8
votes
1answer
71 views

What could cause an asymmetric orbit in a symmetric potential?

My question can be summarized as: Given a potential with a symmetry (e.g. $z\rightarrow-z$), should I expect orbits in that potential to exhibit the same symmetry? Below is the full motivation for ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Could two identical stars revolve around each other in a common orbit if we only account for Newtonian physics?

Both a parent star and its planet revolve around the center of mass of the system, the reason we see stellar wobble. But if we take this to be true, which it is, there can be a configuration in which ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Stable and Unstable Orbital Resonance

I was wondering if anyone can show me why some orbital resonances are unstable. For example in the asteroid belt there is a depleted distribution at 3:1 resonance with jupiter. What is the cause of ...
4
votes
0answers
74 views

Why rendezvous attempt failed on Gemini 4? [closed]

It is said in Wikipedia, that On the first orbit, McDivitt attempted to rendezvous with the spent Titan second stage. This was unsuccessful for a number of reasons: NASA engineers had not ...
2
votes
1answer
227 views

Time it takes two oppositely charged particles to collide

I think this is supposed to be a simple problem but I am having a hang up converting it to a one-body problem. It's one-dimensional. +q and -q a distance d apart, held stationary then let go at t=0. ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

What are the determining factors for the velocity of orbiting bodies?

Please bear with me, as I'm not in the field of physics, this question may seem a bit simple. The scenario is the following; A specific stable orbit radius of a small body, say a satellite, to ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

Solving equation of motion of two massive particle exerting the gravitational force each other

I'm trying to analyze the motion of the particles which exert the gravitational force each other. Let $M_1$, $M_2$ be the masses of the particles, and the equation of motion of particle $M_1$ $$ ...
4
votes
2answers
178 views

Runge-Lenz vector and Keplerian Orbits

Is the loss of closed Keplerian orbits in relativistic mechanics directly tied to the absence of the Runge-Lenz vector?
4
votes
1answer
167 views

(Re-)use of a space elevator (basic mechanics and potential energy source)

It's said that if a space elevator were made then it would be much more efficient to put objects in orbit. I've always wondered about the durability of a space elevator though. I don't mean the ...
2
votes
3answers
215 views

Condition for closed orbit [closed]

I'd like to know when an orbit is closed. I know that, to have a closed orbit, there is a ratio that must be a rational number, but I don't know other things..
4
votes
3answers
220 views

Is there a mathematical relationship here or am I looking for relations when there are none?

When I was taking classical mechanics, we dealt a lot with pendulums, and orbiting bodies problems. This lead me to think about the two situations depicted above. Left: Shows two balls of equal mass ...
2
votes
2answers
814 views

What the difference between “orbital” and “orbit”?

What's the difference between "ortibal" and "orbit"? Which one should be used in physics? In quantum mechanics, is "atomic orbital" or "atomic orbit" used? And what about in classical mechanics? A ...
0
votes
2answers
935 views

Does effective potential for a gravitational force have a maximum below $E=0$?

The relevant figure is below (taken from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics). This figure plots the effective potential for a gravitational force. Does the effective potential $V'$ go flat below $E_2=0$? ...
0
votes
2answers
360 views

Energy required to kick a planet orbiting the Sun from an elliptical to a parabolic path

I am trying to solve the following problem from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics: A planet of mass $M$ is in orbit of eccentricity $e=1-\alpha$ where $\alpha<<1$, about the Sun. Assume that the ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between a bounded orbit and a closed orbit?

Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has a puzzling few sentences in his discussion of orbits. Referring to the case of orbit where the energy is low enough for the orbit to be bounded, he says :"This ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

What's the amount of deviation of cellestial orbits from perfect ellipses

It's well known that the planets don't orbit the sun in perfect circles and the characteristics of the elliptical orbits which serve as better approximations to their motion have been calculated ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

What symmetry causes the Runge-Lenz vector to be conserved?

Noether's theorem relates symmetries to conserved quantities. For a central potential $V \propto \frac{1}{r}$, the Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector is conserved. What is the symmetry associated with the ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Initial vs Constant Orbital Velocity

I am working on some basic physics simulation for a game and need to simulate gravity. I have a system working that is behaving more or less correctly so far, but I want to see if I can send a ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Does mass affect speed of orbit at a certain distance?

Does the mass of both the parent object, and the child object affect the speed at which the child object orbits the parent object? I thought it didn't (something like $T^2 \approx R^3$) until I saw ...
6
votes
3answers
219 views

The feasibility of a satellite orbiting at a fixed time

I was speaking with some friends of mine, one of whom was an aerospace engineer. He posited the infeasibility of a hypothetical "Margaritaville Satellite" that orbited earth in such a way that ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Why an object travels a circular path?

It might sound stupid but seriously I couldn't find why? We have a mass with a constant speed, which is acted on by a unit force which is always at right angles to its direction of motion. Why do ...