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Published by Kompendium of K Press 69 Kissling Street San Francisco, CA 94103 Š 2011 Kompendium of K Press All rights reserved Printed and bound in the United States of America 11 1 First Edition No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher, except in context of reviews. Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright. Errors or omissions will be corrected in subsequent editions. Library of Congress Cataloguing-In-Publication Data Gravity:Under the Influence/ edited by Kristen Youngman - (Design Briefs)

Includes bibliographic references and index.

ISBN 000-000-000 1. Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. Book design, book reference.

Dedication This book is dedicated to Cindy Loffler and Jon Burg. Without their love and support, I’m not sure I would have been able to escape the gravity of my situation. You guys are the best.

Acknowledgments Special thanks to Julia Brown at the Academy of Art University and the GD 221 class. Really enjoyed all your inspiration, encouragement and talent you shared with me. I hope our paths cross often in the future.

Contents 4

1.0 Freeform Collage


2.0 Letterforms


3.0 Photography


4.0 Pattern


5.0 Grid


6.0 Identity


7.0 Infographics


8.0 Paper Composition


9.0 Word Play


10.0 Environment

1.0 Freeform Collage

Gravitation, or gravity, is a natural phenomenon by which physical bodies attract with a force proportional to their mass. In everyday life, gravitation is most familiar as the agent that gives weight to objects with mass and causes them to fall to the ground when dropped. Gravitation causes dispersed matter to co-

in its orbit around the Earth; for the formation

alesce, and coalesced matter to remain intact,

of tides; for natural convection, by which fluid

thus accounting for the existence of the Earth,

flow occurs under the influence of a density

the Sun, and most of the macroscopic objects

gradient and gravity; for heating the interiors

in the universe. Gravitation is responsible for

of forming stars and planets to very high tem-

keeping the Earth and the other planets in their

peratures; and for various other phenomena

orbits around the Sun; for keeping the Moon

observed on Earth.



2.0 Letterforms

Einstein proposed that spacetime is curved General Relativity

by matter, and that free-falling objects are moving along locally straight paths in curved

In general relativity, the effects of gravitation are

spacetime. These straight paths are called

Einstein discovered the field equations of

ascribed to spacetime curvature instead of a

geodesics. Like Newton’s first law of motion,

general relativity, which relate the presence

force. The starting point for general relativity is

Einstein’s theory states that if a force is applied

of matter and the curvature of spacetime and

the equivalence principle, which equates free fall

on an object, it would deviate from a geodesic.

are named after him. The Einstein field equa-

with inertial motion, and describes free-falling

For instance, we are no longer following geo-

tions are a set of 10 simultaneous, non-linear,

inertial objects as being accelerated relative to

desics while standing because the mechanical

differential equations. The solutions of the field

non-inertial observers on the ground. In Newto-

resistance of the Earth exerts an upward force

equations are the components of the metric

nian physics, however, no such acceleration can

on us, and we are non-inertial on the ground

tensor of spacetime. A metric tensor describes a

occur unless at least one of the objects is being

as a result. This explains why moving along the

geometry of spacetime. The geodesic paths for a

operated on by a force.

geodesics in spacetime is considered inertial.

spacetime are calculated from the metric tensor.



The Draw of You

If we removed all other masses around us, and only you and typography remained, this would be the result—a typeface based on the Law of Attraction to the reader.

3.0 Photography

Gravitational Attraction [physics] the force of attraction between all masses in the universe; especially the attraction of the earth’s mass for bodies near its surface; “the more remote the body the less the gravity”; “the gravitation between two bodies is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them”; “gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.” — Albert Einstein


Gravitational Interaction: A weak, fundamental interaction between two physical objects due to their mass and energy, especially an interaction occurring between elementary particles.

Gravitational Field: a kind of force that surround massive objects

Weightlessness: absence of a support force

Fundamental Interactions: Also called fundamental force, they are the way that simplest particle in the universe interact with one another.

Strong Interactions: Interactions that are responsible for forces between quarks and gluons and nuclear binding.

4.0 Pattern

Newton’s Theory

In 1687, English mathematician Sir Isaac Newton published Principia, which hypothesizes the inverse-square law of universal gravitation. In his own words, “I deduced that the forces which keep the planets in their orbs must [be] reciprocally as the squares of their distances

from the centers about which they revolve: and thereby compared the force requisite to keep the Moon in her Orb with the force of gravity at the surface of the Earth; and found them answer pretty nearly.”

A discrepancy in Mercury’s orbit pointed out flaws in Newton’s theory. By the end of

Newton’s theory enjoyed its greatest success

the 19th century, it was known that its orbit

when it was used to predict the existence of

showed slight perturbations that could not be

Neptune based on motions of Uranus that

accounted for entirely under Newton’s theory,

Although Newton’s theory has been supersed-

could not be accounted for by the actions of

but all searches for another perturbing body

ed, most modern non-relativistic gravitational

the other planets. Calculations by both John

(such as a planet orbiting the Sun even closer

calculations are still made using Newton’s the-

Couch Adams and Urbain Le Verrier predicted

than Mercury) had been fruitless. The issue

ory because it is a much simpler theory to work

the general position of the planet, and Le Verri-

was resolved in 1915 by Albert Einstein’s new

with than general relativity, and gives sufficiently

er’s calculations are what led Johann Gottfried

theory of general relativity, which accounted

accurate results for most applications involving suf-

Galle to the discovery of Neptune.

for the small discrepancy in Mercury’s orbit.

ficiently small masses, speeds and energies.


5.0 Grid

When we look into the Universe today, we see that pretty much every large galaxy has a supermassive black hole in its heart. Even the Milky Way​has a black hole at its core with a mass of four millions times that of the Sun.

might start sometime, if something falls into it.

Before you start running around in circles and

Though we don’t know of anything that can fall

screaming, remember this: 1) it’s a long way

into it soon. But we might miss cold gas. Hmmm.

off, 26,000 light years (260 quadrillion kilometers), 2) its mass is still very small compared

Anyway, remember this as well: even though

to the 200 billion solar masses of our galaxy,

black holes can cause death and destruction

and therefore 3) it can’t really harm us. Unless

on a major scale, they also help galaxies them-

it starts actively feeding. Which it isn’t. But it

selves form! So we owe our existence to them.


6.0 Identity

Fructus Genesis by Jason Blasso Before that old tree Fell the fruit The mind of Science Stooped and ’stood And weighted

Hurtled down

The gravity of it all

The seed of heresy

Then he held on high

Earth bound

The heavy pome

In fiery flight

And with hot hand

Until the new tree

Hurled down

Sprang raging into life










G 12



7.0 Infographics

Gravitational Interaction If you are standing on a scale in a moving

Every one knows that objects fall because of

elevator, you would find your weight reading

gravity, even before Newton. Newton did not discover gravity, but discovered that gravity

The sensation of apparent weight comes from

would change —not when you are at the steady

is universal. It is the same force that pulls an

the support that you feel from the floor, from

motion but during accelerated motion. The

apple off a tree, holds the moon in orbit, and

a chair, etc. Different sensations of apparent

scale would show an increase of your weight

that both Earth and the moon are similarly held

weight can occur on an elevator since it is

when the elevator accelerate upward, and de-

in orbit around the sun. He also discovered that

capable of zero or constant speed (zero ac-

crease as it accelerate downward. If the eleva-

all objects in the universe attract each other.

celeration) and can accelerate either upward

tor cable broke and the elevator fell freely, the

The phenomenon of “weightlessness” occurs

or downward. If the elevator cable breaks then

scale reading would register zero; at this point

when there is no force of support on your body.

both you and the elevator are in free fall. The

you will feel weightless, because your insides

When your body is effectively in “free fall”,

resultant experience of weightlessness might

would no longer be supported by your legs and

accelerating downward at the acceleration

be exhilarating if it weren’t for the anticipation

pelvic region. The picture on the right show the

of gravity, then you are not being supported.

of the quick stop at the bottom.

weight and weightlessness in an elevator.


eleva tor stopped

elevator up

elevator down

(a =0)










W= 0

Be Less Heavy-Handed G RAVITY BAS I C S Every particle of matter in the universe attracts every other particle with a force that is directly proportional to the product of the masses of the particles and inversely prop ortional to the s qua r e of the di s t a nce betw e e n t h e m . In other w ord s , two bodi es of ma s s es m1 a nd m2 , s e p a r ated b y a d is t ance r , a ttr a ct ea ch other w i th a f o rc e F t h a t is p rop ortional to ( m1 x m2 ) / r 2 . The cons t a nt o f p ro p o rt ionality is know n a s the gr a vi t a ti ona l cons t a nt ( N e w t o n ' s c ons t ant), and is a l w a ys denoted by the l etter G .

We c a n t h e n e x p re s s t h e l a w o f g ra vi ty as

F= Gm m 1


Th e va l u e o f G ha s b e e n m e a s u r e d i n e x t r e m e l y d e l i c a t e l a b o ra t o r y e x p e r i m e nt s . I n S I u n i t s , i t s va l u e i s 6. 67 x 1 0 - 1 1 n e w t on m e t e r 2 / k i l og ra m 2 .

G RAVITATI O NAL F I E LD I N S I D E A B O O K t humb ma s s


So now tha t you h a v e t h e b a s i c s d o w n l e t ’ s h a v e s o m e fun. U s e the for ce o f y o u r i m a g i n a t i o n t o s u s p e n d t h e ea r th’ s gr a vi t a ti on a l p u l l o n h o l d a n d l e t ’ s o n l y l o o k a t the gr a vi ty for ces b e t w e e n y o u r h a n d s a n d t h i s b o o k . Wi th your ha nds h o l d i n g t h e b o o k t h e e n t i re m a s s o f t h e book i s a ttr a cti ng y o u r h a n d s . I f you move them t o t h e m i d d l e o f t h e p a g e y o u w i l l exper i ence ha l f th e w e i g h t b e c a u s e t h e o u t s i d e o f t h e pa ges a r e pul l i ng i n a n e q u a l a n d o p p o s i t e d i re c t i o n a s the i ns i de pa r t of t h e p a g e .

G RAVI TAT I O NAL F I E LD I N S I D E A P L A N ET I f y o u co u l d f al l f rom th e N orth pol e strai gh t to t he S o ut h p o l e th i s i s wh at wou l d h ap p e n : A t th e beginning o f t he fa l l , th e gravi t ati on al f i e l d stre n gth an d your a ccel er a t ion are g, bu t you ' d f i n d th e y ste adi ly decr ease a s y o u co n ti n u e toward th e c e n te r of Earth . You ar e b ei ng p ul le d " d own ward" toward Earth ' s c e n t er, you ar e a l s o b ei ng pu l l e d " u pward" b y th e part of Ear t h t hat is "a b o v e" y ou . In f ac t, wh e n you ge t to th e c e nt er of E a r t h, t he pu l l " down " i s bal an c e d by th e pu l l "up". Yo u a r e p ul l ed i n e ve ry di re c ti on e q u al l y so th e n et for ce on y o u i s z er o. Th e re i s n o ac c e l e rati on as you w hiz wit h ma xi mum s p e e d past th e c e n te r of Earth .

R = 7� d i s tan ce fro m h an d at ed g e to cen ter o f b o o k = fu l l wei g h t t hum b mass

R= 3 . 5 � mov e h a n d he re to ex p eri en ce ha l f t h e w e i gh t (@ h al f th e d i s tan ce)

at the e xa c t c en t e r p oi n t y our h a n d is w eig ht l e s s (bliss in t h e g u t t e r )

Black Tidal S pa ghetti

= g

S ome thi ngs to k now : 1 . G RAV I TY B AS I C S gr a vi ty depends on di s t a n c e s o . . . the fa r ther a w a y you a re = t h e w e a k e r t h e g ra v i t y 2 . B LAC K H O LE S bl a ck hol es a r e ver y c o m p a c t e d , d e n s e m a t t e r you ca n get ver y cl os e t o t h e m b e c a u s e o f t h i s 3 . TI DAL FO R C E [ di ffer e n t i a l ] the cha nge of gr a vi ty o v e r d i s t a n c e

l on g object


(le ss g) (mo r e g)

d ist ance f rom mass

’s G


EVENT HOR I ZON escape Ve l o c i ty = s p

of li gh


No o ne can hear you. Sp eed o f so u n d is m u ch too slow to escap e. No eye- wit nesses eit her. Ever y th in g th at happ en s in side th e ho r izo n is fo r ever invisible.


e in G fo rce

= 1 00s of m illio

hhh h h h hhh h h hh hh h

ns o f X’s eart h




h h

h h



h h







W hat ’ s g o i n g o n h e r e ? ! ?

h h h

B l a ck h o l e s a re v e ry s m a l l . . .

h h

So y o u c a n g e t V E RY c l o s e t o t h e m

h h

Th a t m a k e s t h e t i d a l f o rc e C R A Z Y, l i k e d i s t re s s i n g l y b i g

h h h h h

t h e f o rc e i s s o s t ro n g t h a t y o u r f e e t g e t y a n k e d a way f ro m y o u r h e a d a t h u n d re d s o f m i l l i o n s o f t i m e s t h e f o rc e o f e a rt h ’ s g ra v i t y


y o u ’ d b e s t re t ch e d i n t o a l o n g , t h i n s t rand a n d t h e n s h re d d e d


a s t ro n o m e rs c a l l t h i s s p a g h e t t i fi cati on!

8.0 Paper Composition

The Principle of Superposition The fact that the total gravitational field is just given by adding the two vectors together is called the Principle of Superposition. This may sound really obvious, but in fact it isn’t true for every force found in physics: the strong forces

fields from all the individual masses. Newton

between elementary particles don’t obey this

used this to prove that the gravitational field

principle, neither do the strong gravitational

outside a solid sphere was the same as if all

fields near black holes. But just adding the

the mass were at the center by imagining the

forces as vectors works fine for gravity almost

solid sphere to be composed of many small

everywhere away from black holes, and, as you

masses—in effect, doing an integral, as we

will find later, for electric and magnetic fields

shall discuss in detail later. He also invoked su-

too. Finally, superposition works for any num-

perposition in calculating the orbit of the Moon

ber of masses, not just two: the total gravita-

precisely, taking into account gravity from both

tional field is the vector sum of the gravitational

the Earth and the Sun.


Newton’s laws explain the paths of objects moving

etary motions. But they do much more than that.

at any point in space near any gravitating body.

Newtonian gravitation governs not only the planets,

These laws provide a firm physical and mathematical

moons, and satellites in their elliptical orbits but also

foundation for Copernicus’s heliocentric model of

the stars and galaxies in their motion throughout our

the solar system and for Kepler’s laws of plan-

universe—as well as apples falling to the ground.



We can all relate to feeling the weight of something on our shoulders or having a heavy heart. We all feel the effects of gravity, whether it’s physically, emotionally or psychologically.

9.0 Word Play

To his Coy Mistres s by Andrew Mar vell

Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime. We would sit down and think which way To walk , and pass our long love’s day; Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side Shouldst rubies find ; I by the tide O f Humber would complain. I would

Now therefore, while the youthful hue

Love you ten years before the Flood ;

Sits on thy skin like morning dew,

And you should, if you please, refuse

But at my back I always hear

And while thy willing soul transpires

Till the conversion of the Jews.

Time’s winged chariot hurr ying near;

At ever y pore with instant fires,

My vegetable love should grow

And yonder all before us lie

Now let us spor t us while we may;

Vaster than empires, and more slow.

Deser ts of vast eternit y.

And now, like am’rous birds of prey,

An hundred years should go to praise

Thy beaut y shall no more be found,

Rather at once our time devour,

Thine eyes, and on thy forehead ga ze;

Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound

Than languish in his slow-chapp’d power.

Two hundred to adore each breast,

My echoing song ; then worms shall tr y

Let us roll all our strength, and all

But thir t y thousand to the rest ;

That long preser v’d virginit y,

Our sweetness, up into one ball ;

An age at least to ever y par t,

And your quaint honour turn to dust,

And tear our pleasures with rough strife

And the last age should show your hear t.

And into ashes all my lust.

Thorough the iron gates of life.

For, lady, you deser ve this state,

The grave’s a fine and private place,

Thus, though we cannot make our sun

Nor would I love at lower rate.

But none I think do there embrace.

Stand still, yet we will make him run.

he fruit — And with Fell t hot The tree ha m n old d H ind at ur of th le re s d und In fiery fo do cie arth bo E f l i Be ght w e— .T om h e yp m av in d he Bef o r et ha hen he held on hi t g h o T d—T he h ld too eav tr d ‘s he seed of heresy . y an wn T B e po f o ed do re m op led th e to urt a t ol eS H d ncn — t

weighted T d n A il fe. eighted The gr he w ife. And weig avi l ree Spra t d The tentailntgh rto flight. The min fiery d of sci en ce

t — And with ho t ha frui e h nd ll t v y a e p e h ethat old to F h e —Hur rem T e e e h r Fe Eal g o i re f he ll rt ooped an t h ony. B nce St d d ‘s e i c nodwHn Th hot hdad— ith meee held oun r high w h

h rt Ea

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Hu rtl ed


g n a r r a p g S i n e e rt ging into life. g into ra ng raging intAnd praUntil wtheeignew o h ndll— U S p e din

it fru e th

nd ‘stood — oped a Th Sto en ce h ien wn The seed o e he sc f d do l . The t h m i h t — of g tle e friu An ind o ere ur l th fl d fs s HFel iery —e nf


all—Until f it tre the n y o e new e Spra ew l th e new tree ng l th f it all— S o y ife l ntoof it.aA wg.intnrge odse— e Tv ynu a heH ‘stTohe hned— port l nd e ow

ith hot hand Hurled dw d An y. Before that ow res e — Earth old n — tr hepom b it o y c e n S f u e v t o nd e o ru eao f sci pe da I e hd o Th n do tled wn — u rle nderH am t hpo n highdTd h ho eld o

ll Fe


weighted Th And f it a e gra vity o ll—U vit gra y of it all—U nti n e h g t T t r a i d hte raging vit ng ravniety i g le rAifea

ooped and ‘stood — The nh ce St n e eh i eld f sc o on d in hi m gh e Th Th o r f e e t B h . a y t s o e r l d e tree fh do Fe ll t see e he h T f n d — Then he held o o t w on d ‘s n h da fierty t. T igh lefdlidgohw pe n hTe d—InHur o n hm o e si w oun ee o b A d n — d d t wit i d u r e h f he e h h a e he vy — T Tehn h od to eeddown — H s e d u le

ith hot hand Hurled do wn nd w A — —


e fruit — And

h w Fell t tree ghted ith hot hThe T i a e h n old e w at gd Hmuind d th r r ledof s a re vd cie fo An arth bound In fiery e o n f h l t e i i Be g w —E l hw i t e t t . Th tr y om em e yp Un av in e S d Spra he n — g e p l l r ree a t g ith hot hand Hurled in r dw e t e d o w An y. Before thatS olw p ew resme — Eart — dn e o h p b it ou trr vf yh ence Stoo nd e an ru eao f sci pe ehn f o i o t d e d a a I y ll t Th n ed down vi erH—tln u g i d i r n l e am t hpoag n highdTd n h d o Th ho l e ed ll eaen

The gravity d e t of h g it ei t all—Until th a e i of it all—Until ne th f h e T o ed gra ht prang S ight r e f it otreh

B Until the ne efore th w hen he held on high ll— The d—T t at old r h stoo ‘a e d o e f h e a r e esi g nd wn The se in y.n at Be to l vy p etr g i f o ed i do f a re e r opf led th . ome S to rt a g A t Hu o eS o A . e n ld f n i n l ncn — d t w ra to d— e T g ionped anad ‘gstoion Sto hi i enn ce h ien g sc gtlerdedforiwughintt.—TThhteesimeeid of heteheol l of d ur l th fl nAndl nt h of res HFel iery U es —e nf — i l f e o t r a. e—geU w odse— e Tv ynu a heH ‘stTohe hned— port l nd e ow

hanidn Hut hotg rlo hn g ed do iti lwifn e— . w a d n r A — g HuA it n ru rtl n f T d h e ed d e t hrea t . h T g i h l t e f h g m y ind do w ier g ll r f i e n o a I f sc F p d v ne e i u en e bo e g ce it h r a th w T v r St y d i Ea d e t n d A w i — t h tuit ndhw y — ot h e fr an hh A t l g d .h Theethhaetaovlyd ptoremeee —iHgur el e eF f e Fe Eal g r ion h. Bi efocreeSw ll rt d ar toopet e t n h e d y n n d ‘s e i d c nownw A T d— h ndy t ho eediat Hounh i ldl t et hig ith v h r m h w nhe

ooped and ‘stood — The nh ce St n e eh sci eld f o on d in hi m gh e h Th T sy. Before that old e r e tree of h Fe eed ll t s e he h T f Then he he n — d o ld o w ‘sto n d an fdlight. high fuierrty ed e l downTh n I p H Tehm nd— oo n u e si w o ee o b d — And w d t i d u i t r e h f e h Then e heav d — Th he h y o to eed wn — H e s d do u le

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10.0 Environment

Gravity depends on distance. The farther you are from an object, the weaker its gravity. So if you have a long object near a massive one, the long object will feel a stronger gravitational force on the near end versus a weaker force on the far end! This change in gravity over distance is called the tidal force (which is a bit of a misnomer, it’s not really a force, it’s a differential force, and yes, it’s related to why we have ocean tides on Earth from the Moon).



Gravity Lyrics by Sara Bareilles Something always brings me back to you. It never takes too long. No matter what I say or do, I still feel you here till the moment I’m gone. You hold me without touch. You keep me without chains. I never wanted anything so much than to drown in your love and not feel your rain. (chorus) Set me free, leave me be. I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity. Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I’m supposed to be. But you’re on to me and all over me.


This book was printed on Epson 4 Star Preminum Presentation Paper, Matte Double-sided in San Francisco, California. Fonts include Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk Regular, Italic and Medium

Gravity: Under the Influence  

various ways to capture and express gravity