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Homework Help: Energy of Orbiting Satellite

  1. Apr 30, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I have uploaded the question. See attachment "question001"

    2. Relevant equations
    L=mvR for circular orbit

    3. The attempt at a solution
    See attachment "answer001". The problem is that my final answer seems to be imaginary, and I have tried to look for mistakes in my algebra which would lead me to this and haven't found any. Am I wrong in assuming that the Energy before the explosion is the same as the energy after the collision? I assumed that because no work was done on the orbiting mass, the energy was conserved. And there is no torque acting so angular momentum should be conserved.

    I would be really grateful if someone could point out where I am going wrong :smile:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2010 #2


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    Homework Helper

    The work-energy theorem refers to the change of kinetic energy. The KE of the satellite remains the same if no work was done on it. But what about the potential energy?

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