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Definition: Attraction of gravitation
, n. [L. attractio: cf. F. attraction.]
1. (Physics) An invisible power in a body by which it draws
anything to itself; the power in nature acting mutually
between bodies or ultimate particles, tending to draw them
together, or to produce their cohesion or combination, and
conversely resisting separation.
Note: Attraction is exerted at both sensible and insensible
distances, and is variously denominated according to
its qualities or phenomena. Under attraction at
sensible distances, there are, -- (1.)
Attraction of gravitation
, which acts at all distances
throughout the universe, with a force proportional
directly to the product of the masses of the bodies and
inversely to the square of their distances apart. (2.)
, and electrical attraction
of which is limited in its sensible range and is polar in
its action, a property dependent on the quality or
condition of matter, and not on its quantity. Under
attraction at insensible distances, there are, -- (1.)
, attraction between surfaces of
sensible extent, or by the medium of an intervening
, attraction between ultimate particles,
whether like or unlike, and causing simply an aggregation
or a union of those particles, as in the absorption of
gases by charcoal, or of oxygen by spongy platinum, or the
process of solidification or crystallization. The power in
adhesive attraction is strictly the same as that of
, attraction causing a liquid to rise,
in capillary tubes or interstices, above its level
outside, as in very small glass tubes, or a sponge, or any
porous substance, when one end is inserted in the liquid.
It is a special case of cohesive attraction. (4.)
, that peculiar force which causes elementary
atoms, or groups of atoms, to unite to form molecules.
2. The act or property of attracting; the effect of the power
or operation of attraction. --Newton.
3. The power or act of alluring, drawing to, inviting, or
engaging; an attractive quality; as, the attraction of
beauty or eloquence.
4. That which attracts; an attractive object or feature.
Syn: Allurement; enticement; charm.