Differential Gravitational Force

Gravitational force acting on an extended object, such that the portions of the object closer to the source of gravitation feel a stronger force than the portions farther away. Such a force, also known as a “tidal force,” acts to deform or disrupt the object, and is responsible for many phenomena, ranging from synchronous rotation of moons or double stars to planetary ring systems to the disruption of galaxies in clusters.


Some or all content above used with permission from J. H. Wittke.