# Investigating Circular Orbit Energy: Gravity & Kinetic

• ben111
In summary, the conversation is about a college project investigating the energy involved in maintaining a circular orbit. The main focus is on the relationship between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy in maintaining the orbit, and potential topics for further exploration in this subject are also discussed.
ben111
Hello,

For a college project I'm investigating energy involved in maintaining a circular orbit. The types of energy I'm investigating are gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy. I'd like to see if there is any link between the two in order to maintain the orbit i.e. in the same way inertia and gravity have to be balanced. If not anyone got any ideas about interesting things i can write about the two on this subject?

Cheers
Ben

Huh? You are investigating a link between kinetic and potential energy beyond how the total energy is some constant, which the sum of the kinetic and potential energies must always equal? What do you mean by a link between kinetic and potential energy?

ben111 said:
Hello,

For a college project I'm investigating energy involved in maintaining a circular orbit. The types of energy I'm investigating are gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy. I'd like to see if there is any link between the two in order to maintain the orbit i.e. in the same way inertia and gravity have to be balanced. If not anyone got any ideas about interesting things i can write about the two on this subject?

Cheers
Ben
The relationship is very simple for a circular orbit. The potential energy and the kinetic energy both remain constaant. Does not sound like much of a college-level project to me. However, if you consider the more general case of orbits when the force is inversely poroprtional the square of the distance, or the even more ceneral case of central forces, there is a lot of interesting physics to be explored, including conservation of both energy and angular momentum. There is also a ton of readily available reference material on the subject.

## What is circular orbit energy?

Circular orbit energy is the energy required for an object to maintain a circular orbit around a central body, such as a planet or star. This energy is a combination of the object's kinetic energy and its gravitational potential energy.

## How is circular orbit energy related to gravity?

Circular orbit energy is directly related to gravity. Gravity is the force that pulls objects towards each other, and in the case of circular orbit, it is responsible for keeping the object in its orbit. The amount of circular orbit energy required is dependent on the strength of the gravitational force between the two objects.

## What is kinetic energy?

Kinetic energy is the energy an object possesses due to its motion. In the context of circular orbit energy, it is the energy required for the object to maintain its speed and direction as it orbits around the central body.

## What is gravitational potential energy?

Gravitational potential energy is the energy an object possesses due to its position in a gravitational field. In the case of circular orbit energy, it is the energy required for the object to maintain its distance from the central body as it orbits.

## How can circular orbit energy be calculated?

Circular orbit energy can be calculated using the formula E = -GmM/2r, where E is the circular orbit energy, G is the gravitational constant, m is the mass of the orbiting object, M is the mass of the central body, and r is the distance between the two objects. This formula takes into account both the object's kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy.

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