Flying Paper Clip
Have you ever been close to something that smells bad? Have you noticed that the farther you get from that something, the less it smells, and the closer you get, the more it smells? Well forces sort of work in the same way.
Forces behave according to a fancy law called the inverse-square law. To be technical, an inverse-square law is any physical law stating that some physical quantity or strength is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity.
The inverse-square law applies to quite a few phenomena in physics. When it comes to forces, it basically means that the closer an object comes to the source of a force, the stronger that force will be on that object. The farther that same object gets from the force’s source, the weaker the effect of the force.
Mathematically we can say that doubling the distance between the object and the source of the force makes the force 1/4th as strong. Tripling the distance makes the force 1/9th as strong. Let’s play with this idea a bit.
Here’s what you need:
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