Halliday, Resnick and Walker FUNDAMENTALS OF PHYSICS 6/e
Chapter Fourteen: Gravitation

Exploring Gravity

Tutorial written by Mariusz Kovler, School of Physical Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.


This tutorial covers a range of topics, including Newton's Law of Gravitation, rotational and satellite motion, Kepler's Laws, gravitational potential energy, and modern physics application of gravitation (Black Holes and gravitational waves.

Satellite Orbits

Interactive NASA Observatorium on satellite orbits and Kepler's Laws tutorial.


Pictures from Newton's Principia and three user-controllable JAVAscript simulations (one for each of Kepler's Laws) nicely illustrate satellite motion.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)

Online biography from the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive at the School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences, University of St Andrews, Scotland.


Kepler was the last scientific astrologer and first modern astronomer. He worked on geometry, calculus and orbital mechanics. There is an extensive set of materials describing the calculation of orbits available. Additional information on Kepler is found in the Rice Catalog of the Scientific Community in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

So you want to be a rocket scientist?

NASA's Liftoff site containing the Space Academy rocket scientist tutorial.


This site tells you all about the business of launching shuttles, near earth and geosynchronous satellites.

Check out the the satellite page with the J-Track satellite tracking applet to see what's orbiting now, where it is and when you can next see it in the night sky from your location. There's a handy GMT clock and weather map too.

Comments, corrections and suggestions to Dan MacIsaac

HRW 6/e Chapter Index