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Homework Help: Total energy in satellite

  1. Apr 17, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    If height of a satellite from the surface of earth is increased, why does the total energy increase?

    2. Relevant equations

    T.E=K.E + P.E
    3. The attempt at a solution
    Here the work done by non-conservative forces is zero. This means that the total mechanical energy of the system will remain constant. So if we increase the height,, potential energy will become less negative that is it will increase. K.E will decrease. However total energy would be constant
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2015 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't follow the logic. Why are you assuming that there is no work done by non-conservative forces?

    If the work done by non-conservative forces is zero, how did the satellite change orbits? Do orbiting objects spontaneously change their orbits with no external energy input? Why is the Moon still here?
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