Note on the Attraction of Gravitation 82 After tracing to the action of the surrounding medium both the magnetic and the electric attractions and repulsions, and finding them to depend on the inverse square of the distance we are naturally led to enquire whether the attraction of gravitation which follows the same law of the distance is not also traceable to the action of a surrounding medium. Gravitation differs from magnetism and electricity in this, that the bodies concerned are all of he same kind, instead of being opposite signs lie magnetic poles and electrified bodies and that the force between these bodies is an attraction not a repulsion as is the case between like electric and magnetic bodies. The lines of gravitating force near two dense bodies are exactly of the same form as the lines of magnetic force near two poles of the same name, but whereas the poles are repelled, the bodies are attracted. Let E be the intrinsic energy of the field surrounding two gravitating bodies M<sub>1<\sub>M<sub>2<\sub> and let E' be the intrinsic energy of the field surrounding two magnetic poles m<sub>1<\sub>m<sub>2<\sub> <s>proportional<\s> equal in numerical value to M<sub>1<\sub>M<sub>2<\sub> and let X be that gravitating force during the displacement [delta]x and X' the magnetic force X[delta]x = [delta]E x'[delta]x = [delta]E' Now X and X' are equal in numerical value but of opposite signs so that [delta]E =  [delta]E' or E = C  E' = C  [capital sigma]1/8[pi]([alpha]<sup>2<\sup> + [beta]<sup>2<\sup> + [gamma]<sup>2<\sup>)dV where [alpha] [beta] [gamma] are the components of magnetic intensity. If R be the resultant gravitating force and R' the resultant magnetic force at a corresponding part of the field. R  R' and [alpha]<sup>2<\sup> + [beta]<sup>2<\sup> + [gamma]<sup>2<\sup> = R<sup>2<\sup> = R'<sup>2<\sup> Hence E = C = [capital sigma]1/8[pi] R<sup>2<\sup> dV 47 The intrinsic energy of the field of gravitation must therefore be <s>diminished<\s> less wherever there is a resultant gravitating force
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Manuscript details
 Author
 James Clerk Maxwell
 Reference
 PT/72/7
 Series
 PT
 Date
 1864
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Cite as
J. C. Maxwell’s, ‘Dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field’, 1864. From The Royal Society, PT/72/7
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