Planetary Motion,Feynman Lectures

In summary, the conversation discusses a problem from Feynman lectures volume 1, chapter 9, on Newton's laws of dynamics and planetary motion. The problem involves computing the path of motion of a planet around the sun using Newton's laws of kinematics and gravitation, with initial conditions of x=0.5, y=0, v(x)=0, v(y)=1.63, and e=0.1. The conversation explores the significance of the value 1.63 for v(y) and attempts to understand how Feynman computed it. Two attempts are made, with the conclusion that v(y) depends on the initial x value, but the specific method used by Feynman remains unknown.
  • #1
@run
1
0

Homework Statement


This question is a part of independent study.
The problem is based on Feynman lectures volume 1,chapter 9,Newton's laws of dynamics,section 9-7 planetary motion. To compute numerically path of motion of a planet around sun using Newtons laws of kinematics and gravitation Feynman took initial conditions as x=0.5,y=0,v(x)=0,v(y)=1.63 & e=0.1.I understand that v(x)=0 and v(y) should have some value initially,but cannot understand why he take the value 1.63 for v(y) and how he computed 1.63.

Homework Equations



F = -G*M*m/r^2
r=sqrt(x^2+y^2)
x=x(0) + e* v(x) , v(x) = v(0) + e*a(x) , a(x) = -x/(r^3)
y=y(0) + e* v(y) , v(y) = v(0) + e*a(y) , a(y) = -x/(r^3)

The Attempt at a Solution



Two attempts are made
1
.x = a cos $, y = b sin $ -------(1)
v(x) = -a(d$/dt) sin $ -------(2),
v(y) = -b(d$/dt) cos $ = -(bx/a)(d$/dt)--------(3)
y = 0 means $ = 0, x=a.
so, v(y) = -b(d$/dt) = -bw
now there is a relation connecting the parameters a,b and e of an ellipse
b*b = a*a(1-e*e).
taking e = 0.8(a guss) value of b is calculated.
If I can calculate w in some way, i can get v(y). Some attempts made using the w*r^2 is conserved.
But couldn't calculate w.
2.
This attempt is made first for understanding that v(y) = 1.63 have any importance.
A simple program in c++ is made and plotted x-y graph.This analysis revealed that 1.63 have importance,then only perfect ellipse will be formed. If v(y) is taken as 0.8 planet will not revolve
around sun,the same thing happens when a value greater than 1.63 is taken ,for example 2.2
Analyis also says that the value of v(y) depend on x.When i take x=1 ,v(y) should have a value
near 1.4.This can be expect naturally because when x value changes from 0.5 to 1 the
gravitational force decreased,so less v(y) required.
 
Last edited:
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
So it can be concluded that v(y) depend on initial x value. But how feynman computed the value 1.63 remain a mystery.
 
  • #3


I would first commend the student for their efforts in trying to understand the concept of planetary motion and the calculations involved. It is clear that they have put in a lot of thought and effort into their attempts.

To answer the question about why Feynman chose the specific value of 1.63 for v(y), it is important to understand that the initial conditions chosen by Feynman were not arbitrary. They were carefully selected in order to accurately model the motion of a planet around the sun.

In this case, the initial conditions were chosen to represent a planet with a specific eccentricity (e=0.1) and initial velocity in the y-direction (v(y)=1.63) at a specific position (x=0.5, y=0). These values were chosen based on the equations of motion for a planet, as shown in the homework statement. The value of v(y) was not randomly chosen, but rather calculated using the given equations and the known values of x and e.

Furthermore, as seen in the student's second attempt, changing the value of v(y) significantly affects the resulting motion of the planet. This is because the initial conditions have a direct impact on the trajectory of the planet. Therefore, Feynman's choice of 1.63 for v(y) was based on careful consideration and calculation, in order to accurately model the motion of a planet around the sun.

In conclusion, as a scientist, I would encourage the student to continue their efforts in understanding the concept of planetary motion and to keep exploring different approaches to solving the problem. It is important to keep in mind that the chosen initial conditions are not arbitrary, but rather based on careful calculations and considerations.
 

Related to Planetary Motion,Feynman Lectures

1. What is planetary motion?

Planetary motion refers to the movement of planets in our solar system around the sun. This includes their orbits, rotation on their own axis, and other movements caused by the gravitational pull of other celestial bodies.

2. How did Feynman contribute to our understanding of planetary motion?

Feynman, a renowned physicist, contributed to our understanding of planetary motion through his lectures on physics. He explained the laws of gravity and motion, as well as the mathematical equations that govern planetary motion, in a clear and accessible way.

3. What are Kepler's laws of planetary motion?

Kepler's laws, formulated by astronomer Johannes Kepler in the 17th century, describe the motion of planets around the sun. The first law states that planets move in elliptical orbits with the sun at one focus. The second law states that planets move faster when closer to the sun. The third law states that the square of a planet's orbital period is proportional to the cube of its semi-major axis.

4. What is the relationship between planetary motion and gravity?

Gravity is the force that governs planetary motion. It is the attraction between two objects with mass, such as the sun and a planet. This force determines the shape of planetary orbits and the speed at which they move.

5. How does planetary motion affect our daily lives?

Planetary motion has a significant impact on our daily lives. The rotation of the Earth on its axis causes day and night, while its orbit around the sun determines the changing of seasons. The gravitational pull of other planets also affects the Earth's orbit and rotation. Furthermore, studying planetary motion has led to advancements in space exploration and technology, which have greatly impacted our lives.

Similar threads

  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
11
Views
286
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
12
Views
192
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
10
Views
335
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
27
Views
2K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
2
Replies
38
Views
2K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
2
Replies
40
Views
971
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
13
Views
830
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
960
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
15
Views
396
Back
Top