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First Year Calculus Kepler's laws?

  1. May 13, 2009 #1
    Hello.

    I am doing an end of the year presentation/project for calculus BC class, and I was considering examining orbital motion and Kepler's laws in terms of basic calculus. So far I have been reading this site:

    http://www.alcyone.com/max/physics/kepler/index.html

    Does anyone have any suggestions for variations or examinations of this topic? I was also considering Lagrangian points. The site uses cross products, partial differentiation, and other concepts that I am unfamiliar with, so if there is a way to understand these in terms of BC calculus, I would appreciate an explanation. Thanks in advance for any advice!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2009 #2
    cross product is quite simple: the cross product of vector A and vector B is defined as a vector C perpendicular to both A and B and whose magnitude is equal to ||A||||B||sin(θ) where θ is the angle between A and B.
    Partial derivatives: a little bit more confusing. the partial derivative of f with respect to x denoted fx(x,y,z) is basically the derivative f' where y and z are assumed to be constants.
    hope this helps!
     
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