Gravitational Acceleration vs Gravitational Force: Difference

The difference between the two terms is that the gravitational force is the force of attraction that pulls the objects toward each other. Whereas, gravitational acceleration is the acceleration found in a free-falling object that results due to gravitational force.

Let’s deep dive to know the difference.

Gravitational acceleration:

Gravitational acceleration is commonly observed during the free fall of any object. It is always directed in a normal direction toward the center.

If you drop a pen from the table, it will fall with a certain amount of acceleration. The force responsible for the acceleration of the pen is the gravitational force and the acceleration gained by the object is the gravitational acceleration.

Acceleration while falling

Gravitational force:

It is a force that attracts the object toward its center. It generally acts in a normal direction to the surface.

When we pick something up from the ground, a force resists the object’s upward motion. That force is a gravitational force acting on that object.

Our weight is a simple example of understanding the gravitational force.

Weight of the object

Difference between Gravitational Acceleration and Gravitational Force:

Sr. No.Gravitational accelerationGravitational force
1It is the acceleration of an object during free fall due to the effect of gravity.It is the force of attraction acting on the object under the influence of the gravitational field.
2It never depends on the mass of the free-falling object.It is mass dependent.
3It results due to the gravitational force.It is a reason for gravitational acceleration.
4The unit is the same as acceleration, (m/s2).The gravitational force has an SI unit of Newton.
5Example: Acceleration of the free-falling object.Example: Weight of the object.


  1. How gravitational force and gravitational acceleration are related?

    The relation is given by,
    Gravitational force = Mass × Gravitational acceleration.

  2. Are Gravitational force and Acceleration due to gravity the same?

    No, both are different terms, gravitational force is a force while acceleration due to gravity is acceleration.

Pratik is a Graduated Mechanical engineer. He enjoys sharing the engineering knowledge learned by him with people.

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