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Homework Help: Energy of a Binary System (Gravitation)

  1. May 9, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    What is the kinetic energy and total mechanical energy of a binary system of identical spheres orbiting around their common center of mass?
    M = mass
    R = radius

    2. Relevant equations
    Force of gravity = GM^2/2R
    K = 1/2MV^2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I don't know whether or not you double the kinetic energy since there are two spheres.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2010 #2
    Of course you would have to add the K.E of the two spheres for the total K.E.
    And your eqn. for force is wrong??
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