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What can I consider 'fundamental definitions'? 
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#1
Nov2213, 06:56 PM

P: 276

What are considered fundamental definitions? For context, a question was posed where the prof. provided parametric equations for the motion of a satellite in orbit and said that we can use the provided equations, fundamental definitions, and no other equations to solve the problems.
What does that mean? I thought I had an idea of what that meant but a part of the question asks for us to solve for momentum but none of the parametric equations contain momentum explicitly which means we have to use some other relationship to introduce momentum to the system of equations. So, I thought I would pose that question here and see what you guys think. 


#2
Nov2213, 08:11 PM

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PF Gold
P: 39,327

Well, if the problem asks for "momentum", the definition of momentum would be pretty fundamental wouldn't it?



#3
Nov2213, 08:29 PM

P: 276

Absolutely, but that doesn't help me work out what relationships are fundamental. I say this because if we suppose that all relationship that are necessary to solve the problem are fundamental we get nowhere because even then I can't know which are fundamental until I know how to solve the problem. Is it truly this arbitrary or is there some sort of distinction that I can use to at least make a reasonable argument that something is fundamental?



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