Taylor Series Expansion of Gravitational Field: Benefits & Uses

  • Thread starter scott_alexsk
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In summary, a Taylor series expansion may be helpful for finding information about the asymptotic behavior of a function, but this information can be found without expanding the function.
  • #1
scott_alexsk
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...to do a Taylor series expansion of an expression for the gravitational field? My physics teacher did a it few times on the board, but I do not understand how it gives me more information about the asymptotic behavior than substituting some scaled factor in for r, and then solving the limit as that dimensionless number goes to 0 or infinity. (i.e. finding the field of a uniform ring w/ radius d and distance r away from something, approaches the field of a point mass as r goes to infinity or d goes to zero). Maybe it is useful for something else?

Thanks,
-Scott
 
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  • #2
can you be a little more specific?
 
  • #3
Sorry in advance for not using latex...

So if I have the equation for the gravitational field of a ring, g=G*m*z/(z^2+r^2)^1.5 (where z is the distance to some point along a line perpindicular to the center of the ring, and r is the radius of the ring), what useful thing can I get out of making a Taylor series for this equation?

I was saying before that I can already find information about the asymptotic behavior by setting v=r/z, and then plugging it into the equation and solving for the limit as v goes to zero (to show that the gravitational field of the ring approaches a point mass as the distance from it goes to infinity, or r goes to zero etc.) So I conclude from this that I don't need a Taylor expansion to determine the asymptotic behavior.

So just to rephrase, is there any reason why I would want to make a Taylor series expansion for the field function? My teacher certainly knows what he is doing, but I missed the point for doing the expansion.

Thanks,
-Scott
 

Related to Taylor Series Expansion of Gravitational Field: Benefits & Uses

1. What is a Taylor Series Expansion of Gravitational Field?

A Taylor Series Expansion is a mathematical tool used to approximate a function by breaking it down into a sum of simpler functions. In the case of the gravitational field, it is used to approximate the force of gravity at different distances from a mass.

2. How is Taylor Series Expansion used in the study of gravity?

Taylor Series Expansion is used in the study of gravity to approximate the gravitational field at different distances from a mass. This allows scientists to make more accurate predictions about the behavior of objects under the influence of gravity.

3. What are the benefits of using Taylor Series Expansion in the study of gravity?

One of the main benefits of using Taylor Series Expansion in the study of gravity is that it allows for more accurate predictions of the behavior of objects under the influence of gravity. It also allows for a more precise understanding of how the strength of the gravitational field changes at different distances from a mass.

4. What are some practical applications of Taylor Series Expansion in the study of gravity?

One practical application of Taylor Series Expansion in the study of gravity is in the field of astrophysics, where it is used to understand the behavior of celestial bodies under the influence of gravity. It is also used in the design of spacecraft trajectories and in the study of planetary motion.

5. Are there any limitations to using Taylor Series Expansion in the study of gravity?

While Taylor Series Expansion is a useful tool, it does have some limitations. One limitation is that it only provides an approximation of the gravitational field, which may not be accurate in all situations. Additionally, it assumes that the gravitational field is smooth and continuous, which may not always be the case.

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