First Year Calculus Kepler's laws?

  • Thread starter wil3
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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!
 

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  • #2
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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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