The Newtonian model of gravity in which the force between two objects is given by GMm/r^2.

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Understanding Kepler's $2^{nd}$ law in terms of angular momentum conservation

A) Explain how Kepler's $2^{nd}$ law - "The radius vector from the Sun to a planet sweeps out equal areas in equal time intervals" - can be understood in terms of angular momentum conservation. I ...
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2answers
331 views

How to calculate air resistance of penny dropped from Empire State Building?

If a penny is dropped from the Empire State Building, then its speed, without taking air resistance into consideration, is $\sqrt{\left(32\frac{\textrm{ft}}{\textrm{s}^2}\right)(1454\textrm{ ...
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123 views

Does the earth really move round the sun? [duplicate]

Is there really any empirical proof that the earth moves round the sun? I've read simple explanations using mass-gravity relation. But then some questions remain, is gravity a function of mass alone? ...
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2answers
160 views

Bertrand's theorem

I found in Goldstein's Classical Mechanics that the condition for closed orbits is given by $\frac{d^2 V_{eff}}{dr^2}>0$.(bertrand's theorem). Can somebody explain to me, how this inequality is ...
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0answers
53 views

What is the equation for Lin-Shu density wave theory?

Lin-Shu density wave theory is a (very good) theory to explain the spiral arm structure of spiral galaxies. Where can I find the equations that underlie this theory? I've seen its computer ...
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1answer
135 views

History of Newtons law of gravitation

I have some questions about the history of Newtons law of universal gravitation. Did Newton discover his three laws of motion before he discovered the universal law of gravitation? I know two ...
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5k views

Why two balls of different mass dropped from the same height falls the ground at the same time? [duplicate]

When two balls of different masses, thrown from equal height they reaches the ground at the same time. Can anyone explain this in terms of laws of Physics(or with mathematical equations)?
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2answers
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Why is potential energy negative when orbiting in a gravitational field?

I had to do a problem, and part of it was to find the mechanical energy of satellite orbiting around mars, and I had all of the information I needed. I thought the total mechanical energy would be the ...
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2answers
1k views

Might a planet perform figure-8 orbits around two stars?

Might a planet perform figure-8 orbits around two stars? I'm thinking that if the two stars were equal mass (and not orbiting each other) then a planet that were to go right between them would ...
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123 views

Derivation of Universal Variables

Does anyone know of link to the derivation of the Universal Variables? This is in regards to Kepler's equations. The Wikipedia link didn't have enough information for me, and the Colorado page ...
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1answer
272 views

Newtons Cannon ball problem [closed]

Let's I have a Newton's Cannon ball of 15 kg and want to fire so it will round the earth and back to me. My query is which law can evaluate the speed that cannon ball will revolve round the sun ...
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1answer
143 views

Understanding Kepler's problem

I wanted to know a few things about elliptical motion, that I do not understand so far. Let's imagine that we have an attractive gravitational two body problem where both bodies carry out elliptical ...
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2answers
199 views

Finite velocity at infinite distance

If an object were launched exactly at escape velocity it would have zero velocity at infinity. But what if we launch an identical objects at greater than escape velocity? Apparently it will have a ...
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1answer
170 views

How is gravitational force is compared to flow of water?

I listened to a lecture. The professor said that the gravitational field around the particle (spherical in shape) can be compared to a pond having a constant height and depth and water is constantly ...
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3answers
318 views

How you feel in outer space vs. orbit?

I understand that when someone is in low earth orbit, the "pull" of their inertia is equal to the pull of gravity. However, the force of gravity is still acting on them. However, if they are in outer ...
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3answers
450 views

How do you explain Kepler's third law in general terms without complex math?

I understand the first law-elliptical orbits, and the second-equal area in same time, but I need help with the third one. Note that I am not in an AP course or taking calculus at the moment so simple ...
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1answer
119 views

Question about weightlessness

Let us consider +Y as upward and -Y axis as downward. So the acceleration that works these objects is always $-g$. For the first picture, if the lift is going upward with acceleration $a$, then ...
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2answers
363 views

How much thrust would be needed to turn a hobbyist weather balloon into a deep space probe?

I was reading the article Weather Balloon Space Probes that says you can put your own balloon probe at 65,000 ft temporarily. Is it even remotely possible to raise the probe high enough using ...
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4answers
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Terminal velocity of all falling objects is same?

Ideally 2 objects of different mass and weight will hit the floor at same time because they face same gravitational pull and accelerate. Will the terminal velocity of both objects be same also? and ...
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1answer
87 views

Why doesn't this equation for orbital motion change with position in the orbit?

The question and answer are on pg.8-10 of this PDF: At first, I went through it, thinking nothing of it. But then, I wondered: "What if we picked a final state in which the space junk was NOT at ...
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2answers
353 views

How large can planets or moons appear?

In many artistic impressions or movies there are pictures or scenes where the sky is filled with an enormous moon (as seen from a planet) or vice versa. I wonder if there is an upper limit to the ...
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1answer
107 views

Acceleration due to gravity?

I was looking into orbitals and found something I haven't been able to understand. http://www.math.ubc.ca/~cass/courses/m309-01a/hunter/satelliteOrbits.html There is a part on the page which states ...
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2answers
159 views

Why are some jenga pieces easier to remove than others?

Jenga is a game place with wooden blocks stacked on top of one another in an alternating pattern. Players take turns removing blocks from any layer and placing them on top. As the game progresses ...
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3answers
323 views

Negative Mass and gravitation

Since Newtonian gravity is analogous to electrostatics shouldn't there be something called negative mass? Also, a moving charge generates electric field, but why doesn't a moving mass generate some ...
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372 views

Is it possible to whirl a point mass (attacted to a string) around in a horizontal circular motion *above* my hand?

I'm studying circular motion and centripetal force in college currently and there is a very simple question but confuses me (our teacher doesn't know how to explain either :/), so I hope we can sort ...
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4answers
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What causes a soccer ball to follow a curved path?

Soccer players kick the ball in a linear kick, though you find it to turn sideways, not even in one direction. Just mid air it changes that curve's direction. Any physical explanation? Maybe this ...
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1answer
102 views

Vector cross product of $\mathbf{r}$ and $\ddot{\mathbf{r}}$ in polar coordinates

I'm struggling with the following question: Question 6 A planet of mass $m$ moves under the gravitational attraction of a central star of mass $M$. The equation of motion of the planet is ...
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4answers
464 views

Potential energy sign conventions

Almost every book on physics that I read have some weird and non-clear explanations regarding the potential energy. Ok, I do understand that if we integrate a force over some path, we'll get a ...
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1answer
66 views

Falling through the ground [duplicate]

I do not know much about physics but I know that according to Newtons third law of motion when we walk we are pushing the ground down but the ground is pushing us up. What force is making the ground ...
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1answer
174 views

How reliant is the Solar System on being exactly the way it is?

We know that all objects with mass exert forces on all other objects of mass such that $$ F = \frac{GMm}{R^2}.$$ And as others have discussed the planets do interfere with each other ...
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1answer
140 views

Defining the star as the ellipse focus rather than the barycenter, what does the other focus do? [duplicate]

There are a lot of images and animations on the internet depicting two bodies orbiting around their common barycenter. The barycenter is defined as the (let's say right) focus of the ellipse. If we ...
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3answers
577 views

Projectiles and escape velocity

Q: The escape velocity for a body projected vertically upwards from the surface of earth is 11 km/s. If the body is projected at an angle of $45^\circ$ with vertical, the escape velocity will be? ...
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4answers
2k views

Why do objects accelerate as they fall?

Most importantly, what must change in order for the falling object to change its speed? Is it the distance to the centre of the planet? If you pull the earth away from the object as the object falls, ...
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Gravity in other dimensions than 3 and stable orbits

I have heard from here that stable orbits (ones that require a large amount of force to push it significantly out of it's elliptical path) can only exist in a three spatial dimensions because gravity ...
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Similarity between the Coulomb force and Newton's gravitational force

Coulomb force and gravitational force has the same governing equation. So they should be same in nature. A moving electric charge creates magnetic field, so a moving mass should create some force ...
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98 views

Constant of gravity in earth fixed coordinate system

I have this problem: If the constant of gravity is measured to be $g_0$ in an earth fixed coordinate system, what is the difference $g-g_0$ where $g$ is the real constant of gravity as ...
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3answers
855 views

Solve for Initial Velocity of a projectile given Angle, Gravity, and Initial and Final positions?

I've found equations http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/1DKin/U1L6a.cfm for solving everything (and rearranged to solve everything) to do with projectile motion EXCEPT this, even though it should ...
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4answers
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Acceleration of two falling objects with identical form and air drag but different masses

I have a theoretical question that has been bugging me and my peers for weeks now - and we have yet to settle on a concrete answer. Imagine two balloons, one is filled with air, one with concrete. ...
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325 views

How universal gravitation falls short

As a non physicist I can understand how Newtonian mechanics falls short in cases of high velocity etc. and is properly generalized by the special theory of relativity. What is not clear to me is how ...
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1answer
435 views

Pendulum in an elevator

Suppose we have a pendulum tied to the ceiling of an elevator which is at rest. The pendulum is oscillating with a time period $T$, and it has an angular amplitude, say $\beta$. Now at some time ...
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2answers
770 views

Gravitational field with cavity removed

I'm just struggling a little with this question: A uniform sphere, of radius $R$, contains a spherical cavity of radius $R/4$, whose centre is $3R/8$ from the surface. The diameter passing through ...
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4answers
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What is the difference between center of mass and center of gravity?

What is the difference between center of mass and center of gravity? These terms seem to be used interchangeably. Is there a difference between them for non-moving object on Earth, or moving objects ...
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2answers
126 views

Escape velocity to intersection of two gravitational fields

Find the minimal velocity needed for a meteorite of mass $m$ to get to earth from the moon. Hint: the distance between the center of earth and the center of moon is $\approx 60 R_E$, and the ...
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1answer
627 views

Gravitational potential energy of mass between two planets

Suppose I want to launch a rocket from earth to some point $O$ between the center of earth and the center of moon (on a straight line connecting their centers), where the gravitational force of the ...
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2answers
800 views

The potential and the intensity of the gravitational field in the axis of a circular plate

Calculate the potential and the intensity of the gravitational field at a distance $x> 0$ in the axis of thin homogeneous circular plate of radius $a$ and mass $M$. Could anybody describe how to ...
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1answer
143 views

Tension of rope in the gravitational field of earth

Two balls of mass $m$ each one are connected with mass-less rope with the same length as the radius of earth. The system is in free fall. Prove that the tension of the rope when the nearest (to ...
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2answers
110 views

Orbits within a $-\vec{r}$ field

Let's say that we have a cold dark matter theory, so we imagine weakly interacting particles. Now, let's say that one of those dark-matter particles has a rare interaction while traveling through the ...
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2answers
269 views

Is Earth's orbit around the sun affected by the ~8 minutes light delay?

Gravitational change occurs at the speed of light. As a consequence, we experience on Earth the gravitational attraction of the sun based on its position relative to us ~8 minutes ago. How does this ...
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195 views

Change in speed of a satellite

Suppose there's some satellite orbiting the earth in circular motion. Suppose there's an asteroid that hits the satellite in the same direction as the instant velocity vector of the satellite. The ...
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168 views

How to calculate time for ball to reach plane while considering mass, gravity and wind resistance?

The scenario that I'm having is such that a ball of radius $15mm$ is thrown from a location point $\vec{p}=(2, 5, 2)$ in a direction of $\vec{d}=(3, 0, 4)$. The initial velocity is $30m/s$. There were ...