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Another old exam problem

  1. Dec 13, 2003 #1
    well doin lots of problems for finals and posting the ones i cant get...again im havin trouble with this reflection stuff

    A solar sail of area A=200m^2 is at a distance 1.46e8 km from the sun. suppose the power of the sun is 10^20 kw and the sail is perfectly reflecting ( think you use f=2IA /c ) mass is 10kg, calculate the accel of the sail at this point in space...

    again not sure here... how you get it
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2003 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Well, I don't know how you get D, because you didn't say what D means!
    I would be inclined to think that D means "Distance" but you are explicitely told what that is.

    The reason the answer is "real tiny" is that the power 1020 is divided by the surface area of a sphere with radius 1.45x1014km. before be multiplied by the area of the sail to get the power actually delivered to the sail.
  4. Dec 14, 2003 #3
    i dunno, im confused, lol we just need accel, i was gonna use newtons f=ma
  5. Dec 15, 2003 #4

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Didn't you post a question about the pressure due to reflected light just a few days ago? Several folks answered, but you never responded. The same reasoning would apply here.
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