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Maximum orbital acceleration

  1. Jun 17, 2010 #1
    I was working on some side problems and came across one that confused me. Why is the magnitude of acceleration greatest at periapsis? I know that the a there is only centripetal a at that point. But if we look at another point, say theta = 90, there is both tangental and centripetal acceleration. How do we know the magnitude of accel won't be greater here? At this point, tangential accel should be a max and centripetal will be a min.

    My professor gave me a hint. Look at max forces.....I still don't get it.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2010 #2


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    hi myuugen! :smile:

    hint: F = ma :wink:
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