1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Finding Planetary Radius using density and escape velocity

  1. Dec 29, 2013 #1
    1. "Calculate the radius of a planet with mean density of 3.0x10^3 m2kg-3, from which a golf ball can be thrown to infinity as a velocity of 40 ms-1"


    2. Relevant equations
    I've been looking at the equation of:

    Vesc=sqroot of 2*G*M/r and rearranging to r=2*G*M/Vesc. However, the trouble is, I'm struggling to get the mass from the density? It appears I don't have enough information, or I'm barking up the wrong tree so to speak?


    3. The attempt at a solution

    can anyone point me in the right direction please?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 29, 2013 #2

    Curious3141

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper



    Recheck your algebra there. What happened to the square root?

    Start with the conservation of energy statement ##\frac{1}{2}mv_e^2 = \frac{GMm}{r}## that leads to the equation you started with. ##m## is the mass of the golf ball (cancels out), while ##M## is the mass of the planet.

    Now find an expression for ##M## in terms of the density and the radius. Assume the planet is a spherical ball of radius ##r##. What's the enclosed volume of a perfect sphere?
     
  4. Dec 29, 2013 #3
    The enclosed volume of a perfect sphere is is V=(3/4)∏*r3, and when rearranging the previous equation I get r=GM/0.5Ve^2 and M=G/0.5V^2*r?

    I'm still struggling to see what I can do with this, as it appears that to find r I need M and to find M I need r? I'm really confused :-(
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  5. Dec 29, 2013 #4

    Curious3141

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    You have ##V##. What's the relationship between mass, density and volume? Hence what is ##M## in terms of ##r##?

    Replace ##M## with that expression. Rearrange to isolate ##r## on one side of the equation. That's just simple algebra. But be careful with it - you seem prone to making mistakes with this. The expressions you wrote are ambiguous (you should use LaTex formatting), but there seems to be mistake with the rearrangement here too.
     
  6. Dec 29, 2013 #5

    SteamKing

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Yes, you are confused.

    Is your planet a flabby sphere? You should recheck your formula for the volume of a sphere. I also didn't understand the units of average density in the OP for the planet. The units of density are ML^-3.
     
  7. Dec 29, 2013 #6
    Hi, sorry about the typo, i should have wrote (4/3)∏r^3

    In regards to units of density, again that was a typo and should read 3*10^3 kg M^-3, which is what has been provided in the problem set.
     
  8. Dec 29, 2013 #7

    Curious3141

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    OK, so what's ##M##, as I asked in my post? You may represent the density by ##\rho##.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Finding Planetary Radius using density and escape velocity
Loading...