Mechanics: Circular Motion and Gravitation
Circular Motion and Gravitation: Audio Guided Solution
Scientists determine the masses of planets by observing the effect of the gravitational field of those planets on nearby objects - mainly upon their moons. By measuring the orbital period and orbital radius of a moon about a planet, Newton's laws of motion can be used to determine the mass of the planet. Phobos, a moon of the planet Mars, was discovered in 1877. It's orbital radius is 9380 km and its orbital period is 0.319 days (2.77 x 104
seconds). Determine the mass of Mars based on this data.
Audio Guided Solution
Habits of an Effective Problem Solver
- Read the problem carefully and develop a mental picture of the physical situation. If necessary, sketch a simple diagram of the physical situation to help you visualize it.
- Identify the known and unknown quantities in an organized manner. Equate given values to the symbols used to represent the corresponding quantity - e.g., m = 61.7 kg, v= 18.5 m/s, R = 30.9 m, Fnorm = ???.
- Use physics formulas and conceptual reasoning to plot a strategy for solving for the unknown quantity.
- Identify the appropriate formula(s) to use.
- Perform substitutions and algebraic manipulations in order to solve for the unknown quantity.
Read About It!
Get more information on the topic of Circular Motion and Gravitation at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.
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