inverse square law


Definition of inverse square law

: a statement in physics: a given physical quantity (such as illumination) varies with the distance from the source inversely as the square of the distance

Examples of inverse square law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The team compared these measurements to Newton’s famous inverse square law of gravity, which describes how the gravitational force between two objects depends on their separation: the data were consistent with Newton’s law to within 10 percent. Ben Brubaker, Scientific American, 10 Mar. 2021 This inverse square law, which arises from geometry, is an idealization that strictly applies to nonphysical point masses. Quanta Magazine, 5 Dec. 2019 This is because of a mathematical relationship called the inverse square law. Ben Finio, Scientific American, 3 Oct. 2019 Power law distributions are seen in many physical situations, like the inverse square laws of gravitation and electric fields. Quanta Magazine, 20 Aug. 2018 Most of the time, crowds flow along this way, each person using this inverse square law to avoid collisions while getting to their own destination. Evelyn Lamb, Smithsonian, 17 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inverse square law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of inverse square law

1921, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About inverse square law

Time Traveler for inverse square law

Time Traveler

The first known use of inverse square law was in 1921

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near inverse square law


inverse square law

inverse tangent

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for inverse square law

Cite this Entry

“Inverse square law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!