1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What has a higher total energy?

  1. Jan 16, 2017 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Why does a satellite that has a 40.0kg mass in its 177km orbit has a total energy larger than its 144 km orbit?

    2. Relevant equations
    Ep = -GMm/r, Et = -GMm/2r

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I figured from using the Et equation, the greater the radius the bigger the value, but I don't know how to explain it in terms of potential energy and kinetic energy. Also its path is a circular orbit and there's friction involved
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2017 #2

    PeroK

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You have a negative value for ##E_t##, which I assume is kinetic energy.
     
  4. Jan 16, 2017 #3

    BvU

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Total energy.

    Basically: it takes energy to move the satellite to infinity. More energy than the kinetic energy (namely twice as much).

    The further out you start, the easier it becomes ==> total energy is larger at 177 than at 144 km up.
     
  5. Jan 16, 2017 #4

    PeroK

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    @jakeginobi If you have the total energy, what's your question?
     
  6. Jan 16, 2017 #5

    BvU

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Not in the problem statement, not in the relevant equations.
    Together with PeroK, I wonder how we can best help you.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: What has a higher total energy?
Loading...