the change in gravitational energy is ΔE g=mgΔh
- understand that if gravity is the only force acting on an object, the sum of kinetic energy and gravitational energy is constant
- understand that increases in kinetic energy are balanced by decreases in gravitational energy, and vice versa
- understand that there are various forms of potential energy, all of which depend on the position of an object rather than on its motion.
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Motion under gravity
From the moment that Galileo dropped two cannonballs of different sizes and weights from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa mankind has been fascinated by the impact of gravity. This course looks at gravity, its impact on objects and how the energy involved in the movement of objects is dispersed or stored.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Physics and Astronomy courses or view the range of currently available OU Physics and Astronomy courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 22nd March 2016
Last updated on: Tuesday, 22nd March 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
- Word (3.1 MB)
- PDF (4.7 MB)
- ePub 3.0 (1.9 MB)
- ePub 2.0 (1.9 MB)
- Kindle (496 KB)
- RSS (149 KB)
- HTML (1.1 MB)
- SCORM (1.1 MB)
- OUXML Package (18 KB)
- OUXML File (65 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.