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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

    ehild

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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    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?

    ehild
     
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