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-   -   Why is this the barycenter? (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=581854)

solarblast Feb27-12 10:14 AM

Why is this the barycenter?
 
I'm looking at <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-body_problem>. I'm
looking not too far down the page in the section:

Center of mass motion (1st one-body problem)

He computes easily R as the barycentric center. Why must
this be so? Can it be shown geometrically, or perhaps by forces that are zero there?

tiny-tim Feb27-12 10:53 AM

hi solarblast! :smile:

(btw, if you just type a url, the pf software will auomatically make a link out of it, eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-bod...ody_problem.29 :wink:)
Quote:

Quote by solarblast (Post 3787043)
He computes easily R as the barycentric center. Why must
this be so? Can it be shown geometrically, or perhaps by forces that are zero there?

you mean R'' = (m1x1'' + m2x2'')/(m1 + m2) ?

that's just the double derivative of the standard vector formula for centre of mass

R = (m1x1 + m2x2)/(m1 + m2) :smile:

(btw, i don't think anyone actually calls it "barycentre" :rolleyes:)

solarblast Feb29-12 11:00 AM

Re: Why is this the barycenter?
 
Quote:

Quote by tiny-tim (Post 3787099)
hi solarblast! :smile:

(btw, if you just type a url, the pf software will auomatically make a link out of it, eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-bod...ody_problem.29 :wink:)


you mean R'' = (m1x1'' + m2x2'')/(m1 + m2) ?

that's just the double derivative of the standard vector formula for centre of mass

R = (m1x1 + m2x2)/(m1 + m2) :smile:

(btw, i don't think anyone actually calls it "barycentre" :rolleyes:)

Thanks. I'll buy that with the caveats below about what I'm doing.

I think the writer of the page is likely British. They still cling to centre.

It's been a very long time since I've done anything substantive in physics. I'm grasping what I can in a book on celestial mechanics to get to the part I'm interested in, orbits. I skipped the preceding chapter which is really about center of mass and gravity, so maybe I might review what I need there.

While I'm at it, I'll ask another question on derivatives of vectors from an early chapter that I've skimmed through. He mentions r dot r = r**2, where the left side r's are vectors. (maybe I need some meta cmds to express these items as you have done. Where would I get them?) He differentiates that with respect to time and gets
r dot r-dot = rr-dot. r dot r = rr*cos(theta) = r**2 sort of gets me there, but I must be missing something. The derivative derivation he gives doesn't jump off the page to me.

tiny-tim Feb29-12 12:09 PM

hi solarblast! :smile:
Quote:

Quote by solarblast (Post 3790881)
He mentions r dot r = r**2, where the left side r's are vectors. (maybe I need some meta cmds to express these items as you have done. Where would I get them?) He differentiates that with respect to time and gets
r dot r-dot = rr-dot. r dot r = rr*cos(theta) = r**2 sort of gets me there, but I must be missing something. The derivative derivation he gives doesn't jump off the page to me.

the LHS is (r.r)' = 2(r.r') = 2|r||r'|cosθ

(for bold, use the B button just above the reply box, or use [B][/B] :wink:)


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