Learn more physics!
Ok--I am an UI alumini - BSME - 1979. I was at the U of I during March 2002 as my daughter competed in the Illinois State Science Fair (in physics). I found out about the web site while reading the July/August ILLINOIS alumni magazine. Question: What is the speed of gravity? I will pass on this web site to my daughters grade school (she is now a high school freshman). With best regards.
- Bill Healy
If by the speed of gravity you mean how fast changes
in gravity propagate out when the source of the gravity changes, the
answer is the speed of light. In other words, if two stars collide 100
light-years away from here, we won't feel any difference in their
gravity for 100 years- the same length of time it would take before we
could see the collision. For more information, look at the answer The Speed of Gravity
you are thinking instead of the acceleration caused by gravity, not the
speed at which gravitational changes travel. Near the surface of the
Earth the acceleration caused by gravity is about 9.81 m/s^2.
Basically, this means that in one second, a falling object will speed
up by 9.81 m/s if other forces such as friction with the air aren't
important. Of course both the size of that number and the direction of
the acceleration change from place to place.
Tamara and Mike
(republished on 07/23/06)
Follow-up on this answer.