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Two point masses, m_{1} and m_{2}, lie on the *x*-axis, with m_{1} held in place at the origin and m_{2} at position and free to move. The gravitational potential energy of these masses is found to be U( x) = - Gm_{1} m_{2} /x, where is a constant (called the *gravitational constant*).

Find the *x*-component of the force acting on m_{2} due to m_{1}.

Is this force attractive or repulsive?

How do you know?

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