universal law of gravitation
- noun the law of gravitation stating that every body in the universe exerts an attraction on every other, proportional to their masses multiplied together divided by the square of the distance between them
- (written as Universal Law of Gravitation)The law of gravitation set out by Newton and applying to every object in the universe. It states that every body in the universe exerts an attraction on every other, proportional to the product of their masses (their masses multiplied together) divided by the square of the distance between them. The gravitational constant G gives the force between any pair of objects whose masses and separation are known, and equals 6.672 x 10-11 kg-1 m3 s-2. There has been much speculation among cosmologists about the possibility that G varies over time, which if true would have a severe effect on our ideas about the past evolution and future development of the universe.