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Homework Help: Satellite orbit

  1. Nov 26, 2006 #1

    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?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2006 #2
    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?
  4. Nov 26, 2006 #3


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    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.
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